A few metro stops from bustling Plaça de Catalunya, the tranquil Parc de Vallvidrera is a haven of woodland, wildlife and calm

Parc de la Creueta del Coll
Created on the site of an old quarry, this beautiful park – a short walk from its more famous neighbour, Park Güell – boasts a picturesque, shallow outdoor pool, perfect for kids to splash around in surrounded by rock and plants.
Open from 10am to 8.30pm, the pool area adjoins a great playground, basketball court and outdoor cafe, as well as a generous grassy area and shaded picnic spot, making this the perfect place to wile away the hours when temperatures soar.
Weirdly, a lot of locals don’t seem to have heard of it, but to get there you can take the train to Gracia (a couple of stops from Placa de Catalunya) then it’s a five-minute up-hill taxi ride from the station, which costs around €6. Totally worth the slightly convoluted journey.
Passeig de la Mare de Deu del Coll, 77, 08023 Barcelona, Spain

A shallow pool, boats and lovely playgrounds are part of the centrepiece at Parc de la Creueta del Coll

Papa & the Mamas
Generally, people are accepting of children in restaurants in Barcelona. Though after a period of cultural authenticity, you might long for somewhere with highchairs, kids menus and toys to keep them occupied while you munch in peace. Look no further than Papa & the Mamas. Replete with snacks, sandwiches, coffee and craft beer, as well as proper homemade meals, this is a warts-and-all kid-friendly affair with giant Jenga, plenty of space to park a pushchair, and tots running riot.
Rambla del Poblenou, 127 – 129, 08018 Barcelona, Spain

Parc de Vallvidrera
Conveniently situated just outside the train station at Baixador de Vallvidrera, a few stops on the S2 line of the metro from Placa de Catalunya, you will find the opening to this phenomenal park, which stands at the foot of the mountains which wind around this incredibly peaceful spot just a 10-minute train ride from the city centre.
Home to a whole array of beautiful trees, woodland and wildlife (including wild boar, so used to humans that they are totally unthreatening), this is a magical spot for an enlivening ramble and a picnic.
Consorci del Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola, Ctra. de l’Església, 92. 08017 Barcelona, Spain

The sights and smells at Boqueria food market are a feast for the senses

Boqueria
One of the most famous landmarks in the city, the Boqueria food market is a sensory feast. Though not particularly easy to manoeuvre with a buggy, the range of delicious produce on sale, from fruit to fish and sweets to whole joints of local ham, is dazzling. The market is right on the Rambla, with loads to see and do. But if you’re after something a bit calmer, go through the market, and across the square behind and seek out one of a number of nice little cafes right next to the children’s playground on Career de Las Floristes De La Rambla playgrounds.
Rambla, 91 08001 Barcelona

Casa Gracia, Barcelona
If you’re only in town for a few nights, you probably won’t be spending that much time in your accommodation so expensive hotels are not the best option. There are plenty of nice apartments available on Airbnb but we also love Casa Gracia, which – combining parquet floor, retro light fittings and the choice of shared or family rooms – is a family-friendly hostel that is also more than just a city pitstop. About a 10-minute walk from the city centre, private rooms for two to six people start at £31 a night.
Passeig de Gràcia, 116, 08008 Barcelona, Spain; +34 931 87 44 97; casagraciabcn.com

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