So you have planned a trip to Rome with kids and are worried about them having a good time. Here are some great things to do and many can be free.
Things to do in Rome with Kids (Most are free)
Rome Metro (Subway) - Children under 10 travel free and do not need a ticket. This is a great way to get around. We stayed in Fiano Romano, so we bought the BIRG pass. That allowed us to take the train into the city and then ride any bus or metro for the day.
The Roman Pantheon – (Free) This is a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome. There are brick stamps on the side of the building which show it was built and dedicated between A.D 118 and 125. It has been used as a Tomb, where Popes and famous painters were buried.
Saint Ignatius’ Church - (Free) It is always a good idea to pop into a church or cathedral with the kids. It is an opportunity to cool down and quiet down. Have them count the number of windows or make up a quiet “I Spy” type game for them. Saint Ignatius’ Church has some interesting painting on the ceilings that are optical illusions. The ceilings and cupola only give the appearance of their three-dimensional forms, so fun for the kids.
Trevi Fountain - (Free) This is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. Remember to throw those coins in the fountain. It is a great place to cool off and there are plenty of places near by for pizza or gelato (ice cream).
Climb Steps - (Free) There are plenty of opportunities to climb up and down steps. Of course you can’t go wrong with visiting the Spanish Steps, but there are plenty around the city with good views.
The Roman Forum and Colosseum – Walk the exterior with the kids and let them run around. This is your free option and you can get a good feel for the ruins and how things were back in the day. Of course it is always good to go inside and see it completely, but on a hot crowded day your kids will like the free option.
Capitolino Hill - (Free) Walk the many steps of this hill and you are sure to get a good work out. This is a good option for older kids, but the views from the top are just wonderful. There is a plaza at the top so the kids can run around a bit. If you are there on a Sunday, chances are you will see a few Brides and Grooms Roaming about. Of course the museums atop are not free, but it is nice to see the view.
The double-decker tour buses are always a good option with kids. While this is not free, it helps cut down on all of the walking required to see the sights. We had our car with us on this trip, so we didn’t ride the bus. However, we did intentionally follow the bus several times, to get to the next sight. We figured they know where to go. We even picked up one of their maps to use. It worked out great for us.
Take Photo’s – Let the kids take some pictures! These days you can’t go wrong with this. Just go into a plaza, church or any location and let them snap some photos. As many as they want and let them feel like they are capturing the moment. You may get some good shots, but you will also see what really interests them and they will become more interested in looking around.
People watching is probably my favorite thing to do anywhere! There is no shortage of plaza’s, fountains, stairs, parks or gathering spots in Rome, so take a moment to sit down and take a load off of those feet. Just relax and watch the people. Make up stories about people’s lives. For the kids this is almost as fun as finding shapes in the clouds. Let your imagination and creativity flow.
More on our Summer road trip.