The purpose of today’s article is ambitious: give any suggestions about things to do in Rome with kids! I tell you the truth … it took me a while to write it!
This is because Rome is a beautiful city! But visiting Rome with young children requires imagination, flexibility and… Saint Patience (but, you know, there is no shortage of saints in Rome! 🙂 )
Why? Well, first of all because Rome is a wonderful city, where every street or corner is full of history and beauty. See Rome is a constant wonder and take photos, stop and then stop again. And for a small child maybe it’s too much! The difficulty is ours because as parents we are sometimes forced to make sacrifices, to adapt our wishes to the times of our puppies and think a route suitable for them in order to visit Rome all together.
And then what? I can tell you what I did when I came back to Rome with my little son. After having visited the city several times alone or in pairs, last year after several years I went back again, traveling with a child of two years and two grandparents eager to see everything possible. So among the many things to see in Rome I tried organize our holiday visiting Rome’s attractions suitable for all. After that time I went back to Rome twice times again with my little boy. From those trips was born the idea of this article where I try to give some ideas on what to see in Rome with children.
Places to see in Rome with kids
What to visit in Rome with children: what you can’t miss?
Let’s start from what you can not miss in Rome, especially if you go there all together for the first time. Because there are some attractions that you really can not miss in Rome! I tell you what I did: a plan! Keeping in mind that traveling with a toddler means that my “plan” should be well tailored to the needs of all. When we were in Rome the first time with our baby the plan included some places to see in Rome that in my opinion were a must for a person who had never seen Rome but also suitable for children. My must-see destinations were these: the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Mouth of Truth, the “Barcaccia” Fountain (Sunken Boat) and the Trevi Fountain.
Of course there are many other things to do in Rome but for me these were the must that I believe could be interesting even for my little boy as well for the grandparents. The great thing about Rome is that even just walking through the streets of the city allows you to make beautiful discoveries! Let me tell you our must-see in Rome one at a time …
Places to see in Rome with kids: The Colosseum and the Gladiators
The Patato has dubbed the Colosseum “the house with holes” and in fact he is not wrong. In general the Colosseum fascinates children, especially if you have a way to tell them before leaving a little ‘stories about warriors who fought there. Being able to meet right there in front of some of these gladiators will only make you gain credibility in their eyes and make the visit easier and more enjoyable for everyone. From the Colosseum then you can walk to the Altar of the Nation (the “Altare della Patria” in italian language) through the Forum area that is pedestrian. Even without stopping at every turn this whole area is wonderful and I think it is worth the trip alone, so for me is to be included among the things to do in Rome with children.
Places to see in Rome with kids: the Mouth of Truth and Circus Maximus
The Mouth of Truth is another of the attractions of Rome for me not to be missed if you go to the city for the first time and is one of those that can fascinate even the children. The only trick is to go early to avoid to wait too long in order to take the usual photos. Next door, however, there is the Circus Maximus where children can play a little ‘before or after the visit.
Places to see in Rome with kids: the Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo
Unfortunately we didn’t go to the Vatican Museums with our baby but we visited the St. Peter’s Church (Basilica di San Pietro) and the Saint Angel Castle (Castel Sant’Angelo). Also in this case the risk is the line but the prize for children who will stand patiently good during the visit is the playground of Castel Sant’Angelo where do another stop all together!
Places to see in Rome with kids: hunting for fountains
Rome is full of fountains, some simple and other real works of art. From my previous visits to Rome there were two fountains that most of all I wanted to see: the Trevi Fountain and the Barcaccia. In our case we are lucky: our baby loves the fountains and play with the water so we convinced him to follow us in this way. The Trevi Fountain is a symbol of the Dolce Vita and is a must on my list of things to do in Rome. From the Trevi Fountain if your children are willing to walk you can walk to the area of the Spanish Square (“Piazza di Spagna”) with another famous fountain: the Barcaccia made by Bernini. Or if you prefer you can reach Piazza del Popolo with another famous fountain and from there reach to the park of Villa Borghese.
Things to do in Rome in summertime
Things to do in Rome in summertime: Villa Borghese Gardens
After our first visit to Rome with our son we came back other times also in the summertime. In July Rome was really hot and we spent some time to Villa Borghese Gardens. I recommend Villa Borghese Park it among the things to do in Rome with kids because there are many things to do for them: the pond, rickshaws, the rides and the Little House of Raphael (in italian “Casina di Raffaello). Villa Borghese Gardens hosts also interesting museums and exhibitions so with the right organization may bind the game with the culture! 😉
Things to do in Rome in summertime: The sea of Ostia
During those hot days of the summertime in Rome we went to the sea at Ostia Lido. Yes, because from Rome downtown you can reach the sea with a short journey by subway. This may be an idea to alternate the monuments and sightseeing with a bit ‘of fun for the children. In addition the excavations of Ancient Ostia are in my opinion to be included among the things to do in Rome, do not you?
What to do in Rome when it rains: the museums of Rome for kids
So far I’ve told you what to do in Rome when the weather is good and it is very hot, but the opposite: what can you do in Rome when it rains with children? In this case certainly in Rome is not difficult to find shelter in a museum but it is more difficult to choose one that will be fun for the kids. Among the museums of Roma children I recommend the Explora museum, designed for kids, the visit lasts a maximum of two hours and the children “explore” a city designed just for them.
Among the museums to visit all together we mark also the MAXXI Museum, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts. It is a museum certainly different from the conception “classical”, housed in a beautiful building, with large rooms, bright and sound installations that change every few months, exhibitions of contemporary artists and a lot of attention to families. During the weekends at MAXXI are organized workshops dedicated to children 4/5 years old.
What to see in Rome with kids who love nature and animals: The Zoo of Rome
In Villa Borghese Gardens you can go to the Zoological Park (named “Bioparco di Roma“). This is a zoo of new concept very different from what we are used to thinking is a zoo. In fact there are educational courses and there is a chance for children to learn about animals. If your kids love animals and you are looking for some ideas on what to do in Rome with the children to switch museums and monuments the Bioparco of Rome can be the perfect place to spend half a day.
Things to Do in Rome with children: unusual family tour
A special way to discover Rome with children is to take part in an organized tour that allows you to discover the city from a different point of view. With a bike tour you can know Rome aboard bikes with a guide who accompanies the group about three hours to discover the most significant points (bicycles are also available for children and booster seats). Some agencies also organize gastronomic tours like the pizza tour, or combine the discovery of the city with the taste of the pizza of some of the best pizza in Rome. We also tried the Segway tour of the city, with a guide who in just over two hours drove us through the streets and squares of Rome letting us know the city from a different perspective. In this post if you’re curious you can read our experience on a segway tours, keep in mind, that the minimum age to participate in a segway tour are 16 years old.
Rome for kids: how to organize a holiday in Rome
How to reach Rome
You can easily go to Rome by plane or by train. We live close to Milan and we usually travel to Rome by train with the hight speed trains. There are two carriers: Italo Treno and Trenitalia and these hight speed trains are very confortable and takes you directly to Rome downtown train station in less than 3 hours.
A holiday in Rome with kids: hotel or apartment?
It’s not a problem find where to sleep in Rome because there are many hotels, B&B and so on. When we travel we usually prefer stay in apartments because in this way in the evening we can cook something for and save some money.
Here you can fine two apartments that we booked in Booking. Both of them are rented for short periods, close to Public Transport, they both accept dogs (also large size). Below we report the details:
- The first is “La casa di Rosa“. It is located in Nomentano area, close to the metro (stop: Libia). The apartment is large with two bedrooms, and equipped with kitchen, TV, living room and bathroom. Perfect for cleaning and for the kindness of the owner
- The second is “La Casa Regina“. This apartment is close to the “Ponte Lungo” subway stop. The apartment has free Wi-Fi, two bedrooms, living room, bathroom, and kitchen. The apartment is located about half an hour by car from Ciampino Airport. Even in this case it is well managed and clean.
If you prefer stay in hotel we can suggest the Hotel Pulitzer, a chic and new hotel with large rooms. The breakfast is gourgeous and the hotel is close to the subway (stop: “Marconi”).
Rome for kids: books
One trick that we use with our little boy is preparing for a new trip reading books that can make us dream our goal. IN case of Rome we bought a beautiful book about the life in the city at the time of the ancient Romans. We read it together during our days in the city and beyond, this book is in english and the title is “Roman Town” and you can find it below: