We had 5 weeks in Sunny Beach before the crowds arrived, well almost. As June rolled on we found our hotel pool went from zero deck chairs, to hundreds of them. You will find most Sunny Beach attractions are unavailable until the summer season kicks in, but when it does there are lots of options to make the kids very happy.
We visited both major waterparks - Aqua Paradise & Action Aquapark. Both opened the last weekend in May and both operate free shuttles to the park from stops along the main road in Sunny Beach.
Our recommendation for a family with kids would be Action Aquapark. There were more rides and pools than Aqua Paradise. There was also plenty of sunbeds and shade and better dining areas.
Entry Cost - 38 lev per adult, under 130cm 19 lev, under 90cm free. Our family of 4 was 114 lev (€57)
Location - Nessebar & Sunny Beach
2. Khan’s Tent
Quite a number of hotels and restaurants in the area have concerts and shows on that you can pay to attend.
Our favourite was Khan’s Tent, which was more then just dinner and a show, it was like being back in Las Vegas.
A great fun night of dancing and amazement, and well worth the considerable price tag.
Cost – 72 lev (€36) per adult, kids half price.
Location – On northern hill overlooking Sunny Beach (all taxi drivers know where it is).
3. Resort Pools + Plenty Of Beaches
Most, if not all, resorts and hotels in Sunny Beach have a pool, whether it’s a good one or not is another question. But our pool at the Royal Sun was magnificent. In fact there were 3 pools and 2 playgrounds. Not a day went by where the kids did not go for a swim – rain or shine.
On top of that, the beach is not far either. From our hotel we were a 5-minute walk. There are lots, and I do mean lots, of lounges and umbrellas to pay for or you can sit in one of the many restaurants on the beach while the kids build sandcastles.
Cost - Free, except for your accommodation price or the price of a sunlounge & umbrella, which are about 8 lev each (€4).
Location - Everywhere.
4. Inflatable slides, playgrounds and rides
Up and down Flower Street and along the beachside promenade you will find entertainment. Adult entertainment, food stalls, little fairgrounds with slides or slingshots to shoot you into the sky and of course, kids fun.
There are inflatable jumping castles, slides, playgrounds and sometimes even both. One restaurant on the beach had an inflatable jumping castle with slide for the guests of kids, but most are paid for.
Sunny Beach struggles with an outward conflict between a bachelor hotspot and a perfect resort town for families. Many restaurants offer playgrounds or toys for children, while next door there may be a peep bar. If you can ignore one, you’ll have fun in the other.
Cost – Inflatable equipment & trampolines are about 6 lev per 15 minutes (€3). While we were there they did not seem that strict on the time. Kids went on a roller coaster in one of the fairgrounds and it was 4 lev each (€2).
Location - Anywhere along Flower Street and beachside promenade.
5. Pirate cruise
One not-so-sunny-day we attempted a pirate cruise. They were sweet enough to admit defeat by the weather and offered everyone a refund or to re-book. The next time we attempted it was a beautiful warm, sunny day.
This cruise is perfect fun for the kids. The whole day revolves around them from the programme of games and fun to face painting and the meatball/salad lunches.
Adults may struggle a little for something to do, so bring a book for the lazy cruise and don’t forget your swimsuit for the swim stop. Just beware of the jellyfish, but they are pretty harmless.
Cost - 60 lev per person (€30), children half price.
Location - A bus can collect you from your hotel and delivers you to Nessebar port, where the boat departs. You are then shuttled back afterwards.
That’s a wrap!
This list is just the tip of the iceberg of what you can do in Sunny Beach with kids.
Unless you particularly like battling the crowds, the best time to arrive in Sunny Beach is early June so that all the shops, restaurants and attractions are open, but below the peak tourism period that hits later in June.
If you’re looking for a holiday location with cuisine that caters to the British pallette, Western European conveniences at cheaper Eastern European pricing, plenty of sunshine and beaches and don’t care much for culture, then Sunny Beach might be your cup of tea. 1 million tourists visit each year, so there must be something to it.