Whether you are planning to visit Marbella in the height of summer or during the cooler months, you will find plenty of great attractions for all the family within easy driving distance of the town centre.
Many great attractions for kids are based in Marbella, Estepona, Fuengirola, Torremolinos and Benalmadena, and all are within a 40 minute drive of Marbella and Puerto Banus. Whether your children want to enjoy thrills and spills at Aventura Amazonia in Elviria, or chill out with over 2,000 species of wildlife at Selwo in Estepona, the list of things to see and do is endless.
Take a trip to Fuengirola Adventure Golf, situated between the Myramar Centre and Dunne´s Stores, just off the N-340. A great place for all the family, with café bar and 18 holes of mini adventure golf for around. Course fees are €8.50 per adult, €6.00 per child under 16 and €24 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children).
Funny Beach is just 1km east of Marbella town centre, and offers a wide choice of things to do including karting, water skiing, video games, paragliding, jet skiing and even a Formula 1 Simulator … great for all ages, and also includes an infant´s park for the smaller ones.
Tivoli World is a long established amusement park in Arroyo de la Miel, Benalmadena. Great for all ages, Tivoli has dodgems, park offers nearly 40 rides, including the Tivoli Dragon, the Big Wheel Roller Coaster, Bumper Cars, Myterious Boat the Tivoli Train Tour and the white knuckle ride, the Free Fall Tower, 60 metres in height. Plenty of side shows and live entertainment is also on offer during the summer months, and the park opens Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 7pm.The Teleferico Cable Car, operates close to the car park at Tivoli World and offers fantastic views of the coast.
Amazonia Aventura in Elviria is just 5 km east of Marbella and boasts over 70 attractions including jumps, rope bridges, zip lines and ladders straddling the high trees. Great fun for adults and kids, and full safety briefings are given by experts before the fun starts.
Two of the Costa del Sol´s most exciting Aqua Parks are situated at Mijas-Costa (close to Fuengirola McDonald´s just off the A7 motorway), and at Torremolinos, the bigger of the two parks. Aqualand Torremolinos and Parque Acuatico Mijas offer adrenalin rush rides to compete with the best in Europe, including steep mega slides, and water rides of every description. Usually open from April to September, the parks also offer plenty of sunbathing areas for the adults and smaller rides and attractions for small children.
If you enjoy getting up close and personal with wolves, take a trip to the Lobo (Wolf) Park in Antequera, where you can come face to face with these fascinating creatures in a safe environment. You can also learn more about the lives and habitats of these wild creatures in a rugged and natural environment.
If you enjoy watching wildlife in a natural setting, Selwo Aventura in Estepona is one of the best parks of its kind in Europe. The park and is home to over 2,000 species of animals and birds. Visitors can see the owls and birds, followed by a stroll through the impressive aviary as eagles swoop overhead. Once you reach the top of the park, safari-style trucks will transport you the rest of the way where you can view the bigger animals, including lions, bears and giraffes.
Fuengirola Zoo is one of the best zoos of its kind in Spain, and attracts animal lovers of all ages. You you want to get up close and personal with the crocodiles, see rare white tigers, or view some of the world´s rarest reptiles, this zoo is well planned, well designed and provides a haven for the animals. If reptiles are your ´thing´ take a trip to The Crocodile Park in Torremolinos which is home to some of the world´s oldest reptiles.
The Donkey Sanctuary takes in old, ill and injured donkeys, and is open to the public. The animals are nursed back to health, and can be sponsored by visitors for just a few euros a month. Experts at the Sanctuary also teach visitors about the lives of the donkeys and explain how they came to be at the Sanctuary.
The Butterfly Park in Benalmadena (´Mariposario´) is home to some of the most beautiful species of butterflies in the world. The park is situated close to the Buddhist Stupa near the Old Town, and visitors should exit the A7 at the first exit for Benalmadena Pueblo, from direction Marbella, then turn left and follow signs.
Gibraltar is one of the best places to enjoy a Dolphin Safari, and visitors are more likely to see these incredible mammals than they are on a trip from the Costa del Sol. Thousands of dolphins head for the warm waters in the Bay of Gibraltar, much to the delight of the passengers.
Paintball Estepona provides a great day out for kids and adults. Paintball is approximately 20 minute´s drive from Puerto Banus. Anyone over 7 years old who is reasonably fit can enjoy this fast paced game of skill and agility. Lots of camouflage and unexpected obstacles provide the perfect setting for paintballing.
Whether you want to enjoy some team building or treat the children to a great day out, Laser Combat Malaga could be the ideal place. This attraction is located between Antequera and Malaga, and provides and unique activity for all the family. Laser Combat is popular for children´s birthday parties with a difference. Real sounding weapons are fired, but nothing dangerous flies out of them, and Laser Combat is completely safe. If you are planning a party, book in advance.
Selwo Marina is located next to Paloma Park in Benalmadena and is home to many species of sea life, including mammals and fish. Visitors can learn about conservation, plus get up close and personal with the rays, the penguins and the dolphins.
The Feria de San Bernabé in Marbella takes place every year in June (check local press or tourist office for details of exact dates), and if you are visiting the Costa del Sol with the family during feria time, make the most of the main fairground, open in the evenings and also the live music, dancing and open air bars situated throughout the town during the day time. Local women don their colourful flamenco dresses as they perch side-saddle behind the elegant horsemen in their red neckerchiefs and braces, and the fun and games goes on late into the night. This is a must-see event in Marbella, and all the local bars and restaurants decorate their terraces to leave no-one in any doubt that it is feria week.
If you happen to find yourselves in town, take a look down the incredible Avenida del Mar in Marbella, where Dali statues line the pedestrianised street, offer great views of the sea as you walk down towards the promenade. Orange Square is also worth a visit. Opposite the Cafeteria de Marbella on the main street, walk upwards through the cobbled streets and you will come to this quaint square with bars, cafés and restaurants and plenty of great places to eat and enjoy tapas or a full lunch or dinner. The Old Town is also an integral part of the annual feria, and many live entertainers, dancers and singers perform in the Square each year.