The end of the school year brings some rest to the children, but it can also become a real "puzzle" for parents: how to occupy the kids during these almost three months of free time? All About Portugal has prepared an article with ideas to animate this period, where there are plenty of fun and radical activities, animals and nature adventures.
Adventure Park & Eco Trail - Lipor, Gondomar
It may be an unlikely place for fun at first, but Lipor, the company responsible for waste management in the Metropolitan area of Porto, has many activities aimed at children. There is a miniature golf course, a playground and an extreme sports park, inserted in the Adventure Park, and also the possibility of walking the Ecological Trail. In the summer camps there are playful games, cooking and workshops, always with the aim of having fun through pedagogy.
Santo Inácio Zoo, Vila Nova de Gaia
“Football in the Savannah!”, “At the Penguin House”, “Breakfast for the Bats” or “Wild Picnic” are some of the activities that make up the Santo Inácio Zoo's summer camp programme, from July to August. There, where more than 600 animals of 200 species from five continents live, you can feed them, accompany the keepers and learn more about the animal world through fun games. An experience that certainly the young will not forget.
And why not a bike ride through nature in its purest state, passing through Serra da Freita, where you can witness the famous and rare geological phenomenon of the "Pedras Parideiras" (rock delivering stones)? Arouca GeoBike has 15 rental bikes (11 for adults and 4 for children) to enjoy and explore the region's natural and cultural heritage. The Geopark also offers interpretative visits and walking routes, namely the Paiva Walkways.
Lousã Biological Park
Also in the middle of Serra da Lousã you can spend a day in a natural space, considered the largest sample of wildlife in the country. In the Biological Park you will find several species of birds, grizzly bears, bobcats, wolves and even a reptilian, something that always piques the curiosity of the little ones (and the big ones). In the pedagogical farm, you can get to know the various species of the Portuguese pastoral agriculture, and in the equestrian centre you can get riding lessons and chariot rides.
Portugal dos Pequenitos, Coimbra
For a first visit, or a comeback, Portugal dos Pequenitos is a classic that never goes out of style. The magic of miniature houses, representative of the different regions of Portugal, as well as the main monuments of the country, also at the mini scale, delights the little ones. On board the "Expresso dos Pequenitos", children can visit the different spaces of the park, which includes an area dedicated to the city of Coimbra, as well as the Museu do Traje (Costume Museum).
Parque dos Monges, Alcobaça
At Quinta das Freiras there is a multifaceted park with attractions for all tastes: there are more or less extreme activities such as a zip line, climbing, tree climbing, paintball, canoeing or archery; there is a zoo to visit and there are themed places such as the Convent Sweets Museum or the Monastic Workshops where bread workshops can be held. The goal is always to recreate the way of life of the monks who once occupied the region.
Dino Parque, Lourinhã
The fantastic world of dinosaurs is part of the imagination of children, and now you can experience it in this theme park. Here, visitors can take four tours corresponding to four periods of Earth's history, where they observe over 180 dinosaur species on a full scale and learn more about palaeontology and fossilization. There is also the “Sea Monsters” course, where you can observe animals that reigned over the seas thousands of years ago.
If you are an athlete in the making or simply a sports lover, Footlab is a must visit site. Thanks to a unique technology in the world, this “football of the future” space has skill and speed testing systems for each player, which allows to evaluate yourself, in four test stations, the ball control technique, the kick power or precision. At the end, a detailed performance report is delivered, which may enter the Champions Gallery.
Pedagogical Farm Armando Villar, Cascais
Just 10 minutes outside the city, it is possible to spend a family day in the countryside, in perfect harmony with the animals, which, on this farm, are affectionately nicknamed. Here you can interact with Miranda donkey, Shaun the sheep, Minnie the pig, or Cris the goatling. During the holidays, there are programmes that include animal care, horticulture and body and artistic expression workshops, among other activities that will provide a fun contact with nature.
Dolphin Route, Setúbal
The Sado Estuary is the ideal place to observe the behaviour of one of children's favourite animals. There are several companies that organize the Dolphin Route tour, with the Arrábida Mountain and the Tróia Peninsula as backdrop. During the journey through the waters of the Setúbal Bay you will get to know the dolphin world better and see some of the more than 20 individuals that live there. The more adventurous ones can jump from the boat and go for a swim.
Badoca Safari Park, Santiago do Cacém
Embark on a journey through the wild without leaving Portugal! Badoca Safari Park offers unique experiences, from a safari adventure where you can closely observe 18 species of wildlife, to African rafting aboard a pneumatic boat, or a walk through the “African Forest”, where you will find fascinating species of birds. The park also provides a "show" of carnivorous birds and allows interaction with lemurs. All for an unforgettable day.
Krazy World Zoo, Silves
A space that includes animals, swimming pools and sports activities is the dream of any child. Krazy World Zoo has a varied offer to spend a memorable family day, from feeding pygmy goats, llamas and fallow deer, interacting with African tortoises, exotic birds or lemurs, as well as meeting the largest snake in Europe. There is a pool, inflatables and, for those who have the energy, activities such as pedal karting, mini golf, tree climbing or mini quad biking.