Traveling To Iceland With Kids
You may commonly hear how Iceland is the perfect destination for adventure lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. But did you know it is also a great country for kids? Learning about the volcanic landscape of the country will resemble a real-life science lesson for your whole family. Kids will find themself in constant wonder when visiting Iceland. Here are our top activities that the whole family will enjoy. The best part is, all of these locations can be reached with your Iceland rental car!
Is Iceland A Kid-Friendly Country?
Iceland is known to be one of the safest countries in the world which means it is safe to travel with kids. Iceland’s education rate is also rated one of the highest in the world. In addition to that, Icelanders are known to be some of the most friendly people in the world, making the country even more kid-friendly.
Top Activities When Traveling To Iceland With Kids
Let your child daydream while learning all about the Viking legends of Iceland. If they want to see an old Viking ship, take a tour of Viking World. The museum features a Viking history replica of a 9th-century ship, Icelander or Íslendingur, the main attraction. The Viking ship sailed to New York in the year 2000 to commemorate Leifur Eiríksson’s journey to the New World.
You can learn all about the story of the Viking expansion across the North Atlantic. The exhibition was produced in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution in the USA as a part of the millennial celebration of Leifur Eiríksson. Then stop by the Fate of the Gods exhibit, which will teach you about Norse mythology and myths.
If your family is landing early, you can take advantage of the Breakfast Under The Viking Ship. The breakfast buffet includes a wide selection of oven-baked bread and pastries, porridge, meat products, Icelandic pickled herrings and so much more. You will have to make reservations in advance. They do have a children's menu too! Children 10 years and younger cost 1500 ISK or $10 per child. But children 2 years and younger eat free.
If you are looking for a weird yet enchanting stop just five minutes from Keflavik Airport then visit the Giantess Cave. This is the home to the Giantess who is known to have a loving heart. The Black Cave of the Giantess opened its doors in 2008 when the Giantess moved from her mountain to the cave.
So who is this interesting Giantess? She is a character in the story of Sigga and the Giantess from 1959 which was written by the Icelandic author Herdís Egilsdóttir. The story tells a tale of Sigga’s 6th birthday when she meets the Giantess by accident on the mountainside. Sigga grew to love her very quickly and thought she was quite funny, inviting her to her birthday party. From there everyone grew to love the Giantess, which is how she was invited to have her own cave.
Today, you can visit her in the cave where your children may hear her snoring in her kitchen chair. It is a great activity for children and those that are young at heart.
Children’s Culture Festival
Depending on when you visit, The Children’s Cultural Festival is a great activity to bring your whole family to. This year, the festival will take place from April 18-23 in downtown Reykjavík.
The festival's principles are quality, diversity, equality, and good access to children's culture, with children and for children. The events take place in elementary schools, kindergartens, leisure centers, cultural institutions, art schools, and elsewhere. The Children's Culture Festival accommodates all art forms for children and their families. Their schedule is packed with fun events for your children to enjoy! Check-in closer to the date for a full breakdown.
Did we mention that admission to all events is free? A fun festival to take part in while not racking up your credit card during vacation. You can’t beat that!
Petra’s Stone Collection
If you find yourself on an East Iceland road trip with your children, you have to stop by Petra's Stone Collection. This special place is home to many stones that were all found in Icelandic highlands. Many of them are known to be rare.
How did this unique collection even happen? It was created entirely by one woman, Ljósbjörg Petra María. She spent her whole life collecting the stones, even when some people told her it was not a productive task. Come learn all about her extraordinary life and why these stones are important.
The entry fee to the museum is 1,500 ISK for those 14 and older.
Swimming can be a fun activity for those of all ages, but especially children. That is why Laugardalslaug Pool in Reykjavik gets a spot on our kid-friendly list. This pool is a local favorite and you will see Icelanders swimming here often. The pool is commonly used for training so make sure to check the schedule for visiting. It is open to the public outside of training hours.
In the summer you can enjoy the outdoor children's pool which has two waterslides. There is even a mini golf course on the property if you want to have some family-friendly competition. If you are traveling with an infant you can use one of their baby baths as well. For the parents, you can take part in enjoying their other amenities including a steam room, hot tubs and so much more.
As of August 1, 2022, Reykjavik made swimming pools free for children until they are 17 years old. That means Children from ages 0-16 are free! If your child is older you can expect to pay a small fee of 195 ISK or $1.36 for children between 16 and 17 years old. Adults 18 or older are charged 1,210 ISK or $8.
FlyOver Iceland provides the feeling of flight without airplane wheels leaving the runway. Once your flight takes off, you will hang suspended with your feet dangling over a 20-meter or 65-foot spherical wrap-around screen. The movie will take you on a breathtaking journey through the country of Iceland, accompanied by music from the famous composer Kjartan Holm.
In addition to the captivating scenery, you will also take advantage of their special effects. This will include the feeling of wind, mist, and even scents. The seats will move during certain motions of the ride too, providing an adrenaline rush.
There is even a pre-show experience your kids will love! This includes a storyteller that explains the History, Mythology & Nature of the country. You will even learn about Sú Vitra, an ancient troll who holds up a vial of yellow potion with a raven on her arm.
It is important to note that children must be at least 100 cm or 40" tall to fly here. Children must be accompanied by an adult or guardian who has to be 14 years of age or older.
Eat Ice Cream
This one should keep the whole family happy because Ice Cream in Iceland is delicious.
It is creamy, and tasty and offers a variety of different flavors. So it is no wonder why people love it. Icelanders love ice cream more than the average American too. They consume it as much as other countries consume coffee and tea. So we have complete faith that they know what they are doing.
One of Iceland's favorites is Bragðarefur! Which is similar to a McDonald's McFlurry, but way better. Some favorite candy combinations are smashed Oreo pieces, and Daim and Mars is our favorite combination. Soft serve is another great option. This is more common around the world too but it just tastes more delicious in Iceland. Ice cream in Iceland comes from either Emmess or Kjörís. Your kids will love it.
One of the top-rated spots to grab ice cream is Eldur og Ís in Reykjavik. Their Nutella is their specialty here and you can even pair it with one of their delicious crepes. Yum!
Watch your kids sit in awe once they see a whale jumping out of the ocean water. Whale Watching is an activity for people of all ages! Take a Whale Watching Trip with Elding Whale Watching Pioneers. The tour leaves right from Old Harbor in downtown Reykjavik. Your captain will bring you into Faxaflói bay with the crew and specially trained naturalists. The marine biologist guide will teach you all about the wildlife and whales in the area.
The boat has outdoor viewing platforms, a heated indoor saloon with large viewing windows, a cafeteria where you can buy light refreshments, toilet facilities, and a cloakroom where you can borrow blankets and overalls for the duration of the tour. This allows you to sit outside to enjoy the crisp ocean air or cozy up inside, which still has great views. Your guide will provide live facts and commentary about the areas you are visiting.
Commonly spotted mammals include minke whales, humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbor porpoises. Sometimes killer whales, fin whales, sei whales, and long-finned pilot whales make a rare appearance. The tour is 12,490 ISK or 87 USD for adults, 6,245 ISK or $43 for children 7-15, and free for children 7 and under. You can also pick it up for any day of your trip since they leave daily at 9:00 AM or 1:00 PM.
Your children will love Iceland’s tales of folklore when visiting the “Singing Cave” also known as Sönghellir Cave. The cave earned its nickname thanks to the sound the wind makes when it passes through the lava tubes.
The cave is known to be the home of mythical creatures such as fairies and trolls. There is also a legend that says Sönghellir Carver became the home of the 9th Century settler Bárður Snæfellsás. He was rumored to be half man and half giant. Today, Snæfellsás is now thought to be the home of the guardian’s spirit.
You may even see some musical performers in the cave playing guitar or singing. The acoustics are a recording artist's dream. Spend the day with the entire family exploring some of Iceland’s natural wonders.
Sönghellir Cave is a 2-hour and 38-minute drive north of Reykjavik, a fun day trip that you can take on with your Iceland car rental. Afterward, spend some time exploring the vast Snæfellsjökull National Park.
If you want your children to have an educational experience then head to the LAVA Centre in Hvolsvöllur. Which is an hour and a half drive southeast of Reykjavik. This interactive museum features a volcano exhibit that has geophysical monitoring of active volcanic systems. You can also learn about earthquake activity and surface movements with the Volcano and Earthquake alerts.
The Lava Centre allows your kids to learn about a variety of volcanoes, eruptions and lava flow, volcanic and rift systems, and faults. There is also a movie you can watch at the center if you want to take a break and enjoy a film as a family. We recommend booking the “Full Experience” ticket, which is Adults 4.390 ISK or $30 per adult, 2.195 ISK or $15 per child between 6-15 years old, and free for those 5 and under.
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is on many travelers' bucket lists, but did you know the lagoon is kid friendly? Kids under 13 get free admission too! Your child does need to be at least two years old to swim in the lagoon though. The temperature of the water is too hot for children of that age. You can spend your whole day floating around the lagoon and soaking in the healing waters.
After you spend your day soaking your worries away, dine at the Lava Restaurant. The restaurant offers a Children's Menu for your kids to enjoy. It is only ISK 1.990 or $14 per entree. Your kids can choose from Fish and Potatoes, LAVA chicken, a Classic sandwich, or a Hamburger.
The Blue Lagoon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is relaxing and family-friendly!
The Perlan Museum
The Perlan is one of Iceland’s best museums and your children will love it. The museum offers a man-made ice cave, which is the first of its kind in the world. The cooling system in the cave keeps the temperature above -10°. Your children can wander through the 100 meters or 100-foot-long cave that was built with 350 tons or 700,000 pounds of snow and ice from the Blue Mountains.
They also have a variety of nature shows for you and your family to enjoy. The Northern Lights Show has won multiple awards. This documentary takes place in a big auditorium where the Aurora will dance right above you in your seats.
Tickets to The Perlan are 4.990 kr. or $35 for Adults, 2.990 kr. or $21 for children aged 6 - 17, and free for children 0-5 years old.
Hradastadir Farm and Petting Zoo
There is nothing your children will love more than spending their day with Iceland’s animals. Fortunately, they can by visiting Hradastadir Farm and Petting Zoo, located in the town of Mosfellsbaer. Which is a quick twenty-minute drive from Reykjavik, perfect for a destination to visit with your Iceland car rental.
Your children can visit goats, horses and so many more animals. The petting zoo is only during the summer months and is a great addition to your Iceland itinerary. They also offer horseback riding for both kids and adults.
Can you take a 3-year-old to Iceland?
Yes, you can, Iceland has plenty of activities for children of all ages, including most of the ones above.
Do kids need car seats in Iceland?
If you use a car seat at home for your child then you should also get one when picking up your Iceland car rental.
Should I bring a stroller to Iceland?
A stroller could be convenient when visiting and exploring Reykjavik with children. You can also use the Hop-on-hop-off bus or drive to your destinations.
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