Not that it did rain in Rome while we were there – the weather gods smiled down upon us, and the sun shone all week – but if it is raining in Rome, and you have Small People on tow – then Explora has to be the best possible place in the city you can spend a few hours.
As Rome’s only dedicated Children’s Museum, Explora works on an appointment only basis. This is great for a few reasons: – a) You can turn up and pre-book a slot to work around what else you have planned for that day. b) You can use any forthcoming visit as blackmail for children with wilting history enthusiasm. And perhaps best of all – c) as Explora limits the number of visitors per session, meaning that the place doesn’t get over run – it gives you more space to explore this big Museum full of interactive exhibits!
Built in an ex-tram warehouse, this regenerated area is only a few steps away from the Piazza del Poppolo. We popped in on our way to Villa Borghese (we were lost!) and made our booking for later that afternoon. Although this place is aimed at the under 12’s, I was slightly worried that the 9 year old might be a little too “grown up” for it, but I needn’t have… Explora is split into four sections, Environment, Economy, Technology and Communication, and I think there’s something to keep every child happy…
Small boy was of course over the moon with just about every hands on activity he could get his hands on (especially the fire station and the huge water experimentation base!) – it really is perfect for his age group. Thankfully The Nine Year Old’s imagination was captured by the city system, where you get to create an “identity”, find a “job” and earn “money”. This kept her busy for quite some time, and we also had great fun in the “super-market” with it’s fabulous range of Italian Foods to “buy”… Here she dealt with nightmare customers (me!) who insisted on buying “the most ridiculous things” (her words!). She also proved to be a wise bank teller in refusing to allow one particular customer (also me) to fritter their imaginary life savings away on frivolous things. I somehow don’t think she believes in the mantra that the customer is always right!
There are benches dotted around for small folk to park their adults whilst they run riot in a safe and secure environment, and plenty of friendly helpers on hand to explain exhibits in English if necessary. There’s also a really good cafe in the reception area, and a great shop selling all manner of educational toys. Actually, forget what I said about a rainy day – find time for Explora in a family visit to Rome, it’s great for the kids to let their hair down whilst really learning something, and best of all you get to take a couple of hours out and put your feet up!
PS. There’s also a good outdoor play space too which you don’t have to have an appointment for, so it’s worth remembering if you are on the look out for a playground in Rome!
PPS. Don’t forget to enquire about the great workshops available when you book – our two were desperate to make their own pizzas, but we were too late that day, so they will just have to make them at home instead…
Admission: €8 per person/child (no entry without children obviously) €5 for under 3’s…
Address: Via Flaminia, 80/86 – 00196, Rome
Tel: +39 06 3613776
Jane @ northernmum says
Pre booking sounds like such a good idea! Looks like a funky little place to visit!
Thanks Jane, tis great for the smaller family members! :)
Funky Wellies says
It looks like a fabulous place… And I especially like that first photo! xx
Thank you, I loved the artwork too, especially this one! :)
Michelle Twin Mum says
Wow, this looks like my kids idea of heaven. Mich x
I am sure they would love it! Thanks Mich! :) x
This is why I love Rome! So much to discover constantly. My boys would enjoy visiting this museum.
Thanks so much Louisa, they definitely would! :)
What a wonderful place. Amy would love this! It’s also great to see something from Rome that isn’t the Pantheon or the Colosseum…
Thanks Carolin, I am sure Amy would LOVE it… :)
That looks like such an amazing museum. I bet it was a brilliant day. I would love to go to Rome.
And I would highly recommend it, thank you! :) xx
Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer says
That certainly seems an interesting option once you’ve chucked all your coins into the Trevi Fountain! Looks brilliant and the appointment system obviously benefits all *makes mental note*
I thought it was a brilliant idea, really helps you get the best out of a place. Thanks Anya x
Ali at kidschaos.com says
wonderful photos – next time we’re in Rome…. :)
You must Ali, thanks very much! :)
Charly Dove says
Oh wow Explora looks incredible, so many things to do and I love that it’s split into sections too. Must get back to Rome one day, it’s been a while!
Thanks so much Charly! It’s definitely my new favourite city! :)
maggy, red ted art says
Wonderful. Can you be next city break planner? You are wonderful at finding all the right things for kids!
Yes, I would love that – that would be my dream job! :D Thanks Maggy! :)
older mum in a muddle says
Looks like a fab day out for the kids…. you do go to some great places! X
Thank you S… I think R&S actually found this place originally! :D x
Stacey Corrin says
I love the fact that you have to pre-book a spot for this place. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to manage multiple small children in a crowded art gallery or museum. It’s a genius idea that I’m sure a lot of parents are thankful for.
Great idea isn’t it? And it’s totally secure as well, so parents can really relax and not worry about where they are if their offspring decide to go off adventuring alone for a while… Thanks Stacey! :
Alice Hassall says
Rome is very quickly climbing my must visit next list. I’ll book the pizza’s first though Kyd will love that!
Thanks Alice! They even have their own little pizza cooking studio – so cute! :) x
Sonya Cisco says
That looks so much fun, my boys would love to go there. Shame it is a little more than day trip distance!
Thanks so much Sonya, Rome is completely worth the distance, I promise! :)
Liz Burton says
That looks like EXACTLY the kind of museum my daughter would LOVE. Loads of things to interact with, bright and fun – not like some of the stuffy ones we have here!
I do think a few other places could learn a thing or two from museums like Explora! Thanks Liz! :)
What a wonderful place, and I like that fact that they have an appointment system. Makes for such a great experience.
Such a good idea isn’t it Jen? Thank you! :)