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A Family Friendly Running of the Bulls Festival

Miles de personas despiden a los Gigantes, las comparsas sanfermineras, mientras bailan en la Plaza del Ayuntamiento el último día de las fiestas de San Fermín, el jueves 14 de julio del 2011. (Foto AP/Alvaro Barrientos)
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For one week every year in Spain, all eyes are looking to Pamplona as The Running of the Bulls Festival takes place. From July 7 to July 14, the big week of the city makes it full of people, music and every kind of activities to enjoy a proper festival. In previous posts, we have explained different ways of living this amazing event from different perspectives. For this week, we are going to explain the perfect things and activities to do with your little ones during The Running of The Bulls Festival. Keep on reading our tips and take good notes to live a perfect San Fermín Festival.

When to visit Pamplona during the Festival?
As it lasts for a week, thousands of visitors decide to go there to have a nice party. Generally, the days with the greatest number of tourists are those of the weekend, so from Friday to Sunday it is really difficult to live the festival in a comfortable atmosphere. During the whole weekend, every street and corner in Pamplona is crowded, so for families with little kids it is better to visit the city from Monday to Friday. This is the best way to enjoy every activity and avoid overcrowding. Even locals decide to run from the city at weekends as they know that the purest and most genuine festival takes place during midweek days.

Where to Sleep?
For this purpose, you should ask for interior rooms, as noise can be really disturbing. Other option could be looking for a hotel in a quieter area of Pamplona. Even though you will not to stay in the heart of the festival itself, it is the best option if you want to make the most of every activity you can do. Resting properly is as important as having good fun and most hotels offer a free transfer to city center, so you don’t have to worry about schedules or taxis.

Which balcony is best for my family?
Once you have chosen the accommodation that suits best for you, it is time to go to the encierro. The Bull Run is the best known activity during the festival. Thousands of people run across the streets of Pamplona surrounding the bulls until they reach the bullring for the seven days of the festival. Obviously, your children are not going to take part in this event, but for sure they will want to watch the fascinating show. You have to make sure of not entering the bulls’ path before the run starts, as it is normally full of people waiting for the encierro to start. For that purpose, we have balconies all along the path to have privileged sights of the run with back entrance to avoid overcrowding.

And finally, The only way to watch the Opening Ceremony (Chupinazo) on July 6th, is having a balcony facing Pamplona’s Town Hall. Being on the street could be dangerous for the little ones because agglomerations are usual that day. Just leave it in our hands and we will get you the best place to watch this spectacular event.
you should also make sure of having a balcony at the Town Hall square if you want to watch the chupinazo at July 6, which marks the start of the festival.

Which activities suit best for our family?
Since this text is mainly devoted to children, San Fermin Festival also has a day which is dedicated to the little ones. This day is July 11, when after the encierro, different activities are performed for children to have fun and make the most out of the festival. Once the run is over, the Gigantes y Cabezudos (Giants and Big Head parade) takes the floor, making everyone’s delights with their peculiar and colorful costumes and the musical accompaniment. After this amazing parade, there is a floral tribute to San Fermin led by children, so they can also feel an important part of the festival. This day also counts with an infant dance meeting, where hundreds of children perform on stage.

There is also a permanent space for children in Plaza Libertad, where “Menuda Fiesta” is located. There, for the whole week, children will enjoy activities and attractions. This is an excellent place for them to play with other kids and for parents to socialize with the rest of parents.

Other event for children is the Toro de Fuego (Fire Bull). Every night during the festival, at 10pm, every children goes to Santo Domingo’s Street, which is one of the main parts of the morning run, to wait for the Fire Bull. This is the perfect chance for them to run in front of a carton and wooden bull and and have fun with other kids.

Finally, we should also mention some other activities that may be attractive not only for children but also for adults. For example, every night, an international firework contest takes place in which artists from different parts of the world make their best show to lighten Pamplona’s night sky. The city’s fair, known as Barracas, is other place to visit. There, nearly a hundred of rides are available for both children and adults to have a great amusement.

Another activity to be done could be visiting the bulls in the corrals they stay before the run. You can do this both in the mornings and in the afternoons, and we are sure that children will be amazed by the majesty of the fierce bulls that will be the main protagonists of the encierros.

As you have read, there are lots of things to do during the festival. Normally, what we see on TV is just the most famous part of Sanfermines, but there are a bunch of activities to have fun in family. There are events for everyone, no matter your age. For sure, if you follow our recommendations and try to make the most of the days you stay in Pamplona, Sanfermines is going to be a Holiday to remember. Don’t doubt to contact us and solve every doubt you may have.









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