I’m bored!
Málaga’s redeveloped Muelle Uno port space is filled with distractions: not solely is the waterfront promenade dotted with playgrounds and a maritime museum (grownup €7, baby €5, household 2+2, €20), however a multicoloured glass dice additionally homes town’s Centre Pompidou (grownup €9, youngsters free, adults free on Sundays after 4pm). In contrast with its Parisian cousin, this gallery is on the petite aspect. Its compact nature suited us properly, although, as we managed to go searching the everlasting exhibition of 20th-century artwork, together with (Málaga-born) Picasso’s Spring, earlier than our two younger youngsters may grumble about drained legs. Nevertheless, it’s the museum’s free-to-enter play space that basically makes it well-liked with households (open weekdays 5pm-7.30pm, closed Tues; weekends and holidays 12.30pm-2pm and 5pm-8pm).

One of many author’s youngsters skipping previous François-Xavier Lalanne’s flock of sheep at Malaga’s Centre Pompidou. {Photograph}: Jenny Elliott
Close by, artwork and tradition have additionally been used to rejuvenate the as soon as down-at-heel Soho district. Right here, youngsters can wander the alleyways discovering vibrant murals by famend road artists, akin to D*Face and ROA (a map of places is on the market at mausmalaga.com). Whereas within the neighbourhood, think about popping into CAC Málaga, a up to date artwork centre that holds daring experimental exhibitions which can attraction to younger eyes.

CAC Málaga. {Photograph}: Perry van Munster/Alamy
Excessive on a hill overlooking town’s regeneration is Castillo de Gibralfaro (grownup €2.20, baby ¢60, underneath 6s free; admission free for all on Sundays after 2pm) a 14th-century Moorish fortress with wonderful metropolis views. Children can clamber across the ruins, peek from watchtowers and spot the crimson squirrels that scurry in regards to the grounds. There’s a small cafe, in addition to a kiosk outdoors, if ice-creams or drinks are wanted. To keep away from an uphill stroll, take the 35 bus from Paseo del Parque (€1.30, underneath 3s free), which terminates outdoors the fortress. It’s then attainable to stroll down previous the Alcazaba (€3.50), an 11th-century citadel, earlier than arriving on the Roman Theatre. Constructed within the first century AD, although solely rediscovered in 1951, the adjoining concourse is normally dwelling to road performers.

Castillo de Gibralfaro. {Photograph}: Getty Photos
The Mediterranean local weather means wet days are rare, though if you’re unfortunate the Museo Interactivo de la Música (grownup €5, underneath 6s free) is an effective place to attend out a bathe. Full of a ravishing collection of devices, it was the crimson “play” zones that proved hottest with my youngsters. Not solely is there the prospect to experiment with frequency and wavelength however the piano, guitars, drums and gong allowed them to bash out a raucous tune with out concern of censure from museum workers.
Málaga’s centre is compact and its abundance of pedestrianised areas and fairly, palm tree-lined streets make it a very good metropolis to see on foot. There’s a bus community for a visit down the coast; the flat coastal roads additionally make a very good route for a household bike experience. The town has many firms providing bike excursions and rent, together with choices for kids.
The place are all the opposite youngsters?

Playa de la Malagueta. {Photograph}: Alamy
Go to one of many metropolis’s seashores. Playa de la Malagueta is round 10 minutes’ stroll from the centre. Though the sands aren’t as golden as at a number of the Costa Del Sol’s resort cities, the mixture of a playground and chiringuitos (seashore shacks serving skewers of grilled sardines) makes this a well-liked household cease.

Folks on the promenade in Pedregalejo, Malaga, Andalusia, Spain. {Photograph}: Luis Dafos/Alamy
For a extra laid-back outing, comply with the locals’ instance and go to one of many seashores additional away from the previous city. The fishing districts of El Palo and Pedregalejo are stuffed with seafront eating places and tapas bars, and the sandy coves make them splendid for swimming with younger youngsters. Alternatively, to the west of town, Playa de la Misericordia is straightforward to identify by the 19th-century chimneys that sit alongside the promenade, recalling town’s industrial previous. This blue-flag seashore includes a smattering of playgrounds and snack bars. From right here, it’s a straightforward stroll to Parque del Oeste, the place eclectic diversions await. In addition to the playgrounds, large water fountain and surrealist sculptures, its wildlife ranges from swans and parakeets to an enclosure with wallabies and emus.
I’m hungry

Did somebody point out churros for breakfast? {Photograph}: Alberto Paredes/Alamy
Children will delight within the native customized of beginning the day with churros and sizzling chocolate. Sitting at one of many alleyway tables outdoors Casa Aranda is an effective place to indulge. For extra old-world appeal and candy treats, take a ticket and be a part of the queue within the cool, tiled interiors of Casa Mira, a counter-service ice-cream parlour with a department on the central Calle Marqués de Larios. Native flavours, akin to orange choc-chip and turrón (Spanish nougat), make wonderful selections (from €2 a scoop).
Good, trendy cafes are in abundance in Málaga. Recyclo Bike Café is a child-friendly pitstop the place you’ll discover bicycles suspended from the ceiling, do-it-your-way breakfasts (round €6) and beneficiant parts of cake (€4). Julia Bakery serves good espresso and a number of the best desserts and pastries within the metropolis (€2.50 for a cupcake or cinnamon roll)

Recyclo Bike Café. {Photograph}: Luis Dafos/Alamy
To top off on more healthy snacks, go to the Atarazanas meals market within the metropolis centre. Stalls promoting meat, fish and fruit are housed in a ravishing high-roofed corridor, with a big stained-glass window. As soon as a part of a 14th-century shipyard, the market opens Monday to Saturday from 8am to 2pm. Alongside seasonal produce, it’s additionally attainable to purchase tubs of Málaga’s famed raisins (€Three for 250g) or order tapas on the market’s bar. Though very younger youngsters might battle with consuming on the excessive tables on the pavement outdoors, the seafood is great worth. The smoothies are well-liked with youngsters (from €2), the native tinto de vernano (a mixture of crimson wine and soda water, €1.75 a glass) with their mother and father.
I’m drained

iloftmalaga Atarazanas condominium
Iloftmálaga has a spread of household residences from €75 an evening – within the previous city and by the seashore. All have kitchenettes and air con and plenty of have washing machines and dishwashers, and with superior discover, excessive chairs and cots might be offered totally free. Throughout our February go to, we stayed in a classy condominium in its Atarazanas constructing, which was (dangerously) near cafe Casa Aranda within the centre. Exterior winter, I’d be tempted to ebook one of many residences with a pool or rooftop jacuzzi.
For those who want accommodations, Petit Palace Plaza Málaga is subsequent to town’s cathedral and has household rooms that sleep 4 from €130 an evening. The lodge can even present free cots, excessive chairs and bike rental. Alternatively, close by Dulces Goals Boutique Hostel has a household room with a non-public rest room from €72 an evening, which is useful for its wonderful cafe downstairs.
Jenny Elliott writes about household life overseas at thelittleadventurer.com