La Tela di Carlotta
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Marbella (Spain) with kids

Jul 23, 2017

Disclosure: this is in no way a sponsored post. No place has paid me to be included in this list; I simply genuinely like kid-friendly businesses, and want to share them with you. This article was update in September 2019, but please always contact a business before going.

Lately I’ve been surprised of how many mum friends don’t really know places for kids in and around Marbella. So I decided to write down my favorite places, the ones where I usually go with Oliver and Emily (with some bonus activities you might like for your little ones). Many of you, local Marbella mums, will already know these places. If you don’t yet… you’re welcome! ;-)

Let’s say, this is my personal kid-friendly (ehm, parent-friendly!) travel guide to Marbella and surroundings.

Bubble Marbella (El Rosario)

In October 2018, my friends Marisa (dance teacher) and Helene (swimming instructor) joined forces and opened an activity center that I am sure will become one of the favourite places for moms with children in the Costa del Sol.

It has a lovely indoor play area with lots of toys, a swimming pool covered by a giant bubble (hence the name), indoor activity rooms and a beautiful garden with lovely wooden structures for kids to play.

They offer activity mornings for mums and babies, summer camps (over most holidays), dance classes, cooking classes (my favourite is “cook your own lunch” where then kids stay to eat and play) and swimming classes for babies, toddlers and kids all-year-round in their covered swimming pool… but you can also go and just relax for an hour while your kids play! They also offer snack for kids and coffee for mummy (of course!)

This is also by far the best place where to organise your kid’s birthday party in Marbella! You can visit their Facebook page to find our timetables and events (or call Marisa directly: +34666299037).

Rock & Kids (Nueva Andalusia)

We don’t come to Rock & Kids often because it’s a bit out of our usual routes, but the few times I’ve been there I’ve always been pleasantly surprised and I know from many mothers in the community that they love it.

The toy room is adorable, the food is healthy and delicious, and there is also a small outdoor area to play (and even parking nearby, which I’m always grateful for when I have the kids with me, which is always ;-). When I get invited to a birthday here, it’s always a pleasure to go (and that says a lot!). You can find and follow them on their Facebook page.

Los Arcos (Cancelada)

I discovered this restaurant when I went to have a traditional Sunday Roast (if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it) with friends, and I loved it! There’s a big play area and a football area, and they’re all enclosed and close to the table where parents eat. I personally wouldn’t go on a summer sunny day because there’s no shade whatsoever (maybe eventually they’ll do something about it!), but I definitely be recommend it for our sunny winter and fall.

Mundo Mania (Cancelada)

Mundo Mania is so good! Everything is new and clean, the food is delicious and presented with so much beauty and care (not what you’d expect in a kids’ play park). AND now it’s got an amazing outside area with trampolines and a water playground… They thought of everything! You do want to go either in the morning or early afternoon before 4.30pm to avoid the crowd (and definitely avoid on public holidays!).

Go on Wednesdays morning to enjoy a special deal: 5€ for entrance, coffee for mummy and singing class with Chantelle from Baby Cakes Marbella for baby/toddler.

Pequeños Piratas (Las Chapas)

This play park is a nice alternative when you feel like somewhere quiet, small and cozy (we often do!). It’s got a nice play area for toddlers just big enough for it not to be boring, bikes and cars, a climbing wall, and a big playroom full of toys… and of course tables and chairs for parents to sit and relax while the little ones run wild. Every time I’ve been here with Oliver and Emily I had a nice, relaxing time, which is all a new mum of two can ask for!

Kidz Kingdom (Cancelada)

We’ve been going to Kidz Kingdom since forever, even before Mundo Mania opened its doors. There’s a baby area where now Abigail from Hartbeeps has her baby’s club on Tuesday at 11.30am, and a big kid area(3+).

As it’s been opened for 10 years now, you’ll see that it’s a bit rundown, but I still like it because everything is in sight and I can sit down and enjoy a coffee/lunch (healthy and nicest option on the menu is the hummus with raw veggies and pita bread, great portion for sharing!).

Polideportivo Paco Cantos (Marbella)

Even though there’s not much shade, I simply LOVE this playground. There’s a cafe for parents, nice infrastructure for kids, and it’s a great place to bring your own motorbike or scooter and let your little ones drive around. Oliver loves ddiving his bike back and forth, he could do it all day long! Not to mention the gorgeous sea view and the refreshing breeze! Only downside, the swings are away from the rest of the playground and not in parents’ sight.

Parque de la Constitución (Marbella)

Now that Oliver is a bit older and can get up the infrastructure by himself, this is my favorite park in Marbella, and the ONLY one that has some shade throughout the whole day (Spaniards don’t seem to be concerned about their babies and toddlers burn in the sun, so they place every playground directly in the sun with no shade whatsoever). Parque de la Constitución is right near the beach, and it’s got many benches all around for parents to sit and enjoy the shade (and maybe an ice-cream from El Piave next door). Oh, it’s also nice to go there and walk around while your little one drives his bike around.

Del Barco playground (San Pedro)

The Boulevard in San Pedro is great for toddlers, but it’s ALL in the sun, which (for me) makes it way too hot from May to October. This small, enclosed, playground in front of Da Bruno restaurant is a nice alternative, and it’s mainly in the shade. Only downside, inside the playground there’s no place to sit other than the ground, but nothing that a young, cool mum can’t take ;-)

Parque Los Tres Jardines (San Pedro)

This park is absolutely great to spend a morning/afternoon and even have a picnic. The main attraction for Oliver is definitely the lake with lots of ducks, so never ever forget to bring with you some old bread to feed the ducks (I’ve seen people give them crisps and cheerios…).

Ludoteca Paseo San Pedro (San Pedro playa)

For a relaxing afternoon at the beach, the Ludoteca on the San Pedro Paseo is the best place. They have lots of toys and books, it’s free, it has picnic tables, it’s on the beach but it has lots of shade… you can’t go wrong!

They don’t have a website, but it’s easy to find: it’s in the middle of the San Pedro promenade, about ten meters away from the statue of the elephant.

Barbulla (San Pedro)

If you find yourself hungry in San Pedro, Barbulla is the perfect place for you! They have really good food (including a great children’s menu), a selection of toys and books, and you can sit outside in the beautiful and central Plaza de las Palmeras or in the back of the restaurant that is always very intimate and relaxing (in photo). It is simply perfect!

For more info, here’s their Facebook page.

Funky Forest (Cancelada)

UPDATE 2019:

This was definitely my number one favorite, but it sadly changed owners end of 2018, it was completely reformed, and it’s now been converted into a nursery. I believe they will as well open as a family cafe in the afternoon, but check with them before going (they reopened after I left Spain). You can find them on Facebook.

I hope they will keep offering baby and kid activities. My favourite playdates were Baby and Tots Rhyme Time and Messy Play by Chantelle from Baby Cakes Marbella, and Babybeeps and Happy Feet by Abigail from Hartbeeps.

OWL (Organic With Love) (Marbella Cancelada)

I always complain there’s nothing in Marbella for kids… well, now there is!

UPDATE 2019

Actually… there WAS! This lovely play area in the OWL in El Corte Inglés El Capricho was unfortunately “closed” (I believe they still have it for kids to go and play while parents eat, but silly regulations had them sadly remove most of the toys…).

OWL’s owner Oxana, though, opened an even bigger family cafe near Cancelada (not Marbella again, why is there nothing in Marbella?), but this was after I left Spain so please, contact them to find out more (this is their Facebook page).

Other places I like

You can find them all easily in Google.

Parque Xarblanca: behind the bus station in Marbella. Playground with benches in the shade for mommy, small lake with fish and turtles, and paths to walk.

Tennis Club El Casco (El Rosario): They added a play area for bigger kids, but Oliver and Emily enjoy it as well with some help from me. We also like to go here in the afternoon to watch a tennis class (they love it) and have an early dinner: their chicken meatballs and fries are homemade and delicious!

Parque La Paloma (Benalmadena): Worth a day trip! Beautiful playgrounds, lots of free animals (chickens, chicks, rabbits, turtles, fish, swans, goats…) and gorgeous paths to walk.

— —

I’ve been to many other parks and playgrounds in Marbella and surroundings (I hate driving so a 15-minute drive is by far the maximum I’m wiling to put up with for a couple-hour playdate), but these so far are the ones I always (happily) go back to.

What are yours? I’d love to hear about them in the comments… let’s share the fun!

Tell me what you think

Did you like it? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to hear from you.

Comments

Catalina • Sep 10, 2019

I Love the playground in Marbella, Plaza de Fotos. There See 3 playgrounds for diferent ages with shadow and also a water Station (similar like this in mundo mania) for free. The children Can push a Button ans the water is coming..
http://rtvmarbella.tv/noticias/nuevo-parque-infantil-plaza-toros/

Monique • Jan 28, 2018

Parque de Nagüeles!! My daughter calls it the forest parque and they have a doggy park in the big park, and there's an area with animals!

🌸 Carlotta • Jan 28, 2018

Of course! We love it, too. I'll ave to add it to the list… Thanks!

Wendy • Aug 25, 2017

You missed Los Arcos, one of our faves!

🌸 Carlotta • Sep 28, 2017

True! And they actually have a lovely Sunday Roast. Only problem, in my opinion, is that there's no shade whatsoever in the playground, but it's definitely great for a sunny winter day! Thanks!

Rochelle • Jul 24, 2017

Thank you for writing this very informative post. I am in Marbella for 8 weeks over the summer with my 2 year old daughter and have been searching for places / classes to take her to as we do lots of different activities every day in the UK. I will definitely be trying all of these out!

🌸 Carlotta • Jan 28, 2018

Hey Rochelle,
Happy to hear that! There's definitely way less for babies and toddlers here than in the UK, but with these places you can't go wrong! Now writing a new blog post with lots more activities, so if you're coming back, stay tuned! 🌸

Ashley • Jul 23, 2017

We love OWL and lots of these places. We've not been to pequeños pirates yet even though it's walking distance from my house. It's definitely next on the list :)

🌸 Carlotta • Jul 24, 2017

You'll like it, Ashley, it's small and cozy and never too loud! Haven't been in the summer yet, so let me know how it is when you go (sometimes these places get really hot in the summer, but worth trying!)! Thanks for your comment!

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Mums, dads & kids
We don't know how to be parents, we learn it everyday as we go. This is my way of motherhood, the small victories and the bitter defeats, my inconvenient truths and the endless life lessons. And also all the baby products and toys we love the most.
How to leave the playground without power struggles
This is life
Audiobooks of real-life stories for kids
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Question authorities
Parents need to be constructively selfish
One more step towards self-acceptance
When you think your marriage is over after kids.
Alex
We forgot our 10-year wedding anniversary!
Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Montessori express: change the sentences into positive
Montessori express: everything is NOT fine
My baby cries desperately in the car (15 months)
Take care of the mother behind the woman
Montessori express: ask instead of correcting
Montessori express: describe instead of criticising
An example of how I practice empathy with my kids
How I show empathy to my children
Happy 4th birthday, Emily
Montessori New Year's tradition
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
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The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
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Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

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I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

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I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.