If you have kids, Cappadocia is definitely the place to visit.

Honestly, I spent about 10 minutes coming up with the list below.

Cappadocia is a paradise for kids, making a list of activities is like walking down a grocery store aisle and picking your favorite foods off the shelves.

In the following list I tried to think of activities specific to kids. I am not listing the normal touristy activities like the Open-Air Museum or the underground cities. I am assuming you will see those if you visit. Here I have tried to list the activities that are not so obvious.

Parents will not have to worry about prying their kids away from the ipad here. This place is like living in a video game. So, let’s get going with 10 fun ways to spend time with your kids in Cappadocia.

1. Go to the Ihlara Valley in July/August and take your swimsuit. Park in the town center and enter the park. Not far after you descend the stone steps into the valley you come to a small water fall where the pool is a bit deeper. Take off your shirt and shoes and jump in (as the picture below shows, we did not bring our bathing suits). This may have been our funnest experience in Cappadocia so far.
Ihlara


2. Find any potter in Avanos and have your kids “throw a pot” for free. There is no obligation to buy, but you probably will not have trouble finding a little keepsake to remember the experience if you so desire.
Pottery

3. Go for a hike off the beaten path in one of the many valleys or even better up one of the many mesas (I assume they are mesas but would love an expert to confirm) around Çavusin.
Mesa

4. Bring or rent a bicycle and go riding on the hundreds of trails. Finding trails that do not include steep hills is not so difficult. I recommend the road/trail that goes through Çavusin and out past the cemetary or the dirt road between Cavusin and Göreme. Love Valley may be too steep but parts of it are very doable. For kids 16 and older, renting an ATV (4-wheeler) is also an option.
Bike
I checked on prices. Remember that everything is negotiable and based on relationship in Cappadocia, but this should give you a good idea:
Bicycle: 15TL for the day
ATV: 40TL for 1 hour, 60TL for 2 hours (includes gas)
[Note: This is the case in 2012.]

5. Go to the horse corrals near the Göreme Open Air Museum and let the kids sit on the horses. You can walk them around within the spacious pen for a minimal fee and maybe even for free if you sweet talk the owner. Besides horses you will see pigeons, a peacock, dogs, cats, and chickens. Unfortunately, on the day I took this picture the horses were out on a tour. This brings up a good point that timing matters if you choose to go see the horses!
Horse

6. For the truly adventurous parents out there, take your tent and sleeping bags, choose one of the many caves and spend the night. Keep your hotel room so you can return in the morning and shower and have some breakfast! This will be a memory your kids will never forget.

7. Go to My House restaurant in Göreme and get ice cream. It is the cheapest we have found, and it tastes great.
My house

8. Video them doing all of these things and then let them help you edit the final product. You can write out a mystery or plan a music video or even a documentary and then film it with the kids as the main characters. Click here to see a music video our kids made with some of their friends. Ignore the copyright violations. I am sure DC Talk does not mind. They had a ton of fun making it, and it shows off some cool Cappadocian scenery.

9. The shopping area in the center of Ürgüp is a great place to take the kids as it has such an array of interesting items for sale. This is the place to find gifts for all your friends back home.
Carsi

10. Go to Avanos and take a ride in a gondola boat. The river is nice, and they are working hard to make it nicer. This looks really fun. I put it last because of the price. The boats hold up to six people, but the price is the same regardless of the number of passengers: 60TL for 45 minutes in 2012.
Gondola
The same company that does gondola rides also offers Jet Boat rides, which your kids Kapadokya Jet Boat and Gondola will love. The boat speeds up and down the river doing 360 degree spins and spraying water everywhere. The price is around 100TL per person and the ride lasts about an hour and includes a stop to climb around in some ruins on the riverbank.

And because I am a nice guy, I am giving you two bonus activities:
11. If none of these work, stop by our house. We have seven kids, a playroom, and a big yard. Our kids will be happy to meet your kids and play with them.

12. On your way to the airport or before hitting the road, go to a winery in Ürgüp and enjoy the free wine-tasting. Your kids will sleep very well and you will have a more peaceful return trip!
Wine

There you have it. After reading this you will most likely need to add a couple of days to your trip. My one warning is that many of these will not work in the winter, of course. November to March is cold in Cappadocia and being outside is not so fun. There is still plenty to do, but you will have the most fun when the weather is warm.

What else have you done with your kids in Cappadocia?


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Duke Dillard moved to Turkey with his wife and 6 children in 2007. He got an MBA at Bilkent University in Ankara, where they had their 7th child. After 4 years in Ankara the whole family moved to Cappadocia, and this blog was born. We love Cappadocia and Cappadocians and want to help visitors make the most of their time here. You can connect with Duke on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and/or link circles on Google+. Click here to read more about Duke and his family.