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10 things to do in Rome with kids

Traveling to the Eternal City with children can be a great plan: take note of this list of things to do in Rome with the little ones.

Alex Grande

Alex Grande

7 min read

10 things to do in Rome with kids

Children playing in a square in Rome | ©David Ramírez

Rome can be like an amusement park for kids, especially with a little context about the history of the Empire and with the right tours and activities. Luckily, the Eternal City has a number of options for them to enjoy an unforgettable trip.

Here's a list of 10 things to do in Rome with kids, with activities that even you will want to do. But sorry, you only get to be a kid once in a lifetime!

1. Visit the Bioparco, a very special zoo

The entrance to Bioparco
The entrance to Bioparco

Bioparco, also known as Giardino Zoologico di Roma, is a zoo with over two hundred different species of animals located in the park of Villa Borghese. There you can find lions, monkeys, elephants, tigers, giraffes and some endangered species such as the Egyptian tortoise.

It offers a very nice walk and unlike zoos in other European capitals it is a natural environment that fits very well in a walk through the Borghese Gardens. Of course, I recommend that you buy tickets to the Bioparco in advance to avoid queues at the entrance to the zoo.

Book tickets for the Bioparco

2. Experience a day in the life of a gladiator

The Gladiator School of Rome
The Gladiator School of Rome

The Official Gladiator School of Rome, located on the ancient Appian Way, offers an unparalleled experience for young travelers visiting the city: become a gladiator for a day.

With an authentic gladiatorial training session in which they will learn the fighting techniques that raised cheers in the Colosseum, this is a way to learn an aspect of the history of the Roman Empire in a different way. The school uses special tunics, swords and shields to faithfully recreate the experience of a gladiator.

Book tickets for the Gladiator School

3. Search for hidden treasures in Rome

Searching for treasures in Trastevere
Searching for treasures in Trastevere

Sometimes it's hard to get kids to be willing to walk a whole day through a city at its best, especially if it's on the typical tour full of facts and history. Luckily, there is a very fun way to tour Rome, and that is by turning the walk into a game of hidden treasure hunt.

You have different options when it comes to this type of game; you can book a game of exploration through Rome's old town and take advantage while the younger ones are entertained to see Rome's most famous sights.

When you book this experience, you will receive a confirmation email where a meeting point will be indicated. Once there you will need to enter the code from your email on the website and you will receive a password to open a secret box and receive your inventory to start the adventure. Take your time and you will discover the best kept secrets of Rome, which will leave you speechless!

Book the Rome Exploration Game

4. Discover the Vatican on a guided tour for kids

Vatican Dome| ©Javier Martinez
Vatican Dome| ©Javier Martinez

Another treasure trove, like those housed in the Vatican Museums, can overwhelm even the oldest of us. But knowing beforehand that it is one of the top places to visit in Rome, don't miss it if you are traveling with children, as there are tours specially designed for them.

With the guided tour of the Vatican for families, the tour of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica will be much more fun. The guide will tell anecdotes, invent interactive games and will make sure that the little ones will not get bored and will learn about the history. In addition, tickets are included and you will avoid the queues at the ticket office.

Book a guided tour of the Vatican for children

5. Discover Leonardo Da Vinci's machines at work

Da Vinci Museum
Da Vinci Museum

The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, at Via Conciliazione, 19, is the only museum in the world with more than 50 certified Da Vinci inventions, as well as a place where you can see some of his most famous paintings.

Here you can discover how the mind of the Renaissance genius worked by operating his machines and learning about mechanics and physics, something that can be very interesting for both adults and teenagers. With tickets to the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum you will also have access to the subway pond.

Book tickets for the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum

6. Explore the Catacombs of Rome

Catacombs of Rome
Catacombs of Rome

When I was a kid, my favorite holiday of the year was Halloween and my favorite thing to do with my friends was to play Dungeons and Dragons, so if my parents had taken me to visit the Catacombs of Rome, it would probably be an experience I would have never forgotten.

Okay, maybe it's not an activity for all kids as it can get a little scary, but as long as you take a tour of the Catacombs of San Callisto or San Sebastiano, you won't find human remains or tombs built with bones. These are two of the most popular in Rome, of which the former may be the most interesting because of its historical importance and size.

If you feel like enjoying this experience as a family, please note that they can only be visited on an organized tour. For all the information about visiting the Catacombs of Rome, I recommend you read this article: Rome Catacombs Tickets: how to buy and prices.

Book a visit to the catacombs of Rome

7. Rent a bike or rollerblades to tour the Borghese Gardens

Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese

The Villa Borghese gardens are a delight to stroll through before visiting the fascinating Borghese Gallery. But I propose something a little different to enjoy with the family, and that is to rent a bike, skates or a segway to ride through the flowery paths of this park. Around Villa Borghese you will find stores and stalls to rent.

You can also hop on the miniature train that goes around all the sights of Villa Borghese, from 10:30 in the morning until sunset uninterrupted. It's a fun way to tour these gardens and see the beautiful sculptures in passing.

Book a bike tour in Rome

8. Unleash the adrenaline at the Rainbow MagicLand amusement park

Rainbow MagicLand
Rainbow MagicLand

Rainbow MagicLand is a theme park located one hour from Rome, in the village of Valmontone, where you can find a wide range of 40 attractions and shows, perfect for a day of thrills with the family.

Much of the amusement park is set in the Winx Club universe, with a recreation of the Castle of Alfea and the Lake of the Fairies, where you can ride roller coasters, shuttles, water rides and enjoy performances and musical shows. There are also areas dedicated to the legend of King Arthur, with tournaments on horseback, battles in the arena, and taverns where you can eat in medieval style (spoiler: no silverware).

To reach the Rainbow MagicLand amusement park, it is best to go by train or bus, both departing from Termini Station. As this is a full-day excursion, I recommend doing it only if you are staying in Rome for five days or more.

9. Visit the cat shelter of Largo di Torre Argentina

View of the ruins of Largo di Torre Argentina square| ©gérard
View of the ruins of Largo di Torre Argentina square| ©gérard

Largo di Torre Argentina is the name of a group of ruins from the time of the Roman Republic, and includes four temples as well as part of the Senate building in Rome. Most visitors come here because of its historical interest: history claims that the assassination of Julius Caesar took place here in 44 B.C.

But on the other hand, Largo di Torre Argentina is home to hundreds of abandoned cats who live in a shelter in the square itself, and wander quietly among the ruins of what was once an important site in ancient Rome. If you go with children, the experience of being able to learn about the history of the place while petting a cat or watching them walk around can be very endearing and beautiful.

10. Buy wooden toys at Bartolucci

Bartolucci
Bartolucci

After a hard day of hiking and visiting tourist attractions, you can buy a nice souvenir for the little ones at Bartolucci, at Via dei Pastini 96-99. This is a wooden toy store, where you will find cuckoo clocks, pinocchios, airplanes and little horses, made with great taste and as they are hard to find anymore.

Another option is to visit Al Sogno, in Piazza Navona, 53, known for its endless catalog of stuffed animals. Here, your children can take home a unique souvenir of their visit to Rome.

Tips and tricks for traveling to Rome with children

I can't finish this article without telling you some of the tricks to travel with your family to Rome and save some money and time, as many attractions and museums have free admission for children or special advantages. Here are a few things to know before your trip:

  • The metro and bus is free for children up to age 9, and the train is free for children up to age 3, with 50% discounts for children ages 4-11.
  • Admission to the Catacombs is free for children up to 6 years old and children between 7 and 15 years old have reduced admission.
  • Similarly, for the Vatican Museums admission is free for children up to 5 years old and reduced admission for children up to 18 years old.
  • Rome is not the most stroller-friendly city, so I recommend carrying your baby in a baby carrier. It is also a good idea to bring diapers and baby food from home, as the brands sold in the supermarkets there will probably be unfamiliar to you.
  • With a Roma Pass, your children have free admission and access to everything included in the pass.
  • I advise you to prepare your children a little in advance of the trip, documenting them even superficially on the history of Rome and the places they will see.