Medellín has many kid-friendly things to do for families with children. We look at 17 of the top kid-friendly things to do in Medellín and nearby.
Medellín is no longer a place that only attracts single male tourists. Single foreign women also frequently visit Medellín. And an increasing number of foreigner families with children are visiting Medellín and even moving to Medellín. Also, there are some single foreigners with children.
In addition, a number of foreigners who have married Colombians have children. So, Medellin Guru is starting to receive more questions about kid-friendly things to do in Medellín.
We have already covered many kid-friendly things to do in Medellín and nearby on this website. So, we now look at the top 17 kid-friendly things to do in Medellín and nearby.
Note the rankings in the following list are based on conversations I have had with many families with children and also with the help of my Colombian wife and her extended family to select the top kid-friendly things to do in Medellín and within four hours of Medellín.
Top 17 Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Medellín – Family Friendly
Parque Explora is Medellín’s popular interactive science museum and aquarium. It has over 300 interactive activities and the largest freshwater aquarium in South America.
This is actually an interactive science museum with over 300 interactive activities. In addition, there is a large aquarium, a terrarium (with frogs, snakes, turtles and other reptiles), an outdoor dinosaur exhibition, a small television studio, a 3D movie auditorium, restaurants, cafes and a souvenir shop.
Kids love all the interactive activities and also the aquarium at Parque Explora. So, you will see many families with kids at Parque Explora. In addition, we included Parque Explora in our list of the 12 best museums in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley.
Parque Explora is perfect for families with children, as there are plenty of things for kids to do and it’s very kid-friendly. But kids and adults alike can have a great time here. The bottom line is that it’s really a place for all ages.
The entrance fee is currently 27,000 pesos per person. Or if over 60 years-old or a student with a student ID, the fee is 24,000 pesos. And children less than 1.1 meters (3 feet 7 inches) can enter for free. Furthermore, residents of an Estrato 1, 2 or 3 barrio can enter Parque Explora for free by presenting an original utility bill from EPM.
Address: Carrera 52 # 73-74, Medellín
Hours: Tuesday to Friday: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm (ticket window closes at 4 pm). Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: 10:00 am to 6:30 pm (ticket window closes at 5 pm). Closed on Monday except when it’s a holiday.
Hacienda Napoles is Pablo Escobar’s former estate located about 4 hours from Medellín that has been transformed into a family-friendly theme park with a waterpark and zoo.
Hacienda Napoles Theme Park (Parque Temático Hacienda Nápoles) comes complete with a waterpark with multiple attractions, a zoo without cages and much more. Also, there are five hotels nearby associated with the theme park.
Hacienda Napoles Theme Park is a large amusement park with a total size of 3,953 acres (1600 hectares). In comparison, Disneyland in California is tiny with only about 85 acres.
It’s possible to see all the attractions in the theme park in one day. But many families stay for multiple days to take advantage of the water park with their children.
The entrance fee to Hacienda Napoles in 2019 varies from 42,000 to 127,000 pesos per person depending on what you have access to.
Address: Kilometer 165 of the Medellín-Bogotá highway (or 259 km from Bogotá)
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday including holidays: 9 am to 5 pm, closed on Mondays for maintenance. The aquatic attractions are open from noon to 4 pm during low season and open from 10 am to 5 pm during high season or on the weekends during low season.
No list of the top things to do in Medellín with kids would be complete without including the world-famous Medellín Christmas lights. While this is a once a year event, it is surprising that no post on the Internet I have seen of kid-friendly things to do in Medellín includes Medellín’s Christmas lights.
Each year up to 4 million people see the Alumbrados Navideños display in the city. And last year an estimated 90,000 tourists visited Medellín to see the world-class Medellín Christmas lights.
The Christmas lights display in Medellín is very popular and you will see many families with children out to see the lights.
Last year, the Medellín Christmas lights were on display from November 30 until January 7.
4. Parque Norte
Parque Norte is a traditional amusement park in Medellín that is open year-round. This amusement park is popular with tourists, families and kids of all ages.
Fortunately, Parque Norte doesn’t have to close for parts of the year as happens with many amusement parks in other parts of the world due to the climate in Medellín. Especially relevant is that the city of Medellín has a great climate and is known as “La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera”, the city of eternal spring. So, you can enjoy this amusement park year-round.
The attractions at Parque Norte vary from traditional roller coasters and bumper cars to water rides and everything in between including a full-size Boeing 727 airplane on display. The attractions are grouped into five different plazoletas (small squares) that surround a small lake.
There are four categories of entrance fees to Parque Norte that range from 5,500 pesos (entrance only) to 38,000 (unlimited use of many attractions).
Address: Carrera 53 # 76-115
Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm; Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 10:30 am to 6:00 pm. Note that Parque Norte is closed on Tuesdays after a holiday. It also occasionally closes sometimes for private events or maintenance.
Picturesque Guatapé is a very popular pueblo to visit from Medellín. It’s a great place for a day trip or a weekend getaway from Medellín. In my opinion, no trip to Medellín and Antioquia would be complete without a trip to Guatapé.
Guatapé is located next to the massive man-made lake that was created for a hydroelectric dam built in the 1970s. So, it’s now a lakeside pueblo with many sidewalk restaurants and cafes plus water activities in the area. And there is also El Peñón de Guatapé – the gigantic rock with incredible views. The above photo by Wilc82 was taken from El Peñón.
Guatapé is easy to get to. It’s only about two hours away from Medellín. And it’s one of my favorite pueblos near Medellín. The pueblo is also extremely colorful with the homes painted many colors and many have additional decorations.
If you visit during the weekends, you’ll typically see the pueblo packed with Colombian tourists including many families with children. Also, on the weekends, the boardwalk fills up with local vendors selling art, food and souvenirs. During the week, there are much fewer tourists, so you’ll you have the pueblo more to yourself with the colorful locals.
Barbosa, Antioquia is a pueblo or small town located less than an hour from Medellín. Barbosa is a close and great getaway from Medellín with streams, waterfalls, natural swimming pools, hiking, horseback riding and many other things to do nearby. It’s located at the northern end of the Aburrá Valley.
Surprisingly, Barbosa is off the beaten path and hasn’t yet been discovered by many foreign tourists. This is due to Barbosa not being in any of the English-language Colombia guidebooks and not much information about this pueblo is available on the Internet.
But it’s located so close to Medellín that it makes for a very easy day trip. In addition, there is much to do in Barbosa and nearby making it also a nice weekend getaway location.
So, if you don’t have time to visit one of the Antioquia pueblos that are located further away, such as Guatpé, Jardín, Jeríco or Santa Fe de Antioquia, Barbosa is a much closer option that is worth visiting.
In addition, Barbosa has trails linking the town with surrounding villages. So, there is ample opportunity for hiking or horseback riding while being surrounded by nature for those who like getting off the beaten path. This is also a kid-friendly location with many water activities for kids.
The bottom line is that Barbosa is a great getaway from Medellín. It’s located very near Medellín but provides the feel of a pueblo surrounded by nature with nice views.
Parque Piedras Blancas is an ecological park located in Santa Elena near Medellín. It’s a tranquil getaway park located less than an hour from Medellín where you can enjoy nature with hiking paths, a lake with row boats, insect museum, hotel and much more.
Parque Ecológico Piedras Blancas is a nice location for a day-trip from Medellín or even a tranquil weekend getaway location to escape the hectic big city life in Medellín. Also, it’s a kid-friendly location and a good place to go with kids.
Parque Piedras Blancas is located only about 45 minutes from Medellín, so it’s an easy day-trip or weekend getaway destination. It’s a beautiful park and a good place for hiking, connecting with nature, rowing a small boat, having a picnic and more.
Entrance fee: 7,500 pesos for the museum plus 5,700 pesos to enter the park. Entrance to the museum is free for kids less than 7-years-old.
Parque Zoológico Santa Fe is Medellín’s popular zoo with hundreds of mammals, reptiles and birds on display. It’s worth visiting particularly if you have children.
Currently, the Medellín zoo exhibits in about 10 acres (four hectares) approximately 220 mammals, over 470 birds and about 230 reptiles, for a total approaching 1,000 animals with over 230 species represented, mostly from the Neotropical region of Central and South America.
The Medellín Zoo has the following current admission fees:
- Adults (13 years or older) – 16,000 pesos
- Children (2 to 12 years old) – 8,000 pesos
- Children less than 2 years old – Free
9. Parque Arví
Parque Arví (Arví Park) is a very large ecological nature reserve in Medelín, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Medellín. Parque Arví is located in in Santa Elena, which is a corregimiento(rural area) of Medellín.
This is a huge park with 39,500 acres (16,000 hectares) of forest, plants and ecosystems. And it has 33 miles (54 km) of walkable trails. Activities include hiking, picnicking, cycling and horseback riding.
Parque Arví is a very popular tourist site in Medellín and in the first six months of 2019 over 450,000 people have reportedly visited this park. And you will typically see many families in this park with children.
Parque Arví is definitely worth visiting if you like hiking, picnicking, cycling and horseback riding. Even if you don’t like these activities this giant park is still worth a trip to experience the impressive park and the Metrocable cable cars.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; normally closed on Monday. And if Monday is a holiday the park is open on Monday and closed on Tuesday.
10. Rio Claro
Rio Claro Nature Reserve (Reserva Natural Cañon de Río Claro) is considered by many as one of the must-do activities in Antioquia. And it is located only about three hours from Medellín.
Rio Claro is also the perfect place to enjoy an abundance of nature with a picturesque crystal-clear river, canyon and tropical rainforest. In addition, it enables completely unplugging from the hectic pace of daily life in the city.
Visitors to Rio Claro can partake in several activities appropriate for a range of abilities. There is a two-hour and thirty-minute Class I and II (out of a six-point scale) rafting trip in inflatable rafts. And this rafting trip provides access to bird, reptile and monkey sightings as well as a leisurely swimming break.
Many families come to Rio Claro due to the Class I rafting that children as young as four may participate. Also, there is a zip-line with short cables that children as young as eight can participate. So, Rio Claro is considered kid-friendly.
Also, there are many swimming beaches throughout the reserve. Most have lifeguards and ropes set up to allow swimmers to safely cross from one side of the river to the other.
11. Museo del Agua
Museo del Agua EPM is the popular water museum in Medellín that is dedicated to educating people how important water is to the planet. Museo del Agua EPM was created by Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), the local public utility company in Medellín.
This museum is very kid-friendly and it’s considered educational for adults as well as kids.
In Museo del Agua, you will typically see many parents with their children. This is due to Museo del Agua having many interactive activities that are designed to be used by both children and adults. So, it’s a great place for kids.
The kids’ activities in the museum are fun for all, particularly the bubble making activity that is very popular with kids.
Entrance is free to Museo del Agua for up to four people if you live in Estratos 1 to 3 and bring an EPM utility bill. Entrance is also free for children less than 5 years old and adults older than 60 years old. For others, the entrance fee is 6,000 pesos per person.
Address: Carrera 57 # 42-139, Medellín
Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 8:30 am – 4 pm; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: 10:30 am – 5 pm. On Monday the museum is closed for maintenance.
12. Jardín Botánico
Jardín Botánico is the popular Medellín botanical gardens, which offers many sights to see and activities to enjoy. The botanical gardens are set in about 34 acres of land (14 hectares). And it has over 1,000 different living plant species.
The ambience of the botanical gardens is relaxed. You will see families, students, groups of friends plus individuals enjoying the green gardens and open space. The botanical gardens are free to enter. It is home to a tropical forest, a small lake, a desert garden, a butterfly farm and much more. And there is a decent variety of birds if you are into bird watching.
The botanical gardens are located in a very popular area for tourists. In addition, you’ll find several other tourist attractions nearby including Parque Explora, Parque Norte, the planetarium and Parque de Los Deseos.
Address: Calle 73 # 51D-14, Tel: 4 444 5500
Hours: open daily 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Yet it is sometimes closed for special events or special dates.
Many expats I have talked to over the past few years in Medellín aren’t aware that Medellín has bowling alleys. Medellín has four bowling alleys including a new one that opened in late 2018. Over the past several years I have bowled at all four.
Each of the bowling alleys in Medellín are the 10-pin variety, which are the most common found in the U.S. and Canada.
The clientele at the bowling alleys in Medellín in my experience is mainly Colombians, as I rarely have seen expats when I have bowled in the city. Also, I have seen many families bowling with children, as the bowling alleys are all family friendly.
The four bowling alleys in Medellín are:
- Boliche Acuario (Bowling Aquarium) – Calle 51 #67B-60, second floor, Carlos E. Restrepo barrio – http://bolicheacuario.co/
- Bowlinco Bolera – Carrera 48 # 10-45, El Poblado – http://www.monterrey.com.co/home/bowlinco-bolera-monterey-s-as/
- Bolera Mayorca – Calle 51 Sur # 48 – 57, Sabaneta in Mayorca Mall – http://www.boleramayorca.com/
- Bolera Suramericana – Carrera 66B # 30A-245, Belén – https://sim.inder.gov.co/index.php/Escenarios-Deportivos/Bolera-Suramericana/
Going to the movies is a popular thing to do for Colombians. And Medellín has many movie theaters in the city. A majority of the movies shown in Medellín and other cities in Colombia are in the Spanish language. But some movies are in English with Spanish subtitles.
In addition, sometimes new movies premier in Colombia before in the United States. So, it is possible to sometimes see a new movie in Colombia before it opens in the U.S. Also, movie ticket prices in Colombia tend to average less than half the movie ticket price in the U.S.
Going to movie theaters is a kid-friendly thing to do in Medellín.
You wouldn’t expect to find a European-style castle in South America, but Medellín has a castle. Museo El Castillo is a Gothic-style castle in Medellín that was a former residence, which is now a museum.
The gardens of the castle are kept in very good condition and offer nice panoramic views of the city of Medellín. And it’s a great place to relax for an hour or more. Also, it’s a good place for a picnic.
Museo El Castillo is a unique building in Medellín that is worth visiting. Furthermore, it’s a great place to get away from the bustle of the city and relax in a nice setting with great views. Also, it is kid-friendly and you will see many families with kids.
Entrance fee: 13,000 pesos for adults or 9,000 pesos for children and students and free for children less then 3-years-old.
Address: Calle 9 Sur 32-269 Loma Los Balsos, El Poblado, Medellín
Hours: Monday – Friday: 9 am – noon and 2 pm – 6 pm; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: 10 am – 5 pm.
Planetario de Medellín (Planetarium of Medellín) is a space museum located in north Medellín that is very popular and is worth seeing. It has many exhibits dedicated to the exploration and education about space, our planet and solar system.
The Planetario de Medellín Jesús Emilio Ramírez González offers its visitors one of the most modern planetariums in the world with a 57-foot digital dome for immersive film experiences of high quality.
With the exhibits, you can learn about the solar system, the chance of life in other galaxies, the scale of planets with the sun, some fossils on display and play with demonstrations of various scientific phenomena. The exhibits are very popular with kids and you will typically see many families with kids.
It’s worth spending a couple hours to see the film(s) playing in the dome and also to see the museum exhibits.
The entrance fee in 2019 to the Medellín Planetarium is currently 16,000 pesos per person. And if over 60 years-old or a student with a student ID, the fee is 14,000 pesos. Also, children younger than 2 years old can enter for free.
Furthermore, residents of an Estrato 1, 2 or 3 barrio in Medellín can enter Planetario de Medellín for free by presenting an original utility bill from EPM.
Address: Carrera 52 # 71-117, Medellín
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday and Holidays: 10:00 am to 6:30 pm. Closed on Monday except when it’s a holiday.
17. Parques Del Río
Parques Del Río (River Parks) is an important project of urban transformation in Medellín and the first phase of this park is open.
The first stage of the project, which is complete, is located along the west bank of the Medellín River in the Conquistadores neighborhood of Medellín.
The initial phase of Parques Del Río (River Parks) that is open today is relatively small. The park on the west side of the Medellín River runs between two pedestrian bridges that cross the river. And there are lines of trees along the river and there are some seats to sit in the sun.
This is a nice park that is perfect for relaxing, picnicking, sunbathing and playing with children and dogs. And it’s definitely a kid-friendly park.
You will see many families with kids and dogs in this park. Also, there is sand for the kids and some rope climbing apparatuses for kids. Also, there are vendors in the park selling drinks, ice-cream and snacks.
Hours: Open 24 hours but we don’t recommend going after dark.
The Best of Medellín
Besides this article about the 17 top kid-friendly things to do in Medellín and nearby, Medellin Guru has several more articles about the best and top places and things to do in Medellín including:
- 35 Top Things to Do in Medellín and Nearby: Top Tourist Attractions
- 21 Best FREE Things to Do in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
- 17 Top Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Medellín and Nearby
- 14 Best Malls of Medellín – the Ultimate Guide to Medellín Malls
- 12 Best Museums of Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
- 8 Best Pueblos Near Medellín Worth Visiting
- 7 Best Panoramic Views of Medellín
- 5 Best Neighborhoods in Medellín
- 2 Best Walking Tours in Medellín
- 14 Top Churches in Medellín Worth Visiting
- 20 Best Mobile Apps to Use in Medellín and Colombia
Also, Medellin Guru has several more articles about the best restaurants and coffee shops in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley:
- 17 Best restaurants in Laureles in Medellín
- 15 Best Restaurants in Envigado, Colombia
- 14 Best Restaurants in Sabaneta, Colombia
- 14 Best Pizza Places in Medellín: The Best Pizzerias in the City
- 13 Best Burgers in Medellín: Best Burger Places in the Aburrá Valley
- 12 Best Steakhouses in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
- 12 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in El Poblado
- 9 Best Colombian Restaurants in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
- 9 Best Italian Restaurants in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
- 9 Best Places for Brunch in El Poblado
- 8 Best Mexican Restaurants in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
- 5 Best Independent Coffee Shops in El Poblado
- 8 Top Coffee Shops in Laureles
- 5 Best Nano/Micro Breweries in Medellín
The Bottom Line: Top 17 Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Medellín – Family Friendly
Each year there are more foreigners with kids coming to Medellín and foreigners with kids living in Medellín. So, in this article we looked at 17 of the top kid-friendly things to do in Medellín and nearby.
In addition to all the places in the article, most of the malls in Medellín have arcades with all kinds of games for kids and families. We previously provide a guide to the 13 best malls in Medellín.
The bottom line is that Colombians adore children and the city of Medellín has many kid-friendly things to do. If you know of other popular kid-friendly things to do we missed, let us know in the comments and we are happy to update this article to keep it up-to-date.
What are your favorite kid-friendly things to do in Medellín?
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