Here is a list of parks and places to go, with your baby/toddler/child, mostly in the central Duomo area:
- Bottega dei Ragazzi, Piazza Santissima Annunziata
Hours sometimes change, but seem to be 10am-1pm & 4-7pm, Mon-Sat.
A city-run play center with books, toys, games.
Directions: there is a gelateria on one corner of the piazza – if you are standing facing it, the door for the Bottega is on your left, across the little street path. The door is usually open to welcome people. You can park your stroller upstairs and inside, and the play area is on your right, just past the reception desk. You might be asked to sign in with ID, but it is free.
Biblioteca delle Oblate, via dell’Oriuolo 26
It’s a library near the Duomo (and the Bottega) that has a very large children’s play/reading area. Usually open from 9am till the evening, it is also great for rainy days and odd times when other places are closed, or in the summer when you need some air conditioning! There are some English baby books too, and lots of bean bag cushions to play in, and you can ask for a bin of markers at the front desk to draw. The kid’s area is on the second floor. It is also a nice place to relax for adults, and there is an adjoining cafeteria with lots of seating, very tranquil – check beforehand for times as they sometimes change:
http://www.bibliotecadelleoblate.it/ragazzibambini/ (all in Italian though)
There is also a very nice, big park about a 10 minute walk from Piazza Ssa Annunziata: Piazza Massimo D’Azeglio
Full of paths and trees with a great playground in the middle, lots of foreigners seem to go there too. In the mornings it is a whole social scene with the toddler set. There is also a funny weird carousel in the park that opens sporadically.
Giardino dell’Orticoltura, Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 4-red
Another great kids’ playground set in a park full of paths etc., this spot seems more known to locals.
Ludoteca Internazionale la Mondolfiera, Via dell’Anconella, 3
If you don’t mind a bit of a bus ride, there is a great morning playgroup at this spot!
It meets Mon-Wed-Fri from 10am-12noon every week. Although it’s not close to the above places, which are clustered fairly near each other, the number 6 bus goes right there from the Azeglio park (about a 15 minute ride). The ludoteca is brand new and really nice, and several moms from the Firenze moms group go there. (The location is a bit complicated; the address is for a courtyard complex. Go in the gates and you will see the play center at the far right.)
– at Piazza della Repubblica there is a horse carousel which kids love. It is only one euro a ride, and you can ride standing next to your kids. There are several yummy pastry cafes, a kids’/clothes accessories shop (Prenatal) and lots of shopping on nearby streets, so this area could also be several hours’ worth of entertainment.
- Mercato Centrale: Fun to walk around with your kid, especially on a rainy day. The vendors are always so friendly to kids, and will probably ply your baby with free food! Samples our toddler has enjoyed include olives, bread, clementines, dried cherries, biscotti, pecorino romano…..
Dollar Stores: lots of fun cheap toys, all for only a euro!
Dreoni Giocattoli, Via Cavour Camillo Benso 31/33/r
An amazingly well-stocked and ginormous toy store. There is a great Lego area as well as a train set for your kids to play with while you check out the other toys!