We will be in Barcelona in early August coming off 6 weeks in Rome, and we are a bit exhausted. Does anyone have any suggestions for kid friendly sites and activities (6 & 4 years old). We have missed the parks and green spaces from our hometown in the US. Does Barcelona have any park options? We will be there about 2.5 days. Is there anything people suggest we definitely don't miss out on? Thank you for any suggestions!
Barcelona will have more green space, but the thing I always found frustrating was that my US-based definition of a park for my family/kids (meaning playground equipment and the ability to run around) didn't always match that of the Europe definition of a park (which is often more a green space with "keep off the grass" signs and pretty things to look at). Your kids may still enjoy Park Guell and the crazy mosaics. I know there's another park (name escaping me) that is a bit more formal. There is the beach. Not the greatest beach, but a beach nonetheless. There's a Dunkin Donuts on Las Ramblas and a good Subway shop close to Sagrada Familia. (We were missing the USA by the time we hit Barcelona once). Barcelona can be fun and full of things to do, but maybe you just need to sit back and ride a Hop-on/Hop-Off bus if you're exhausted.
If it's not too hot, the kids might really enjoy a walk around Park Guell. The architecture is surreal and we saw parrots in the trees. If it's very hot. I'd suggest a short train ride up to Arenys de Mar. We didn't have great weather, so didn't make the trip, but if I recall correctly the ticket is about $7.50. The beaches in Barcelona are man-made and just okay. A short trip up the coast gets you natural beaches with clear water, better sand and scenic coves.
You could go to Park Guell, but it's not going to fit the bill compared to a typical US park. The easiest way is to take a taxi or to walk up from the Hop On/Hop Off bus (which, by the way, is a good suggestion). Personally, I'd probably go to the beach for a half day with the kids. For what it is worth, there is an excellent tapas restaurant right off the Ramblas - Xaloc. It's worth a little more $. The places right on the strip aren't that great. http://www.xalocrestaurant.com/
I recently traveled to Barcelona with 4 small kids, ranging in age from 1-9. Barcelona has all your standard kid stuff that any big city has - an aquarium (not good value for money, IMO), a zoo, etc. There are also beaches, Park Guell (mentioned above, but not really stroller friendly), and many other parks. Don't expect these parks, however, to look like the ones in STL. I suggest that you buy the TimeOut guide as it had the best ideas for things to do and places to eat with kids. Our favorite things - eating Tapas at Pl. Vicenç Martorell (several bars to choose from; Kasparo was great) while the kids played in the playground in front of us. Playing in the park/playground in front of the Sagrada Familia as the adults took turns touring the cathedral. Hanging out in Parc Joan Miro where there are numerous playgrounds and water features. Eating lots of ice cream and wandering around El Raval, Bari Gotic, and Born (the streets there are safer for the kids as not so much traffic; we did try to tour Eixample but it was too hectic with the traffic and tourists). Have fun.
Google the Barcelona zoo for info.
Tibidabo amusement park