Kids theatre and shows on the French Riviera

Visiting  the theatre was a special treat when I was growing up as we usually attended all the main shows with school groups.

But, there is something magical when you’re a child about having your own special seat to sit in and watching a story unfold before your eyes.

Here are a few suggestions for upcoming kids shows on the French Riviera:

Snow White – Sunday 07 December 2014 at 5.30pm

Everybody knows the story of Snow White and her little troop of dwarf buddies.  Take your kids along to see this one bought to life on stage with song and dance.

Venue: Azurarena

Tickets:  Adults €25 / Children €20

Ticket purchases via:

Disney on Ice (100 years of magic) – Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st January 2015 – various show times

Venue: Palais Nikaia de Nice

Tickets:  Prices range from €22 to €46,50

Tickets purchases via various sites including Disney, and Carrefour Spectacles.

seating plan Palais Nikaia for Disney on Ice

seating plan Palais Nikaia for Disney on Ice

T’choupi Fait Danser Alphabet – Saturday  14 March 2015 at 3.30pm

The French classic children’s character is bought to the French Riviera to sing about the alphabet, a sure-fire hit with kids.



Venue: Azurarena

Tickets:  Prices range from €27 to €36

Ticket purchases via:

Note:  These venues are accessible to families and/or persons with reduce mobility. If you require more specific information regarding accessibility to these show venues, please email me


School holiday entertainment in Monaco – Foire Attractions

We are only 3 days into Toussaint school holidays and I’m already scratching my head for ideas and activities to entertain the little Monsieur.  Hooray then for Foire Attractions, that is being held in Monaco from Friday 24 October until Wednesday 19 November 2014.

The Foire Attractions is a big fairground area held at Port Hercule annually, and organised by the Mairie de Monaco.

There are over 80 attractions including carousels, dodgem cars, bouncy castles, water rides, mini rollercoasters and all sorts of ‘throw you up-spin you round’ thrill-seeking rides!  There are food vendors onsite that sell everything from crepes to candy floss.

(images: Foire Attractions / Azur Park)

(images: Foire Attractions / Azur Park)

Entrance to the fairground site is free, with admission to each ride at varying prices (most rides average €2-€3 per ride). There are some height restrictions on rides, but toddlers are still catered for with super slides, mini carousels and ride-on activities.

The venue is on flat ground so accessible to everyone, and there are toilets there.

What: Foire Attractions

Where: Port Hercule, Monaco

When: Friday 24 October – Wednesday 19 November 2014

Hours:  Monday to Thursday, Sundays, bank holidays open 10am-11pm

Fridays and Saturdays, open 10am-midnight

** Special offers **

McDonalds in Monaco Fontvielle and Larvotto have coupons for 50% reduction in prices for 05 November and 19 November only.  The special is for specified rides only.

Children’s activities in Cannes during Toussaint holidays

The Toussaint school holidays begin this weekend, and if  you are searching for ideas to keep your kids entertained on the French Riviera, try one of the many activities organised by the Mairie of Cannes.

From 15 October until 05 November 2014, they are running a festival for children – P’tits Cannes à You aimed at ages 3-13 years.  Activities include:

  • Circus school
  • Film screenings including Frozen, Planes 2, Pinocchio
  • Dance
  • Theatre
  • Marionnette shows
  • Creative workshops like ‘The Secret World of Fairies’ and painting, collage, drawing, ceramics
  • Concerts including Babar the elephant with Cannes Regional Orchestra
P'tits Cannes à you (images:

P’tits Cannes à you (images:

My top pick is Weekend Fotokine with shadow silhouettes.

The festival will be held at various Cannes venues (note: some activities a cost applies).  Click here for festival programme, venue details and booking site.

Drones in Tourism – Interview with experts MLVDrone

Over the years, we have seen the partnership between tourism and technology get closer.

Tourism has created demand for advances in science and technology to make travel easier. A technological product that I have seen more interest in across the travel industry is the use of drones.



Why drones are useful to the tourism sector

Drones have traditionally been used for military, construction surveying and surveillance purposes, but they are now gathering more leverage in tourism with service providers seeing their benefits.

Aerial videos have been used by tourist boards and tourism promotion bodies, to enhance the resources of their destination and the beauty of the natural landscape. Accommodation providers, events companies, entertainment, sightseeing operators, and yachting businesses are using drones to capture attention.

Overseas, Tourism New Zealand has strategized to capture appeal by the young generation who are fond of ‘selfies’ by using a drone at ski slopes to record short videos of tourists and post it to social media – increasing in popularity is the drone hashtag #dronies

We meet the experts

Access Riviera interviewed Stéphane Vinuesa of local French Riviera company MLVDrone to ascertain his point-of-view on the effect of drones on travel and tourism:

1.  Bonjour Stéphane, thank you for taking the time for our interview. Could you please explain what a drone is?

A drone, the common name for an UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) is a small flying platform with a payload, usually a camera which is piloted remotely. The common drone that most of you know is a “multi-copter”. You can find small ones in toy shops.

Yet professional drones are not toys and can be quite expensive. Professional drones have a higher payload capacity and comply with applicable regulations. One of our fleet is 1,10m wide and has a payload of 3.5kg. It is impressive to see this one flying.

2.  Recently, a tourist was arrested in Paris for flying a drone over Nôtre Dame Cathedral.  How do you think France’s strict laws on civilians flying unmanned aircraft will influence your own company?

Actually, I think we have an advantage in France to have benefited from regulation quite early.

For example, growth in the civil drone industry has been held up for a number of years in the USA for this reason where drone usage was simply banned to avoid incidents.

Regulations are obviously required for flying objects such as drones because of the obvious dangers of collision and to protect the privacy and security of individuals and groups. Current French regulations need improvement now that we have gained experience and, indeed, we are seeing some promising developments as our organization reviews the latest projects for new texts.

Despite the presence of regulation, incidents do occur. In May this year, a drone crashed from 300 feet onto a beach in Nice; luckily no one was sunbathing at the crash site yet people around were understandably quite scared.

When talking with professionals from others countries, they all are of the opinion that appropriate regulations would be desirable in their countries. The EU has initiated a consultancy survey last summer in order to decide whether a common regulation should be in place for Europe.

3.  Why do you feel an aerial view is so effective in tourism promotion?

Aerial views are striking and often show off an area, a remarkable site or a building in a dynamic way impossible to accomplish on foot.

Before drones, helicopters were often used for the production of quality aerial images but these are obviously much more expensive and disturbing to the surroundings.

Often people don’t know how aerial views were captured yet they notice them more than images taken from a terrestrial perspective. Everyone dreams of flying!

4. What do you see are the main opportunities for you with using drones for tourism?

As mentioned above, the striking and dynamic impact of aerial images at a reasonable price offer a clear advantage over classical imagery.

The price allows venues such as smaller hotels, villages, eco-tourist sites, ships etc to promote themselves as never before with aerial panoramic, virtual aerial tour, etc.

Short films of events such as corporate meetings, marriages and so on are becoming popular as people recognize the possibilities available with the new technology.

Although not quite on the subject, I would like to mention that drones can be used cost-effectively for many other purposes such as imaging (thermal, infra red…), avalanche and landslide surveillance, powerline surveillance etc.

(image: Châteauneuf by MLVDrone

(image: Châteauneuf by MLVDrone

5.  What (if any) is the impact of drones on the environment compared to other aerial options such as helicopters?

A drone produces neither noise nor emissions.

There are really only a few drawbacks to the technology currently – limitations to the size of the payload, limitations in flight time due to battery capacity and the need for the operators to be in visual proximity during flight.

Access Riviera would like to say thank you to Stéphane for his time completing this interview!

French drone snippets of interest

  • If you are interested in a drone pilot course on the French Riviera, contact MLVDrone via their website, Twitter or Facebook.


  • The French national railway company (SNCF) has tested drones this year to check for theft of rail cables. In the future, it is hoped the drones may assist in monitoring train bridges, viaducts and geological considerations for railway lines (e.g. cliff stability, rock faces)


  • Whether you travel globally or regionally, check out Travel By Drone, it is one of my favourite websites for losing myself in the destination videos.


(image: Drone view of Sanary sur Mer, Flickr)

(image: Drone view of Sanary sur Mer, Flickr)

  • Brilliant music site, La Blogothèque, channelled their platform Take Away Shows for French band, Phoenix, who had a music video for their song ‘Entertainment’ filmed by a drone. It’s a nice electro-rock video of the band interspersed with drone footage of Versailles. You can watch the clip via YouTube here:


  • French tourism received a huge boost last year with producer Sylvain Plantard’s series for France 2 television ‘Le village préféré des français’ (Favourite French Village) rating highly with outstanding drone footage of French towns and scenery.


Sources: MLVDrone, Flickr, France Television, YouTube, Gizmodo

Disclaimer:  Access Riviera is not affiliated to any companies in this article, all information is for research only.


Inspiring children to discover and learn about the world they live in

Longzhen Han (Longy), author of the children’s picture book series Gusto & Gecko is helping to raise literacy levels, and inspire children to discover and learn about the world they live in. AUD$1,000 of the books crowdfunding campaign and 10 copies of the book are being donated to Australian charity Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Longy Han, and Nic Bayley, a contributing photographer to the project, have also committed to book donations to major Australian children’s hospitals, the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, primary schools and kindergartens.

Some of the author's travel photos - she hopes Gusto & Gecko will foster discovery and become a Lonely Planet for Children

Some of the author’s travel photos – she hopes Gusto & Gecko will foster discovery and become a Lonely Planet for Children

Why You Should Support This Project Today

Supporters of the books have expressed great enthusiasm for the concept and have rallied behind Gusto & Gecko campaigns on Facebook and Instagram in their efforts to raise more money for the crowdfunding project which ends on 30 October 2014.

The aim of the Gusto & Gecko series is to:

1) Introduce children to various animals, plants, food and landscapes;

2) Broaden their horizons and inspire curiosity about our world;

3) Foster a better understanding and awareness of different cultures and traditions;


4) Invest in the next generation by giving back to the community.


Tell Me About The First Book

The first book in the Gusto and Gecko series is set in the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

Readers will join the intrepid heroes – Gusto, a young boy always on the hunt for adventure and Gecko, his faithful pet companion, on an epic journey to discover animals in the wildebeest migration. Along the way, readers will also learn collective nouns and practise counting.


I am a firm advocate for literacy because I believe it lays the foundation for lifelong learning and it is a tool of personal empowerment. The Gusto & Gecko series is aimed at children aged 5-8 years and each book is set in a different city. The books engage children to see the world from a different perspective– Longy Han, Author

Author Bio

Longy Han, Gusto & Gecko Author

Longy Han, Gusto & Gecko Author

Longzhen (Longy) Han is a lawyer by day, children’s book author by night. She has travelled across 7 continents, visited over 30 countries and 90 cities. Her Gusto & Gecko picture book series is her dream to share her passion for travel and discovery with a young audience.

Read more and pledge to this worthwhile project at

Contact: Longzhen (Longy) Han / Sydney, Australia

email: gustoandgecko(at)gmail(dot)com


The price of a coffee in Cannes

With so many people due to descend on Cannes next week for MIPCOM (13-16 October 2014), I thought it would be fun to brew up (excuse the pun!) an infographic about ‘The price of a coffee in Cannes’.

I have based these on personal experience – you’ll notice I have used my preferred caffeine addiction – a noisette – for comparison between prices.  (A noisette is an expresso with a dash of milk).

I hope you enjoy this infographic!

variations in the price of a coffee in Cannes

variations in the price of a coffee in Cannes

Lemon Playdough for a rainy day on the French Riviera

Rain forecast today!

If you have little ones not in the school system yet, here is a fun activity to keep you busy today as the thunderstorm brews outside – No Cook Lemon Playdough!

It only takes 3 ingredients and is super-easy and quick to make so it’s also a handy recipe to keep on hand for gifts.  You can also add a few drops of food colouring if you like.

I noticed the original recipe on Kids Activity Blog, but I added one of my neighbours lovely French Riviera lemons to give it a citrusy zing. Of course, it works just as well with any lemons 🙂

Note:  Even with the addition of the lemon the playdough isn’t edible so don’t make it if your little ones still put random things into their mouths.


1 part Hair Conditioner

2 parts cornflour (in France, you can buy a brand called Maizena)

juice and lemon zest of half a lemon

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, then put in the fridge for 10 minutes. The playdough has a nice soft texture and you can add more conditioner if you like it softer.

image: Kids Activities Blog

image: Kids Activities Blog

Still not sure how to pass the time when it rains?

If you would like other rainy day ideas for the French Riviera, read my archived posts here and here