What to do at Lake Garda with children (even when it rains)

In a single destination, a wide variety of proposals dedicated to children, to share discoveries, excitement and fun with the family

17 June 2024
What to do at Lake Garda with children (even when it rains)

Lake Garda, an ideal family holiday destination

Holidays with children, especially young ones, are every parent's task, and delight. Although they are one of the most eagerly-awaited times of the year to spend time together away from the daily routine, they can turn out to be a particularly stressful time if certain conditions are missing. It is therefore essential to choose a child-friendly destination that allows the whole family a pleasant and peaceful trip, making the holidays an unforgettable experience for young and old alike.

Lake Garda is the perfect destination for spending quality time with the family, whether for an impromptu weekend away or a longer stay. Children will certainly not run the risk of getting bored: wonderful beaches with crystal-clear water, unspoilt nature to explore, but also an infinity of sports, activities, and experiences that represent a valid and stimulating alternative to the better known amusement parks.

Let's find out together which activities are not to be missed if you visit Lake Garda with children.

Nature and adventure at Lake Garda: outdoor experiences for young adventurers

Lake Garda offers a variety of outdoor activities that are perfect for children and young people, allowing them to explore nature and have fun in the open air, thanks to an extremely varied territory, ranging from the crystal-clear blue of the lake, to hills covered with olive groves, to the majestic peaks that rise in the upper reaches of Lake Garda. The opportunities for unforgettable adventures are endless, but let us try to suggest a few.

The proposal of a sailing boat trip with skipper to discover Sirmione and the Desenzano basin cannot but be enthusiastically welcomed by children: an unusual and often unheard of means of transport, the chance to see a professional skipper at work, stops for a regenerating dip in the lake's transparent waters, and lunch or a snack on board. A unique experience, suitable for children from 4 years of age, ideal for enjoying the rare beauty of the lake from a privileged perspective, away from traffic and in total freedom.

For children and young people eager to get involved, there are plenty of options for trying out a new water sport. For beginners, we suggest the basic windsurfing course for adults and children, which lasts 1 hour and is suitable for children from 6 years of age. The morphology and wind of Campione are perfect for those who want to approach windsurfing for the first time, guided by qualified instructors and in total safety. In addition to children, parents can also participate, for a family experience with guaranteed fun.

Increasing the adrenalin level, but also the recommended age, we suggest Canyoning Rio Nero in Val di Ledro: this route, suitable for children from 12 years of age, does not require any particular physical preparation, but only a pinch of audacity and a great desire for adventure. During the excursion, challenges such as jumps, sliding over rocks smoothed by the water, rope descents and swimming in crystal-clear pools can be faced. The experience of overcoming natural obstacles and discovering unexplored corners of nature makes canyoning an unforgettable and magical adventure.

There is no shortage of exciting activities on dry land either. Ready to get on an electric bike? A proposal for the whole family is an easy bike tour of the valleys around Toscolano Maderno, recommended for ages 6 and up and suitable for people in good physical condition, even if it is a short route: a 15-km route that can be covered in about two hours. It starts from one of the most important sport centres with e-bike hire on the Brescia coast and pedals along flat white roads and lakeside cycle paths until crossing the Cartiere road and the historic town centre.

Moving further north, the terrain changes again, leaving room for mountains and majestic peaks reflected in the lake. Young people who love high-altitude hikes or vie ferrate can indulge themselves here: starting with the high-altitude adventure for children and families, a beautiful route above Madonna di Campiglio, of medium difficulty and suitable for children from 13 years of age. A day, on the other hand, in total autonomy is the one proposed in the Brenta Dolomites, dedicated to 13-17 year olds. Accompanied by an Alpine guide, the young explorers will experience a great little adventure, amidst mountains, woods and rock faces, indulging their curiosity, desire for independence and self-esteem.

If you are looking for something a little more adrenalin-pumping, the exposure experienced on the via ferrata routes is sure to provide a strong emotional involvement. As a first time, we recommend the easy Via Ferrata Colodri in Arco on Lake Garda, whose altitude difference of only 300 metres and the constant presence of a mountain guide make it suitable also for beginners and children from 6 years of age.

Exploring the world of animals: trails and activities also for children

For children, a close encounter with animals is almost always synonymous with happiness. It also has beneficial effects on the development of their cognitive and social skills, fostering empathy and responsibility towards living beings.

Numerous educational farms in the hinterland of Lake Garda complement the guided tour with a walk in the company of friendly animals, which will make your children's day unforgettable. One of the most exciting experiences, suitable for children from the age of three, is the alpaca walk at Lake Garda, inland on the west coast. You can leave halter and bridle in the hands of your children, who will be thrilled by this assignment: alpacas are docile animals, accustomed to following their small handler at a steady pace; you can accompany your children while enjoying this parenthesis of peace and tranquillity.

Moving instead towards Garda Trentino, the donkey walk and visit to the educational farm will allow you to disprove the clichés about these friendly quadrupeds: donkeys are in fact extremely patient, meek and sociable. They will therefore be happy to accompany you along a trail around the farm, through oak woods, olive terraces and rosemary bushes, discovering wonderful views of Lake Garda. A peaceful environment where you can relax and regenerate, perhaps after a visit to the village of Arco, just a few kilometres away.

Also in the vicinity of Arco, children and young people from 6 years of age can participate in a horse riding lesson with a horseback ride in Alto Garda Trentino. An approach to horse riding for beginners and the opportunity to refine their technique for the more experienced. There is no shortage of activities for those who don't feel up to getting on the saddle: a visit to the farm is included in the experience, to collaborate in daily activities, particularly in looking after the stables and horses.

For youngsters from 11 years of age who are beginning to cultivate a passion for photography, it will be stimulating and fun to take part in Birdwatching & Shooting at the Rocca di Manerba Nature Park: a professional photographer and birdwatching expert will accompany the group to the most strategic observation points and reveal the secrets for the perfect shot in nature photography. Watchful eyes and camera at the ready, everyone ready for the sightings!

Finally, if you want to delve into one of the most fascinating kingdoms of the animal world, we suggest a trip to San Felice del Benaco, where an expert beekeeper will take you on a tour of an apiary to discover the world of bees. During the visit to the apiary you will be adequately protected, so don't worry: even children from 4 years of age can take part in this wonderful experience, which will leave them open-mouthed.

Creativity under cover: family art workshops perfect even on a rainy day

We conclude our suggestions on what to do at Lake Garda with children by giving you some tips on how best to cope even with a rainy day. Bad weather forecasts during a holiday in the open air send parents into a crisis, as they have to contrive to fill a day that never seems to end. In reality, even a rainy day can be an opportunity to experience something original and unexpected. Below are some suggestions for activities and workshops organised indoors, which are ideal in bad weather, but also if you want to take a break from the summer sun and heat.

Near Puegnago del Garda, on the west coast of the lake, a creative flower designer will host you in her creative boutique, where she will guide you step by step towards creating something unique. In the terrarium course you will learn how to reproduce a small ecosystem inside a glass container, in which you can bring the magic of nature to life day after day. Alternatively, you can try your hand at creating a kokedama, a term that identifies an ancient technique of Japanese origin for making a vase entirely by hand, working with clay and roots. Both workshops are perfect for those who like to get involved with manual skills and can be carried out independently from the age of 8. But that's not all. Your creations will come home with you, as a tangible souvenir of an alternative afternoon of plants, flowers and creativity.

From flowers to art. In the first hinterland of the lake, a few kilometres from Peschiera del Garda, lies the medieval village of Ponti sul Mincio, awarded the Orange Flag for its historical and cultural heritage. Here you will find an art studio offering a wide range of workshops, from a watercolour course to an intaglio course and a fresco course. All of these workshops are also open to children aged 8 and up, and are a wonderful experience to share as a family, immersed in the eclectic and stimulating environment of an art studio. This alone will be a wonderful gift for your children: breathing in the creativity, getting to know the artists' tools, witnessing the steps that lead to the creation of a work of art. The fact that they can then try their hand at it directly, get their hands dirty with colours, try out the tools of the trade, will be rewarding, educational and stimulating. Again, the album of memories will be enriched by your personal creation, which you can take with you at the end of the experience.

Even in the kitchen you can give free rein to passion and creativity. This is what Ada will pass on to you during her cooking lesson at the cook's house in Castiglione delle Stiviere. Welcoming you into a historic country house, she will accompany you step by step in the making of homemade pasta, according to tradition and the rituals of the past. Children from 3 years of age can join their parents in the cooking workshop, to have fun together while waiting for lunch, where they will taste the recipes made. A peaceful and informal setting, where the family will feel at ease and spend a pleasant day, among tradition, taste and conviviality.

On Lake Garda the wealth of experiences, activities, workshops for children is surprising. You can choose according to the age, inclination and passions of your children, or let your curiosity guide you towards new and engaging experiences, to be enjoyed and remembered over the years. Discover all Lake Garda experiences NowMyPlace!

Slow Discovery
Kids & Family
Active Sports
Creative Routes
Discovering an apiary: the world of bees in one day

Discovering an apiary: the world of bees in one day

Lake Garda - West coast - San Felice del Benaco

An experience that will open the doors to one of the most fascinating kingdoms of the animal world

2h 30m

Max 10

from 50 per Adult-10%

Available
Creating a Kokedama in a floral workshop with expert botanist

Creating a Kokedama in a floral workshop with expert botanist

Lake Garda - West coast - Raffa

Kokedama identifies an ancient Japanese technique whereby a vase is made entirely by hand

2h

Max 4

from 60

Available
Lake Garda terrarium course with an experienced flower designer

Lake Garda terrarium course with an experienced flower designer

Lake Garda - West coast - Raffa

Join a terrarium course on Lake Garda, led by a flower designer. Create and learn artistic techniques in a floral workshop.

2h

Max 4

from 60

Available
Watercolour course on Lake Garda: immerse yourself in art

Watercolour course on Lake Garda: immerse yourself in art

Lake Garda - South coast - Ponti sul Mincio

Join a watercolour course on Lake Garda in an art studio. Experience watercolour painting and take home a unique work of art.

2h 30m

Max 6

from 65 per Adult

Available
Fresco course in art studio in the Lake Garda hinterland

Fresco course in art studio in the Lake Garda hinterland

Lake Garda - South coast - Ponti sul Mincio

An experience for those who wish to experiment their artistic potential in the vast world of illustrative arts

3h

Max 6

from 85 per Adult

Available
Intaglio printmaking course in an art studio in the hinterland of Lake Garda

Intaglio printmaking course in an art studio in the hinterland of Lake Garda

Lake Garda - South coast - Ponti sul Mincio

An opportunity to try your hand at an ancient art

3h

Max 6

from 85 per Adult

Available
Birdwatching and shooting at the Rocca di Manerba

Birdwatching and shooting at the Rocca di Manerba

Lake Garda - North coast - Manerba

A nature walk in the Rocca di Manerba Nature Park dedicated to the sighting of birds

3h

Max 10

from 50

Available
Food Pleasure
See also

Three good reasons to book