Though Rome is big on history and culture with sights like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Borghese Palace, kids aren’t left out on the fun. We're not just talking about museums and amusement parks either, but a wealth of nature and amazing things to discover. Fun awaits them beyond the broad avenues and parks with enchanting villas and imposing post-war architecture.

    The city's size isn't a problem. There's good public transport between zones and buses and metro stations often accommodate pushchairs. What are the best things to do with kids in Rome? Read on as we show you all the fun places in Rome to take your family.

    1

    Little Explorers at Villa Medici

    Go hunting for statues and paintings

    Villa Medici organises their Little Explorers at Villa Medici tour for families, great if you want to entertain the kids with a unique art treasure hunt. On Sunday mornings, the kids can discover the historic residence’s rooms and gardens, searching for statues and paintings of animals and mythical creatures. Watch out, as there are surprises around every corner – some statues aren't made of marble and bronze, but flesh and bone!

    Kids can also engage in creative activities and hear legendary tales being told. It lasts about an hour and booking is necessary. Groups may include a maximum of 10 families. Villa Medici is on Pincian Hill, Rome’s highest point, near Piazza di Spagna and partly surrounded by the Giardino di Borghese Gardens.

    Location: Viale della Trinità dei Monti, 1, 00187 Rome, Italy

    Open: Wednesday–Monday from 3 pm to 7.30 pm (closed on Tuesdays)

    Phone: +39 06 67 611

    Map
    2

    Vigamus arcade museum

    Rediscover from the first consoles to modern games

    Vigamus is a space dedicated to the history of consoles in Rome, from the earliest experiments to the latest gaming developments. If you were a gamer in the 1980s, you'll remember the Commodore 64 and afternoons spent playing game after game. Who'd have thought such ordinary items would end up in a museum such as this? For adults, it's a walk down memory lane, while kids can discover their videogames' ‘ancestors’.

    A collection of 440 items, including unique pieces like Doom's master discs, which the game was transferred onto after its development, and from which all commercial copies are taken. In the interactive zones, you can try new technologies or one of the 50 gaming set-ups. Vigamus is a treat for all ages, a trip that'll bring joy to young and old alike.

    Location: Via Sabotino, 4, 00195 Rome, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +39 06 4547 5940

    Map

    photo by Barbiere1138 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    3

    LunEur Park

    The amusement park in Rome's EUR district

    Head to LunEur Park in the modern Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR) district with the kids where they can let off some steam. Italy’s first amusement park features several attractions and a calendar of unmissable events. Whether it’s the Buffoplano ‘funny plane’, the Barcamatta ‘crazy boat’, the Follesalto ‘crazy jump’ or the Magicirco ‘magic circus’, all the rides are colourful and child-friendly (and height-restricted for kids).

    At the entrance, you'll be greeted by the historic Ferris wheel that’s had a modern revamp – 28 cabins all in different colours just like a rainbow. A few obsolete rides have been left to give the new environment some vintage charm. The result is an amusement park that does its city justice, where past and present meet in a unique, timeless atmosphere.

    Location: Via delle Tre Fontane, 100, 00144 Rome, Italy

    Phone: +39 06 8946 4001

    Map

    photo by N i c o l a (CC BY 2.0) modified

    4

    MAXXI

    Rome's National Museum of 21st Century Art

    MAXXI or the National Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome offers a trip that’s a great opportunity for kids to discover modern art, thanks to its educational activities. The museum’s exhibits are designed for families with kids between 5 and 10 years and act as a springboard for creative workshops while artistic analysis kickstarts new ideas and images.

    Taking part is free for the kids – only accompanying adults pay for the entrance ticket. MAXXI is committed to experimentation and contemporary creativity structured around collections of art and architecture and brought to life by events and initiatives. The site itself, in the Flaminio district, is an innovative piece of architecture by Zaha Hadid, winner of an international competition involving over 200 architects from across the globe.

    Location: Via Guido Reni, 4a, 00196 Rome, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +39 06 320 1954

    Map
    5

    Via Piccolomini

    See an optical illusion of St. Peter's Dome

    Via Piccolomini, slightly north of Villa Pamphili Park, is about 300 metres long and it’s perfectly in line with the St. Peter's Dome, making for a breathtaking view. Look from the beginning of the street, and Michelangelo's masterpiece seems very close to the belvedere at the end of the road.

    But as you get closer, the monument seems to gradually move away. The weird illusion is probably generated by the incline of the road's surface with respect to the Basilica. First, your spatial perception becomes slightly incorrect. Then as you move forward, you begin to grasp the actual distances. The best way to witness it is by driving forward at about 10–15 km/h.

    Location: Via Piccolomini, 00165 Rome, Italy

    Map
    6

    TechnoTown

    Where kids can conduct fun experiments

    Technotown is a place in Rome where kids can have fun, experiment, and uncover scientific and technological secrets through interactive activities. Mum and dad are also greatly involved. The science and technology game room is in the Villino Medioevale of Villa Torlonia. Here, the future comes to life in and among magnificent historic architecture – the impressive setting makes the workshop even more exciting.

    The activities change day to day and follow a packed programme, designed to stimulate creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving. The topics are varied and engaging, including music, the environment, robotics, and 3D production. While participants must be at least 6 years of age, there’s no maximum age limit because learning indeed knows no bounds.

    Location: Via Lazzaro Spallanzani, 1, 00161 Rome, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 7 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +39 06 0608

    Map
    7

    Civic Museum of Zoology

    See enormous skeletons and prehistoric creatures

    The Civic Museum of Zoology (Museo Civico di Zoologia) in Rome is home to fascinating skeletons of a wide variety of animals. From fin whales, giraffes, elephants to many other animals, the exhibits in each room are designed to be engaging and exciting for little visitors. An interactive diorama simulates the aquatic environment of the Red Sea's coral reef, while the amphibian and reptile section houses the giant skull of an animal from 280 million years ago.

    There's also a collection of almost 3 million shells. Interested in birdwatching? The ornithological section features tricks and tools to help you learn. There are educational activities organised by Zoolab, a biology laboratory where children can watch, experiment and learn about living organisms. You can reach the museum on the northern edge of Villa Borghese by tram or bus.

    Location: Via Ulisse Aldrovandi, 18, 00197 Rome, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +39 06 6710 9270

    Map

    photo by Ragusaibla (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    8

    Cinebimbicittà

    A child-sized film set for discovering cinema

    At Cinebimbicittà in Rome, children can get behind the scenes and discover the secrets of filmmaking. The space is styled as a film set and is aimed at kids aged from 5 to 12. Parents can visit the film studios and kids can participate in activities and workshops that stimulate creativity, reveal the magic of cinema and teach the terms and tricks of the trade, including clapperboards, editing, set design and costumes.

    There are also interactive visits, family activities, readings and special events. Entrance to Cinebimbicittà is included in the ticket for Cinecittà si Mostra, an initiative that opens sets and exhibition itineraries to the public. Located in the capital's south-eastern suburbs, the studios are easily reached via metro.

    Location: Via Tuscolana 1055, 00173 Rome, Italy

    Open: October–June: Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +39 06 7229 3269

    Map
    9

    Botanical Gardens of Rome

    A journey through tropical plants and Japanese gardens

    The Botanical Gardens of Rome can transform an afternoon outdoors into an exciting adventure in unspoilt nature. Part of the Sapienza University, the botanical garden spans about 12 hectares on the edge of Gianicolo Park. Children can discover exotic plants, bamboo thickets, Japanese gardens and towering trees.

    Find various environments like Bosco Mediterraneo (Mediterranean forest), Roseto (rose garden), Valle delle Felci (the fern valley), Palme (palm trees) and Orto e Giardino delle Piante Aromatiche (the aromatic garden), as well as tropical forests and arid climates for succulents in greenhouses. A stream, lake and ponds accommodate aquatic plants and lilies, and budgies frolic between the branches.

    Location: Largo Cristina di Svezia, 23a, 00165 Rome, Italy

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6.30 pm

    Phone: +39 06 4991 7107

    Map

    photo by Daderot (CC0 1.0) modified

    10

    The Janiculum Hill Cannon

    A show that's always a hit

    On the Janiculum Terrace (Terrazza del Gianicolo), you can witness a thrilling event at noon sharp. You've probably seen cannons when visiting museums and castles, but have you ever seen one in action? Every day since 1846, a blank shot explodes from the mouth of a powerful cannon, resounding throughout the whole city and followed by the ringing of the city’s church bells in unison.

    The Janiculum Hill Cannon put on a daily show that’s bound amaze both young and old. The artillery used to be housed in Castel Sant'Angelo, but was moved to its present spot under the statue of Garibaldi in 1904. You can reach the site by walking up Janiculum Hill – it's free to visit and you can also enjoy an enchanting view of the capital.

    Location: Via Garibaldi, 00165 Rome, Italy

    Open: Daily at noon

    Map

    photo by Giuletto86 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

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