Last Sunday we planned to take our son to the Cannes Film Festival. The weather forecast was for rain, but undeterred we packed our umbrellas, coats and rain cover for the baby stroller.
We walked along the Croisette and took tourist photos of the red carpet and billboards hyping the latest movie premieres, though sadly there were no celebrity stars to be seen.
The rain did come, so we sheltered at a kiosk on the promenade drinking espresso while our son slept soundly under his rain cover.
Rain is rare on the French Riviera, however on those few days when the outdoors are wet and grey there are plenty of indoor family activities to keep everyone entertained.
Here are some suggestions for rainy day activities:
- Take the family bowling at Bowling d’Antibes, 1er ave Nova Antipolis, 06600 Antibes.
- Indoor soft play centre – Royal Kids – with climbing equipment, slides, ball pits, electric cars (additional charge), cafeteria selling hot and cold drinks, snacks. Wheelchair and baby stroller accessible premises, free car parking outside or accessible via bus from Antibes. Read my review of Royal Kids here www.royalkids.fr
- Y’a Un Croco dans l’Atélier is located near the main playgrounds in Antibes Old Town and offer arts and crafts workshops for 4 years upwards. Possible to drop-in during school holidays without reservation. €10 for a 1-hr workshop including instruction and materials, or half-day and fll-day rates.
- Try the Junior Ceramic Artist Workshop with Céramic Créa, 94 boulevard Beau Rivage Prolongé, 06600 Antibes. From age 5, children are introduced to ceramics and decorative techniques, and can decorate their own piece (the ceramics are fired and ready for collection 8 days later). 2.5 hour workshops including a snack break. More information is at www.ceramic-crea.com
- Visit the Comic Strips Cafe near the Antibes cinema, 3 avenue du 24 Août, Antibes – lots of colourful comics, and figurines. www.comic-strips-cafe.com
- Have fun at Laser Quest Antibes (172 avenue Weisweiller, near to Royal Kids and Quick/McDonalds roundabout).
- Tip Top Kids have a Ludothèque indoor play corner suitable for 0-4 years and various activities and workshops for ages 1-7 years including music, baby gym, kids yoga and Montessori workshops.
- While away a few hours at the Musée national Fernand Léger, chemin du Val de Pome, 06410 Biot. Permanent art exhibitions, boutique and cafeteria onsite. Wheelchair accessible and disabled toilet facilties. http://www.musees-nationaux-alpesmaritimes.fr/fleger/
CAGNES-SUR-MER / HAUT-DE-CAGNES
- For 6 years and older, free guided tour and chance to create your own fragrance (reservations essential). Atelier des Parfums, 43 chemin des Presses, 06800 Cagnes sur Mer.
- Visit the Château Grimaldi with its Musée d’Olivier and Suzy Solidor art collection
- Go to the Cap’Cinéma cinema at the Polygone shopping complex (for English language movies, look for those labelled ‘VO’ which means Version Originale).
CANNES/CANNES LA BOCCA
- There is an indoor soft play centre/playground at Fun City Cannes La Bocca (refer to Activities – Playgrounds blog post).
- Take the family bowling at Cannes Bowling, 189 ave Frances Tonner, Cannes La Bocca.
- For ages 8 years and older, practise laser shooting individually or in teams at Laser Quest Cannes, 28 avenue des Arlucs, 06150 Cannes La Bocca. Venue also has snack vending machines and air hockey table. www.lqcannes.com
- Kids cooking classes are available at Ecole Lenôtre Cannes, 63 rue d’Antibes, 06400 Cannes. Choose from ‘Cuisine’ or ‘Patisserie’. Ages 8 years and older. www.lenotre.com
- Junior cooking classes at Les Apprentis Gourmets are held regularly on Wednesdays. Suitable for ages 6-12 years. A one-hour session creating 3 sweet or savoury dishes costs €32, pricing subject to change. www.lesapprentisgourmets.fr
- Design your own fragrance in Grasse, the Mecca of perfume. Workshops available where you learn about composing a perfume, then create your own unique fragrance to take home with you, with the perfume formula and a diploma. Note: Children must be accompanied by an adult. More information at www.molinard.com
- Cooking classes for kids aged 3 years and upwards at Candyplaychoco. They have themed classes through the year (Easter, Halloween etc) and also host birthday parties.
JUAN LES PINS:
- Indoor arcade Luna Park with arcade games, air hockey, Daytona car and motorbike race games, dance games. More suited for school age children. 12 boulevard Edouard Baudoin (situated on bus route from Antibes (Envibus route 1), there is a bus stop outside the arcade named ‘Luna Park’).
- Plan a visit to this art and craft workshop for ceramic painting, mosaics, clay model-making, jewellery-making with beads, and a cuddly toy factory – Les Artistes du Soleil, 16-18 boulevard de la Republique, 06240 Beausoleil.
- Probably the most popular rainy day activity, don’t exclude a visit to the Monaco Oceangraphic Museum (avenue Saint Martin, MC 98000 Monaco) for fear of crowds, it has over 6000 species of fish, corals and other sealife in aquariums, a natural history display and various temporary exhibitions. Take the elevator to the roof-top cafeteria, pull out your umbrella and go outside for the best panoramic view over Monaco. Entrance fee payable. www.oceano.mc
- NiBOX, an indoor amusement and attraction space with billiards, 10-pin bowling, arcade games including driving games and air hockey, mini football. www.nibox.mc
- Visit the Mougins Museum of Classical Art to learn about history and see collections of old and modern art.
- Take your time browsing contemporary art at the free Modern and Contemporary Art Museum of Nice (MAMAC), Promenade des Arts, 06364 Nice.
- Take the family bowling at Bowling Nice Acropolis, 5 Esplanade Kennedy, 06300 Nice.
- Experience a parent and child cooking class with Aude Bertaux – taylor-made recipes that are fun and easy. Make something tasty and sit in the garden afterwards to savour it. Saturday classes for 3-6 years; Wednesday classes for 6-12 years. At Cuisine sur Cours, 75 avenue A. Borriglione, 06100 Nice. www.cuisinesurcours.com
- Make your own holiday scrapbook or mosaic – there are plenty of arts and crafts pieces for sale at L’arret Creation, 7 rue de Russie, 06000 Nice.
- Create clay objects that can be fired and taken home at a pottery workshop for ages 3 and older. Ateliers de Magali, 26 rue Bonaparte, 06300 Nice
- Musée de la Curiosité – 39 rue Beaumont 06300 Nice, is a curiosity museum with displays of magic and rare and unusual objects. There is a Tarzan room, ‘haunted’ living area, optical illusions, vintage dolls and toys, automated brass band. Open Wed-Sun 2pm-7pm, and also bank holidays and every day during school holidays. Onsite restaurant with formules available (entrance + meal). Wheelchair and pushchair accessible. Admission fee payable. www.museedelacuriosite.com
- Confiserie Florian sweet factory at Nice port offers free guided tours every day of the year including Sundays and bank holidays from 9am-12pm and 2pm-6pm, and free tastings. Watch them creating jams, sweets and chocolates (They also have another factory in Tourrettes sur Loup). www.confiserieflorian.co.uk
TOURRETTES SUR LOUP:
- The second Confiserie Florian sweet factory, offers free guided tours in 5 languages and also cooking classes at their location in Tourrettes (surcharge applies). Reservations for the cooking classes can be booked via firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone : +33 (0)4 92 11 06 94. Their Tourettes address is Le Pont du Loup, 06140 Tourettes-sur-Loup.
SAINT LAURENT DU VAR:
- The Nature et Decouvertes shop in the Cap 3000 shopping complex offers free Wednesday workshops for kids 6 years upwards, from 2pm-3pm. Learn about ecology, flowers, art and animals. http://www.natureetdecouvertes.com/magasins/alpes-maritimes/nice-cap-3000
SAINT PAUL DE VENCE:
- Browse some contemporary art in an architecturally-interesting building with landscaped grounds – there are enough sculptures, paintings, drawings, graphic art to keep the family interested at Fondation Maeght, 623 chemin des Gardettes, 06570 St-Paul de Vence. Entrance fee payable.
- Y’a Un Croco dans l’Atélier offer arts and crafts workshops for 4 years upwards. Possible to drop-in during school holidays without reservation. €10 for a 1-hr workshop including instruction and materials, or half-day and fll-day rates.
- HiTech2Move is an indoor play concept with lighted dance mats, climbing wall, throwing wall, interactive cycle game, kickboxing game and lighted floor mats. It is located next to Atlas and Fly home décor stores. Open Wed afternoons, and Sat/Suns and all days during school holidays. €12 per child, suitable for ages 6 years and up. www.hitech-2move.com