activities for kids in costa rica

6 Ways to Enjoy Costa Rica with your Kids

So are you thinking of visiting Costa Rica with your family? Here’s some activities for kids in Costa Rica that will amaze them (and you!).

From neverending beaches to rich rainforests to sleepy volcanoes, cattle ranches and mysterious cloud forests, Costa Rica is an enticing land to explore with your kids. The diversity of the scenery will amaze any traveller, regardless of age, and will inspire an adrenaline rush and incurable travel lust in any child.

1. Bathe in Costa Rica’s Waterfalls

Dreamy waterfall in Costa Rica.

Children will love this: after a long tiring hike through remarkable landscapes, nothing will feel better than standing right under a waterfall with water pouring over their shoulders. The water’s relaxing effect will gently induce a state of calmness and complete serenity, leading to a deeply resting sleep later on. Find a safe place for them to hang out and make sure you have a sleeping bag with you. You’d be surprised to see how fast children can fall asleep after a busy day spent swimming.

When traveling with young children don’t try to overdue it. While you may feel the need to pack your day full to fit in as many memories as you can, don’t skip nap time. Giving everyone a break in the middle of the day will lead to more enjoyment later in the day and will reduce the chance of meltdowns. Be sure to slow down and enjoy all the little moments when traveling because kids grow fast and you’ll cherish each one later. Finally, don’t forget to take lots of pictures and videos! – Tesa & Dave, 2 Wired 2 Tired

2. Take a canopy tour

costa rica forest
Costa Rica forest

Canopy tours are one of the best ways to spend time in Costa Rica during family vacations. Kids are thrilled by the experience and parents can rest assured that everything is safe and handled with the highest attention to detail.

Smiles, laughs and screams of joy will fill up the rainforest, while the trained personnel will be strapping in your previous baby (whether it’s a 5 year old baby or a 15 year old baby) making sure that he or she remains safe at all times.

Always have goodies set aside in your bag. It could be your child’s favourite books, toys, snacks or even a favourite video saved on your phone or tablet. I use them as bribes to sit still and buckle-up and distractions when kids are having meltdown. It’s important to nip a child’s tantrum at the bud if you want a pleasant flight with children. – Michelle, The Chill Mom

3. Explore volcanos and hot springs

costa rica volcano
Sleeping volcano La Fortuna

Craters of sleeping volcanoes or the bubbling mud in the Parque Nacional Volcán Poas will grab your child’s attention, but what will truly impact them will for sure be the hot springs in La Fortuna. Relax and unwind, all while providing your kids a truly unique Costa Rican experience. Keep in mind though that that generous dose of curiosity every kid possesses? It can easily lead them to dangerous paths so be extra diligent when exploring volcanos and hot springs. 

Do you want to travel through Costa Rica being part of a small group tour? Check our options here.

4. Sleep in a treehouse

Sunbathed tree house in Costa Rica.

A tree house is every child’s dream home. Let’s be honest, a tree house is everyone’s dream home. So whether you already have one back at home or not, spending a few nights in this type of accommodation during your family trip to Costa Rica is an absolute must. Children will be amazed by both the views and the close proximity to the country’s diverse wildlife. You will find plenty of family resorts on this magical land to choose from, each with their own specific charm and a promise to offer your loved ones an unforgettable escape from reality.

Travelling to and exploring new places with kids is fun and exciting, getting to see a new place through their eyes. The best way to immerse yourself is to chuck the routine out of the window! It’s not for long and you’ll find that kids are incredibly resilient! Eating a late dinner after a siesta will be a big adventure for them, and they may even sleep late the next morning! Routines are not the be all and end all, and on holiday we tend to forget they exist! – Lauren, Belle Du Brighton

5. Go rafting on the river

River rafting with kids in Costa Rica.

Is your child fascinated by watersports? Take him or her out for a few hours of river rafting. Not as rough as it may seem at first, river rafting with children provides a gentle ride with plenty of stops for swimming and short breaks to grab a snack. Needless to say that your kids will be completely blown away by the experience. Warning: it may unleash their inner thrill-seekers. 

When it comes to traveling with children, preparation is key. For our family, its not just about covering the snacks or inevitable motion sickness, but about making sure they are entertained during the travel as well. Kids do not easily just sit and enjoy, so downloading free coloring sheet printables, information about the areas you are visiting, or providing travel games (like Cruise Bingo, Plate Tag) can go a long way in whine prevention. Additionally, creating “busy bags” with $1 items and treats that are only delivered once an hour can keep kids excited and entertained throughout long trips. – Trisha, MomDot

6. Visit a local farm

Never ending fields of green.

Make the best out of your family trip to Costa Rica and let your children discover a new culture and way of life. They can experience the raw Tico lifestyle by living on a Costa Rican farm for a few days. Your kids will get the chance to connect with nature and learn more about animals, sustainability, and agriculture. Worst case scenario? You’ll be going home with a bunch of green thumbs.

When travelling with kids, it is important plan a loose itinerary and try not to cover too many destinations in a day. Keep a look out for playgrounds along the way and allow time for your kids to play there when you see one (hence the need for a loose itinerary). You really do not want to have to deal with a major meltdown when you tell your kid,  NO you can’t go to the playground because we have another two UNESCO World Heritage sites to visit! It is much easier to negotiate with, You can play for 30 minutes but after that you will need to follow us to explore this awesome place that Daddy and Mommy really wants to visit okay? – Lee, Bumble Bee Mum

Explore Costa Rica with your kids and offer them the trip they will always remember fondly. If anything, adventures are what keep us going through the daily routine, so why would this be any different for your little ones?

Antonia is a passionate writer and an avid reader. Eat well, travel often - are some of the words she lives by. When she's not writing or reading, she loves getting out in nature, hiking or losing herself in unknown cities.

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