17 Dec A Madrileño Navidad With Children
Spain’s largest city has a rich history of holiday celebrations for the Madrileño Navidad. We tapped into our English-speaking nannies’ and babysitters’ local knowledge to come up with Madrid’s best holiday children’s events. Staying in a hotel in Madrid for the holidays? Remember that the Nanny Line has established relationships with Madrid’s finest hotels. Our experienced hotel babysitters will put your children to bed so that you can go out to enjoy Madrid’s late-night holiday celebrations.
Christmas Lights and Magical Gardens
Madrid’s holiday light displays are legendary. The city commissions famous architects, artists, and graphic designer to create a winter wonderland of eco-friendly light displays. Head to Puerta de Alcalá, Plaza de Cibeles, Puerta del Sol, or Plaza Mayor for the largest displays. Even better, hop on a special Christmas bus called the Navibus, for a 45-minute bus ride around the most beautifully-lit streets of Madrid. Tickets are sold online for the bus which runs November 26- January 6. For more information about the bus routes and hours, you can check here. Don’t forget to bring extra layers if you want to sit outside on the upper deck of the bus. We suggest warming up with some churros and chocolate afterwards.
Another option is to stroll through Madrid’s Royal Botanical Garden, specially decorated as a winter wonderland decorated to spark your little one’s imaginations of sugar plum fairies and other Christmas magic.
Christmas Parades for the Madrileño Navidad
For Madrid’s biggest parade, you will have to wait until after Christmas until January 5, for the Cabalgata de Reyes or the Three Kings Parade. Spaniards celebrate the religious tradition of three wise men who followed a star to the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem. These three kings bring children presents on Epiphany (January 6) of every year. The night before, Madrileños line Madrid’s streets to welcome the magis. Little children love to collect the sweets and candies the three kings throw from their elaborate procession. The parade includes of camels, carriages, marching bands, and floats with performers. The parade begins at 18:00 in Avenida de la Castellana and continues to Plaza de Colon and usually ends around 20:30.
Plaza Mayor has the largest and most traditional of Madrid’s Christmas markets, selling nativity figures and holiday crafts. But did you know that people also buy wigs and funny glasses at this market to wear for December 28th, Día de los Innocentes, Spain’s version of April Fool’s day? That’s no joke. Other markets to check out are La Navideña and the 32nd annual Madrid Arts and Crafts fair, selling holiday gifts and other creations from over 2000 artisans. Find out opening times and the details of other special fairs such as a Medieval Market here.
Christmas Shows and Plays to Dazzle Little Ones
Madrid’s many theaters and cultural centers explode with a festive array Christmas shows and concerts. Your children will love flamenco christmas carol shows, holiday puppet shows, or and Ice Circus. You can find all the show information and times listed on Madrid’s official tourism site.
Walk you children by Madrid’s Cortes Ingles Preciados-Callao location to catch one of the daily shows of Cortylandia. For the past 41 years, Spain’s most famous department store has created this animated musical theater. This year’s theme is “Elflandia” and you can find the schedule of show times here.
Turns out the Madrilenos love to patinar (ice skate) and come December, there are many outdoor skating rinks sprinkled throughout Madrid’s barrios and parks.
Surely just reading through this list of holiday events has you getting excited to experience a Madrileno Navidad. Spending your holidays elsewhere in Spain? Follow us on Facebook or Instagram and leave a Christmas greeting or tell us how your family celebrates the holidays. Don’t forget that the Nanny Line can help your family stay sane during the busy holiday season- we are here to care for you! You can book online, even last minute for a babysitter, or find your perfect nanny star for a better new year.