Explora Rome children museum: perfect rainy day escape

by marta

What to do in Rome with kids when it rains? Rome is not well equipped to cater for children in bed weather. however, there is one place that works great every time. Explora children museum of Rome! This is our review.


Explora children museum of Rome review

The water and mechanics area of Explora children museum of Rome

I am a huge advocate for bringing kids to grown up museums and attractions. However, sometimes all you need is a place to play, ideally indoors. When this is in order, there is no better place in Rome than Explora children museum, a great space to play and learn as well as one of the best places for kids in Rome on a rainy day.

Looking for more ideas on things to do in Rome with kids? Check our favorite here.

What is Explora Rome?

Explora is the name of the children museum of Rome. It is located on Via Flaminia, a stone throw from central Piazza del Popolo and it a great pace for kids from zero to early teenage years. 

The museum is divided into several areas.

Below, our overview of those out kids enjoy most (they are regulars here as we have been coming since they were tiny and still come now that they are 6 and 8) and some practical information for visiting.

Explora Rome for babies and toddlers: the 0 – 3 area

The first area you encounter in Explora is reserved to kids 0 to 3 and is devoted to soft play.

It is cordoned off from the rest of the museum and offers a safe area for babies and young toddlers. It’s a nice area and a fantastic place to give your children floor time, something hotel rooms and sightseeing days often make hard to carve out. 

Explora Rome water and mechanics area

The main downstairs hall of Explora lies just behind the baby area and is occupied by impressive machines, teaching engineering principles: you have an Archimedes screw (which reminded me of a very interesting documentary I once say about the suspended gardens of Babylon), hydraulic pumps you can create a vortex with, a shishi odoshi fountain, Leonardo’s wheel etc

The machines are for kids to play and operate and they are a huge hit especially with small kids who can experiment with water and pebbles. In this area you also have a firetruck, which commands the attention of all the toddlers in the museum and is, indeed, really cool! 

Role play games are (kitchen, supermarket etc)

Walking further into the museum, you find several installations teaching about animals and nature. Kids can look at different types of animal house and play with a make believe a vegetable patch, where kids can learn about planting and harvesting.

The patch is great fun and makes great educational sense if you have children, like mines, who are growing up in a city. The patch was a particular hit with my daughter: the round edged, colorful vegetables made for great toys and the planting is very reminiscent of some of her sorting games back home but in a grand scale.

After the patch you find the supermarket area, which is a good opportunity for kids not just to play shopkeeper but also that food goes from patch to shops and doesn’t magically materialize on the shelves. In this area, older kids are prompted to learn about food conservation and recycling too with information panels and fun facts. 

In this area you also have a house kitchen when kids can play cooking and tidying and it is such a lovely house it will make you want to move in!

explora Rome home play area

Isn’t this kitchen in Explora children museum of Rome just so pretty?


Explora Rome highlight: driving the high speed train

The highlight of my son time in Explora is the area where you can be train driver for the day.

In Italy we have the high speed train called Freccia Rossa and in Explora, you can drive it!

This is a popular attraction with kids and sometimes you need to queue to get your turn but it is worth the wait especially if your kids are at that age when Thomas the tank Engine is the real superhero.

Explora outside space and restaurants

Explora is equipped with a good child friendly restaurant with pizza and kid friendly menu options and an outside space with a zipline.

This is an area where you can rest and wait as you start / finish your turn (see below) and is a handy option to allow the children to get some fresh air, weather permitting, after all the indoor fun. 

This area is beyond the main ticket office and is accessible with buggies, which you can par in the lobby of the main museum building. 

How to get to Explora Rome and opening hours

Explora is beside Piazza del Popolo and is, as such, easy to reach from Rome city centre or by bus. Lines serving this area are bus 61, 160, 490, 491, 495, 628, 89, 926, tram – 2, 19 and metro A (Stop: Flaminio).If you need help navigating the Rome public transport system, get our tips here.

Explora is open from 10 am to 18.45 and operates on turns so that it never gets excessively crowded. You can find all the info on their website here

Please note: this review is unsolicited and unbiased and it’s written in an effort to share our experience of visiting Rome as a family and provide suggestions on what to see in Rome with children

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