Every parent, uncle, aunt, grandmother, and grandfather knows that if the kids are having fun, you are having a good day. There is nothing worse than spending a day out with a bored child, as that boredom commonly leads to whining, crying, and the good old temper tantrum. That is why we have decided to put this challenge together for the little ones. It's fun, entertaining and above all, educational. With this challenge, we are going to spend the morning of the first day in downtown Lisbon learning about the great influencers of the earlier centuries and admire Lisbon's breathtaking views from the Panteão Nacional. Then, for the afternoon and the rest of the second day, we will leave historic Lisbon behind to step into modern Lisbon, better known as Expo. Expo got its name from the world fair that was held in Lisbon from Friday, 22 May to Wednesday, 30 September 1998. This was done to celebrate the 500 years of Portuguese discoveries. With this challenge, we are going to meet the first influencers of Portugal, Lisbon’s farm animals, Ocean creatures and explore science.
First on our list is one of Lisbon's most spectacular pieces of architecture. The Panteão Nacional, also revere to by some as the Church of Santa Engrácia. The Portuguese began building this extraordinary church in 1681 and only finished construction in 1966. Yes... It took a full 285 years for the Portuguese to finish the Panteão Nacional. So much so, that today, an endless construction project is referred to as Obras de (construction of) Santa Engrácia. Besides from its fascinating history, the Panteão is in all its might, a work of art. The Breathtaking views over Lisbon, Almada, and the Tagus river will leave you in awe, and the sheer height looking down from the dome to the bottom floor will send shivers down your spine. It is the final resting place of some of Portugal's most influential personalities throughout history and a quick walk through the bottom chambers of the building will bring you up to speed on some of Portugal's greatest.
This might seem like an odd option to explore, especially if you have teenagers or older kids, but trust me, it is worthwhile. Even if it is just to go and drink a coffee or eat ice cream. Tugged away in the heart of Lisbon's most densely populated residential areas is a little piece of heaven, where not only can the little ones go and see all their favorite farm animals up close and personal, but the parents can have a small coffee break, while the kids are running around playing ball or tag on freshly cut green grass. Quinta Pedagógica is so green and lush that you sometimes forget that you are in the center of Lisbon. The farm has all the farm animals you can think of, all of them are separated into their individual areas. It has an herbal garden and during the week offer various activities that you as a family can participate in. One of them is the life cycle of bread. It usually starts at 1:30PM. Here the little ones learn about how flour is made and then is allowed to make their own oven-baked, bread. For the Parents that are having a hard time getting their toddler to let go of their pacifier, here is your opportunity. In the middle of the farm is an olive tree that is covered with pacifiers of kids who's parents have convinced them to let go.
After this, we head 2.6km down to the river to go and explore Lisbon's modern waterfront. One of the most predominant buildings that you will see as soon as you get there is the Oceanarium. The main exhibit and also the most popular attraction of Lisbon Ocionaruim is the 1,000 m2 tank that contains5,000,000 liters of water to sustain over 100 different fish species from all around the world. The Tank has four large 49 m2 windows on the sides to give you the illusion that you are underneath the water with all the exotic fish. Besides this majestic saltwater tank, the oceanarium also boasts of three more marine habitats that include a tropical and Arctic ecosystem, and the world's largest freshwater aquarium. The Oceanarium has over 16,000 individual marine creatures from over 450 different species, and around every corner, there is a new fun fact to learn about these amazing animals that we share the planet with. Tickets for the Oceonaruim can be bought online and range from 11€ to 19€ per person. For kids of 0-3 years of age, entrance is free. There is also a family discount package that caters for bigger families.
Pavilhão do Conhecimento is by far, one of my favorite places to take my child to go and spend the day. Not just only do they love it, but they get to learn all about the science behind how things work. It is a five-minute walk away from Lisbon Oceanarium. Like the Oceanarium, Pavilhão do Conhecimento also houses various exhibitions for the little ones. The exhibits are regularly replaced with new and exciting ones to keep the returning scientist to be, amazed and entertained. The Exhibitions include: - Doing - This space has over 500 m2 of activities for kids that love to build and create. - Temporary exhibition - This space is continually changing for the returning visitors and is currently occupied by the cats and dogs exhibition where the kids get to learn more about their domestic friend. - Explore - This space has over 40 interactive modules to teach the curious ones about natural phenomena that occur with light, vision, waves, and perception. - Tcharan - Learn about the science behind the circus. Tickets to the Pavilhão do Conhecimento can be bought online. The prices for adults is 9€ per person and for children over the age of three, 6€ per child. Family packs are also available.