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.
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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.
Ticket and Reservation Costs for the Accademia Gallery
|Ticket Type||Ticket Cost||Who Can Use It|
|Regular/Full Ticket||12€||18 and older, non-EU citizens|
26 and older, EU citizens
|Reduced Ticket||2€||18-25 EU citizens|
EU public teachers
|Free Ticket||FREE||17 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.
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 children?
Check out our post on 70 Things To Do In Tuscany With Kids!
Read books about Michelangelo and David:
David & Goliath:
- The Bible, 1 Samuel 17
- David and Goliath (Little Golden Book), by Christin Ditchfield
- A Giant Headache: The Story of David & Goliath, by Paul and Delores Gully
- The Beginner’s Bible: David and the Giant
- Michelangelo for Kids: His Life and Ideas, by Simonetta Carr
- Michelangelo (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists Series), by Mike Venezia
- From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg
- Stone Giant: Michelangelo’s David and How He Came to Be, by Jane Sutcliffe
- YouTube: Michelangelo’s David, by Great Art Explained
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some of Michelangelo’s other works in Florence*:
|Madonna of the Stairs||Marble||Casa Buonarotti|
|Battle of the Centaurs||Marble||Casa Buonarotti|
|Model for Two Fighters||Clay||Casa Buonarotti|
|Night and Day||Marble||Medici Chapel|
|Dusk and Dawn||Marble||Medici Chapel|
|Florentine Pieta||Marble||Museo dell’Opera del Duomo|
|Madonna and Child||Marble||Bargello Museum|
|The Genius of Victory||Marble||Palazzo Vecchio|
|Crocifisso||Painted Wood||Santo Spirito|
|Doni Tondo (Holy Family)||Painting||Uffizi|
*attributed works not included
Galleria dell’Accademia Contact Info
Address: via Ricasoli, 58/60, Firenze 50122
Phone: +39 055 0987100
Is there a lost and found?
Yes. See the Accademia’s website for the current process to search for your lost item.
Where are the other David statues?
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.
Can I bring my stroller inside?
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.
Can I breastfeed at the museum?
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.
Should our family purchase the Firenze Card?
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!
Which is better – the Accademia with kids or the Uffizi with kids?
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.
Is the Accademia in Florence similar to the Accademia in Venice?
‘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.
Is there a gift shop at the Accademia?
Yes, there is a medium-sized gift shop at the end of your visit to the museum.