Things to Do

The best things to do with kids in Italy

From theme parks and sculpture gardens to aquariums and museums, here are some of Italy’s most exciting attractions to visit with your kids.

Italy with kids

By Una Dimitrijevic

Updated 8-3-2024

Italy is a charming country filled with a rich history, stunning art, and delicious cuisine. However, it’s also a great destination if you are traveling with children, offering numerous exhilarating and educational experiences.

Discover some of the most fun family-friendly ventures in Italy, such as:


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Gardaland Resort, Castelnuovo del Garda

Known for its nail-biting roller coasters and thrilling water rides, Gardaland Resort is a popular amusement park near Lake Garda (Lago di Garda) in northern Italy.

Visitors riding the Escape from Atlantis water ride at Gardaland Resort in Italy
The Escape from Atlantis ride (Photo: Tommaso Di Girolamo/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Topping the list of exciting attractions for daredevil kids are Blue Tornado (a vertical loop coaster) and Raptor (a suspended roller coaster that reaches speeds of up to 90 kilometers per hour). As of 2023, brave park-goers can also navigate their way through the world’s first Jumanji-themed labyrinth to restore the sacred gem to the elephant temple.

In addition to high-adrenaline experiences, Gardaland hosts a variety of shows and performances to entertain kids. This includes everything from acrobatics and magic shows to live music and a 4D Cinema Experience screening the latest blockbusters.

Meanwhile, younger visitors can explore Peppa Pig Land which offers smaller rides and an interactive replica of Peppa’s house. Those looking to relax, on the other hand, can marvel at over 5,000 marine creatures along the underwater tunnels of the Gardaland Sealife Aquarium. And come summertime, the brand new Legoland Water Park provides the perfect setting for little ones to splash about and cool down.

There are plenty of food and shopping options to enjoy too, making Gardaland a convenient destination for spending a day or two with the family. And, if you want to stay onsite overnight, there are several themed hotels that recreate the experience of sleeping in a magic ice castle or enchanted forest, which is sure to excite the little ones.

Gardaland Resort, 37014 Castelnuovo del Garda VR

Giardino dei Tarocchi, Capalbio

Located in Pescia Fiorentina, halfway between Florence (Firenze) and Rome (Roma), Giardino dei Tarocchi is the perfect place for kids to explore some larger-than-life contemporary art. This other-worldly Tuscan garden near Italy’s western coastline is filled with giant sculptures created by the 20th-century French artist, Niki de Saint Phalle.

Partly inspired by Antoni Gaudí’s Park Güell in Barcelona, the immensely colorful sculptural park features a Giant Knight, Hanged Man, and other fantastical figures.

There are plenty of shady spots and a peaceful pond where you can rest and have a picnic, too. The Giardino dei Tarocchi is a truly unique and magical place to while away an afternoon among stunning art and nature. However, just bear in mind that the site is not open to visitors in winter.

Giardino dei Tarocchi, Pescia Fiorentina, 58011 Capalbio, Provincia di Grosseto 

Sacro Bosco, Bomarzo

Also known as the Park of the Monsters (Parco dei Mostri), Sacro Bosco offers a more serene experience for families visiting Italy with kids. This unique garden is located in Bomarzo, in the province of Viterbo in northern Italy, and features grotesque 16th-century sculptures and dreamlike landscapes. The most famous of these is perhaps the ‘Monster fountain’, which has carved stone figures that spout water from their mouths.

A large stone statue of a dragon in a forest at Sacro Bosco garden in Italy
The Dragon with Lions sculpture in Sacro Bosco (Photo: Mauro Flamini/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Spanning just 90,000 square meters, the park is considered modest in size, and the perfect place to spend a morning or afternoon with kids. They will no doubt enjoy exploring the various caves, fountains, and hidden paths – not to mention the world of bizarre creatures along the way.

There are also games to keep them entertained, as well as a beautiful flower garden in which to enjoy some quiet downtime. On that note, it’s worth noting that Sacro Bosco is a peaceful place where children can enjoy art and nature in silence. Young and old can enjoy the playparks, the restaurant, and the picnic areas, but should also respect the park’s tranquility and refrain from picking flowers or climbing on the sculptures.

Sacro Bosco, Località Giardino, 01020 Bomarzo VT

National Museum of Science and Technology, Milan

The Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology (Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci) in Milan (Milano) is the largest science and technology museum in Italy. It is also one of the most important in the world, showcasing the largest collection of machine models based on the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.

Among the 170 models of his famous inventions on display are his flying machines and weapons, as well as models of his anatomical drawings and other scientific studies.

Moreover, the museum’s hands-on activities and workshops offer little ones the chance to build their own simple machines or try out da Vinci’s designs for themselves. Meanwhile, permanent exhibits invite older guests to explore the themes of rail transport, space, and particle physics.

Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, Via San Vittore 21, Milan

Theme park Leolandia, close to Milan

Designed specifically for families with young children, this theme park features over 40 rides and attractions, as well as several educational exhibits and interactive experiences. There are a mini roller coaster, a safari park, a petting zoo, and a farm where kids can learn about different animals and how to care for them.

Among the park’s most popular attractions is Minitalia which is home to 160 miniature Italian monuments and 16 historical talking statues that help visitors learn about the country’s history and culture.

A family with children having their photo taken with Masha and the Bear at Leolandia Resort in Italy
Picture time with Masha and the Bear (Photo: Leolandia Resort)

Little ones can also enjoy experiences such as riding Thomas the Tank Engine or joining PJ Masks on their museum adventure. They will also have the chance to meet and take photos with some of their favorite cartoon characters such as Peppa Pig, Ben 10, and Masha and the Bear.

Come summertime, you will no doubt enjoy cooling down in the various pond and splash pads, or love exploring the different outdoor playgrounds on offer. Notably, Leolandia makes a point of catering to expectant mothers as well as people with special physical or cognitive needs, providing an accessibility map to help everyone navigate the park with ease.

Leolandia, Via Vittorio Veneto, 52, 24042 Capriate San Gervasio BG

Acquario di Genova, Genoa

Home to more than 15,000 marine creatures – including sharks, rays, and colorful tropical fish – the Aquarium of Genoa (Acquario di Genova) is one of the largest in Europe. It is well worth a visit if you want to observe manatees and different types of penguins. Visitors will also stumble across tropical plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and multi-colored butterflies within an impressive Central American-themed garden.

The aquarium features several interactive exhibits for curious little explorers. These include touch tanks and feeding demonstrations where children can get up close and personal with the animals. There are also educational exhibits that teach them about marine conservation and different ecosystems around the world.

Older children can immerse themselves in a virtual reality experience in the Deep Sea Room, while younger ones can have fun designing their own digital fish.

Notably, you can choose to buy tickets to either just the aquarium or the whole ‘Planet Aquarium’ experience. The latter includes access to the panoramic elevator, which offers a view over Genova from 40 meters up, and the Biosphere experience, which invites you to immerse yourself in a tropical bubble that floats on water.

Acquario di Genova, Ponte Spinola, 16128 Genova GE

Città della Scienza, Naples

Based in Naples (Napoli), Science City (Città della Scienza) is a brilliant option for families visiting Italy with kids. It has more than 300 interactive exhibits, including an impressive robotics lab. But one of the main draws of this attraction is the 3D Planetarium, which is the biggest in Italy. It screens educational films about astrology, history, and the natural world.

Science Museum of
Città della Scienza in Naples (Photo: lucamato/Hetty Images)

Curious little ones can also have fun learning about the human body as they explore the museum’s largest display, Corporea. This features a variety of sensory exhibits, lab experiments, and interactive displays designed to teach them about the heart, digestive system, and DNA.

Those fascinated by all things creepy-crawly meanwhile can delve into the world of insects within the Bugs & CO exhibit. This features spiders, scorpions, and ants, among others. Thankfully, this is all accessible to English speakers, too.

Aside from the permanent exhibits on offer, the Città della Scienza also hosts special events and workshops throughout the year, so it’s worth checking out what’s on during your visit.

Città della Scienza, Via Coroglio, 57/104, 80124 Naples

Italia in Miniatura, Viserba

Want to visit every famous landmark in Italy with the kids within a single day? Then a trip to this quirky amusement park in the city of Rimini is definitely in order.

Every year, around 400,000 people come to Italia in Miniatura to stroll among the 273 miniature replicas of notable Italian and European architectural sites. Young and old can delight in taking selfies at famous places, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Rome’s famous Colosseum, and the Rialto Bridge in Venice. And with around 5,000 bonsai trees dotted throughout the 85,000-square-meter open-air exhibition, their travel pics will look even more convincing.

Not only is the popular family-friendly park a fun place for children to feel like giants, but also a great way for them to learn about Italian and European geography and cultural heritage.

A panoramic shot of visitors exploring the many miniature landmarks on display at Italia in Miniatura
Photo: N i c o l a/Wikimedia Commons

Aside from that, additional attractions include the treetop adventure area and the ‘Cinemagic 7D’ experience where special effects come to life on the screen. The Interactive Driving School, meanwhile, invites children aged 6 to 12 to earn their driver’s license by taking driving lessons with mini cars and virtual instructors.

Guaranteed to be a fun day out for kids of all ages, the park is well worth a visit. Just bear in mind that several attractions are closed during the winter months.

Italia in Miniatura, Via Popilia 239 , 47922 Viserba di Rimini

Caribe Bay, Jesolo

Routinely voted the best water park in Italy, Caribe Bay is a must-visit for families with kids in Italy. This Caribbean-themed island park in Jesolo has 2,700 metric tons of white sand and more than 2,000 palm trees, offering something for all kids, big and small.

Aside from its several adrenaline-fueled rides, including Europe’s highest drop slide Captain Spacemaker, the park features an array of fun slides, lagoons, and play areas for smaller children. Whether they want to hurtle down the 135-meter-long Crazy River, fly like superheroes on the Crazy Jump, or float around in Paradise Lagoon, there’s plenty to keep them entertained during the public holidays.

Aside from the plethora of water-based entertainment on offer, the park also has a climbing wall, tightrope walk, trampoline area, and acrobatics and dance shows.

Caribe Bay is open from late May until September, however, if you want to avoid long queues for rides and food, it’s best not to go at the height of summer. If you do plan to be there in hot weather, though, be sure to book an umbrella for shade online in advance. This includes two loungers and a locker for your belongings.

Caribe Bay, Via Michelangelo Buonarroti, 15, 30016 Lido di Jesolo

Parco Natura Viva, Bussolengo

Located in Bussolengo, near Verona in northern Italy, Parco Natura Vita offers little explorers the unique chance to observe a variety of wild animals up close. The popular safari park is home to a whole host of species that are allowed to roam free within a completely wild environment.

Visitors can spot lions, tigers, zebras, cheetahs, giraffes, and more from the comfort of their own vehicles as they drive through the Safari Park in around 40 minutes. Those visiting without their own set of wheels can hire a Jeep on-site and enjoy the ‘real’ ‘African safari’ experience.

A lion and lioness relaxing in the wild at Parco Natura Viva in Italy
Photo: Etto09/Wikimedia Commons

Kids of all ages can get even closer to animals such as hippos, rhinos, and monkeys, and learn about wildlife conservation in Fauna Park, the extended pedestrian area of Parco Natura Viva. There, they can also visit Extinction Park and come ‘face to face’ with a T-Rex and other realistic models from days gone by.

With playgrounds, picnic areas, and food courts on offer throughout the park, Natura Viva is the perfect place to visit in Italy with kids. Just bear in mind that the drive-through safari closes during the winter months.

Parco Natura Viva, Località Quercia, 37012 Bussolengo VR

Useful resources

Romeing – guide to interesting places to visit in Rome with your kids