Children: Summer fun for kids in Rome

Summer is around the corner, which means that anyone planning on staying in Rome over the holidays had better start thinking about what to do with their children. But not to worry: a number of parks, kindergartens, farms, theatres and other centres organise summer camps where kids can play and take part in learning activities and workshops, some of which are also in English. Most summer camps are open from the beginning of June to the end of July, with some reopening from mid to late August until mid September. They usually run from Monday to Friday with hours going from early morning to late in the afternoon. In most cases breakfast, lunch and snacks are included in the price and reservations are mandatory as space is limited. Here is a varied selection for all your summer needs.

Asilo Arcobaleno This kindergarten organises a “summer garden” from 1-31 July for children aged 3 to 11. Children are divided into groups by age and activities include creative workshops, swimming and sports. e90-110 per week. Mon-Fri 08.00-14.00/16.30. Via Innocenzo X 4 (Monteverde Vecchio), tel. 065803231, www.scuolaarcobaleno.com.

Gioca e Crea This kindergarten organises summer camps for children aged 3 to 10 from 15 June-30 Aug. Children can play ball or partake in water games in the outdoor playground. Surroundings at this summer camp recreate the magical, underwater world of the Walt Disney film “Finding Nemo”. e28 per day, e120 per week, e400 per month. Mon-Fri 07.30-19.00. Via Aurelia Antica 405 (Aurelio), tel. 066628349, www.giocaecrea.it.

Bioparco The Magic Flute association organises a summer camp for children aged 4 to 12 at the Rome zoo (Bioparco di Roma) from 15 June-11 Sept. Children participate in hands-on scientific and creative workshops, in addition to art activities and sports. They are supervised by the park’s wardens, who help them to discover the animals’ secrets. e30 per day, e130 per week. Mon-Fri 08.30-16.30. Viale del Giardino Zoologico 20 (Villa Borghese), tel. 065816816, www.bioparco.it.

Casa del Parco This regional nature reserve organises summer camps for children aged 4 to 10 from 15-30 July and from 31 Aug-11 Sept. Their aim is to educate children and teach them respect for the environment. In the mornings, kids cultivate a vegetable garden, learn how to make tomato and pesto sauce and take care of farm animals, while in the afternoon they take part in theatre, art, music and recycling workshops. e28 per day, e98 per week plus e18 for insurance. Mon-Fri 08.00/09.30-16.30/17.30. Via del Casaletto 400 (Monteverde-Portuense-Gianicolense), tel. 0645476909, www.valledeicasali.com.

Casina di Raffaello Located in the heart of Villa Borghese, this children’s centre organises Wonderland, a programme of animated story time from 26 June-31 July. Free entrance. Sat and Sun afternoons. Viale della Casina di Raffaello (Villa Borghese), tel. 060608, www.casinadiraffaello.it.

Explora This children’s museum organises summer camps for children aged 3 to 5 from 1 July-11 Sept and for children aged 6 to 12 from 15 June-11 Sept. Activities include learning games and activities, multimedia workshops and music. The summer camp also includes games and entertainment with English teachers and weekly excursions to parks, villas, museums and theatres around town. e180 per week (kids 3-5), e135 per week (kids 6-12). Mon-Fri 08.00/09.30-16.30. Via Flaminia 82 (Flaminio), tel. 063613776, www.mdbr.it.

La Fattorietta This educational farm and cultural association a few steps from St Peter’s basilica organises summer camps from 15 June-31 July for children aged 4 to 10. Surrounded by ponies, pigs and donkeys, kids learn how to cultivate a vegetable garden, make bread, jam and fresh pasta, milk a goat and make cheese. They also cook their own meals, learn about life on a farm, meet expert veterinarians, make toys from recycled items, paint, play with clay and listen to international fairytales. e100 per week. Mon-Fri 08.00-17.00. Vicolo del Gelsomino 68 (St Peter’s), tel. 338/2916918, www.lafattorietta.org, www.passeggiatadelgelsomino.org.

Nella Vecchia Fattoria This farm hosts a summer camp for children aged 3 to 12 from 8 June-31 July. A qualified, English-speaking team organises games and sports tournaments, creative workshops, reading sessions, theatre performances and treasure hunts. It also offers a shuttle service. e35 per day, e150 per week. Mon-Fri 07.30-19.00. Via Casale della Crescenza 12 (Cassia-Due Ponti-Flaminia), tel. 0633220472, 334/6440802, www.scuoladueponti.it, www.asilodueponti.it, www.viaandante.it

Piscina Belle Arti From 15 June-31 July, this very central tennis club and swimming pool offers summer camps for children aged 4 to 12. Activities include swimming, football and tennis as well as educational workshops, treasure hunts and tournaments. e165 per week plus e30 insurance. Mon-Fri 08.00-18.00. Via Flaminia 158 (Flaminio), tel. 063226529, www.ctbellearti.it.

Teatro Verde From 15 June-11 Sept, the Magic Flute association organises a theatre camp for children aged 6 to 13. This year the camp is dedicated to the masters of the past. Children play, participate in drama workshops and read Shakespeare, Plauto and Oscar Wilde, act in short scenes and prepare a final play. e10 per week. Mon-Fri 08.30-16.30. Circonvallazione Gianicolense 10 (Monteverde), tel. 065896085, www.teatroverde.it.

Vivibistrot Located in the heart of Villa Pamphili, this bistrot organises a mini-club entitled “Art in the Park” from 30 June-31 July. Children aged 3 to 7 explore the park, discover its smells, colours and secrets, read adventure stories and engage in creative play with both English and Italian mother-tongue teachers. Parents can stay for lunch and snack from the bistrot’s organic picnic baskets. e35 per day, e110-e130 per week, e10 insurance. Mon-Fri 08.30-16.30. Via Vitellia 102 (Villa Pamphili), tel. 0665742319, 065827540.