Bringing your kid to Venice?
It can be challenging for parents to include activities in the itinerary that both the children and parents can enjoy.
Therefore, here is a list of 5 kid-friendly activities that your family can enjoy in Venice, including a maze in #5!
1) “The Mask Collector” Game Tour:
Experience Venice in an innovative new way, discovering its wonders through an interactive and engaging tour! You will take on the persona of an expert detective, on the hunt for a mysterious thief who has already stolen many ancient masks and is preparing for his grand theft.
The guide will have riddles, wordplays, maps, and interesting historical explanations that will capture your attention for the whole tour. Not only would your kids be exposed to Venice’s history in a fun and interactive manner, but you would also be able to join in on the fun while solving the riddles!
The price of the tour is 235 Euros per person, although the price per person may vary depending on the number of participants in the tour. Depending on the number of participants, the tour can be structured as a straightforward investigation or as a competition between different groups to see who can solve the stage first. The tour is approximately 2 hours long.
2) Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries Tour:
You might be wondering why the Doge’s Palace would be on a list of activities that your kids can participate in, but it is this tour specifically that many parents overlook. The Secret Itineraries Tour brings your family to areas that are off-limits during the regular visits, such as secret passageways, torture chambers, an interrogation room, and the infamous Bridge of Sighs.
The secrecy and exclusivity are more than enough to make your children tremble with anticipation. These spaces offer adults an interesting insight into the political and civil history of the Venice Republic, it's public organizations, and its institutional bodies deputed to government and justice. As for the children, they will be able to imagine living as an aristocrat in the past.
The price of this tour is 28 Euros, while the tickets for children aged 6 to 14 will be 15 Euros. The tour has a specialized guide and has a fixed group size of a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 8. The tour takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. There are specific timings for tours that will be conducted in Italian, English, and French. More information is available on their website.
3) Lion Hunting:
No, I don’t mean literally hunting for lions! The Lion of Saint Mark, which represents Mark the Evangelist who was the city’s patron and founder, became the city’s symbol in AD 828 when the Saint’s remains were liberated by two Venetians from Alexandria and brought back to Venice.
As a result, you will see lions, mostly winged lions, carved everywhere into Venetian architect. However, it doesn’t stop there. Sculptures of winged lions can be found displayed at significant locations, souvenirs such as paintings and keychains of the winged lion can also be bought. In fact, Venice’s flag proudly presents the winged lion at its forefront.
The Venetians themselves collected things that fancied them in their travels and conquest, which included lions, explaining how many of the older non-winged lion statues got to Venice. A very famous and well-loved statue is the stone lion that is found in the piazza beside St. Mark’s, which is a popular prop for tourist photography. In fact, this can be the starting point of your children’s lion hunting.
Finding these lions is a game that the whole family can take part in and it gives the children a reason to look around and enjoy the scenery instead of spending their time staring at their phone screens.
Although the winged lions appear all over Venice, and in every shape and form, you can split them into 2 categories: winged and non-winged. You can further categorize them into whether the book in his paw is open, which indicated that Venice was at peace when the statue was made, or if it is closed, which demonstrated that the republic was at war during that time.
4) Giardini Della Biennale:
If you follow the Fondamenta, which means foundation in Italian, along the Grand Canal from the Doge’s Palace after your Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries Tour, you’ll walk past Arsenale, which is a good place for hunting lions, and eventually come to the long green swath of the public gardens, the Giardini Della Biennale. There is also the other option of riding the vaporetto from the San Zaccaria stop near Piazza San Marco right to the entrance.
These gardens were created by Napoleon Bonaparte, who drained an area of marshland to create a public garden. The gardens consist of 30 permanent pavilions, each of which is allocated to a particular nation and displays works of arts by its nationals during the Venice Biennale.
In this shaded park, other than sculptures and flower beds, you'll find grass for the kids to run on; a playground with slides and swings; and a faux grotto and benches, where you can sit and watch the kids run off steam. On the way, you can buy picnic foods at the daily market on Via Garibaldi, between Arsenale and the public garden. You can access a shady promenade into the garden right from Via Garibaldi.
5) Maze at the Villa Pisani, Stra
Imagine getting lost in the world’s most difficult garden maze! The Villa Pisani at Stra is a villa that was built on the banks of the Brenta Canal. As it was constructed to connect Venice to Padua, the Brenta Canal became known as the Venetian Riviera as the rich and powerful built lavish summer palaces there to escape the city’s heat.
The villa is grand, and kids will enjoy seeing the trompe l'oeil painting on the ballroom ceiling, trying to tell where the painting leaves off and reality begins. But it's the garden maze that will fascinate and bewilder them.
Its nine concentric circles are formed by 900 boxwood hedges with a tower in the center with a confusing double-helical external staircase. The labyrinth has an ancient origin in the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur being imprisoned in the labyrinth of the Knossos Palace on Crete.
Finding your way through the labyrinth is not easy, but there is usually a watchman at the top of the tower in the center, who will give instructions to those who are lost and trapped in the maze. Once you finally make your way to the center, you can climb the double-spiral staircase to the top of the tower, where a statue of the goddess Athena is erected. It symbolizes the wisdom gained in arriving at the center.
Which activities will you bring your kids to?