For older kids, tweens and teens, it can often be a struggle to find things they would like to do that will keep them engaged. You want them to feel independent, but also have activities where they won’t mind if you tag along. (Or just let them have fun for a few hours, because if you don’t leave your sister alone, so help me…)
This list is for older children in Iceland and includes more active choices for them. You might also consider The Reykjavík City Card for your stay, which includes free admission or discounts for you or your children to many of the attractions listed here. Admission to the museums is free for those under 18 years of age.
You can also take a look at the suggestions found in What To Do with Young Kids in the Reykjavik Area and Things to Do Outside of the Capital Area with Kids of All Ages. Anything that young kids can do, your older kiddo might like, too.
Just save yourself a bunch of whining and don’t point that out. They’re very mature. You totally did not stop your tween from seeing how many peas he could cram up his nose last night at dinner.
If you’ve got an adventurous foodie in the family, the City Food Tour is a good tour to combine traditional Icelandic dishes, a walk around the city and a lot of local lore from your guide.
The tour is for those age 10 and up, who hopefully won’t be too grossed out by the famous hákarl (rotten shark). It’s so disgusting it ranked #1 on our list of Most Disgusting Foods in Iceland. If you hold your nose as you take a taste, you’ll hardly notice it (she said, like a liar).
Try a different kind of tour of the city on these fun electric bikes: the City Bike Tour. Since you are effectively “driving,” you’ll need to be at least 13 to go on this tour. This is great for your teens who feel the need for speed.
It’ll take you all around the city, though, from the Old Harbor area all the way to Hallgrímskirkja church and it makes a nice change from staring out the windows on a bus tour or taking a boring old walk.
If you’re traveling with a group or have a big family, a day at Skemmtigarðurinn might be just the thing. This fun park has a variety of activities for all ages, the most famous of which are paintball and laser tag for ages 10 and up.
These are particularly great activities if you’ve got the kind of high-energy kiddos who has been excited about your vacation since you hit the terminal in your hometown (and kicked your seat the ENTIRE way to Iceland…)
If you’d like to bring the little ones, too, they can try archery (age 6 and up), football golf (age 4 and up) or mini-golfing at any age.
There are also Orienteering Games, a specially designed scavenger hunt for the whole family and Team Building, a series of puzzles and challenges to solve together. You can make an afternoon of it and add other special treats, as well, like refreshments for the adults, a BBQ or pizza buffet.
Most activities at this huge park set pricing with a minimum size of 10 per group in mind, but you can always contact them to ask about other arrangements.
Nexus is the local nerd shop in Reykjavik. They offer books, toys, board and card games, comics and other assorted geek swag. Everyone there is incredibly nice, and knowledgeable about all sorts of nerdy delights.
On Saturday, though, they take it to a whole other level. From 12 PM to 5 PM, Lifelong fans gather to teach children how to paint the tiny models for tabletop games such as Warhammer 40,000, and then play a few rounds together.
Most of the painting teachers have been a part of the fun for years, and they enjoy helping the next generation learn how to paint blindingly small figures of warrior rats and the larger trolls and dragons, or even cool environments to go with their figures as they play the games.
There’s no need to worry about a language barrier here, as Icelanders are almost as comfortable speaking English as Icelandic (and sometimes moreso!)
Iceland is good for the night owls, because when the day is done, the show is only getting started. In summer, the days are long and locals wanting to make the most of every last golden drop of sunlight will often be out late. Midnight Sun Tours and Northern Lights Hunts are some of the most popular tours around.
In the winter, when the days are short and the sky feels low overhead, the sparkling Northern Lights bring a little joy to the long, dim hours.
Most tours listed in the links above have no age limit, but make sure to check the information for specific combined tours (such as cave exploring in the Midnight Sun) so that your whole family can take part.
You’ll be picked up in the evening, typically around 8 PM, and spend 3 or 4 hours exploring Iceland at a time when you’d all normally be floating off to Dreamland. That makes for a special memory and maybe even some great photos you might otherwise miss!
Icelanders love to combine the great outdoors with high-octane sports, and this buggy tour is suitable for the whole family. The tour begins at the ATV base camp only 20 minutes from the center of Reykjavik.
It takes you around the geothermal lands in the Reykjavik Area, all the way to Mt. Esja. The tour is for anyone who loves “bumpy, dusty, dirty driving thrills.” You’ll splash through riverbeds, crunch across lava fields, scale rocky hills and more.
Clearly, this is a terrible idea, as we all know children like to stay clean and sit quietly eating plain crackers until it is time to go to bed. Nevermind. Forget I mentioned it.
Each buggy on the tour above is a 2-seater. The driver must have a valid driver's license, but children can ride in the passenger seat at the age of 6 and up.
- Find more cave tours all over Iceland (be sure to check the age limits!)
- Find more horseback riding tours all over Iceland (be sure to check the age limits!)
The age limit for this cave is 10 and up. The passage through the lava tube is a little more tricky than some of Iceland’s other caves. You’ll need to duck, bend and even crawl to get through. Tweens and teens should dig the adventure, though. Get it? Dig! Caves! I'll see myself out.
For the horse riding tour, the age limit is also 10 because the ride has a few energetic stretches over our authentically less-than-smooth terrain and then you’ll need to power through the cave.
One particular feature that makes Leiðarendi special is the lava flakes which peel away from the walls and roof, landing in gleaming piles on the floor of the cave, like dragon scales. Pretty cool!
Whether you’ve got a kid who likes science, art or just crawling around in the dirt, this a good way to spend a few hours together.
What are your favorite activities for tweens and teens in Reykjavik? Share your ideas and experiences below!