Want to know what to do with kids in Valencia at Christmas? Like many places in the world, Christmas in Valencia is wonderful for children. Valencia offers the traditional Christmas experiences that your children expect, such as meeting Santa Claus and attending child-centred events.
Furthermore, the holiday season in Valencia goes beyond December 25th. Your children will get the chance to experience Spanish traditions, that carry the festivities on into the New Year. Essentially, you can celebrate Christmas as you like: as you would at home or whilst mixing in some Spanish traditions too!
We think that an integrated approach, in which children are exposed to another culture is a great way to celebrate Christmas in Valencia. Still, no matter how you plan to celebrate, read on to find out what to do with kids in Valencia at Christmas.
Meeting Santa Claus
We know that meeting Santa Claus is a big part of the Christmas season for kids across the world. From Christmas grottos to shopping centres in Europe and beyond, children will meet Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas. Of course, you won’t want them to miss out on this rite of passage in their new city.
Fortunately, you can expect Santa Claus to make an appearance in Valencia. Although not initially a prominent figure in Spain, Santa is becoming a big part of the celebrations. In Valencia, children receive their main gifts in January from The Three Kings, instead of Santa Claus. However, a shift in recent years has seen Santa step up to deliver (smaller) gifts to Spanish children on December 25th. Moreover, as an expat-friendly city, Valencia will cater to those for whom Santa is the main man.
Santa Claus will make appearances at different places throughout the Christmas period in Valencia. On select dates during December, you will usually find him at The City of Arts and Sciences, at various Christmas Markets and for Breakfast with Santa Claus at the Hard Rock Café.
Of course, not all of these visits have gone ahead during Christmas 2020, as COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of such events, but we’re looking forward to seeing Santa Claus return next holiday season!
Events for Children
If you read our blog, Christmas in Valencia, you will discover the varied selection of festive events that take place throughout the holiday season. Naturally, many of these events are fantastic for children, and some are even created specifically for them!
- Christmas Markets & Stalls at The City of Arts and Sciences. Around 35 Christmas stalls are set up in December. Stalls for children include puppet shows, crafts, singing shows, storytelling, games and letters to Santa Claus and The Three Kings.
- The Christmas Funfair. The annual festive funfair offers fun for all the family. You will find plenty of kid-friendly rides and activities, perfect for a festive family day out!
- Musicals & Pantomimes. In theatres throughout Valencia, you will find various musicals and pantomimes typical of the festive period. This year, an excellent option for children is Beauty and the Beast at the Teatro Olympia. Previously, there have been musical adaptions of Alice in Wonderland and many other Disney classics.
- Annual Circus Shows (Animal/Cruelty-Free). Valencia also offers a variety of seasonal circus shows, that are perfect for families to enjoy.
Many won’t feel the need to ask what to do with kids in Valencia on Christmas day. Typically, expats opt to keep their Christmas days traditional and celebrate at home or as usual. However, you may want to incorporate some Spanish traditions too.
For Spanish children, a Christmas day tradition is to receive a small gift or ‘estrena’ from family. This usually is just a little present or sum of money, as people exchange main gifts in January on the Three Kings celebration. Expats may want to switch this around, exchanging main presents on Christmas day and offering an ‘estrena’ to children in January.
If you want to incorporate some delicious Spanish food into your Christmas lunch, check out our Christmas in Valencia blog, where we present some great options!
If you’re wondering what to do with kids in Valencia after Christmas day, don’t worry! Expojove is an extension of the aforementioned events but takes place after Christmas day. It is an essential part of Christmas for children in Valencia, and one one of the most significant children’s events of the festive period. Expojove commences on boxing day each year and lasts until early January.
Expojove takes place at the Feria de Valencia and offers an extensive program of activities for children. These include games, crafts, sports, performances, science and learning activities. Moreover, children can continue enjoying the small amusement park at Feria de Valencia whilst Expojove lasts.
The Three Kings
Whilst for many across the world, the New Year celebrations mark the end of the festive period, Spain is different. You and your children can continue celebrating in early January, where you will have extra time off work and school to celebrate The Three Kings.
The celebrations begin on the evening of January 5th, when Their Majesties the Three Kings parade through the city’s streets spectacularly. Eventually, they reach the City Hall, where they address the crowd from a balcony. Following this, they invite children into the City Hall, where they will find the Three Kings sat in the Salón de Cristal. Much like meeting Santa Claus, children will speak to the Three Kings and receive a small gift.
On January 6th, celebrations resemble Christmas day for many. Children will wake up to find their presents from the Three Kings, and a family day of feasting and merriment will commence. Expats may choose to do the reverse, and give their children an ‘estrena‘ on this day, having given them their principal gifts on Christmas day.
Don’t forget to introduce your children to some of the typical Spanish treats enjoyed on this day. The festive period culminates with the famous “Roscón de Reyes” cake. This oval-shaped sweet is decorated with candied fruit representing the emeralds and rubies that adorn the King’s gowns. Moreover, the cake contains a surprise, and whoever finds it is the King of the house!
Contemplating Moving to Valencia?
Perhaps you’re contemplating moving to Valencia, where you and your children can enjoy this long holiday period! However, if you’re looking for reasons beyond the spectacular festive period, check out our blog, Why Move to Valencia?
If you have any questions about anything in this blog or just a query about what to do with kids in Valencia in general, contact us at Relocation Services Valencia.
Moreover, if you want to find out more about Christmas in Valencia, check out the blog.