Rome Travel Guide

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Monday, February 11, 2019

A (Rare) Children's Museum in Rome

The front of the Explora children's museum, which is built in a former tram barn
on via Flaminia in the Flaminio district of Rome, just beyond Piazza del Popolo
(Flaminio Metro stop). Inside are interesting historical photos of the trams and tram barn.
Rome is notoriously difficult for families with young children.  Look in any book that purports to suggest what to do with kids, and you will find very little for children under 6.

This photo was taken in a rare moment when no trams or
cars were zipping within inches of the baby.
It's also just plain difficult to get around Rome with young children. As the photos (left and below) show, the spot to wait for a tram has no protection from the cars and trams whizzing by. And the #19 tram that goes to the sole children's museum wasn't large enough to get a stroller in it without 2 strong people lifting the stroller over some bars in the doorway.
The tram, full of metal bars.

Any park, the zoo, a swing set - yes, those are all reasonable options.
But if you feel you've exhausted those, there is one children's hands-on 'museum' of sorts, "Explora" - which calls itself "The Museum of Children of Rome."

Delight in the cloths that came out of the wind
For our young grandchildren - ages 1-1/2 and 4 - it was an ideal activity for a few hours.

We were lucky, because our arrival at the museum was timed well with the very rigid time frame imposed by this private museum (more on that later).

Steering the 'train.'

The advantage of the museum is that the 'exhibits' are designed for child interaction. One of our granddaughters spent lots of time "guiding" the train that runs along the top of the museum walls. The younger one loved the "fruits and vegetables" that could be planted, picked, and shopped for. The rigid time frames allow the museum workers to clean up and set up the exhibits after each group goes through, and they also keep control over the numbers of children trying to use the hands-on exhibits.

Playing with the 'carrots.'

Coffee bar and entrance.
The museum has a perfectly adequate coffee bar in the front waiting area, and a nice dining area that is mostly outside (one reviewer complained about the plastic sheeting - what is that about? fairly standard where one gets both inside and outside environments together). The prices aren't cheap, but they also aren't exorbitant, and the food is classically Italian good.
Restaurant - and the plastic sheets are a problem??

                                                                      With the picnic area, you can bring your own lunch.  The outside area also has a zip line, that is free for anyone to use. In the U.S. this probably would be viewed as too dangerous to leave to anyone walking up to it.  Here, it was fun. Every child entering the museum must be accompanied by an adult; so the theory must be that the adults will supervise their children.
Unsupervised zip line.

Nicely landscaped gardens behind the museum.
Now to the rigidity. You can enter the museum only at 4 times during the day (3 in August): 10, 12, 3 and 5.  And your time in the museum is limited to an hour and 45 minutes.  You cannot leave and come back in. Every child must be accompanied by an adult, and vice versa (It doesn't have to be literally 1:1; there were 3 of us adults and 2 children). And everyone, except children under 12 months, has to pay: as of 2019, 8 Euros for adults and children 3 and over; 5 Euros for children 12-36 months. The museum oddly is private. Decent Website, and you can purchase tickets here:

Via Flaminia, 80/86 - 00196  Roma  info@mdbr.itTel. +39 06 3613776 

Dianne (aka Grandma)
This stock photo shows the museum can have too many children and lines.


Sara said...

Hi there,
Thanks for the info. I'm going there soon with my family. I was just wondering, is there any baby facilities available at the museum.

Dianne said...

I don't recall. We were there with a yet-to-walk, still-in-diapers child, and we did fine re changing her, finding places for her to go, objects with which she could play.