Storefront of Todo Modo Dilà children's bookstore in Florence, Italy.

A Local Mom’s 31 Best Things to Do in Florence with Kids

Are you dreaming of your trip to Florence?  Are you imagining spending your time taking leisurely strolls along the Arno River, browsing the local shops, spending hours wandering through the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery, and relaxing at a café in Piazza della Signoria? 

If you’re coming to Florence with kids, it’s going to look a little different!  But, with some planning, and our list below, you’ll be able to plan a fabulous Florence getaway for your entire family! 

Florence is an excellent stop for families because:

  • There are plenty of kid-friendly museums and activities
  • The historic center is compact and flat
  • There are pedestrian areas and large piazzas
  • You can find baby and kid supplies (diapers, clothing etc.) easily
  • There are so many amazing gelaterie
  • It has a wide range of family accommodation options, including self-catered apartments, hotels with adjoining or family rooms, and luxury hotels with kid programs
  • It’s easy to take a day trip from Florence

By balancing kid-friendly activities with rest and things that interest the adults too, you’ll spend your time in Florence making memories and having a blast.

So, here’s our list of the 31 best things to do in Florence with kids.  I’ve divided the list into the following categories:

  • Active
  • Art
  • Museums
  • Food
  • Shopping
  • More Things to Do (Miscellaneous)

This isn’t a list of every single thing you can do in Florence with kids – just our favorites.  These are the things I’d want a local mom to suggest to me if we were newbies to her city.

So, read through the list, find a few activities for your time in Florence with your children, and enjoy your trip!

Active Things to Do in Florence with Kids

View from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy.

Play at a Playground or Park

It’s a great idea to build in some time at a playground or green space in Florence.  There are playgrounds scattered around the city, but there aren’t many in the historic center. 

Piazza d’Azeglio Playground (Parco Giochi d’Azeglio) – full of local Florentine families; great spot to play with other kids; conveniently located on the edge of the historic center; fenced in but be careful as there are broken sections and small kids can squeeze through

Anconella Park and Playground (Parco dell’Anconella) – a favorite spot for our kids; playground toys and green space for running around; can walk along the Arno River path; arrive by 4km walk from Duomo (ok with a stroller) or take a bus or taxi

Carraia Park and Playground (Parco della Carraia) – local family hangout; playground and nice picnic spot; uphill walk from historic center

Cascine Park and Playgrounds (Parco delle Cascine) – Florence’s largest green area on the western border of the city center; spots for a picnic on the grass; multiple small playgrounds like Giardino Nicholas Green and Parco Giochi del Visarno; easily arrive on foot along the pedestrian river path

Horticulture Garden and Playground (Giardino dell’Orticoltura) – has a small playground but the highlight for kids is the ‘dragon’ sculpture a little bit above (5-10 min walk uphill); nice views of Florence; about 2 km walk from Florence city center

Florence Rose Garden (Giardino delle Rose) – gorgeous roses blooming in the spring; fountains and artwork all year long; stop for a snack or aperitivo at the small outdoor bar; just next to Piazzale Michelangelo

Florence Iris Garden (Giardino dell’Iris) – seasonal iris garden is lovely to visit with kids; variety of irises in bloom in late-April and early-May; quick visit; next to Piazzale Michelangelo

Boboli Gardens (Giardino di Boboli) – honestly, it’s not our favorite spot with kids (can be really hot, kids aren’t allowed to play on grass, not stroller-friendly), but we have friends and family who’ve enjoyed visiting Boboli Gardens with their children

Climb Up For a Great View

When in doubt, climb a tower with your kids!  Italy is full of towers, and Florence is no exception.  We recommend climbs up:

Giotto’s Bell Tower – Our favorite climb with kids in Florence!  It’s got beautiful views and intermediate platforms (great for taking a rest).

Duomo – Florence’s cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore) is also an excellent climb, especially with older kids.  You get an amazing close-up view of the frescoed interior of Brunelleschi’s dome.

Palazzo Vecchio – Kids 6 years old and up can climb Palazzo Vecchio’s Arnolfo Tower for gorgeous views of Piazza Signoria and the city. 

Walk Up to Piazzale Michelangelo – If you’re claustrophobic or just don’t feel like climbing a tower, stay outdoors and make your way up to Piazzale Michelangelo for gorgeous views of the city.  Don’t feel like walking?  Take the bus or a taxi up to the top.

Good To Know:  You can keep climbing up to San Miniato al Monte for a different view of the city.  It’s not a secret – there are always plenty of people up there, but it’s another perspective and you can check out the interior of the church.

Art-Focused Kid Activities in Florence

Marbled paper in Fiorentina (Florence, Italy) colors.

Paper Marbling

Il Papiro offers paper marbling workshops.  Kids can participate and bring their marbled paper home. 

Sketch at a Museum, Piazza, Garden

Bring your own sketchpad or pick one up at Zecchi (via dello Studio, 19) and let your child sketch inside museums (like the David at the Accademia), outdoors (the statues in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signoria), the scenery in the Boboli Gardens, or Florentine life in a small piazza.

Look for Street Art

Have your kids seek out street art by Clet (doctored street signs) and Blub (classic art wearing snorkel masks).  Stop by Clet’s studio in the Oltrarno (via dell’Olmo 8r) and look for Michelangelo’s graffiti on the side of Palazzo Vecchio.

Best Museums to Visit with Kids in Florence

Entrance to the Leonardo Interactive Museum in Florence, Italy.

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio, which houses the Florence town hall, has family-friendly museum visits for children of all ages (we’ve done the visit with ages 1, 4, 8).  The guides make the building come alive for little ones, and parents can actually look around and learn too!  Our kids love looking at the children’s clothing and games and imagining what life was like living in the building during the Renaissance.

Stibbert Museum

The Museo Stibbert isn’t exactly in the historic center (2.5km walk from the Duomo or a quick bus or taxi ride), but armor and knight enthusiasts will love a visit to this personal collection of Frederick Stibbert.

Good To Know:  There’s a large, shaded playground on the grounds.  You can visit it without a ticket to the museum.

Accademia Gallery

The Galleria dell’Accademia houses Michelangelo’s David statue, and the museum is small and manageable with kids. 

You may want to read
Visiting the Accademia with Kids
How to Skip the Line to See the Statue of David

Palazzo Strozzi

Definitely look up the current exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi while you’re in town with your kids. The exhibits are almost always kid-friendly.  There are also sometimes children’s workshops (in Italian) and if you see one that interests you, book it ASAP because they sell out quickly.

Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum

This small interactive museum focused on da Vinci’s machines is a hit with kids and family. 

Read about Our Experience at the Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum!

Galileo Museum

The Museo Galileo is best for older kids who’ve gotten at least a little bit of background on the inventor and scientist.  You can pick up Galileo in Florence book (by Valeria Amendola & Francesca Fortino) in Florence (I haven’t seen it online yet) and walk through the city (and museum) learning about Galileo. 

La Specola

Currently closed, but I wanted to include it so you can check to see if it’s open when you visit.  Part of Florence’s Natural History Museum, La Specola houses a huge collection of taxidermied animals, insect collections, anatomical wax models, and more.  It’s undergoing a multi-year, multi-million-euro renovation, and we can’t wait for it to open back up! 

Good To Know: If you’re planning on visiting Siena, you can check out its Natural History Museum (Musei dell’Accademia dei Fisiocritici) to see its gigantic whale skeleton, taxidermied animals, rock and gemstones, and insect displays.

Uffizi Gallery

Even though the Uffizi Gallery is a world-class museum, it’s not the best museum to visit with kids.  It can be overwhelming, so you’ve got to make sure you’re with a guide who gives a kid-friendly tour.

Or, visit the gallery on your own.  Do a little prep work (read books about chosen art or artists or watch some YouTube videos) to learn about a few of the pieces of art they’ll see.  Some classic favorites for kids:

  • Primavera (Botticelli)
  • The Birth of Venus (Botticelli)
  • Medusa (Caravaggio)
  • Doni Tondo (Michelangelo)
  • Annunciation (da Vinci)
  • Adoration of the Magi (da Vinci)

Our kids also love the self-portrait room and looking and the portraits of the Medici children.

Remember to have a plan and be sure to take a break at the café and enjoy the views from the large windows. 

Soccer Museum

Just outside of the historic center, in the Coverciano neighborhood, you’ll find Italy’s soccer museum (Museo del Calcio).  It’s best for kids interested in the Italian national team, because that’s what it’s focused on, not Italian soccer in general.  Inside you’ll find historic Italian national team jerseys and awards like World Cup trophies.

Food Experiences with Kids in Florence

Gelato cone held up in the center of Florence, Italy.

Get a Gelato

A proper visit to Florence includes getting gelato at least once per day. 

See our list of the Best Gelato in Florence

Take a Cooking Class

Join a cooking class with your kids!  We love Let’s Cook with Jacopo and Anna.  You can combine your class with a visit to the market.  It’s a memorable experience for everyone in the family. 

Find the Venchi Chocolate Wall

You’ll most likely walk by it (it’s on one of the main shopping streets in Florence, via Calzaiuoli, 65/r).  If you do, you’ll notice the smell of chocolate wafting from the wall of chocolate inside the shop. 

Shopping with Kids in Florence

Città del Sole toy shop in Florence, Italy.

Find a New Favorite Book

  • RED, the large Feltrinelli Bookstore in Piazza della Signoria.  Take the elevator or stairs up to the 1st floor and browse the small children’s section.  Books in English and Italian.
  • Paperback Exchange, near the Duomo.  English language new and used books.  There’s a small children’s section with general children’s books and books about Italy.
  • Città del Sole, a toy store across the street from the Paperback Exchange.  It has a section of Italian language books.
  • Todo Modo Dilà, a children’s bookstore on the ‘other’ side of the Arno River.  It’s worth making a special trip to let your kids visit the tiny shop with a magical atmosphere.  Books in Italian and English. 
  • Uffizi Gallery bookshop. You can visit the bookshop in the museum even if you don’t have a ticket. Just ask an employee outside, go through security, and walk through to the bookshop. It has English, Italian (and other) language books for all ages.

You may want to read about Michelangelo Books – Our Favorites For Kids and Adults!

Check out a Toy Store

We don’t have big box stores like Target, but we do have some special toy stores in Florence.  A few are unique and others are chains. 

See our list of the Best Toy Stores in Florence!

Make a Purchase from a Market

Explore local produce and food at Mercato Sant’Ambrogio (our favorite) or Mercato San Lorenzo.  Kids can practice their Italian words and phrases, buy picnic supplies for lunch, and notice the differences between food here and at home.

Explore a Grocery Store

This is one of my kids’ favorite things to do in a new place.  They like to look for their favorite products from home or find new treats like special Italian candies.  While you’re in the supermarket, you can also buy supplies for a picnic or merenda.

More Things to Do with Kids in Florence

Historic carousel in the Piazza della Repubblica in Florence, Italy

Go on the Carousel in Piazza della Repubblica

If you need to hit ‘reset’ during the day, wander over to the carousel in Piazza della Repubblica.  The historic giostra is inexpensive and an easy win for parents!

Walk Across Ponte Vecchio

Kids enjoy walking across Florence’s famous ‘old bridge’ and checking out the glittering jewelry.  You can point out the ‘secret passage’ above the bridge that the Medici used to travel from home (Palazzo Pitti) to the office (Palazzo Vecchio) and back.

In the evening, especially in the summer, there’s often music in the middle of the Ponte Vecchio, and in the winter around the holidays, the eastern side of the bridge is lit up with a colorful light display.

Take the Red Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

Are your legs tired?  Hop on the big red double-decker bus and see the city from a different perspective.  It’s shaded if it’s hot and covered from rain, so it’s perfect in the heat or poor weather.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Take a guided tour that includes a scavenger hunt – it’s one of the best ways to keep kids involved and curious about what you’re seeing. 

If you go to the Accademia with kids, print out our scavenger hunt!

You can also create your own last-minute scavenger hunt for museums by purchasing a few postcards in the gift shop and having your children find the works inside.

Take a Kid-Focused Tour

You can also have someone else take charge of your visit to Florence and its world-famous museums.  Local guides can bring Florentine history to life and change the tour depending on the age of your child.

Hang Out in a Piazza

Listen to music, watch street performers, look at art (like the statues in the Loggia dei Lanzi) or have a snack or kid-aperitivo in any of Florence’s piazzas.  The best piazzas in Florence to visit with kids are Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Repubblica. 

Good To Know:  Although there are pedestrian streets and piazzas in Florence, sometimes taxis (and the occasional vehicle) will drive through.  So, if you’ve got kids with you, stay alert!

Visit the Oblate Kids Library

The Oblate Library (Biblioteca dell’Oblate) has an excellent and spacious kids section on the first floor.  There are books in English and many other languages!  After, get a juice and enjoy the view of the Duomo from the rooftop café.

Say Hello to the Horses

In front of the Duomo, you’ll find the horses and their carriages hanging out, waiting for their next customer. Go for a ride, or just send a friendly ‘ciao’ in their direction. 

Rub Porcellino’s Nose

Stop by the ‘little pig’ statue on the edge of the Mercato Nuovo.  You’ll need to wait in line, but it’s worth it so your little kids can take a photo and rub porcellino’s nose for good luck (and to ensure a return trip to Florence!).

Go to a Soccer Game

Calcio (soccer) fans should check the Fiorentina (Serie A professional soccer team) schedule to see if a match will be played while you’re in town. 

Read more about Going to an Italian Soccer Game and Tips for Taking Kids to an Italian Soccer Game

Take a Day Trip

You can reach many amazing cities and destinations by train or car from Florence on a day trip.

Tips for Visiting Florence with Kids

  1. Bring a stroller.  The center is compact, so you’ll be doing a lot of walking.  It’s so nice to have the stroller so little ones can take a break or a nap and you can still enjoy the city.  Avoid side-by-side double strollers, which are too wide for Florence streets and buildings.  If you visit during the hot Florentine summer, make sure your stroller has a sunshade.
  2. Bring a changing pad for on-the-go diaper changes.  There aren’t a lot of places to change a diaper in Florence, so you may need to use benches or improvise in restaurant or café bathrooms
  3. Wear comfortable shoes.  Sneakers or close-toed sandals are the best.
  4. Be on the lookout for cars.  Don’t get too comfortable letting kids run around in piazzas or pedestrian areas.  There are still taxis and some cars that drive in these areas.  If you want to let your kids run freely, visit one of the parks or playgrounds mentioned above.
  5. Don’t pack your days too full.  Because Florence is so compact, it’s easy to put together a plan that includes tons of activities each day.  Try to balance museum visits with time at a playground, rest time at the hotel, and plenty of gelato stops!

I hope you’ve found some fun things to do and that you enjoy your visit to Florence with kids!

You may want to check out 70+ Things to Do in Tuscany with Kids!