Rome has a good selection of family-friendly places. There’s loads of historical sightseeing to be had in and around the Eternal City, but below we’ve picked out a few that will appeal to both kids and grown-ups. Even the iconic Ancient Roman amphitheatre, the Colosseum, offers an awe-inspiring tour just for the little ones. 

    Simple pleasures like enjoying a few scoops of artisanal gelato can be a memorable occasion for travelling families. But you can get more energetic experiences at Rome’s animal attractions and adventure parks. Here are things to do with your family in Rome covering both ends of the spectrum.


    Explore the Colosseum

    Awe-inspiring historical site for all ages

    The Colosseum is one of Rome’s best historical sites where you and your kids can imagine life in Ancient Rome. This magnificent amphitheatre has optional guided tours, including ones that are dedicated just for kids. Specialised guides take you through the vast arena with its trapdoors and passages in an engaging storytelling-like way, keeping young minds continuously awed and intrigued. Walking through passages where real gladiators walked into battle centuries ago is invigorating for both young and old.

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    Location: Piazza del Colosseo, 1, Rome, Italy

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +39 06 39967700


    Gladiator School

    Become a gladiator for a day

    This is a great way to put yourself in a gladiator’s shoes. This unique Gladiator School is right beside the Colosseum and offers immersive gladiatorial experiences through 2-hour “boot camps”. After you’ve donned the traditional tunics and belts, the senior gladiator teachers who are members of the Roman History Group will show you ancient battle techniques such as sword fighting, as well as parrying with a range of other ancient weapons. It’s a fun way to learn about Ancient Roman history.


    Eat Gelato

    Sweet treats for all

    Gelatos are available in cups that are great for sharing, or as single cones for each craving family member. Rome is dotted with plenty of gelaterias. Each of them keeps up a good competition among themselves to appeal to customers with their creative, attractive and well-varied flavours. Kids can find it hard to choose from the different selections, ranging from chocolatey blends to exotic and fruity selections. Parents might settle for a rose petal- or even Italian prosecco-flavoured gelato.


    Teatrino di Pulcinella al Gianicolo

    Watch a Punch & Judy show at the Janiculum Hill

    The terrace at Gianicolo (Janiculum) Hill is best known for its panoramic views over the Tiber River and the Vatican. You can take the family for a fun walk around the hill’s centrepiece spot of Piazzale Garibaldi. But the one spot that often draws the attention of the little ones is the puppet theatre, Teatrino di Pulcinella. The theatre’s next to a carousel, with shows held usually over the weekends. Even though it’s in Italian, the comedic and slapstick portrayals, reminiscent of Punch & Judy, can trigger some laughs.

    Location: Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi, 00165 Rome, Italy

    Open: Saturday - Sunday from 10.30 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm


    Time Elevator Roma

    Ancient history through high-tech entertainment

    This fun “5D” experience takes you on a multisensory audio-visual ride. The premise is you’re introduced to a time machine that helps you travel back to Ancient Rome since the age of Romus and Romulus, through to the development and decline of the ancient empire, and all the way up to present-day Rome. Prepare your stereoscopic 3D glasses, then buckle up in seats that mechanically move to the scenes before a widescreen. Blasts of wind and water sprays complement your 45-minute ride. Tickets are around €12 for adults and €9 for kids.

    Location: Via dei Santi Apostoli, 20, 00187 Rome, Italy

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 7.30 pm

    Phone: +39 06 6992 1823


    Explora Children's Museum

    A fun and interactive learning place

    From all the walking and historical sightseeing in Rome, this museum can be a good break for younger kids, where they can learn and have fun in an interactive environment. You can find Explora within a short walking distance from Piazza del Popolo. Activities range from ziplines to water features with flows that you can manipulate through wheels and levers, as well as a scaled-down grocery shop where the kids can role play. Cooking classes are usually held on Sundays, with tickets on sale for around €10 per child. 

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    Location: Via Flaminia, 82, 00196 Rome, Italy

    Open: Varies throughout the year. Peak season: Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am to 6.45 pm (closed on Mondays).

    Phone: +39 06 361 3776


    photo by Romaapiedi (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary

    A feline haven in the heart of Rome

    At one point, you’ll notice the considerable number of stray cats roaming freely around Rome. A Roman policy was set in place in 1991 to protect cats in the city. To best view Rome’s feline community, head down to Largo di Torre Argentina, where volunteers regularly tend to the animals in this special shelter. The cat sanctuary is set among ancient temple ruins, with cats of all colours playing on Roman columns or slumbering over marble statues. They’re up for adoption, too.

    Location: Largo di Torre Argentina, 00186 Rome, Italy

    Open: Daily from 12 pm to 6 pm

    Phone: +39 06 4542 5240

    photo by helix84 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    EurPark Adventure Park

    Fun outdoor adventures with treetop courses

    Half an hour’s drive south from the centre of Rome, EurPark offers outdoor adventures for the whole family along its 2 circuits. The Adventure Area contains treetop obstacles suspended between tree trunks as well as a 4-sided climbing wall and an archery range. There’s also a refreshment area where mum and dad can watch their little ones doing their best around each course. The second circuit, called the Energy Area, is dedicated to fun outdoor sports. Some are whacky such as the inflatable human soccer field. Day tickets are around €30. 

    Location: Piazza Pakistan, 00144 Rome, Italy

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +39 06 8377 9167


    Go go-karting at Kart Roma

    Race and clock your best laps

    Any sibling rivalries can be settled on the race track at Kart Roma. This karting track is reachable within a 45-minute drive southwest of central Rome. It can be a good break from all the usual sightseeing in downtown, where you can satisfy your need for speed while honing your racing skills. If you’re totally new to go-karting, Kart Roma also has a racing school, but most who already have basic driving skills will easily get the hang of these zippy vehicles. While spectating or waiting for your turn, you can try homemade dishes at their onsite restaurant.

    Location: Via della Muratella, 49, 00148 Ponte Galeria, Rome, Italy

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +39 06 6500 4962

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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