Visiting Venice is a magical experience as an adult and is even more magical for kids! With its sparkling canals, sleek gondolas, and aging and tilted houses, it’s a real-life fairytale.
Venice with Kids
How many days to spend in Venice with Kids?
Venice with kids is totally worth it, as it is one of the most iconic and memorable cities in the world. I highly recommend staying in the main part of the city, rather than on the mainland because it’s so magical to spend the early morning and late-night hours overlooking the beauty of the canals.
Staying in the center can get spendy, though, especially with a family. If you are budget-conscious travelers like us, it is probably budget that will be the deciding factor on how many days you choose to spend in Venice with kids.
It’s likely you will only want to spend a night or two because of the cost. If you are traveling to other places in Italy with kids, you will find better deals to help balance out the cost here.
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Getting from Venice to the Venice Airport (and vice versa)
It’s likely you will be coming in by airplane and leaving by train or the other way around. When you need to get to Venice from the airport, the easiest and most enjoyable way when you have kids along is to take the Alilaguna public transport water bus. You can walk to the dock directly from the airport down a long covered walkway.
You can also book a private water taxi from the Airport to Venice, if you just want to keep it really simple.
My kids loved entering Venice by boat and even Grandma was delighted. This is such a unique experience so we took advantage of something needed to do anyway (get to Venice) with something we wanted to do while in Venice, which was riding in a boat through the canals. Some groups are too big to fit into a gondola (max 6 people) so this is a good alternative in order to get time on the water in the floating city!
Things to do in Venice with Kids (for Free!)
It’s easy to feel pressure to be constantly paying for activities on vacation, but it’s truly not needed. Part of the beauty of travel is taking time to just be together in a fantastic place. There are quite a few free fun things to do in Venice for kids (and adults who don’t take themselves so seriously!)
Wander the less busy canals of Cannaregio
Certain areas of Venice are so jam-packed with people that you can hardly stop to enjoy the view and it’s easy to lose your kids! However, there are parts of Venice that are stunning and quiet where you can let your kids soak in the uniqueness of the place.
I loved walking with my kids through the Cannaregio neighborhood! It’s beautiful and much quieter than the rest of Venice. We stayed in this neighborhood at a cool Airbnb with a view of the canal.
Being in this local neighborhood, we enjoyed a lovely dinner at tables along the canal, saw grocers arranging their wares in front of tiny stores, and listened to church bells chiming while we looked over the red rooftops from the top floor of our apartment.
Look for the Winged Lion of Venice
You will spot the winged lion, who represents St Mark, the patron saint of Venice, all over the city. From many sculptures to flags and decals, having your kids keep count of this unique symbol gives them something to do. You can even make a goal number with a treat as the celebration for finding them all.
Visit One of the World’s Coolest Bookstores
Perhaps the most memorable place for kids in the city of Venice is the Alta Aqua bookstore. This fun bookstore has piles upon piles of books stacked in boats. One of my kids’ very favorite things to do was to break all the rules they know about how to treat books and climb the book stairs out back!
Playgrounds in Venice with Kids – Giardini Pubblici
Most of us traveling parents know that seeing the world with kids is like taking a world tour of playgrounds. If you are looking for playgrounds in Venice with kids, I have good news for you. Eventually, you will all grow weary of the tourist crowds and just want to let your kids run around a bit. Here is the place!
Giardini Pubblici has grassy areas and play areas and is by far the largest grassy area in Venice. Take the Vaporetto (yay! Another excuse to ride a boat!) to the Castello Neighborhood. The stops named Giardini A&B or Sant. Elena are closest to the park.
Paid Things to do in Venice with Kids
Take a Venice Walking Tour
I love walking tours that are geared towards kids because the guides let the kids be kids and aren’t constantly expecting them to be silent. I find tours for adults to be a lot of pressure for kids and as a parent. It’s always more fun when we can all enjoy the time without being stressed out.
The facts about Venice for kids that our guide shared on the tour were interesting for me, too. It’s where I learned about the Winged Lion! This Venice with Kids tour is one of our favorites! Federica is amazing with kids and you’ll learn so much about Venice!
Try New Foods in Venice
Venice is a great place for children to try new foods. With seafood and produce markets, kids can sample all sorts of food. Be sure to have them try some squid ink pasta. They’ll love to see their teeth turn black (don’t worry it’s only temporary).
You can even take this Venice Food Tour that will take you to the Rialto Market and allow you to explore the many types of delicious Venetian foods around the city of water.
Or you can take this Venice Street Food tour which kids love.
Eat All the Gelato
If there’s only one thing that could make Venice better, it might be gelato. There are tons of great gelato shops in Venice, but Suso, undeniably, has the prettiest gelato! Other great ones are GROM, Venchi, The Gelato Boutique, Nature Ice Cream, Fantasy Ice Cream, and Green Apple. If you want a Venice with tour that includes gelato, this is a great one!
Take a Mask Making Workshop
Venice is famous for its beautiful masks that are made year-round and worn during the famous Carnival celebrations in February. You can create your own mask in Venice at this workshop.
Best Age to take Kids to Venice
Wait to take the kids to Venice until they can swim! I’m only sort of kidding here because there are literally open waterways all over the place that your kids can fall into!
For safety in Venice, it’s helpful if your kids are old enough to have a healthy fear of water. Toddlers would be quite hard because you would need to either carry them in a pack, which can get heavy & sweaty. If you have them in a stroller then you have all the bridges to contend with and you would be lifting the stroller constantly.
In addition, we all know toddlers don’t necessarily have the best self-preservation skills and might just decide to hop on into a canal in the blink of an eye.
Venice was quite fun with kids ranging from 3-12 because they could walk by themselves, they were enchanted with the whole idea of a city with streets of water.
We do travel a lot and the kids sometimes forget the names of cities we have visited. Venice, though, is probably one of the most memorable cities in the world because it’s so unique. Even our youngest will never forget Venice.
It’s great fun to discuss with children how the mail comes by boat, as do the delivery “trucks” which carry sodas to the stores and restaurants. While I fully support traveling with kids of all ages, I personally find Venice the most fun for everyone when the kids are age 5 and up.
I hope I have eased your mind about Venice with kids. It is such a special place in the world. For more great ideas about Venice, I have a more in-depth guide here!