At first glance, Rome might not seem like the most kid-friendly city but with our help, you’ll find a bunch of diverse activities, experiences, and tours capable of keeping children (and their parents) entertained for hours. Here’s our pick of the best things to do in Rome with your kids from ancient ruins to parks and children’s museums.
Ever wondered what it would be like to be a gladiator for the day? At Rome’s only Gladiator School, just off the ancient Appian Way, you can take part in a two-hour lesson and train to become a true little warrior.
Expert instructors from the Gruppo Storico Romano (Historic Group of Rome) will kit your little gladiators with tunics and training swords, and teach them a series of basic combat techniques. Although the swords are fake, the skills learned in class are real. The instructors are extremely entertaining and great with kids! At the end of the two-hour lesson your children will be rewarded with a certificate of participation. You won’t regret it! Your kids will have a blast!
Via Appia Antica 18.
Explora Children’s Museum
A totally interactive museum entirely dedicated to children (aimed at under-12s) and one of the best things for kids to do in Rome on a rainy day, Explora is perfect for when your kids need a break from sightseeing. It has a lot of great hands-on exhibits for children like elaborate machines that teach about hydraulic principles, interactive exhibits, role play areas such as a mini supermarket and kitchen, and a particularly popular feature is its life-sized model of a train-driver’s cabin where you can become a train driver.
Visits are in two-hour time slots so try to book ahead and fix an entrance time.
It’s just a short walk from Piazza del Popolo and Villa Borghese so there are several additional attractions for kids in the area.
Address: Via Flaminia 80/86; Tues-Sun 10am-5pm; 1-3 yr olds 3€, 3+ 7€.
Villa Borghese and the Zoo
Villa Borghese is one of the largest urban parks in Europe. It’s a magnificent English style landscape park, a peaceful green heaven in the centre of Rome. If you and your kids want a break from the hustle and bustle of the Italian capital, come and relax in the lush, green Borghese Gardens.
The park is the perfect combination of nature and stunning Roman art.
There are many activities to do in Villa Borghese, you can rent boats, bicycles, segways and rollerblades.
While you’re in Villa Borghese, head to Bioparco. The zoo has 222 different species and a special butterfly greenhouse until July.
Piazzale del Giardino Zoologico; everyday 9:30am-6pm; 15€ for adults and 12€ for children under 12.
A multi-sensory cinema experience, complete with moving seats, flight simulators, wind and rain machines and 3D glasses. The “time machine” will take you and your children back to ancient Rome time for 30 minutes of adventure and antiquity, or to the age of dinosaurs, to learn about the making of mankind.
Via dei Santi Apostoli, 20; everyday from 10:30am-7:30pm. Adults 12€, children 9€.
Stroll the streets of Rome as the sun goes down and see sights such as the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona illuminated in all their glory. Visit some amazing hidden gems and stop for a coffee at Rome’s most famous cafè.