Visiting a city is often difficult with kids, but Reykjavík has a lot to offer in the way of family fun. There is a wide range of options from interactive museums to entertainment centres. So whether your child is interested in studying nature or just loves to run wild in it, there will be an outlet for this energy in Reykjavík.
Perlan /The Pearl
The Pearl was built in 1991 on top of six big thermal water tanks. Surrounding the dome is a 360° viewing deck that provides wonderful panoramic views of Reykjavík and the surrounding landscape. A fee is charged to go onto the deck, but the view is also good indoors. The top floor of Perlan houses a coffee shop and restaurant and spectacular views as well.
In 2017, Perlan opened the country’s largest nature exhibition called Wonders of Iceland. This includes a glacier exhibition and a replica of an ice cave with ice from various glaciers. For prices and further information, please visit www.perlanmuseum.is
Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach
At the bottom of the Öskjuhlíð hill, you can find the man-made beach at Nauthólsvík. Set within a 3.5 km walk from the town centre and only a 1.3 km walk from the Perlan, the beach is in reasonable walking distance for children. The child-friendly beach, cozy hot tub and steam bath make this an excellent place for family fun on the beach.
Free admission during the summer months. Opening hours: Daily 10:00 – 19:00 (Summer)
Reykjavik City Pond
Feeding the ducks at the city pond has always been a popular activity with Icelandic families. However, a recent statement from Reykjavík City has discouraged people from feeding bread to the ducks. Still, the pond is well worth visiting as the surrounding area is ideal for outdoor activities. Try walking around the colourful streets of Reykjavík, visiting Hljómskálagarðurinn park or simply enjoy watching the birdlife around the city pond.
Viðey is a small island visible from Reykjavík. It offers peaceful surroundings, abundant birdlife and is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of Reykjavík. For ferry prices please visit www.elding.is
Elliðárdalur Valley is one of the biggest outdoor areas in Reykjavík and is a fantastic getaway from the city, within the city. It is characterised by its large river and waterfalls varied plant life, plenty of walking routes and peaceful surroundings.
The Reykjavík Botanical Garden
Opposite the Reykjavík Park and Zoo, you can find the botanical garden, great for a stroll on a sunny day. This is an outdoor collection of living plants and conserves about 5000 plant species.
Open every day May – August from 10:00 – 22:00 Sept – April from 10:00 – 15:00 Free admission
The Reykjavík Park and Zoo
The Reykjavík Park and Zoo offers an action-packed day out for family fun. The domestic zoo is home to both farm and wild animals, and offers children the chance to experience farm life first hand. The family park offers various activities such as rides and entertainment, but please note that the rides are not included in the admission and are only open in the summer. The family park has good picnic facilities, and visitors are welcome to bring their own hotdogs or other foods to cook on the provided BBQ´s.
Entrance fee: Adults 850 ISK, Kids 650 ISK – Open daily 10:00 – 17:00
Laugardalur Ice Skating Rink
The indoor ice skating rink in Laugardalur is great fun for all ages, and ideal for when the weather is not favourable. Visitors can rent skates and helmets but please be aware that it can be very cold inside so dressing warmly is advisable.
Opening hours vary. Please see website for details www.skautaholl.is
Reykjavík´s Thermal Swimming Pools
Swimming is an all-time favourite of Icelanders. The thermal pools are family friendly, and most pools have fun slides, children areas, hot tubs and steam baths. For further information on swimming pools and opening times, please visit www.sundlaugar.is
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 6:30 – 22:00. Weekends 6:30 – 20:00 Entrance fee: Adults 950 ISK, kids 150 ISK.
Árbær Open Air Museum
Árbæjarsafn is an open-air museum and comprises a collection of over 20 houses from the 19th century that guests are invited to visit. The museum is located on extensive grounds where there is plenty of space to run around and play. Árbæjarsafn offers a daily guided tour between the hours of 13:00 and 14:00.
Opening hours 10:00 – 17:00 June-August.Entrance fee: Adults 1600 ISK , children free.
Smáratívolí is an indoor entertainment centre where everyone can find an activity to their taste, such as lasertag, a teddy bear factory and a crèche for children. Upstairs has a cinema, although screening in English may be limited for children’s movies.
For more information on prices and opening hours please visit www.smarativoli.is and www.smarabio.is
Klifurhúsið is an indoor climbing centre and great fun for all ages. It is suitable for young children as it has a special climbing wall for toddlers. On weekends, there are special rates for families between the hours of 12:00 – 15:00.
Prices: Adults 1300 ISK, Kids 1000 ISK.
If none of the above ideas are to your taste, there are plenty of organized tours and activities around Reykjavik. Please visit www.tripguide.is for ideas and information.