Venice is an easy win for a kid-friendly trip. Its traffic-free alleyways, canals packed with boats of all shapes and sizes, and theatrical crafts like glassblowing and mask-making wow visitors of all ages. As a parent, my biggest challenge when visiting Venice was keeping my sons from falling (well, jumping) into the water.
But the Floating City requires some planning. Packed streets and long lines can be tough on young visitors, and kids can only take so much scenic strolling before they begin clamoring for a gelato break. Here’s my time-tested itinerary for a flawless family trip to Venice.
Venice often floods between the months of November and January, so pack waterproof footwear.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a gondola ride. It will be the experience your kids remember most.
Venice is a paradise for wandering, with lanes that cross footbridges, pass under buildings, and end in tiny courtyards. Spend the morning getting your bearings and visiting top sights such as St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge; opt for a kid-friendly tour that uses riddles, games, and quizzes to engage young travelers.
Today, head to the outlying island of Murano by vaporetto (water bus) or private water taxi to watch masters blow and shape molten glass. Avoid the throngs by taking a private or small-group tour that focuses on less commercial artisans. Older kids can even learn how to blow glass themselves with a beginner workshop.
Continue on to the island of Burano for a stroll through its famously technicolored fisherman’s village. Even kids are charmed by the rainbow hues, and the island has a grassy park along the water that’s ideal for play time.