We know that traveling with small children isn’t always easy. One challenge is finding activities that make their days fun and ensure quality time for the family—without going crazy trying to keep the little ones occupied.
When warm weather rolls around, though, things get simpler, and planning a visit to a new city is easier than ever.
Modena has a variety of open-air attractions—some of them quite unusual—for children aged 1 to 4 and their families.
And here they are!
Lions at the Modena Cathedral in Piazza Grande
Piazza Grande, together with the splendid Modena Cathedral and the Ghirlandina Tower, is a UNESCO world heritage site that no visitor to Modena should miss.
What if we told you that children are welcome to climb onto the backs of the lion sculptures that protect the entrance to the Modena Cathedral and are one of the city’s best known symbols?
Well, it’s true! An exception to the UNESCO site’s rigorous rules allows little children to “saddle up” for a good time on the backs of the church’s famous guardians.
In fact, on wonderful, sunny days, it’s not unusual to come upon family groups gathered around the beautiful Porta Regia, which looks out onto the Piazza, photographing their children atop the Cathedral’s lions.
Take a few moments here to create a family memory that will always remind you of Modena.
Learn more about our recommendations for visiting the UNESCO Site here.
The Piazza Matteotti Carousel
Piazza Matteotti is a short distance from the Modena Cathedral, and you won’t be able to miss its beautiful carousel.
This classic carousel is glass-enclosed and is open even during the coldest times of year. The little ones will love the horses, carriages, motor cars, and fairytale figures that revolve in time to the carousel’s music.
This is the ideal place for a “legendary” play break!
The Playground at the Public Gardens
A few minutes’ walk from Piazza Matteotti takes you to the Public Gardens (also known as the Este Ducal Gardens), a lovely green area in Modena’s historical center with ties to the city’s ancient nobility.
The Gardens are home to lovely ponds full of goldfish as well as a large play area with slides, see-saws, and play houses. Spend a half hour or more here to relax and refresh.
The Miniature Train at the Viali del Parco
The green belt that skirts the center of Modena is called the Parco delle Rimembranze, though locals know it betters as the “i viali del parco” or “park boulevard.”
The “boulevard” is particularly lively in Spring and Summer because of the many booths and cafés that are open where visitors can to stop for a sip or a bite
This charming ambience is a great place for lunch, but don’t forget to make a visit to the vintage miniature train first. You’ll find it toward the end of the boulevard near Piazzale Risorgimento and the Bar Bobotti!
Amendola Park is a classic “neighborhood park” with a number of attractions designed for the little ones.
The park isn’t far from the center of Modena, but we’d advise against trying to walk there, especially with a baby carriage in tow.
Right next to the entrance to Viale Amendola you’ll find a set of trampolines, always a favorite activity but definitely more suitable for children above the age of 4 (for older brothers and sisters, in other words!).
Once in the park’s interior, though, you’ll find much more that will appeal to smaller children.
First are a number of ponds inhabited by charming families of ducks and a lovely playground equipped with slides and castles and even an entertaining miniature train.
At Amendola Park, you can count on both a bit of relaxation for the grownups and lots of fun for the kids!
“Fairy Tale Hill” at Rio dei Gamberi Park in Castelnuovo Rangone
The Rio dei Gamberi Park is practically in the center of Castelnuovo Rangone, about twelve kilometers (7.5 miles) from Modena.
One of the park’s attractions is “Fairy Tale Hill” (Collina delle Fiabe), designed and built by students of Modena’s Venturi Institute of Art as part of a project to give this lovely green area a new personality.
Visitors to “Fairy Tale Hill” find fanciful sculptures of favorite characters from children’s stories, and your little ones will delight in coming across Pinocchio, Foulfellow and Gideon (the Cat and the Fox), and Little Red Riding Hood, among others.
The park also features playgrounds, a lovely play tent, and an area equipped with musical instruments, all of it picturesque and full of charm.
With these suggestions for open-air attractions for the little ones, why wait to plan a relaxing and enjoyable weekend in Modena for the whole family?
So don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be happy to help you plan every detail of your trip.