Venice With Children

Venice with children and toddlers can be quite a challenge.

Learn how to get around, and keep your kids entertained, happy and full.

Venice cat in a bookstoreYour tour guides will direct you to places like these that your kids will enjoy

We all know Venice is the number one destination for a romantic vacation. 

But that doesn't mean that this city is not kid-friendly or not the best spot for a family vacation.

If you plan your visit or stay in Venice (before or after your cruise) ahead, or follow some of our recommendations, we promise you to have loads of fun even doing activities for kids. It may become everyone's favorite part of your family travel.

First, let's give you a little bit of 'bad news': Venice is not the best cruise port for toddlers and younger kids who cannot walk for at least 5-6 hours.

Namely, there are a few steps involved when getting from your cruise ship to Piazza San Marco in Venice:

1) Getting from the Marghera cruise port to Stazione Marittima old port

2) Taking the People Mover from Stazione Marittima to Piazzale Roma square where 'the real Venice' starts

3) Getting from Piazzale Roma to Piazza San Marco

Once you finally get into Venice, you will want to take advantage of everything that is out there and not go back to the ship that soon.

In other words, you will be away from the cozy, air-conditioned environment of your cruise cabin for quite a time.

Getting from your cruise ship in Marghera to Piazza San Marco can take up to an hour.

So if you head out into Venice with your kids, be ready to stay out longer. In case you forget something, popping back to the ship quickly just isn't possible.

If you are thinking of taking a baby stroller into Venice, keep in mind this city is full of narrow streets, cramped with tourists crawling slowly one after another, breathing down each other's necks, and then there are bridges and stairs up and down every few minutes.

In other words, do not take the stroller with you under any circumstances! Your Venice holidays activities be much be easier and less frustrating with a kid carrier.

IMPORTANT: Your cruise line redirected their cruise ships from docking in Venice to other ports in the vicinity of Venice? It is still possible to visit Venice by using these recommended shore excursions, but it will be a bit more difficult to do activities that cater specifically to children:

Venice with children: Venice things to do

If you are headed for your Italy Venice holidays with older kids or teenagers in tow, they will love this city! They will fall in love with its fairy-tale architecture, and you will probably need to explain that this isn't a Disneyland kind of place, everything is centuries old and authentic. I am saying this because I have actually met some grown-ups who needed to be explained this.

Prepare the kids for the visit by telling them how the city was built. Wooden beams were driven into the soft marshy grounds to create solid ground upon which houses, palaces, and churches could be built! It will be very exciting for them to hear the city is actually sinking because of that.

Engage them by letting them research this online and find out what is being done to prevent the sinking.

Dare them to find and tell you about some more interesting Italy facts and Venice facts for kids.

For kids used mostly to riding cars, buses, or underground back home where they come from, it will be a real discovery to find out that in Venice people take vaporettos or water buses to go to work or school.

Take them for a vaporetto ride either down the Grand Canal or even better to the islands of Murano or Burano.

In Murano, try to attend one of the glass-making demonstrations. Your kids will be really amused watching how hot and almost liquid glass turns into figurines of horses or clowns. Burano will enchant them with its candy-colored houses.

Gondolas are another feature of Venice that will surely attract your kids’ attention and they will probably want a ride.

If you would like your children to explore Venice by walking (if they are old enough), here's a tour our guests love:

MONEY SAVING TIP: If you haven't planned this in your family holiday budget, find a traghetto boat stop on the Grand Canal and enjoy a few minutes long ride in a boat very similar to a gondola, for a couple of euros per person only. 

Traghettos are shuttle boats mostly used by locals to reach another side of the Grand Canal without having to walk all the way to the very few bridges that span it.

Having a traghetto ride is a real experience, and not just for the kids.

Venice with children: more activities for children

Kids just love Venice carnival masks! They will see them all around Venice but teach them the difference between the cheap plastic ones they will see in most shops and street stands and the papermache ones, hand painted or covered in silk or velvet. 

Take them to Il Sole e la Luna shop in Frezzeria (just behind San Marco square) or any other famous workshop to see how the masks are actually being made or, if staying in Venice for at least two days, sign them up for the fun mask making workshop.

When just walking the streets of Venice, entertain your kids with this task: make them search for and count all the Venetian winged lions they will see on the buildings or as sculptural decoration around town. Tell them that it represents the patron of the city, Saint Mark.

If you're worried about what your kids will eat in Europe, specifically Venice, I'm sure they won't say no to pizza cuts you will find on every corner, fantastic gelatto or the tramezzini, triangular sandwiches made out of two slices of soft white bread with crusts removed.

Don't want to spend any more time travel planning or reading tips? 

To make most out of your short day in Venice, check out these Venice Italy sightseeing tours and shore excursions that will entertain both you and your kids:

1.Venice Private Tour for Families and Gondola Ride

Venice family tours

Focus: child friendly activities, entertaining and educational commentaries, child friendly guide, sightseeing, gondola ride, complimentary ice-cream

Duration: 5 hours

Meeting Point: St. Mark's Square


2. Venice Guided Sightseeing Private Tour for Kids and Families

Venice tours for kids and children

Focus: This family and child-friendly walking tour has a choice of several departures throughout the day; appropriate for kids of all ages; includes trivia and visual learning

Duration: 3 hours

Meeting Point: St Mark's Square or your hotel (if staying in Venice)


3. Venetian Craftsmen Workshop Tour

Venice crafts, Venice Kids tours

Focus: Family oriented tour that takes you to exclusive Venetian Ateliers to see making of blown glass, glass beads, paper mache masks...

Duration: 2 hours

Meeting Point: to be agreed on with the tour guide


4. Venice for Kids: Family-Friendly Small-Group Walking Tour

Venice Tours for Kids

Focus: Small group ensures private service, engages kids with spirit of adventure and interactive guided itinerary, stimulates imagination...

Duration: 2 hours

Meeting Point: Central Venice


5. Grand Canal Boat Private Tour: Murano and Burano

Focus: Price per boat, up to 6 adults; Private taxi boat, possible pick up at the cruise terminal, a ride down the Grand Canal, visit to Murano and Burano islands

Duration: 4 hours

Meeting Point: Hotel lobby in Venice or cruise terminal