If you are going to take your family to one of the most exciting cities in the world, Rome has to be on your list when visiting Italy with kids! There is so much to do and so many places to visit that are perfect for any family. Toddlers are not always the easiest travellers, but exploring Rome with children in tow is still worth it! Here are some ideas for the best things to do in Rome with a toddler ranging from family friendly historical attractions, tours and playgrounds!
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Best Time to Visit Rome With Toddlers
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When planning your trip to Rome with kids, of course you want to consider the time of year you travel. If you can avoid the summer crowds of July and August when kids are on school holidays, then do so, Rome gets super crowded with ltalians taking time off work and weather wise it is usually very hot, mosquito season and generally uncomfortable. Whether you have one, 3 days in Rome or more, you will discover plenty of attractions for kids.
If you do choose to visit then, think about staying at a hotel with a pool so you can cool off properly after exploring some of the sites. Some of these include the 4 star Colonna Palace with an outdoor pool or Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo, close to the Colosseum and a roof top pool.
For family hotels with indoor pools in Rome see here.
The best time to visit Rome with kids is Spring and Autumn. As it’s a walkable city with lots of outdoor attractions, make sure you bring wet weather gear. There are museum tours (more on those below), alternatively, the Explora children’s museum is the best indoor attraction in Rome for toddlers and preschoolers for rainy days or escaping from hot, humid weather.
Getting Around Rome With Toddlers
If you are staying outside of the city, or exploring inside, the Underground metro train is easy to navigate but not great for little ones due to the many steps. However the trains from the airport to Rome are roomy and fine for families.
From the airport to Rome City Centre: From the airport train, private transfers or taxis are an option. Car seats which meet EU and Italian law must be used in hire cars, but are not legally required in taxis.
Official taxis are easy to recognise: they are white with a clear ‘taxi’ sign on the top of the roof and have an official license plate and number at the back. Some fares will start with fixed fee on the meter, depending on where you called them from/to so don’t be surprised to see a fee on the meter before you have even departed.
If you need to request a taxi, use the Taxi App FreeNow. Most Rome taxis can accommodate up to a family of four plus driver, so you will need to use the app if you have a larger family or group.
Stroller or no Stroller?
With buses and the underground metro being trickier to use with strollers needing to be folded on buses, and steps on the Metro – the best way to explore Rome with young children or at any age, is by foot. So a stroller is very necessary with younger kids.
Narrow doorways or old cobbled streets can make it hard to find the perfect travel stroller and much depends on the age of your little one to how much recline they need. This guide to the best travel strollers has you covered for every eventuality.
These are some of the world’s most famous places to see that you won’t want your kids to miss! Make sure you stop for the best gelato in Rome to cool down when hot!
The Colosseum is one of the most famous attractions in the world, and it is so easy to see why. Its grand size and eventful history captivate people from near and far.
Your toddler may not appreciate the history of the gladiators and their epic battles, but walking around inside the vast arena is certainly a thrilling experience for everyone else in your party.
Kids can enter for free and strollers are allowed (inside there is even an elevator which reaches most areas). However, not all areas are accessible by pram.
Afterwards consider an 8 minute walk away is the Area Giochi Per Bambini playground to burn off any steam with good play equipment, enclosed by a solid fence. Play area includes swings, climbing, musical chimes and slides.
Villa Borghese Attractions
Villa Borghese and all its splendor have some of the best spots to check out when visiting Rome with kids. There is the park itself, but that is only one piece of the many wonderful attractions on the grounds of Villa Borghese. If you have toddlers, you’ll certainly want to consider visiting the zoo, Bioparco and attending a puppet show at a theater located in Villa Borghese.
Known for its beautifully manicured gardens, spacious green spaces, and world-famous art galleries, Villa Borghese is on the must-see list for many travelers visiting Rome.
This is an especially great stop for toddlers because there is so much to see and do on the grounds. It is also free and a perfect way to avoid crowds in small spaces.
The park is very stroller friendly, but if you’re looking to avoid that hassle, there is a little train that you can ride around the park in order to take in the sights.
The Pincio Water Clock, which is a water-powered clock may not seem super interesting, but in a world where all clocks are becoming antiques, little kids are enthralled with this novelty. And finally never underestimate an exciting playground. There are a few playgrounds located in this amazing park for your kids to run around and enjoy.
Toddlers always get a kick out of seeing animals so why not take them to the Bioparco, which is the zoo in Rome? This is a great stop to add to your itinerary when you visit Rome with kids.
Bioparco is oldest and largest zoological garden in Italy, and has over 200 species of animals for your family to discover. Flamingos, seals, giraffes, reptiles, and monkeys await your visit!
If you’re visiting Bioparco during peak times, consider buying a skip-the-line ticket so you don’t have to wait on line with hot and cranky children. The zoo is located inside the Villa Borghese so you can consider doing it as a half day affair the same day you visit the rest of the Villa Borghese.
San Carlino Puppet Theater
Another great attraction to consider when deciding what family things to do in Rome, is the San Carlino Puppet Show located in Villa Borghese. The clowns, musicians, and actors who interact with the puppets will delight your kids.
There are beautiful hand-painted backdrops to admire as you sit back and soak in the entertaining show with its lively music.
There are currently 9 different shows to choose from like Aladdin and Hansel and Gretel. This is a fun, kid-friendly activity if you’re looking for a day outside traditional touristy sites and attractions. The shows generally run on the weekends so be sure to plan accordingly.
Campo de’ Fiori
An outdoor market may not seem an exciting place for toddlers to visit, but can be a vibrant experience for them and easy entertainment for you. Starting early in the morning, vendors set up their stalls of fruits, vegetables, and many other types of foods and sweets. Wander through the market and try different snacks, play i-spy and more.
There is also a fountain to admire in the middle of the piazza for your little ones to discover and cool off. Restaurants and cafes are nearby if you’re visiting around a meal time. Choose a spot to people watch and enjoy pizza, Italian food, or maybe just a snack. You’re also very close to Piazza Navona, another beautiful as well as entertaining plaza to visit.
Indoor Attractions in Rome For Toddlers
When you’re looking for things to do with kids in Rome, some days you want to visit attractions that don’t cause you to bake in the sun all day or endure the rain or cold. Especially if you have young children with you! The following places will allow you to take a break from the outdoors and experience some indoor attractions. Add them to your list of things to do in Rome with kids.
This is another ancient structure built in Rome that has so much history behind it. It is extremely well preserved for its age and boasts architecture all the way from Ancient Egypt. While it may be crowded to get in at peak times, you can easily roll a stroller around this free attraction.
You can see the tomb of Raphael and marvel at the architecture, but the most interesting part for your kids will probably be the oculus. The oculus is a large hole in the ceiling where you can look through and see the sky. If you happen to go on a rainy day, you’ll observe the rain come right through the oculus and watch as it drains away right in front of your eyes. It’s a small attractions and won’t take long to visit with a toddler.
Basilica di San Clemente for Nap Time.
If you’re looking for a peaceful destination for your toddler, Basilica di San Clemente can provide the perfect location. This church is as beautiful as it is ancient and a great place if a quiet nap on the go is needed!
The gold mosaics and brilliant dome also provide an impressive backdrop to the experience. Be sure to also enjoy the charming courtyard.
The floors of the basilica are smooth and easy to roll a stroller around, so this is a great place to visit even if your kids are starting to get tired.
Explora Il Museo dei Bambini Di Roma Explora children’s museum
This indoor science and history children’s museum is geared for kids from ages 0-12 years old. It features games, workshops, puzzles, and hands-on exhibitions for children (and adults) to explore. The life-size train, trucks to play on, water toys, play grocery store, and kitchen are a hit for toddlers. The museum has an open floor plan making it easy for kids to move from activity to activity.
This museum is also very accommodating to families. It is stroller accessible and has clean baby-changing facilities. There is also an excellent pizzeria if you need a meal or a bite. If you’re looking for a day that’s more fun than historical or some indoor entertainment for the little ones, this is perfect. They can run around with other kids and get some of their energy out!
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