The Very Best Things to Do in Milan with Kids

This guide was created with a single mission: no one gets bored

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan

So you’re considering visiting Milan with the kids. Not a bad option at all. The city brims with churches, art galleries and archaeological sites. Yet, we bet that your kids’ most amusing moment at each one of these will be terrorizing the flocks of pigeons that peacefully sunbathe at the piazzas where the most famous historical landmarks lie. And while we occasionally share the same feeling about sightseeing, we believe that your trip to Milan should be equally fun for the family’s younger and older members. This diverse list with the best things to do in Milan with kids is a good place to start. We are going to list 6 activities that will not only become strong negotiating cards for you to push your family trip to Milan agenda during the next family dinner but also keep boredom levels at a minimum when you finally get there.

The National Museum for Science and Technology

The name of the museum may scare your little ones off if their inner geek side hasn’t surfaced yet but a walk around the various exhibition areas will change their mind instantly (and inevitably accelerate the process). The museum’s exhibits run the gamut from an ‘Air and Water Transport’ building and a telecommunications department to a Leonardo da Vinci gallery and an Energy System room. One of these is bound to make the grade and spark up your kids’ interest. If not, revisit our trustworthy Plum Guide journal and try your luck with a different option.

Planetarium

The Civic Planetarium “Ulrico Hoepli” of Milan is the largest planetarium in Italy and if your youngsters are fascinated by space, galaxies and solar systems, this visit will do wonders in sparing you from having to answer obscure back-to-back questions regarding the mysterious ways of the universe. At least for a while. Here you’ll see a reproduction of the starry night sky while learning about several astronomical phenomena. Several educational and entertaining activities for the kids and the whole family take place. Once you’re back to your Plum Guide Milan apartment, you can stare at Italy’s night sky from your balcony and test whether your kids have actually learned something with a couple of questions. Feel proud if they answer correctly, set an early bedtime if they don’t. It’s a win-win situation. The planetarium is located at the Giardini Publici square and if you get there it will be a shame not to visit the Natural history Museum which is located just a stone’s throw away.

Natural History Museum

Plan a visit to the Natural History Museum and fuel your kids’ imagination with real dinosaur skeletons and huge reconstructions of extinct animals. The colossal exhibits will either give them nightmares for weeks or a lifelong fascination for science and anthropology. Parenting decisions are sometimes as simple as flipping a coin. Before heading inside, spend some time to admire the extraordinary 19th-century building that features elements of the neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic architecture styles (and to unleash hell upon the pigeons of course). Pack snacks and be prepared to roam around 6 areas with exhibits that cover the evolution of mankind. You may be able to pinpoint the stage your young ones are currently at as well.

Ready to hit the shops? Here are the 11 best shopping experiences Milan has to offer.

Idroscalo Lake

Just when you thought we’re set on turning your family vacation to Milan into an educational field trip. Worry not our beloved reader. We are well versed in the ancient tactic of tiring the kids out on a family trip in favour of some alone time after sundown. Plus, we like the great outdoors as much as a museum’s exhibition hall and when it comes to a list with the best things to do in Milan with kids, not including both would be an oversight. The artificial lake-turned-park called Idroscalo offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as horse riding, canoeing and sailing on dragon boats. Spend the day chasing around the little ones and when exhaustion takes over, it’s time for the final blow. There’s a daily event taking place at Idroscalo Lake every evening. Before getting to your Plum Guide Milan home, the kids will get the chance to see a show that might involve a dance performance, a live orchestra performing a musical or an opera play depending on how lucky -or rather unlucky- your kids are.

Leolandia

Leolandia Italy is a themed park with 40 attractions and rides, gardens and fountains where cartoon characters stroll around. Located just outside Milan, Leolandia is one of those places that we could urge you to hide from your kids unless you want to spend an afternoon chasing second-rate cartoon characters for a photo or boarding Thomas the tank engine for a ridiculously slow ride. However, we bet that your inner voice wouldn’t allow you to deprive your youngsters of the joy to visit Italy’s most popular amusement park. And then brag about it to their friends. Aside from several vertiginous rides, Leolandia features an educational farm, an aquarium and -luckily for you- several restaurants and cafes serving traditional Italian delicacies.

Indro Montanelli Public Gardens

When scouting Milan for the weirdest flavours of gelato becomes unendurable, head for the Indro Montanelli public gardens, a vast park in the Porta Venezia district in northeastern Milan. There you’ll find lush green gardens and numerous playgrounds that make up the oldest park in Milan, inaugurated in 1784. On weekends and sunny afternoons, the gardens teem with the laughter of berserk children running through the trees. Bear in mind that these kids are Italian and don’t be alarmed by the frantic hand gestures, war cries and combative shrieks. They just want to play. Do allow your kids to get in touch with local culture at the <s>battlegrounds</s> playgrounds while you kick back with a picnic basket full of wine.

So you've decided on the best things to do in Milan with kids. Now looking for the perfect place to stay? Make sure your trip isn’t ruined by noisy neighbours, a kitchen without champagne prosecco flutes or bad bedding. Expert and meticulous (picky, ok?) home critics hand-select and rigorously test each and every home on the Plum Guide platform, so you can be damn sure they’re not going to let you down. Browse the very best vacation homes in Milan.

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