Rome is a great place for a family vacation. There are so many things to do in Rome with kids that you will have no trouble filling your days with activities the whole family will enjoy.
Although there are so many amazing things to do in Rome, if we are honest, small kids may find some of them a bit boring. We know through our experience traveling with kids that if you find some time to let your kids play, they will be much happier (and co-operative) travelers!
We spent 7 days in Rome with kids and had trouble finding playgrounds for our kids to play. Which makes sense – Rome is so jam packed with antiquities and culture that there isn’t much space left over for parks or playgrounds.
But we persevered and found 6 parks and playgrounds in Rome near tourist attractions.
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1. Villa Borghese Gardens – Playground and Park
Looking for a playground near the Spanish Steps?
A 10-minute walk from the Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese Gardens is the best park in Rome easily reached from the main tourist areas. Spanning nearly 200 acres, Villa Borghese Gardens has tons of things to do with kids. We came here several times with our kids.
There’s a zoo, 4-seater bike rentals and plenty of lawn space for your kids to simply run and be crazy. Best of all, there are several playgrounds in Villa Borghese Gardens.
We found two playgrounds in the Villa Borghese park:
The first Villa Borghese playground we discovered is possibly the best playground in Rome. It’s a large, traditional playground with swings, a slide, a teeter-totter, spring rockers, climbing nets and more. This is a popular Rome playground which will give your child a chance to play with some local kids – the joy of play always overcomes the language barrier!
The second Villa Borghese playground we found is a unique playground with wooden structures, such as little huts and vehicles. Our kids had a great time climbing and exploring here. This playground is right next to Casina di Raffaello, which is an indoor recreation center for kids with a book & toy store. They were also kind enough to let us use their washrooms.
2. Castel Sant’Angelo – Playground and Park
Looking for a playground near the Vatican?
Just minutes from the Vatican, Castel Sant’Angelo is a 2nd-century castle which is a cool place to visit in-of-itself. The moat which used to protect Castel Sant’Angelo has been drained and converted into a well-treed park – a great example of urban renewal!
You will enjoy the unique moat setting and chance to find a little shade in a very busy city, but your kids will love chasing pigeons and a chance to play at the Castel Sant’Angelo playground.
3. Parco Del Colle Oppio – Playground and Park
Looking for a playground near the Colosseum?
If you want to visit the Colosseum with kids, you can reward them with a visit to the Parco del Colle Oppio playground. The entrance to this little park is just across the street to the North East of the Colosseum. It’s a great place to let the kids run around or to sit down for lunch and rest your feet.
As you follow the path up from the entrance to Parco del Colle Oppio you’ll pass a number of fountains, a beautiful garden with rows of flowering trees, and platforms looking out over the city. But for the best view, don’t forget to turn around and take in the Colosseum behind you as you walk.
Parco Del Colle Oppio is stroller friendly, and the kids will appreciate that there is a playground featuring swings, a jungle gym, a slide and a few other pieces. There’s also a concession stand near the center of the park that sells food and drinks.
(Thanks to our friends Jake and Dannie for this great recommendation.)
4. Aqueduct Park – Playground and Park
Rome’s Aqueduct Park is a bit off the normal tourist path, but it’s easy to get to and well worth a visit – in fact, it was our favorite thing to do with kids in Rome!
This spectacular park is home to several well-preserved Roman aqueducts dating back to around 52 AD. The Aqueduct Park is full of pathways which your kids can run up and down while you marvel at these massive ancient structures. After you get your fill of the aqueducts, reward your kids with a stop at the small, but fun Aqueduct Park playground on the way back to the Subaugusta metro station.
Here’s a great activity for families who love to ride bikes. Explore the Aqueducts Park and the Appian Way on a family-friendly bike tour
5. Palatine Hill – Park
When you buy admission to the Roman Forum, your ticket provides free admission to Palatine Hill. This hill is one of the legendary Seven Hills of Rome and is a wonderful mix of archaeological ruins and green spaces.
Palatine Hill is typically much less busy than the Roman Forum below and is a great place to let your kids run around and burn off some energy, especially if you’ve just finished dragging them to the Forum (which they probably won’t find exciting – ours didn’t).
Our kids enjoyed finding many green parakeets in the trees, running around the garden maze and climbing on anything they were allowed to.
6. Tiber River Walkway
When your kids need to burn off some energy and you have no options nearby, take them to the shores of the Tiber River. There are wide walkways along both sides of the river which makes it a great place to let them run wild.
Along the Tiber River pathways, your kids will love chasing pigeons, looking for ducks, waving at rowers in the river, talking to other pedestrians (mostly friendly Italians who love kids!), etc. Just be careful of people on bikes and some broken glass here and there.
Despite how widely we walked in Rome, I’m sure we missed some great playgrounds in Rome. If you find a good playground on your family vacation to Rome, please send us the details at info[at]familycantravel[dot]com.
Want to leave your car seats at home? Read our post on Transportation from Rome FCO Airport to your Hotel.
Still working on your Italy Itinerary with kids? Here is our 4 week itinerary for Italy with some suggestions for a 2 week Italy Itinerary and a 10-day Italy Itinerary with kids.
Visiting Italy with Kids
- Rome with a Baby or Toddler
- Florence with Kids
- Pisa with Kids
- Lucca with Kids
- Cinque Terre with Kids
- Kid-Friendly Cinque Terre Bike Ride
- Taking the Train in Italy with Kids
- Island of Elba with Kids
- Cinque Terre with a Baby or Toddler
- Naples, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast with a Toddler
- Venice Italy with a Baby or Toddler
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