If you’re looking for things to do with children in Florence, then look no further! Perhaps Florence was not the first destination that sprang to your mind to take the children to. However there are, in fact, a number of activities to keep them amused during your stay.
First and foremost, a great way to find your bearings is to enjoy a tour of Florence that has been specifically created with children in mind.
One great place for children is the Museo dei Ragazzi (Children’s Museum) located in the Palazzo Vecchio. Set up in 2000, the museum includes two small theatres. The first, named ‘Bia and Garcia’s story telling room’ is aimed at children aged 3 upwards. The other, with the more grown up name, ‘Renaissance and Civilisation in Florence’ is aimed at anyone from 8 to 88! The museum also has a large multimedia room and art studio for it’s visitors to enjoy some painting. Children have the chance to make their own fresco, among other things, which they can then take away with them. The museum hosts a number of activities and educational workshops too. Activities range from building a model of the Palazzo Vecchio to peering through a replica of Michaelangelo’s binoculars.
The interactive tours that the Museo dei Ragazzi sets up are also excellent. Actors will dress up as famous characters from history such as Galileo or Vasari. Then they’ll literally bring history to life in front of you. Most tours are aimed at children aged 8 or 10 or over. However there are a few for those aged 3 and upwards. Some start in the early evening so it also requires your youngster to have some stamina to keep going this late in the day! Tours must be booked in advance and may occur in different venues. Please see the website for more details.
There are plenty of other museums on offer to entertain children in Florence. However, it’s best to choose carefully which ones you visit to ensure you don’t overload them! One popular one amongst youngsters is the Leonardo da Vinci Museum. The exhibits here bring the drawings of Leonardo to life. Children can play with the models as much as they like. Turning wheels and watching the gears and mechanisms work on anything from a machine gun to a crane will allow them to see how these machines work. Book tickets to the Leonardo da Vinci museum in advance to avoid disappointment.
For those interested in Leonardo da Vinci, you might also like the Museo Leonardiano in Vinci just outside Florence. It is packed full of inventions by the great artist.
Also just outside Florence is Fiesole. In the hills above the city, there is plenty to occupy children here, including the Etruscan tombs. Believe it or not, their size is actually perfect for little ones who are small enough to climb in and out. Whilst you’re here, why not also take the opportunity to bring to life what they have learned about Romans at school. You’ll find a Roman amphitheatre here as well as the remains of a Roman temple and baths.
For those museums inside the city, do make sure you buy your tickets in advance where possible in order to avoid queuing which no child will enjoy! If you want to try and bring some of the less interactive museums to life a bit for them, then there are companies specialising in family tours. Families visiting the Uffizi Gallery could book a tour with an art historian, for example. He or she will be trained in bringing the art on the walls to life. In short, they’ll make what is often a child’s first trip to an art gallery both fun and interactive.
Similar tours can be arranged outdoors too. Guides can take you on walking tours of Florence. They’ll take you round the city streets, introducing you and your children to some of the stories and legends that surround Florence.
For those whose children who prefer not to walk, how about taking a tour on one of the ‘hop on, hop off’ Florence buses. Free headsets are provided so that you can enjoy a running commentary along the 16km route. With 15 stops en route, you can choose where to get on and off.
Of course, also outdoors, there are plenty of gardens for children to explore and run around in. We admit that they may not appreciate the beauty and elegance of the Boboli gardens. However they should still enjoy exploring the 111 acres of gardens crammed with forests, lawns, mazes, grottoes, paths and fountains. And of course, whilst the children play, the grown-ups can admire its design.
For those parents whose youngsters just aren’t old enough to appreciate the sights and sounds of Florence, why not think about enrolling them on a Florence cookery course for the day. Whilst they’re cooking up a storm, you can then explore the city in peace. This pizza and gelato making course in Florence certainly ticks all the boxes.
Bookings For You are also proud to work with Laura from Cooking in Florence. She’s a trained chef with a daughter of her own. She would be delighted to entertain your children for an afternoon or a day. She’ll teach them how to make delicious pizzas, bread or Italian cakes. She will also help them to set the table for your return so that you can enjoy afternoon tea or an early evening meal together. Trust me – there is nothing more enjoyable than sampling what they have created during the day. Please ask for more information.
Of course, talking of food, what visit to Italy would be complete without a thorough sampling of the gelato on offer! Supposedly created for the Medici’s, Florence lays claim to its invention. I promise that gelato is sure to keep any child going through the day! Head to the Piazza Repubblica to eat them. Whilst there the children can enjoy a ride on the traditional carousel there too.