Reykjavik with kids: 8 fun family activities!
Visiting Reykjavik with kids is almost inevitable, as for most families with kids it is where the trip starts and where the trip ends. Reykjavik is not super-sized and you can actually think of it more as a big village. Still, there are enough activities to do to have a good time with kids for at least two days. We were there ourselves for two days and did several activities in the city. Below we list the eight best activities in Reykjavik with kids.
Table of contents
Reykjavik with kids #1: FlyOver Iceland
One of the most fun activities to do in Reykjavik with kids is Flyover Iceland. It reminded us a bit of the cool This Is Holland attraction in Amsterdam that has the same concept. Flyover Iceland is reasonably located in the city center and you can park your car in front of the door for free. It’s not a far walk to this attraction from the center either, but since it was raining quite a bit on the day we visited Flyover Iceland, we took the car.
The attraction is divided into three different sections and the first two sections can be thought of as pre-ride shows. Here you will already get some more information about the Icelanders and their dealings with nature. Certainly the second part of this pre-ride show already looks very cool with beautiful images.
Once you have seen these two shows, you go to the last show and that is a flight-ride experience, where it looks like you are in a plane and flying over the different landscapes of Iceland. In doing so, they make very nice use of elements such as wind and smell. This allows them to set up an experience so that it feels like you are actually flying above this place. In that respect, it is wonderful to be able to see Iceland from the air like this. For more information on opening hours, prices and the experience, check out Flyover Iceland‘s website.
Reykjavik with kids #2: Perlan
One of the most popular attractions in Reykjavik is the Perlan Museum. This museum is all about nature. For example, you have a planetarium in the museum, where you can see a wonderful film about the famous Northern Lights, there is a very cool ice cave you can walk through and you have different exhibitions where you can see different elements of nature reflected.
Perlan is a great museum to delve into the nature of Iceland. Surely, this is the main reason most people visit the country. The museum consists of several floors and we found the ice cave to be the highlight of the museum. You walk through a meter-long cave, encountering objects along the way, such as a chair made entirely of ice.
On the top floor of Perlan you also have a very nice view of Reykjavik and here it is also possible to have a bite to eat and a drink. We also saw that you can zipline from here, but we didn’t do that here. You pay an additional fee for this, by the way. We spent a total of several hours in here. For more information on prices, opening hours and various exhibits, check out Perlan’s website.
Reykjavik with kids #3: Hallgrimskirkja
One of the most famous sights to see in Reykjavik with kids is the rather striking church in the city center. The church has a special shape and it is possible to view this church inside for free. It is also possible to visit the tower of the church and you can do that by elevator.
We also did this and you have a nice view of the city, but we found it quite pricey for what you get. You take the elevator up, you take a picture and within a few minutes you are back down. Apart from the church, it’s fun to take a tour of the city center anyway.
In the city center you can find several beautiful Street art paintings on walls and on Reykjavik’s main street you have a large hopscotch path for kids drawn on the ground. By the way, near the church there is also a small playground, where the kids can play just fine. So be sure to take a walk around town and check out the church, but make sure to weigh whether you will also visit the church’s tower.
Reykjavik with kids #4: LAUGARDALSLAUG
Iceland’s largest swimming pool is also in Reykjavik and is definitely fun to visit with kids. Again, we can park the car at the pool for free and the cost of the pool is relatively low. For a few euros entrance fee we have access to the pool! Unfortunately, on the day we visited the pool, the weather was very stormy and it was really storming outside. As a result, conditions for visiting the pool were not ideal.
The pool itself is nicely heated, making it great to visit year-round. In addition, you have a cool slide at the pool for kids. Also in the pool itself you have a fun course for kids where kids can play nice. Also in the pool were all kinds of toys including large inflatable balls.
In addition to the outdoor pool area, they also have an indoor pool and there are also several hot springs. This also makes it nice for parents to relax for a while. The pool also has a sauna. We spent a total of about three hours in this pool, which was more than enough. If it had stormed a little less, this might have been longer. By the way, the maintenance of the pool does leave much to be desired. You have to take that into account!
Reykjavik with kids #5: Nautholsvik
If you are looking for a free activity in Reykjavik with kids, Nautholsvik is a great option. This beach is located in the south of the city of Reykjavik, and you can also easily park your car here for free in the parking lot near the beach. The beach has a hot spring, where you can relax just fine.
We noticed that in this place you saw few other tourists and mostly local people. Most Icelanders who were here first went swimming in the icy sea water and then relaxed in the hot water pool. At the hot tub there is also a tent where you can buy some food and drinks.
Near the beach there is also a small playground, which is great for kids to play for a while.
Reykjavik with kids: other activities
Of course, we did not do everything in Reykjavik in the two days we were in town. Still, there are several other activities you can do in Reykjavik with kids. We discuss them briefly below.
#6 Reykjavik Zoo & Family Park: we actually found out too late that they also have a type of park that is a combination of a zoo and a large playground. We walked past it while taking a walk around the nearby park and then it just started raining really hard. At the zoo, by the way, don’t imagine too much. There are some seals, horses, foxes and then some farm animals. The playground with various attractions does seem to be very fun for kids we have read online.
#7 Whale Safari: quite a few whales swim around Iceland and you can book a tour from Reykjavik with kids to spot these whales. Whale safaris are organized almost daily, and most boat trips last about three hours. The guide who accompanies you on the boat tells all about these animals in English. However, you do have to factor in a hefty price tag per person if you want to go see these whales.
#8 Viking Maritime Museum: if you love museums and have already visited the Perlan Museum then this Viking Maritime Museum could be another fun option. This museum is not super big and the museum is about the life of fishermen in Iceland. You have free admission here with the Reykjavik Citycard, which you may want to purchase if you are visiting Reykjavik with kids.
Where to stay in Reykjavik with kids?
Sleeping in Iceland is not cheap! We spent quite a long time looking for suitable accommodations for our family of three. In the capital city of Reykjavik, we slept for three nights. From here we also visited the Golden Circle and we slept here at hotel Muli. This was a fine hotel just a little outside the city center, where we could park the car in front of the door for free. We had a fine room and downstairs at the hotel there was a place to eat and warm up food. There is a large supermarket a few minutes’ walk from the hotel and we found it a pleasant place to sleep. For more information about this hotel check here.