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Things to do for children in and around Milan


Apr 27th, 2014, 07:50 PM
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Things to do for children in and around Milan

Hi all,

My family and I are traveling to Milan in May 2014. We have a 5-year old son, so I wanted to reach out and see what suggestions you all may have for things to do (theme parks, etc.) that a child may enjoy doing or seeing. Like most children, he loves animals, theme parks, aquariums, playgrounds, and things like that.

Also, I want to take a short trip to Lugano, Switzerland, and wanted to see if anyone has traveled there from Milan. It seems to be an hour or so away, but we won't have a car, so train would be the only option.

Any suggestions for both would be most appreciated!
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Apr 27th, 2014, 10:54 PM
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Have a walk on the roof of Duomo. Visit dinosaurs at Museo Civico di storia naturale. Walk around the dungeons of Castello Sforzesco. There are mixed reviews of Museo della scienza with models of Leonardo machines and an elicopter flight simulator, but maybe better suited to older children. And have a trip to lake area - Lugano is perfect and the child will love the funicular ride from the station to the center. The best places to have lunch in Lugano are the self service restaurants of Coop or Manor department stores.

The closest aquarium is in Genoa and I do not remember theme parks. A possible theme park could be Swissminiatur in Melide, a few minutes by train from Lugano, with large models of Swiss attractions and two miles of toy train tracks.
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Apr 28th, 2014, 02:17 AM
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I think a ride on a canal boat on the Grande Naviglio would be fun for a five-year-old. I agree that the roof of the Duomo, with its forest of ornate statues, would be fascinating for a kid that age. When we were there, we saw a very little boy with his own camera taking pictures of everything he saw.

The acquarium in Genova is the best one I've ever seen, not that I've visited dozens of them. Our grandson went there this past weekend and loved it. The Città dei Bambini (City of Children) right next to it was also a big hit, but I don't know if it has explanatory materials in English. Still, a five-year-old child is usually very skillful at communicating with others who speak a different language, so he would probably just join the Italian kids in whatever activities were going on. When we were there, about five years ago, there were other activities for kids in the area; I seem to remember a pirate ship, for example.

Genova is an hour and a half by train from Milan. I don't know if the acquarium is worth the trip; for our grandson, the train ride (much longer from where we live) was part of the adventure. Once you get to Genova, you'd have to take a local train and a metro, or a taxi, to get to the "Acquario".
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Apr 28th, 2014, 09:55 AM
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For another funicular ride, train to Bergamo (less than an hour) and ride up to the Citta Alta. Frequent bus service connects the train station with the funicular station.

There's also a natural history museum in the larger, lower town (Citta Bassa).


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Apr 28th, 2014, 10:50 AM
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Well, the most interesting funicular is the Como-Brunate with a magnificent landscape over the lake. But it will be closed from May 12th to mid June for maintenance.
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Apr 28th, 2014, 07:52 PM
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Thank you all very much for the wonderful suggestions! We cannot wait to visit Italy, it seems like such a wonderful place.
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