7 Cool things to do in Puerto Rico with kids

Puerto Rico is a popular destination for families vacationing with kids, known for tropical beauty across lush rainforests and bright blue water on white-sand beaches. You’ll find tons of things to do in Puerto Rico with kids, from hiking to waterfalls and ziplining through the rainforest, to flying kites in front of El Morro. You can enjoy Puerto Rico with toddlers too, from the interactive children’s museum and building sandcastles on the beach to trolley rides and ice cream in Old San Juan.

1. Hike to a waterfall in El Yunque National Forest

El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rainforest found in the US National Forest system, known for lush foliage, waterfalls, and unique wildlife. The forest is absolutely considered to be a must-do on your list of things to do with kids in Puerto Rico, with hiking trails to suit any ability level. You can also take guided tours to some of the incredible natural wonders within the forest, including spectacular waterfalls.

2. Snorkel and play on Flamenco Beach

You probably have beach days on your “Things to do in Puerto Rico with kids” list, but with so many gorgeous beaches on the island, it can be hard to decide which ones to visit. Flamenco Beach is one of the most popular family-friendly beaches to visit with kids, known for picture-perfect vibrant blue water and white sand. The calm waters are great for kids to swim, splash, and snorkel, with lifeguards available on the beach. You’ll also find convenient facilities off the beach, as well as authentic Puerto Rican food from beachside vendors.

3. Explore San Juan’s historic forts

Cool historic sites to visit with kids in Puerto Rico include the massive military fortifications in San Juan. At Castillo San Felipe del Morro you can explore 500 years of history within the imposing fortress, overlooking sweeping views of the Caribbean blue waters. Self-guided tours and guided tours are available through El Morro. Kite flying on the windy green lawn in front of El Morro is a local tradition, and you can purchase kites from cart vendors along with sweet treats.

4. Explore a full-size airplane at the Children’s Museum

Puerto Rico’s Children’s Museum, Museo del Niño de Carolina, offers multiple floors of learning-through-play experiences for kids. Activities on the museum’s grounds range from exploring a full-size airplane and racing on a go-kart track, to a ferry ride on the lake and seeing animals in a mini-zoo. Interactive exhibits inside the museum include hands-on activities in music and art, physics, transportation, and even concepts of emotional intelligence like empathy and cooperation.

5. Kayak across a bioluminescent bay under the stars

Puerto Rico is home to 3 bioluminescent bays, a natural wonder and rare ecosystem where thousands and thousands of special tiny organisms grow that produce a glowing effect. When water is disturbed around these unique organisms, their glow creates the surreal, glow-in-the-dark water found in rare bioluminescent bays. You can take a night-time kayaking tour across one of the bays to see this natural phenomenon in person, with tandem kayaks available for families with smaller kids. Some companies also offer glass-bottom boat tours or even nighttime diving tours.

6. Zipline through a tropical rainforest

There are some incredibly cool places to zipline around Puerto Rico, with the island's diverse landscape of mountain peaks and lush rainforests. You’ll find one of the longest ziplines in the world at Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park, spanning a distance of 1.5 miles through this large aerial park. Scenic rainforest zipline options also include adventures in El Yunque and Toro Negro. No matter where you go, be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and bring plenty of water and sunblock.

7. Explore Old San Juan with Toddlers in Puerto Rico

Though many of the other attractions mentioned are also great for toddlers, there are also lots of attractions in Old San Juan if you’re visiting with little ones. You can hop on the free trolley for a breezy open-air tour with hop-on/hop-off service, stop for old-fashioned ice cream, and feed pigeons at Parque de las Palomas. There are vibrant old-world buildings and interesting architecture to explore along the cobblestone streets, plus local shops, markets, and restaurants. On Sundays check out Paso De La Princessa for a lively outdoor market and authentic Puerto Rican food vendors.