Iceland with Kids – your guide to family-friendly adventures

Discover why Iceland is one of the world’s best family-friendly destinations with our handy guide to Iceland with kids.

16. september 2022

Iceland with Kids – your guide to family-friendly adventures

Discover why Iceland is one of the world’s best family-friendly destinations with our handy guide to Iceland with kids.

16. september 2022

Horseback riding, whale watching and hunting for the Northern Lights; there are endless activities for kids of all ages visiting Iceland. This small, friendly nation is a great choice for families as it’s easily accessible and there’s plenty to see and do. Those sticking close to Reykjavik will find boat trips, sightseeing buses and walking tours on their doorstep, and embarking on children-friendly tours and activities in Iceland sees your little ones discovering tumbling waterfalls, lava caves and glacier lagoons across the island. Visiting Iceland with kids is sure to leave you with family memories and photos to last a lifetime. Here’s our ultimate guide to family-friendly Iceland so you can start filling up that family album.

Is Iceland a good place to bring kids?

Being such a small and friendly country, Iceland is an excellent destination for a holiday with kids. For the littlest kids, there are plenty of playparks dotted around Reykjavik and family-friendly restaurants with menus for all ages. Older children can let their imagination run wild in the rugged countryside of Iceland, where waterfalls look like they hide fairy grottos and shrines to elves sitting by the roadside. It’s easy to travel around by yourself by hiring a car, but there are also plenty of child-friendly tours if you don’t want the hassle of navigating and driving yourself. Viking museums, chasing the Northern Lights after bedtime and whale watching from Reykjavik can keep kids entertained for days.

Is Iceland good for a family holiday?

IwK 7

As a holiday destination, Iceland caters to families with kids of all ages. And it’s the kind of place that adults enjoy just as much as little ones. For example, while grown-ups might appreciate the soothing properties of the Blue Lagoon geothermal baths, kids can enjoy floating in the milky-blue water, gazing at the volcanic landscape that feels as though they’re on another planet. There’s plenty of wildlife to spot, on foot or from the deck of a boat, and easy walks to roadside waterfalls, geysers and the myriad natural wonders aren’t too taxing on little legs. Overall, Iceland is probably one of the best holiday destinations for families.

What to do in Iceland with kids?

Iceland is a small and accessible country, so there are plenty of things to do with kids here.

Take a Sightseeing Tour

IwK 6

There’s plenty to see and do from the capital city of Reykjavik, and some of the more leisurely sightseeing tours are perfect for families with kids. Simply exploring the city by hop-on hop-off bus can provide an easy way to get around the city and learn some interesting facts as you go. Not to mention the view from the top deck of the snow-covered mountains beyond the harbour.

Joining a guided tour from Reykjavik can be one of the easiest ways to experience Iceland’s glorious, wild scenery without the hassle of driving yourself. The south shore adventure takes in highlights like the black-sanded beach, glaciers and waterfalls at a leisurely pace with everything organised for you. All you have to do is show up at the nearest pick-up bus stop with your family. For an adventure close to the city, the wonders of Snaefellsnes National Park can provide that wilderness experience without the long-distance driving.

Those that don’t mind a long day can embark on a tour to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, taking in the sights of the south coast along the way. The floating blocks of glowing blue ice in the lagoon and crystal-clear chunks of glacial ice on Diamond Beach are the kind of scenes a kids’ imagination conjures up when you talk about the arctic.

Visit the Golden Circle

IwK 2

No matter what age you are, the sights of the Golden Circle are not to be missed. The close proximity of Iceland’s biggest natural wonders to each other makes Golden Circle tours a hit with families. It’s an easy drive from Reykjavik and this circular route takes in the ethereal landscape of Þingvellir National Park where the continental plates meet, the thundering cascade of Gullfoss waterfall and the clockwork eruption of Stokkur in the Geyser geothermal area.

Bathe in Hot springs and Geothermal Pools

IwK 3

One restful and restorative way to spend time as a family is in one of Iceland’s many geothermal pools and hot springs. Grown-ups can enjoy a peaceful soak in the milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, indulge in a face mask and a drink. While kids can enjoy the space-like landscape and novelty of bathing in a bath-warm pool as it snows above.

Most of Iceland’s hot springs and pools allow children of all ages to experience the tradition of bathing amidst nature. However, the Sky Lagoon in Reykjavik only admits kids aged 12 or older.

Go whale and puffin watching

Little wildlife lovers can have a field day in the wilds of Iceland. The craggy cliffs on the shore are home to colonies of puffins, their red beaks standing out against the volcanic black rock. Right in Reykjavik, leaving from the Old Harbour, the Puffin Express is a quick and easy trip, perfect for families. By boat, you leave the harbour and head to the islands of Lundey and Akurey, just fifteen minutes away, to watch the colony of puffins that nest here. The whole trip takes just an hour, so little ones won’t get bored. Those that have a little more time can embark on a boat trip to spot whales and puffins from Reykjavik’s Old Harbour.

Whale watching itself is another family-friendly activity in Iceland. Boats leave directly from Reykjavik, so there’s no long drive involved if you’re staying in the capital. Whale watching tours head out to Faxaflói Bay from the Old Harbour and from the deck you can spot humpbacks and blue whales breaching the water, and even the occasional orca whale or pod of dolphins.

Go Horse Riding

IwK 5

The great thing about Iceland’s native horses is that they are small and sturdy, ideal for young ones that love a pony ride. Bridle paths weave across the landscape, and on the horseback lava tour you can admire the lava fields and verdant green hills from atop your small but perfectly formed Icelandic steed. Or, perhaps combine a horse ride with the classic sights of the Golden Circle to make the most of your time in Iceland.

Embark on Family-Friendly Adventures

IwK 10

What kid doesn’t want to return from their holiday and tell their friend they’ve been inside a lava tunnel? Children aged 3 and up can join the lava tunnel tour and walk through the ethereal landscape formed by molten lava, with a guide and hard hat for safety. It’s just a half-hour drive from Reykjavik, so a shorter trip for young ones with short attention spans. Those that want to get up close and personal with some real-life lava should stop at the Icelandic Lava Show in Vik. It’s a fun and educational experience, so it’s perfect for families with kids.

On the other end of the spectrum, kids can experience the sleek, arctic landscape of their imagination on an ice cave experience. The Langjokull ice cave is close to Reykjavik and open year-round as it is man-made. Walking through this glowing blue tunnel feels like you’re in a videogame or on a movie set. Those that don’t mind travelling a little further can head to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to embark on a boat tour through the ice-strewn lagoon, like the scene from an Arctic expedition.

Back in Reykjavik, families can experience the feeling of flying a plane over the land, ice and sea at the Flyover Iceland experience. In the new Grandi Harbour complex, this state-of-the-art attraction is an interactive movie experience, suitable for kids aged 5 and over. At the Old Harbour, you can hop on a fishing boat and experience a day of sea angling, suitable for all ages. It’s a hands-on day of fishing out at sea, so perfect for kids that don’t want an itinerary stuffed with museums and sightseeing.

Explore Reykjavik with Kids

IwK 8

There’s plenty to keep kids occupied in the city of Reykjavik if you don’t want to travel too far. Our selection of Reykjavik tours can have you and your little ones exploring the city on foot, by boat and even by buggy. The hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus is a great way to move around the city, taking in the biggest sights along the way with commentary providing plenty of entertainment. Perhaps after a spot of whale watching in Faxaflói Bay you can stop by the Whales of Iceland museum to learn more about these fascinating creatures. It’s a great educational experience for families with kids and the perfect activity if the weather turns sour as it’s indoors.

What is the best time of year to visit Iceland with kids?

IwK 9

Cast out in the wild North Atlantic, the seasons in Iceland can be dramatic. For families, visiting Iceland in the sunny summer months can be the best time for whale watching tours and driving conditions are the easiest for south coast adventures. The long days, when the sun barely sets, in the middle of summer mean longer opening hours at the geothermal lagoons and a bit more flexibility in your schedule as a result. Though the shoulder seasons in spring and autumn still bless the land with sunshine and the crowds are less. Just be aware that the weather is more changeable in spring and autumn.

If you’re looking for the full, snowy Iceland experience, winter is the best time to visit Iceland. In winter, families can make memories – hunting for the Northern Lights together, bathing in hot springs as it snows overhead, and experiencing the rugged landscape covered in a dusting of snow. This is also the time of year when you’re most likely to spot orca whales in Faxaflói Bay. The only downside to a winter break is that the weather can be harsh and kids will need to wrap up warm in lots of layers to keep warm.

What to pack for a family vacation in Iceland?

Packing for a family vacation to Iceland depends on the time of year you are visiting. For a winter break it’s important to bring plenty of layers, waterproof gear to combat the snowy days, gloves, hats, scarves and big woolly jumpers to keep warm (and fit in with the locals). Shoes with good grip that can fit crampons if you want to go glacier walking are a good idea, and should help you navigate the slippery Reykjavik pavements if it snows. Handwarmer gels can be a good addition to save little fingers from freezing.

In summer it can still be pretty cold, especially at night, plus it can rain at any time of year. So layers and waterproofs are a good idea no matter when you are visiting. But a summer visit should include the sunscreen as the sun does shine during the day (and all night).

Gone are the days of Iceland having only one channel on TV, and Reykjavik receives channels from the UK in English, but if you want to keep kids happy with their favourite shows on an iPad, remember to pack a European plug adaptor to charge it.

Of course, you’ll be making memories to last a lifetime together, so you’ll want to bring a camera or snap endless photos on your phone. If you’re taking a long day trip along the south coast, it might be worth packing a power bank to charge your phone on the go. All our coaches are equipped with free WiFi and USB ports in selected vehicles.

So there you have it. Iceland is a fabulous place to visit with kids. There are myriad activities and adventures across the island that can keep little ones entertained. Being a small, friendly nation, Iceland is particularly welcoming for families and easy to get around, even with children in tow. Days filled with chasing waterfalls, horseback riding, whale watching and puffin-spotting are sure to be memories that last a lifetime. All you have to do is book your tours and activities with Reykjavik Excursions for an unforgettable family adventure.

Blogg

Fáðu innblástur! Upplýsingar og góð ráð, áhugaverðir áfangastaðir, skemmtilegar staðreyndar og margt fleira. Bloggið okkar er á ensku en það er stórskemmtilegt engu að síður!

Northern Lights in Iceland: Your Guide

In this post, you can discover everything you need to know about seeing the aurora borealis in the land of fire and ice.

Lesa blogg

Iceland with Kids – your guide to family-friendly adventures

Discover why Iceland is one of the world’s best family-friendly destinations with our handy guide to Iceland with kids.

16. september 2022

Iceland with Kids – your guide to family-friendly adventures

Discover why Iceland is one of the world’s best family-friendly destinations with our handy guide to Iceland with kids.

16. september 2022

Horseback riding, whale watching and hunting for the Northern Lights; there are endless activities for kids of all ages visiting Iceland. This small, friendly nation is a great choice for families as it’s easily accessible and there’s plenty to see and do. Those sticking close to Reykjavik will find boat trips, sightseeing buses and walking tours on their doorstep, and embarking on children-friendly tours and activities in Iceland sees your little ones discovering tumbling waterfalls, lava caves and glacier lagoons across the island. Visiting Iceland with kids is sure to leave you with family memories and photos to last a lifetime. Here’s our ultimate guide to family-friendly Iceland so you can start filling up that family album.

Is Iceland a good place to bring kids?

Being such a small and friendly country, Iceland is an excellent destination for a holiday with kids. For the littlest kids, there are plenty of playparks dotted around Reykjavik and family-friendly restaurants with menus for all ages. Older children can let their imagination run wild in the rugged countryside of Iceland, where waterfalls look like they hide fairy grottos and shrines to elves sitting by the roadside. It’s easy to travel around by yourself by hiring a car, but there are also plenty of child-friendly tours if you don’t want the hassle of navigating and driving yourself. Viking museums, chasing the Northern Lights after bedtime and whale watching from Reykjavik can keep kids entertained for days.

Is Iceland good for a family holiday?

IwK 7

As a holiday destination, Iceland caters to families with kids of all ages. And it’s the kind of place that adults enjoy just as much as little ones. For example, while grown-ups might appreciate the soothing properties of the Blue Lagoon geothermal baths, kids can enjoy floating in the milky-blue water, gazing at the volcanic landscape that feels as though they’re on another planet. There’s plenty of wildlife to spot, on foot or from the deck of a boat, and easy walks to roadside waterfalls, geysers and the myriad natural wonders aren’t too taxing on little legs. Overall, Iceland is probably one of the best holiday destinations for families.

What to do in Iceland with kids?

Iceland is a small and accessible country, so there are plenty of things to do with kids here.

Take a Sightseeing Tour

IwK 6

There’s plenty to see and do from the capital city of Reykjavik, and some of the more leisurely sightseeing tours are perfect for families with kids. Simply exploring the city by hop-on hop-off bus can provide an easy way to get around the city and learn some interesting facts as you go. Not to mention the view from the top deck of the snow-covered mountains beyond the harbour.

Joining a guided tour from Reykjavik can be one of the easiest ways to experience Iceland’s glorious, wild scenery without the hassle of driving yourself. The south shore adventure takes in highlights like the black-sanded beach, glaciers and waterfalls at a leisurely pace with everything organised for you. All you have to do is show up at the nearest pick-up bus stop with your family. For an adventure close to the city, the wonders of Snaefellsnes National Park can provide that wilderness experience without the long-distance driving.

Those that don’t mind a long day can embark on a tour to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, taking in the sights of the south coast along the way. The floating blocks of glowing blue ice in the lagoon and crystal-clear chunks of glacial ice on Diamond Beach are the kind of scenes a kids’ imagination conjures up when you talk about the arctic.

Visit the Golden Circle

IwK 2

No matter what age you are, the sights of the Golden Circle are not to be missed. The close proximity of Iceland’s biggest natural wonders to each other makes Golden Circle tours a hit with families. It’s an easy drive from Reykjavik and this circular route takes in the ethereal landscape of Þingvellir National Park where the continental plates meet, the thundering cascade of Gullfoss waterfall and the clockwork eruption of Stokkur in the Geyser geothermal area.

Bathe in Hot springs and Geothermal Pools

IwK 3

One restful and restorative way to spend time as a family is in one of Iceland’s many geothermal pools and hot springs. Grown-ups can enjoy a peaceful soak in the milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, indulge in a face mask and a drink. While kids can enjoy the space-like landscape and novelty of bathing in a bath-warm pool as it snows above.

Most of Iceland’s hot springs and pools allow children of all ages to experience the tradition of bathing amidst nature. However, the Sky Lagoon in Reykjavik only admits kids aged 12 or older.

Go whale and puffin watching

Little wildlife lovers can have a field day in the wilds of Iceland. The craggy cliffs on the shore are home to colonies of puffins, their red beaks standing out against the volcanic black rock. Right in Reykjavik, leaving from the Old Harbour, the Puffin Express is a quick and easy trip, perfect for families. By boat, you leave the harbour and head to the islands of Lundey and Akurey, just fifteen minutes away, to watch the colony of puffins that nest here. The whole trip takes just an hour, so little ones won’t get bored. Those that have a little more time can embark on a boat trip to spot whales and puffins from Reykjavik’s Old Harbour.

Whale watching itself is another family-friendly activity in Iceland. Boats leave directly from Reykjavik, so there’s no long drive involved if you’re staying in the capital. Whale watching tours head out to Faxaflói Bay from the Old Harbour and from the deck you can spot humpbacks and blue whales breaching the water, and even the occasional orca whale or pod of dolphins.

Go Horse Riding

IwK 5

The great thing about Iceland’s native horses is that they are small and sturdy, ideal for young ones that love a pony ride. Bridle paths weave across the landscape, and on the horseback lava tour you can admire the lava fields and verdant green hills from atop your small but perfectly formed Icelandic steed. Or, perhaps combine a horse ride with the classic sights of the Golden Circle to make the most of your time in Iceland.

Embark on Family-Friendly Adventures

IwK 10

What kid doesn’t want to return from their holiday and tell their friend they’ve been inside a lava tunnel? Children aged 3 and up can join the lava tunnel tour and walk through the ethereal landscape formed by molten lava, with a guide and hard hat for safety. It’s just a half-hour drive from Reykjavik, so a shorter trip for young ones with short attention spans. Those that want to get up close and personal with some real-life lava should stop at the Icelandic Lava Show in Vik. It’s a fun and educational experience, so it’s perfect for families with kids.

On the other end of the spectrum, kids can experience the sleek, arctic landscape of their imagination on an ice cave experience. The Langjokull ice cave is close to Reykjavik and open year-round as it is man-made. Walking through this glowing blue tunnel feels like you’re in a videogame or on a movie set. Those that don’t mind travelling a little further can head to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to embark on a boat tour through the ice-strewn lagoon, like the scene from an Arctic expedition.

Back in Reykjavik, families can experience the feeling of flying a plane over the land, ice and sea at the Flyover Iceland experience. In the new Grandi Harbour complex, this state-of-the-art attraction is an interactive movie experience, suitable for kids aged 5 and over. At the Old Harbour, you can hop on a fishing boat and experience a day of sea angling, suitable for all ages. It’s a hands-on day of fishing out at sea, so perfect for kids that don’t want an itinerary stuffed with museums and sightseeing.

Explore Reykjavik with Kids

IwK 8

There’s plenty to keep kids occupied in the city of Reykjavik if you don’t want to travel too far. Our selection of Reykjavik tours can have you and your little ones exploring the city on foot, by boat and even by buggy. The hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus is a great way to move around the city, taking in the biggest sights along the way with commentary providing plenty of entertainment. Perhaps after a spot of whale watching in Faxaflói Bay you can stop by the Whales of Iceland museum to learn more about these fascinating creatures. It’s a great educational experience for families with kids and the perfect activity if the weather turns sour as it’s indoors.

What is the best time of year to visit Iceland with kids?

IwK 9

Cast out in the wild North Atlantic, the seasons in Iceland can be dramatic. For families, visiting Iceland in the sunny summer months can be the best time for whale watching tours and driving conditions are the easiest for south coast adventures. The long days, when the sun barely sets, in the middle of summer mean longer opening hours at the geothermal lagoons and a bit more flexibility in your schedule as a result. Though the shoulder seasons in spring and autumn still bless the land with sunshine and the crowds are less. Just be aware that the weather is more changeable in spring and autumn.

If you’re looking for the full, snowy Iceland experience, winter is the best time to visit Iceland. In winter, families can make memories – hunting for the Northern Lights together, bathing in hot springs as it snows overhead, and experiencing the rugged landscape covered in a dusting of snow. This is also the time of year when you’re most likely to spot orca whales in Faxaflói Bay. The only downside to a winter break is that the weather can be harsh and kids will need to wrap up warm in lots of layers to keep warm.

What to pack for a family vacation in Iceland?

Packing for a family vacation to Iceland depends on the time of year you are visiting. For a winter break it’s important to bring plenty of layers, waterproof gear to combat the snowy days, gloves, hats, scarves and big woolly jumpers to keep warm (and fit in with the locals). Shoes with good grip that can fit crampons if you want to go glacier walking are a good idea, and should help you navigate the slippery Reykjavik pavements if it snows. Handwarmer gels can be a good addition to save little fingers from freezing.

In summer it can still be pretty cold, especially at night, plus it can rain at any time of year. So layers and waterproofs are a good idea no matter when you are visiting. But a summer visit should include the sunscreen as the sun does shine during the day (and all night).

Gone are the days of Iceland having only one channel on TV, and Reykjavik receives channels from the UK in English, but if you want to keep kids happy with their favourite shows on an iPad, remember to pack a European plug adaptor to charge it.

Of course, you’ll be making memories to last a lifetime together, so you’ll want to bring a camera or snap endless photos on your phone. If you’re taking a long day trip along the south coast, it might be worth packing a power bank to charge your phone on the go. All our coaches are equipped with free WiFi and USB ports in selected vehicles.

So there you have it. Iceland is a fabulous place to visit with kids. There are myriad activities and adventures across the island that can keep little ones entertained. Being a small, friendly nation, Iceland is particularly welcoming for families and easy to get around, even with children in tow. Days filled with chasing waterfalls, horseback riding, whale watching and puffin-spotting are sure to be memories that last a lifetime. All you have to do is book your tours and activities with Reykjavik Excursions for an unforgettable family adventure.

Blogg

Fáðu innblástur! Upplýsingar og góð ráð, áhugaverðir áfangastaðir, skemmtilegar staðreyndar og margt fleira. Bloggið okkar er á ensku en það er stórskemmtilegt engu að síður!

Northern Lights in Iceland: Your Guide

In this post, you can discover everything you need to know about seeing the aurora borealis in the land of fire and ice.

Lesa blogg