Congratulations – you’ve successfully planned a family vacation to Costa Rica! Your tickets are purchased, your tours are booked and your bags are packed. But…maybe you’ve spent a bit more money than you would have liked.
It’s OK. It happens.
Luckily, there are plenty of free (or almost free) things to do in with kids in Tamarindo that are super fun and family friendly! Here are 8 of RPM’s favorite inexpensive things to do for families with kids in Tamarindo.
Boogie boarding (or beginner surfing) the calm waves in front of Hotel Capitan Suizo is one of the best, almost-free activities in Tamarindo. You can rent a boogie board for $10 per half-day (or $15 for a full day) practically anywhere in town – just walk around and you’ll find somewhere (Iguana Surf, Kelly’s Surf Shop, Witches Rock Surf Camp to name a few). Surf boards typically rent for about $25 per day (you’ll probably need to leave a credit card at the shop as a guarantee that you’ll bring it back!).
Mini Golf & La Baula Pizza
Bolas Locas Mini Golf in Tamarindo is perfect for some fun, inexpensive family entertainment. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, La Baula pizzeria is practically right next door – with a great swing set and play area where the kids can run around while they wait for dinner. In high season, fire dancers put on a show at the restaurant just after dark. On your way home, hit up the Italian gelato place right around the corner (or the new one in nearby Plaza Conchal) for a mini golf-dinner-ice cream trifecta.
Playa Tamarindo/Playa Grande Estuary
Walk to the north end of Tamarindo beach (near Panga’s Restaurant) and hop on one of the little boats that ferry people from one side of the estuary to the other. This is a really fun 2-minute boat ride that takes you to Playa Grande, where you can swim, explore and walk around. Sometimes you’ll even see mangrove birds and animals you might see on a paid kayak/estuary tour. It only costs $1 per person each way – Tamarindo doesn’t get much cheaper than that!
Jaime Peligro Books
Jaime Peligro Bookstore is a great place to go and read childrens books! It’s right next to Cafe Tico, arguably the best cafe in town, so parents can grab a latte while the kids entertain themselves via reading.
Monkey N’ Croc Toy Store
This fun little toy store is in the same plaza as the Sunrise condominiums. Admittedly, this venture could quickly turn into a not-so-inexpensive activity depending on how good your kids are at suckering you into buying them toys; but you’re sure to have a good time there!
Tamarindo Farmer’s Market
This lively little market happens every Saturday morning from 8am to 1pm. Local food vendors and artisans gather together to sell handmade products at the little square near the Pescador beach entrance.
The estuary in Langosta is super fun to cross at low tide with a picnic lunch. The other side is completely devoid of development until you hit Hacienda Pinilla on the far end. Just be sure to pay attention to the tide or you might have to swim back. The water rises quickly! Click here to see tide charts by month.
Bonfires at Witches Rock Surf Camp
On the weekends (especially during high season), Witches Rock Surf Camp usually makes a bonfire on the beach in front of the surf camp. They normally happen on Saturdays and Sundays starting at about 5pm, so you can watch the sunset and then stay on into the night. Kids love bonfires!
Blog by: Genna Marie