Nice is a natural for kids, very family-friendly, and with many great activities to appeal to children of all ages. Here’s our top list of things to do in Nice with kids.
Nice has innovative playgrounds in every corner, from the Promenade de Paillon (giant climbing whale, octopus swings, fishing treehouse…), to the the top of the Chateau (giant climbing rope tree, ducks), to the Parc des Deux Rois (shooting water spout and ping pong tables, take bus #14).
For a rainy day, try Kid City, an indoor lego-land-like amusement park for little ones, 15 minutes from Nice in Lingostiere.
- The misters and water jet fountains off Place Massena are massive kid-pleasers
- Several private beaches specialize in child-friendly with kiddy pools and play areas, like Ruhl, Neptune and Hi Beach
- Some towns have netted jellyfish-free swimming areas, like in Villefranche and Beaulieu-sur-mer, both of which have gradually sloping sandy beaches
- For rainy days, there is an indoor swimming pool in Old Nice
All About Animals
- Parc Phoenix child-oriented covered botanical gardens and nature park (super cheap, near the airport)
- The wondrous Oceanographic Museum in Monaco (worth every penny!)
- The small Natural History Museum behind Place Garibaldi
- The cave man museum Terra Amata above the Port (in an actual prehistoric elephant hunting camp)
All are especially interesting to kids and all Riviera museums are free for the little ones, but click here to see the cost and passes for adults
- The Hippodrome in Cagnes sur Mer has special horse racing days for children in the summer
- Drop your child off for a morning or afternoon session at the Mon Ami Poney Equestrian Center for Children in Tourrette-Levens in the hills above Nice, and leave tranquil with a couple of hours to yourself.
Kid Cafes and Kid-friendly Culture
- The new Bubulle Cafe is a Kid Cafe that doubles (triples) as a organic restaurant and a thrift store for kids clothes. Moms take note: this place is awesome! Set the little ones down and enjoy a peaceful coffee or lunch while the little ones amuse themselves in the play area. 3 rue Benoit Bunico in Old Nice, tram stop Cathedrale
- The Nice Opera has wonderful bargain-priced Sunday family musical matinees once a month all year long. Tram stop Opera
- The Mercury Cinema has special Cine-bebe showings at 2pm on the last Thursday of each month, where you are invited to bring your babies and toddlers.
Tram stop Garibaldi
Tire them out…
At Roller Station at the top of the Promenade des Anglais, you can rent skateboards and scooters (trotinettes) so that you can walk while the kids cruise.
For rainy days, try the bowling alley.
A bit farther afield you can find…
- Canyon Forest adventure climbing park in Villeneuve Loubet, which also has a Pitchoun Forest for the littler ones
- Alpha Wolf Park nature animal park in the Mercantour
- The The Saint Cezaire Grotto between Cannes and Grasse is a natural wonder with spectacular stalagmites and stalactites, and wondrous cavernes to explore. Here is a page with the details and how to get there.
- The Musee de la Mer on Sainte-Marguerite Island off of Cannes is a little hard to get to: The only way to get there is a quick boat trip, but that’s half the fun! The museum is in the former prison, where you can see the cell that held the infamous ‘Man in the Iron Mask‘, and has remnants Roman shipwrecks found in the bay. The island itself is a joy to explore with lots of easy trails, so make it a day-trip.
- In Antibes you’ll find the venerable 4-park MarineLand megalopolis, with four frenetic parks: The famous sea life park, Aquasplash water-slide park, Adventure Golf’s 3 trippy golf courses, and a farm park/petting zoo. And if that’s not enough, Antibes Land amusement park is next door with giant roller coasters. Park passes can be bought separately or in combos, and are as expensive as the parks are over-stimulating.
It’s easy to keep kids busy in winter in Nice, with Christmas markets, concerts, and indoor and outdoor and ice-skating rinks (Monaco’s is especially great). For thrills and chills there are small winter amusement parks in every town (Monaco, again, is top choice), including the giant indoor Luna Park set up inside the Palais des Expositions, where you can spin and fly while warm and dry, at a bargain cost. Click here for a whole page on great winter activies in Nice.
And if all elses fails…
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Photo credits: the Grotto by the Grotto of St Cesaire, licensed under Creative Commons, Promenade de Paillon, Water jets and Hippodrome by Best of Nice.