Abruzzo has a lot to offer for families with kids. Whether you are visiting the region or living here, there are plenty of places to visit and things to choose from for a perfect day out with kids that will keep the whole family entertained: outdoor adventures, wildlife, museums, sightseeing, open farm visits. These are our picks of the best things to do in Abruzzo with kids. We continue updating our list of things to do in Abruzzo for families, so be sure to check back on a regular basis (the locations are marked on the map at the end of the article).

things to do in Abruzzo for families
Observing animals at the Centro Visita del lupo near Popoli. Photo by Il Bosso

Meet the wolves

The Apennine wolf is a vivid representative of the wild heart of Abruzzo and enjoys protected status. Do you want to observe this this creature of legends and fairy tales? In Abruzzo you can! There are centers that allow you to get to know wolves better and see them from a safe distance.

The Il Bosso Centro Visita del lupo, near the town of Popoli, cares for and houses wild animals found injured by park rangers. On a 2 ½ hour guided tour for families you’ll learn about the wolves’ environment, temperament, and habits, giving you a sense that perhaps they’re a better friend to man than lore would have it. Walking along a designated easy trail you can observe not only wolves, but also birds of prey, roe deer, wild boar who live in a large, fenced area there. After the tour you can chill out at a picnic table under a tree.

Cost: €10 (ages 11 -up), €8 (ages 3 – 10). Tour in English can be booked for small groups. For more information see Il Bosso website.

A wolf in the Centro Visita del lupo. Photo by Il Bosso

A small pack of semi-wild wolves lives in the faunistic area in Civitella Alfedena, in the heart of the Maiella Mountains and meeting them is on top of our list of things to do in Abruzzo for families. A small museum that aims to promote an understanding of the wolf and its importance in nature is located nearby. There are two nature trails, and picnic tables to allow you to continue your outdoor experience. You can spend hours observing the pack and take photos of the beautiful predators from a safe distance. If you stay in the town overnight, you can hear them howl at the moon . The faunistic area is always accessible. For the museum’s opening hours email at lupo.civitella@parcoabruzzo.it or call 0039 0864 890141.

Cost: €3 adults, €2 Children (age 8 – 14).             

Trekking with donkeys. Photo by Gira e Rigira

Walk with Donkeys

Imagine living in rural Abruzzo 100 years ago. How do you haul stones for building? Get crops to market? Travel to visit a relative in another village? Enter the donkey! It has been the architect of economic and social life in southern Europe for over 4,000 years.

If you are wondering what to do in Abruzzo with kids, the company Gira e Rigira, located in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, allows you to experience donkey travel with family-friendly treks ranging from simple, 2-hour tours (suitable for ages 3 and up) to multi-day cultural explorations.

The donkeys, far from having the stereotypical “stubborn and stupid” demeanor, are gentile and intelligent. Experienced guides help you get to know them. The company’s “one donkey per family” format gives the chance to know how families actually travelled, and fosters gentle team building among you. Excursions are available all year round by reservation with a minimum of four participants. For details see the Gira e Rigira website.

A fossil in the University of Chieti Museum. Photo by the University of Chieti Museum

Natural Science Museum for Curious Minds

Even on a rainy day there are some exciting things to do in Abruzzo for families. The University of Chieti Museum houses a fascinating paleontological collection among its 19,590 exhibits. The ground floor, one of three, leads visitors through the origins and evolution of life, including display panels and fossils from around the world. Your kids will be thrilled to explore million-years-old dinosaur poop, petrified turtles and ancient plants. A gigantic dinosaur skeleton will make both kids and adults squeak with delight.

The first floor offers a history of human settlement in Abruzzo – sure to hold the attention and satisfy the curiosity of those interested in the region.

Additional exhibits cover the science of optics, acoustics, mechanics, and electricity, ethnomedicine and…mummies! A dream place for all the nerds in the family!

For information on these and other collections, and for admission and opening hours, visit their website and Facebook page.

things to do in Abruzzo for families
Rafting on the Sangro River. Photo by the Raften Company

Rafting on the Sangro River

For a day’s adventure on the water, the Raften company is a perfect source. Located just outside the banks of the Sangro River, the company offers rafting trips for everyone, young and old, accompanied by trained professional guides. Trips range from 1 ½ hours to half day excursions. Near the river are also picnic and camping areas. For additional information and bookings go to the company’s website.  

In the Majagreen Adventure Park. Photo via Majagreen.it

Outdoor Adventure in the Maiella National Park

For those who want to get out and play – the Majagreen Adventure Park is the place to go. Located a short distance outside the centre of Caramanico Terme, it offers outdoor diversion for children and your inner child. Activities include walking among tree branches, the Tibetan footbridge, seated pulley, wooden tunnel…and more! A safety harness, helmet, gloves, and disposable balaclava are provided. Introductory instruction and the supervision of operators ensures a safe day of play.

You can reserve a picnic table and purchase snacks and beverages in the park. It’s easy, convenient fun for all! For opening hours see the website.

Cost: €35 family ticket (two adults + one child).

A brown bear in Palena. Photo by Museo dell’Orso Marsicano

Visit the bears

The Bear Wildlife Area in Palena is home to several European Brown bears that have been rescued and cannot be returned to the wild. A guide will take you on a tour along an easy, gravel path around the fenced area where the giant plantigrades. There are currently three bears living in the sanctuary: Caterina, Iris and Margherita, all three born in captivity. You can see them relaxing under the trees, walking across meadow and doing bear things.

The Palena wildlife area also used as a rehabilitation site for native Marsican brown bears in difficulty who need, for limited periods, special care and attention before being released back into the wild. A perfect compliment to the walk is a visit to the MOM – Museo dell’Orso Marsicano. For opening hours see their Facebook page. Bookings via WhatsApp 0039 339 8629 165 or via email orso@parcomajella.it is required at least one day in advance.

Cost: €8 adults, €4 young children.

Walking with the animals at the Colle Rosa farm . Photo by Cristiana at Colle Rosa

Make friends with alpacas

The Colle Rosa farm in Serramonacesca is a paradise for animal lovers. Here you will meet a friendly pig Giuliano, a happy sheep Bianca, and take beautiful alpacas for a walk in an olive grove. The family farm makes excellent olive oil, delectable jams and other local specialities that you can purchase directly from the owners. Cristiana speaks some English and will tell you about her animals, their little quirks and accompany you during the walk, which lasts about 1 ½ hours. Booking essential via the farm’s Facebook page, Instagram page or WhatsApp 0039 338 413 6254.

Cost: €25 per person.

Want to know what to do and see in Pescara? Click here to see our suggestions.

By Terri Mastrobuono.

Featured image via Gira e Rigira/Facebook.

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