10 Children-Friendly Activities in Venice and Surroundings

by Romena Brugnerotto

Are you wondering how to keep your kids entertained during your stay in Venice? Where has prepared a pick of attractions that will keep them entertained in summer.

Go to the seaside

The lido of Venice

Take a 15-minute vaporetto ride from San Marco and head to the beach of the Lido which is packed with children in summer. Rent deckchairs and an umbrella from one of the beach resorts on the beach and enjoy the day. A long stretch of the sea is shallow and therefore suitable for toddlers and younger children.

Enjoy biking

Bike in Venice
Bike in Venice

Although cycling is banned in Venice, you can pedal amidst paths lined with vegetable gardens and vineyards on the Islands of Sant’Erasmo and the Lido, where you can ride as far as Malamocco.

Paddle on a kajak

Kayak, photo credits copyright Shutterstock
Kayak, photo credits copyright Shutterstock

Children aged eight and upwards can explore a different side of Venice while paddling on a kayak through the canals (www.venicekayak.it). The kayak experience begins on the Island of Certosa, a beautiful Marine Resort and the city’s public park, where amidst boats small and large, you will encounter goats and hares wandering undisturbed around the island.

Enjoy a short gondola ride

A short gondola ride
A short gondola ride

The Grand Canal is lined with stations (stazi) where you can hop on a gondola. For just €2 you can ask the gondolier to ferry you to the other side of the canal. One of these stations is located right at the Rialto Fish Market whose stalls are well worth a visit.

Take a break to cool off

Ca' Giustinian for kids
Ca' Giustinian for kids

With so much to see and do you’re likely to be in need of a break and a place to cool off. Just steps from St. Mark’s Square at Ca’ Giustinian (the headquarters of the fringe events of the Venice Biennale) there’s a children’s space equipped with toys where children can stay and play for as long as they want. Just a few steps away, you’ll find a café where you can indulge in a coffee break while keeping an eye on your young ones.

Choose a family-friendly sightseeing tour of Venice

Macaco Tour
Macaco Tour

Macaco Tour offers several options designed for children aged 4 and upwards. Our favourite? The ‘Lion Hunt’. The hunt for lions – the symbol of Venice – is enhanced with tales and legends about the history of the city. Find all tours on www.macacotour.com.

Take a photo with the marble lions

Lions at Venice Arsenale, photo credits Paolo Picciati under c.c 3.0 licence
Lions at Venice Arsenale, photo credits Paolo Picciati under c.c 3.0 licence

If you’re fond of animals, make sure to take a photo with the marble lions standing at the entrance to the Arsenale. They’re all different, they come from far-off places and each one has an interesting story to tell. If you and your family happen to find yourselves near St. Mark’s Basilica, look for a pair of 18th century red marble lions that give the Piazzetta dei Leoni its name. While there, make sure to take a photo that will remind you of your unforgettable stay in Venice.

Savour a tasty ice cream

Kids eating an ice cream
Kids eating an ice cream

Summer would not be summer without ice cream and Venice boasts an array of fabulous ‘gelaterie’. One of the best-known is Nico on the Zattere in the Dorsoduro district. Their specialty is gianduiotto with whipped cream, a ‘must-try’ that will appeal to old and young alike.

Reach Padua on a cruise

Cruise from Venice to Padua
Cruise from Venice to Padua

Enjoy a scenic cruise from Venice to Padua while seated comfortably on an air-conditioned boat. Relax and admire the views as you float past several stunning Venetian villas.

Visit Burano

Houses in Burano
Houses in Burano

In summer, an absolute must is a visit to the picturesque town of Burano, with its coloured houses. Don’t forget your camera. Colours, smiles and the delicious biscuits produced on the island will make a perfect gift for friends and family at home – on condition that you don’t eat them before leaving!

Related Articles