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10 Things to Do in Florence for Children

Florence, contrary to what it may seem, is a highly recommended city to visit with children and in this post I discover the best 10 activities you can do with your family in the capital of the Renaissance.

Carlos Bleda

Carlos Bleda

8 min read

10 Things to Do in Florence for Children

Carrousel | ©PicJumbo

With so many museums, churches and historical sites you may think that Florence is a boring city to visit with children. On the contrary.The Florentine capital has a lot to see and do even with the little ones. In addition to the usual visits, there are some activities that the little ones will especially enjoy.

The city's many museums adapt their visits to make them more enjoyable for the little ones, monuments and tourist sites have special rates and even Florence is the setting for one of the most popular video games among children...and not so children. Discover the top 10 things to do in Florence with kids below.

1. Climbing the dome of the Duomo

Exterior of the Dome| ©Vicente Camarasa
Exterior of the Dome| ©Vicente Camarasa

Visiting the Duomo cathedral in Florence is a must if you visit the city. Visiting a cathedral doesn't sound particularly fun for kids but it can be if you get tickets to climb Brunelleschi's dome. It is a different experience that can make the little ones have a great time climbing the narrow corridors and stairs of the dome. Especially because the climb is a bit overwhelming for adults because of the narrowness at some points while for them it is much more comfortable. It is always fun to see the adults "suffer".

The Florence Cathedral, like many tourist attractions, offers special rates for children. In this case the entrance to the Duomo for children from 7 to 14 years old has a reduced rate.

Buy tickets for the Duomo of Florence

2. Visit the museums of Florence

Uffizi Gallery| ©Matt Twyman
Uffizi Gallery| ©Matt Twyman

There are more than 70 museums in Florence and all of them are suitable for children. Do not miss them thinking that the children will get bored because it would be a mistake. There are museums such as the Leonardo Da Vinci or Galileo museums that house many pieces, such as models of Da Vinci's inventions, with which children can interact and enjoy. There are others like the natural history museum that has a large collection of dinosaurs and the classics like the Uffizi Gallery or the Accademia offer guided tours designed for children and that transform the visit into a kind of treasure hunt.

There is even a children's museum in the Palazzo Vecchio that offers dramatized tours, laboratories and experiments that the little ones are sure to enjoy. As you can see there is no reason not to visit the best museums in the city with children and, in addition, all of them have special rates for children.

Buy tickets for the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum

3. Ride the merry-go-round in Republic Square

Carrocucel in Republic square.| ©Jesus
Carrocucel in Republic square.| ©Jesus

Piazza della Repubblica is one of the main squares in Florence and one of the most beautiful. While adults enjoy the artistic part of the square, children can have a great time on the merry-go-round that is installed in the square. It is installed all year round and a ride costs only 1 euro.

In the same square there is also the statue of the Porcellino. A fountain with a figure of a wild boar on which a curious tradition has been created. It consists of putting your hand with a coin in the snout of the animal and letting it fall. If the coin falls into the grids of the fountain it means that the Porcellino has brought you luck and you will be able to return to Florence. This "game" always pleases the little ones.

4. Get lost in the labyrinths of the Boboli Gardens

In the Boboli Gardens| ©Andrey O!
In the Boboli Gardens| ©Andrey O!

Another must-see in Florence is the Pitti Palace. Luckily for the little ones, the gardens of this palace are an ideal place to play. Known as the Boboli Gardens, the hedges and trees are arranged in a maze-like pattern where children can play "lost and found" while the accompanying adults enjoy a pleasant stroll through the palace gardens.

Admission to the palace and gardens costs 10 euros but children have discounts and also the first Sunday of each month the visit to the gardens is free.

5. Puppet show on the Ponte Vecchio

Puppet show on the Ponte Vecchio.| ©Susana García
Puppet show on the Ponte Vecchio.| ©Susana García

The famous Ponte Vecchio, besides being a must-see in Florence, is a place full of stimuli for children. On the bridge there are all kinds of stores, food shops and street performances that will not have a chance to get bored. There is also a "secret" tunnel at the top of the bridge.

But the main attraction for the little ones of the house is the puppet show that takes place almost every day and at various times on the Ponte Vecchio. There are several companies in Florence that do the show for free, although they accept tips.

6. Pizza and gelato, a winning combo for children

Pizzerias are everywhere in Florence.| ©Susana García.
Pizzerias are everywhere in Florence.| ©Susana García.

Few things are more popular with children than a meal of pizza and ice cream. And being in the heart of Italy, kids can enjoy the best ice cream, pizza and pasta dishes. There are pizzerias and gelato shops all over Florence but my recommendation is to visit the Mercato Centrale in the San Lorenzo district.

Here children can not only eat their favorite dishes but learn how to make them. At the market there are several workshops for kids where Italian chefs will teach them how to make pizzas and even homemade ice cream.

7. Let's go to the beach...in Florence?

Beach in Florence| ©Aleksandr Stepanov
Beach in Florence| ©Aleksandr Stepanov

If you visit Florence in summer you probably miss a swim at the beach. Well, surprisingly it is something that has a solution, since Florence has a beach. Logically it is not a normal beach, but an artificial one on the banks of the Arno River.

It is a very well conditioned space with umbrellas, hammocks and a beach bar perfect for a drink while the little ones play in the sand. It is a good option for the hottest days of the Florentine summer.

8. Feeling like a Medici in Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio| ©Hannes Hiller
Palazzo Vecchio| ©Hannes Hiller

This typical Florentine palace is located in the heart of the city and is currently the seat of the town hall and museum. It can be visited and guided tours of the palace are a highly recommended activity for children.

In addition to discovering the secret passages in the rooms of the palace, the activity that children will enjoy the most is dressing up in typical Medici costumes. This activity is included in the tour and is usually the favorite part of the visit for children. The Palazzo Vecchio
also houses the children's museum, which teaches the history of Florence through theatrical performances.

9. Bike tour in the center of Florence

Florence by Bike at Sunset| ©Rnt20
Florence by Bike at Sunset| ©Rnt20

Touring the historic center of Florence on foot can be tedious for children. One way to turn a stroll through the streets into something different and fun is to rent a bike. The entire city center is pedestrianized so there is no danger of cars for children.

Since it is an activity increasingly requested by locals and tourists in the center there are several stores that offer the rental of all types of bikes and from about 15 euros per day.

10. Getting to know Florence through video games

Video Game Control| ©JÉSHOOTS
Video Game Control| ©JÉSHOOTS

If your children are over 10 years old and they like to play video games, it is very likely that they have played Assassins Creed. This videogame is set in Renaissance Florenceand in it our character will go through scenarios that you will visit as the Piazza del Duomo, the bell tower of the cathedral or the Battistero di San Giovanni.

If you have played it you will surely enjoy visiting the scenarios of this popular video game. In fact, there are specific tours that run through the main points of Florence with the story of Assassins Creed as a common thread. Video games and tourism can go hand in hand and this is an activity that children are sure to enjoy...and adults too.

11. A fairytale excursion outside Florence: Pinocchio's Park

In Pinocchio's Park| ©Timo Soderlund
In Pinocchio's Park| ©Timo Soderlund

If we have a day left over in Florence we have the opportunity to compensate our children after a trip full of museums and monuments by taking an excursion outside the city. In that case the best option is to visit the Pinocchio Park.

This theme park is based on the famous novel Pinocchio by Carlo Lorenzini and it is represented several scenes from the story with attractions and interactive activities designed for the enjoyment of children.

The park is located in Collodi, about 80 kilometers from Florence. It takes about 1 hour by car and there are also buses that go directly to Collodi. It is a highly recommended activity for children to enjoy in the midst of all the sightseeing in Florence and Tuscany.

Tips for visiting Florence with children

Leonardo da Vinci Museum| ©SG
Leonardo da Vinci Museum| ©SG

Traveling with children requires some patience and planning, but taking into account a number of points and recommendations there is nothing you can't do in Florence. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you travel to the Florentine city with children:

  • The most important thing is to book the entrance to museums and monuments in advance. If you don't, it is quite likely that you will encounter long queues and we know that children and queues don't get along well.
  • In all tourist attractions there are special discounts for children. Many of them also offer specific guided tours designed for the little ones. Be informed about these tours before visiting a museum or monument.
  • If you are traveling by car, there is nothing to worry about. Florence is quite accessible in this sense and in places like the cathedral they let you enter with a car and if not there is usually a locker where you can leave it to make your visit without problems.
  • Find out about family tours. These are guided tours of the main sights of Florence designed especially for families with children. The advantage of these tours is that the guides adapt the visit to the little ones with treasure hunts and interactive activities.
  • If you travel in summer pay special attention to the hydration of children as summer temperatures in Florence are quite high.
  • If you are traveling by car with children, keep in mind that the city center is pedestrianized and cannot be accessed by car. Doing so can lead to heavy fines and parking near the center is quite expensive. If this is your case and you are traveling by car, look for a centrally located accommodation to save you and your children long walks with strollers.