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Family & Social Welfare

Sports & Other Recreational Activities for Youths

Research has shown that encouraging children and adolescents to take part in organized recreational activities reduces their involvement in unhealthy activities and supports their physical and mental wellbeing.

Recreational Activities

Children and adolescents all over Iceland take part in sports; art, music and drama programs; dance lessons and a variety of other organized recreational activities that often lead them to developing their skills into adulthood.

Some municipalities in Iceland subsidize the fees associated with participating in certain sports, creative and youth club activities. The regulations surrounding these subsidies vary by municipality, but more detailed information can be found on the website for your municipality.

The National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland (ÍSÍ) is the umbrella organization for organized sports in Iceland. 

According to the Icelandic Sports Act, Iceland is divided into sports districts, and each district operates a regional federation of all the sports associations in that district.

Within ÍSÍ there are also other special federations of sports associations and sports committees.

There are many scouting associations operating in Iceland.

Many of the local chapters of the Red Cross offer programs for children and adolescents.

ICE-SAR, the Icelandic Association for Search & Rescue, operates youth programs.

Music schools in Iceland are operated by the local municipalities and by private parties. Their websites provide information regarding their activities and music education, as well as application forms.

Ballet instruction in Iceland is handled by private parties.

Many primary schools offer school orchestras. You can find more information on school websites.

Chess clubs are also popular in Iceland.

Most religious associations offer children's activities and youth groups, both within and outside the national church of Iceland

The larger local communities offer summer programs for children. These programs offer a range of opportunities for children and adolescents. Information on summer programs can be found on the websites for the local municipalities, sports associations and community centers.

A limited number of staffed playgrounds are operated in several of the larger municipalities over summer. They are intended for younger children, and age limits vary. Further information can be found on the municipal websites.