Child dances behind a light display at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy.

8 Best Florence Museums for Kids – A Local Family’s Recommendations

Buongiorno!  If you’re heading to Florence with your children, you’re probably wondering if you should bring them to see David in the Accademia Gallery or the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery.  But don’t stop there – we have quite a few kid-friendly museums here in Florence, and you’re sure to find one that your kids will love.

These are our eight favorite family-friendly museums in Florence. And, we’ve listed a few other Florence museums your kids might like. 

We’ve also listed some of our tips for visiting museums in Florence with kids based on our family’s experience and my time helping families visit Italy.

Andiamo – Let’s go!

Helpful Tip:  You may hear about kids’ activities in Florence museums.  Unfortunately, they are almost exclusively in Italian (except for Palazzo Vecchio, which also has a ton of tours and activities in English, French, and Spanish).  So, before you book a children’s activity, make sure you confirm it’s in English (unless you speak Italian!).

You may want to check out
A Local Mom’s Best Things to Do in Florence with Kids

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Best Florence Museums for Kids

Stibbert Museum

Knights and horses in armor on display at the Stibbert Museum in Florence, Italy.

I think this is one of the coolest museums for kids in Florence.  It’s not in the historic center, so most people don’t visit, but if you have kids who like armor or knights, this is their place!

The Stibbert Museum (Museo Stibbert) is the collection of Frederick Stibbert.  It contains about 50,000 artifacts in a gorgeous villa north of the center of Florence.

Highlights for our kids include:

  • The armor, including European, Japanese, and Islamic styles
  • Japanese theater masks
  • The sarcophagus
  • The Roman battle helmet
  • The great hall with the armored soldiers on horseback
  • St. George and the Dragon
  • The collection of weapons (spears, guns, and more)

It’s also really interesting for adults, and I love visiting.

Good To Know:  This isn’t a great place to visit with toddlers or kids who love to touch.  The displays are mostly open, so you’ve got to make sure kids don’t touch or knock the exhibits over.  I’ve visited with a 2-year old and it was a workout for me. If you’ve got mixed ages of kids, one adult can play at the park next door with the little ones.

Things to Do Nearby: 

  • The Stibbert Museum has a playground next door, in the Baden Powell Gardens.
  • You can see the enormous dragon/serpent sculpture in the upper part of the nearby Horticulture Garden.

Read all about Visiting the Stibbert Museum, a Hidden Gem in Florence.

Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum

Entrance to the Leonardo Interactive Museum in Florence, Italy.

Are you a fan of Leonardo da Vinci?  If so, don’t miss this interactive museum located between the Duomo and the Accademia Gallery. 

My 8-year-old says this is his favorite museum in Florence.  He enjoys learning about Leonardo and tinkering with the exhibits.  Most have levers and things you can move to see how da Vinci’s inventions worked.  In other parts of the museum, kids can try to build some of his designs, like his self-supporting bridge. 

If you’d like to visit, I recommend doing some prep work on Leonardo da Vinci before your arrival.  It’s much more interesting if you’ve got an idea of who he was and what some of his inventions were.

Good To Know:  I find this is a tough museum to visit with babies and toddlers who want to touch, because you have to move the machines gently and there are parts of the museum you shouldn’t touch. 

Good To Know:  There are two Leonardo da Vinci Museums in Florence – this is the interactive one.

Things to Do Nearby:  Get a gelato or granita at Gelateria Carabè or play at the popular playground in Piazza Massimo d’Azeglio.

Helpful Tip:  If you have a child who’s passionate about Leonardo da Vinci, think about taking a day trip (or afternoon trip) to his birthplace in nearby Vinci.  It’s beautiful Tuscan countryside and you can explore the Leonardo da Vinci museum in town.

Read all about Visiting the Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum.

Palazzo Vecchio

Hall of 500 in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy.

Palazzo Vecchio is Florence’s town hall and towers over the lively Piazza della Signoria.  

You’ll probably recognize it as the building with the clock tower and a copy of David’s Michelangelo out front. 

While the Palazzo Vecchio is interesting to visit on your own, it really comes to life on a family tour.  MUSE runs several family-friendly tours.

Our family did the ‘Life at Court’ tour and all of my kids loved it, for different reasons. 

Highlights included:

  • The Hall of the Five Hundred (Salone dei Cinquecento)
  • The family apartments and furniture
  • The clothing, costumes, and toys of the children
  • The small model of the Palazzo Vecchio
  • Finding animals and hidden symbols in the artwork and frescoes

When you’re done with the tour, you can still spend time exploring and visiting any part of the building you didn’t see on your tour.  Don’t miss the recently renovated Hall of Maps.  And, if your kids are 6+, you can climb the Arnolfo Tower (but we prefer Giotto’s bell tower or the Duomo climb.

Good To Know:  Our tour was for ages 4+, but our 1.5 year old had a blast exploring the rooms and looking at the furniture and frescoes (we just had an adult stay with him).

Good To Know:  Book your guided family tour by phone or email in advance.  You can also book through the form at https://musefirenze.it/musei/museo-di-palazzo-vecchio/.

Accademia Gallery

Michelangelo's David in the Accademia in Flornece, Italy.

The Accademia Gallery is home to one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces – his statue of David.  Seeing David is worth it, even if you don’t consider yourself a ‘museum person,’ and the Accademia is easy to visit with kids. 

It’s a small museum; if you just want to see David, you can be in and out without wandering through a large, crowded museum. 

If you do want to explore more of the Accademia, don’t miss the interesting section on musical instruments.

Read all about Visiting the Accademia with Kids.

Uffizi Galleries

Mom and baby in the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, Italy.

The Uffizi usually isn’t first on my list of recommended museums for kids, but it can be a memorable and interesting visit for kids if you do it the right way.

The Uffizi Galleries contain one of the most important collections of Renaissance art in the world, including works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Raffaello, and Caravaggio.  There aren’t just paintings – there are also sculptures, sketches, self-portraits, and more.

How can you make a visit to the Uffizi Galleries fun for kids?  Here are some ideas:

  • Visit on a family-friendly guided tour.
  • Choose a few special pieces of art to look at, and then leave.  You don’t need to stay in the Uffizi for hours to get the most out of your visit.
  • Print off and follow one of the UffiziKids-themed itineraries (for example, at the time of writing, there’s a monster-themed itinerary and a flower-themed itinerary available) on the official website.

Some kid-friendly things to look for in the Uffizi:

  • The portraits of the Medici children
  • The hidden elephant in Leonardo da Vinci’s The Adoration of the Magi
  • The self-portrait room
  • The window print from the mafia bombing of 1993 (for older kids)
  • The tribune and its gorgeous mother of pearl shells that decorate the ceiling
  • Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus
  • Caravaggio’s Medusa

Things to Do Nearby: Walk over the Ponte Vecchio; rub the porcellino’s nose in the Mercato del Porcellino.

La Specola

Children looking at the taxidermied animals in La Specola museum in Florence, Italy.  You can see a tiger in the foreground.

La Specola is Florence’s Museum of Zoology and it’s part of the Florence Museum of Natural History.  Unfortunately, it’s been closed since 2019 and while the rumors say that it will reopen in late 2023, I’m not holding my breath.  But, I wanted to include it here so you can check to see if it’s open when you’re visiting.  If so, it’s a wonderful stop for kids of all ages.

My boys particularly love looking at the:

  • Insect collections (especially the butterflies and beetles)
  • Taxidermied animals – it’s a huge collection!
  • Animal skeletons

There’s also a collection of anatomical wax displays.  We haven’t seen it yet, but we’re looking forward to seeing it when it reopens!

Fun Fact:  La Specola is considered by some to be Europe’s oldest scientific museum.

Things to Do Nearby:  Run around the Boboli Gardens with your kids, grab a fresh-squeezed juice at Carduccio (Sdrucciolo de’ Pitti, 10R), or have gelato at Gelateria La Sorbettiera – Santo Spirito (via Mazzetta, 9a).

You can learn more on the La Specola official website.

Strozzi Palace

Rainbow light at the Olafur Eliasson exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy.

Palazzo Strozzi, just down the road from Piazza della Repubblica, is one of my favorite museums to visit with kids in Florence. 

There are different exhibits throughout the year, and some of our favorites have been Jeff Koons (famous for works like the balloon dog) and Olafur Eliasson (interactive light exhibits).

What I love most about visiting the Strozzi Palace exhibits is that they suit all ages and they usually have something to catch kids’ attention, like a lot of color or interactive elements. 

What to Do Nearby: Take a ride on the carousel in Piazza della Repubblica.

You can learn more about the museum on the Palazzo Strozzi official website.

Galileo Museum

The Galileo Museum (Museo Galileo) is conveniently located next to the Uffizi Galleries (but don’t try to do both with kids in one day). 

If you’re interested in Galileo, don’t miss a visit to the museum dedicated to the astronomer (and more).

I guarantee kids will want to visit when you tell them the museum houses one of Galileo’s fingers (yes, I’m serious), and they’ll be happy checking out his real instruments like his telescopes.

Good To Know:  This museum is best for kids already interested in Galileo or for those who have already read or learned a little bit about him. 

Learn more about the museum on the Galileo Museum official website. Or, read about our Visit to the Galileo Museum in Florence.

More Florence Museums to Visit with Kids

  • Museum of Toys and Pinocchio (Museo del Giocattolo e di Pinocchio), via dell’Oriuolo, 47 (near the Duomo) – I keep walking by this small museum but haven’t stopped in yet.  It has a collection of vintage toys (including Pinocchio) and the visit can be interactive if you participate in the scavenger hunt.  I’ve heard great things about this family-friendly museum, and I wanted to include it here.  I’ll write more as soon as we visit.
  • Museum of Illusions
  • Selfie Museum
  • Salvatore Ferragamo Museum – best for older kids and teens interested in fashion
  • Gucci Garden – best for older kids and teens interested in fashion

Tips for Visiting Museums in Florence with Kids

Who Was Galileo? kids' book on a wooden background.
  1. Let your kids help choose which museum(s) to visit.  They’ll be much more engaged if they helped make the decision.
    For example, older kids and teens may be interested in seeing where scenes for Dan Brown’s Inferno were filmed.  One of the locations is inside the Palazzo Vecchio, in the Hall of the 500.  Another example – my older sons loved reading Who Was Leonardo da Vinci before visiting the Leonardo da Vinci interactive museum.  We also spent quite a bit of time reading about Michelangelo and marble before visiting the David in the Accademia Gallery. 
  2. Buy your tickets in advance.  Avoid waiting in long lines to buy tickets.  Long lines are never fun, and especially if you’ve got kids with you.
  3. Eat (or have a snack) before you visit the museum.  Inside, take advantage of snack bars for a rest and quick break.
  4. Use the toilets before you begin looking at the art.  There are also toilets in other parts of the museum, but it’s best to begin with empty bladders!
  5. Plan a non-museum activity for after the museum.  I like to take my boys to a playground or to get a gelato after we visit one of Florence’s museums.
  6. Find what interests your kids.  If you have children who love to draw, let them bring a sketchbook and have time to sketch in the museum.  If you have a child who loves armor, don’t miss the Stibbert Museum.  Kids interested in history will love Palazzo Vecchio and seeing how children lived in the past in Florence.  The Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum (and often Palazzo Strozzi) has exhibits that let kids tinker and touch the machines.
  7. Do a scavenger hunt.  I have a scavenger hunt for the Accademia Gallery.  The Mission Florence book also has scavenger hunts for kids visiting Florence.
  8. Visit in the morning if possible.  Most families visit Florence in the summer when school is out, which means the days will be sunny and hot.  Visit in the morning for cooler and (hopefully) less crowded museums.  You also will avoid interrupting afternoon naps for babies and toddlers.

I hope you enjoy visiting some of Florence’s museums with your kids!

Florence Museums with Kids FAQ

Does Florence have a children’s museum?

No, Florence doesn’t have a children’s museum, but there are quite a few museums that offer programs for children (like the Uffizi Galleries and Palazzo Vecchio).  You can also visit one of Florence’s museums with a family-friendly guide.

Is the Florence Museum of Paleontology and Natural History worth visiting?

I’ve been to the Paleontology Museum (part of the Florence Museum of Natural History) with my older kids and they really enjoyed the guided visit.  The displays are beautiful and interesting, but there is not any information in English.  So, I don’t think it would be a great visit for non-Italian speakers. 

Is Palazzo Pitti fun with kids?

Yes, the Palazzo Pitti can be fun for children, especially those interested in the clothing of the past – the Palace hosts the museum of Costume and Fashion.