Athens for Family & Kids
There are many places to enjoy with the family for a memorable city visit from cool cultural fun to adventure sports and swimming! Listed below are some suggestions of experiencing Athens with the family.
- Culture and Fun for the Whole Family
- Family-fun Restaurants
- Great Places to Take the Kids
- Nearby Beaches with Extra Kid Fun
- Where to Rent a Bike
Attica Zoological Park (www.atticapark.gr; +30 210 663 4724) This awe-inspiring zoo in Spata will leave your children wide-eyed with amazement. Near Athens International Airport, and just 40 km (25 miles), or an hour away from the centre of Athens, this 32-acre wild kingdom wonder is crawling with over 1500 birds and 300 different species of farm animals, reptiles, mammals, bears, baby jaguars, tigers, wolves, zebras, antelopes, alligators, monkeys, apes and more.
The "Archelon" Society's Centre for the Protection of Sea Turtles (www.archelon.gr) Learn everything about turtles in this rescue and turtle rehabilitation centre, including the history, biodiversity and biology of these precious creatures.
Blanos Sports Park (www.blanospark.gr; +30 210-663 5835) Yet another indication of the great things that are available just outside of Athens is this activity complex (one of Attica’s largest) with impressive indoor ice skating rink, 20 lanes of bowling, billiard hall, enclosed fun park for kids, restaurant and café –bar. From city centre about 30km and airport 10 km.
Ecological Park in the northern suburb of Neo Psychiko; (www.oikoparko.cityofnewpsychico.gr , +30 210-677 4206; Stratigou Makrigianni, Neo Psyhiko). A charming park geared to provide entertainment of an educational nature for young children with programmes on ecology and recycling.
Eugenides Planetarium One of the best planetariums in the world offers headsets in English for visitors and has several programs for adults and children (ages 9 and up).
Hellenic Cosmos at the Foundation of the Hellenic World Culture, history and science come to life at the foundation’s state-of-the art virtual reality theatre "Tholos.” Put on your hi-tech glasses and work with the remote control console to watch monuments such as the Ancient Agora of Athens built from scratch. The multimedia cultural centre offers interactive exhibitions that are sure to impress and entertain the entire family. Don’t miss the interactive exhibitions "Meeting at the Ancient Agora", "Is There An Answer To Everything?”, “Journey to the world of Greek mathematics", but also the "travels" through space and time at the "Kivotos", with the special stereoscopic glasses.
Museum of Natural History and Gaia Centre Reptiles, insects, and science-oriented interactive exhibits are always a must to take the kids. Plus the museum’s extensive research in the flora, fauna and ecosystem of the Mediterranean makes it a timely destination for the entire family.
Museum of Greek Children's Art and the Hellenic Children's Museum Kids can museum hop too! Close by they offer a different take to interactive art through the eyes of a child. The former boasts an exhibit of paintings and works of art by children and the latter a fun hands-on approach to Greek culture.
New Acropolis Museum Trained staff, known as “archaeologist hosts” are available to answer the curious and inquisitive minds daily from 9:30 to 17:00. On Wednesday and Thursdays presentations in English are held from 16:00 to 19:00. Special kids-only programs are available in Greek. (Note the museum is closed on Mondays).
The Spathario Museum of Shadow Theatre Puppet shows are a familiar children’s pastime. And shadow theatre is a unique puppet artform with a long history in Greece and Turkey. A visit here shed light on the story of shadow theatre and the set of characters and “instruments” used to tell it. For a full list of museums click here.
FAMILY-FUN RESTAURANTS Most restaurant venues (with the obvious exceptions) are ideal for families no matter how big as Greeks like to dine family style often. Here are some destinations for families in Athens that can combine some additional kid-fun.
Balux Café The House Project (www.baluxcafe.com, +30 210-894 1620) The name is indication enough for the warm seaside atmosphere that awaits families. The venue – on the coast yet open year-round – boasts an inviting outside and interior as well as an indoor and outdoor playground.
Goody's (www.goodys.com) Fast food is not something recommended for kids, but this Greek food chain also includes menu items from the Greek cuisine. Many establishments offer mini playgrounds (paidotopoi).
The Greek Taverna. Our favorite generic all-around Greek dining destination that always has something for everyone.
La Pasteria (www.lapasteria.gr) Family-style restaurant with an Italian menu, with locations in Kolonaki, Nea Smyrni, Glyfada…
TGIFridays (www.fridays.gr) at Flisvos Marina. This is probably one of the nicest destinations for this popular chain as mega yachts and the Saronic Gulf serve as your backdrop. The marina’s packed with children on the weekends taking in the promenades to ride their bikes with friends and parents. Smaller children enjoy the marina’s Volta Fun Park playland.
In the northern suburb of Marousi is Fantasy Land, on Kifisias Avenue is the biggest amusement park with rides in Athens. North of Athens, in the area of Oropo, is Water Park +30 22950-37570. Amusement parks are also in Glyfada. “International” is located on the 4th Marina (easily accessible by tram) and Varkiza, called “Varkza” next to the organized beaches. Another playland chain with outposts in Alimos, at the Mall, Athens Heart and Avenue in Voula, Spata, Anavissos and at Flisvos Marina (www.flisvosmarina.com) is Volta Fun Park.
The Asteras Glyfadas Complex (www.asterascomplex.com) feature giant inflatable trampolines in the water and water polo faciltiies, while the chic Balux Sea Side offers beach bars, music, lounge chairs as well as Asteras Beach Glyfada which offer beach bar, music and lounge chairs. Grand Resort Lagonissi features favorite banana tubes and other inflatable water toy fun www.lagonissiresort.gr; Yabanaki has a large playland which opens at 5 o’clock during weekdays and 12 at noon during weekends: www.yabanaki.gr and Doit: lounge chairs, umbrellas, beach bar, snack bar www.doit-varkiza.gr; Chic more expensive and legendary Astir Beach: Water sports, sand sports, lounge chairs, shops, cafes, restaurants, free WI- www.astir-beach.com; Notos and Ostria are seaside family-friendly cafes near Athens www.vsgroup.gr and Ammos Beach is located in Alimos (tram stop Loutra Alimou) a fun beach for youngsters and not only.
See also: Swimming and Watersports
Acropolis Bikes will take you through the quieter historic-filled streets of downtown Athens as will Acropolis Bikes (www.acropolisbikes.gr ;+30 210-324 5793)
Athens By Bike (www.athensbybike.gr : +30 213-042 3922; Mobile: +30 69 8323 7400); and Pame Volta www.pamevolta.gr; +30 210-921 8160).
BicycleGreece (firstname.lastname@example.org) maintains a central office in Athens and can book you a bike tour in other parts of Greece as well.