Milan is known throughout the world as a fashion center but did you know it is a great city to take a family trip to? Most people don't realize that this mecca of fashion is loaded with a ton of family-friendly attractions. Some of the museums have some crazy fun interactive exhibits and there are absolutely awesome themed and amusement parks. The famous La Scala Opera House has special kid's shows (if you are there at the right time). Even the Duomo Cathedral has really interesting and interactive exhibits for kids and their families.
If you are planning to visit Milan with kids and you want to see the famous Last Supper painting by Leonardo da Vinci make sure you book your tickets at least three months in advance. But you know what you don't have to book that far in advance? A convenient storage locker for your luggage while you are exploring Milan with kids. Store it here and enjoy your visit to one of the greatest cities in the world.
Here is a family-friendly list of all the fun things to do in Milan with kids. Choose a place or two to start and have fun!
Explore Kid-Friendly Museums
As you would expect as with any city in Italy, Milan has a lot of museums, and there are a couple that are great for kids. MUBU Children's Museum, says it all. This museum is mainly for kids up to 6 years old, but they do have a few programs for 7 - 11 years old. The kid's programs are designed not just for the children, they aim at getting the parents involved too. Both kids and parents play and learn about science while strengthening their bond.
If it is dinosaurs your kids want then the Natural History Museum is the place for them. This is the largest natural history museum in Italy and holds 7 complete dinosaur skeletons. This intriguing place is located in the center of the Indro Montanelli Public Gardens. After running around the museum looking at the 200 million-year-old reptiles, you can have a nice picnic by the lake or ride some ponies.
Milan has a few of the largest museums in Italy and this is one of them, the Nation Museum for Science and Technology Leonardo Da Vinci. While the Children's Museum is a great place for younger children, this museum is great for all ages. A super interactive kid-friendly museum with great exhibition areas that are not just nerdy, but they are really cool too. Your kids can play in The Laboratory, check a real submarine, make robots, join the Tinkering program, and so much more. This is one museum where the whole family can get involved.
Have Fun at a Theme Park
Milan has several cool-themed amusement parks to keep your kids, and adults entertained. Whether it is the awesome waterslides at Aquatica Park or the rides at Europark Idroscalo and Leolandia, you will find something for all ages.
Aquatica Park is the place for your kids to beat the summer heat. From giant slides, lazy rivers, splash areas for little ones, and more, the entire family can have a great time. And for one week in July, they have a special summer camp for kids 6 - 13 years old with organized activities and unlimited rides. The only downside is it is only open from June to the end of August.
Maybe your kids would love monkeying around on the rope and net courses of Parco Avventura Corvetto. This is the first adventure park located in a big city. Avventura Corvetto is easily accessible by metro, bike, and car as it is only minutes from the city center. It has a rope course through the top of the trees and jumping nets and courses for younger children. No matter your children's age they are sure to have fun and a great adventure.
The biggest theme park is Leolandia with 6 themed areas, 40 attractions, live shows, a petting zoo, and cartoon characters running around for photos. There are rides for all levels of thrill-seekers, large rollercoasters for the big kids, and Thomas the Train for the little ones. With all the rides, attractions, and restaurants it is very easy to spend an entire day here.
When it comes to the cartoon characters, remember you are in Europe so you may want to watch a little Masha and the Bear or Peppa Pig before you visit.
See the Civic Planetarium
For those of you that have kids that love space, you are going to want to hit the most important and largest planetarium in Italy, the Civic Planetarium. The planetarium offers exciting and interactive programs for all ages too. Every show is tailored for a specific age group and the instructors answer all the kid's questions, so you don't have to later.
They even have combined programs with guided tours and workshops at the Archaeological, Natural History, and Civic Aquarium Museums, all of which are within walking distance of the planetarium. The Civico Planetario Ulrico Hoepli Milano is a "far out" and cool place to visit with your kids.
Tour San Siro Football Stadium
For those families with sports fans, Milan has two of the biggest football (soccer) clubs in all of Europe in Inter Milan and AC Milan. Watching a match at the San Siro Stadium, which is home to both teams, can be one of the most exhilarating things you do with your time in Milan. It is even more exciting if the two teams are playing each other, as the atmosphere in the stadium will be electric.
If there is no game on while you are visiting Milan, you can still take a tour of the stadium. It provides a unique experience where you get to wander through both teams' dressing rooms, sit in the grandstand, and even walk on the pitch (field). After the tour, you can visit the museum and learn more about the storied history of the teams and some of the greatest players the world has ever seen. This really is a must for any sports fan.
You should know that ticket prices vary depending on which teams are playing.
Go to the Park
Unlike a lot of cities in Italy, Milan does not have a lot of park space, but the ones that are available to the public are very nice. The largest and most popular is Parco Sempione. Extending over forty hectares you will discover truly remarkable places within the park. The Civic Aquarium is a favorite for kids and adults alike. You can pop up the Torre (tower) Branca for an incredible view of the park and Milan itself. But if your kids like a little fairytale setting don't miss the Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco).
Sforza Castle is at the north end of the park and it is free to stroll the ground outside, but pay the few Euros to check it out, it is worth it. The kids can explore the large courtyard, circular towers, and gardens, or wander the halls of the several museums inside. The museum contains works from Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
Not far from Parco Sempione are the Indro Montanelli Public Gardens where you will find the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano (the Natural History Museum). Other cool attractions include the 17th-century palace Palazzo Dugnani and the Modern Art Gallery. A couple of particularly great things for the kids are the ponies and the Little Train of the Gardens, on which parents can ride on too.
Go for Gelato
Gelato is a true Italian treat that everyone should try, especially if you are in the country that invented it. While you can get gelato everywhere in Milan there is no better place to get it than Grom. With seven locations around the city, you will easily be able to find one near to where you are staying.
They make it using traditional methods with seasonal and natural raw ingredients of only the highest quality. In fact, some of their gelatos are over fifty percent fruit, which makes for outstanding flavor. Try some of the flavors that made them famous like the Guatemala coffee, Barbero d'Asti Torrone, or maybe the Ecuadorian chocolate sorbet. Whatever flavor you pick for yourself or your kids you can't go wrong.
Explore the Piazza del Duomo di Milano
In and around the Piazza del Duomo you will find a number of great tourist attractions, like the Duomo di Milano Complex. The complex includes the famous Gothic cathedral Duomo di Milano, which took five centuries to complete and is the largest church in Italy. There are special family and kids tours that not only allow you to skip the lines, but kids can also go on treasure hunts, explore the rooftops and gargoyles, and follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones (you may need to explain who he is to them).
There are other areas of the complex to check out like the Santa Maria Annunciation Camposanto Church, the Stefano Baptistery, and the Duomo Museum. Beneath the Duomo Cathedral, you will find the San Gottardo in Corte Church, with its ancient artifacts, underground excavations, and more. It is not too dark and spooky but it might frighten some children.
Next door to the Duomo is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the oldest shopping mall in Italy, it is also one of the most expensive. But you don't have to pay to go window shopping and the windows there are spectacular. The glass-domed octagon of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is formed by two beautiful glass-vaulted arcades that will have your kids looking up and not at the pricy toys.
The Piazza del Duomo di Milano is a fantastic place to sit and enjoy the life of Milan, with numerous restaurants and cafes. Or get up and just walk around marveling at the incredible architecture of the piazza. You will also find the Palazzo Reale (a real royal palace), and Museo del Novecento if you and your kids want to see some pretty cool works of art.
Have Fun at Civic Aquarium
How would you like to visit the third oldest aquarium in Europe? It is not the largest aquarium in the world, far from it, but the charm of the building and the super friendly knowledgeable staff will make a stop here more than educational, it will be entertaining too. From the Hippo statue gushing water out of its mouth, the outdoor fish ponds, to the 36 impressive aquariums inside the building your kids will have a great time.
If you go on the 1st or 3rd Tuesday after 2 pm or the first Sunday of the month it is free! Milan is a place with many free things to do.
What are the best family activities in Milan?
Italy is a very family-orientated country, so it is no surprise there are so many fun family activities available in Milan. Going to Grom for gelato, relaxing in one of the few green spaces like Parco Sempione or the Indro Montanelli Public Gardens, or maybe even geeking out at the science museum. These are some of the best family activities you could possibly do, and you won't break the bank doing it. A Hop On Hop Off Tour is another great thing for families, especially if you have younger children, as you don't have to do much walking and you get to see all the best sights.
Visiting Milan With the Kids
Whether your kids are into science, underwater life, sports, thrill rides, or they just want to run around a park, Milan is a great city to take your kids for a vacation. And if you want to get out of the city for a fun family day trip, head to Lake Como on the high-speed train – now that is a blast. It is good to note that a lot of the above activities do need prebooking, but make sure to check the websites before you go.