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Valencia with children, a journey along the Túria

Valencia is a wonderful city to visit with children because there are thousands of things to keep the smallest family members entertained. The old course of the Túria river has numerous attractions for families with the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències [City of Arts and Sciences] at its heart.

Oceanogràfic, a journey to the bottom of the sea

The Oceanogràfic (link interno) in the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències gives children the chance to explore the oceans and discover their fauna. The centre runs various family-orientated activities that are especially designed for little ones. If you have an Animalia Passport you can visit the aquarium every weekend to learn about dolphins in greater depth from their keepers. And if you have the time and are feeling courageous, you can even spend night in the Torre Océanos while being circled by sharks.

Carrer d’Eduardo Primo Yúfera, 1

Hemisfèric, discovering the stars

The Hemisfèric is no ordinary cinema; inside it has a planetarium, an Imax Dome screen and a digital 3D cinema. Digital projections in the planetarium cover the whole spherical screen. Here you can travel into space and look down on our planet from the International Space Station or experience new sensations with 3D images. Seen from outside, the building itself looks like a vast human eye with an eyelid that can open and close.

Avinguda del Professor López Piñero (Historiador de la Medicina), 3

 

 

Museu de les Ciències Príncep Felip, come and play with science

The Museu de les Ciències Príncep Felip [Science Museum] programmes daily activities for children in the Espai dels Xiquets such as “Welcome to life”, a macroincubator where chicks hatch every 10 minutes. Little ones can also enjoy a space with games led by Plumitas, the museum’s virtual mascot. Independently of the scheduled activities, the museum’s different rooms offer visitors the chance to discover, in an interactive way, everything that technology has done to improve humans’ lives. Children will love the fact that in this museum they’re free to touch and experiment for themselves. By the exit you can take a stroll along the L’Umbracle and wander through the sculpture garden.

Avinguda del Professor López Piñero (Historiador de la Medicina), 3

Bioparc, an African safari in Valencia

The Bioparc is at the far end of the Túria gardens next to the Parc de Capçalera and here children can discover Africa’s different ecosystems and their animals. It’s a huge zoo without traditional railings and cages that focuses on the African continent. After visiting the Bioparc you could have a picnic in the park and then hire a swan-shaped boat on the lake.

Avinguda Pío Baroja, 3

Bicycle ride in the Jardí del Túria gardens

The gardens created in the riverbed along the old course of the Túria river slice through the city and create a huge green space that runs from Parc de Capçalera to the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències. Over nine hill-free kilometres that are perfect for a bicycle ride with children; you could either cycle from one end to the other or do it in stretches. If you’re staying at the Barceló Valencia hotel (link interno), you can hire bicycles from the hotel itself and ride directly into the park by the Palacio de las Artes Reina Sofía, which you might be able to see from your hotel room. Take the journey slowly and enjoy being surrounded by nature while spotting Valencia’s famous attractions along the way. You’ll come across lots of different play areas for children along the length of the park, plus bars and cafés with large terraces where you can stop for a drink.

Climb Gulliver

During your bicycle ride (or walk), make sure you pay a visit to the Parc Gulliver, a playground where children can climb over the trapped giant as if they were Lilliputians. This huge figure, created in the Falles tradition, can be found spread-eagled next to the Ángel Custodio bridge and astonishes visitors big and small. Children will rush off to play on the slides that sprout from every angle while you can wait peacefully in the shade… Although you won’t be able to resist climbing the giant yourself before you leave!

Jardí del Túria (Section XII), no number

Discover the secrets of the Falles

Children love the iconography of the Falles, even if they don’t always understand the irony and political criticism behind the figures. The Museu Faller (link interno) [The Falles Museum] displays the most recently pardoned ninots, almost 100 figures that succinctly summarise current events over the past few years. The oldest ninot dates back to 1934. The museum is housed in an old inn next to the Plaça de Montolivet and also exhibits Falles posters and objects related to this important Valencian festival. It’s a great chance for children to discover the unique traditions of the Falles.

Plaça de Montolivet, 4

A day at the beach

Towards the north of the city, Valencia’s promenade borders Platja de la Malva-rosa and Les Arenes, beaches with a series of play areas for children. Valencia has large, fine sandy beaches that are perfect for families with children. There are also restaurants where you can enjoy a genuine Valencian paella while gazing out to sea.

Valencia Marina

At the end of the promenade, before reaching the commercial port, you’ll come across Valencia Marina, a legacy of the American’s Cup which was held here in 2007. From the terraces of the Veles e Vents building you can enjoy a wonderful view of your surroundings; sailing is clearly the number one activity and there are a plethora of sailing, diving, dugout canoeing and rowing schools. Visitors can go on a boat trip and admire the sunset from the waves.

Muelle de la Aduana, no number

Boat ride in l’Albufera de València

Just a few kilometres outside the city, l’Albufera is reached by crossing a picturesque area of orchards and vegetable gardens. This natural setting has been forever preserved in the novel “Cañas y Barro” by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. One great option is to go and eat on a restaurant terrace that looks out over l’Albufera; children will love the rice dish arrós a banda. When you’ve finished, find a boat owner to take you on a boat ride: they’re usually at the end of the rice fields waiting for customers but will come and collect you from the restaurant if the waiter rings in advance. On your long boat trip you’ll have the chance to spot many of the species that live here and huts that still remain on the shores.

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