The second largest of the cities of Spain’s Galicia region (its population around 245,000) is known for its lively historic quarter centred on María Pita Plaza; 14-kilometre (8½-mile) waterfront promenade of beachfront and buildings with glazed-window façades; and ancient Roman Tower of Hercules. But if you’re travelling with youngsters, there are also plenty of special spots here that will keep them (and usually also you), engaged throughout your visit. Here are seven great examples:
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, this modern, interactive, and indoor-outdoor facility out near the Tower of Hercules is definitely a kid favourite, with some seven tanks and spaces focussing mostly on the Atlantic Ocean, especially marine life off the Galician coast. Its hundreds of species include sharks, octupuses, seals, jellyfish, seahorses, and of course myriad fish. Plus your little ones – and probably you, too – will also love the touch tank.
Also interactive and very child-friendly and -popular, the nine-storey, seven-year-old local branch of the National Museum of Science and Technology is free of charge and focusses especially on scientific equipment as well as gadgets from the 20th century, including Europe‘s first mass produced car; a slice of a real Boeing 747 once flown by Iberia; models of the first mainframe computers. Interactive aspects include pecking away on vintage typewriters; and taking apart appliances and other small machines.
Designed by Japanese starchitect Arata Isozaki, this is billed as the world’s first interactive museum – along with an IMAX theatre – devoted to the human being, with 200 sections devoted to identity, demography, the senses, the heart, the brain, the motor system, language, and other aspects. It will draw both your little ones and you into its fascinating subject matter for sure!
Right alongside the city beach, this complex of indoor and outdoors pools, whirlpools, water circuits, and saunas has a kids’ section, including activities and programmes for a morning’s or afternoon’s worth of wet fun.
While you’re in town, take a break from sightseeing and let the little ones work out their ya-yas at the local branch, located in the close-in suburb of Olveiros, of Spain’s chain of indoor adventure parks, with trampolines, climbing walls, dodgeball, foam pits, airbag zones, basketball slams, obstacle courses, “bubble football”, and more adrenaline activities. Fun totally guaranteed!
Playing in Parks
Like any good city, A Coruña is proud of its parks and green spaces, and among them is a pair especially worth noting. The Parque de Eirís up in the northern zone is a more than eight-hectare (20-acre) swath serving up marvellous ocean views and a kool kiddie play zone including swings, a big slide, climbing ropes, and more fun games aimed at the under-13 set. Even more distinctive – and reachable via futuristic bubble-shaped lift from the waterfront promenade – the Parque Monte de San Pedro is a former coastal-defense battery converted into a park with attractions including an exceptionally lovely lawn whose breezes are perfect for kite flying, a picnic area, a duck pond, a maze, various kids’ games, a covered overlook (unique in Spain), and a restaurant and café. But what makes it stand out especially is the fact that pair of big – and of course long decommissioned – Vickers cannons are still in place (top), and kids love climbing all over them, along with an old helicopter and train car on the grounds.
A Day at the Beach
Last but definitely not least, in and around a city that feels virtually surrounded by the majestic Atlantic Ocean, in addition to A Coruña’s kilometres-long waterfront Riazor, Orzan, and Matadero beaches, lovely nearby strands include Praia las Amorosas, San Amaro, Las Lapas, Los Mouros, Adormideras, and Queiruga. On some you’ll also find surfers, while others you’ll have virtually to yourselves. Vamos a la playa!