If you're planning a trip to Rome with the family and there's a little one in the group, don't worry: the Colosseum will blow their minds. It's true that it can be a long visit, so it requires a bit of organisation to make it a success. I'll tell you!
Get your tickets online and in advance to avoid queues
This will always be my first piece of advice to anyone planning to visit the Colosseum and Roman Forum, but if there are children in the group, avoiding queues is essential.
If you buy your tickets to the Colosseum in advance, you will avoid long lines under the sun, where the little ones will obviously lose their patience (and energy). Also, not only do the prices remain the same, but online you will have more freedom to choose date, time and compare ticket types and prices.
There are usually quite a few crowds around the amphitheatre, so you will feel privileged when you get there with your tickets in hand and avoid any queues.
Please note that children under the age of 18 have special conditions on ticket prices and guided tours, so when you book your tickets you will need to indicate their age in order to qualify for discounts.
Immerse them in history
One of the things that never fails is to introduce them to the fascinating history of Ancient Rome and the Colosseum. By telling them a little about what life was like in the Roman Empire, how the gladiators dressed, etc., they are sure to let their imaginations run wild and feel like they are the stars of a movie.
There are stories, comics and even some cartoon chapters that will help you summarise the story or prepare them for what awaits them in Rome.
In addition, around the Colosseum there are usually people dressed in typical gladiator costumes ready to take pictures with children (and adults), greet them and impress them with their armour and their cases. If you complement the experience with the interactive exhibition Welcome to Rome, they will leave even happier.
Come prepared with snacks and refreshments
Even if you're not travelling to Rome in the summer, you're likely to get a very hot day (or at least a lot of sun) in the Colosseum and Roman Forum area. Remember that there is very little shade, so it is necessary to protect them from the sun.
Put sunscreen, a hat and don't hesitate to carry some refreshments or snacks in your backpack in case they get hungry or thirsty during the visit. There you will see stalls selling ice cream and soft drinks, which can also be a good idea to get your strength back.
Visit the Colosseum first, then the Roman Forum
The visit inside the Colosseum is undoubtedly the most interesting: the dimensions and the amount of details, tunnels and galleries that are preserved is incredible. It is also the most intense part of the visit, so it is best to do it as soon as possible, when the energy level is still very high.
Afterwards, you can take a break to rest around the Colosseum before taking a pleasant walk to visit the Roman Forum, where you have more time to decide how much time you want to spend, how much detail you want to go into, and so on.
Some ticket packages allow you to visit the Colosseum one day and the Roman Forum the next, which can be a good option if you are travelling with very young children or if you notice that they are too tired after the visit to the amphitheatre. By the way, remember that tickets to the Roman Forum are included in all Colosseum tours and tickets, which allows you to visit the Colosseum without having to pay extra - a great tip!
Early in the morning is best
In addition to the fact that the children will not be so tired at that time of day, a visit to the Colosseum in the cool of the day is essential to make the most of it.
In the early morning, moreover, there are usually not so many visitors or large groups, which will be more pleasant when it comes to paying attention to the details, taking photos or even taking a break during the visit to recharge your batteries. You have this and other tips in my list of tips for visiting the Colosseum and the Roman Forum in this article.
Once you have finished walking around the area, the rest of Rome awaits for you to explore the historic centre of the city at your own pace.
Explore the idea of a virtual reality guided tour
If your children are lovers of new technologies, they will definitely enjoy this specialised guided tour prepared with them in mind. Among the many options for a guided tour of the Colosseum, there is an option that includes a virtual reality recreation of Ancient Rome and the Colosseum.
Throughout the visit to the Colosseum you will be accompanied by a guide who will provide you with special glasses so that you can compare the current state of the Forum and the Colosseum with scenes from the period that you will feel like you are experiencing first-hand.
What's more, being accompanied by a specialised guide will make the visit much more enjoyable and will keep them entertained and curious, so you won't have to worry about constantly occupying their time.
Feel like a movie star with a visit to the Colosseum arena
Descending into the amphitheatre arena itself is an experience not to be missed by the youngest members of the family. In addition to having a different perspective of its stands and a surprising view of its tunnels and underground galleries, they will feel like the protagonists of a gladiator movie from the Roman Empire.
It is a restricted area and seating is more limited, so you can only visit it as part of a guided tour accompanied by an expert guide, who will give you an insight into the evolution over time of this curious arena in which gladiatorial fights and battles between humans and exotic animals were held in order to entertain the public and the emperors.
Ideal for taking some of the best photographs of your trip. If you want more details about this proposal, don't miss the article about the visit to the arena and the underground of the Colosseum.
Enjoy a trip back in time with a guided tour
With a guided tour of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, you will delve into the history of these emblematic sites in a fun and entertaining way for the youngest members of the family. A journey through time to live epic stories from the narration of an expert guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.
In addition, you will pass without queuing, something very important to take into account when you go with children as they get tired more easily and, of course, to have more time to enjoy other leisure activities in Rome with the little ones as a tour bus tour, an electric bike tour or see the Wax Museum of Rome.
If you have a pushchair, it is best to leave it at the hotel.
The Colosseum and the Roman Forum have stairs, cobblestone or sandy floors and even in the Colosseum you will find galleries and stands that are almost impossible to access with a pushchair.
If you want your visit to go smoothly and without interruptions, it's best not to take your pushchair to this area (there are other places in Rome where it's easier to manage a pushchair, such as the Vatican or the streets of the historic centre).
For the visit to the Colosseum or the Roman Forum, I recommend that if your little one is not yet old enough to walk, you should consider carrying him or her in a backpack or baby carrier so that you can move around more freely.
Plan your meals
Another important point during your visit to the Colosseum and Roman Forum is where to eat before or after your visit. As you will see, the area doesn't have much to offer, so before you sit down at the first place you come across, I recommend you check out my article on the best places to eat near the Colosseum. You're sure to get it right.