The 8 Best Things to Do in Sicily with Kids 

Written by Rem Malloy, since 1995 Rem has been guiding and designing trips to Italy and all of Western Europe and is considered an expert in his field for over 30 years.

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Planning a family vacation to Italy can be a delightful yet challenging endeavor, especially when it comes to finding activities that cater to all ages. Sicily, with its stunning landscapes, complex history, and vibrant culture, emerges as an ideal destination for families seeking a blend of adventure, relaxation, and education. 

In this article, we highlight 8 of the best things to do in Sicily with kids for the most spectacular family vacation in Italy. First, we will highlight why Sicily is a great place to take kids on vacation. Next, we showcase the best outdoor activities, historical sites and attractions that are the best for families visiting Sicily. 

We will wrap up with some helpful tips for visiting Sicily with kids to make sure the whole family has a sensational experience. So if you’ve been wondering if Sicily is the right place for your next family adventure, this is the article for you.

Is Sicily Good for Kids?  

Sicily is a fantastic destination for families with children. The island offers a diverse range of activities that cater to all ages, making it easy to find something that everyone will enjoy while on a family trip to Sicily. From its beautiful sandy beaches, which are perfect for young children to play and swim, to the exciting outdoor adventures available at places like Mount Etna, there’s no shortage of natural beauty and fun. 
Beyond the natural attractions, Sicily is rich in history and culture, offering many educational yet entertaining experiences for kids. The island boasts impressive archaeological sites such as the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento and the intricate mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale. Interactive museums and traditional puppet theaters provide engaging ways for children to learn about the island’s rich cultural heritage.

Things to do in Sicily with Kids: Beaches & Outdoor

Sicily’s stunning beaches and outdoor adventures provide the perfect backdrop for a family vacation. With activities ranging from swimming and sunbathing to hiking and wildlife spotting, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the island’s natural beauty.

Cefalù

Cefalù is a charming coastal town on the northern coast of Sicily, famous for its stunning beaches and rich history. The main beach, Lungomare, is a long stretch of sandy shoreline perfect for families with children. The shallow waters make it ideal for kids to swim and play safely while the soft sand is perfect for building sand castles and beach games. 

It’s one of the best things to do in Sicily with kids as there is a variety of activities on offer. Older kids can enjoy water sports like paddle boarding and snorkeling while younger ones will be delighted by the ice cream shops down the promenade. Plus, the whole family can spend an afternoon exploring the historic center of Cefalù, including the impressive Cefalù Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Riserva Naturale Torre Salsa

The Torre Salsa Nature Reserve is a protected area on the southern coast of Sicily, managed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It covers around 760 hectares of unspoiled landscapes, including sandy beaches, dunes, and cliffs. It’s one of the best things to do in Sicily with kids as there are innumerable outdoor adventures that are ideal for the whole family. 

Visitors can wander along well-marked trails which are suitable for all ages and get a real sense of the island’s natural beauty. The reserve is also one of the best places in Sicily to spot wildlife, which will be a real treat for any animal-loving children in your traveling party. As you wander the rugged coastlines, keep your eyes peeled for seabirds and other native wildlife.

Cycling in Sicily

Another amazing activity for kids in Sicily is cycling through the idyllic countryside. Sicily has a vast range of different landscapes which can be all the more enchanting when explored on a blissful bike ride. From coastal routes to inland trails, it’s an activity that can be tailored to different fitness levels and ages.

There are many cycling routes in Sicily which are perfect for families but we would highly recommend Palermo to Mondello Beach which offers stunning sea views and relatively flat terrain, suitable for children. Alternatively, there is a scenic route which starts in Arigento, allowing families to stop at historical sites as well as the famous white cliffs of Scala dei Turchi.

Things to do in Sicily with Kids: Cultural & History

Sicily is filled with historic sites and ancient wonders which makes it an adventure like no other for visiting families. One of the best things to do in Sicily with kids is to explore the cultural offerings of the island, from its remarkable cities to its more unique traditions. Below we highlight some of the best cultural activities for kids in Sicily that will immerse young travelers into the island’s ancient past. 

The Valley of the Temples

Situated in Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples is a renowned UNESCO heritage site that is famous for its well-preserved ancient Greek temples. It’s an extremely educational experience and one of the best things to do in Sicily with kids. They can explore the expansive grounds and marvel at the temples dedicated to gods like Hera, Concordia, and Heracles, which will bring to life their favorite myths and legends. 

The open-air setting of the temples makes this a brilliant day out, as while the kids explore the ruins the adults can marvel at the breathtaking views of rolling hills and verdant olive groves. You can also take a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples for a more immersive experience, where your expert guide will be able to engage young travelers and keep them entertained with stories of the past.

Palermo Puppet Theater

Perhaps one of the most unique things to do in Sicily, the Palermo Puppet Theater is also one of the best things to do in Sicily with kids. This traditional art form is known as “Opera dei Pupi” and is rooted in medieval chivalric literature. The performances feature hand-crafted marionettes and are a beloved cultural tradition that is perfect for a fun family day out in Sicily.

Puppet shows provide a unique insight into Sicilian culture and traditions, offering an entertaining way to learn about local folklore and history. The colorful puppets, dramatic storytelling, and lively music captivate children’s attention and imagination. The shows are designed to be family-friendly, with performances that appeal to both children and adults, so it’s an ideal family activity in Sicily for those searching for something a little different.

Villa Romana del Casale

Villa Romana del Casale is a large and elaborate Roman villa located near Piazza Armerina in central Sicily. It is renowned for its extensive and well-preserved mosaics, which are considered some of the finest in the Roman world. It’s a great opportunity for families visiting Sicily as the villa’s extensive grounds allow for leisurely exploration, making it easier to enjoy the site without feeling rushed.

The vibrant and intricate mosaics depict scenes from daily life, mythology, and nature, which are fascinating and visually stimulating for children. Kids can learn about Roman history, art, and daily life through the detailed mosaic scenes. Many depict activities that children can relate to, such as games and animals which they are certain to find fascinating.

Family Attractions in Sicily

Sicily boasts an array of family-friendly attractions that cater to all ages, ensuring an unforgettable experience for everyone. From interactive zoos to thrilling amusement parks, these attractions offer endless fun and educational opportunities.

Bioparco di Sicilia

Bioparco di Sicilia is a zoological park located in Carini, near Palermo. It is home to a wide variety of animal species and offers educational programs and interactive exhibits, making it a great activity for kids in Sicily. The park provides educational programs and workshops that teach children about wildlife conservation and the importance of protecting endangered species.

Kids can get up close to a variety of animals, including mammals, birds, and reptiles, making it an exciting and memorable experience that they will long cherish. There are even designated play areas and picnic spots where families can relax and enjoy a day out in Sicily. What’s more, the park is designed to be accessible and enjoyable for families, with stroller-friendly paths and family-friendly facilities so it’s one of the best places to go in Sicily with kids.

Etnaland

If you want something a bit more typical of a family vacation in the Mediterranean, then a visit to Etnaland could be just what you need. Located near Catania, this water park is one of the largest amusement parks in Italy and promises a sensational day out in Sicily for the whole family. With a mix of thrilling rides, rapid waterslides and a prehistoric dinosaur park, this is certainly the best thing to do in Sicily with kids. 

The water park section is perfect for cooling off on hot days, with slides and pools designed for both young children and thrill-seeking teens. The Prehistoric Park features life-sized dinosaur models and educational exhibits, providing an entertaining and informative experience for kids interested in dinosaurs. It’s a perfect family attraction in Sicily as the park is equipped with family-friendly amenities, including restaurants, picnic areas, and shaded spots for resting.

Top Tips for Visiting Sicily with Kids

Now that you have a much better idea of what to do in Sicily with kids, we want to pass on some expert advice to ensure you have the most amazing family vacation on Italy’s largest island. These tips for planning a family vacation in Sicily will give you all the details you need for a sensational escape. 

The Best Times to Visit Sicily with Kids

The best times to visit Sicily with kids are spring and early autumn. From March to May Sicily is much cooler than the scalding summer months which makes outdoor adventures and beach days much more comfortable when traveling with children. Likewise, spring has much fewer visitors compared to the peak tourist season in Sicily, meaning you won’t have to worry about overcrowded attractions and busy beaches. 

Likewise, early Autumn is prime time for a family trip to Sicily. Like spring, there are fewer crowds with the summer tourists having long departed so you can enjoy some of the best things to do in Sicily without fear of long queues and crowds. Equally, the weather in Sicily in the Fall is divine with temperatures ranging from 82°F to 68°F, so you can still enjoy days out in nature and hot afternoons on the golden sands.

Traveling Around Sicily with Kids

Thankfully, public transport in Sicily is very reliable which makes family trips all the more stress-free. There is a reliable network of buses and trains that connect major cities in Sicily like Palermo, Catania, and Messina, providing a scenic and convenient route. Many buses and trains also offer family-friendly amenities, including priority seating and space for strollers so travelers with children need not worry about taking public transport in Sicily.

Alternatively, renting a car provides the flexibility to explore at your own pace, which is especially useful when traveling in Sicily with young children. It allows you to reach more remote attractions and take spontaneous detours easily. Just be sure that your rental company will provide you with appropriate child safety seats and remain cautious on more narrow, rural roads. 

You can also make the most of the ferry services which connect Sicily to other islands nearby. This allows families to visit incredible destinations like the Aeolian Islands, with many ferries having family-friendly facilities. Just be sure to book any tours or tickets in advance to ensure availability.

Packing for a Family Trip to Sicily

One of the most stressful parts of a family vacation is packing. You have to make sure that everyone has everything they need for an amazing trip to Sicily, from sun protection to swimming costumes. Below we have provided a helpful packing checklist for Sicily that you can use to make sure you have all the essentials for your family getaway. 

While our packing list for Sicily is extensive, you can get everything you need once you arrive so don’t worry about getting everything in your suitcase. 

Clothing 

You should make sure to pack breathable, lightweight clothes if you plan to visit Sicily in the summer. However, evenings can get quite chilly so be sure to pack some layers or a light jacket to save off the coastal chill. Of course, you can’t forget to pack swimsuits for everyone 

Essentials 

For the essentials, you’ll want to pack plenty of sun protection. The Sicilian sun can be intense, so pack high-SPF sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for all family members. Likewise, if you plan on doing lots of outdoor activities as a family, you should bring some insect repellent to avoid bites. 

We also recommend bringing water bottles for the whole family. There are fountains with fresh drinking water available across Sicily so this will help you stay hydrated as you explore the best things to do in Sicily with kids. 

You should also make sure to pack a basic first-aid kit with band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary medications for your family. This will come in handy while taking part in activities in Sicily when you may not easily be able to find medical assistance. 

Baby and Toddler 

If you’re visiting Sicily with a baby you will need some special items to keep your trip running smoothly. A lightweight, collapsible stroller is ideal for navigating city streets and attractions. Likewise, a baby carrier or backpack is useful for hiking and visiting sites with uneven ground or many stairs.
You should also pack enough diapers, wipes, and baby care products to last at least a few days, as these may not always be readily available in smaller towns in Sicily. However, you will be able to pick up any essential items at pharmacies in major cities.

Summary

Sicily is a treasure trove of experiences that make it an exceptional destination for a family vacation. With its diverse range of activities, from the serene beaches of Cefalù to the thrilling rides at Etnaland, and from exploring ancient ruins to enjoying traditional puppet shows, there’s something to delight every member of the family. 

By following our tips for traveling and packing, you can ensure that a family vacation in Sicily is comfortable and stress-free, allowing you to focus on creating lasting memories. Whether you’re splashing in the Mediterranean, cycling through picturesque landscapes, or marveling at historical wonders, Sicily offers endless opportunities for family fun and adventure.

Are you thinking about a vacation in Sicily with the kids? Contact Italy4Real now to start planning your bespoke tour of Italy or check out our amazing selection of small group tours in Sicily.

About the Author

Rem Malloy started Italy4real back in 1995 with his mother, Deborah de Maio.

He specialises in Italian tours as well as customised tours to France, England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Spain. He was also featured in the Travel Channel show Mysteries at The Museum in 2016.

Rem has family in Italy and his mothers home town is Cava di Terrani, near the Amalfi Coast. The family has a street named after them in Sorrento, Via Luigi de Maio; a relative who was mayor of Sorrento.

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