Taking the kids down to the beach and giving them the chance to splash about and build sandcastles for hours on end is great, but it’s not something that you can do every single day of the summer. If you feel stuck for ideas over the summer break, this list should prove inspiring for both kids and adults alike, whether you’re by the coast, or planning a family adventure on the island’s highest peaks!
1. Enjoy movies by the sea at the Protaras Film Festival
Most kids love to go to the cinema, but movie magic takes on a whole new meaning when the big screen lights up under the night sky at a beachside location. If you’re holidaying in the Ayia Napa or Protaras area this week, or are planning a day trip to the east coast this coming weekend for a splash in the sea, be sure to end the day at Protaras Central Square, where a different movie suitable for the whole family is being screened each night (until the end of the week) as part of the Protaras Film Festival.
With weekday screenings at 9pm, you and the family can look forward to Titanic, Wonder Woman, The House and King Author. On Friday and Saturday night, you can enjoy two screenings, with Despicable Me (8pm) and Spider Man (10pm) coming to life on the big screen on Friday night and Despicable Me (8pm) and the Transformers (10pm) to follow on Saturday. On Sunday night, you can enjoy Going in Style.
Where? Protaras Central Square. Tel: (+357) 99-895252
2. Head out on a cycling, skating or rollerblading adventure down Molos seafront promenade
One of the best spots on the island to enjoy an action-packed day by the sea, the whole area is buzzing with life and the paved path is perfect for all sorts of sporty activities as you and the young ones take in the view out to sea. The playgrounds for kids is a popular stomping ground where parents take the little ones to unleash their energy, while teenagers will love the mini skate park. Adults can kick back and relax on of the benches in the area, or enjoy an ice cold drink at one of the nearby cafes!
3. Get better acquainted with the natural world at the Troodos Botanical Garden
Located on the winding tree lined road up into the stunningly verdant Troodos Mountain Range, the Troodos Botanical Garden is an excellent place for the young ones to get acquainted with some of the many species of herbs and plants endemic to the island. Set up by the Department of Forests along with two other gardens in the Akamas Peninsula and Athalassa Park in Nicosia, the garden aims to protect, conserve and promote Cypriot botanical heritage through exposure and education.
The kids are bound to love running about in the landscaped grounds and taking a peak through the on site telescope. There’s also a sweet little visitor centre and plenty of written information is conveniently placed around the site. And if you still need encouragement to go and visit, the views out across the mountain valley are an added incentive.
Where? Troodos National Forest Park. Tel: (+357) 25-550091
4. Have fun in one of the island’s national parks
All kids love to run around in a park and adults will probably enjoy the calm! Some of the island’s national parks – like Athalassa park in Nicosia – even have a picnic area and kiddy play area, with plenty to keep them entertained.
Children under the age of 6 can also visit the on site Environmental Centre for free, with info on the park and a scale model replica of the park, with three-dimensional representations of the area’s vegetation, birds, mammals and reptiles. For more information on Athalassa Park and other great national parks you can visit on the island, click here.
5. Befriend the animals at Riverland Dairy Bio Farm
Located just outside the rural village of Kampia, 20 minutes outside Nicosia, Riverland Dairy Bio Farm is a magical haven where the animals are happy, well cared for and fed a fully-organic diet. Head here with the kids and they can enjoy having a look a look at and petting the four legged creatures for free, as well as making the most of a play area and zip line, and if you don’t mind paying for an extra activity, they can even enjoy horse-riding, archery and other fun activities!
Ask the owners to point you in the direction of the Tamasos dam and canyon and the whole family can enjoy a fabulous walk in one of the prettiest spots of the island.
Where? Kampia village, Nicosia district. Tel: (+357) 99-592598
6. Hike the Caledonia Falls
Get the kids out of the house, away from the glare of their ipads, TVs and laptops, and up into Troodos for some fresh mountain air.
Only 3km, or two hours long from start to finish, the Caledonia Falls Trail is a nice short route, and with the promise of an impressive waterfall to see when you reach the end, young hikers will be greatly motivated to stretch their legs and enjoy the lush green surroundings.
Where? Near Platres Village, Troodos