The rain falls so infrequently in Barcelona that the city’s inability to deal with the occasional storm is legendary. Traffic grinds to a halt; a free taxi is a rare sighting; sodden umbrellas and sweaty commuters pack buses. The tried and true plan of letting the little ones run around a sunny plaza for the afternoon, while you laze nearby with a copa and some friends, gives way to being trapped in a city apartment. Hiding out in the bathroom only lasts for so long; the children will find you soon enough (they’re smart like that). Plus, you’ve got standards when it comes to screen time (right?). For those days with inclement weather, here’s a list of places with indoor activities for young children that will keep them entertained and parents sane.
International parents favor El Cau due to its central location in Eixample, just a few blocks from Turo Parc, which has quickly become a Little America of sorts. Kids are encouraged to explore and use their imagination in natural ways. The play center is built with wooden play structures for kids aged 0-6 to climb, run, crawl and explore. On holidays and weekends, El Cau hosts different workshops, such as art, cookie decorating, and theater experiences. A small cafe on the premises lets parents enjoy a coffee and chat while the kids play. Call and make a reservation in advance because El Cau reaches capacity on most days.
Address: Villarroel, 237
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday: 10:30-13:30; 16:30-19:30;
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays: 11:00- 14:00; 17:00-20:00
Children have a natural curiosity about the world and Cosmo Caixa taps into that through hands-on activities. The wonders of science and math can be explored through different activities like building tangrams, blocks to visualize numbers, or learning about weights and balances in the math lab. Science concepts like electricity, atom building, and the planets also can be understood through play. A planetarium show helps children delve into astronomy. Wandering through a simulated Amazon forest to see fish and animals is a favorite amongst little ones. Cosmo Caixa offers free admission to all Caixa bank account holders.
Address: c/Isaac Newton, 26
Hours of Operation: Monday-Sunday (including holidays): 10:00-22:00
Happy Milk Moms & Kids Club is the kind of kids place where moms are not an afterthought. This multi-lingual space offers both a place for kids to play and a plethora of activities for the entire family. Music and art classes, sensory exploration, and even yoga for children and moms means everyone has something to do. While most activities are geared for children ages 0-6, there are a few activities for kids up to 11. Check their social media accounts for special activities.
Address: Passeig de la Bonanova, 110
Open Play Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 17:00-19:00
Lunchtime and playtime don’t have to be mutually exclusive with a place like Cocoa Barcelona around. Located in the shadow of La Sagrada, they offer a multi-cultural, family environment. Set up as a family cafeteria, they offer a healthy menu for brunch, lunch, or just cake and coffee. Parents can enjoy a much-deserved plate and socialize, while the kids are entertained with a variety of educational toys and imaginative play. Cocoa Barcelona even hosts special events and workshops for the family.
Address: c/Lepant, 241
Hours of Operation: Wednesday-Sunday 10:00-22:00
Children who love to role play and wear costumes will fit right in at Kids & Kafe. They offer different zones where little ones ages 0-8 can pretend to care for animals, do the weekly shopping, prepare dinner, diagnose illnesses, or just drive around town. There is even a special zone designed just for babies aged 0-12 months with soft play. While the children explore different careers, parents can enjoy a leisurely coffee in a family lounge area. Kids & Kafe also offers a drop-in babysitting service for children between ages 1-8.
Address: Carrer de Nicaragua, 117
Hours of Operation:: Monday-Friday 9:00-20:00; Saturday and Sunday 10:00-20:00
Guest Author: A busy, exciting, sport-filled life of raising three boys abroad keeps Nichole Ozdemir busy nearly 24/7. Originally from Nebraska, Nichole lived in Mersin, Turkey for more than ten years and has called Barcelona home for nearly four years. When she’s not cheering her sons on the football pitch, Nichole loves exploring the multitude of cafes in Barcelona to find the perfect coffee and place to people watch.