Home » Kids In Italy » Things to Do in Merano with Kids – A Mom in Italy’s Top Picks
Boy walks down cobblestone street and past a colorful mural in Merano, Italy.

Things to Do in Merano with Kids – A Mom in Italy’s Top Picks

Is Merano on your radar for your family trip to Italy?  If so, great!  Merano with kids is a win for all involved – both bambini and parents.  

I’m a mamma of three kids based in central Italy and I’ve visited Merano multiple times with my kids.  Our family appreciates the variety of activities in Merano and the fact that there are also things to do if the weather isn’t fabulous (which isn’t the case in other parts of the Dolomites).

So, if you’re heading to Merano as a family, take a look at our list of things to do in Merano with kids.  Note that it’s not a list of every possible thing to do – just our top picks.  I’ve also included:

  • A map of the best things to do in Merano with kids
  • Things to see and do near Merano with your family

Andiamo – let’s go!

If you’re heading to Merano, be sure to check out Where to Stay in Merano with Kids

Map of the Best Things to Do in Merano with Kids

Play at One of Merano’s Playgrounds

Children's playground in Merano, Italy. Children play on a disc swing, there are other toys like a metal slide, regular swings, and a funny seat. Parents sit on benches.
Kurhaus Playground

Merano has plenty of playgrounds, and although we don’t think there are any that stand out more than the others, there are a few in the center worth checking out (marked on my map above):

  • Elisabeth Park – shaded with benches and water fountain; spinning rope toy and spring toys; best for little kids; conveniently located by river and Josef parking garage
  • Kurhaus Playground – this one is right on the river, across from the Terme di Merano; it’s the one we usually end up at; no shade, but plenty of benches; toilet; padded ground; spring toys, fun slide, swings, merry-go-round
  • Rosegger Park – good to combine with walk along the river on the Gilf Promenade to see the Animal Garden (more on that below); nice because it’s shaded; slide, swings, spring toys, zip line

Take the Cable Car up to Merano 2000

Merano 2000 has our favorite playground in the area.  It’s not in the center of Merano, but it’s pretty close! 

Take the cable car up and let your kids run free at the playground (in-ground trampolines, wooden ball run, zip line, and more) or head out for a hike.  Don’t forget to try a run on the Alpin Bob before heading back down. 

Our boys had a blast at Merano 2000 on our most recent trip to the area.

Read my complete guide to Merano 2000 with Kids

Wander a Weg

Boy walks on gravel path that has flowers, trees and plants on either side.  He's in Merano, Italy.
On the Gilf Promenade with my son

Merano is the perfect place for a stroll.  Take a walk on one of the ‘wanderwegs,’ which are footpaths along water canals.  Some of Merano’s wanderwegs are along rivers, while others are up in the hills, along irrigation canals that bring water to vineyards and farms. 

A family friendly path in Merano is the Tappeinerweg (also called the Tappeinerweg Trail, the Tappeiner Promenade, or the Passeggiata Tappeiner).  Another good choice for families is the Sissiweg (aka Sissi’s Path or the Passeggiata di Sissi) – you can walk the stroller-friendly path from the center of Merano to the Trauttmansdorff Gardens (and then take the bus back).

Good To Know:  The wanderwegs in Merano are well-marked and signed.

Play in the Pools at the Terme Merano

The Terme Merano may not seem like a kid-friendly spot, but it’s not just a bunch of old folks soakin’ in the thermal water.  The complex is huge and there are plenty of things to do for kids! 

There’s an indoor thermal pool area that my boys loved, but the best part is the sprawling outdoor area.  There are numerous pools and tons of grassy areas for picnic, relaxing, and playing. 

My boys enjoyed:

  • The current pool that moves you in circles
  • The ‘lake’ pool
  • The kids’ playground
  • The turtle pond
  • The kneipp path

There are also pools for the littles kids that are shallow and have colorful toys, a slide, and sprinklers.

Helpful Tips:  Ask about the family pass.  Plan on staying for a few hours, but know you could also pass the day onsite.  Bring a picnic lunch and get treats like ice cream bars at the little café.  You can purchase waterwings and other supplies at the shop in the main building.

Visit the Giardino Degli Animali (Animal Garden)

Boy walks on path. To his left are ferns and two sculptures made from plants - an Atlas holding the globe on his shoulders an da woodpecker. This is in Merano, Italy's animal garden.
My son at the Animal Garden

Walk from the center of Merano to the Gilf Promenade and see Merano’s Animal Garden.  It’s a pleasant stroll past beautiful plants and colorful flowers and your kids can look for the enormous snake and Atlas, holding the world on his shoulders.  Which other animals can you find? 

Good To Know:  The path is shaded and stroller-friendly (but if you keep walking and exploring, you’ll come across some stairs, depending on where you want to go). The Animal Garden is tiny, with just a few animals, so the walk out there and is the main part of the experience.

Splash in the Little Fountain in Front of the Terme di Merano

Boy plays in area with water spurting from the ground in front of large jasmine bush. Building to left and stone piazza.

There is a row of small fountains set into the ground that your kids can splash in.  My 3-year-old loves this area, and it’s a nice option if you don’t feel like entering the Terme complex.

Good To Know:  Just in front of the fountains, at the edge of the Passer River is a 3-level grassy terrace.  While it’s a nice place to sit and relax, with small children it’s not always ideal because they may want to go in the river.  Please don’t – the current is strong and the water level can rise suddenly. 

You can also walk across the bridge to the other side of the river and let your little one wade in the small waterway next to the Kurhaus playground.  Tip:  Take your shoes off and soak your feet too!

Visit the Trauttmansdorff Gardens

Don’t miss a chance to visit one of Europe’s most beautiful gardens with your kids.  Trauttmansdorff is more than just pretty plants and flowers – there’s a ton to do with kids! 

You could easily spend all day at Trauttmansdorff with little ones, but at least allow for 3-4 hours.

Some highlights for my boys include:

  • animals (alpacas, birds, bees, snakes, insects, goats, koi fish)
  • wobbly bridge
  • interactive windchimes
  • mini maze
  • viewing platforms
  • botanical underworld show
  • world’s largest pinball machine (inside the Touriseum)

If your family enjoys gardens, check out Visiting Parco Giardino Sigurtà with Kids

Stroll the City Center

Boy walks on pedestrian street in Merano, Italy. Buildings on either side of the street, people sit under umbrellas at outdoor cafes on the street. People also walk on the street. Sunny day with puffy white clouds.
Midday on Via Portici

Merano’s streets are kid-friendly and there are plenty of pedestrian areas.  The porticoed streets (Via Portici) are a great option in the hot summer months because you get a little shade, and there are plenty of places that kids like to stop in to check out.  Some favorite shops of my kids include:

  • Tyrolia (Via Portici, 64) – long, narrow shop that has a little bit of everything; it’s a stationery shop but it has so much more – gifts, trinkets, small toys, puzzles, games; tight squeeze with a stroller but can be done
  • Pinocchio Giocattoli (Piazza Duomo, 2) – another shop that’s packed a lot into a little space; you could find something for every kid here; not stroller-friendly
  • Sportler (Via Portici, 270) – Regional sporting goods store; great for purchasing clothing, shoes and gear kids, especially local brands; I love looking here for adult clothing too
  • Sportler Alpin (Via Portici, 60) – The mountain version of Sportler; my kids love checking out the hiking shoes for kids
  • Edelweiss (Via Portici, 31) – If you want to dress your baby, toddler, or child in traditional clothing from South Tyrol, this is your spot.

After shopping, stop at one of the cafés for a snack or something to drink.  Again, the best option is on Via dei Portici so you can avoid traffic. 

Or, find a café along the river.  Caffè Wandelhalle is on the Winter Promenade (walking path) and it’s a kid-friendly spot with some toys to play with in the sand at the base of a tree.  There are also a few balance bikes.  Outdoor seating and shade make it a perfect spot to take a break.

Go for a Bike Ride

Boy in blue shirt rides bicycle and another boy rides in front of him on a paved cycling path in Italy. Apple orchard on let, river on right, and low mountains in background.
Riding from Merano to Bolzano with my boys

Merano is in a prime location for cycling Dolomites bike paths with kids!  It’s on the Val Venosta path, one of our favorites to ride on – we’ve done this ride with babies in trailers to elementary school kids on their own bikes. 

You can use the trains and the local Südtirol Rad rental network.

If you decide to ride the Val Venosta path, I recommend riding from west to east, so you can enjoy the trending downhill.

Good To Know:  The paths to/from Mreano are mostly paved and away from traffic, but there are some dirt sections and you will sometimes need to ride on the road or cross the road.

Learn more about
Cycling Dolomites Bike Paths
Merano – Bolzano Bike Path with Kids

Check Out the Christmas Market

If you’re in Merano for the holidays (late-November through early-January, be sure to feel the festive atmosphere at Merano’s Christmas Market.  It’s one of the Best Christmas Markets in Italy!

Shop for ornaments, sip on cioccolata calda (hot chocolate), try ice skating, and participate in some of the market’s children’s activities (not in English, but still do-able).

Things to Do Near Merano with Kids

An owl flies close to the camera. In the background are vineyards, forested hillside, and mountains.
An owl flies past us at the Bird Rescue Center in Tirolo
  • Visit the Bird Rescue Center in Tirolo – You can see demonstrations and the birds fly right above your head!  The only bummer is that the 30-minute presentation is only in Italian and German.  Little kids may have trouble sitting still and quietly (required) for the entire 30 minutes.
  • Parco Giochi Lagundo (Aglund Park) – This playground is outside of Merano (10-min drive from the Terme di Merano), but it’s worth a drive.  This unique playground is one of the area’s best, with plenty to do for little and big kids.  Go see it!
  • Take the Cable Car up to Taser Alm – From Tirolo, take the cable car up to Taser Alm for lunch, hiking, and of course, the playground!
  • Explore Bolzano – It’s just a 40-minute train ride or 30-minute drive to Bolzano, a city with plenty for kids.  We love visiting Ötzi the Iceman, playing at the enormous Talvera Park, and dining outdoors. 

Read more about
Bolzano with Kids
Bolzano Restaurants

I hope you enjoy your time in Merano with your kids and that this list helps make fun for the whole family!

Be sure to check out our Dolomites family info:
Dolomites with Kids
Dolomites 7-Day Itinerary with Kids
Cycling Dolomites Bike Paths
Cycling the Merano-Bolzano Bike Path with Kids
San Cassiano with Kids
Cascate del Pisciadù Hike
Seceda Hike with Kids
Fiè allo Sciliar with Kids
Resciesa Hike with Kids
Ortisei with Kids
Alpe di Siusi with Kids
Corvara in Badia with Kids
Visiting Colfosco
Bolzano with Kids
Lake Molveno with Kids
Castelrotto with Kids
Merano 2000 with Kids
Our Favorite Things to Do in the Dolomites
Where to Stay in Merano with Kids
Where to Stay in the Dolomites with Kids

You may want to check out
Italy with a Baby or Toddler
Italy Packing List for a Baby or Toddler
Italy with Teens
Italy Packing List for Kids

Candice Criscione Avatar