7 engaging activities with Kids in Spain

We just finished a month in Toledo, Spain.  Traveling with kids is wonderful and challenging. We didn’t try to cover the entire country but what we did cover, we think is worth sharing,

Here is our scoop….

We took 2 quick trips; one to Grenada and one to Barcelona, and a day trip to Valencia to get a taste for some of Spain’s offerings.

Here’s a roundup of what we did:

  1.  Grenada – we visited the AlhambraIMG_5586and then… spent some time at the beachimg_0822

    Spain is great for Churros, don’t forget about the Porrasimg_0733image

  2. Cathedral in Toledo

    Toledo Christmas lights in the street

    Toledo Cathedral at Night

    National pride was strong while Catalan stressed the national unity.


  3. Greco Museum in Toledo
  4. The Prado in Madrid see how we attempted to teach our kids something about art on our visit HERE.img_0966img_0969
  5. Valencia Spain has an incredible aquarium that our boys loved!  We were there in November and it wasn’t crowded at all.img_0866img_5728
  6. In Barcelona we learned about Dali and Gaudi.  La Segrada Familia was incredible and we would go back in a heartbeat.  The Dali Museum did not disappoint, but please know that this is not directly in Barcelona.  It is about an hour and a half or so away.  All in, we loved Barcelona and wished we could have spent more time there.

    Dali is sooo cool



    The coolest church I have ever been in. Period. Period.

  7. Zoo in Madrid was a hit and in November there wasn’t much of a crowd at all.

    The Madrid Zoo was really a nice zoo


    All in, we loved Spain and will miss it, but alas….all roads lead to Rome.  So next up on our journey is the Eternal City!

10 steps to take when pulled over by Spanish police. ?Is paying a highway patrol €100 on the side of the road highway robbery or efficient governance?

So I get pulled over between Granada and Toledo for not using my signal to change lanes! Ok, I get it, revenue generation at its finest. I have a rental car and I am wearing my Iowa Cubs hat, prime target. Well… when they tell me I have to pay €100 on the spot, my radar goes up.

1. ask if they take a credit cards..well, there machine doesn’t work…feels fishy..

2. I start to negotiate. They insist on payment and offer to drive me to an ATM.

3. I start to make a game of it, ask them to put their sirens on and lights as they escort me to the ATM, they have guns by the way, so €100 is not worth a fight.

4. I make a production out of it and start taking pictures

5. I have my kids sit on the motorcycle

6. I get the town people involved.

7.I take pictures of the atm receipt

8. Pictures of license plates etc

9. Badge numbers, etc

10. We ask the police in the next town if this is normal practice or the law, it is when you don’t live in Spain.. much a do about a blinker…

Boys, bathrooms, and buttwashers…I mean bidets

Yep, I’m going there.  Bidets.  Almost every place we’ve stayed at has some type of bidet contraption.  Either a sprayer, stand alone, or built into the toilet.

Traveling with boys has been great actually.  Need to change a shirt you’ve used as a napkin for the last 4 meals?  No problem.  The dirty one comes off, the clean one goes on.  Emergency potty break on on the road?  Slam the brakes on and we’ll find a tree.  It’s probably cleaner than a public bathroom anyway.  All in, boys are easy-peasy especially in the bathroom department.  Until…


These things are the devil.  And very, VERY common in Europe.  They really ought to have child safety locks like the kind you can put on toilets to keep kids and pets out.  And the more I think about it, who thought these were a good idea in the first place?!  It turns out that according to wikipedia we can sorta blame the  17th century French for inventing this.  As Americans, we don’t see the logic in paying for, or installing a separate fixture in the bathroom, or using up valuable space and water. Either way, it’s a germ filled petri dish of a time bomb when you have 3 curious boys with you.

“Cool!  A tiny sink!”


“I can wash my hands in it, it’s just my size.”


“It’s like a foot washer or something!”


“We could use it for brushing our teeth!  It has a little faucet!”

“YUCK! NO! It’s for your butt.  It washes your butt after you go to the bathroom.”

“……..(no comment)…….(thinking)……(the wheels are turning)….. a buttwasher?!”

And there we have it.  A buttwasher.