David statue in Florence, with the glass skylight above

Accademia with Kids – How to Plan a Family Visit

Thinking about visiting the Accademia with kids?

It seems silly to visit Florence and not make a trip to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the statue of David, located in the city’s Accademia Gallery.  But visiting museums with kids in tow isn’t always easy. 

The Accademia Gallery isn’t Legoland or Six Flags – the idea of it probably won’t fill your child with excitement.  If you’d like to check David out and want it to be a pleasant and fun experience for each member of the family, read on to find out how to visit the Accademia with kids.

Before Your Visit to the Accademia Gallery with Kids

Buy Skip the Line Tickets for the Accademia Gallery

You can’t actually skip the line, but you can skip the long line of people who haven’t made reservations.  Don’t be spend your time waiting in line!  Check out my post on buying ‘skip the line’ tickets to the Accademia to ensure you’ll be in the museum as quickly as possible. 

Even if you’re tempted to take the risk and wait in the no-reservations line, remember there is no cover from the elements – Florence in the summer it can be scorching hot, and if it’s raining (and you’re without an umbrella), you’ll all get drenched.

David banners hanging above the entrance to the Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia) in Florence, Italy

Ticket and Reservation Costs for the Accademia Gallery

Ticket TypeTicket CostWho Can Use It
Regular/Full Ticket12€18 and older, non-EU citizens
26 and older, EU citizens
Reduced Ticket 2€18-25 EU citizens
EU public teachers
Free TicketFREE17 and under
people with a certified disability, with one accompanying person

Reservations cost an additional 4€ per person. Reservations must be booked for all visitors age 6 and older. 

For example, if you are family of 5, all US citizens, you will pay the following for your Accademia Gallery tickets with reservations:

65 year old – 12€ + 4€ reservation = 16€
40 year old teacher in US – 12€ + 4€ reservation= 16€
18 year old – 12€ + 4€ reservation= 16€
12 year old – 4€ reservation = 4€
1 year old – FREE

Tickets (and reservation fees) are NON-REFUNDABLE and you CANNOT CHANGE THE DATE.  Before purchasing, make sure you have your dates right!

If you purchase from a third-party seller, the prices will be more than the prices above.

Time Your Visit Well at the Accademia with Kids

If you can, visit after having breakfast or lunch.  Empty bellies do not mix well with museum visits. 

Accademia Museum Opening Hours and Days

Open – Tuesday to Sunday. 

Closed –  Monday.  Also closed December 25th and January 1st

Hours – 9:00 to 18:45.  Last admission time is 18:15.

Reservations are required on Saturday and Sunday.

The museum is not currently offering free entrance on the first Sunday of the month. 

Hire a Family-Focused Guide on Your Visit to the Accademia with Kids

While I don’t think having a guide at the Accademia Gallery is essential, if you’d like to have one, make sure he or she is a specialist in giving family tours.  Otherwise, you’ll see your child’s eyes glaze over about 30 seconds into the visit. 

ArtViva designs kids tours in Florence and their guides will lead you on a kid-focused tour of the Accademia.

marble busts on display at the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy

Learn About What You’ll Be Seeing at the Accademia with Kids

The visit will be much more meaningful for little ones (or big ones!) if they have some idea what they’re looking at. 

While the Accademia houses many important sculptures, paintings, and instruments, focus your prep work on Michelangelo’s statue of David.

If you’ll be in the area before you visit the Accademia, you can take your family to the Carrara marble quarries, where Michelangelo himself chose the marble blocks for his statues. 

Looking for more things to do in Tuscany with your kids?
Check out my post on 70+ Things to Do With Kids in Tuscany!

David & Goliath:

Michelangelo:

David Statue:

Marble Sculpting:

YouTube: The Making of a Sculpture, by Varo Sculpture

YouTube: The Carving of a Marble Block (Putto Cecioni), by Galleria Frilli

Carrara Marble Quarries:

YouTube: Inside Italy’s $1 Billion Marble Mountains, by Business Insider

During Your Visit at the Accademia with Kids

Know What You Can Bring Into the Accademia Gallery

When traveling with kids, it’s easy to have the ‘bring everything, just in case’ mentality.  Unfortunately, the Accademia Gallery doesn’t agree.  You can’t bring the following into the museum:

  • Large bags or backpacks
  • Drinks that aren’t water
  • Water bottles larger than 500ml
  • Scissors or metal objects that may be a threat to the art or other people

There is no bag or coat check available.

Don’t Try To See Everything at the Accademia with Kids In Tow

Kids are usually most interested in seeing David and the musical instruments, which include string and wood instruments and pianos. 

woodwind instruments in glass display cases at the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy

If you’ve studied Michelangelo, you’ll want to check out some of his unfinished sculptures, known as the Slaves.  They line the Hall of the Prisoners that leads to David on his pedestal.

one of Michelangelo's slave marble sculptures on display in the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy
Michelangelo’s ‘Bound Slave,’ or ‘The Atlas.’
Accademia Gallery Map that will help you plan your visit with kids
Map of the Accademia Gallery. Source: Galleria della Accademia di Firenze

Limit Your Time Inside the Accademia Gallery

This goes along with the previous recommendation (don’t try to see everything).  If you’re just stopping in to see David, forty-five minutes is plenty of time for young children.  If you’re visiting other parts of the museum, you’ll want to remain for a while longer. 

Share Some Fun Trivia With Your Kids

Did you know…

  • David is 17 feet tall and he weighs over six tons.  That’s as tall as an adult giraffe and as heavy as an African elephant!
  • The statue is carved from one piece of marble.
  • It took Michelangelo three years to complete the David statue.  Can you imagine spending three years on a project?
  • Poor David has a foot injury. In 1991, an Italian artist swung a hammer at the toes of his left foot.   
  • The statue was originally created for the roof of the Duomo (Florence’s cathedral).  It’s the reason his head is disproportionately large. 
  • During World War II, a brick covering was built around David to protect him from bombings.

Let Your Children Be Artists in the Accademia Gallery

Bring some art supplies with you and let your children sketch David.  There are a few benches in the museum.  You don’t need to get fancy with sketch books and special pencils – use what you have with you!

Do you have a young photographer in your family?  Set him or her free to photograph David from all angles or the crowds craning their necks to look at him.

Younger children can color in coloring books. Print out this page of David:

Let the Kids Discover the Art Through a Scavenger Hunt at the Accademia Gallery

Print out this Accademia Gallery Scavenger Hunt for your kids:

Have a Child Read the Guidebook

Let your kids read to the family and share interesting information about the statue of David and other works of art in the museum.  They’ll feel more invested and it’s great reading practice!

After Your Visit to the Accademia with Kids

Avoid Other Museums for the Rest of the Day

Don’t visit another museum!  Limiting museum visits to one per day is important.  Museums can be exhausting (even for adults) and you want to keep the experience fun so your kids will want to visit other museums. 

Get a Snack Near the Accademia Gallery

Carabe Gelateria is less than 100 meters from the Accademia, on your way back toward the center.  It’s located at via Ricasoli, 60r.  It’s one of the best gelaterie in Florence!  The gelato is made in house and there are always seasonal specialties.  Their Sicilian granite are the best in Florence. 

hand holding a cup of gelato  from carabe gelateria in florence italy

Do Something Active

Let your little ones shake their legs out and make some Italian friends at a nearby park.  There’s a nice playground in Piazza Massimo d’Azeglio, about 10-12 minutes away on foot. 

google map that shows three walking routes from the accademia gallery in florence to a kids playground in piazza azeglio

Continue To Look For David and For Other Works By Michelangelo

Look for the replicas of Michelangelo’s David statue in the city – in front of Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria and above the center in Piazzale Michelangelo.  See who can spot souvenir mini David statues, David aprons, or David boxers.

Michelangelo’s other works in Florence*:

TitleMediumLocation
Madonna of the StairsMarbleCasa Buonarotti
Battle of the CentaursMarbleCasa Buonarotti
Model for Two FightersClayCasa Buonarotti
Night and DayMarbleMedici Chapel
Dusk and DawnMarbleMedici Chapel
Florentine PietaMarbleMuseo dell’Opera del Duomo
ApolloMarbleBargello Museum
BacchusMarbleBargello Museum
Madonna and ChildMarbleBargello Museum
BrutusMarbleBargello Museum
The Genius of VictoryMarblePalazzo Vecchio
CrocifissoPainted WoodSanto Spirito
Doni Tondo (Holy Family)PaintingUffizi

*attributed works not included

Galleria dell’Accademia Contact Info

Website: https://www.galleriaaccademiafirenze.it/en/
Address: via Ricasoli, 58/60, Firenze 50122
Phone: +39 055 0987100

FAQ

Q: Is there a lost and found?
A: Yes.  See the Accademia’s website for the current process to search for your lost item.

Q: Where are the other David statues?
A:  The statue of David by Michelangelo in the Accademia has many replicas around the globe.  You can find two of them in Florence – in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza della Signoria and overlooking the city in Piazzale Michelangelo.

Q:  Can I bring my stroller inside?
A:  Yes.  I always bring a stroller if I want my baby or young child to nap or I want to have a place to store things.  Italians are great with kids and the staff at the Accademia will often direct you to the front of the line you’re waiting in.

Q:  Can I breastfeed at the museum?
A:  Yes, you can breastfeed anywhere in Italy.  Don’t feel shy as Italians are used to seeing mothers feed their children.  You do not need to cover up (though you are certainly welcome to if you want to) or hide in a bathroom!  However, if you are looking for a private area, you won’t find one in the Accademia. 

Q:  Should our family purchase the Firenze Card?
A:  I don’t recommend the Firenze Card for families with younger children because I don’t recommend filling your days with museum visits.  I would limit museum visits to one per day with little ones in tow.  The Firenze Card is great value if you plan on packing your days with visits to Florence’s amazing museums – best saved for when the children are older!

Q:  Which is better – the Accademia with kids or the Uffizi with kids?
A:  The Accademia Gallery is much smaller than the Uffizi and all ages are usually impressed with the David statue. Unless you have kids who are studying art history or are really interested in visiting the Uffizi, I’d bring the family to the Accademia.

Q: Is the Accademia in Florence similar to the Accademia in Venice?
A:  ‘Accademia’ is the Italian word for ‘academy.’ Both locations were schools for artists. The artwork on display is different in each location. The Venetian Accademia showcases some of the most famous works by Venetian painters. The Accademia in Florence is most famous for its David statue, but also has other important sculptures, paintings, and musical instruments.

Q: Is there a gift shop at the Accademia?
A:  Yes, there is a medium-sized gift shop at the end of your visit to the museum.

accademia gallery gift shop in Florence, Italy