Taking a toddler to Iceland during the winter may sound like a crazy idea. The country is cold, dark, and covered with snow. Is it a good destination to travel with a toddler? The answer is simple: YES! If you wonder whether or not a winter trip to Iceland with a toddler is a good idea, think no more. Pack your bags and just go.
Our daughter has just turned 2 years old when we were visiting Iceland. She enjoyed this trip so much that she didn’t really want to leave. We needed to convince her to go to the airport by showing her travel toys and promising that we will do awesome things on a plane.
Even though our trip ended up not so long ago, we are already planning to visit Iceland again, hopefully, this year.
In this post, I am giving you the best tips for planning a winter trip to Iceland with a toddler, what to pack, where to stay, and more. If you have any questions, comment or simply join our Family Travel Facebook group!
Tips For Traveling To Iceland In Winter With A Toddler
Be Ready For The Cold
It IS cold during winter months in Iceland. Even though the temperatures are not that low, you need to get ready for the wind and snow that makes you feel like it was way longer than it really is.
Don’t Worry About Safety
Iceland is the safest country in the world. So you don’t need to worry about getting robbed or scammed. Check out this post for more–> fun facts about Iceland.
Iceland is a family-friendly travel destination. You will have facilities for kids virtually everywhere that includes toys, high-chairs, playgrounds, and more. There are public strollers available at Keflavik airport as well, so it’s easy to get around.
Rent A Car
It’s the easiest way to get around the island. You can get into the car every time your kid gets cold, thirsty, hungry, or when you will need to change the nappy. Plus, the toddler can take a nap in the car during the long road trip.
It’s OK to rent a car and drive. Be sure to check Vedur for the current weather info. Even Icelanders use it when they are planning to drive outside the town, so don’t be reckless and check whether it’s safe to start the trip. Keep in mind that you are traveling to Iceland with a toddler, so you are responsible for your entire family.
We’ve been lucky enough to have the perfect weather conditions throughout our winter trip to Iceland with a toddler. It’s very likely that you will have it too, so don’t freak out about driving. You will be fine as long as you will check the current weather.
Plan Your Budget Carefully
Everything is REALLY pricey in Iceland. It’s one of the most expensive countries in the world.
If you want to save money, bring some food from home. We took jarred food, fruit pouches, and snacks for Mia. It was great, as I could feed her in the car when we were on the way to see some tourist attractions.
Plan Your Day Ahead To Make The Most Of Your Trip
The sun is rising at about 10 AM and going down at about 5 PM. You will have about 6-7 hours of daylight, be sure to spend it outdoor. You can go to the museums in the afternoon or early morning.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Iceland With Kids During Winter?
Visiting Thermal Pools
I’ve been reading about the thermal pools before our winter trip to Iceland with a toddler but I was quite hesitant. How can I take my daughter in a swimming suit, outdoor, when it’s freezing outside?
We were thinking about visiting Blue Lagoon but our host, Siggi, convinced us that it’s an attraction only for tourists. He said is so much better to go to one of the thermal pools in Reykjavik as cheaper alternatives to the Blue Lagoon.
We followed his advice and we don’t regret it! No crowds, no photos allowed, relaxing atmosphere, and 10 times lower entrance fees.
Should You Be Worried About Taking Your Kid To Thermal Pools In Iceland In Winter?
No! In fact, I was hesitating till the very end, until I saw kids that were not even 1-year old having fun in the water. None of them had a cap, they were not cold at all.
Public thermal pools in Iceland are extremely family-friendly, you will even have high chairs in the changing room and baby baths in the shower area.
All of this only to make your stay there more comfortable.
Tips For Visiting Thermal Pools In Iceland With A Toddler During Winter
- Get ready to get naked– you need to wash yourself and your baby before putting on the swimming suits.
- Don’t take photos– it’s not allowed to make sure everyone’s privacy is respected.
Playing With Snow
Ah, the white fluff! All kids love playing with snow, so it will be hard to bring them back to the hotel once they start building the snowman.
You can be 100% certain that there will be snow during your winter trip to Iceland with a toddler. Be sure to bring on some warm clothes and get ready to spend a lot of time outdoor.
Keep on reading to discover what to pack for a winter trip to Iceland with a toddler.
There are many awesome museums in Iceland that you can visit with kids. The best includes:
- Saga Museum (where you can all dressed up like the Vikings)
- Whales of Iceland Museum (where you can see the real size of whales living in the Atlantic Ocean)
- The Settlement Exhibition Museum (with the children play area)
- Perlan (where you can walk through the world’s 1st man-made ice cave)
Why visit museums in Iceland with a toddler? It’s one of the indoor activities, which is great when it’s too windy or too cold to be outdoor. Plus, these museums are really interesting, so your entire family will love them for sure.
Going To The Reykjavik Zoo
This is definitely one of the best places to visit in Reykjavik with a toddler, regardless of the season!
You can watch the animals, feed them, and even see how the cows are milking.
There is a big playground in the zoo, where kids are playing all year round. That includes winter!
There are public strollers available, so you don’t need to bring your own.
If you are looking for ways to wean your kiddo off the dummy, you can do so in the zoo! There is a big tree of pacifiers that children leave for the animals.
Feeding Bird At Tjörnin Lake
Tjornin Pond is one of the most frequently photographed places in Reykjavik. Be sure to add the lake to your winter trip to Iceland with a toddler itinerary!
There are many swans and ducks waiting to be fed. Bring on some bread and throw it to the water. Your kids will love it.
Driving The Golden Circle
Golden Circle is a road trip you can do in just 1 day. You will have an opportunity to see some of the best places in Iceland.
I am putting it at the end of the list of things to do in Iceland with a toddler during winter on purpose. When everything is covered with snow, these famous spots are not that impressive. Of course, it was an amazing experience to see the Geysir erupt but we would skip some stops like Thingvellir National Park or Kerid Lake.
I bet they look way better during the summertime. Anyway, here is our Golden Circle route, if you decide to take this road trip.
Seeing The Northern Lights
It’s worth mentioning the Northern Lights here as well.
If you want to see them, head to the Grotta Island Lighthouse. It’s very close to Reykjavik city center and there are no artificial lights in this area. Check Vedur first to make sure the sky is clear enough to spot Aurora Borealis.
Where To Stay In Iceland With A Toddler?
Depending on how many days you have in Iceland, you can either drive around or make Reyjavik your base. As we had just 3 days in Iceland, we decided on the second option and it was very comfortable.
We’ve been staying at Forsaela Apartmenthouse and it was honestly one of the best guest houses we have ever been to.
- it’s centrally located
Most of the Reykjavik tourist attractions are within the walking distance. There is a thermal pool nearby which is great (we’ve been there twice during our short winter trip to Iceland with a toddler)
- they provide a baby cot and a high chair
It’s the first time ever we had these 2 facilities available on a trip. It gave us a home-like experience and made traveling easier.
- there is a kitchen available
You can cook your own food which is great if you are traveling on a budget. That will allow you to save during your family trip to Iceland
- apartments are cozy and stylish
You will honestly feel great at Forsaela’. The apartments are cozy, the beds are comfortable, and there is nothing you can dislike.
- Siggi and Hlin are the sweetest people in the world
Last but not least- the hosts. There are so friendly, welcoming, and helpful that you will be sure your winter trip to Iceland with a toddler will be wonderful.
They will advise you what to see, making sure you feel good at their apartment house.
- there are free Wifi and parking available in the guesthouse
I found it VERY comfortable while road tripping with a toddler in Iceland during winter. Every time we got out of the car, I simply put on the ski trousers on my daughter’s pants and she was ready to go.
In contrary to snowsuit that I use at home, it was easy and fast to put on.
Check it out on Amazon.
I packed winter shoes for my daughter. Just before we left home, I took snow boots as well and I am happy I did so!
Even though it was not that cold for me, my daughter was shaking wearing traditional winter shoes. It all stopped when I put on her snow boots. So be sure to pack them to Iceland as well for your toddler! If you don’t have snow boots, buy them on Amazon.
Obviously, you will need a winter jacket in Iceland for your toddler as well. It doesn’t need to be very warm, as the best is to dress up with layers (undershirt, t-shirt, hoodie).
Search for the best toddler winter jackets on Amazon.
You will need a warm hat, scarf, and gloves for your toddler in Iceland!
If you don’t have a set like this, buy it on Amazon.
I strongly recommend you buying an additional pair of gloves, just in case the one you have for your toddler gets wet because of the snow.
Other things worth packing for your winter trip to Iceland with a toddler:
- Sandini sleep fix pillow (you’ll make sure your toddler’s head will be supported when napping in the car, no matter what car seat you will have)
- toddler travel toys (follow the link to read my entire post about it)
- inflatable travel pillow and more helpful gadgets (check out our entire–> toddler travel gear and best travel gifts for toddlers)
- breastfeeding travel gadgets if you are still nursing
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Disclosure: We want to thank Forsaela Apartmenthouse for a complimentary stay. All opinions presented in this post are honest and our own.