Things to do in Florence with Kids – That Parents will love too!
Planning a trip to Florence with kids, or passing by on your Italian family holiday? Lucky you! You are going to love it! To get the best out of your time in bella Firenze, we have put together some useful information to help you along your way.
Below you can find your guide to visiting the art capital of Italy, which includes a list of things to do in Florence with kids. Whether you travel during the Summer or Winter, there is so much to experience that you will want at least good few days to explore the highlights, longer if you have time.
Planning your family trip to Florence
Travelling anywhere with kids can be a challenge no matter their age. However it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel, it just means you need to travel differently. By all means, make sure you see and do the things you want to, but make sure to include some kids activities or at least take things slowly. Below you can find everything you need to know about planning your trip to Florence with kids including when to travel, how to get around, and what to see and do.
When to travel to Florence with Kids
May – September is peak time for travellers to visit Florence. This is where the city is swarmed with tourists from all over the world. July and August are the hottest months in Italy in General, and because of the humidity in Rome during those months, it’s probably not the best months to travel to Rome with kids. Most Italians tend to leave the cities to visit the coastal regions of Italy during this time.
December – February is Italy’s Winter, and the coldest months with snow falling occasionally in February. If you don’t mind the cold too much, around Christmas is a magical time in Florence where you can find Christmas markets and decorated Christmas trees in the main piazzas.
Spring time (March – May) or Autumn (September – November) is probably the best time to visit Florence with kids if you are wanting to experience nice comfortable weather. It is also during these times that accommodation prices are lower and a great time for an Italy family holiday.
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Getting around Florence with Kids
Getting around Florence with kids is quite easy. Florence is much smaller than cities such as Rome or Milan, and it is fairly easy to get around on foot. In fact, within about half an hour you can get from one side of the city to the other. However, you will probably take longer stopping at different attractions along the way.
If your little ones get tired however there is the option of the ATAF busses which are quite cheap too. And there are the famous Hop on Hop off busses that make it quite easy.
What to see and do in Florence with Kids
Here we have put together the best things to see and do if you are travelling to Florence with kids:
1. Take a family tour of the Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most renowned art museums in the world and one of the most popular attractions in Florence. The good news is that there are so many ways to make art attractive for kids here.
Uffizi has a dedicated section for families that helps them plan their tours. You can join special visits here such as the Flower Tour, Discovery of Monsters, and Factory of Stories to keep your kids engaged. The Monster Tour is especially engaging and comes with map that helps your little one look out for monsters among all the art. Exciting, isn’t it?
You can also do private, family tours of the Uffizi. These allow you to skip lines, play fun-filled treasure hunt games, and be steered by an expert tour guide.
If you decide to do an Uffizi tour on your own, remember to book advanced tickets online. Click here for discounted tours of the Uffizi Museum and to skip the line.
For more information on the Uffizi Gallery and how to make it fun for kids, see our full guide: Uffizi facts for kids and tips for your visit.
2. Walk or picnic in the Florentine gardens
The gardens of Florence need a special mention particularly when you are travelling to Florence with kids. Spread over large green spaces, these gardens are the perfect places for kids to run around, chase butterflies, smell flowers, and sit down for a picnic lunch.
The Boboli, a beautiful Renaissance garden located behind the Pitti Palace, is free for kids to enter. Adults need to purchase tickets. You may want to book your tickets in advance to avoid the queues.
The Bardini Garden is another gorgeous one sans the queues. It features a wisteria arbor and a terrace that provides spectacular views of Florence.
3. Enjoy panoramic views at Piazzale Michelangelo
If you love sweeping views and open spaces, then you have to visit Piazzale Michelangelo.
Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the most popular squares in Florence and offers stunning views of the city below. It even has a bronze copy of Michelangelo’s David.
The best part is it is free to visit. You can hike up here, or if you have little ones that won’t make it, you can always take a bus.
4. Take a spin on an antique carousel at Piazza della Republica
If you have younger kids in the tow, head to the brightly-painted, antique carousel of the Picci family at Piazza della Republica. It has got 20 wooden horses, 2 gilded carriages and enough space for parents to stand beside their little ones.
You can ride this charming carousel for a small sum and enjoy the beauty of the piazza simultaneously. The carousel is beautifully lit every evening and provides the perfect spot for those adorable family pictures. Perfect if visiting Florence with kids!
5. Dress up like royalty at Palazzo Vecchio
One of the lesser known things to do in Florence with kids is visiting the Palazzo Vecchio. If you believe that it is only for adults and art lovers, think again.
Palazzo Vecchio organizes a tour called “Life at Court” specifically designed for kids between 4 – 10 years of age. Participants are taken through the palace’s majestic rooms, secret passages, and pretty gardens by a friendly guide who peppers his narratives with interesting stories.
At the end of the tour, kids can try out copies of royal costumes from the 16th century and actually play with princes’ toys. How cool is that!
The tour lasts for about 75 minutes and is more frequent during summers. You can book your tickets here.
6. Climb up the Duomo
If your kids are up for a physical challenge, a fun thing to do in Florence with kids is climb the Duomo! There are 463 steps to get to the top of the dome, some of which are pretty steep. There is no elevator. So, make sure you are absolutely up for it before beginning the climb.
Once at the top, you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the city. Inside the dome, you can view the frescoes of Last Judgement up close. Remember that getting your time reserved is mandatory to access Brunelleschi’s Dome.
7. Visit the Leonardo da Vinci Museum
Another museum that should be on your Florence itinerary with kids is the Leonardo da Vinci Museum located in the city center. This museum is dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci and has a huge collection of machines designed by the genius.
You get an opportunity to touch and play with these interesting machines and models. You can also join workshops to recreate some of da Vinci’s creations right from his own codes. Definitely, a fun way to learn how machines work. Make sure you book your tickets online to avoid waiting in long queues.
8. Try some gelato at its place of origin
If you are in Florence with kids, or anywhere in Italy really, you must try some gelato! It is quite possible that gelato was invented right here in Florence in the court of Duke of Medici long before Francesco Procopio Cutò traveled to Paris with his gelato-making machine. No doubt, Florentines take their gelato seriously.
There are several places in Florence where you can dig into some authentic gelato. You can also do gelato tours! Isn’t that a delicious prospect? Trying some gelato at its birthplace!
Expert advice: Avoid brighter colors and bigger piles. Look out for smaller gelaterias that offer artisanal flavors.
9. Enroll for a rowing course
One of the more unique things to do in Florence with kids is go rowing. Società Canottieri Firenze, established in 1886, organizes rowing camps every summer for children aged 9 – 17. Rowing on the Arno River and under Ponte Vecchio can be a thrilling idea for many.
You can register for a week or two depending on your preferences. Classes are of two types – Summer Centers and Summer Courses (details here) and happen on all weekdays. A rowing course is a good idea if you are planning to spend a while in Florence and your kid is excited to pick up a new skill.
10. Get amazed at Museo La Specola
Museo di Storia Naturale – La Specola or the Natural History Museum in Florence should be one of your top choices if you are traveling to Florence with kids.
One of the oldest science museums in Europe, La Specola contains millions of stuffed animals and makes for a great place to learn about the evolution of animals. It also has the world’s largest collection of 18th-century anatomical waxes and an impressive Skeleton Hall.
After being done with the museum, remember to spend some time at the oldest botanical gardens in Florence, the “Giardino dei Semplici” (part of the museum). It was created by the Medicis in the 16th century and is home to a wide variety of plants today.
If your child is a budding scientist or a nature lover, he will love browsing through the aisles of La Specola or appreciating the flora at Giardino dei Semplici. For ticketing details, visit here.
11. Walk across Ponte Vecchio
Walking the Ponte Vecchio, an arched bridge over the Arno River, is definitely a must-do when visiting Florence with kids. The bridge is lined with jewelry and souvenir stalls and provides some unique views of Florence. Grab a gelato cone and enjoy a leisurely stroll across this iconic bridge.
12. Explore the markets of Florence
Exploring the markets can be a fun thing to do in Florence with kids depending on their ages. The outdoor markets of Florence require no fee and allow you to walk around and experience local life and culture firsthand.
San Lorenzo and Mercato Centrale, Le Cascine, Mercato Nuovo are some of the more popular ones. Few of them are pretty old and have interesting histories. You can simply walk around, window-shop, and maybe buy a souvenir or two to take home.
13. Take a Day Trip from Florence
Florence is the perfect place to base yourself in Italy if you want to immerse yourself in the Tuscan beauties. But once you have spent some time in the city there are plenty of day trips from Florence to consider.
Whether you want to head out into the countryside, explore the nearby cities and towns, or even head to the seaside, there are plenty of nearby towns and attractions to choose from such as Siena, Luca, the Cinque Terre, and even now Rome with the fast train. Check out our favourite Day Trips From Florence.
Other things to do in Florence with Kids
Apart from all these interesting things to do with kids in Florence, Firenze Tourism regularly organizes special events catering to kids and teens.
Look out for “Breakfast and Happy Hour with Leonardo” at the Science & Technology Foundation, “Children at the museum” at Museo delle Pietre Dure, and “Cirk Fantastik” at Parco delle Cascine.
Where to stay in Florence with Kids
There are various hotel options in Florence depending on your budget. CLICK HERE For the latest prices and hotel availability.
Italian Family Holiday
Chances are if you are looking for things to do in Florence with kids, you are travelling through other parts of Italy. See our full guide: Family Travel in Italy which includes numerous other family friendly destinations to consider on your Italian family holiday. If you are heading to Italy with a little one, check out our post on travel to Italy with a baby.
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