Family holidays: 6 activities to do in Venice

As everyone knows, Venice is an open-air museum, rich in itineraries of art, history and culture. It depends on the time available, it is only a matter of choosing the most interesting routes for the children, with workshops and fun activities to suit them.


Take a kayak tour of Venice’ canals or ride your bike along the Brenta river because it will be an exciting experience.


The Doge's Palace

Palazzo Ducale is one of the symbols of Venice and exploring its rooms and salons is an experience for young and old. For families with children aged 7 to 14 there is The Palace with a Tale to Tell, an interactive visit of about 2 hours structured in stages, between games, clues to discover, stories and myths, deductions and emotions, with the help of an active notebook that will remain for the participants to continue playing at home.


Reservations are required. The route is part of the ON DEMAND activities, for families of up to 10 people (including min 1 and max 4 adults). Cost, including entrance to the museum, is 80 euros.


Check out also the route of The Secret Itineraries at Palazzo Ducale, which starts at set times (in English at 9.55, 10:45 and 11.35) in which you visit the Pozzi, the terrible places of detention, small wet cells, just illuminated by oil lamps. You then enter the Office of the Grand Chancellor, in the Secret Chancellery Room, and the unmissable Torture Room. This disturbing place, also called the Chamber of Torment, was directly connected to the prisons. From the Torture Room one passes in fact to the Piombi, the Venetian prisons.


The tour lasts about 1 hour and 15 minutes and reservation is a must. The cost is 15 euros for children from 6 to 14 years old and 28 euros for adults. By purchasing the basic ticket (cost with the family package € 14 per person) which can be integrated with an audio guide (cost € 5 each), you can visit all the Reception Rooms, the Bridge of Sighs and the Prisons.

The Doge Palace's on Google Arts & Culture

The Doge Palace's on Google Arts & Culture

A kayak tour of Venice not only is possible, but it's highly recommended

Escape the crowds and experience Venice the authentic way, on the water. Gondolas, private water taxis and Venice’s vaporetto are all great ways of getting around but our top tip for memorable moments is to paddle your way through the city on one of Venice Kayak’s guided tours.


Venice Kayak organises itineraries for Venice and its lagoon, accompanied by a kayak expert. Overall, a kayak trip to Venice is a must for everyone, at least for those who are familiar with water and can swim.


Children must be at least 8 years old and all minors (under 18 years) without exception, must do the tour in a double kayak with a parent.


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Visit a Murano furnace for free in Venice

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to see a master glassmaker at work, on this island you can satisfy your curiosity. In fact, many furnaces organise free demonstrations to show tourists the techniques of processing this precious material.


In particular, we recommend the Ellegi Glass, which organises daily 15-minute demonstrations, and the Vetreria Murano Arte. The latter has an entrance fee of 3 euros per person, which are discounted if you buy a souvenir in their shop.

“Kids Day” at the Peggy Guggenheim

KIDS DAY is an educational program designed to introduce children to modern and contemporary art in a continuous, accessible and interesting way.


During KIDS DAY, children have the opportunity to learn and experience specific artistic themes inspired by the museum’s permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. The subject of the activities varies at each meeting to allow, in the long term, the analysis of all the works in the collection from different points of view and to stimulate the continuous participation of children.


KIDS DAY begins with a short introduction focusing on a specific topic related to a technique, movement or artist. The guided tour is followed by a workshop activity which aims to put into practice what was previously observed. The workshop is generally held in the library and, during the spring or summer period, in the Nasher Sculpture Garden.


Both the visit and the laboratory are mainly held in Italian. Given the presence of educators from all over the world, there is however the possibility to enjoy the KIDS DAY program in other languages ​​according to the nationality of the participating children.

Best views of Venice for free

You probably already know Fondaco dei Tedeschi, the luxury shopping center a few steps from the famous Rialto Bridge. What you may not know is that on its top floor there is a panoramic terrace offering a spectacular 360 ° view over the roofs of San Marco and the Grand Canal. Cost to access it? Nothing.


In fact, all you have to do is to book your visit and then go to the terrace entrance at least 10 minutes before your turn to admire Venice from above for free. To book, you can go directly to the top floor of the building and use the tablets that you will find at the entrance to the waiting room, or you can do it online on this link.

Feeling active? why not cycling from Padova to Venice

Do you know the Riviera del Brenta? Between Venice and Padua there is a well-marked cycle route about 35 km long. Magnificent villas, enchanting gardens, harmonious nature, districts: this is the Riviera, a place of charm and unrivaled historical, cultural and landscape scenery. It is practicable in both directions of travel and on both sides.


We recommend picking up your bike from Mestre, boarding the train to Padova and cycling back to Mestre. Between Venice and Mestre is a 10-minute ride on the rail.


Padova is one of Italy’s most attractive cities and it’s perfect for bike riding. You will want to walk among the stalls of the ancient fruit and vegetable market of Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta, enter the Palazzo del Bo, home of the ancient University, visit the Basil of S. Anthony and admire the frescoes by Giotto in the Chapel of the Scrovegni.


Departing in direction of Venice, you cross the neighborhood University of Portello, with the monumental Porta Ognissanti, and proceed along the Piovego canal before merging with the Brenta canal.


These medieval waterways guaranteed for many centuries communication between Padua and Venice. The cultural interest of this area is shown by the remarkable concentration of Venetian villas that have given birth to the river hamlets of Stra, Fiesso, Dolo, Mira.


The beauty of Venetian architecture is captured not only in the numerous noble buildings but even in rustic dwellings, which though having lost the original functionality, still retain the courtly details of the Venetian palaces: variety of chimney pots, elaborate cornices and porticoes.


By bicycle it is possible to travel the same routes and admire the same landscapes that astonished travelers in past centuries: the Pisani villa in Stra, the beautiful center of Dolo or the Villa Foscari, also known as “La Malcontenta”, the epitome of Palladian architecture. A little further on you arrive in Mestre.

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Do you spare extra nights? Why not combining Venice with the River Mincio