February 4, 2017 at 3:25 pm #2488
We got a question about heading to Iceland with a 10 month old. (Sorry the forums aren’t working for everyone just yet!) Here are some ideas for things to do in Iceland with very small children.
I should note that most of what we posted in our sample 1 week Iceland itinerary with kids would work with small children; most everything is very close to the road. But here are some specific ideas by age range:
Babies under 1 year old
– Into the Glacier. This is a conditional recommendation– it’s expensive, in the middle of nowhere, and it takes a lot of time. But it’s also the most adventurous thing I know about that you can do with a baby in Iceland. Year round.
– The petting zoo Slakki We recommend this for kids of just about any age. Younger kids will love the animals, and older kids can try out the diggers or play miniature golf. Rough opening dates: May – August, plus weekends April and September. Check their facebook page for specific dates.
– Viðey Island. This is not a must-see, but it’s the shortest boat ride in Iceland. Take the 5 minute boat trip to a relaxing island. There’s a restaurant up the hill from the boat dock, or you can walk and explore the island. Year-round; daily in the summer, weekends only in winter.
– City thermal pools. Pick the pool that’s closest to where you are, or check out Laugardalslaug, which is right by the zoo.
– As long as you have a baby carrier, the hikes around Kerið crater and Thingvellier National Park would work. But don’t try strollers here! Of course, you’ll want to see Geysir and Gullfoss on your Golden Circle tour as well. See our Golden Circle options with kids.
– Secret Lagoon. This is another conditional recommendation. I don’t think the Blue Lagoon is worth it if you have a kid under 2, since they are not allowed in the water. Well, I guess if you have older children too you might consider taking them. But the Secret Lagoon a natural pool that allows kids of any age. It’s not the same as the Blue Lagoon, but it’s also significantly cheaper. We also found the water warmer than in most pools; the kids were too hot in about half an hour.
Everything above, plus:
– Reykjavik zoo and family park. The zoo is fun, it’s not too big, and there’s plenty for a toddler to see and do.
– Whales of Iceland. If you want to try a museum, Whales of Iceland might be a good place to start. I can’t promise it will keep your child’s attention, but the enormous scale models of whales just might be a hit.
Everything above, plus:
The Blue Lagoon. Once your child turns 2, they can go to the Blue Lagoon. Yes, it’s touristy, but there’s nothing else quite like it in Iceland.
Reykjavik Viking Adventure. Kids 3 and up can sail on a replica Viking ship with Reykjavik Viking Adventure. The trips’a about an hour and a half, and you need to have a kid who won’t try to jump out of the boat. But it’s a much calmer and smaller boat ride than many other options.
Fakasel, the Icelandic Horse Park. There’s an afternoon horse show in the indoor arena that’s only about 15 minutes. And you can meet the horses and the riders at the end.April 23, 2017 at 7:46 pm #2508aliaParticipant
I never comment in forums…but just wanted to say thanks! This is the best resource I have found! Heading to Iceland this summer our 2yo and 8 yo!April 26, 2017 at 7:37 am #2509
You’re very welcome, and thanks for your comment! Hope you have a great trip!August 10, 2017 at 4:41 pm #2600CaliJayhawksParticipant
We are going with our daughter who will be 22 months old when we travel to Iceland 01 Sep until 12 Sep. We are renting a camper van and driving the Ring Road all the way around Iceland, exploring along the way. We are an adventurous couple looking to do interesting things but don’t know if such activities as exploring ice caves, fjords and glaciers are appropriate to bring our daughter to do. We will be using a carrier (Ergo) to strap her onto us. Any advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.August 12, 2017 at 3:30 pm #2601
Hi! I think you will be able to find some good active activities along the way. With one exception, I don’t think you should consider ice caves in September. It’s too warm, and if the caves even exist they would be unsafe.
Here are a few ideas off the top of my head:
– Lots of the south coast won’t be a problem. Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Skogafoss waterfall (both right off of Ring Road), Reynisfjara and Dyrhólaey. In our brief daily update about Dyrhólaey, you can see my wife wearing a baby carrier in one of the pictures.
(Read up on the “sneaker waves” at Reynisfjara!)
– You couldn’t do an organized glacier walk with a child in a carrier, but you could walk up to the base of Sólheimajökull Glacier. Here’s what I wrote toward the end of that post:
“If you have kids under 10, or the glacier walk just isn’t right for you, you can also park out here and walk by yourself to the glacier’s edge. You should NOT walk on the ice without a guide, but you can hike to see it, and then buy some hot chocolate when you return.”
– Into the Glacier is the only tour I know of where you can take kids of any age. It’s out of the way and expensive, though you may enjoy it!
– You can take kids on many whale watching trips. We like and recommend North Sailing in Húsavík, though Húsavík is about half an our off of Ring Road. On their web site, North says: “Children of all ages are welcome and it’s also fine to take strollers with you on board. We recommend to dress the children warmly and ask about weather and sea conditions before you decide to go.”
– Most hikes should be fine with a child in a carrier. There are dozens of options, and you can stop anywhere that looks interesting. For some reason, I am thinking of the hike up Hengifoss in East Iceland as one that was challenging but rewarding. My 7-year-old handled it with me, though he was tired by the end!
Hope that gives you some ideas.
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