Are you planning to visit Reykjavik with your family and not sure if there are enough things to do?
Don’t worry, even though Reykjavik’s greater area is inhabited by 200.000 there are plenty of family friendly activities in Reykjavik that you can choose from. In this post you will find some of the widely popular activities not only among tourists but also local families.
At the end of the article you will also find a selection of family friendly coffee houses and restaurants.
Not only the biggest swimming pool in Reykjavik, also the most popular one. The good thing about this swimming pool is that there is a big pool specially designed for children as well as three slides, basketball basket, steam bath and seven hot tubs with varied temperature.
It is located within 20 min. walk from the city center. There’s also a public bus that stops next to it. Take Line 14 from Hlemmur bus terminal and get out at “Laugardalslaug” stop. To make sure that you’re going the right direction, ask the driver if it goes towards the swimming pool.
Mon. – Fri. 6:30 – 22:00
Sat. – Sun. 8:00 – 22:00
Address: Sundlaugavegur 30
Árbæjarlaug Swimming pool
Slightly smaller, equally family friendly pool with an amazing speedy slider that even adults enjoy to slide on. It has a small indoor area, several hot tubs and a steam bath. I personally like this swimming pool more than Laugardalslaug. But rarely go there because it is farther away from the city center.
To reach this swimming pool you would either need a car or be in a good mood to take a 20-30 min. bus ride. Take Line 5 or 16 from Hlemmur and get out at Árbæjarskóli stop. From there 500 meters (0,310 miles) walk to reach the pool.
Mon. – Thu. 6:30 – 22:00
Fri. 6:30 – 20:00
Sat. – Sun. 9:00 – 18:00
Address: Fylkisvegur 9
Árbæjarsafn Outdoor Museum
Just 2km (1.24 mile) away from Árbæjarlaug swimming pool there is an outdoor museum that was established in 1957 to preserve historical houses from being destroyed and forgotten.
Main highlights of the museum are turf houses and a tiny church which is still used sometimes for weddings. There are many events throughout the summer at the museum that children will definitely enjoy as well as history-loving adults.
Opening hours during the summer time (June – August) is from 10 – 17. Rest of the year limited opening, with guidance in English everyday at 13 o’clock.
Address: Kistuhyl 4
Húsdýragarður – Domestic Animal Zoo
Opened in 1990 with a mission to provide people better understanding and deepen connection between humans and animals. Your children will be able to see seals, cattle, sheep, foxes, the Icelandic horse and many more animals. Children under age of 4 get free entrance. Besides animal watching there is also quite a big playground with a romantic carousel, train rail, boats on the water, Segway and more.
Just across the street from the entrance to the zoo, there is also a botanic garden. There is no entrance fee for it.
Transportation details can be found on: www.mu.is
10:00 – 17:00 (24. August – 31.May)
10:00 – 18:00 (1. June – 23. August)
Coffee house 10:00 – 17.30
Address: Múlavegi 2
Skautahöll – Ice Skating Arena
In the same area as domestic zoo, there is an indoor ice skating arena. If you’re group of four, they offer a special family price that includes admission and skates. Detailed price list can be found on: www.skautaholl.is
Ice skating arena is only open from August – May.
Monday 13:00 – 14:30
Tuesday 13:00 – 14:30
Wednesday 13:00 – 15:00
Thursday 13:00 – 14:30 and 17:00 – 19:30
Friday 13:00 – 19:00
Saturday 13:00 – 18:00
Sunday 13:00 – 18:00
More details on: www.skautaholl.is
Address: Engjavegur 4
Whales of Iceland Museum
No matter the fact that all of these whales exhibited at the museum are man-made replicas of real mammals, it is still worth a visit to learn about these beautiful creatures that it is hard to spot on regular basis. All exhibits are made according to the real size of the creatures. Some of them are enormously big!
Besides the exhibition there is a cafeteria where you can can some snacks and a small souvenir shop that mostly sells items related to the ocean life.
Open daily 10:00 – 17:00
Address: Fiskislóð 23-25
More details: www.whalesoficeland.is
Saga Viking Museum
Previously located in Perlan dome, but relocated in 2014 to old harbour’s area, near city center.
It is a wax museum with 17 exhibited legends from Icelandic sagas. While children will more likely enjoy exhibition visually, you can get an audio guidance to learn better about about each exhibit.
P.S. Be aware that there might be real vikings hiding there!
Open daily 10:00 – 18:00
More details: www.sagamuseum.is
Address: Grandagarður 2
Vikin Maritime Museum
Before tourism in Iceland started to boom, fishing industry was the biggest economic factor for Iceland’s survival. At this museum you will have a chance to explore maritime history and learn various things about fishing industry in Iceland.
In 2008 museum got an addition for its exhibition, former Coast Guard vessel Óðinn which stands at the harbour next to museum and can be accessed with a guided tour arranged at the museum.
Open daily 10:00 – 17:00
Address: Grandagarður 8
More details: Maritime Museum
Reykjavik Escape rooms
If you are stuck in Reykjavik because of a rainy or snowy day or just want to do something brainy, then Reykjavik Escape is a good way to keep your brain busy by solving puzzles together as a team.
How does it work? You get locked in one of the mysterious game rooms, and you are given exactly 60 minutes to escape.
At the time of writing they offer rooms with these themes: Prison Break, Taken, The Scientist and Hangover.
Open daily 12:00 – 20:00
Address: Borgartún 6
More details: www.reykjavikescape.com
Surreal but very real thing! There is a yellow sand beach located 3.5 km / 2.2miles away from Reykjavik’s city center.
There are two geothermal hot tubs, steam bath, changing rooms and a snack shop. When you warm yourself up, I dare you to jump into the ocean!
From June – August all facilities are open everyday 10 – 19.
Family friendly coffee houses
In general, most of the cafés in Reykjavik are family friendly. To make it easier to find a good one, here are some recommendations.
This is not just a coffee-house. But also a museum on its own terms. It contains various items from cartoons weird items hanging all over the place. Also don’t forget to use a rest room, you will get amazed by its interior decoration.
Anyway, talking about the food they are famous for sweet and sour crepes, panini and delicious New York cheese cake (no wonder, owner is from there).
P.S. If it is not too busy, on the second floor you will also find a corner with various table games that you can play with your friends or family, free of charge.
Open everyday 9:00 – 23:00
Address: Skólavörðustígur 22
The Laundromat Cafe
They have a good variety of breakfast menu served on weekdays between 8:00 – 11:30 and brunch menu on weekends between 9:00 – 15:00.
For a lunch and dinner they have a good selection of sandwiches, burgers, salads, soups and a special kids menu. If you are traveling with infants, it is good to have in mind that this place gets very noisy in the evening.
By the way, awesome feature of this coffee-house is that you can actually wash your clothes at the laundromat located in the basement.
Their menu can be found here: thelaundromatcafe.com
Mon. – Wed. – 8:00 – 00:00
Thu. – Fri. – 8:00 – 00:00
Sat. – 9:00 – 01:00
Sun. – 9:00 – 00:00
Crazy busy, almost 100 years old artisan bakery/ coffee-house located on the main shopping street Laugavegur – open everyday from 7:00. Good selection of freshly baked bread pastries, sandwiches and handmade chocolates. They also serve some light meals for lunch and dinner time.
Open daily 7:00 – 9:00
Address: Laugavegur 39
Valdís Ice Cream Shop
An Italian style ice cream shop located at the old harbour area. Maybe it is not a best place to fill up your belly, but it is definitely a good stop on a hot summer day (when it hits +15°C / 59°F ). While majority of ice cream shops in town are dependant on ice cream factories, at this place ice cream is made at the spot.
Price list can be found on: valdis.is
Open daily 11:30 – 23:00
Address: Grandagarður 21
P.S. If you are interested in private tour around Reykjavik, we are glad to help you out with that.