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From alpine hikes, to urban escapades, to savouring delicious pastries, France is filled with plenty of family-friendly activities. Here are some fantastic things to do in France with kids.

Is France a great destination for kids?

Family in France with kids

Absolutely! With a blend of crowd-pleasing favourites and unique thrills, France is perfect for family travel. From giant marionette parades to the vibrant Fête de la Musique, the country radiates a sense of joy for children. Take, for instance, the goûter – the afternoon snack isn’t just a post-school treat for kids; it’s a cultural moment embedded in the fabric of French life.

The tourism infrastructure is excellent, even in small villages with dedicated tourist offices offering children’s activities like themed treasure hunts. French museums excel in providing kid-centric games and workshops, often with free admission for kids or special family rates. Playgrounds are as abundant as pastry shops, making cities easy to navigate with umbrella strollers for sidewalks and naps. And when it comes to dining, children are not only welcome at restaurants but are encouraged to enjoy multi-course meals with their parents.

Explore the diverse landscapes of France, from the tidal marvels of the Baie de Somme to the big-wave surf of Basque Country. The Atlantic coast’s sandy shores and Brittany’s secluded coves are perfect for a beach break. Culture-packed Paris offers a feast for all ages, combining art, history, and delicious treats. The French Alps provide outdoor adventure, with wildlife spotting, hiking, and winter skiing.

Wondering where to go in France with kids?

Cote d'Azur France

The French coast offers an array of delights, from the wide sandy shores of the Atlantic coast to Brittany’s secluded coves. The Côte d’Azur, known for luxury, also has family-friendly gems like the port town of Menton. In Paris, the possibilities are endless, from meeting Monet in the morning to climbing a medieval tower in the afternoon.

For outdoor adventures, explore the Dordogne Valley with river canoeing, prehistoric cave art, châteaux, and fortified villages. The Loire Valley lets you relive the glory days of the French monarchy in extravagant châteaux. The French Alps provide summertime thrills with wildlife spotting, hiking, and rafting, while winter draws families to the ski resorts’ dedicated snow gardens for kids aged three and up.

Experience a car-free island retreat

Ile d'Aix France

Is there anything more delightful than basking on a serene French beach? Imagine indulging in such bliss on a car-free island, where concerns about keeping a watchful eye on toddlers near traffic become a thing of the past. Here are some highly recommended options: Île de Batz and the picturesque pink-granite Île-de-Bréhat in Brittany, Île de Porquerolles in the Riviera’s Hyères archipelago, and Île d’Aix, a petite 129-hectare island offering views of Fort Boyard off the west coast.

Museums in France

France boasts a museum for every interest, and most major institutions prioritize parents with new babies, offering priority access to cut queues. For older kids, museums organize workshops, and some, like the Conciergerie in Paris, provide ‘HistoPads’ – digital tablets with headphones for a 3D and virtual reality experience.

Les Machines de l’Île in France

Les Machines in Nantes

Marvel at Les Machines in Nantes, a whimsical, steampunk-style project featuring a giant mechanical elephant that carries passengers through the streets, spraying water from its trunk. Les Machines also has a multi-tiered carousel with fantastical sea creatures.

Treehouses as Accommodations in France

Experience the wonders of France by staying in unique accommodations, from a lighthouse keeper’s house on Île Vierge to a treehouse in the Loire Valley. For an adrenaline rush, sleep in a snow groomer on the high-altitude pistes of La Plagne.

Bike Adventures in France

Explore France on two wheels with biking adventures, whether it’s a single-day ride through vineyards or a week-long journey. The country offers various routes, like the Vélo Francette from Normandy to the Atlantic Coast or the ViaRhôna along the Rhône River.

Nature in France

Teenagers may grumble at first, but outdoor thrills await them in nature. Spot marmots in the Parc National de la Vanoise, commune with monkeys in the Vallée des Singes, or go rafting along the Giffre River for an adrenaline-pumping experience.

Explore Theme Parks in France

Disneyland Paris Exterior Facade

France boasts a variety of theme parks beyond Disneyland Paris. Futuroscope adds an element of fun to learning with its state-of-the-art cinematic experiences and futuristic attractions. Parc Astérix pays homage to beloved comic book characters, offering an immersive experience. Vulcania takes visitors on a journey to explore the extinct volcanoes of Auvergne. Other notable attractions include Cité de l’Espace in Toulouse, Aquarium La Rochelle, and Nausicaá in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

Treasure Hunts in France

For a treasure hunt in Paris, use the free Paris Region Adventures app. Choose a themed adventure, find mystery objects, and identify historical characters for a chance to win a prize.

Tips on Public Transport in France

Consider taking the train to avoid autoroute tolls and traffic jams, especially with the convenience of children under four travelling for free on the French rail network. The Carte Avantage Adulte offers discounts for frequent travelers and up to three accompanying children.

Discover more about travelling to France with kids with our free family travel guides to French destinations.