Travelling with kids is only as exhilarating or as exhausting as you make it to be, so you would be wise to plan ahead! Kids seem to have an endless amount of energy, and we suggest putting it all to good use by exploring what we like to call the Venice Junior Expedition Trail. Therefore here you will find our suggestions to best navigate Venice museums with kids!
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The first on this trail is the MuVe or Musei Civici di Venezia. It comprises a group of museums that belongs to the Municipality of Venice and has put together several special events for children of all ages. These events can be booked online and some are free if you have a paid ticket (the price is different according to the museum). Among the museums that make up Muve are the Doge’s Palace, where younger kids can discover its history through games, clues and legends while older children can visit the Palace and then build a 3D model of it to bring home; the Correr Museum, where children of all ages can study the famous 16th century map of Venice to understand how its author, Jacopo de’ Barbari, was able to draw it to get a bird’s-eye view of the city; the Ca’ Rezzonico, a workshop to help children understand how Venice “works”; the Palazzo Mocenigo, where children can “hunt the perfume” by exploring natural raw materials, and lastly the Natural History Museum which deserves a special mention. It is a very popular museum which besides displaying over 2 million archaeological finds spanning 700 million years with “celebrities” like a dinosaur, a giant crocodile and an Egyptian mummy, also offers a variety of educational activities.
Next on the trail is the Clock Tower (Torre Orologio) in Piazza San Marco. It marks the beginning of the Mercerie, and is a fascinating place for children. Its clockwork mechanism is visible and will provide endless pleasure for them. Visits must be booked online in advance but is only available for children above 6.
Fancy introducing your kids to contemporary art? The privately owned Peggy Guggenheim Collection offers plenty of activities for children. Kids Day which takes place every Sunday at 3pm, is their most popular program and is especially designed for the 4 to 10 year olds. Activities are offered in English, Italian, and French.
For some time to yourself, you can leave your 3 to 9 year olds at Casa Macchietta worry free for a few hours of fun while you visit the museum in the palazzo Querini Stampalia, browse its vast library, enjoy the famous garden, or read in the cafe with a tea or a snack. The kids will enjoy a program of art, reading, theatre and music with friends, and teachers who speak English, Italian, and French. Reservations are required in advance by contacting the Foundation Querini Stampalia.
If you and your children are marine aficionados, do make a trip to the Naval Museum. The museum’s vast collection will surely fascinate both young and old alike!
For more kid-friendly programs, Macaco Tours offers many paid activities for 5 to 11 year olds. My personal favourite is their treasure hunt that uses only sounds as clues! If your child enjoys art, Arte al Sole offers engaging programs with activities around the city involving various art projects.
Will your child be celebrating their birthday while in Venice? Make it a memorable birthdays at Ca’ Rezzonico and Ca’ Pesaro. They offer board games designed specifically for 7 to 12 years followed by more merriment and a cake-cutting finale.
Need more options? A Prontopia local is always available to help you sort out the bounty of activities offered by our marvellous city and to get to your museum or activities appointments on time and stress free!
Prontopia is an online service that provides friendly, in-person help from pre-vetted local assistants in city centers in Italy, Spain and the U.S.