Florence boasts with a rich culture through its galleries, churches, museums and Renaissance statues. But if you are travelling with young children, what are the best activities to do in Florence?
In this guide, I have researched and found the best things to do in Florence with kids so you don’t have to.
Of course, you have to take a picture of the Ponte Vecchio, eat a Bistecca alla Fiorentina or ride a boat on the Arno river. But most importantly, what are the favourite attractions that are interesting for families?
Famed as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is one the most beautiful cities in the world. A popular destination for couples, the city’s most famous bridge, Ponte Vecchio is a famous proposal spot.
So, how do you tackle Florence with kids? Luckily the Tuscan jewel also offers many attractions suitable for families with young children.
So are you ready to explore my recommended things to do in Florence with your kids. Andiamo!
1. Natural History Museum
Florence is an open-air museum by definition with so much art to discover. However, maybe your kids will get bored after a while, so why not heading to the Natural History Museum. You will find an old fashioned museum with a great collection of stuffed animals, insects and even a fascinating exhibition on the human body.
On the other hand, prepare your kids, as they will be surprised by how real the anatomy of our body is revealed in this museum.
2. Palazzo Vecchio Museum
The Palazzo Vecchio was the former home of the Medici family and now is a great museum to explore with kids. You will love walking through the hidden passages with tunnels heading to different rooms. The secret passage is certainly a true favourite attraction with children. It leads to a costume room where you will have a chance to dress up like the Medici family. However, it is probably best if you could have a good local tour guide to entertain the kids. In addition, you can climb up the stairs to the Tower but not recommended with very young children.
This museum is above all, a must see in Florence. You might recognise some of the shots you have seen in the Dan Brown’s movie adaptation “Inferno”. Also this museum has been recently renovated and extended with twice as much exhibition. After that, you can relax in the café, bookshop and even a nursery is available on site.
3. Take a Family Cooking Class
You are in Tuscany which means you have the chance to taste one of the greatest food in the world. Taking a family friendly cooking class led by an Italian chef, will be exciting for everyone. Learn how to make a pizza and the famous Gelato. In short, this 3-hours class will certainly be an experience of a lifetime.
However, this class is open to children aged 6+.
4. The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum
We can’t think of a better way to introduce to your children, one of the most known artist in the world:Leonardo Da Vinci. This museum is very hands on and will certainly please your little ones with lots of interactions to understand Da Vinci’s inventions.
Expect an hour visit no more, which is perfect for children to grab their attention to these exhibits. A good educational child friendly activity to do in Florence for sure.
Overall, this museum is perfect for the little crowd who like to try things out and solve mysteries. Highly recommended for a visit which would last 1 hour at most.
5. Bartolucci Stores
Since the 16th century, this family business has been keeping alive the tradition of carving wooden toys famously represented by the character Pinocchio. The family has since developed more than 150 stores around Italy and beyond.
This shop is a great opportunity to discover the work of artisans who are passionate about wood. And who knows you or your kid will be tempted to bring back home one of their wooden statue as a memory of your visit in Florence.
Address: several addresses in Florence
6. The Boboli Gardens
Florence doesn’t have many green areas to allow your kids go wild and run around. Boboli Gardens is a large park with an entrance fee to get in. You could easily spend 2 hours over there but be warned that some parts require to walk up the hills so better to be geared with good shoes.
Don’t forget to take a picture on the Viottolone path surrounded by giant cypress trees and statues. You will impress your Instagram followers for sure.
7. Parco delle Cascine
If you are looking to take the kids out of museums, the Cascine park is a great historical park with 130 hectares of green which runs parallel to the famous Arno river. Located west of the city center, the Parco has different nature trails, playgrounds and even a pool. Don’t forget to also pay a visit to the restaurant and café Buenerìa with kids workshops held every Sunday this February.
8. Take a ride on the Carousel at Piazza della Repubblica
Piazza della Repubblica sits in the centre of Florence and is a perfect spot for Instagrammers. The largest square in Florence could be busy at times but big enough to let your eyes enjoying the different architectures around you, the music shows and last but not least the famous Carousel merry-go-round that your kids will ask you to hop on.
Nearby you can find a lot of nice cafes like Cafe Gilli, the oldest cafe in Florence with more than 3 centuries of history. The rumour says that more than 7,000 kids ride on this famous carousel every month.
9. Villa Vogel Park
Another favorite park among locals is the Parco di Villa Vogel. The site boasts several kid friendly activities like trampolines, a duck pond, go-karts, playground and more. You can even prepare a picnic lunch and sit on the benches inside the park.
10. Piscina Comunale Costoli
If you visit Florence in the summer, you might be tempted to splash in the swimming pool. Piscina Costoli is probably your best option which offers a complex of different pools including a 50m pool and a great kids pool. Be aware that it is only open in the summer from June until beginning of September. Plenty of space to spend a day there with a bar offering snacks, ice creams and more. The entrance is free for children under 6 if accompanied by paying adults.
Ready to find more activities in Florence for families?
11. Family Tour at Uffizi Gallery
Now a holiday visit in Florence cannot be complete without admiring Italian artists works at Uffizi Gallery. This museum is without a doubt one of the most popular museums in Italy and requires proper planning.
If you are in Florence with young children, I would advise to book a skip the line timed entrance ticket to avoid disappointment on the day. It is best to book well in advance and choose the lunchtime slot to avoid the crowd. That way, your children can properly wander around the galleries with you.
If you want to make the visit even more interesting, don’t hesitate to book a family tour of the gallery that is usually available lave in the afternoon.
Best of all, Uffizi Gallery is your introduction door to famous artists like Caravaggio, Raphael or Botticelli. Expect to spend between 2 and 4 hours inside the museum unless your kids get bored!
12. Accademia Gallery
If you and your children are not tired to visit another museum, head to Accademia Gallery and take the time to spot famous artworks. Probably one of the most recognisable statues in the world, David by Michelangelo would be fascinating to see with your own eyes.
To make the visit smoother with your children, I highly recommend a tour guide with your entry to the gallery. Hopefully your guide will be lively and interesting towards your family so you can take back home some key facts about Italian art.
Once again, if you want to avoid the crowd it is best to plan your visit to Accademia Gallery with adequate day and hours. Try to aim for a weekday visit late in the afternoon around 5pm. And of course purchase in advance your skip the line entry ticket!
13. Climb the Brunelleschi’s Dome
If you have less than 1 hour to spare and feel doing some exercise with the kids, have a look at the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral and take the 463 steps to arrive at the top of the Dome. Once you are there, you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of Florence with incredible photo opportunities.
Beware that not every entry ticket to Duomo includes the climb to the Dome. And make sure you wear appropriate clothes as sleeveless shirts, shorts and short skirts are not allowed inside the Cathedral.
Another piece of advice is if you are travelling with a baby or toddler, leave the strollers at your accommodation and choose the baby carrier option instead.
14. Mercato Centrale
As any large cities in Italy, food markets are big and very much alive. Florence has many foot outlets to wander around but if there is one to choose, it is Mercato Centrale.
Located minutes away from Santa Maria del Fiore, the Central Market is a feast for your eyes with good quality produce like fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. But of course, the cheese vendors or the cold meat stalls will be where you need to stop by and buy some of those local delicacies.
Inside the market, you can spot La Scuola di Cucina Lorenzo de Medica where students learn how to make fresh pasta like gnocchi or tagliatelle.
Finally, you can visit the market late in the afternoon (even though some vendors would be closed) and enjoy an early dinner with traditional Tuscan dishes like lampredotto (cow’s stomach J).
15. A nice walk in the Parco delle Cascine
If you feel taking the kids for a nice relaxing walk in Florence after lunch, the Parco delle Cascine is a good bet. Set over 160 hectares, the park was built alongside the Arno river and makes it one of the most popular green areas in Florence.
There is no doubt you will meet lots of joggers, cyclists or walkers escaping the busy streets of central Florence. Don’t expect lots of facilities at this park but long pedestrian walks surrounded by big trees. Ideal when the temperature is too high during the summer.
16. Admire the panoramic from Piazzale Michelangelo
You’ve probably seen numerous times this amazing view of Florence with all the landmarks that make the city so unique. There is a good chance these photos were taken from Piazzale Michelangelo in the South of Arno river.
I guarantee this is worth the trip to go up there late in the afternoon or at sunset where most tourists go to for sensational photos. However, if you feel going there with less crowd, you can also wake up the kids and go early in the morning for sunrise before taking your breakfast. It seems like an impossible thing to do but you never know!
17. Italian Football Museum – Museo del Calcio
Italian’s favourite sport is also represented in Florence with the Italian Football Museum. This venue is a perfect opportunity for your children to learn about the history of football from an Italian perspective. You will find lots football memorabilia and main facts about victories in World Cup and European championships.
So if you have children interested by Football, there is a good chance they will enjoy this little museum dedicated to the Azzuri who won the World Cup 4 times!
18. Giardino dell’ Orticoltura
Open from May until September
If you plan to visit Florence in Spring with the kids, don’t miss out on this botanical garden where you can find a huge greenhouse. The venue organises flowers exhibitions several times per year and is a hidden gem in Florence that locals only know.
Best of all, there is a great playground for your children to enjoy during your visit. Of course, you can’t deny the beauties of this place especially with all these plants and trees blossoming.
Past visitors have praised how quiet this place is compared to the busy streets of central Florence. Also the place is ideal for children to walk around and even to organise an impromptu picnic on a nice sunny day!
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You have reached the end of my article of where to find the best things to do in Florence with kids. Even though the city is fairly small and can be quite crowded during the high season, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the Tuscan town if you plan accordingly.
Enjoy your holiday in Florence!
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