Venice with children
This article is a travel topic
Venice is a city in Italy. Venice may not seem like a place for Kids but however it is easily a tourist attraction in where kids can enjoy a lot of their time. It is really interesing and it is not all about the adults there is so much to do there.
For kids walking across the city maybe a job that is a bit to hard for them. So always be prepared to take an impromptu water taxi. Also if you get a hotel map ask the concierge to note down the water taxi stands. Venice is a huge city and also very easy to get lost in. So the easiest situation with kids is make your way to the Grand Canal and/or retrace your steps. Water taxis are 50 euros so always keep some money with you. However if you want to get around cheap, you can take the vaperettos. Kids will love the boat as it goes slowly for them to see every aspect of Venice. However a bad time for kids to get on is from 9-10 AM and from 6-7 PM. These are both rush hour times for the city of Venice to the boats are very crowded to it is hard to get in and out.
There are a thousand different restaurants that you can eat in but for vegitarians and kid friendly the restaurant count goes down dramatically. But still there are a few resteraunts that are kid-friendly.
There are a ton of these in Venice. They are about 2 on each street. These are the fast food versions of resteraunts in Venice. They sell everything from burritos to pizza. However they do not sell pasta so if you are looking for some pasta you will have to go to a regular resteraunt. There is acually another type of street stands that are commonly seen on the streets of Venice. They are Gelato Stands. They have about 10 flavors that change depending on the time of year. The quality of the ice cream even there is amazing and a favorite with the kids. The street stands that sell pizza have gelato too, but the quality is not as great and the flavor is sort of stale.
Al-Vapperetto's- This is a great kid friendly restaurant in Venice. The restaurant is located on the walkway that leads up to the Campo Manin. The food selection that the restaurant offers has a really wide range. For starters a recommended option is the bruschetta. The bruschetta there is some of the best food you will find in all of Venice. The desert menu is also very good. Although the gelato isn't that good, the selection of cakes and pies is delicious. The cakes melt in your mouth and the pies are stuffed very well. For the main course they have a menu that is comfortable for both vegitarians and non vegitarians. The pizza and the spaghetti are both very good and if you like spicy food you can ask the waiter to spice up your food and for an extra special spicy sauce.
Pizza Con-Gusto- This is another one of the great kid-friendly restaurants that the Venice area has to offer. However this is one of the restaurants that Lido has to offer. But, Lido is really a great place for kids as there is so much to do. One of the more interesting things is biking. Lido isn’t that big of an island so if you want you can rent a bike for an hour or two and hit the streets. Now to the restaurant. Pizza con Gusto has some twists and tweaks that you won’t find in other restaurants. One of those twists is a table charge. There will be some pretzel sticks out there for you. But, if you take one it will add to the table charge. On top of the table charge, the waiter will expect you to give a 15 % tip.
There are so many things for a kid to do in Venice. It isn't all just a big tourist trap aimed at adults. there are a few things that kids will enjoy in Venice.
Glass Making Factory Tour
The glass making tour cost a lot of money both for the transports to and from Murano. However if you are staying at a hotel check with the concierge on free glass tours. Usuall the hotel sponsors one of the factories and the tours are completely free. There is a taxi ride from your hotel to Murano and then back to San Marco's Square. The taxi ride is a great fun for the kids as they will love the way the boat skips up on the water.
The tour itself is something that the kids will really enjoy. It is really interesting to see the way that the master artisans shape the glass. The way they use the tweezers to make different shapes out of the glass. However the free tour has a catch. They usually want you to buy something at the factory. The different chandeliers and the vases that are made out of glass are simply beautiful but, they do cost quite a bit of money. Some can be as expensive as 50,000 euros! I recommend that this isn't a place to take younger kids who can be really antsy and accidently break something. If you have some older more controlled kids, this can be a place where you can take them inside. They usually have an eye for a beautiful piece.
San Marco's Square
San Marco's Square or Saint Mark's in English is a the main square of Venice. It is a square that is alive and filled with a lot of life every second of the day. There is a lot to do there for kids. One of the common sights in San Marco's Square is seeing kids either feeding the pigeons or chasing them around the square. There are some interesting historical places for kids though.
The Doge's palace is an interesting historical place. After the Roman Empire fell and after the medieval times a new city sprung up with the Rennaisance. That city was Venice. Venice was ruled with a Roman style senate and the Doge at the head of government. The Doge lived in the palace. The palace is a collection of statues and paintings. There are two highlights that families with kids would find really interesting in the Doge Palace. The first highlight for kids is the armory room. The armory room is filled with all sorts of different style weapons. There are there for the guard to keep in case ever there is an attack on the palace. There is an amazing array of weapons that are really interesting. Kids will really enjoy seeing the different types of weapons. There are the first types of hunting bows that were made in the 1500's. They also have the porcelain guns that they traded with the Chinese. The also have displays of guns that were taken apart and each different piece of the guns were shown. One of the interesting pieces in the armory is the armor sent by King George the First. The armor was supposed to be made out of the strongest metal in the world. To test this they shot it with a modern day bullet. It bounced off the armor proving it to be really that strong. If you look on the right side of the armor on the breastplate, you can see the dent where the bullet bounced off the armor. The second highlight of the Doge's palace is the palace prisons. The palace prisons are sort of like the dungeons except they are above ground. They directions are like a maze of twisting passageways all around the palace and are really easy to get lost in. To get to the prisons you cross the Bridge of Sighs. There are a ton of prisons and kids will love seeing each one. There really isn't much to say about it - you really have to see it.
Saint Mark's Basillica
The Saint Marks Basilica or any church speaking isn't really a place to take younger kids. The rules of staying in a church are pretty severe. You aren't allowed to wear tank tops and shorts that go above your knees. Also, you cannot take your backpacks in there. The Venice wepbage says that it is just around the corner. That is true to an extent. What you really have to do is go through an alley between the jewlers and a concert hall. You will see a door and go through there and you will find the cloakroom. The room closes half an hour after the basilica closes. Getting inside the Basilica at first is really free. But, after to go to different places is more money. The short walk isn't really a place to take young kids. You have to be silent and the people will get offended if you scream a lot.
San Marco's Square Bell Tower
The Bell Tower in Sann Marco's Square is really a place where it is family friendly and kids and adults alike will enjoy. The Bell Tower is right in the center of San Marco's Square and a really amazing sight. The ticket to go to the costs 3 euros and you take an elevator to go to the top. From there you can seeall arount Venice and evens see to as far as the mainland. To see in binoculars you can see about 10 minutes for a euro. One of the scary things about the tower is do not go on the hour or on the half hour if you have small children. But, if you have older children who don't mind noise it is a really fun event hearing the bell from that up close.
Bikes in Lido
When you need a break from the crowd, head over to Lido, and hire bikes (normal bikes or four or six seaters) and amble along the Western waterfront, stopping for a picnic and enjoying fantastic views across the Lagoon to Venice.
Natural history museum
Great for kids that love dinosaurs and animals. A good stop on a rainy day.
Take some felt pens, buy some plain carnival masks, and let the kids loose on them whilst you enjoy some lunch. Then watch them chasing pigeons in their fine new creations. The magic of childhood...