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Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa
© Arlindo Camacho Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa

The best outdoor activities in Lisbon for kids

Take the little'uns on an adventure with our guide to the best outdoor activities for kids

By Time Out Lisbon editors

Looking for ways to keep the kids occupied on your next trip to Lisbon? Whether it’s paying a visit to the animals at the zoo or going for a run through one of the city’s parks, here you’ll find our favourite outdoor activities in Lisbon for kids.

The best outdoor activities in Lisbon for kids

Adventure Park
Fotografia: Ana Luzia

1. Go into the wild

Things to do Walks and tours Greater Lisbon

We are not going to insult your children by calling them savages, but they probably think they are Mowgli. If so, put some boots on them and take them to the Adventure Park at the Jamor sports complex in Cruz Quebrada. It has challenging a obstacle course that feature rope bridges strung between trees and end with a 200-metre slide.

Castelo de São Jorge
Fotografia: Manuel Manso

2. Let's travel in time

5 out of 5 stars
Attractions Historic buildings and sites Castelo de São Jorge

At night when the gates of St George’s Castle close, a blanket of silence falls and a new world begins to appear. Bats live here all year round but only come out in the warmer months. A night walk with biologists in search of the animals that provided the inspiration for the superhero Batman is among many activities for kinds in the castle grounds. There are also morning sessions for families with traditional Portuguese games, and medieval ‘combats’ with knights, lancers and squires. And, of course, a whole castle to explore.


3. Fun on wheels

Things to do Estrela/Lapa/Santos

Get your legs moving... and the kids, too. After all, Fun Track was designed with them in mind, in a large open space on the Passeio Marítimo de Alcântara, behind the Museu do Oriente. Here you can hire karts, bicycles, tricycles, push scooters and inline or roller skates to make the most of the 7km of cycle path that runs along the river between Belém and Cais do Sodré. If you have never learned how to use any of this equipment, you can hire the services of an instructor, too.

A bordo do Hippotrip
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho

4. Diving on wheels

Attractions Estrela/Lapa/Santos

Take the Hippotrip to trundle around the city hearing about amusing stories and legends before plunging into the waters of the Tagus. Yes, this vehicle is also a boat; it makes the transition to the sound of 2001: a Space Odyssey. You can be sure that the young 'uns (and the old 'uns) have never seen Lisbon's sights from this perspective.

Jardim da Estrela
Fotografia: Ana Luzia

5. Go green

3 out of 5 stars
Attractions Estrela/Lapa/Santos

There are lots of gardens in Lisbon, but some have more to offer children than others. This one, in the heart of the city, is perfect for a family outing. The kids can enjoy the playground (the condition of the sand is inspected every couple of weeks) and there is plenty of space for picnics or to stretch out and read. There are also two cafés with outdoor seating. Start the day with breakfast at the Gengibre da Estrela kiosk. The kids will love the juices, shakes and giant toasties.

Girafa no Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa
Fotografia:Arlindo Camacho

6. Meet Simba

Attractions Zoos and aquariums Sete Rios/Praça de Espanha

This old man of 132 has drawn generations of children – and adults. Take the kids to Lisbon's zoo to see the lions and elephants, monkeys and koalas, dolphins and flamingoes.You can also take a mini-train or cable-car ride, visit the Reptile House, walk through the Tigers' Valley or visit the Primates' Temple.

parque marchal carmona
Fotografia: Inês Calado Rosa

7. Run Forrest Run

Attractions Parks and gardens Cascais

The town of Cascais, west of Lisbon, has more to offer than sea and sand. In the middle of the recently created 'Museum Quarter', the Marechal Carmona Park is a great alternative to the beaches that get so packed on hot days. With sweeping lawns, ponds, romantic trails and wooded areas with towering trees, there is lots of space to let the kids run around and burn off their excess energy. There is also a very well equiipped playground with three separate areas for different ages.

Tapada De Mafra
© Arlindo Camacho

8. Search for deer, find salamanders

Attractions Zoos and aquariums Mafra/Ericeira

Created in the mid 18th century as a recreational place for the king, Tapada de Mafra became
 a mandatory sighting scene for nature lovers. Nowadays, you can follow all sorts of tracks running or walking, go for an electric
 car ride, practice BTT or target shooting. But this forest park,
 in itself, is worthy of a long visit: you'll find deer, foxes, mongooses, weasels or badgers as well as giant mushrooms, toads, salamanders, and tritons.


9. Sniper practice

Things to do Greater Lisbon

The Quinta do Areeiro is a good place to practise your shooting. But at this adventure park just north of Lisbon you can also crawl through narrow tunnels, play human table football, simulate a parachute jump, bounce around on an inflatable or cross 14 rope bridges. If you don't have all day, stick to the shooting: there's paintball in the day and at night, in a war-like ambience, and a laser zap zone.

Vertigo Climbing Center
Diogo Garcia

10. Up and up

Sport and fitness Climbing Marvila

Is your child afraid of heights? Resolve to put paid to the phobia once and for all. Lisbon’s largest climbing centre, down by the river, has a wall with an area of 400 square metres – and the only way is up. It is a paradise for keen climbers and one remedy for acute acrophobia.

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