We took our two daughters, eight and six, here on our last day in Rome and it was perfect. We needed something as an alternative for them after a few days of visits to museums and historical sites. Explora is a hands on place to learn and play where children can imagine themselves shopping and banking or gardening and cooking, to name just a few of the many activities. There is a little water play area (no swimming, just a place to learn how water works).
We have been to many children's museums in the US, the two best being in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Explora is small by comparison, but the way they manage the number of children in the space is excellent. You need to reserve an appointment for your children to play and Explora only allows a certain number in at a time. It was wonderful because it was not crowded and the children had the chance to play together and with others without there being a crush of people everywhere.
The highlight for our older daughter was the grocery store, which had a working scanner that printed real receipts. The scale for the fruit and vegetables also worked, allowing kids to weigh things and to print stickers with the prices that could then be scanned. This fascinated my eight year old; and she had a great time scanning and printing receipts.
Our six year old had the most fun at the kitchen and the play garden next to the kitchen where she could pick carrots and potatoes from the ground and pears from a wooden tree. The whole place was clean and calm and cool with decent, though not great, air conditioning.
I highly recommend a visit if you are in Rome. Explora was filled with numerous Italian families too, so it really is more a local than a tourist attraction.
Make your reservation online (http://http://mdbr.it/) and arrive a bit early to have a cappuccino in the cafe in the lobby where they have WiFi if you ask for the code. You can get there via the Metro Line A - Flaminio stop.
After playing, we walked up Via Flaminia to Il Buchetto for a simple, inexpensive pizza lunch.
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