Let’s face it, even though they love the beach, there’s only so much time young children will be kept happy with sandcastles, paddling and beach balls before they get tired of watching mum and dad relaxing on the sun loungers. When this happens, it might be time for an excursion – and luckily, Tenerife has a fantastic amount for families to do.
Recommended read: The Why, Where and When to Go in Tenerife
With its beautiful sandy beaches, warm sunshine, outdoor swimming pools and playgrounds, Tenerife is the perfect location for a holiday with small children, made even better by the great range of day trips your little ones can enjoy.
Here’s my selection of the best day trips to take with young children while you’re holidaying anywhere on Spain’s beautiful Canary Island.
The Butterfly Farm
Watch your little ones’ eyes open in wonder as they take in the more than 800 different species of butterflies at the Mariposerio del Drago. The awe-inspiring butterfly sanctuary is set in the pretty, traditional white-washed town of Icod de las Vinos, famous for its umbrella-shaped dragon tree (well worth checking out with the kids as it’s just across the road from the butterflies).
Opened in 1997, the main area of the Butterfly sanctuary is based in a dramatic glass building which is home to a beautifully recreated tropical garden. The flowers and plants here serve as the habitat for some of the world’s most exotic butterflies.
Your children will love the way the winged insects fly freely around them as they walk through the enclosure, but you might want to warn them that while some of the butterflies are as small as 2cm, others reach an impressive wingspan of 30cms.
Times and Prices
During the winter the Mariposerio del Dragois open from 10am to 6 pm daily and in summer it stays open until 7pm.
- Adult €8.50
- Child (3 to 12 years) €7.50
If your kids like swimming, paddling or just splashing around in water then you’ll definitely want to fit in a day trip to the vast Lago Martiánez on the Costa Martiánez during your stay in Tenerife.
Designed by the famous Canary Island’s architect Cesár Manrique, the Lago Martiánez is a network of swimming pools or ‘lagoons’ – these are so large that the biggest of them is more like a lake! There’s a selection of fountains and waterfalls that little ones can play in, and there are plenty of places serving a range of child-friendly fare around the area.
The number of Cesár Manrique sculptures around the park, which the children can climb on or even swim under, make for a lovely extra touch. There is definitely plenty of fun in the sun and water to be had here, so plan to stay for the day.
Some local hotels will offer a discount package but standard prices are €5.50 for adults and €2.50 for children under 10 years old.
Imagine the excitement of taking the kids down under the waves to explore the fascinating array of sea life from the safety of a submarine. Take a trip to Marina San Miguel and you can do just that.
Venture out to sea on the yellow submarine (no singing please!) and then dive below the waves, where you’ll be able to see a variety of fish including rays and trumpet fish; you’ll even glide past an old shipwreck or two! A truly a fascinating experience for any child interested in nature, deep sea diving, or life under the ocean waves.
South Tenerife – Adults €53, Children €32
North Tenerife – Adults €65, Children €39
Trips can be booked online for a discount.
Museum of Science and the Cosmos
Your little ones may think that visiting a museum while they’re on holiday doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun… but they’d be wrong! Just wait until you get them to the Museum of Science and the Cosmos in La Laguna and they can use the fully interactive exhibits to lift a car with one finger or find their way through a mirror maze.
There are more than 70 interactive exhibits in the museum, all of which are bound to keep young children riveted. This definitely isn’t just for little scientists (although, of course, they will love it too).
The museum opens from 8am to 2pm during the winter and 8.30am to 1.30pm in the summer.
Kids love anything which is smaller than they are, so perhaps this explains my little one’s fascination with the miniature model village at Pueblo Chico in La Orotava. Take a close look and you’ll see that whoever has designed this fascinating installation has added a touch of humour too with the tiny human scenes they’ve included in the display. A great afternoon treat.
How to Get to Tenerife
Tenerife is served by two international airports, one in South Tenerife and one in the North. Both offer regular bargain flights from the UK with airlines including easyJet, Ryanair and Monarch, so the best idea is to book a flight into the airport closest to your chosen accommodation.
Avoid queues at the airport by booking a transfer straight to your destination with Shuttle Direct before you leave home. A driver will be waiting for you when you touch down, and with Shuttle Direct you can choose between a private car or an economical group transfer.
Where to Stay:
Apartamentos Playazul – Enjoy all the fun and activities of Playa de las Américas from your self-catered apartment at Apartamentos Playazul. Just a five minutes’ walk from the beach, the apartment block also has its own pool with poolside snack bar.
Aparthotel Colombus – For a really relaxing holiday for you and great fun for the kids, stay at the Aparthotel Colombus with kids entertainment staff, children’s playground, games room and swimming pools for them and a wellbeing and fitness centre for you. Just a few minutes’ walk from the beach at Playa de las Américas.
Atlantic Holiday Centre– A family favourite, the apartments at the Atlantic Holiday Centre give you the option to self-cater or enjoy food at the restaurant downstairs. Practically on the beach at Callao Salvaje, there are also two seawater swimming pools and a games room, table tennis and tennis court.
About Shuttle Direct:
A leading provider of airport transfers to destinations across Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct is a stress-free way of getting from the airport to your hotel destination with young children. Book a private car or economical shared group transfer online before you leave home and rest assured that a driver will be there to meet you when you arrive at the airport.