Milan with children: things to do for the whole family
Milan is a city that captivates adults with its glamour and its status as a fashion city. Although it’s not a destination that you would normally think of when travelling with children, a little research will soon reveal that the capital of the Lombardy region offers many benefits for a family trip. One thing to bear in mind is that it is a small city and very easy to get around on foot.
Visiting its famous monuments and its most exquisite areas is not an overwhelming experience as in other historical places. And being in the company of children is more reason to come up with some new routes. Children encourage parents to discover lesser-known and less frequented parts of the city. In Milan there are open-air parks and interactive museums where fun is guaranteed. And, there is no shortage of delicious ice cream parlours to satisfy children’s palates.
Milan with children: a fun tour of famous sites
Travelling with children to any city means looking at it through new eyes. All you have to do is pay attention to their pace and respond to their questions. In Milan, the youngest members of the family will enjoy the usual sightseeing, as long as the adults know how to guide them properly.
The Duomo (internal link) will amaze them with its magnificence. And especially if you tell them about Napoleon Bonaparte as well as his rush to have the marble façade finished in time for his coronation as King of Italy. They will also notice it unusual features, such as the saints crowning the cathedral’s 135 spires or the zodiac signs on the tile flooring inside.
The same is true of other famous buildings. A visit to Santa María delle Grazie basilica can be accompanied with a story about Leonardo da Vinci. Looking at The Last Supper and identifying each of the characters could be a fun game to play. And, in the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II the dome and the mosaic flooring are particularly striking. The shopping centre also has a number of toy shops, including one specialising in Lego constructions, which will captivate the little ones. One route that cannot be missed is a boat trip along the city’s canals.
What to see in Milan with kids: first off, the parks
Where do Milanese children go to have a good time? This is the first question you should ask yourself when travelling to the city with your family. If you want to make alternative plans, especially for the little ones, there are many options and a good place to start are the parks. Milan boasts large, beautiful green spaces where children can run around and enjoy outdoor activities. Among them, Parco Sempione is one of the city’s most important green lungs.
Situated next to Castello Sforzesco (internal link), it is a lovely place where you can relax in its wooden areas and gardens. It also has a fantastic playground and ponds that are home to ducks and turtles. Children will love the amusement area, which features a ‘mini train’ that is a favourite among Milanese children. And, of course, they will enjoy a visit to the Civic Aquarium of Milan, located in the park. It houses over 100 different types of underwater species and also has a glass tunnel that never fails to impress children.
Indro Montanelli gardens: a fascinating place to visit
Another alternative to consider are the Indro Montanelli gardens. If you take Corso Venezia, in the direction of the Modern Art Gallery, you will discover this beautiful tree-lined space, situated in the Brera neighbourhood, known for its sculptures and well-tended gardens. Bicycles are available for visitors and children can enjoy the swings and slides.
Inside the park, to the north, is the Natural History Museum. Be sure to visit to see the giant dinosaur skeletons and enjoy an impressive collection of rocks and minerals. Nearby is the Ulrico Hoepli planetarium, which offers various activities to bring children in touch with science and astronomy.
Family-friendly museums: first up, the Leonardo da Vinci museum
The Leonardo da Vinci Science and Technology Museum of Milan delights children and adults alike. It is situated in San Vittore monastery, built during the sixteenth century and rebuilt in 1947 after being destroyed during the Second World War. Combining a tour with a visit to Santa María delle Grazie basilica is a great idea. Children will want to know everything about Leonardo da Vinci, a genius of art and science. They will no doubt have endless questions about his inventions and The Last Supper.
In the museum there are many rooms with stimulating activities on offer. A particular highlight are the wooden models of some of the main inventions of this great figure of the Italian Renaissance. You can interact with them and discover how they work and the design process behind them, as well as observing a submarine and Italy’s first locomotive.
In the large space you will also find sections dedicated to specialisms are varied as aeronautical inventions, genetics and biotechnology. The length of your visit will depend on the interests of each visitor, with a tour also offering interesting insights into areas such as space, communication technologies and recycling.
Milan for kids: other alternatives to consider
There are a whole host of things to do with children in Milan. It is just a question of knowing the tastes and interests of the youngest members of the family in order to make the right choice. Options include Leolandia, a theme park situated on the outskirts of the city, a short distance from Bergamo. In the park you can sail in boats, go down a river or ride a swinging pirate ship. However, there is one attraction that particularly stands out: Mini Italy, in which 160 monuments are recreated in miniature.
Between Milan and Bergamo you will also find Le Cornelle Animal Park, which animal lovers cannot miss. The park is geared towards the protection and conservation of endangered mammals, reptiles and birds. It is open all year round, expect for December, January and the first two weeks of February. The park also has restaurants in which you can extend your visit.
In the centre of Milan, there is another interesting museum to visit with children: MUBA, Museo dei Bambini (Children’s Museum), which is very close to the Duomo. A permanent space for cultural and artistic projects, it offers many activities and aims to foster play among families. Comic book enthusiasts shouldn’t miss WOW museum, which houses over 9,000 volumes. Finally, football fans can also pay a visit to the San Siro stadium, where you can tour the dressing rooms and go out onto the pitch through the players’ tunnel. The stadium also has a museum where Inter Milan memorabilia is displayed.