300 days a year Malta has sunshine so no wonder many activities are organised outside. Still, we do get our rainy days and the wind is another nuisance. Even the sun at times makes you want to look for places indoors. Saying all this, I realise how limited Malta is so I decided to help all those of you that come to Malta and need ideas on where to venture indoors!
This fun-park is open all year round and although it is not a park with rides and excitement it is an interesting place to take kids up to 11/12 years of age. There are 3 parts to this place; the actual hands on area, the outdoor area and finally from 6 years upwards one can go into the actual factory where the toys are made. The hands on area is filled with tables and chairs for the kids to sit on and play with the toys that are for their disposal. There is even an area for the 1 – 4 year olds as their toys are different to the others. It is all air conditioned and there is also a small cafeteria where one can have lunch. Sometimes it is open till late and on occasions they would have special events like their annual event of Breakfast with Santa.
The outdoor area is very cute and well thought after, most places are under shades sails and for those sunny days they even have a water area where kids can splash around with the toys. I leave the outdoor area to last as my kids always end up wet, extra clothing is a good idea.
Popeye village play area and café (not the actual village)
Popeye village is a lovely place to go to as the animators and the actual film set make it worth the visit even if you don’t know who Popeye is. But, if you are looking for a place where the kids can just let out some steam after a day doing “adult” stuff then the cafeteria/restaurant outside the actual village is worth using. It is the largest indoor play area in Malta and it is not too expensive either. There is no need to actually go into the village to use the play area. There is an age limit or at least a height limit but that’s only normal. One issue that you might come across is that in the weekends they might have kids’ birthday parties and so the place would be packed. Still if you are staying in Mellieha and need a quick place to make the kids happy, this is the place.
There are other cafés that have play areas in their space but this one is good enough for older children as it is big. Other places I have tried with my 4 year old are in various places in Malta here is a list of some that I know:
- Quattro – Bugibba
- SuperKids Playarea – Qawra
- The Jungle complex – Mellieha
- Munchies by YUE – Mellieha and Naxxar
- Luzzu – Qawra
- Beano’s – Sensi hotel San Thomas Bay M’Scala
- Zeffi’s Restaurant – Zabbar
I am sure there are more and if you know of a good place please leave a comment below so I can go and visit the place to put it on my list. This list has nothing to do with reviews regarding food and service, Little Big Explorers just wish to mention a few of the places that offer an indoor playing facility.
There are a variety of private cooking sessions and Little Big Explorers have tried a few. It is always fun to see the kids listen and try to cook something. I do try doing something at home but it seems that when there are other kids around or because theyare in a different environment it is more fun! These sessions are normally around holiday seasons like Easter, Christmas or other school holidays as many a time they use school premises as a kitchen. We like Healthylicious and have tried most of her workshops, you can find her on facebook.
This is an international brand of an indoor trampoline park. It is situated in the South End of the Island and not so easy to find if one doesn’t know the area well but it’s on the map. If you visit some of the temples of the same village – Hypogeum and Tarxien Temples, this would be a cool place to end your day or treat the kids a bit, or to simply get out of the sun! You need to book in advance especially on busy days such as the weekend and public holidays so do give them a call.
This place for Little Big Explorers is by far the 5star of indoor places to visit with kids in Malta. If you are going for the first time, we have gone at least 5 times since it opened, plan to go as soon as it opens and book your time in the planetarium.
They might have different films going on for various ages so if you go early you could see them all. They would also have fun workshops ongoing during the day while the permanent exhibits are always there to interact with.
There is an area made for the little explorers but most places are safe and easy for all ages. There is also an outdoor space which is lovely with fantastic views of Valletta and the port.
If you go and it is a busy day, make sure to keep in mind the waiting time at the cafeteria as it tends to get busy and it would be a pity to waste most of your time waiting for your food.
This place is fun and educational it is on the south side of Malta but I do suggest a full day there as with half a day you won’t be able to do the workshops and the planetarium as well as the exhibits.
Who doesn’t like to visit an aquarium? Malta just recently opened our own. It is not a large one like the one in Valencia but it’s not as small as the one in Bray (Ireland, check out this for more information). Still, my kids love to see fish swim and so do I.
I remember one time we visited the aquarium I was feeling low in energy and I just sat in front of this large window looking into the large tank and had a “mindfulness” moment. There is something about fish in a tank that is soothing and calming. The Malta National Aquarium has a nice tunnel and also some other tunnels made for the kids to enter. They also have a small reptile area and can also give some informational talks.
Feeding times are also advertised and when we watched the feeding time for the octopus it was such an experience to see how they gobble things up! Well, all in all there is an hour out of the elements here followed by may be an ice-cream or a snack at the restaurant.
Outside if the weather is nice there is a lovely playground with the fish theme that continues.
The National Swimming pool of Malta is not an indoor pool and although heated,in winter it still is not ideal for a fun place to go. Most indoor pools are actually in hotels and if you are lucky to have booked in one of them then if you have bad weather on your holiday you should be sorted. If you did not book a hotel with an indoor pool there are hotels that allow walk ins for a day and most of them are worth the price. Yet, a place my kids and I like to go to for an hour or two is the pool of the National Football Stadium located in Ta Qali. It is a heated indoor pool and used for various reasons but mostly for swimming lessons. During the school hours the pool is not busy so my suggestion is to use it in the mornings as in the afternoon the place is normally bombarded with groups of kids learning how to swim. The Pool is in the complex of the National Football Stadium and if you contact them they can do you a tour of the place and with a price you can enter the stadium too. The whole complex is in an area where my kids and I spend many afternoons playing in the grounds and gardens.
There are outdoor spaces here that are worth going on even on drizzly and windy days so you can make a whole day out of this area. It is also close to the Crafts Village if you like to see some Maltese artisan work.
Arcade game area
These are not my favourite place to go as they are very noisy but when you have teenagers I know they are a hit. I use the one in St. Julian’s Paceville after I go to watch a movie in the cinema. There is also a small play area for the young ones. What I do like about this place is that among the car racing games, billiard and ice hockey tables there is also a laser tag game. Get ready to spend your money here but it is a good escape from all elements. Another younger version of these arcade game areas is the one called Funland. It is in the basement of an interesting restaurant but unfortunately you cannot see the kids play while eating. Still it’s got a variety of games for all ages.
This is not a favourite sport but we all agree that if taken with a pinch of salt it can be an hour or so full of laughs. I know 2 alleys in Malta, one with a professional aspect and another which is more amateur. Both alleys can be used by little kids but the amateur one in Mellieha (in the db Seabank Hotel) is more relaxed for young kids.
They even have an equipment for the kids to just drop the ball in the direction wanted. Yet, if you have teens the Eden Super Bowl is the place to be. They still can cover the ditch for your little ones but some days (I think Fridays) they do disco music and lights too. All Alleys are airconditioned and if you have the best company then you are in for a blast.
Have you ever thought of Archery? If you have I don’t think you thought it could be an indoor activity right? Well in Valletta there is an indoor archery range which although is small it still proves to be a good indoor activity. It is in the Embasy Shopping Complex so you can enjoy some shopping while the kids enjoy an hour of challenging their skill at being Robin Hood or Arrow. There is also a cinema in this complex so why not finish with a good film, remember most films shown in Malta are in English.
As you can see the list is not long and if there are any of you that know of any other indoor place that you enjoy venturing with your explorers please contact me as I’d love to know about them as I always try my best to try new things and give different experiences to my kids. I want their “free time” to be as fun as a holiday!