Apparently children make terrible tourists. So I’m told. So what to do with them? There are things that cost money and then those that cost a little money, and those that are completely free. Here are some ideas.
First, here is the list of pools in Rome from an Italian digital nomad. More of her recommendations about what to do with kids in Rome are here. RomeWise wrote Rome with Kids and that basically covers all the bases on bringing your kids to Rome as tourists from food to bus tickets etc. Most important is the list of pools at the bottom of the article. This article, 15 Fun Things to Do in Rome with Kids, has a list of 15 things to do with kids but much seems aimed at shopping.
On a hot day, go to Hydromania, a water world just outside Rome. Open from May 28-mid September sometime. Note that the rides are closed from 1-2 pm so that the staff can eat lunch. No kidding.
Hire a professional tour guide to tailor the tour for your kids. These two companies (second link is for a mom who is an archeologist) specialize in tours for kids in Rome.
Take a golf cart tour with Rolling Rome or Rome Golf Cart Tour. You can see Rome by foot, bike, Vespa, bus, buggy (tuk tuk), horse cart, car, and so many other ways. This is a city for walking. But very hard on strollers.
Take a 500 (cinquecento) car tour but don’t let the kids drive.
Go to gladiator school.
Take a mosaic making class. This place sounds fun.
Go on an art tour. Or art class. There are many but this one looks good.
Take a pizza making class. Almost any tour company will offer these.
Take a gelato making class!
Or visit things that cost little or are free.
In Villa Borghese, rent bikes. Use the play center, Casina di Raffaello, located in the center of the park.
Mouth of Truth – is free (they ask for a small voluntary donation) and you can have a laugh seeing if your hand gets bitten by the Mouth of Truth.
Palazzo della Cancelleria – lets you try out Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions.
Keyhole at Knights of Malta and Orange Garden. This is on my tour for everyone, even those who are not children.
Taste flavors at Gunther or any gelateria.
After or before visiting Gunther’s or the Jewish quarter, walk across the oldest bridge, Ponte Sisto.
Imagine racing chariots around the fountains in Piazza Navona.
Take a tram ride.
Send a postcard from the Vatican – a whole different country.
Explore Technotown‘s interactive exhibits in Villa Torlonia.
Count how many mini cars you see in a day. Make it a fun game.
Make your own food and market tour. Or take mine.
And at the end of the day when you are exhausted (or if there is a meltdown before), your uber will work here. Or download the ITtaxi app and use that if you do not want to use public transportation.
Outside Rome, take them to the Park of Monsters. Read my article about where to lunch outside Rome with kids.
Visit Ostia Antica (it has ruins like Pompeii, but also has a beach nearby), for the day. It is on the coast and it is about an hour from Rome.
A really good thing is that Italians LOVE children and they will be extra friendly and helpful around children. The fastest meal in Italy is a children’s menu at a restaurant — it’s plain pasta with no sauce or butter. Followed by a main dish of fried chicken cutlet and fries. Even if not on the menu, it is always available. It may take 40 minutes for your glass of wine… but your kid will be served immediately. (I usually order the kid’s pasta for myself).