Porto holidays with kids.
Hello to you all on this end of summer day in Portugal.
Today and over the next few days I am giving a shout out to all the parents out there, wherever you may be. Summer is not the easiest time for us parents for those having to work and those who have a long summer entertaining kids themselves. After a year and a half of lockdowns and homeschooling it feels as if we all need a holiday, sometimes a holiday from the holidays.
So from this parent to all you parents I am here to share some Getaway Van fun days out and activities that have gone down well with my two children and have kept my sanity, thus far anyway. So here are some Porto holidays with kids tips.
Today’s activity is a bit of a combination trip.
SEA LIFE and Matosinhos beach area
ONDA PURA - SURF SCHOOL
Located in the popular area of Matosinhos with many activities on your door-step if you are here. When you are on your Porto holiday with kids you want to keep your options open and this is a great area to do that.
This area is very popular for beach goers as well as with a number of surf schools including our lovely partners down at Onda Pura (who you can get a discount with by using the Getaway Van) and professional surfers.
There are a number of different classes for surfing, stand up paddling and skateboarding. You can get individual classes as well as group lessons. Loads of choice for all ages from 7 Years old.
Sea-life itself is pretty easy to get to, with a Getaway Van, by bus or by metro.
With the van you can park underneath the Sea-life centre, the entrance to the car park is literally on the roundabout, right next to the ocean. So it is a very pleasant drive and arrival. Be warned wearing shoes and getting sand all over your car at the end though :). There are stairs leading straight up from the car park to Sea Life to avoid the traffic completely, which for a very busy area for cars and pedestrians alike is very helpful especially with young excitable kids.
Currently if you want to go to Sea Life I recommend booking online prior to going as when the kids and I arrived we were able to walk straight in and show our email confirmation on the phone, kids are not fans of waiting so I was pleased to go in especially during busy summer periods. Porto holidays with kids and all holidays for that matter are always easier if you don’t have to queue with excited children.
Over the last few years Sea Life Porto has made some improvements and additions – we’ve been visiting since the kids were babies and I was impressed with the extra areas and animals that they have now.
At the entrance we did the pictures of me and the kids where they add various sea animals so it looks like you are swimming next to them. It’s always quite fun and you can buy as many of the pictures as you wish at the end of the experience from the gift shop. We’ve enjoyed doing this over the years and it’s always a good thing to look back on.
You are also currently given a scratch and reveal quiz for the kids so that they answer the questions by reading questions as they go around. This was really good and my children really enjoyed looking for the answers and at the end they got a sea life medal which they proudly hung around their necks.
As we made our way around sea life, the children had the opportunity to physically touch some of the animals with a member of the Sea Life staff. My youngest was not too sure about the slimy animals but my 7 year old loved it as did other children in the area.
One of the best areas was the tunnel under the sea, which is where my youngest spotted a real life shark! His face tells you what he thought about that!
The outside and PENGUINS!
As it is quite dark inside, it was quite refreshing to go outside in the new area where there is a playpark, only accessible to sea life customers and also outside is where you can see the amazing penguins.
When we arrived they were just finishing feeding the penguins and my kids were mesmerized by the penguins diving under the water to catch the fish. Beautiful animals. There are also some picnic benches here and a little shop is open at certain times to buy ice creams and drinks. It is a good space to let the kids blow off some steam in a pirate ship playground.
As we continued and saw more wonderful animals we continued to answer questions on the quiz. A highlight were the stingray, where the children could go and see via a child size tunnel, which always adds some extra excitement. The children even could pretend they were under water and enjoyed watching the fish swim past their eyes and around them.
A sweet treat at the end Matosinhos beach
As we finished after seeing many different animals, we looked around the gift shop and couldn’t resist a cheeky ice cream, with views of the ocean. It was quite beautiful.
As we emerged from under the sea at SEA LIFE we then walked along the seafront, and if your kids are like mine they cannot resist the beach or the water.
So off we went to the sand, to dig holes, make sandcastles and find interesting (according to the 5 year old) rocks and shells. This is a really great beach for families, including a little park and gentle low tide for young children. The sand is amazing, soft and fun for running and playing on.
A family friendly beach
You can easily spend an afternoon in this area and in the wider area the entire day as you are also next to the city park, which has its own great things for families and individuals of all ages.
The Getaway Van is great for storing all the beach accessories you could need, towels, windbreakers, parasols, beach toys, buckets and spades etc, most of which you can rent or borrow for free from Getaway itself.
So next time you are looking for a family holiday remember to check in with us, grab a quote here (don’t forget your bucket and spade)