The French Riviera offers lots of options for playground fun.
Here are a few options for places to take your kids to burn off that excess energy.
I have included mostly free options (if there is an entrance fee I have specified where relevant).
This list is current as at January 2016, for any corrections or additions I welcome your feedback:
– There are 2 public playgrounds in Antibes old town on rue Republique, beside the carousel and main post office (La Poste).
– 2 public playgrounds at Salis beach (plage du Ponteil) – one is nearer to the Archaeology Museum beside the boules pitch and there is a public toilet beside that; the other is very small and located opposite Royal Beach restaurant and the carpark at the beach.
– Small fenced playground on the corner of avenue Philippe Rochat and avenue Mas Ensoleillé
– Medium-sized fenced playground between route de Grasse and Hameau de la Palmeraie with climbing structures, rocking horses, slides
– Parc Exflora, chemin du Vallauris, Antibes les Pins: Large open grassed area for picnics and kicking a ball (no playground equipment). Small lake for feeding ducks. You can obtain access to the public beach via a tunnel under the coast road/railway line. Across the road from Parc Exflora on the corner of chemin des Eucalyptus there is a boules pitch and small playground with public toilets nearby.
– Parc Départemental Valmasque: Between Antibes and Mougins this large park has forest walks, fitness trails and playground equipment. Lots of shady trees, picnic tables and toilet facilities.
– Parc de Vaugrenier: 2 kilometres towards Nice from Antibes this park has walking paths, picnic tables and forest walks. A children’s playground area, nature trail, wooden confidence course and accessible toilet facilities are at the eastern entrance. There is also a lookout hut over the lake to view turtles.
– Indoor soft play centre – Royal Kids – has slides, ball pits, motorised cars. Suitable for babies up to 12 years. Admission fee applies. www.royalkids.fr
– Palais area, boulevard de Croisette (near to the public beach where the Petit Train departs from): Children’s entertainment area including carousel, funfair stalls, snack kiosks. Public toilets are nearby on the beachside of the Croisette.
– Further along boulevard de Croisette in the direction of Port Pierre Canto, there is another public playground at the end of the beach with playground equipment.
CANNES LA BOCCA
– Indoor soft play – FunCity, 47 avenue Maurice Chevalier, 06150 Cannes la Bocca: Indoor playground facility with designated playareas for different ages, large climbing frames with tunnels, nets, slides, trampolines, soft toys, ball pits, inflatables, mini-karts, onsite restaurant for snacks and gift boutique. Entrance fee payable http://cannes.fun-city.fr
– Small playground at Square Nabonnand on the main road by the post office.
JUAN LES PINS
– Main playground is at Pinède Gould (also known as Jardin de la Pinède) with playground equipment, mini-train, dodgem bumper cars and mini-carousel. (Rides are chargeable). There are also squirrels to watch that roam free in the pine trees in the park.
– Another carousel is on avenue Guy de Maupassant on the Juan les Pins promenade beside Le Ruban Bleu restaurant, and just along from the carousel toward Sun7 cafeteria there are go-karts and trampolines in summer.
– There is a public playground/park at Jardin Pauline (corner of rue Pauline and boulevard Raymond Poincaré)
– Another small fenced public playground at Square Duluys (corner of rue St-Marguerite and boulevard Raymond Poincaré)
LA COLLE SUR LOUP
– Ludiparc, 1401 route du Pont de Pierre, 06480 Le Colle sur Loup: Park set on 4.8 hectares with trees and river frontage, playground equipment, climbing frames, trampolines, inflatable castles, mini-golf, ping-pong tables, restaurant onsite for snacks, carparking onsite, Wifi connection, baby changing table. Entrance fee payable €4 (free for children under 3 years) www.ludiparc.fr Note: The terrace and toilet facilities are not wheelchair accessible.
– There are a few public playareas in La Colle sur Loup – on rue Max Barel in the village, at Jeu de Baume down from the rue Clémenceau, and at the Parc de la Guérinière.
While not technically classed as part of France, I have included Monaco/Monte Carlo as many visitors stay in Monaco or daytrip there.
– If you have children you can stop at Parc Princesse Antoinette (Princess Antoinette Gardens), La Condamine, 54 bis boulevard du Jardin Exotique, 98000 Monaco – a free park with go-karts and a playground. Older children can be entertained there by mini golf, badminton, ping-pong, a football pitch and basketball courts.
– There are carousels near the Stade Nautique, and on the Larvotto Esplanade. – In the Fontvielle area, there is a playground by the Princess Grace Rose Garden and a carousel near the Fontvielle Big Top. Kids can wander around the Trocadéro Gardens, or after some retail therapy the family can enjoy time out at the children’s playground area at the end of the pedestrianised rue Princesse Caroline.
– Another great spot to take the kids and escape the bustle of Monaco, is the free Japanese Garden on avenue Princesse Grace in Monte Carlo – a real oasis of serenity with waterfalls, stone bridges and Zen gardens.
-Playground at the Château
– Free entry playground at Ecoparc Mougins, on chemin de Fontaine de Currault. Accessible eco-toilet onsite at the playground, climbing frames, swings, rope course, playhouse, balancing beams. The ground surface is made of recycled car tyres so is soft and rubbery, and the play area has seating and lots of trees for shade. Nearby at the Ecoparc centre is a cafeteria that sells cold drinks and icecreams.
– Parc du Chateau, rue de Foresta/Montée Monfort: Located at the end of quai des Etats-Unis overlooking Nice, this park is on the hilltop with old ruins, a waterfall, playground, restaurant, lookout points over Nice city and port and snack kiosk. There are public toilets onsite. You can take an elevator up from quai des Etats-Unis, or if you are stroller-free walk up the numerous stairs for a wonderful view from the top.
– Parc Phoenix (see separate post under Sightseeing – Nice).
– Located on the western edge of the ‘Musiciens’ quarter in Nice (so named because the streets and squares are named after famous musicians such as Verdi) you can find the Jardin Alsace Lorraine, 30 boulevard Gambetta, with park benches, statues and a fenced in children’s playground.
-Parc Carol de Roumanie with water sprinklers and play equipment
– Central Nice play area – There is a carousel at Albert 1er gardens, also the Promenade du Paillon/Couloir Verte playarea at place Massena with sprinklers, wooden play structures, swings. Accessible toilets onsite.
– Parc du Castel des Deux Rois not far from Nice Port with playground, water sprinklers in summer, mini-farm, accessible pay toilet, snack kiosk, lots of grass to kick a ball around, cycle paths
– Parc de Loisirs on the Carrefour du Piol, D3 d’Opio-Valbonne is a great park with roomy playground with play equipment for just-walking age, toddlers and older kids. Slides, climbing ladders, basketball court, exercise station, cycle paths, grassy areas for kicking balls around, accessible public toilet, picnic tables. No snack kiosk onsite but there is a bakery nearby towards Valbonne. Between May-mid June they install skate ramps for initiations in skateboarding and roller blading.
– Plage des Graniers, located beneath the St Tropez citadel gets busy in summer but is family-friendly and offers a few different playgrounds beach-side.
– Plage des Jumeaux, route d’Epi, Plage de Pampelonne, Ramatuelle is a good place to take kids where adults can watch the kids on the playground on the beach.
– Playground in Valbonne village on route du Plascassier next to the Skate park.
– Parc des Bouillides, route du Parc, 06560 Valbonne Sophia Antipolis: It is closer to the Sophia Antipolis area than Valbonne but is zoned as Valbonne by the local parks. Access from Antibes is via route du Parc and look for the small side road on the right-hand side with a small sign leading to the restaurant ‘La Source’ and carpark. Fenced playground with soft matted area, running track, walking trails, also has municipal sports athletics club, climbing wall, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, skate park. Picnic tables all through the park, and paved pathways good for scooters and bikes. No toilet facilities onsite.
– A public playground is located at les Jardins de l’Octroi, Square François Binon, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer.
– Another small public playground is also beside Port de la Darse, you can reach it via the coastal pathway below the Citadelle but be aware that this pathway while paved is uneven in places.
NOTE: I have seen and tested all of the playgrounds listed above so the comments are my honest opinion of each play area. For a map and more details of other playgrounds in the region, Nice Matin has a great interactive map with location pins that you can find here: Playgrounds on the Côte d’Azur