Although Italy isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of traveling with kids, there are plenty of fun things to do for the whole family in Florence around every corner. From wide open gardens and piazzas to enjoy, to interactive and kid-friendly museums, there is something for all age groups and interests in the birthplace of the Renaissance. Here’s our list of some of the best things to do in Florence with kids of any age.
Picnic and Playtime in One of Florence’s Many Gardens
The famous Boboli Gardens are right behind Pitti Palace, in the Oltrarno of Florence (on the other side of the Arno River). It’s one of the largest parks in the area and is home to a collection of sculptures, built between the 16th and the 18th centuries, with some Roman antiquities, and other stand-alone museums on the grounds. Besides the history, beautiful sprawling acres and plenty to explore, it’s also great for some outdoor playtime and a peaceful picnic with the family. If you’ve got older kids, check into visiting one of the many exhibits inside the famous palace, Palazzo Pitti, after you’ve explored the hidden corners of Boboli Gardens.
Ride the Antique Carousel in Piazza della Repubblica
After strolling through the streets of Florence, you can stop in Piazza della Repubblica, a central square which is home to a gorgeous antique carousel. The kids will love to take a ride or two and there is usually an exciting atmosphere with plenty of space to run around, street musicians, balloon vendors, and sometimes even someone blowing bubbles for the kids.
Gelato, Gelato, Gelato!
You can’t visit Italy without indulging in a daily dose of its famous frozen treat, especially in the sunny weather. You can learn all about how it’s made and how to spot real artisanal gelato during a fun, hands-on activity the whole family will love with our Gelato Making Experience. Once you’ve made your own and become certified gelato experts, put your expertise to the test and decide which is the best gelateria in Florence with your newfound knowledge. That means, of course, trying as many as possible!
Choose Florence Museums with Children’s Activities
When visiting Florence, your plan will most definitely include at least one museum. We offer a private tour exclusively catered to the young ones consisting of some of the most kid friendly museums in the city, including Palazzo Vecchio, Galileo Museum, Palazzo Strozzi, Museo degli Innocenti and more. Keep them entertained and educated with some renaissance history while utilizing the museums’ special interactive additions. Always ask about options for kids; you might be surprised what you find.
Gain a New Perspective with Kid-Friendly Climbs
Take the kids along to enjoy one of the city’s best vista points, Piazzale Michelangelo. Walk up the hill to the piazza and be rewarded with the breathtaking view. Once at the top, sit on the steps, relax and enjoy taking it all in. Another way to see Florence from above is to climb to the top of Giotto’s bell tower next to the Duomo. The less crowded option, but equally great view, is from the bell tower at Palazzo Vecchio for a new perspective of the famous Duomo and bell tower together. Climbing to the top of the Duomo is also a possibility, but probably better for the older kids due to the 463 steep and narrow steps to the top!
Experience San Lorenzo Market
Dedicate a morning to the local San Lorenzo Market (or Mercato Centrale), where you can appreciate a great assortment of fresh produce from the Tuscan countryside. Here you’ll find cheese, meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, and kids can engage their senses and experience a traditional Florentine market. Then, when tummies start growling, head upstairs to the food court for lunch where you will find plenty of options to make everyone happy in one place.
Take a Cooking Lesson
Italian food has something for everyone and is also fun to make. Why not take a cooking class with your kids: you’ll be surprised. Many children love to get their hands dirty and create. We offer classes for all levels with professional chefs and equipped kitchens. Afterward, enjoy tasting what you have created together and a have memories you will always cherish.
Plan an Urban Scavenger Hunt
Let the kids lead the way while seeing the city’s famous monuments. Not only will being the leaders of the group keep them excited and entertained, they will also get to enjoy the challenge of navigating the map and exploring the city. Some things to see along the way could be visiting the “Porcellino”, a bronze sculpture of a boar that has become the mascot of the Mercato Nuovo, taking a photo from Ponte Vecchio, or counting the bees on the monument in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. There are plenty of fun, hidden things to keep you searching for and entertained along the way.
Cool Off at a Swimming Pool
In case you come to Florence during summer, just know that the summer season can be really hot in town, so a nice way to cool off is at the local pool. The beach is an option, but the closest one is about an hour and a half away from Florence. Instead, the city has several swimming pool options that are full of locals. Try a dip at the pool at Cascine Park. Don’t forget to bring a swim cap (mandatory if you’d like to take a dip, if you don’t have one you can purchase it at the pool) and everyone’s IDs. The swimming pools often have an area for bathing and sometimes a grassy area where you can refresh and have a picnic as well.
Get Artsy in the Birthplace of the Renaissance
Let your inner Michelangelo shine with our Florentine art class. Choose between painting or sculpting with this private course taught by professional artists and take home your unique creation. After being surrounded by so much art in Florence, you can’t help but feel inspired. If the kids are too young for an art course, why not stop by a local art supplies shop and pick up some watercolors. Enjoy sitting outside in a piazza or park and paint in the city like a true European artist.
Take a Historical Joy Ride
Last, but not least, see the city slow and easy with a horse drawn carriage. Although it can be pricey, the kids will love it and it’s also a great way to get around while giving your feet a rest. You can find the horses parked in the shade in Piazza del Duomo or Piazza della Signoria grazing on hay while resting between rides. You may even get lucky and find the locally famous coachman who dresses the part in his top hat and era-appropriate attire to drive you around Florence.
Exploring Florence with kids can be fun, but after all the excitement you might be in desperate need of some adult time. After catering to the kids, take some time and enjoy a night out to see a different side of Florence. We organize babysitting services at your hotel with a local trusted agency with nannies from all backgrounds and languages.