It's not just the beach and swimming pool that makes Marbella a fantastic place for kids. There are numerous attractions and activities that will entertain and educate your little ones.
FUN UNDER THE SUN
In the Estepona hills you will find Selwo Adventure Park which has expansive animal enclosures, a huge aviary and a petting farm. Travel off-road through lion country in a fun open top lorry and catch a glimpse of hippos elephants and bears.
Fuengirola Bio Park is a new model of zoo based on respect for nature and the preservation of natural species, a model which has already established itself as a flagship for Europe.
Just up the coast, Benalmádena is home to several attractions that include Selwo Marina, the first dolphinarium in Andalucia where you can get up-close-and-personal with dolphins, sea lions and penguins. Here, there is also the Sea Life Center with an underwater tunnel and plenty of interactive learning opportunities with crabs and stingrays, and, if you like heights and scenery then you must take a trip on the Teleferico (cable car) that will take you to the peak of Calamorro offering donkey rides and Spanish horse riding displays.
Many public areas have mini amusement parks that open in the summer with children's mini bungee jumping, bouncy castles and euro rides. The largest amusement park on the coast is Tivoli World, which is a firm family favourite. With over 20 rides including water flumes and rollercoasters, shows, restaurants and gardens it's a must visit attraction. The Crocodile Park in Torremolinos is also perfect for a fun afternoon. With over 300 crocodiles in 12 different species, a croc nursery, mini zoo, daring demonstrations and a photo opportunity with a baby crocodile will leave your sons and daughters with a lifetime memory.
For overcast days or organised events, there are many children's play centers dotted along the coast that offer ball parks, play areas and activities. Try Kids Kingdom at the Supersol supermarket in Cancelada or Galaxia in Guadalmina Alta. For mega fun head to Megabowl in La Cañada. It doesn't only offer bowling on 14 professional Brunswick lanes fully computerised with bumpers and ramps for the younger ones so everyone can play, but also a huge arcade with numerous machines and facilities for parties.
There are 3 main cinemas complexes along the coast that show the latest releases in original version. Head to Gran Marbella cinema in Puerto Banús, to the Myramar Shopping Center in Fuengirola or for a more extensive range of films you might decide to travel a bit further to Plaza Mayor near Málaga. Plaza Mayor offers lots of casual fun for children, so you might want to make that a whole afternoon programme. If the kids are desperate for some underwater fun, there are Aquaparks in both Fuengirola and Torremolinos that have a fantastic selection of slides, pools and extensive areas for sunbathing.
WORDS BY Susanne Whitaker