If you’re heading to Florence as a family, it’s a great destination, but requires some planning. Discover the best things to do in Florence with kids, from the best museums, restaurants, and activities for the whole family.
What to Do in Florence Italy with Kids
What you decide to do in Florence Italy completely depends on your family’s interests. Do your children need to run around? Do they like costumes? Books? Rides? Florence has something for all kinds of interests and the way to stay happy on your trip as a parent is to make sure the kids are engaged.
Florence Walking Tour
When you are in Italy with kids, you will find that most cities have tours that are geared toward children. The guide might have a scavenger hunt, or encourage the kids to keep their eyes peeled for certain kinds of symbols around the city. My kids (and I!) will probably always remember that the winged lion is the symbol of Venice.
Tours for kids share Italy facts for kids at their level. One favorite story of mine in Florence was about how Medici made a pathway from his “office” to the palace by “borrowing” part of people’s homes on the way!
You’ll have to go on a tour with Ilaria for the rest of the story. I highly recommend her as she has the magical ability to keep children engaged. Some other Florence Tours that are geared toward families and are full of fun facts about Italy for kids are: Freya’s Scavenger Hunt or this tour with Florence Locals.
Take a Cooking Class
It is no secret that one of my favorite things about travel is eating! I have found the same is true for my kids, so what better way to experience Florence than by cooking together as a family? This class allows your kids to enjoy a food tour and participate in the pizza-making process from start to finish.
Try All the Food in Florence
Florence is a great foodie destination! Kids will love all the classic favorites that they’re used to at home while breaking into something new. Be sure to discover all the best food in Florence before you go.
The Best Places to visit in Florence with Kids
Florence has some of the most famous places in Italy. Everyone has heard of or at least seen funny memes of The David statue at the Galleria dell’Accademia of Florence.
Children under 18 are free, though there is a reservation fee if you want to reserve tickets ahead of time. While the real statue is definitely epic, you may want to avoid the real deal with it’s intense crowds and simply show the children the copy in Piazza della Signoria.
Palazzo Vecchio is a Florence Museum with engaging family tours for all ages. One tour my children enjoyed was Life at Court which not only involved trying on replicas of Renaissance- style masks, but also a secret passageway! Reserve these tickets, which are in addition to the museum fee, a couple months in advance.
One of the best things to do in Italy with kids is to check out the parks. Take them to one of the parks on the outskirts of Florence as a break from museums. Cascine Park is on the tram line T1 and it has plenty of room for kids to be kids. This is a more local park so they won’t get yelled at for touching plants, like they would at one of the famous gardens.
A free garden that won’t have staff wandering around to keep the children from touching things is the Giardino delle Rose right under Piazzale Michelangelo.
I’m all for positive reinforcement, and looking forward to a carousel ride is a great way to motivate your child to be a good listener in a museum setting. You can find the carousel in Piazza della Repubblica. Hours change seasonally, so you will just want to check it out in person.
One of our favorite things to see in Florence with kids was a bookstore! Near the Carousel is RED Feltrinelli bookstore, which has a cafe downstairs and a lovely children’s area upstairs. It’s a great place to take a breather and get a souvenir to bring home so the kids can remember some of the Italian words they are exposed to while you traveled.
Florence with kids will involve plenty of stops for snacks, and one of the best options for an affordable snack is gelato. Most places will give you a small cup for €1-2. We have found that frequent gelato stops are the glue that holds us together on busy travel days.
Top tip for Florence with Children
My top tip for Florence Italy with kids is: SLOW DOWN. I wouldn’t recommend trying to do Florence in a day, especially with kids. We all know how children change your travel speed and trying to fit in more than is reasonable is going to backfire.
Spend more than one day in Florence and take your time to enjoy life, the Italian way. One of the best things to do in Florence is to slow down and enjoy.
Wander off the main streets and be delighted at what charming things you find. I found the most delightful storefronts and shop owners by simply getting a bit lost. Shop owners who aren’t overrun with tourists will take the time to engage with you.
The main person my children remember from Florence is the coffee shop owner from a neighborhood outside the center. In fact, we returned after a year and he welcomed us like old family. These are the interactions that matter to children.
Helpful hints for taking kids to Florence
- If you are there in July and August, go out early, take a rest in the heat of the afternoon and then enjoy the city again after 5 pm. It will start to cool down and the daytime tourist hordes will be dying down.
- Keep your kids engaged with fun facts about Italy. One amazing resource that you can get ahead of time are these charming fact cards from Tava which will your kids recognizing landmarks around the city.
- Italians love children, as a rule, but when they are dealing with crazy tourists all day, it might not be evident. If you stay outside the center you will find that the locals are much more welcoming.
- If you want to have genuine interactions with Florentines, get off your Google Map route and go child-speed. Stop when you see something that interests the kids in a shop window.
- Lastly, if you need to know where to eat in Florence to keep your whole family fueled and happy, I have got you covered.