Things to do in Gran Canaria

Family Activities in Gran Canaria

Splash, explore, and laugh your way through Gran Canaria with these unforgettable family activities.

Gran Canaria is your destination if you’re looking for a vacation of endless days on the beach punctuated by exciting excursions to family-friendly attractions. From zoos and aquariums to theme parks and whale watching, there’s no shortage of things to do in Gran Canaria.

The list of family activities may seem to go on forever, but we’ve condensed it down to the most exciting and memorable. You’re sure to find something that fits your family’s idea of a good time. When you’re done, you’ll be left with a whole collection of memories to last a lifetime.


The resort town of Maspalomas is a prime destination on Gran Canaria for a reason: It’s gorgeous. This area not only contains numerous ecosystems to explore and some of the most incredible dunes you’ll ever see, but it also offers the quintessential island vacation with sprawling beaches.

1. Dunas de Maspalomas

To the south of Gran Canaria, you’ll discover five sq. km of sprawling golden sand dunes, one of the area's most unique attractions. Since 1987, the Dunas de Maspalomas (Dunes of Maspalomas) has been a protected reserve space and one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island.

Some say the sand came from the Sahara Desert, and the area holds the same majestic intrigue. But the golden dunes came from the bottom of the ocean. The sand washed up to shore during the last ice age, becoming exposed as the ocean’s line retreated.

While beautiful, your excursion into the shimmering sands is limited to set trails, weaving through about eight km. The rest of the area is carefully protected and surveilled. While this might not be among the most obvious things to do in Gran Canaria with a family, it’s undoubtedly one your children aren’t likely to forget.

Photographer: Denise Jans

2. Aqualand Maspalomas

At Aqualand Maspalomas, your child’s dreams of aquatic adventure come to life. This park is filled with fun things to do, especially if you have a family of eager explorers ready to brave wacky, winding aquatic slides. Even if your children are a bit on the timid side, your family will find a myriad of options for fun.

The Lazy River offers the perfect opportunity to sit atop an inflatable while carried by the gentle current that weaves across the park. Toddlers can frolic in Aqualand Baby, an attraction with a shallow pool and pint-sized slides.

If your fingers start looking pruney and it’s time to dry off, check out the mini-golf course. Someone in your family might even score an elusive hole-in-one while you’re at it.

3. Holiday World Maspalomas Center

The fun continues at Gran Canaria’s very own amusement park, the Holiday World Maspalomas Center. Young and old children delight in unique attractions, such as parrot shows. You’ll also find typical amusement park rides, from bumper cars to roller coasters.

It’s easy to get lost inside this bright maze of excitement for hours, but your whole family will smile when you finally decide to leave. By day, the park is loaded with colors; by night, it transforms into a world of glimmering lights.

4. Palmitos Park

Venture into a true wildlife paradise at Palmitos Park. Here, the diversity of Gran Canaria’s nature abounds in opportunities that are sure to have your children laughing and dancing in no time.

We love visiting the aviary, where parrots fly above our heads. If you dare, try to spot the spectacled caiman. These reptiles are relatives of the more familiar crocodiles and alligators and are endemic to the area.

From butterflies to capuchin monkeys, the wildlife you’ll spot is a dream come true for budding zookeepers and animal lovers alike. You’ll even find opportunities to get face-to-face with some of the world’s most beloved ocean animals.

Sign up for an encounter with dolphins, where you’ll be up close and personal with these majestic marine mammals. Head to the botanical gardens for something more tame but no less impressive. Here, you’ll find native subtropical plants, including the largest collection of orchids in the Canary Islands.

5. Minigolf Yumbo

Day or night, Minigolf Yumbo is one of the most popular things tourists and locals do in Gran Canaria. We love that it's fully accessible for wheelchairs and strollers so everyone can enjoy the fun.

During the day, the 19 holes across the immaculate course will wow your whole family with whimsical decorations and miniature replicas of buildings and lighthouses. By night, the entire course comes alive with brightly colored lights.

The courses suit beginner golfers, with some challenges for those with more experience. Plus, when all that walking and swinging a club prepares you for a refreshing drink, you’ll find all sorts of treats at the bar.

Las Palmas

Head northeast to Las Palmas, the urban capital of the island. Shopping and sandy beaches are around every corner, and the off-shore coral barrier reef creates a pleasant swimming experience.

When you’re not lounging in the sun, you can find family activities in the area. This is a prime destination if you’re trying to figure out where to stay in Gran Canaria.

6. Poema del Mar Aquarium

At the Poema del Mar Aquarium, ocean life doesn’t have to seem so mysterious. You’ll peek under the sea’s surface into vast marine habitats worldwide.

The real showstopper is the Deep Ocean zone, where more than 350 aquatic species await your discovery. Spot sea dragons that look like something out of a fantasy world and vibrant peacock mantis shrimp that seem too colorful to be real.

Stare a shark in the eye as it quietly circles the tank, or try to count the ethereal jellyfish floating aimlessly on the currents. Above all, make lasting memories with your family as you discover some of the most diverse and unique life forms.

7. Elder Museum of Science and Technology

Part of the fun of traveling with children is watching them learn and grow in a brand-new environment. The Elder Museum of Science and Technology combines the familiarity of STEM museums with the novelty of visiting a new destination. Here, your whole family can get hands-on with interactive exhibits.

Whether you explore the F-5 jet or marvel at the animal skeletons in the ossuary, it's an educational treat so fun that your kids won’t realize how much they’re learning.

8. Casa de Colón

In the heart of Las Palmas, a colonial-style mansion stands proudly above the city streets. Known as the Casa de Colón (the Columbus House), it exudes history with its three rooms of exhibits.

It once belonged to the first governors of Gran Canaria. More notably, Christopher Columbus stayed here when he stopped at the Canary Islands on his way to the Americas.

Each room of exhibits delves into the Islands’ rich culture and history, including the pre-Hispanic culture and its relationship with the Americas. Discover 16th-century cartography equipment and paintings done by artists from the Canary Islands and the Americas dating back centuries.

Photographer: Anabel Vargas

9. Las Canteras Beach

It hardly counts as an island getaway if you don’t check out some stunning beaches. Las Canteras Beach offers the perfect blend of natural beauty and an urban environment, just minutes from the city.

With superb beach weather year-round, it’s a popular destination for tourists looking to bask in the sunshine and play beach sports. You’ll even spot surfers and swimmers taking full advantage of the setting.

Surround yourself with warm, golden sands as you and your little ones build elaborate sandcastles or hunt for seashells. You’ll be on one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria when you're here.

Puerto Rico and Mogán

Puerto Rico is on the southwestern side of the island. There, you’ll find all sorts of fun activities, from classic beaches to whale-watching trips and sailing schools.

10. Puerto Rico Beaches

In Puerto Rico, idyllic beaches draw people whose idea of a perfect vacation includes near-constant proximity to the sand and sea. The beaches are dotted with towels and chairs as people clad in swim attire embrace the true leisure of their time. This area is usually warm and sunny enough for kayaking, surfing, and swimming year-round.

11. Submarine Adventure Puerto de Mogán

If you’re not satisfied just peeking at sea life through an aquarium with your feet firmly on the ground, Gran Canaria has a tour that will be an unforgettable experience. At Submarine Adventure Puerto de Mogán, you’ll spend 40 minutes fully submerged on the ocean’s floor just off the southern coast.

Hop aboard a massive yellow submarine named the Golden Shark that’ll take you past sunken ships and reefs. You never know what you might spot along the way to the nearby artificial reef. You’ll get a headset with an audio tour in your preferred language to guide you through the unique sights you’ll discover.

12. Dolphin and Whale Watching

Gran Canaria abounds with wildlife, and that becomes apparent once you discover the numerous whale and dolphin-watching excursions available at practically every beach. We love watching these marine mammals play alongside the boat, effortlessly breaching and jumping.

Depending on the tour, you may find yourself on a small boat that fits a handful of people or massive ships designed to accommodate a crowd. With so many offerings in the area, you have the power to create a perfect tour for your family.

13. Angry Birds Activity Park

There’s no denying that Angry Birds became a worldwide phenomenon; the proof is in Gran Canaria. Here, you’ll find Angry Birds Activity Park. The amusement park will surely ruffle your kids’ feathers and get them squawking with joy.

The birds might look angry here, but your family won’t be as you flock through the excitement. It's almost impossible to scowl when foam parties, trampolines, and mini golf courses surround you. It's filled with family-friendly theme park attractions, and the snack bar is ready to fuel your fun when you're hungry.

The North and Inland

In the northern part of Gran Canaria, you’ll find some of the island’s richest archaeological sites offering fun activities and educational opportunities.

14. Cueva Pintada

During your time in Gran Canaria, you’ll have the unique opportunity to delve into one of the most important archaeological sites on the island. Cueva Pintada brings you into action, where you’ll discover wall paintings left behind by ancient Canarians.

The entire site encompasses a settlement built by pre-Hispanic inhabitants. Boardwalks guide visitors along the trails, leading them into a painted cave with geometric designs.

Take a guided tour to understand the area’s history. Or, join one of the numerous workshops designed to help children develop a love for history and archaeology.

The Center and High Peaks

The island's center and high peaks offer some of the most awe-inspiring historical sites. Our favorite is the village of Teror, where you’ll discover some of Gran Canaria’s most culturally significant architecture.

15. Visit Teror

The small town of Teror sits in the northern part of the island. Its stunning architecture creates breathtaking sights. It’s one of the oldest towns in the Canary Islands, dating back to 1481.

Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pino is a true spectacle with its intricate architecture and attention to detail. It’s one of the most important buildings in town and a national monument.

The city comes to life on Sundays, filled with people selling local fare. It's the perfect chance to help expand your children's palate with sweet black pudding and spiced sausage spreads.

Photographer: Marc Tiedemann

The East and Southeast

Venturing to the east and southeast of Gran Canaria brings outdoor adventures and a special wildlife rescue.

16. Cocodrilo Park Gran Canaria

At Cocodrilo Park Gran Canaria, you’ll find all sorts of exotic animals sure to drive your family wild. The park is more than a zoo, offering a safe refuge for exotic animals brought to the island as pets or for illegal trafficking. It’s a rescue facility as much as it is a place for visitors to discover the wonders of wild animals.

Creatures such as Bengal tigers and lemurs await, but the real star of the park is Guancho, the largest crocodile residing in the Canary Islands. You'll get close to crocodiles and other animals—if you’re brave enough to come face-to-face with them!

Wrapping Up Your Gran Canaria Family Adventure

Your family’s grand adventure awaits in Gran Canaria, where the weather's always fine and the fun never ends. As you explore this vibrant island, you’ll find ways to spend your time and make lasting memories with the whole family.

While you’re here, check out our shows in Gran Canaria. We’ll add another unforgettable twist to your trip as we twirl in the air. Our performers will mesmerize you with their gravity-defying feats and lead you on a journey through an emotional story. It's an experience your whole family will love.

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