After an amazing spring trip to Europe with kids, we were super excited to spend a week in Iceland with kids on our way home. Like many of our family trips, we looked for the best things to do in Iceland with kids. With so many amazing regions in Iceland, it was difficult to narrow it down, but we finally settled on the Golden Circle, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the Reykjavik area in Southwestern Iceland.
We loved visiting Iceland with kids and we’re confident your family will as well!
Still working on your Iceland Itinerary with kids? Here is our 7 day itinerary for Iceland with suggestions on where to stay and how to get your kids to sleep in a land without darkness.
Here are the Top 21 Things to do in Iceland for kids. We tried to list them in order, starting with our most favorite things to do in Iceland with kids. Don’t think that the things to do in Iceland with kids at the bottom of our list are not worth doing – they are. We did plenty of things with our kids in Iceland which we left off this list.
Top 21 Things to do in Iceland with Kids
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Top 21 Things to do in Iceland with Kids
1. Blue Lagoon
Without question, our kids favorite thing to do in Iceland was the Blue Lagoon. This iconic Icelandic experience has stood the test of time – even now, well after our Iceland family vacation, our kids talk about how much they loved the Blue Lagoon.
Visiting the Blue Lagoon was our favorite thing to do in Iceland with kids. It’s not cheap to visit to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik, but chances are good that the family memories will last a lifetime. If you are traveling to Iceland with young children, you’ll be happy to know that admission to the Blue Lagoon is free for kids under 13.
The Blue Lagoon is 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik, so the easiest way to visit the Blue Lagoon with kids is with a rental car or to buy Blue Lagoon tickets with transportation from Reykjavik.
As you’d expect with such a popular thing to do in Iceland with kids, there is a wide variety of day tours to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik. There’s sure to be a family-friendly Blue Lagoon tour perfect for you.
Get more details on visiting the Blue Lagoon with kids in this post.
2. Gullfoss Waterfall
We have been to Angel Falls, Iguazu Falls and Victoria Falls, and we believe that the Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland’s Golden Circle is one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls. Measured by volume, the Gullfoss is the largest waterfall in Europe, but the beautiful two-tier cascade waterfall is what makes Gullfoss special.
It’s not just the sheer size and magnitude of the Gullfoss waterfall that makes it one of the best things to do in Iceland with kids. There’s a good chance (depending on wind) that your family will get soaked from the waterfall spray on your way to the Gullfoss lower falls viewpoint.
Getting soaked is such a fun experience for kids and you’ll laugh all the way down the trail. The laughs will turn to gasps as you enjoy a close-up view of the incredible power of this iconic Golden Circle waterfall.
Families who visit the Gullfoss waterfall with kids can also enjoy a stop at the visitor center and some short hiking trails.
By getting up early at our Golden Circle vacation home rental and driving our rental car, we managed to beat the tour bus crowds to Gullfoss waterfall. We had the Gullfoss waterfall to ourselves – a special experience on our family trip to Iceland!
Get full details on our 2 days in the Golden Circle with kids.
3. Skogafoss Waterfall
The Skogafoss waterfall is one of the best things to do with kids in Southwest Iceland. With its incredible power, beauty and a prominent role in the Ben Stiller movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Skogafoss is one Iceland’s most famous waterfalls.
Similar to the Gullfoss waterfall, the 200’ tall Skogafoss waterfall offers kids a fun chance to get soaked. There is a large rocky beach just below the Skogafoss waterfall which gets surprisingly close to the base of this magnificent Iceland waterfall. Get too close and you’ll get soaked!
No visit to the Skogafoss waterfall with kids would be complete without a visit to the lookout platform above the falls. If you have time, we recommend the kid-friendly Waterfall Way hike which begins at the upper platform (See #4 below)
Get full details on our 2 days around Reykjavik with kids in this post.
4. Waterfall Way Hike
Blessed with an incredible landscape, hiking is one of the best things to do in Iceland with kids. If you visit the Skogafoss waterfall on your family vacation to Iceland, you may be interested to know that there’s also an excellent kid-friendly hike just upstream of the Skogafoss waterfall.
The kid-friendly Waterfall Way hike follows the Skoga River for approximately 6-7km. Along this highly scenic Iceland hiking trail you’ll pass over 20 beautiful waterfalls, including some that are truly breathtaking.
We hike everywhere we go in the world with our kids, and the Waterfall Way hike is among the most beautiful kid-friendly hikes I’ve done anywhere. We highly recommend the Waterfall Way hike on your family trip to Iceland, especially if you are planning a visit to the Skogafoss waterfall.
5. Arnarstapi to Hellnar Hike
Another of our favorite kid-friendly hikes in Iceland is the Arnarstapi to Hellnar hike on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Kids and adults alike will love this beautiful coastal hike through a massive lava field from the nearby Snaefellsjokull volcano.
The Arnarstapi to Hellnar hiking trail is reasonably flat and well maintained with many viewing platforms to showcase the stunning Icelandic scenery.
A fun stop for your kids along the Arnarstapi to Hellnar hike is the towering statue of Bardur Snaefellsas. Kids love running around (and through) this half-man, half-troll statue for whom the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is named.
As fun as Bardur Snaefellsas is, what makes the Arnarstapi to Hellnar hike one of the best things to do in Iceland with kids is the massive lava field. Kids of all ages will love the surreal walk through a field of mossy volcanic rocks. A walk through this amazingly unique landscape is the type of experience many are looking for on their family trip to Iceland.
Read more on the scenic, kid-friendly Arnarstapi to Hellnar hike in this post.
6. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
The Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is the third waterfall in our top 10 things to do in Iceland with kids. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is not as famous of Gullfoss or Skogafoss, so you may be tempted to skip it, but we think it’s a really unique & fun thing to do in Iceland for kids.
Located just minutes away from the Skogafoss waterfall, the Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a really fun thing to do in Iceland with kids due to the opportunity to go behind the waterfall. Taking your kids behind this majestic, powerful waterfall will be a lasting memory on your family trip to Iceland.
7. Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River Hike
By now, you’re probably wondering if we did anything in Iceland with our kids besides hiking and waterfalls. Hang in there, we did lots of other amazing things in Iceland with kids, but the waterfalls and unique kid-friendly hikes are truly some of the best things to do in Iceland with kids.
The Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River Hike makes our list of the best things to do in Iceland with kids as it showcases the geothermal wonders of Iceland. This kid-friendly hike to some Golden Circle hot springs winds through some amazing mountain landscapes with many steam vents and boiling water ponds.
As you hike past the boiling water ponds, you can actually smell the sulphur and feel their warmth. Watch your kids closely! The surreal effect of hiking through Icelandic geothermal activity is exactly what many dream of when visiting Iceland with kids.
The Reykjadalur Hot Springs are a little natural creek with wooden boardwalks, open air change rooms and little stairs leading down to the hot springs water.
We rolled up our pants and waded into the Reykjadalur hot springs, but many people get right in the creek. Our kids thought this was one of the most fun things to do in Iceland.
If you love hiking with kids, the Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River hike is a fun & unique thing to do on your Iceland family vacation.
Reykjadalur Hot Springs Small Group Hike from Reykjavik
8. Thingvellir National Park
One of the top attractions in the Golden Circle, Thingvellir National Park is of great cultural importance to Iceland. We like to expose our kids to a bit of culture, but to be honest, we came to see the rift valley created by the diverging Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.
The Thingvellir National Park rift valley can be easily enjoyed via an easy walking trail which follows along the bottom of a dramatic cliff – which is actually the very edge of North America! It’s amazing to think that this cliff is slowly drifting away from Europe (at the other edge of Thingvellir National Park) at a pace of 2-3 cm per year.
If you’d like to sneak in something educational without your kids even noticing, a visit to Thingvellir National Park is a great place to visit on your family trip to Iceland !
Thingvellir National Park Tours
9. Berserkjahraun Lava Fields
Exploring the Berserkjahraun Lava Fields is a super fun thing to do in Iceland with kids. Your kids will love climbing on the large lava rocks, running around them, hiding behind them, etc.
What makes the Berserkjahraun Lava Fields a really fun thing to do in Iceland for kids is the spongy moss which is growing everywhere – it’s like walking on a giant bed of marshmallows!
Our visit to the Berserkjahraun Lava Fields in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula was one of our favorite things to do in Iceland with kids.
From Reykjavik: Wonders of Snaefellsnes Private Tour (includes Berserkjahraun Lava Fields)
Get full details on our 2 days in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula with kids.
10. Krysuvik Geothermal Field
When many parents dream of a family trip to Iceland, they imagine exploring otherworldly landscapes, with large towers of steam rising from oddly colored rocks. This dream-like Icelandic landscape exists at the Krysuvik Geothermal Field, just minutes from Reykjavik!
Located within the Reykjanesfolkvangur Nature Preserve, the Krysuvik geothermal field is home to many steaming streams and ponds of boiling mud and water, surrounded by yellow, green and red soil. The steam coming off the bubbling ponds gave the Krysuvik geothermal field an almost spooky ambiance.
A short family walk through the Krysuvik geothermal field is a great thing to do in Iceland with kids. Krysuvik has wooden boardwalks and groomed, easy walking trails winding the way through the otherworldly terrain.
From Reykjavik: Small-Group Reykjanes Geopark Tour
11. Kerid Crater Hike
The massive Kerid Crater Lake is a really fun & unique thing to do in Iceland with kids. It doesn’t look like much from the side of the highway, but the size of the Kerid Crater is surprisingly big once you get up to the edge of the crater.
If you are visiting Iceland with kids to teach them about nature, the Kerid Crater hike offers families an easy way to get a full volcano crater experience without needing to hike up a mountain.
There are two hikes at the Kerid Crater to choose from. You can walk down into the volcano to hike around the shores of the crater lake and/or you can hike around the outer rim of the Kerid crater.
The kid-friendly hiking at the Kerid crater lake in the Golden Circle is a unique and highly enjoyable thing to do in Iceland with kids.
12. Abandoned Farmhouse Hike
We kept passing a photogenic abandoned farmhouse when driving from our vacation rental in Arnarstapi to the Snaefellsjoekull National Park. Then we noticed on our favorite hiking app that there was a short walk from the abandoned farmhouse to the coast, so we decided to check it out. It turned out to be a highly enjoyable kid-friendly hike in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
The highly photogenic abandoned farmhouse really stands out against the Snaefellsnes Peninsula backdrop. The hiking trail was an easy walk to the edge of the oceanfront cliff. The views of the powerful North Atlantic waves crashing onto the cliffs was spectacular, but without the crowds at the Londrangar Cliffs.
Our family enjoyed a special moment just sitting on the grass, watching the North Atlantic waves.
13. Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall
The image of the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall in front of the majestic Kirkjufell Mountain is one of the most iconic images of the incredible Iceland landscape.
A visit to the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a fun thing to do in Iceland with kids. There are kid-friendly walking trails which lead to a fun little bridge over the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. Watch your toddlers carefully as the safety ropes are not effective.
Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall Day Trips
14. Djupalonssandur Beach
A visit to see the black sand Djupalonssandur Beach is a really fun thing to do on your family trip to Iceland. Located in the Snaefellsjoekull National Park in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the Djupalonssandur Beach has a ton of stuff kids will enjoy.
The first thing kids will love is the kid-friendly hiking trail to Djupalonssandur Beach which descends through a little canyon with lots of fun rock formations for your kids to climb on.
Once you reach the black sand on Djupalonssandur Beach, have some family fun with the lifting rocks. Sailors used to compete to see who could lift the heaviest lifting rock – see who is the strongest in your family!
The next fun thing for kids to do at the Djupalonssandur Beach is finding the rusty ship parts from a 60-year-old shipwreck. The parts of the shipwreck are scattered all around the black sand beach.
The part our kids loved most about visiting Djupalonssandur Beach was the massive crashing waves. The power of nature put on a show for our family during our visit to Djupalonssandur Beach!
From Reykjavik: Snæfellsnes Peninsula Full-Day Tour
15. Saxholl Crater – Snaefellsjokull National Park
The second volcano crater in our top 21 things to do in Iceland with kids, the Saxholl crater is a popular family friendly experience in the Snaefellsjokull National Park. Visitors to this popular volcano crater in Iceland are able to climb an easy set of stairs which wind their way around the edge of the Saxholl volcano all the way to the top.
This may sound like a lot of work, but the stairs to the top of the Saxholl volcano only rise ~20m, so most visitors in reasonable shape should be able to see the crater.
Our kids could have easily summited the Saxholl crater, but the strong Icelandic winds in mid-May made it unsafe to bring our kids to the top of the volcano. We wish they could have seen the impressive caldera, but their safety was more important.
We hope that when you visit the Snaefellsnes Peninsula with kids, the weather is more agreeable on your visit to the Saxholl crater.
In a region jam-packed with natural wonders, Geysir is the most popular geothermal attraction in Iceland’s Golden Circle.
Your kids may be interested to know that the word geysir comes from the Icelandic phrase “to gush“. There are very few places in the world to see an active geyser, so a visit to the Golden Circle Geysir attraction should be a must-do on your Iceland family trip.
The original Great Geysir of Iceland (after which all other geysers in the world are named), is no longer reliably active. Thankfully for families visiting Iceland with kids, the nearby Strokkur geyser erupts every 6-10 minutes shooting water 15-30m in the air.
To be honest, based on how much we’ve enjoyed seeing geysers erupt elsewhere in the world, I expect we would have ranked Geysir much higher in our top 21 things to do in Iceland with kids, had we actually seen Strokkur erupt.
The wind was blowing so hard the rain was hurting our faces. We walked around Geysir with our kids for 15-20 minutes with no Strokkur eruption. As much as we’d have liked our kids to see Strokkur erupt, it just didn’t seem right to keep them out in that storm.
That’s the way it goes with nature. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t… It makes you appreciate the times that things work out even more!
17. Londrangar Cliffs
There are many fun reasons to visit the Londrangar Cliffs with kids in the Snaefellsjoekull National Park. The first are the views of the massive Londrangar basalt rocks. These majestic rock formations, the remnants of an eroded crater, dominate the Snaefellsnes Peninsula skyline for miles around.
The main reason the Londrangar Cliffs are a fun thing to do in Iceland with kids is the chance to walk on black lava rocks. As you near the shores of the North Atlantic, the ground turns into an incredible volcanic landscape which your kids will love to run around and explore. At the shoreline, stop and enjoy the power of the waves crashing onto the beautiful oceanside cliffs.
From Reykjavik: Snaefellsnes Peninsula Super-Jeep Day Trip
18. Gunnuhver Geothermal Area
Our visits to the many geothermal areas were definite highlights of our family vacation to Iceland. If you visit the Blue Lagoon with your kids, try to sneak in a visit to the nearby Gunnuhver Geothermal Area afterwards.
This fun geothermal area near Reykjavik features an easy walk along wooden walkways to a viewing platform for the single dominant steam vent in the area.
The Gunnuhver geothermal steam vent was easily the biggest we had seen during our 7 days in Iceland with kids. Our kids loved how you could see the violently boiling water underneath the steam vent. The magma pool must be really close to the surface!
Our kids really enjoyed seeing the power of nature on our family trip to Iceland. If your kids enjoy nature, then the Gunnuhver Geothermal Area is a really fun thing to do with kids near Reykjavik.
19. Downtown Reykjavik
Chances are good that if you are planning an Iceland family vacation that your family loves the outdoors. In a country as incredible as Iceland, it’s hard to justify spending time in a city, but it’s worth dedicating a half-day of your trip to Iceland with kids to exploring Reykjavik.
After a short drive from our Reykjavik vacation home rental, we randomly exploring the charming streets of downtown Reykjavik, slowly making our way to the Lutheran church Hallgrimskirkja. With its distinctive 74m tall spire, the Hallgrimskirkja church is the most famous building in Reykjavik.
Inspired by elements of Iceland’s landscape, Hallgrimskirkja has a simple, yet elegant interior. We think it’s one of the most beautiful church interiors anywhere in the world.
Ok, to be fair, kids will likely find the elegant interior of the Hallgrimskirkja church pretty boring, but you can make it up to them with a trip to the observation deck at the top of the church tower.
End your day of exploring Reykjavik with kids with an Icelandic hot dog at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, which was featured on the Netflix travel show, Ainsley Eats the Streets.
All kids love hot dogs, but did you know that many believe that hot dogs in Iceland are superior to American hot dogs? Icelandic hot dogs are made from lamb, pork and beef and served on a steamed bun with raw onions, crispy white onions, ketchup, pylsusinnep (a sweet brown mustard) and remoulade (a sauce made with mayonnaise, mustard, capers and herbs).
I think a hot dog at Wrigley Field would still win, but our hot dog at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur was a fun & tasty treat for the kids.
20. Bjarnafoss Waterfall
If you are looking for a quick, enjoyable visit to a waterfall on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, try the Bjarnafoss waterfall. This striking Iceland waterfall starts with a long freefall from the top of a cliff, then becomes a long cascade down the second half of the mountain. There’s a short, kid-friendly walking path towards the Bjarnafoss waterfall allowing your family to get up-close to the waterfall.
After visiting the Blue Lagoon and the Gunnuhver Geothermal Area on the final morning of our Iceland family vacation, we had to rush to the Reykjavik airport for our flight home. We didn’t have time to stop, but we were happy to have a chance to drive by and see Midlina, The Bridge between Continents.
Similar to the tectonic activity featured in Thingvellir National Park in Iceland’s Golden Circle, the rift valley at Midlina is being continually created as North America slowly separates from Europe.
Read more about our European family vacation with stops in the Czech Republic with kids, Budapest with kids, Croatia with kids and (of course) a final stop in Iceland with kids.
Kid-Friendly Iceland Tours
If you are looking for an 8-day family-friendly Iceland tour which visits many of the locations from our Iceland family vacation, check out the Geysers, Glaciers and Fjords tour by National Geographic.
In addition to many of our Iceland family vacation ideas, this epic National Geographic family tour of Iceland includes whale watching, a visit to an Icelandic horse farm, explore a lava tunnel, and an excursion to the volcanic Westman Islands to search for puffins and whales.
Don’t miss the National Geographic Family Journeys: Geysers, Glaciers and Fjords tour!