Comfortable, quiet, safe … and with lots of activities to have a great time! Ourense is undoubtedly a destination that will delight the travelers with family, with many proposals designed for the children of the house, enjoying the outdoors or learning about the history and customs of the city while having fun … And don’t forget a good dip in thermal water!
Thermal Baths for the Family
The children will love to go in the Thermal Train, if only to try it. With exit from the Main Square, in it you can enjoy a nice walk through much of the Historical Centre that will even take you over the arches of the Old Bridge. It is the best option to reach the thermal area of Outariz and Burga de Canedo, at the foot of river Minho. Here, in a large garden area ideal for resting, playing on its swings and spending a pleasant afternoon in the sun, you will find thermal pools at different temperatures, so that you can choose the one you like best. Remember that with children it is especially important to follow the tips for thermal bathing, performing short dives and drinking water often.
From Outariz you have several kilometres of footpath next to the river ideal for cycling or just walking. Along the way you will find many other thermal facilities, such as A Chavasqueira, in which to continue enjoying the waters of Ourense.
Once back downtown, do not miss the area of As Burgas, in the heart of the Historic Centre. In addition to enjoying a bath in the outdoor pool (remember that it is not allowed for children under 5 years), you can visit the Interpretation Centre to learn more about the history of the city and its early Roman settlers, who were large fans of the hot springs.
Do not forget to visit the fountains, you will be surprise with the temperature at which the water springs (be careful as it boils!)
Discovering the World of Trains
Ourense is a city with a great railway tradition, since here took place the first connection of Galicia with the rest of Spain. If you visit in a weekend, on Sunday you should go to Carrileiros Railroad Park, where you can enter the exciting world of this means of transport and even riding on a scale locomotive. The venue has a circuit of almost 500 metres of railway where the trains circulate, in a route with all possible details: a viaduct, two tunnels, four level crossings, stations … Details of the history of the railroad in Ourense are explained in the exhibition room.
If you have been left wanting more, the train day continues in the Fernández Pacheco Train Collection, in the Marcos Valcárcel Cultural Centre. This curious museum with more than 4,000 scale trains will leave you open-mouthed while you dream of trips on the Orient Express; just one of the many historical locomotives that are preserved here.
Fernández Pacheco Train Collection
Marcos Valcárcel Cultural Centre See on Map
Monday to Friday: 11.00-14.00 h and 18.00-22.00 h. / Sunday and Holidays: 18.00-21.00 h.
Discovering Nature: River Minho and Montealegre
The Hall of Nature, in the riverside area of Oira, is the ideal place to discover all the secrets of this river that crosses the city, the largest in Galicia. In it you will find panels and models that will bring you, in a simple and enjoyable way, the natural and patrimonial values hidden in this natural space, an authentic reserve of flora and fauna: you will learn how the hot springs arise, how the force of water is used in the mills, the adaptation of the animals to the fluvial environment …
The Hall also offers a complete programme of activities focused on environmental education and environmental awareness: recycling workshops, bird watching, garden care, traditional games and guided walks, so that you know firsthand the secrets of the father of Galician rivers and all the life that surrounds it. Remember that from the Hall you have in front a 15-kilometre circular path following the river banks where to discover Ourense’s nature and history.
Along with the rivers, Montealegre is the other great lung of the city, a large forest park with several hectares to walk and explore, discovering the species of the Mediterranean vegetation typical of this forest but also some more exotic ones, since it has a space devoted to a botanical garden. Climb up to the viewpoint to take a family photo and do not stop sitting in “the most beautiful bench in Ourense”, at the highest point. Check the daily schedule, because they regularly schprogramme activities for children: guided tours, environmental workshops and even theatre, in their open-air auditorium.
Parks and Gardens
Ourense has a multitude of urban parks equipped with swings and playgrounds for children. The largest are undoubtedly Minho Park, next to the Ponte Vella Shopping Centre, with ponds and picnic areas; and Barbana Park, which in addition to swings has a red track ideal for skating. In the city centre, essential are St Lazarus’ Park, with a modern playground with areas separated by ages; Children’s Park or Alameda do Cruceiro; and As Mercedes Square, with a wide asphalted area around a fountain and terraces where you can rest while the children play. In O Posío Garden you will not only find several playgrounds at different levels and among centenarian trees, but you will have the opportunity to walk among the peacocks and the swans that inhabit this park, which used to be a botanical garden.
Many of the parks of Ourense have recently been the subject of landscape interventions that make them unique spaces where children will have a great time. Avilés de Taramancos Park, in O Couto, is a large green area dedicated to the memory of the rivers, with an impressive pond of 1,300 square metres and a large playground in which stand a 13-metre-high slide and a a 9-metre-high pyramidal structure braided with ropes to climb. Also, do not miss A Canle Park, near the Municipal Auditorium, a curious solution to the unevenness of the water reservoirs that offers beautiful views of the city, or Cándido Fernandez Park, with ample playground and a small football field.
Children Programming: Auditorium and Public Library
Every Sunday the Municipal Auditorium has a programme designed for children, including a special programme for babies: plays, puppets, storytellers, musical shows and even films. Also the Public Library has activities designed for children and oriented to the initiation to reading, such as games, workshops, children’s reading club, storytellers, playroom and a reading space and for children under 14 years.
At Christmas, the city hosts the Ourense Children’s Theatre Festival, a long-standing event devoted to the performing arts for the young audiences: object theatre, puppets, clowns, magic …
If your trip coincides in these dates you should not stop visiting with the children Arturo Baltar’s Nativity Scene, a curious sculptural set where you can let your imagination fly.
Swimming Pools in Ourense
Essential during the hot Ourense summers.
Every Christmas, the Paco Paz Sports Pavillion becomes Galicia’s biggest amusement park for children.