Boy looking at globe in Galileo Museum in Florence, Italy.

What to Do with Kids in Florence on a Rainy Day – 8 Ideas from a Local Mom

Did you open your Florence hotel room window and notice grey skies and rain?  Wondering how you’re going to entertain your family in Florence on a rainy day?

Or maybe you’re still back home planning your trip and want to be über-prepared for your Florence family vacation.

Either way – let’s take a look at some of the best things you can do with kids on a rainy day in Florence.

Why listen to me?  I’m a mamma of three boys living just outside of Florence and we spend quite a bit of time in the city – rain or shine.  We love exploring Firenze and when it’s too rainy to spend time at a playground, we pick one of these alternatives!

Spend Time in a Kid-Friendly Museum

My boys checking out the Japanese armor at the Stibbert Museum

Florence is home to some great museums for kids!  While we don’t have a dedicated children’s museum, we do have:

Helpful Tip:  If you can, read a little or watch a couple of YouTube videos about some of these places before you visit.  We love the “Who Was?” series (with books like “Who Was Leonardo da Vinci?”).  Kids will appreciate what they’re looking at if they understand a little bit about it. 

While they’re not really seen as ‘kid-friendly’ museums, the Uffizi Galleries and Accademia Gallery can also be fun for children.  You can have the kids go on a mini scavenger hunt in the Uffizi (pick up a few postcards of famous works in the bookstore before you begin your visit).  Before going to the Accademia, watch a couple of YouTube videos about Michelangelo or the Carrara marble quarries or how sculptures are made (here are a few suggestions).  I’ve got more tips and a scavenger hunt in How to Visit the Accademia with Kids.

Read more about our Favorite Kid-Friendly Museums in Florence

Explore a Florence Book Store

Inside a children's bookshop in Florence, Italy. There's a wooden puzzle tree in the middle and themed rooms on either side.
Inside Todo Modo Dilà

My kids always enjoy picking out a new book.  If yours do too, stay dry while you’re browsing the shelves at a one of Florence’s book shops. 

  • Todo Modo Dilà – most fun and interactive bookshop dedicated to children
  • RED Feltrinelli – large kids section upstairs (Italian) and small section downstairs (English); my kids also like looking at the gift area by the cash registers
  • Paperback Exchange – best selection of English books (for kids and adults)

Read about our favorite Florence Bookstores to Visit with Kids

Helpful Tip:  There are also English books in the museum gift shops.  Our favorite by far is the Uffizi Gallery’s gift shop.  It’s just before the exit.  Did you know you can enter without a ticket?  Just ask a staff member.

Book a Last-Minute Cooking Class

Child's hands work on shaping pasta on a wooden cutting board.
My son, busy shaping farfalle

Depending on the time of year, this may be a long-shot.  But, you can try asking your accommodation, or checking to see if there are any spots left in cooking classes on Get Your Guide or Viator.

Browse a Florence Toy Store

Città del Sole toy shop in Florence, Italy.
Città del Sole, near the Duomo

It won’t be hard to sell your kids on a visit to a Florence toy shop! 

We have international classics like the LEGO store with large-scale Florence LEGOs on display as well as smaller shops like Dreoni Giocattoli and Bartolucci (all about Pinocchio!)

You can read about our favorite – Città del Sole – and others in Our Top 5 Florence Toy Stores.

Visit an Indoor Market

Ready to eat food on display in a glass case at an indoor food market in Florence, Italy. You can see cooked veggies, meat, desserts.
We like getting food to-go from this stall in the Mercato Sant’Ambrogio

My kids love the Mercato Centrale – it’s a huge market full of vendors and restaurants.  You can explore and then sit down to eat in the food hall.  It’s a bit like a shopping mall food court, but with high-quality Italian food. 

Another favorite of ours is the Sant’Ambrogio market.   You can visit in the morning to see the outdoor part of the market (covered) and then go inside to see the rest of the market and have something to eat.  It’s not as kid-friendly as the Mercato Centrale, but it’s a very authentic Florentine market. 

Climb a Tower

You can still climb a tower in the rain!  Our family’s favorite climb in Florence is Giotto’s bell tower, and you can also climb to the top of the Duomo or the top of the Arnolfo Tower (attached to Palazzo Vecchio).

If you’re visiting during the summer, the tickets may be sold out, but you can always check at the ticket office or get tickets from a 3rd party seller like Get Your Guide or Viator.

Helpful Tip:  Keep in mind that the steps are stone and may be slippery if wet. 

Good To Know:  Kids must be at least 6 years old to climb the Arnolfo Tower.

Read more about Climbing Giotto’s Bell Tower

Have a Hotel Room Picnic or Mid-Day Slumber Party

Close up of Italian panini.

I know – you don’t want to waste a moment in Italy!  You want to be out exploring, seeing the sights, and having your kids soak up all things Italian. 

So, staying in your hotel room probably isn’t your top choice.

But, I’ve found that rest is so important on vacation, and the rain may be the perfect excuse to get some extra rest in so you’re all feeling energized for the next day of Italian exploration.

You can gather picnic supplies at the grocery store or one of Florence’s food markets and have a family picnic in the room.  We like to get schiacciata (bread), cheese, olives, seasonal fruit, prosciutto and salame, pizza from the deli, and juice.  Or keep it simple and pick up panini and drinks. Have your kids help you do the shopping for the picnic. 

Or, have a mid-day slumber party.  Find an Italy-themed movie for kids on Netflix, grab some popcorn or fruit from the store, and spend part of the day snuggling and relaxing. 

Take a Day Trip to Somewhere Sunnier

My son checking out the Roman Forum on a sunny day in Rome

True, the weather may be the same in Lucca or Siena, but try checking destinations in other regions, like Bologna, Rome, or Venice. 

You’ll spend some of your day on the train, but kids love trains!  And, it will be worth it to explore in the sunshine (especially if you’ve been hit with multiple days of rain in Florence and Tuscany).

Read more about
Easy & Fun Day Trips from Florence with Kids
Venice with Kids
Taking the Train from Florence to Venice

Helpful Tip:  After two decades of sampling weather apps here, I’ve settled on Il Meteo.  You can check Il Meteo on a web browser or download the app.

I hope you’ve found something on this list to keep your family happy, entertained (and dry!) on a rainy day in Florence!