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.

Playgrounds

Promenade de Paillon climbing whaleNice has innovative playgrounds in every corner, from the Promenade du Paillon (giant climbing whale, octopus swings, fishing treehouse, mini-trampolines…), to the the top of the Chateau (giant climbing rope tree, ducks, huge waterfall), to the Parc des Deux Rois (shooting water spouts and ping pong tables, take bus #33 direction Mont Boron).

For a rainy day, try Kid City, an indoor lego-land-like amusement park for little ones, 15 minutes from Nice in Lingostiere.

Water fun

water jets

  • The misters and water jet fountains off Place Massena are massive kid-pleasers
  • Li Rateta beach is a city-sponsored supervised beach club for 6- to 12-year-olds, with pools, swimming lessons, bouncy toys, trampolines, canoes, beach sports, and even a wave machine for learning to surf.  Half-days or full days.  Tram stop Magnan.
  • 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

  • Monaco Oceanographic tankParc Phoenix has bargain-priced admission for this child-oriented covered botanical gardens and nature park, which is also very interesting for adults.  New this year: a climbing adventure park for the tikes.   Tram stop Parc Phoenix near the airport.
  • The wondrous Oceanographic Museum in Monaco is expensive but worth every penny!
  • The small Natural History Museum behind Place Garibaldi is full of nature’s wonders.
  • The cave man museum Terra Amata above the Port is really well done for children.

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

  • hippodromeThe 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.
  • 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.

Kid-friendly Culture

  • The Nice Opera has wonderful bargain-priced Sunday family musical matinees once a month all year long. Tram stop Opera
  • The Mercury Cinema sometimes has special Cine-bebe showings on the last Thursday of each month, where you are invited to bring your babies and toddlers and no one will complain.  Check the website ahead of time to confirm…  Tram stop Garibaldi

Blow their Minds…

Give them the Sensas experience: a ingenious tactile voyage of the 5 senses, that is half-way between a science lab, an amusement park, and an escape game.  Really unique and fun and reasonably priced for such an unforgettable 90-minute activity.  Click the link above to see what it’s all about… 4 participants minimum.  53 rue Beaumont in the Port/Riquier neighborhood.

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 at the Nice Acropolis. Tram stop Acropolis.

And there is always the big mini-golf at the Parc Carol de Roumanie, tram stop Fabron, then take bus #34 to the Vallon stop.

A bit farther afield…

  • Is your tot crazy for Choo-choo trains? Medieval castles?  Take the family on an authentic steam train ride on the Train des Pignes, which leaves from Nice and chugs its way into the mountains, arriving at the town of Entreveaux, with a real moated castle with drawbridge.
  • 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.
  • Canyon Forest adventure climbing park in Villeneuve Loubet, which also has a Pitchoun Forest for the littler ones

And even farther…  Alpha Wolf Park nature animal park in the Mercantour

Winter Fun

It’s easy to keep kids busy in winter in Nice, with Christmas markets, concerts, but don’t forget the 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, including the giant indoor Luna Park set up inside the Palais des Expositions in Nice (tram stop 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 activites in Nice.

fenocchio1

For more ideas, check out the website www.recreanice.fr, which is in French only, but is very visual so easy to navigate even without French.  This is the ultimate authority on family-friendly activities on the Cote d’Azur.

And if all else fails… Fenocchio!

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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.

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