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INSIDE: Roam the Gnome’s Guide of Awesome Things to do in Villa Borghese with Kids

The Villa Borghese Rome was an unexpected hidden treasure on our last trip to Rome!

Not that finding the entrance was very easy…

Although we could SEE the walls of the Rome Villa Borghese from the Explora Children’s Museum, we wandered half the city trying to find our way up to an entrance gate!

But what awaited us when we arrived at Park Villa Borghese, more than made up for the detour!

The Villa Borghese is a hotspot of Rome museums and cultural institutions, and is often referred to as “Museum Park”.

Adults can enjoy sculptures, art galleries, and the Globe Theatre but it’s the kid’s stuff we love.

If you’re wondering where to go in Rome with kids, take a look! 

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villa borghese map by andres gomez garcia

Image credit: Andres Gomez Garcia via Flickr CC BY-2.0


If you are looking for things to do in Rome with the kids, join in these super fun activities at Villa Borghese Rome!

Adults and kids may also appreciate the Villa Borghese Museum or want to purchase Borghese Gallery tickets

Or join a tour of the gallery and gardens with Skip the Line tickets. 

There’s quite a bit to see at Borghese Gallery for kids, including taking a look at masterpieces by famous Italian artists including Bernini, Raphael, Titian, Correggio and Caravaggio. 

Look out for the mosaics of gladiators in battle!

It helps if you have a personal interest in Roman and Greek mythology, as well as the history of Rome during the Ancient and Modern times, so you can share lively stories with the kids to focus their attention. 

Hot tip: There is NO Villa Borghese Gardens entrance fee. Pay only for tickets to the Museum, Gallery, Cinema and rides etc. 

villa-borghese-playground pic

Image credit: Douglas Lara 

No.1: Villa Borghese Playground

Visit the Villa Borghese playground near the Edicola Della Musa building.

(Map ref. 26)

villa borghese playground by michael mcroberts

Image credit: Michael McRoberts

Cute Rome Playground surrounded by trees 

This playground on the corner of Viale J.W. Goethe and Viale del Museo Borghese is surrounded by trees and has:

  • two sets of swings
  • rocker swings for toddlers, and
  • one central timber castle-like playground with two turret-style platforms.


Image credit: Lalupa via Wikipedia CC BY-3.0

No.2: Watch a Movie at the World’s Smallest Cinema

Take in a film at the world’s smallest cinema, the Cinema dei Piccoli, at Villa Borghese Park in Rome.

Find this tiny freestanding building near Villa Borghese’s southern entrance during the day, and be treated to a children’s film.

Arrive in the afternoon or evening, and the films showing are more likely to be for grown-ups.

villa borghese rome bike rental 800

No.3: Villa Borghese Bike Rental 

Hire an electric-powered pedal car to drive around the Villa Borghese Rome gardens.

This is a laugh a minute fun, and a great way to interact with other visitors and tourists in Rome, as you say hi to each and every person you pass, and hear their greeting back. 

On your journey round, head to the lookout area where you can see the Piazza del Popolo obelisk and Roman square.

It’s a spectacular historical view. 

Hiring one of these Villa Borghese bikes is by far the best thing to do at Villa Borghese.

Be sure to bring cash to the hire booth. 

No.4: Scoot on a Segway.

A number of hire carts in the grounds offer Segway scooter transport.

For those with older children, Segway cruising might just be a notch cooler than family travel on an electric pedal car.

villa-borghese-rome-with-kids-pedal-car. Visit Our Family Travel Directory for MORE SUPER DOOPER FUN ideas for family-friendly weekend adventures and travel with kids, all over the world. Search by city. Rated by kids and our travelling Gnome.

No.5: Hop on the Villa Borghese Train

If hiring an electric pedal car or segway is not your thing, jump onboard the Villa Borghese train for a spin around the grounds.

Operating daily from 10.30am until sunset, board at one of three stops around the park.

We recommend riding the Miniature Diesel train around the Rome Villa Borghese at least once to check out all the views without the stress of navigating! 

Villa Borghese Rome- retro games 800

No.6: Villa Borghese Arcade Games 

Step back in time at this unexpected retro arcade game hall, Piccolo Slalom, in Park Villa Borghese, Rome.

A smallish hall filled chocka-block with retro-style pinball machines, and coin-operated amusement rides, all surrounding a miniature electric-powered car racetrack.

image - ned riding car track at villa borghese gardens games arcade pic

Car ride

My seven year old was in heaven!

Be sure to have LOTS of Euro.

Attractions and rides in the Games Arcade are pay-per-play or pay-per-ride.

They only take cash, although are happy to exchange the cash for the tokens you’ll need to ride and play.

The hut is open every day from 10:30am to sunset.

Piazzale Napoleone I. Piccolo Slalom is located across from Cinema dei Piccoli,

villa-borghese-rome-with-kids-pedal-car. Visit Our Family Travel Directory for MORE SUPER DOOPER FUN ideas for family-friendly weekend adventures and travel with kids, all over the world. Search by city. Rated by kids and our travelling Gnome.

No.7: Villa Borghese rides for kids

Give in this time, and let the kids try out a few of the coin-operated amusement rides.

There’s all kinds of vintage Italian rides to have a go on, restored and ready for kids to try them out. 

The rides are located at the same old fashioned game parlour as above.


No.8: Visit Casina di Raffaello ~ Ludoteca “Playroom” Recreation Center.

Stop by the Rome attraction, Casina di Raffaello ~ Ludoteca “Playroom” Recreation Center. 

It’s at No. 22 on the map. 

There’s a:

  • toy library
  • reading room
  • play areas
  • creative rooms where you can draw and paint and dress ups.

Outdoors, there’s a wooden playground village with cubby houses, a gigantic seesaw, and a life size musical instrument (wood flute) to play.

PIN villa borghese with kids

THE INSIDE SCOOP: Casina di Raffaello 

Tickets are 7 Euro for adults, and 5 Euro for reduced tickets. 

Open daily from 9.00am to 19.00 for children from 3 years old. 

Call 060608 for bookings.  Address is Viale della Casina di Raffaello (Siena square)

Find all the current details of opening hours, days of operation, price changes etc here. 

villa-borghese-rome-with-kids-pedal-car. Visit Our Family Travel Directory for MORE SUPER DOOPER FUN ideas for family-friendly weekend adventures and travel with kids, all over the world. Search by city. Rated by kids and our travelling Gnome.

No.9: Take a pony ride

Another mode of transport for the kids inside Villa Borghese.

It’s a lovely spot to get up close with a Shetland.

Find the ponies on Viale J.W. Goethe.

This activity operates on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30am to sunset.

gelato in florence by vanessa-

Image credit: Vanessa via Unsplash

No.10: Eat Gelato 

The closest gelateria to Villa Borghese is Bellamia Gelateria on Corso d’Italia, 33. 

Head out the gates at Porta Pinciana and turn left, then walk 500 metres. 

It’s a five minute walk.

Their all natural gelato is worth it. 

Choose from creamy gelato in flavors such as chocolate, coffee, pistacchio, and stracciatella, or fruity flavours such as lemon, mango, and strawberry.

They also sell a soft coconut yoghurt, and granita drinks in lemon or strawberry too. 

Buy kids size, medium scoop and large scoops in either cup, cone or tub. 

Find directions here. 

villa-borghese-rome-with-kids-pedal-car. Visit Our Family Travel Directory for MORE SUPER DOOPER FUN ideas for family-friendly weekend adventures and travel with kids, all over the world. Search by city. Rated by kids and our travelling Gnome.

No.11: Buy a cute helium balloon

Why not?

It’s the Italian thing.

Helium balloons are a whole lot of fun for just a few euros.

Be sure to hang on tight. 

800px-Pygmy_hippopotamus_Rome bioparco zoo

Image credit: Zoo Institutes via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0

No.12: Visit Villa Borghese Zoo 

Bioparco di Roma is one of Italy’s largest and oldest zoos, 17-hectares in one corner of Villa Borghese Gardens, and home to over 1000 animals from more than 200 species.

The Zoo is open every day of the year, except Christmas Day.

See lions, lynx, leopards, tigers, chimpanzees, giraffes, bears AND elephants in the centre of Rome, plus loads more. 

Where to eat at Bioparco Zoo inside Villa Borghese Park

You won’t go hungry or thirsty, with

  • three coffee bars;
  • a restaurant;
  • picnic areas;
  • “Caffè del Parco”, with a coffee bar, self-service and a roof garden;

Click here for Bioparco Zoo opening hours, current Bioparco Zoo ticket prices, and more. 

villa borghese maze pic by yannick carer

Image credit: Yannick Carer via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

No.13: Visit the Labyrinth Maze at Villa Borghese Gardens

There is said to be a labyrinth maze in the park, but unfortunately, the location cannot be determined.

Please let us know if you find it, so we can add it to the list. 

villa borghese statue by antonia-felipe

Image credit: Antonia Felipe via Unsplash

THE INSIDE SCOOP: Villa Borghese Kids Stuff

Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in euro, unless otherwise stated

Address: Piazzale Napoleone I, Rome

Entry points:

  • Via Aldrovandi
  • Via Raimondi (2 inputs)
  • Via Pinciana (2 inputs)
  • Piazzale San Paulo
  • Piazzale Flaminio
  • Piazzale Cervantes

Telephone: Servizio Giardini 06 6710 9312 – 06 6710 9315

Villa Borghese Gardens Opening Times:

  • The Villa Borghese Rome is always open.
  • Some gated areas close at sunset.

Villa Borghese Entry fees

  • Admission to the Villa Borghese Rome is free.
  • Some attractions within the Villa grounds attract a fee, for example bike hire, zoo entry, Villa Borghese gallery entry.

Rome Villa Borghese Gardens- entrance gates

How to get to Villa Borghese Gardens

On foot: 5 -10 minutes walk uphill from the Spanish Steps, and Piazza Del Popolo.

By Metro: Metro Line A (Flaminio and Spain) stops

By Train:  FS station (Rome-Viterbo) to Piazzale Flaminio

By Bus:

  • Bus stops in via Fiorello La Guardia and square S. Paulo: 490,495,89,160,61
  • Bus stops in via Pinciana height Galleria Borghese: 223, 910, 53, 63, 83, 92, 360.

By Taxi or Uber: Villa Borghese is easily accessible by taxi or uber.

Villa Borghese Gardens Map

Toadstool Rating: Villa Borghese Rome for Children

Definitely one of the top 5 places to visit in Rome with kids. 

things to do in villa borghese with kids review

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