Things To Do In Croatia With Kids & For Families | Chasing the Donkey

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Family holidays abroad can be fantastic if you make sure the entire family’s expectations are met. Travel to Europe can be challenging when on vacation with kids. Spending all day wandering cobblestone streets in Dubrovnik, eating white truffles in Istria, photographing ancient sites, and ticking off everything on your things to do in Croatia list may be fun for you. However, I bet it would have your children begging to be left at home with the grandparents.

Am I right?

If I am right, then you may want to take a few pointers from all the things to do in Croatia with the kids’ suggestions we have. My recommendations will help you to mix up the kid-friendly activities vs. the activities that have the kiddies rolling their eyes at you. Croatia with kids can be loads of fun, and most importantly, if you’re wondering, “is Croatia good for kids?” Croatia is super-kid-friendly.

Kid-Friendly Caves

No matter how old your children are, they’re sure to love heading underground and checking out what lies beneath! Biserujka Cave in Krk and Festinsko Kraljevstvo in Zminj are ideal for families and are also safe for young children.

Biserujka Cave

Biserukja Cave - Croatia Travel Blog
Biserukja Cave – Krk Island

Biserujka Cave is located close to Rudine Village on the island of Krk, and you’ll find a range of different stalagmites and stalactites in several different sections of the cave. An education trail links this cave to another smaller one in the area, which takes about half an hour to walk through some beautiful scenery.

Children under five can go into the cave for free, with children up to 12 years costing 20HKN and adults at 30HKN.

Festinsko Kraljevstvo

Zminj’s Festinsko Kraljevstvo is located in Festini, Istria. The beauty around the caves is stunning, and kids will love wandering around the open spaces. When you reach the cave, you’ll see various sculptures made naturally out of rocks, the cave itself, as well as a children’s park, mini farm, and bar just outside.

You can only visit this cave in the summertime without prior permission, with children under five going free, other children up to 15 years at 25HKN, and adults at 40HKN.

Oprtalj Kestenjada (Chestnut Festival)

Oprtalj Chestnut Fair Kestenijada - Candy

If you think there aren’t that many things you can do with a chestnut, think again! Every October, the Chestnut Festival takes place in Oprtalj, Istria, and it is a fun-filled day out for all the family.

With music, games, competitions, tastings of different chestnut-related foods, and talks on how many other products are made, this is a great day out with a difference.

We spent hours here with friends, and all our kids ran about having a blast – without once complaining. We ate and drank and had a fabulous day!

Špancirfest In Varaždin

Almost two decades ago, the first street festival in Croatia took place, and it is still going on today! In the heart of Varazdin, every year, you will find Spancirfest, which lasts for ten days and is an entire festival of fun and frolics. Usually taking place in August, the festival has games, creative arts and crafts, dancing, workshops, street theatre, musical performances, and a lively and fun atmosphere.

Be sure to check out the exact days before you travel to ensure you don’t miss out. Kids will love the lively and fun feel of the area, and there are so many workshops and exhibitions on every single one of the ten days that there will be something for everyone within the family.

Truffle Hunting in Motovun

Vladimir Truffle Hunting in Motovun

Istria’s Motovun region is famous for its truffles, so it makes sense to go truffle hunting. Kids will love the guided truffle hunt, as dogs accompany you out into the forest, sniffing out the truffles, with a hands-on guide to show you how the process happens.

The two dogs, Bela and Nera, are friendly but professional, and once the walk is over, you can go into the shop and buy products from what you will have just found in the forest itself.

This is a great day out with a difference, and the kids will love accompanying the dogs out into the natural forests.

Gacka River Canoeing

A little more adrenaline is coming your way with this suggestion! The River Gacka is an excellent spot for canoeing or kayaking, and it’s great for families because there are no rapids, no rough currents, and no waterfalls.

The main river route lasts for around 8 km, and it will take you about three hours to get around. There is beautiful scenery, no matter where you turn, and the kids will love that you’re getting to see nature in a totally different way. Several companies run tours and trips along the river, so shop around. You can expect to pay around 110HRK per person.

Make a Sandcastle & Then Play Beach Volleyball

Queens Beach Nin | Travel Croatia Blog
Queens Beach Nin. Photo credit Nin Tourist Board

Yes, it is possible. I am sure that you’ve heard about the need to pack your water shoes

and brace yourself for the pebbly beaches of Croatia’s coast, but we do have sandy beaches in Croatia, too – here is a list.

Sandy beaches in Croatia are a little trickier to find, but they are sprinkled all over the country.  If building a sandcastle is high on your wish list of things to do in Croatia with children, ask the locals where to find one close to where you are staying.

Our favorite sandy beaches in Croatia are:

Other places include The Pelješac Peninsula, Murter Island, Baska Beach on Krk Island, the Dubrovnik Riviera has several, Palmizana on Hvar IslandIsland of Cres, or head to any of these seven family-friendly islands in the Zadar region

Šibenik’s International Children’s Festival

Every June, Sibenik plays host to the International Children’s Festival, which spans several days of fun-filled activities for all the family. This two weeks’ long event has been going on for over 50 years and is a firm favorite within the area.

Children can meet other children, play, enjoy creative workshops and crafts, play games, and enjoy the vibe. There are three main programs on offer, all of which have an educational feel but disguises it well, firmly in the direction of fun! The whole idea is to bring cultural awareness to children but to do it creatively. So, if you’re trying to figure out what to do in Croatia with kids, this is definitely a great option.

Find excellent accommodation in Šibenik here.

Swim Under A Waterfall

KRKA - Day Trip From Split

Those epic teal, turquoise, and deep blue waterfalls that you’ve seen on many travel brochures, websites, and travel blogs are probably those of Plitvice Lakes. While Plitvice Lakes is a top tourist attraction in Croatia due to the compassionate environment, you can’t swim there.

Instead, enjoy a family boat ride to Krka National Park via Skradinski Buk beginning at Skradin. Krka National Park is more than just the waterfalls, so be sure to look around the whole park.  

Local Tip: Take with you a picnic lunch; it makes a fun, great family day – you can talk to your Croatia Transfers experts (us) about how to do that.

Nikola Tesla Technical Museum Zagreb

Croatia Travel Blog_Best Museums in Croatia_Nikola Tesla Memorial Center
Nikola Tesla Memorial Center, Smiljan. Photo Credit

Science and education go hand in hand, but there’s plenty of fun to be had here at too! Zagreb is home to the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, which has been in operation since 1954 and is actually located in some historic and protected buildings, which were originally owned by the Zagreb Fair. Fun fact!

Inside the museum, you’ll find thousands of artifacts and items related to science and technology throughout history, dating back to the industrial era in the 19th century. There are also talks and presentations throughout the day, including workshops and hands-on, interactive fun. Just be sure to look a the timetable as we missed them.

The Planetarium is also a fun spot to visit. Throughout the year, there are various events taking place, such as the Science Festival, so check out whether there is anything special on close to your time of visiting. This is a great activity in Croatia for kids, especially if they love science and especially on a rainy day.

Diocletian Days In Split

Teaching kids about history is a must-do, but it’s even better if they can get totally immersive with it. Every May, Split plays host to Diocletian Days. This event in Split shows children what it would have been like during Roman times, with Emperor Diocletian’ walking through the city’ (in a carriage, of course) and creating a really atmospheric step back in time. Even you will feel like you’ve jumped in a time machine!

Alongside the general merriment, there will be music from the Roman period, dance exhibitions, and gastronomical delights too.

Find great accommodation in Split here.

Let The Kids Roam Free

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Every town and village has some kind of wide-open space for your family to run about FOR FREE. Many of the parks & playgrounds in Croatia also have coffee shops very close by. You can find cafe bars that will set up super fun trampolines during summer, provide toys or have and swings to help ease boredom while enjoying your brew.

Kids can also run free for a meager entry fee into many of our nature parks, like Papuk. For a few Euros, the whole family can relax in nature.

In Slavonia, there are so many things for kids to do, we wrote this whole post on it.

Get Your Teenagers Off Their Smartphone

things to do Bol - Zoo Station - Travel Croatia Like a Local
Photo Credit Zoo Station

There are at least a dozen great windsurfing locations I can think of, including Nin, Viganj, Savudrija, and Bol on Brač Island. iPad’s down and sails up. Even if your children have never windsurfed before, they can give it a go, there are some windsurfing schools along Croatia’s coast, and lots of places have equipment hire.

Photo Jeep Safari

Starigrad Paklenica Velebit photo jeep safari more horses
The baby donkey loved the jeep safari.

Perfect for little legs is to hop in a jeep and head off or up high and explore. We took out then 18-month old on a photo jeep safari in Starigrad Paklenica. He (and us) had a fabulous time.

If you plan to travel to Croatia with a baby, this activity will suit you as they provide a baby seat for the jeep, or alternatively, you can bring your own.

Take A Ferry Ride Or Go Sailing In Croatia

The best time to set sail in Croatia is between April and November. Navigating your way around the many islands choosing where to stop and explore makes sailing Croatia for great European family holidays. Pull-up in quiet bays for a morning swim and spend the afternoon exploring a busy village. Or visa-versa, you choose!

We’ve sailed Croatia several times and wrote a Sailing Croatia holiday guide to help families choose how best to plan and enjoy a sailing vacation in Croatia.

If you’re short on time, then you can Island hop along Croatia’s long and indented coastline via ferry. Thrifty Travel Mama spoke about how her three boys loved taking ferry rides on their Croatian vacation.  Booking and planning ferries in Croatia is complicated as there are some companies, not all of which offer online bookings. Things to consider are:

  • Car ferry vs. Catamaran. Not all services allow you to take your vehicle, and there are limited spaces. Book your tickets at the local office as soon as you know when you’d like to go.
  • Non-peak season timetables. Between June & September, there are dozens of lines operating, although you may need to find overnight accommodation on the island for your outbound connection outside of those periods.

We have a post on ferries in Croatia here.

Horse Club Trajbar

Things To Do In Zagreb - Trajbar 7

Whether you have keen riders in your midst or not, the Horse Club Trajbar is a great place to take the kids. Not only can children interact with the horses, watch them in action, and ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over them, but there is also an excellent cafe bar on site, which everyone will enjoy.

There is plenty of space for the kids to run; my two enjoyed the place for four solid hours! Oh, and on the terrace means everyone can soak up the sun while enjoying a cold drink or ice cream on the hot summer days. Pets are welcome here too!

Several resident horses at the Horse Club, including Bonnie, Elf, and Piana, and the whole vibe are totally outdoorsy and full of fresh air. By the time you get back to your hotel, the little ones are sure to be half asleep – job done!

Horse Club Trajbar is located in Zapresic, close to the border with Slovenia. The cafe bar is open every day from 9 am until 11 pm.

Zaton Adventure Park

Located in Zaton, this is a place kids will be able to run free and run off plenty of steam. This is a great place to go if you stay in the Zaton Camping grounds (that resort has a swimming pool complex, a beach section, several playgrounds, and an activity park dedicated to smaller children). This adventure park is just minutes from the resort.

Skip The Beach, And Hit A Water Park

Things to do in Croatia for kids - Istralandia
Photo Credit Istralandia

If you’re taking a Croatia family holiday, you need to add this to the fun things to do on Croatia holidays with kids list. Aquapark Istralandia. Located in Istria, north-west Croatia, Istralandia is just 15 mins from Novigrad. Packed with over 1.2km of slides, various sized swimming pools, volleyball & badminton courts as well as an amphitheater, and five restaurants, Aquapark Istralandia is sure to make the whole family happy.

This water park is less than three years old, and being so new, it’s no surprise the designers went above and beyond and created Croatia’s tallest water slide, which is a whopping 27 meters up in the air. Wowzers. Don’t tell me that the kids, and you, won’t love that.

If the tallest water slide in Croatia is too much for you, ahem, I mean the kids, check out the family rafting slide. Get cozy on one big raft and cheer with delight as a family ride all the way to the bottom. 

Ohh, and it’s not the only water park in Croatia.. we have more right here. 

Prices are not cheap by Croatian standards, but given it’s the only one in the region, the rates are comparable to other water parks worldwide.

The aquapark has all of the conveniences a family needs for a stress-free day out including, lockers, ATM’s & first-aid, and for those teenagers who don’t want to been seen dead with you –  they can laze about using the parks free wi-fi.

You are wondering where the youngest kiddos can safely sleep? Find the infant/toddler travel bed that works for you!

Visit A Croatian National Park

Krka or Plitvice Lakes Or Krka

You’ve made sandcastles, been swimming in the waterfalls at Krka National Park, the next item to cap off your family adventure holidays is to….. take a walk and boat ride through Plitvice Lakes National Park,  rent kayaks, or climb a mountain at Mljet National Park.

Local Tip: If you have kids under six or children who don’t like to walk for very long, then Plitvice Lakes should be avoided. It’s not designed for tiny kids (though my four-year-old loved it). It’s impossible to push a pram, and you’ll need at least two hours in the park. That said, you can make a great day hiking, taking wildly astounding photos, enjoy lunch and a boat ride for anyone willing to put on the tennis shoes and get active. Here is an excellent travel report about kids and Plitvice to help you plan an amazing Plitvice day trip.

Raft Grade 2-3 Whitewater Rapids On The Cetina River

Things to do in Omiš Cetina River Rafting Video - Travel Croatia like a local
Fun things do in Croatia with kids – Rafting on the Cetina River.

After you have finished your hiking, it’s time to check off item #2 on the family adventure holidays list. Rafting! Children over nine-years-of-age can climb into a raft with you and whitewater raft down the Cetina River, close to Omiš, 25kms south of Split.

The rafting tour in Croatia that we took came with pre-raft snacks, equipment hire, an experienced guide, and post rafting snacks. Lasting from 8 am to 2 pm, rafting in Croatia is the ultimate outdoor adventure for little travelers. It is safe and guaranteed to have your kids smiling from ear-to-ear.

Snorkeling In Croatia

THINGS TO DO IN CROATIA - Adriatic Sea 000362

Your kids will love snorkeling here in Croatia as the waters are so very calm. While the most exciting thing they will see is just likely to be small fish, sea cucumbers, and urchins, snorkeling in Croatia makes an excellent place for your kids to get started and practice how to put their head underwater. 

Water Activities On The River Zrmanja

Whitewater Rafting in Croatia - Travel Croatia like a local
Whitewater Rafting in Croatia – Yahooooooo!

Rafting trips also take place on the River Zrmanja from Spring to Autumn. If you’re looking for something a little less adventurous for your Croatian vacation with kids, you can still enjoy the Zrmanja on a kayak or canoe during the low water level periods of summer. Or, if you have tiny children, you can take boat trips that start at Starigrad Paklenica along the Zrmanja River mouth, all the way to Obrovac, and they include lunch.

Dance In The Dark

Split or Zadar - Zadar Greeting to the sun

Absorbing the sunlight during the day, the Greeting to the Sun in Zadar lights up at night. Let your kids rock out to the cool music show.

Zoom Along Croatia’s Fastest Zip Lines… Weeeeeee!

Fun things for kids to do in Croatia - Zip Line Omiš
Photo Credit: Zip Line Omiš

Mr. Chasing the Donkey is a safety freak – and he not only endorses these, but he also loved a few of them so much he wants to go back and do them all again. Some have a minimum age or weight limit to take part, but the good news for you is that there is no maximum age.

Several new zip-lines are undoubtedly worth a visit for any family who loves adrenaline!


Read all about the eight zip lines, costs, and details in this Zipline Omiš article.


You can head off on your own steam or go on a guided tour into the National Park, close to the famous Skradinski Buk waterfall. Here you’ll find a 14km long zip-line, which reaches speeds of 70km/h.

There are three lines, one at 250m, 500m, and 650m in length, and you get to see the impressive Cikola River Canyon right way up high.

Pazinska Jama – Pazin

Pazin is home to a thrilling zip-lining adventure that the kids will love. There are four lines; the first two are 80m long and then move towards the larger lines, crossing over the vast canyon below. The next line reaches 200m, and you’ll reach speeds of up to 50km/h, at 100m high. The fourth line is the longest, at 280m, and the view below is stunning, including being able to spot a medieval castle.

The whole experience takes just under one hour and costs around 160HRK per person.

Krk Island

Close to the Glagolitic Trail on Krk Island, you’ll find a new zip-lining adventure that will show you stunning scenery and get your adrenaline pumping. The kids will love it! The top section of the biplane will show you the entire island, and the overall experience takes about two hours along several different zip-lines.

The day starts with a canopy tour, and you also have the usual safety demonstrations. From there, there are eight lines, reaching maximum speeds of up to 80 km/h! Prices vary but usually around the 390HKN mark, with everything included.


Lika is home to the fastest and longest zip-line in Europe! The lines opened in April 2017, and there are 20 lines in total, making this a must-do if you have a family of adrenaline junkies! The longest line is 1700m and reaches speeds of up to 100km/h.

You can expect to pay around 240HRK, but this is one for the zip-lining fans out there for sure. There is also a cafe, golf, cycling, and climbing facilities on-site, so you could easily make a whole day of it.

Croatia Travel Blog_Things to do in Croatia_Best Things to do in Croatia with Kids

Kuterevo’s Bear Sanctuary

What to do in Croatia with kids and families - Bear Vladimir

This is a must-do, but you’ll probably want to bring one home! In Lika, you will find the Bear Sanctuary, where volunteers work to look after the orphaned bears, which call the forest home. It does require quite a long drive into the countryside, but the kids will love this day out.

Remember, Croatia is a natural home to around 1000 brown bears, but they are at extreme risk due to hunting and other natural issues that are occurring in our world today. This sanctuary does some fantastic work, looking after injured and orphaned bears, and you can see them for yourself, as well as learn more about them from the volunteers themselves.

Golubinjak Forest

Forest Park Golubinjak Forest

For those looking for where to go in Croatia to be at one with nature, one of the best places is, without a doubt, Golubinja Forest.

This place feels like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, away from the tourism of major towns, and allows you to sit back and enjoy nature at its finest. Mother Nature did well here!

Golubinjak Forest is home to huge, unbelievable trees that seem to rise high above the cliffs surrounding them. The forest spanned a whopping 51 hectares and was declared a protected area in 1955.

The main entrance into the forest is through a gorgeous, fresh meadow, and you can sit and enjoy a bite to eat here before or after you venture into the forest. There is a children’s playground around the forest if the kids need to burn some energy, and there is also a BBQ area if you want to eat al fresco. Walkers will enjoy the many paths to follow, and you’ll pass by the famous ‘Queen of the Forest,’ as well as sculptures in the rocks and the numerous ice caves – yes, even in the summer months!


Where to go in Croatia - Bale - Share Istria - Croatia Travel Blog - 3

Picturesque Bale is a small town made entirely of stone – in fact, it reminds me very much of one of the sets from Game of Thrones. Located in the southwestern part of Istria, just 20km away from the city of Pula,  is where you will find one of my newest favorite Croatian towns – a town that is made up of 48% Italians and is officially bilingual.

Once in Bale, the kids will love Bale, the maze of cobblestone streets are perfect for kids to explore, and the neatly restored houses are a treat to look at. Best of all, Bale is just 7km from the Adriatic Sea, so after exploring, you can go for a swim.

Oh, and if you want to get your kids a great travel gift, look here.

Travel Scavenger Hunt

Pimp My Pump Zagreb - Travel Croatia like a local
Fun things for kids in Croatia – Pimp My Pump Zagreb

There are so many sites to be found across Croatia; why not make a fun game out of looking for them with the kids? One suggestion would be to find as many water pumps in Zagreb as possible. Sounds dull? No way, take a look at these pumps that have been transformed by the Pimp My Pump Zagreb crew. You may want to get involved in Geocaching, the real-world outdoor treasure hunting game where you use your GPS device to hunt down a cache.

Jadera Secrets


Another great interactive experience is Jadera Secrets in Zadar. Complete challenges together as a family as you learn about and walk through Zadar’s Old Town.

Kid-Friendly Walking Tour In Split

There aren’t too many children-friendly tours in Split, but this definitely is one. It can be hard to get kids excited about walking around an old city; that’s something all parents have experience with. On this tour, an expert guide (a father himself!) will take you and your family on a trip through Split, during which you’ll learn about the city’s legends, walk through Split’s ancient gates, and even visit Split’s oldest pastry shop.

Dubrovnik Cable Car

Cable Car in Dubrovnik

One of the absolute top tourist attractions in Dubrovnik is the iconic Cable Car. Soaring high above the city’s famed red rooftops, it runs from the Old Town to the summit of Mt. Srd, home to the historic Imperial Fortress. This is easily one of the best things to do in Croatia with kids if you’re exploring the Dalmatian coast.

The views from the top are arguably the best in the entire region. After the short and fun ride with the Dubrovnik Cable Car, you can gaze out over the shimmering Adriatic Sea and its numerous islands while the picturesque Old Town sits below. A restaurant and bar overlooks the coast, offering respite to hungry and/or thirsty visitors.

You and the kids can also explore hiking trails, visit the fascinating Dubrovnik Homeland War Museum, and shop for souvenirs at the Coin Blacksmithing Shop and Ohrid Pearl Shop.

Lokrum Island

Iron Thron Lokrum Island (1)

Clearly visible from the top of Mt. Srd, the end of the Dubrovnik Cable Car, Lokrum Island, is also accessible by boat from the Old Town. This lush Mediterranean island is only 600 meters from the Dalmatian mainland, yet the bustling Dubrovnik city center is a world away. It’s a fantastic day trip to take in Croatia with kids.

An easy ferry connection between Lokrum Island and the Old Town harbor is a scenic ride that doesn’t last longer than 15 minutes. On this beautiful island, you can explore trails that run through fragrant forests and along rocky beaches. There’s also a historic monastery and botanic garden, a children’s playground, a small inland salt lake, and a snack bar.

Oh, and Mom’s and Dad’s, it’s here you can sit on the Game Of Thrones, THRONE! 

So, if your vacation in Croatia with the family includes a visit to Dubrovnik, we highly recommend going on a day trip to Lokrum Island.

Šibenik Falconry Centre

When traveling along the Dalmatia coast and looking for fun activities in Croatia for children, consider a visit to the Šibenik Falconry Centre. This is Croatia’s only bird of prey center, located in the pine forests of Dubrava less than 10 km from the city center.

Here, kids can get up close to various amazing birds of prey, such as hawks, owls, kestrels, and falcons. The center also rehabilitates sick or injured birds and is the only registered veterinary service for birds of prey in Croatia.

Have you been inspired? Traveling to Croatia can be fun for the entire family. Let us know your thoughts on this list of things to do in Croatia with kids?


Bonus Kids Travel Tips

Traveling with toddlers, babies, kids, and heck, even teenagers can seem daunting – but it need not be.

Despite being excited about the place you’re going to, the thought of travel itself can bring on anxiety and stress. If you’re traveling with kids, there’s even more chance for stress. But, all you need to do is plan ahead so you can avoid the added stress of traveling with a little one. Try a few of these:

  • Always plan for safety first and foremost. Do you have a proper child seat? Is it installed correctly? Do you have a first aid kit, necessary medications, sunscreen?
  • Plan ahead and pack accordingly. Whenever possible, you should start planning and packing well in advance so you don’t feel rushed and you don’t forget anything.
  • Bring along games and toys your kids will love. For example, pack little “travel kits” with crayons and paper and other travel items to keep your toddler from getting bored.
  • Plan around your child’s sleep schedule when possible. If you are going for a long drive, you can plan part of the drive when your children are expected to be sleeping. Less whinging is always a bonus.


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