- Art & Culture
Milan, a fun with the children
Ancient castles, amusement parks and interactive museums. Discover what Lombardy offers for children. First stop, Milan.
The region of Lombardy offers a wide array of cultural and tourist activities that will keep your children and teenagers entertained, providing the whole family with a few hours of fun. We begin in Milan, which in itself offers many interesting activities for families and young children, while just outside the city there is a variety of family-friendly destinations.
Milan, located near the Rotonda di Via Besana, behind the Palace of Justice, in the Porta Vittoria area, is the MUBA Children’s Museum, which opened in 2014 in the former church of what used to be the cemetery of the Policlinic of Milan. The centre is open all year round and offers a vast array of exhibitions, play areas and educational workshops.
The gardens of Porta Venezia, dedicated to the famous journalist Indro Montanelli, are home to two historically family-friendly attractions: the Civic Museum of Natural History, with its spectacular permanent exhibitions devoted to palaeontology and the dioramas depicting different planetary habitats, also hosts many educational events throughout the year.
The nearby Planetarium is the perfect place to learn more about the stars and the night sky. Parco Sempione, in the heart of the city, is an excellent choice for a walk, a bicycle ride and to play some football. Within the park there are two other child-friendly attractions: the Civic Aquarium, to explore the sounds and shapes of the underwater world, and the Sforza Castle with its museums – the ones dedicated to ancient Egypt and armoury are always a hit with young visitors – but children also enjoy exploring the castle’s well preserved halls, the battlements and the dungeons.
Milan offers other three museums: the Archaeological Museum, which has been rearranged to include specific child-friendly areas; Triennale Kids, an exhibition that introduces children to the world of design; and, of course, WOW, Comics Space.
Just outside Milan, in Cormano, is the Museum of Toys and Childhood, home to the biggest collection of toys in Europe, a children’s library and musical and multi-media workshops. Another perfect place for children is Explorazione, the interactive workshop set up in the Science Museum in Treviglio. For aviation enthusiasts and future pilots a trip to Somma Lombardo, in the province of Varese, to visit the Volandia park and flight museum is a must.
In the province of Cremona, at Rivolta d’Adda, visitors can enjoy the over thirty pre-historical reconstructions located along the green banks of the river in the Parco della Preistoria. But the best way to truly enjoy the river Adda is by boat: from Trezzo d’Adda the ferry will take you up the river towards Lake Como; the ferry that sails along the Naviglio Martesana, which connects the river to Milan, also stops along the way to visit the most important historical villas and castles on the canal.
For active families who love spending time outdoors, there are two great parks located near Livigno: the Mottolino Fun Mountain. Open all year round, with the Bike Park where visitors can take free riding lessons, or high altitude hikes at the Larix Park; or the Carosello 3000 Livigno, a very popular ski centre during the winter that turns into a great running and biking circuit in the summer. Those seeking action and excitement should head to Civenna, in the province of Como, to the Jungle Raider Park, an adventure park with four different obstacle courses which include Tarzan-style rope bridges and obstacle courses of varying difficulty levels depending on the height from the ground.
History enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Zavattarello Castle – in the heart of the Oltrepò Pavese – which organises frequent medieval re-enactments and hosts many educational and interactive events for young children.
The castle also has its own mysteries: legend has it that the ghost of count Pietro dal Verme, who was poisoned by his wife Chiara Sforza, still haunts these halls.