Navigating Venice with kids needn’t be tricky, even if it’s wet weather! Of course, this historic city has a great range of museums and galleries, but which ones are suitable for children? And where can you paint your own Venetian Mask for carnival? Don’t be daunted by visiting this famously romantic city with the kids – it can be a wonderful destination for families. Soak up the beauty of your surroundings as the kids spot boats in the canals, follow the maze of ancient cobbled streets and play in the fountains that decorate pretty squares (campi) all over the city. Our list of Things to Do in Venice will help you plan your days with ease. Of course you will want to wander around the Piazza San Marco, and see the Rialto Bridge, but we also have some suggestions away from the crowds, which the kids will love.
Babybreaks is here to help! We have listed the best activities for families, so you won’t be stuck for ideas when you’re in Venice with kids.
1. Peggy Guggenheim Collection
A great modern art museum that’s very child friendly, this tops the list of many families visiting Venice with kids. As well as the excellent exhibitions, there are weekly Kids Days each Sunday. Aimed at children between 4 and 10 years, these free workshops introduce children to modern art in an engaging way. They will love having the chance to experiment with different techniques, whilst parents have some time alone to enjoy a coffee!
2. Mask Making Workshop
Make and paint your own Venetian mask at this unique workshop for the whole family. Firstly you will learn about ancient techniques, then put your new skills to the test and produce a stunning mask for yourself. The kids will love the gold and silver metallic paints, and adding finishing touches with feathers, ribbons, and sequins.
3. Rialto Market
Visiting this covered market is a fantastic idea for a rainy day in Venice. Its main focus is seafood from the lagoon, but there are also fruits, cheeses and meats from all around the Veneto region. A riot of sights, smells and tastes, and a fab place to pick up some fresh ingredients for your dinner. Why not make a checklist of things to spot (squid, langoustines, mushrooms!) as a fun game for the little ones? The market is open daily from 07:30 – 13:00.
4. Querini Stampalia Foundation
This Venetian cultural institute is something of a hidden gem, but it’s a fantastic place for all ages that we’re sure you’ll love. Part museum, part art gallery and part library, this beautiful historic house is like a snapshop of Venice’s past. There are Renaissance paintings, stunning furnishings and unique architecture to admire, as well as a library full of treasures. In addition, the amazing modern garden designed by Carlo Scarpa in the 1960’s is a serene space where those in the know come to escape the city hubub.
If you’re visiting the museum you can leave your kids at the Casa Macchietta. This is a new space for children (ages 3-6) where multilingual staff will entertain them with games, activities and workshops.
5. Natural History Museum
Most kids favourite type of museum is about animals, so they’re bound to love this one! Delve into the past as you admire varied exhibits from the natural world, from dinosaur bones to insects and marine life. It’s also rarely as busy as other Venice museums, so you can hopefully avoid the queues and crowds. This museum is very family focused, so there are often children’s workshops and tours. Check the website before you visit to see what’s on.
6. Venice Lido Beach
The beach is not the first thing which springs to mind when you think of Venice, but it’s a ‘must do’ for young families. This 12km stretch of sand is perfect for paddling and playing. So it makes for a welcome respite from the crowded narrow streets of the city centre. Most of the beach is lined with upmarket restaurants and beach clubs offering swish cabanas to hire. However, there is also a free section near the vaporetto stop on Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta.
7. Take a Water Taxi
Of course one of the most famous things to do in Venice is a gondola ride, but at 80 Euros for 30 minutes, it can be far too pricey for many families. So, an alternative is to take a vaporetto (water taxi), which will be equally as thrilling for the kids. Line 1 takes you down the Grand Canal, past some of the city’s most famous sights such as the Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco. In addition, little ones will love spotting all the different kinds of boats, from gliding gondolas to busy cargo ships delivering goods.
8. Family Sightseeing Tour
Sometimes the best way to see a city is with a knowledgeable guide, especially when you have young kids who don’t have the stamina to walk around all day. This 2.5-hour tour takes you to many of the city’s highlights, and is firmly focused on families. This means it includes plenty of fun, interactive activities for kids which help them learn all about Venetian history and culture. If you have little ones, this exciting morning will be tiring for them, so plan a relaxed afternoon back at your hotel or in a quiet park.
9. Parco Savorgnan
Head to the Cannaregio district to find one of Venice’s largest public parks – a great place to escape the crowds. Just behind the 17th century Palazzo Savorgnan, these botanical gardens occupy 10,000 sqm, creating a green oasis where you can take some time out from sightseeing. Parco Savorgnan is popular with local families thanks to the excellent playground with swings, slides and climbing frames.
10. Giardini Pubblici
Venice’s most famous public park, which is home to the Film Festival each year. Located right by the water, this is a lovely place to have a picnic as you watch boats come and go. Designed by Napolean in the 18th century, these elegant waterside gardens now include a children’s playground and numerous shady spots to sit and relax.
Address: 30100 Venezia
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