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Children in Venice
Children in Venice
Venice is an ideal holiday destination for all the family, especially because of the “magic,” the safety, and the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere in the streets and alleys.
It is a haven of fun and enjoyment for children. There are lots of open-air spaces… gardens, fields, islands, beaches, playgrounds, even amusing places like museums, libraries, two planetariums,and a greenhouse to be discovered.
The city is full of things to do and see! Discover the events, workshops, exhibitions organized for families, held during your stay!
Museums and points of interests geared for kids
Come with us and visit the museums and interesting sights that have activities, workshops and special itineraries for families.
From the age of 6, adventurous children will be interested in visiting the prisons and crossing the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei sospiri) – just like the convicts did, when reaching their prison cells). Discover “the secret routes” i.e. those places (offices for records and archives, prisons....) used during the “Serenissima” for important, awkward activities connected to administrative purposes during the ancient marine republic. Enter the armoury rooms, where ancient arms and armour are on show.
What child isn't fascinated by dinosaurs and animals? The Museum of Natural History offers children, the possibility of seeing a real dinosaur skeleton that is more that 7 metres long – the Ouranosaurus nigeriensis- , and the skull of a giant crocodile - Sarchosuchus imperator. Discover how Ligabue, the famous palaeontologist and his team uncovered these remains in 1973.
The museum's most important historical collections include the well-stocked butterfly collection and the cetacean gallery.
The museum of oriental art offers a spellbinding itinerary for any little samurai or Disney “Mulan” fan wanting to discover ancient Japan and China: on exhibition are Japanese cutting weapons (katane and wakizashi), armour and lances , Japanese musical instruments (shamisen and sho), combs, splendid kimonos and precious chinaware.
A once-in-a-lifetime chance of showing children the art of glass-blowing and glass-making! The museum on the island of Murano where the most famous Venetian glass factories are, traces the history and techniques of glass-making - especially the Murrina production - through exhibitions of Roman finds from the 1st and 3rd centuries AD in the archaeological section, to the biggest collection of Murano glass from 1400s to 1900s. If you buy an extra ticket on your Museum Pass, you can get a discount, when booking a guided “Glass in Action” tour. During this tour, you get entry to the furnace at the old Abate Zanetti glass school and you'll be able to see a film on glass-making.
If you have children, this museum deserves visiting, especially if you want to learn more about lace-making - one of Venice's oldest hand-crafts: The museum is at Burano, the island where fishermen live in coloured houses and where you can taste “Bussolà Buranelli”, the local biscuits made from butter and eggs. The museum has a collection of more than two hundred precious pieces of lace from various eras going from 1500 to 1900. They have all been produced with various techniques, using Burano and Venezia stitches. You can see the lace-making experts at work during opening hours.
Does your son like astronomy and is he 6 years old or more? Take him to the Planetarium at the Lido for one of the showings. He will be able to enjoy the blue Venetian sky depicted above, and witness interesting explanations on astronomy (from October to May, only on Sunday afternoons. Entry free)
The Naval history Museum is within walking distance of St. Mark's Square and the Ducal Palace. It holds boats that are characteristic of the lagoon area. There are bragozzos, which are a type of wooden sailing boat used for fishing in the Adriatic, gondolas, and a reproduction of the Bucintoro or Bucentaur- a state barge used by the doge during the symbolic “marriage of the sea” ceremony held during the “Festa della Sensa” celebrations on Ascension day. There are also models of ships used during the “Serenissima” period from 1200 to 1700 and models of famous Italian Naval ships. Children will also like the huge collection of shells.
Workshops and didactic activities
Nearing a children to art and making them appreciate museum visits, isn't easy. In Venice from September to June, the following museums organize and hold activities and workshops for children*:
- The Civic Museums of Venice Foundation organizes “Family at the Museum”Sunday meetings, a series of interesting, playful, didactic activities for 5-12 year old children. These activities stimulate children's curiosity and involve family members with them. Museums involved are: Ducal Palace, the Correr Museum, the Ca’ Rezzonico Museum dedicated to 18th century Venice, the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art, the Museum of Natural History and the Palazzo Mocenigo museum.
- The Venetian Museum Centre (Polo Museale Veneziano) organizes interesting meetings and creative activities for children and family members on regular dates. Government museums holding such activities are: , The National Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Oriental Art and Palazzo the Palazzo Grimani Museum,
- The Peggy Guggenheim collection devised a Sunday “Kids' Day” workshop for children from the ages of 4 to 10 years. The programme uses involvement and experiments nearing children to contemporary and modern art, helping them to understand themes and techniques on works that are on show.
- The Palazzo Grassi Museum organizes enjoyable didactic activities on Saturday afternoons with St_art for everyone.
We would like to recommend also other places and activities, such as:
- The Serra dei giardini (the Greenhouse) concentrates on environmental themes, promoting knowledge and respect for the lagoon and its surroundings;
- The Biennale di Venezia during carnival time, art and architecture exhibitions
- The "Lorenzo Bettini" Pedagogical Library and its reading programme
- Casa Macchietta – an area set aside for 3-6 year old children within the Querini Stampalia Foundation building.
- Macacotour: Walking tours with a subject area organized in Italian, English, French and Spanish for 6 -11year old tourists.
- Activities organized by the Province of Venice in collaboration with San Servolo Services over the Christmas holiday period and during carnival time.
*All activities require bookings and most are held in Italian. The number of museums organizing didactic activities in other languages is increasing, e.g. The Biennale di Venezia, the Civic Museums, the Peggy Guggenheim collection, the Palazzo Grassi museum, Casa Maccchietta and Macacotour.
For more information on workshops and activities in foreign languages, please check official websites and our organized calendar activities for children.
Museums and monuments in Venice can be very crowded. To avoid long queues, try going at opening time. The best time to visit these places is in winter, at the end of October through to February (excluding carnival time).
Is there bad weather? Have you got or are you looking for some relaxation time and don't know how to keep you children occupied? Here are the names of some places for you.
Biblioteca Pedagogica "Lorenzo Bettini" (Pedagogical library)
L'Albero dei Desideri in the municipal area of Favaro Veneto
Going to Venice with children
Everyone knows that when you travel with children, it's best to get organized and collect information, and be 'armed' in advance, in order to avoid useless waiting time, queues, and problems that may arise in a foreign city. Here are some useful suggestions and information to consider, while you are programming your holiday in our city.