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Best Activities in Venice for Children

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With so many things to do in Venice, Italy, it can be a daunting challenge to plan a trip that appeals to parents and children.  Not only is it possible, but planning a trip to Venice with kids can be enjoyable for the entire family! Here is my list of the best activities in Venice for children:

Sightseeing

There are many attractions that we considered “must-see” places to visit: the Basilica San Marco, the Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, the Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal.  We enjoyed those sites, but the best use of our limited time in Venice was when we had nothing planned.  We took almost two full days and planned nothing to accomplish.  In that time, we wandered the streets of Venice.  We tried to stay out of the tourist areas and locate some places we hadn’t heard of.

In those two days, we “found” the Rialto Bridge, a stationery store frequented by Ernest Hemingway, the nicest store owner (who gave us tips on buying authentic Italian souvenirs rather than cheap imports and showed us where to find a clean, free restroom), the best pizza restaurant in town (near the Rialto Bridge, it was delicious and fed the entire family for less than 10 Euros!), mazes of quaint back alleys, and the fish and vegetable markets.

Shopping

There are literally thousands of stores and tiny shops in Venice.  You don’t have a chance to visit even a small fraction of them.  While they all cater to the tourist industry, we tried to patronize those that seemed less touristy.  One store owner gave us a lesson in buying souvenirs.  He showed us that some items are marked with tags and wax seals guaranteeing their Italian authenticity.  Others are imported and marked with their originating country names.  It was important to us to buy only items made in Italy and once we learned what to look for, it was very easy to do.

Venetian masks

Shopping for Venetian masks.

Touring the Grand Canal

The means of mass transit in Venice is the vaporetto system.  Like a public bus, it is a public boat that utilizes the canal system to transport passengers throughout the islands.  You can purchase a single ride ticket, a one day pass, two day pass, three day pass, or seven day pass.  The pass allows you unlimited trips during that time period throughout the area.  I suggest that you buy the pass for the convenience.  Once you have it, be sure to ride the length of the Grand Canal.  As you hop off and on the vaporetti, you can see the changing atmospheres of each island.

Grand Canal by vaporetto

Touring the Grand Canal by vaporetto.

Involving the children

Be sure to give the kids the opportunity to lead the exploration sometimes.  We armed each child with a digital camera and charged them with creating their own memories.  Take time to let them take pictures and create the memories that they will carry forever.

Sightseeing with children in Venice.

Sightseeing with children in Venice.

Traveling in Venice can be an awesome experience for parents and children.  We stayed at the beautiful Hilton Molino Stucky Venice, and I wouldn’t have traded the experience with our girls for anything!

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Heather and her family were born and raised in east Texas, where she is an assistant principal. Her husband teaches high school chemistry and her daughters are…

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