16 Things To Do In Florence With Kids
If you are planning a family trip to Florence, Italy sometime soon, you will need to find as many fun things to do in Florence with kids as you can. Depending on how long you will be there, you may need about 15 good examples for your Florence itinerary during your stay. While visiting Florence with kids, you will need to plan well so you can see it all.
The ages of your kids matter too because there are some fun things to do in Florence with kids that are not as great for little ones and those that are kind of boring for the older children. The city center is filled with great things to do in Florence with kids. Florence museums are suited for both, but you have to choose what is best for your family.
There are some things to do in Florence with kids of all ages like the Natural History Museum, where there is something for everyone to enjoy, and the Leonardo da Vinci museum or the antique carousel in Piazza della Repubblica in the city center with its special interactive exhibits.
In fact, the city center boasts a plethora of fun things to do in Florence with kids. See the famous Palazzo Vecchio, the Galileo Museum, and the Ponte Vecchio. The community garden in the Piazza Massimo D'Azeglio is fascinating and there are several fun playgrounds for the little crew to enjoy. Boboli Gardens is also entertaining, with plenty of space to run.
The Florence city center has a bunch of things to do such as parks, museums, shopping malls, and diners. You are not done visiting Florence until you have at least tried authentic Italian gelato. But first, find a suitcase storage site in Florence to leave your luggage. You don't want to be dragging your belongings all over the city.
Santa Maria del Fiore
Also known as the Florence Duomo, this is one of the most iconic landmarks in Italy. You cannot leave Florence without at least seeing the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with its bell tower, red tile dome, and marble facade. Florence's Duomo is a must-see for everyone.
Located in the Piazza del Duomo, you and the family will also enjoy Giotto's Bell Tower. Constructed in the 1300s, it is 278 feet tall and a stunning sight to see from the ground. If you want to see the tower up close, you will have to book a guided tour.
Santa Maria Novella
Right next door, you can visit this church built back in 1420 with its nine chapels and lovely collection of famous paintings and iconic images. The stained glass windows always grab the kids' attention, many of them dating back to the 1300s.
Seeing Florence Duomo's colorful marble facade and other decor at the entrance is so stunning, you will all want to get some selfies. It is one of the most famous and distinctive of all the Florence attractions. Be sure to see the nativity scene by Sandro Botticelli from 1475.
Giotto's Bell Tower
Part of the Duomo complex, Giotto's Bell Tower has one of the best views of the Duomo in Florence and is one of the fun things to do in Florence with kids. You may not be able to keep up with the gang if they want to go to the top as you have to climb 414 steps to get there. But the view is worth it.
Also known as Giotto's Campanile, the freestanding tower is 278 feet tall and has seven bells. It is not just one large bell like many people think. The oldest is the Campanone from 1705 and the newest is the L'Immacolata from 1956. Besides the bells, there are many works of art to see inside and out.
Natural History Museum of Florence (Museo di Geologia e Paleontologia - Università di Firenze)
The museum dates back to 1775 but the artifacts date back to the Jurassic ages. This is one of the family-friendly museums where you could spend the whole day without getting bored. In fact, you may have to drag them out of there at closing time.
With creepy fossils and skeletal remains to live exhibits, this may be one of the best day trips you can take in Florence without actually leaving the city center. Part of the collection includes 9,000 plants, a herbarium, 26,000 fossils, and three million zoological artifacts with 3,000 skeletons.
La Specola Natural History Museum
Another unique natural history museum, La Specola Natural History Museum holds hundreds of stuffed animals, but not the cuddly and soft kind. These exhibits will intrigue young and old alike. Right next to the Pitti Palace, the building started as an observatory in 1790.
Today, the museum has 34 rooms full of interesting things to excite the kids. The stuffed hippo is one of the favorites, which was actually kept as a pet of the Medici family that lived in the Boboli Gardens in the 1600s. The skeleton of Hansken the elephant from 1655 is also a favorite with the kids.
The Uffizi Gallery may not be the best choice for toddlers and preschoolers but the older kids will love it and so will you. The gallery is one of the most important art museums in the world and has over 4.3 million visitors per year.
Some of the most famous pieces in the world are held here including the Self-Portrait by Rembrandt from 1628, The Annunciation by da Vinci from 1472, and The Holy Family by Michelangelo in 1507.
Take a leisurely stroll along the Arno River after your visit to the Uffizi Gallery, less than 150 feet from the museum. If you and the kids are interested, those over nine years old can also take a rowing class.
Everyone will enjoy a picnic lunch at Arno River between attractions. While you are there, do not miss the Ponte Vecchio Bridge. You may even see some of the local river animals. Be sure to get some unique selfies to share on social media.
Located between the Rose Garden and the Iris Garden, Piazza Michelangelo is where you can see a copy of Michelangelo's David. This bronze reproduction of Michelangelo's statue is free to see anytime. Rather than taking the tots into a quiet museum, let them see this majestic statue outdoors in the most beautiful plazas in Florence.
The plaza itself started as a town square in 1869 on a hill above the Arno River and at the time, Florence was the capital of Italy. If you and the kids get hungry, take a seat at La Loggia del Piazzale Michelangelo. They serve delicious Tuscan dishes in a historic building with a stunning view of the city.
Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens
The Pitti Palace on its own may not be suitable for the younger children but you can let them run around in the Boboli Gardens first to wear them out. After all, you are looking for things to do in Florence with kids. There is no reason why they would not enjoy the Pitti Palace exhibits after they have run out of all that excess energy. They can even climb trees!
The palace has some impressive paintings, sculptures, and costumes as well as housing the Royal Apartments. Created by the Medici family, the Boboli Gardens are in the palace's backyard and offer forts, ponds, sculptures, and green spaces for your kids to use their imaginations for a while. Perfect for your family tour, this is one of the family-friendly destinations that will entertain the whole crew.
Leonardo da Vinci Museum
The family vacation is not complete until you have seen the Leonardo da Vinci Museum. There are activities for kids of all ages and adults alike. What makes this place so special is the interactive machines and workshops.
Some of the most interesting include the vertical ornithopter, the peddle boat, and the tank but you can all enjoy building a polyhedron, dome, or bridge. The ancient machines are reproductions of those made by da Vinci but you can really play with these.
Piazza della Repubblica
Known as the Roman Heart of Florence, this plaza features ancient monuments and statues that art lovers will enjoy as well as a merry-go-round that you can all take a ride on. You absolutely have to ride the antique carousel while you are in Florence.
What the kids seem to love most is watching the street artists painting, dancing, and playing music. There are also a variety of eateries here such as the Cafe delle Giubbe Rosse, Cafe Paskowski, and Cafe Gilli. Grab an authentic Florence brunch or a gelato and watch the artists as you relax.
Piazza del Duomo
The square is remarkable since it contains works of art that bear witness to the creative spirit of the 14th century. Its monuments reflect such a decisive stage in the history of medieval architecture that they have become a reference point for studies related to the Pisan Romanesque style.
Piazza della Signoria
The site of several palaces including the Palazzo Vecchio, this square, which is actually shaped like a "W" is full of history and intrigue. It is where the Florentine Republic started in 1115 and still has a reputation. The small area is packed with monuments, buildings, and sculptures.
For example, the Fountain of Neptune from 1575 is there as well as the Equestrian Monument of Cosimo I, the Medici Lions of 1598, Perseus with the Head of Medusa from 1554, and Hercules from 1533. Take the kids on a walk through the Loggia dei Lanzi to see the Palazzo Vecchio next.
This is not your ordinary palace. The Palazzo Vecchio will keep the kids engaged all day with a variety of activities. They can wear costumes and pretend they are royalty or take a tour called “Life at Court” that is made for children between four and nine years old. You will also see Roman ruins, a fortress, and a huge collection of artworks.
While nearby, you should not leave without getting a guided tour of the Ponte Vecchio. This historic bridge from the Italian renaissance is stunning whether you see it from on the ground or right on top of it. If you would rather explore on your own, you can do that too. The Ponte Vecchio is one of the most interesting places in the historic city of Florence.
Older children will be intrigued at the Stibbert Museum, which is just about a 20-minute bus ride from the city center. Located on a hill above the historical center of Florence, this 57-room museum boasts a wide array of items to enjoy.
There are more than 36,000 items including a huge collection of ancient armor that intrigues kids and adults alike. The museum is unique, to say the least, with leather walls and tapestries throughout. Other items include Tuscan crosses, Etruscan artifacts, and an outfit worn by Napoleon.
Cascine Park (Parco delle Cascine)
Looking for a place for the kids, Florence offers hundreds of parks from small green patches to humongous gardens. Take a much-needed city break while visiting Italy as you walk along the banks of the Arno River.
What used to be the hunting estate of the Medici family, this 395-acre park is a great place to take the kids to see the spot where the Arno runs into the Mugnone River. There is even an old peacock cage from the 1500s.
Family Trip to Florence
Wherever you end up finding the best things to do in Florence with kids, you will also need to find some family-friendly eateries for all to enjoy. You cannot visit Florence without trying the local favorites like Pici pasta with fried breadcrumbs at Osteria de Pazzi or gelato at Vivoli. Of course, you can also get pizza just about anywhere. Actually, many family-friendly hotels offer free food to their guests. Some of them have great restaurants you can enjoy even if you do not have a hotel room there.
Challenge the kids to see who can find the most street art as you meander through Florence. Artist, Clet Abraham has hidden artworks all over the city, many on the street signs and traffic poles. He and other artists have taken it upon themselves to make the city more attractive. Before you go, make sure you take the kids on a hike through the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside.