Here is a list of the Frenchies' favourite places and activities that we did whilst travelling in France with kids... Europe has so many Museums and Castles that some times the kids get can get bored of them quickly.. I avoid Museums with my kids as they literally just round around them and barely pay any attention..so why go and get all stressed out..Here are a list of more fun child friendly activities to do while on holidays in France - Some will of course be age dependent...(these are listed in no particular order) - We also travelled with an Australian Rules football which was handy to kick around in a Park (we did get a few strange frowns but tant pis- too bad! )
1. Colonnes de Buren - Paris
These black and white stripped columns installed in the Jardin du Palais Royal. These have drawn criticism, but love them or loathe them they offer a great playground for the kids (and dare I say it adults too) We went there several times and the kids just ran amuck. The gardens are beautiful too as well as the little arcades with gorgeous shops (not for kids though)
2.Cite des Sciences - Paris
The Cite des Sciences - which is part of the Park de la Villette, is often overlooked by the visitor. The Science and discovery centre is however well worth a visit. The centre offers two areas for children to explore (2-7 years ) and the 5 - 12 years. Especially handy if the weather is wet or wintry.
3.Jardin des Tuileries - Paris
Once the private gardens of royalty, this beautiful garden/park was turned into the first public park in Paris. This gorgeous oasis in Paris stretches from Place de la Concorde to the Louvre. The gardens also houses the Musee de L'orangerie - an important Impressionists museum including works by Monet.
The Tuileries gardens also have a open playground area with in-ground trampolines a must for any active child. As it is close to the Louvre most travellers to the area will probably visit the Park. It is not the most beautiful though in Paris.
4. Jardin du Luxembourg - Paris
Jardin du Luxembourg - Bassin
This 50+ acre park is gorgeous, pick a spot and people watch - one of our favourite activities (great for young kids) was to hire a little sail boat at the 'Grand Bassin' and with a wooden pole the child can 'sail' it around the pond. There are various playgrounds within the park as well to be enjoyed.
5.Tour Eiffel - Paris
The Eiffel tower, well the iconic landmark is a must for all visitors to Paris (providing you are not afraid of heights) - There are three levels which are open to the public and provide great views of Paris.
6. Mont Dore - Acro-branches - Auvergne
We accidentally stumbled upon the tree climbing course 'acro-branches' whilst exploring the Mont Dore region. Mr Techno and Mstr J had a great time challenging themselves to the obstacle course. Ideal for kids 8 years and older - Mstr S and I did the lower levels and my son was rather displeased that he could not go on the same circuit has his brother.
7. Beaches - Brittany
Brittany has amazing coast lines - from the rugged to the cute little beaches...We spent over a month in the area and spent hours at the beach- pack lots of food (a recurring theme with kids I think ) - We bought boogie boards and wet suits (the water was cold by Aussie standards) - The beaches also felt relatively safe as well which made it all the more enjoyable. In summer so many people head south to warmer weather which meant that some beaches were almost deserted. A big plus for us!
8. Miroire d'eau - Bordeaux
Bordeaux is an easy smaller town to wander around, and the gorgeous fountain 'Mirroire d'eau' is a great distraction for the littles ones and a way to keep cool on a hot summer day. The 'fountain' is located on the banks of the river opposite 'la bourse' - Water rises onto slate like pavers and creates a mirror effect and at regular intervals a fog like mist rises to the surface much to the delight of any child.
9. Dune du Pyla - Arcachon Bay
Dune du Pyla, near Bordeaux in the Arcachon Bassin - great way to spend excess energy, get fresh air and have fun. Pack a picnic, a boogie board if you have one and have fun. It is something so different to do in France - For more details see my earlier post 'Dune du Pyla - France.
10. Festival des Momes - near Annecy
The Festival des Momes is held every August in the Alps near Annecy - it is a great event where kids can do rides, acrobatics, old fashion games, Merry-go-round. If you are in the area it is well worth a visit. This was really a great festival and the kids had lots of fun - not gimmicky which is what I really loved about it - For more information see my earlier post Kids Festival.
What are your favourites in France to do? Please feel free to add to my list for future travels in France.