Rome Colosseum tour for kids review – Tapsy Tours
With stories of emperors and gladiators, ferocious animals and mock sea battles, there is no wonder the Colosseum in Rome, Italy is a top destination for families. However, it isn’t as simple as strolling on in and seeing all the action. The thing is, the most action you’ll see is the long line of visitors waiting to go in.
This is where the supreme storytelling skills of someone in the know will bring this incredible piece of architecture to life and keep your family occupied for hours.
On our recent visit to Rome, we were lucky enough to be hosted by Tapsy Tours who specialise in tours for families with children aged 5 to 12 years.
I’ve got to admit I was a little worried before we arrived because over the years I have seen so many big tour groups traipsing around cities, where people are herded like sheep from one attraction to the other, with little chance to ask questions.
I needn’t have worried. Tapsy Tours was different. The group we were in was small (7 boys, 1 girl and 7 parents from Australia, the USA, and Egypt) which is a big plus in my eyes. It felt like you were walking along with a knowledgeable friend who could tell you all about the magnificent places surrounding you.
We met our guide Maria at the Constantine Arch besides the Colosseum, where all the kids got to decide on their gladiator names and start writing in their activity books which would keep them busy over the next three hours.
The boys and I had walked 30 minutes from our unit to get to the Colosseum, so it was nice to spend the first part of the tour on an air-conditioned bus. On the bus we met Tapsy the mole mascot which was a hit with the younger kids. For the next half hour or so we got to see some of Ancient Rome’s highlights from the bus such as the Domus Aurea, Tibernia Island and Via dei Fori Imperiali.
We had already been in Rome for four days, so had already discovered on foot much of what we saw on the bus tour. However, it was still nice seeing this part of Rome from higher up and getting insight into the history. I especially liked getting those insider stories that only locals know.
Colosseum tour for kids
Our favourite part of the tour was the Colosseum itself. We got to skip the long queue and head straight for the security checks. It still takes around 15 minutes to get in, so imagine how long it would take if you had to line up with everyone else?
Inside we heard many fascinating stories from Maria about Gladiator and animal fights, about where different people sat including an area for women and children, and the lives the Gladiators lived. This was my second visit to the Colosseum and I must admit I learned so much more this time thanks to Maria.
Kids are curious creatures and Maria did an amazing job answering their endless questions and taking the time to sit with them to go through their activity books.
Roman Forum tour for kids
Once all the stories had been told, we headed off to see the Roman Forum. It was a scorching hot day which was not conducive to lining up in the full sun. Before anyone said a word, Maria had gone to find out if we could skip to the front of the queue because of the kids, which we did. Thank you Maria!
As we entered the Roman Forum it was interesting to hear the stories of the lives of the people, and the creation of the monuments. We got to discover the Altar of Julius Caesar, the Arch of Titus and Palatine Hill amongst other things.
The last time I visited the Roman Forum I went without a guide (I was a backpacker in the 90’s who couldn’t afford one), and didn’t ever get a proper understanding of the significance of the site.
If we had gone by ourselves again this time, we would have learned even less, as reading display signs with kids gets pretty boring after a while.
The bottom line
Would we go on another tour with Tapsy Tours? Absolutely.
The tour has changed slightly from the one we went on in June 2016, with the bus tour being replaced with a boat tour down the Tiber. Please always check the itinerary for any tour to make sure it is what you want and that it is in your language. Also, it’s best to check on tour group sizes before you book. There’s a big difference between having 14 and 50 people on a tour.
For further information visit Tapsy Tours
Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets from Tapsy Tours for the purpose of conducting an impartial review. All opinions are our own.