Here are my tips for visiting Rome if you're traveling with your kids, with ideas for fun activities and things to do.
1. The zoo. In this town located on the east side of Rome there are -not one- but two wonders you really can't miss. The first is Hadrian's villa, in a huge archaeological area, where the Roman emperor Hadrian built his monumental extra-urban residence.
The zoo in Rome, called "Bioparco", is located in the center inside the Villa Borghese gardens. You get here with metro A station Flaminio + 10 mins walk, or tram 19, or bus 3/52/53/926/217/360/910.
Open all year except 25 December, 9.30 - 18.00 (until 19.00 in weekends of summer).
Cost 14€ adults, 12€ kids taller than 1 mt and younger than 12, free for kids shorter than 1 mt.
1. Amusement parks. In this town located on the east side of Rome there are -not one- but two wonders you really can't miss. The first is Hadrian's villa, in a huge archaeological area, where the Roman emperor Hadrian built his monumental extra-urban residence.
Rainbow Magicland is the biggest amusement park available to Romans and tourists, it is located in Valmontone, 50km south of Rome. There are trains from the central train station of Termini in Rome, it's a 40-50 mins trip.
This is a real, big amusement park (created by the same company that created the Winx fairies), with rollercoasters, animation, water games and everything. There are thrilling rides, if you have teenagers they'll probably prefer those, but also several "sof" rides for little kids.
You can spend the day with your family here. It's surely overpriced and extremely sunny in summer (must bring hats and sunscreen), but may be a lot of fun for your kids.
OPEN 10-18, until 3 November.
COST 30€ for adults, 23€ for kids under 10 and over 65, free for kids shorter than 1 mt.
Note that right in front of the park there's also a big fashion outlet, in case some of you want to split and go for shopping instead.
Zoomarine is another park where your kids could have a lot of fun. It is located in Torvaianica, 37km southeast of Rome, on the coast. To get there, you can take a free shuttle bus in Piazza Enrico Fermi, in front of the metro B station Eur Fermi.
It's smaller than Rainbow Magicland, but this is different: this is an aquatic park. May be a better fit for one of those awfully hot days of Roman summer.
Bring a swim suit: there are pools, slides, animation with dolphins, parrots, and shows with divers jumping from a gallion.
OPEN closed from november to mid march.
COST 27€ for adults, 23€ for kids younger than 10 and over 65, free for kids shorter than 1 mt.
The time elevator is a nice attraction for kids, in a very central location (via SS Apostoli 20, near the Trevi fountain). Basically it is a series of 3D movies that are watched in motion based seats. The most interesting movie is definitely the one about the history of Rome, considering that it is both educational and fun to watch.
It is presented in 6 languages, a new show starts every hour (first at 10.30, last at 19.30). Is it worth it? Well it's a bit overpriced, 9 euro for kids and 12 for adults, for a show that is around 40 mins long, but your kids will probably enjoy it a lot.
Day of the dinosaur is a show hosted in Fiera di Roma from 31 october 2013. Fifty dinosaurs, from the big Tyrannosaurus, to the Ankylosaurus and the Triceratops, positioned in their natural habitat will bring your kids back in time, 250 million years ago, to the discovery of a lost world.
Not a huge exibition (a visit of a couple of hours, 3d movie included) but it can work well for little kids. My sister just brough my nephew Leonardo (4), and she went with another couple with two girls (5 and 9), and she told me they had fun.
Gelato, oh, kids love gelato! In Rome there are many places where they can have high quality italian ice cream, made with fresh ingredients and with a superb taste.
While it's possible find gelato at every corner in the center, there are some gelaterie artigianali that are famous among Romans for the high quality of their product (they're also more expensive). To name a few in the center: San Crispino near the Pantheon, Fata Morgana in via del Corso.
Here the complete ice cream guide.