Spring and Autumn time ideas for trips out with the family

Parco Sigurtà Giardino (Verona)

Via Cavour, 1, Valeggio sul Mincio (Verona)

Opening on 7th March 2020 – 8th November 2020
Open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (6 p.m. last entrance into the park)
Open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in March, October and November (5 p.m. last entrance)

About 1 hour, 45 minutes by car from Ferrara

This is a beautiful garden which opens from March until November. It is truly at its best during the spring months when the tulips and daffodil displays are amazing. You can visit the park on foot, hire bikes, go on a tiny train or hire a golf cart. There is a shop and snack bars around the park with seating areas. (There are some simple rules to follow too such as: no footballs, no sunbathing, no pets and no swimming costumes – it’s a garden rather than a park)


Children aged 0-4 = free

 Children aged 5-14 = € 7. 50

Adults =  € 14.50

Over 65s=  € 10,50

Il Parco Faunistico Valcorba (Padova)

Via Val Corba, 18, Stroppare di Pozzonovo, Padova
March & October – weekends only 9.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. (Contact the park to check it is open during these months: 0429 773055

Saturday 5th October – the park will close at 4 p.m.

April – September open every day, 9.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
N.B. Last admission to the park is an hour and a half before closing time.

This is an ever-growing zoological garden which participates actively in a lot of worldwide projects for protecting endangered species, breeding and reintroducing animals back into their natural habitat. There are no bars or restaurants inside the park however, there are lots of picnic table areas and they allow you to bring your own food. There are drinks machines, toilets, a children’s play area and a free car park.


Children aged 0-2 = free

Children aged 3 –10 = € 9

Adults = € 14,50 (PLEASE PAY BY CASH, cards are not accepted)

(Motorway Exit Rovigo North to Stanghella. Turn right at the traffic lights in the village’s centre – It’s only 40/50 minutes from Ferrara)

Valli di Argenta

Motorway A13 direction BO-PD, exit at Ferrara Sud and follow SS16 towards Ravenna (About 30 minutes away from Ferrara)

The Oasis of Campotto

Guided tours only (2hours) on foot or by bike (2 and a half hours)
Full price 3 euros, bike rent 5 euros
The protected Oasis of Campotto covers over 1600 hectares and offers a variety of natural habitats to explore, including beautiful wetlands and a wood. It is home to a variety of special birds and plants and is truly an oasis for nature lovers.
Information and Reservation: info@vallidiargenta.org

To visit the Oasis of Campotto and have the full experience you must go with a guide either on foot or by bike, however, you can also walk or bike along the embankment of Campotto-Bassarone wetland from S.George Parish Church to the Marsh Museum without a guide.

Valle Santa (part of the Valli d’Argenta)

You can visit the Valle Santa wetlands, without a guide, every day, all year-round. There are birdwatching towers along the way to catch a sighting of some of the local birds. On Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from March until December it’s possible to do a circular tour on foot or by bike (9km) along the embankments. On the other days, once you arrive at the end you have to go back the same way. There are birdwatching towers along the way.
Casone Serilla Museo delle Valli

Marsh Museum (Museo delle Valli)

Tuesdays – Sundays 9.00 a.m. – 13.00 p.m. & 15.30 p.m. – 18.00 p.m.
(In July and August the museum is open only in the mornings and must be booked)
Entrance 2/3 euros

Once an old barn used to store the rice cultivated in the local areas, the Marsh museum explains about the natural Oasis of Campotto and what you will be able to see whilst out on your walk. It is a nice introduction your visit.

The Land reclamation Museum (Museo della Bonifica)

Via Saiarino, off Cardinala road (between Argenta and Campotto)
Tuesday to Sunday
By guided tour only. At 9 a.m. or 11 a.m.

This museum is described as a ‘living’ museum where you can see how people, over time, used and developed different methods of draining the swamplands and were able to reclaim the land.

Fiera di San Giorgio

Saint George’s Day is celebrated on 23rd April as he is the patron saint of Ferrara. A large funfair arrives in San Giorgio towards the end of March which is a great favourite with the children. On the 23rd there is a market which runs along Viale Alfonso d’Este all the way to the start of San Giorgio, next to the funfair. It sells clothes, accessories, food and knick-knacks.

Nuova “Terra Viva”

Via dell’Erbe, 29 (Just off Piazza Ariostea) Ferrara.

“Terra Viva” has now been divided into two separate organizations. They manage one of the few, precious green spaces found in our city. They promotes biodynamic agriculture and offer an imaginative and environmentally friendly space for children and adults to enjoy.
“Nuova Terra Viva” has its own vegetable gardens, a small animal area, tree houses, secret gardens and tunnels to explore. The association offers a variety of courses: arts and crafts, bee keeping and much more. You can even become a member or simply visit the garden, respecting the special areas and nature found there. It organizes festivals, summer camps and organizes birthday parties.
On the other side is Terra Viva which has a small café and shop selling organic products grown in its own vegetable garden. It too has a small garden, ideal for smaller birthday parties, and it organizes concerts and events during the warmer months.

Garzoni gardenCollodi – Pinocchio Park, Garzoni Gardens & Butterfly House

Pinocchio Park: Via San Gennaro, 6, Collodi, Pescia, PT (About 2 hours, 15 minutes from Ferrara by car) 

Collodi is a beautiful hillside town with a splendid villa. Why not take the children to “Pinocchio Park”? Walk around this fairytale park and discover the different artistic areas dedicated to each of the characters from the story. Visit the beautiful, historical Garzoni Gardens and the Collodi Butterfly House. All three places are open every day from 9.00 a.m. until sunset, from 1st March 2020 to 1st  November 2020. 
For prices and further information visit the website: www.pinocchio.it

Tigre SiberianaParco Natura Viva – Fauna and Safari Park (Verona)

Strada Provinciale 27a, 9 – 37010 Pastrengo,

Re-opens 8th March 2020 until 8th December 2020.
Fauna Park (on foot): Monday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Safari Park: Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. Special winter opening: 9th December 2020 – 6th January 2021 (Fauna Park only)

This makes a full fun day out as there is so much to visit. You can go on safari in your car and then visit the fauna park on foot and see a variety of animals and their habitats. The zoo is involved in conservation projects and breeding programs.

Prices: ‘Biglietto Giornaliero Standard’ which includes the safari by car and Fauna Park on foot:

Children aged 0-5 = free

 Children aged 6-12 = € 18

 Adults (from 13 – 64 years) = € 25 euro

Over 65s = € 20

(These are weekend prices. They are slightly cheaper during the week or on ‘Special Mondays’)

(Times in March may alter depending on the weather and temperature)
As summer approaches the opening hours lengthen until mid-September. The Safari Park is closed in winter. Look out for the special ‘Night Tickets’ in June, July and August. For further information go to the official website: www.parconaturaviva.it


Butterfly House (Casa Delle Farfalle)

Via degli Scavi 21 Bis, 35036 Montegrotto Terme, Padova 

Opening dates & times for 2020:

29th February until 28th March:  every day from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

29th March until 31st May: every day from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

1st June  – 31st July: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. ( closed on Mondays & Tuesdays)

1st August  – 31st August : 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (closed on Mondays)

1st September  – 24th October: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (closed on Mon. & Tues.)

25th October 2 – 11th November : 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed on Mon. & Tues.)

Special opening days:

Easter Day, Easter Monday, 25th April, 1st May & 2nd June 2020 & 15th August from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

31st October & 1st November from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Last day before closing for winter: Sunday 11th November, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

N.B. The ticket office closes an hour before the park’s closing time.

About 45 minutes from Ferrara
This is a small but interesting Butterfly House with other tropical reptiles and insects to look at as you walk through a special heated greenhouse. There is also a fairy woods for children to explore with hidden garden trolls, elves and goblins to find. Around the Butterfly House there is a well-kept garden with picnic benches, if you want to take a picnic. (There isn’t a bar or restaurant there, although near the Butterfly House there are pizzerias and restaurants). There is also a shop which sells all sorts of nature related objects, books and toys. If you buy tickets on-line you can get a good discount. You can book a guide, but this is optional. The guides are very friendly and knowledgeable. During the holidays there are often interactive workshops for children.

Admission: Adults: € 10, Children aged  4-12 = € 8, Children aged 0-3 = free, Family tickets available (2 adults and 2 children).

Esapolis, Museum of live insects (linked to the Butterfly House)

Via dei Colli 28, 35143 Padova (near the Butterfly House)

From 7th January – 31st March 2019, the month of July, from 17th September – 24th December 2019: Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

From 1st April – 30th June 2019, from 1st August – 16th September 2019, from 26th December – 6th January 2020:
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 10 a.m. – 12.30 & 2.30 p.m. – 6 p.m. (plus weekends 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

N.B: The ticket office closes an hour before the museum closes.

About 50 minutes from Ferrara – a few minutes from Padova’s city centre

This is Italy’s first and largest living museum of insects which works in collaboration with the Butterfly House. It is an excellent opportunity for children to discover the world of insects around them and to encourage them to look after and protect their natural world. Get close (if you have the courage!) to giant cockroaches, stick insects, Mantis and beetles and discover the wonders in nature created by insects. Visit a room dedicated to spiders if you dare! Discover astonishing and amazing facts about insects.

Bike Trip Ideas

How about downloading a “Bikemap” to discover some of Ferrara’s surrounding territory? This website has useful information about hiring bikes, bike routes and other bike services


Sea and Beaches (Lidi di Comacchio)

Why not visit the ‘Lidi’? These are a series of seven beaches near Comacchio. As the weather becomes warmer it is possible to go birdwatching, take part in a variety of organized excursions, visit the wetlands by boat, hire bikes and visit some interesting museums linked to the local history (see above). Comacchio itself is enchanting. During the summer months lots of families transfer to the Lidi for the weekend, to get away from Ferrara’s humidity. There are lots of organized activities for children and the family, sport and fitness events. Each beach offers different things so choose which one suits you. Visit this website below for further information:

Health Spas and thermal baths (‘Le Terme’ di…)

These health spas make a great weekend away with friends or family and come highly recommended. Have a look on-line at weekends away at:
‘Le Terme di Monterenzio’ in the hills close to Bologna, spas in the town of Montegrotto Terme or Euganee hills near Padova, which are famous for their thermal baths and various spa treatments.