Barcelona is infamous for its child-friendly attitude and its wealth of theatre, workshops, cinema, carnivals, sporting events and markets to keep kids entertained at the weekend. Often families relocating to Barcelona miss out on the wealth of events available for local children due to events not being widely advertised (relying more on word of mouth) and more often the language barrier that many expat families experience when they first move here. Carrie Frais and Rebecca Laidlaw decided to change this for expat families living in Barcelona and surrounding areas. Their website mumabroad offers a rent a cinema screenwhats on guide for kids in Barcelona, Sitges, Sant Cugat and Maresme for local events in Catalan and Spanish to international get togethers and VO cinema listings.
Theatre and Puppet shows are very popular amongst Barcelona Kids and offer a fantastic family atmosphere. Although most shows are in Catalan they are easy to follow and are generally recommended for children from the age of 5 upwards. Fiestas, Carnivals and Markets are held regularly all across Catalunya and are a chance for the whole neighbourhood to get together for a really fun day out. Outdoor puppet shows, floats, fancy dress, fireworks and processions are simply loved by children and adults alike. Barcelona museums, shops and parks regularly hold educational exhibitions, story-telling and workshops for children and are a fun way to learn. There are many English Version cinemas in Barcelona with the latest releases in English.
For parents thinking of relocating to Catalunya
Barcelona is one of the most child-friendly cities in Europe, given its numerous parks, play-areas and beaches. Children are adored by the locals and there are plenty of shops & restaurants, play-groups, mother and toddler groups and mum meet ups. The long wide promenade, stretches of clean, sandy beaches, vast national park and proximity to Barcelona make Sitges a favourite for many international families. It should therefore come as no surprise that an estimated 35% of Sitges inhabitants are from Northern Europe. Sant Cugat is a very popular town for international families due to its proximity to Barcelona, its good schooling and green space that is lacking in so many capital cities. Local resident, Rachael West tells us "Sant Cugat has the largest proportion of child population in Catalonia.
The good side to this is the capacity to meet other parents in the same situation as you, the total acceptation of children everywhere you go from restaurants to boutiquey shops all happy to amuse your child while you browse. And the town is literally full of children's play areas and green areas. The negative side is the difficulty of getting into the school of your choice, all private ones have long waiting lists, and state schools is by "lottery" system where supply rarely meets demand so often you cannot get into your first choice. Sant Cugat is a typically commuter town, very well connected with Barcelona by FGC train (trains run every 3 mins to Bcn in rush hour, 10 mins off peak and Sundays). It is surrounded by countryside so ideal for nature lovers. Walking paths and routes in Collserola (protected national park area) run right beside and within St.Cugat itself, ideal for children." Finally the Maresme coast lies just North of Barcelona and stretches from Montgat to Malgrat. Its commutable distance to Barcelona as well as its attractive inland dwellings makes Maresme a very popular location for young families with children.