Zoomarine is the Algarve’s biggest attraction and offers shows, rides, slides and swimming pools. The park provides environmental education and has a rehabilitation centre for marine life. Older toddlers will love the dolphin and sealion presentations and you can also see birds of prey in action, learn about marine ecosystems. Children can also interact with dolphins. Zoomarine is open at 10:00am daily. Seasonal closing times apply. It is located off estrada nacional 125, Guia.
Fiesa Sand Sculpture Festival
This festival runs from May to October, with a different theme each year. It is the largest sand sculpture festival in the world, and offers an entertaining way to spend a few hours either during the day or at night. There are fantasric lighting effects, a bar and snack bar, occasional live music and a very relaxed atmosphere. Entrance fee €9 for adults, childen half price, under 6 go free.
The Children’s Life Science Centre
The Children’s Life Science Centre is a great place for older toddlers to learn and interact. the centres are located in both in Faro and Lagos and there are plenty of interactive exhibitions and experiments. A family ticket (2 adults and 6 children) costs €8.
There is a zoo in Lagos with over 250 species of exotic animals. There is also an educational farm, flight tunnel for watching birds in flight and numerous activities for all the family. The zoo is open daily from 10:00-17:00, 19:00 in summer.
Krazy World is a zoo with crocodiles, snakes, tortoises, turtles, lizards, mammals and birds. there are live shows involving trainers and Amazonian creatures held in summer. It is located at Lagoa de Viseu, Estrada Algoz-Messines, Algoz.
The Algarve has plenty of water parks which have baby and toddler friendly pools. Some of them also have small slides and play areas. Aqualand (30 minutes from Albufeira) and Slide and Splash (15 km from Albufeira) are the largest and most popular parks and have safer play areas for younger children. Aquashow is a great park near Vilamoura. It is a family water park and offers some gentle rides for younger children. Atlantic Park is the smallest of the Algarve waterparks and is aimed at younger children. There are a number of water rides, children’s Quad bikes and bouncy castles, with daily high-diving shows in the summer. The park also has a good restaurant.
There are plenty of boat trips on offer in the Algarve and which offer tours of caves and secret grottoes along the coastline aboard a small boat and a BBQ lunch on a private beach. Toddlers may find it difficult to sit still on the boat so if you decide to go bring some toys and snacks to distract them while you travel.