Here is a selection of some of the main attractions around the region. If you experience anything that is not on our list that you think other guests would like to know about, please do tell us. We welcome your input.
Play Parks Most villages have a designated children's play park, with swings and roundabouts, green space, and lovely views. In particular the following villages have good places for play that are easily accessible. Menaggio, Mezzegra, Cernobbio, Como, Griante, Cadenabbia, Varenna and Lenno.
Lido Di Lenno - Lenno Lido Di Lenno overlooks Villa Balbianello (of Bond fame) and the Bay of Lenno. During the day its a great family spot by the lake with sun beds, sandy beaches, and a great lakeside cafe and snack bar.
At weekends this transforms into a nightclub with a dance floor and gazebos surrounded by candlelit seating.
Via Comoedia, Lenno, Lake Como
Lido Di Menaggio - Menaggio The Lido di Menaggio is positioned right on the lake and features two swimming pools (including one for toddlers), a sandy beach, three restaurants, kids activities, volley ball, and its own brewery. It's a firm favourite of Bella Como kids, and is reasonably priced. Parking is easy too.
Via Lungo Largo, Menaggio
Lido di Griante/Caddenabbia Lakeside lido with a snack bar, stone/pebble beach as well as sand, sunbeds and parasols for hire. Just a little further along there is also the lido with a restaurant, swimming pool, changing facilities and for this you pay a small entry fee.
Crazy golf - Menaggio The 18-hole crazy golf course is situated beside the Red Bay restaurant on the shores of Lake Como in Menaggio and is just two minutes from the Lido Di Menaggio, and a five minute walk from the piazza in the centre of Menaggio along the beautiful promenade.
Via Lungo Largo, Menaggio
California Aqua Park The Acquapark is located in Chiasso, Switzerland, just across the Swiss border from Como, Italy. This fantastic water world will guarantee lots of fun in the large swimming pool equipped with flumes and slides. Appealing to all ages with a big Jacuzzi pool as well as a beauty salon and a cafe or two. If you are after a little down time, then you can always put the youngsters into the Baby creche open from Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 11:30 with qualified staff offering a range of activities such as drawing, reading and playing giving you a chance to relax. The California Acquapark is open every day of the year.
Open 7 days a week
SwissMinatur An amazing mini Switzerland Park where you can see all the famous sights of Switzerland in one go. Also featuring amusements, rides and a miniature train that children (and adults) can go on for a tour round the park to see the sights of mini Switzerland. There is also a restaurant and a gift shop and a nearby play park with a large grass area for play and picnics. For details of events and to see some pictures go to www.swissminiatur.ch
Address: Melide near Lugano, by the shore of Lake Ceresio. Melide is north of the bridge spanning lake Lugano. Reach it by car, rail and the bus to and from Lugano.
The Alprose Chocolate Museum It's all about chocolate and is for the kids, big ones and small ones. Watch chocolate being made from beginning to end. Where: Via Rompada 36, 6987 Caslano, Switzerland
Opening times: Mon-Fri 09:00 to 18:00/17:30 and Sat-Sun 09:00 to 17:00/16:30
Archeopark The park is in Vallecamonica, and is really an open-air museum taking you back to prehistoric times. With workshops supervised by skilled instructors, you can participate in prehistoric games and learn pottery, fires lighting, bows and arrow shooting etc. There are picnic areas if you wish to bring your own feast; otherwise there is a decent restaurant. From Como it takes approximately 2.5 hours by car and is 168km.
Castle Vezio Varenna You can visit the tower and vaults that date back to medieval times with its ancient fortress surrounded by olive groves and a bird of prey breeding centre. There are daily exhibitions and demonstrations taking place every day (depending on weather conditions). For the grown-ups, it's a lovely walk with stunning views.
Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 6pm (March - November)
Parco della Preistoria A Prehistoric Park inviting children to find out about the dinosaurs and prehistoric earth. There are full sized models of prehistoric animals throughout the park and an exhibition of fossils and minerals. There is even a maze to get lost in. This park is part of the larger Parco dell'Adda Sud. Children of all ages absolutely love this place. There is a train that goes around the park when those little legs get tired out.
Address: via Ponte Vecchio 21, 26027 Rivolta D'adda (CR) nr Bergamo Opening Hours: 21 February - 15 November, everyday 9am to 6pm
Jungle Raider Park A crazy and fantastic adventure park built in the conifer forest of Civenna (approximately 15km from Bellagio), near the springs of the Lambro River. The park is filled with obstacle courses amongst the trees; from logs to gangways and bridges that connect tree to tree. It is a way to combine fun with physical exercise and fresh air. It is suitable for all levels (younger ones being accompanied by an adult of course)
Cost: See website for jungleraidepark as prices vary depending on the level and how many turns you want to take
Minitalia Fantasy World Amusement Park This time it’s Italy in miniature; see the sights of Italy in one go. There is also the Luna Park with its carousels, mini zoo with cows, donkeys, sheep, parrots and more plus an aquarium and a reptile house. There are a good choice of cafes and places to eat as well as a picnic area if you prefer to eat alfresco in the parkland.
Address: via Vittorio Veneto 52, Capriate San Gervasio, and Bergamo
Castello Di Breno The castle of Breno consists of a maze of buildings that were constructed over the centuries giving it the feel of many different ages. Perched on the top of a hill, its position and views are spectacular. This castle is full of history going back to the time of Federico Barbarossa (1100-1200).
Address: access from Piazza Gen.Ronchi, 25043 Breno Tel: (+39) 0364 22970 for further info or to check opening times.
Play Planet This indoor mega playground will keep your little ones amused for hours with its numerous tunnels, slides and obstacles. There is also a garden area outside that the kids can play in and get some fresh air whilst you try to get your hearing back.
Address: Via Maraini 15, 6963 Lugano-Pregassona Tel: +41 (0) 91 994 6800
Cornelle Zoo With a 100 species among birds, mammals and reptiles there is plenty for animal lovers to see. You can see a variety of cuddly cats and scary reptiles ranging from the white tiger to the alligators of the Mississippi River. There is a good restaurant on-site and a cafe too, plus a nice picnic area. When you get tired of walking, you can take the train around the park. Other facilities include a gift shop, toilets and a changing area for babies.
Address: via Cornelle 16, 24030 Valbrembo, Bergamo Opening Times: April-September; 9am-7pm, October-March; 9am-5pm
Milano Go Karts Dromokart is an 800-metre indoor karting circuit featuring lots of twists and turns. Karting is for everyone ranging from 8 years old upwards. It is well organised and has good pre-race tutoring, organised races, and lots of opportunities for budding racing drivers to the Italian job on a real Italian race circuit. Wear suitable clothing such as trousers and trainers, helmets and racing jumpsuits supplied on-site. It takes approximately one hour to reach (55km) by car from Como.
Address: via Emilia 10, Buccinasco, Milan Tel: (+39) 02 45 70 36 38