Activities – NICE (Luna Park)

Today, the autumn chill has hit with force and our heating at home is on, warm gloves and hats are out of the wardrobe and the kitchen pantry is stocked with hot chocolate and soup.

Finding options to entertain the family in inclement weather can be time-consuming. One of the best places in the region is Luna Park – an indoor covered amusement area with rides and attractions suitable for all the family.


carousel Luna Park

Luna Park will be open from 07 December 2013 – 05 Jan 2014 and has video games, snack stands, fishing games, archery games, carousels, mini rollercoasters, giant slides, amusement rides and more.


BreakDance ride – Luna Park

Opening dates:  07 December 2013 – 05 January 2014

Hours:  2pm-11pm except Saturday 2pm-1am. On 24th and 31st December, Luna Park closes at 8pm

Prices:  €2 entry per person (under 3 years are free), with rides costing from €3-€5. The best value is 10 child rides for €10 (called a ‘Baby Pass’) or 15 rides for adults for €20 (‘Carte Pass) and these passes are for specific rides and valid until the park closes in January, buy at the entrance office.

Where:  Luna Park, Palais des Expositions, Esplanade de Lattre de Tassigny, 06600 Nice


Transport:  Via tramway, stop at ‘Palais des Expositions’.  By train, stop at station ‘Gare Nice Riquier’.  If driving, carparking is nearby at Palais des Sports Jean Bouin


Sightseeing – NICE (Fête de la San Bertoumiéu – Saturday 28 September 2013)

In the old days of Nice, the region held a grand market to bring together all the people to stock up on their supplies.  Townspeople bought their farm produce, arts, pottery, textiles and wooden crafts for sale.

In the current day (!), these traditions are continued at the Fête de la San Bertoumiéu where tourists and locals alike can wander the grand market buying oils, olives, fruit, vegetables, honey, arts, crafts.  Stall holders will be selling local food such as socca, pissaladiere and pan bagnat.  Traditional games are also played such as Morra (hand game) and Vitou (card game).

It is a great opportunity for tourists to the region to glimpse traditional life in Nice. The free festivities will be held at place du Palais de Justice, and place Pierre Gautier in vieux Nice (old town Nice) from 10am-7pm.

MARKET – Place du Palais de Justice

Nice Buffet at 11a.m

Oil and olives • Socca • Farm produce • Bread, honey and jams • Local associations • Apéritifs of Nice • Pottery, santons and handmade crafts

ENTERTAINMENT – Place Pierre Gautier

• Demonstrations and tournament of Pilou • Mini farm • Pony and horse and cart rides (some cost may apply) • Regional Niçoise music

Activities – NICE (Prom’ Party 2012)

This Saturday 25 August is the last evening of the Nice Prom’ Party which is a free music event held between the Théâtre Verdun and Hotel Negresco.  The entire area is flat and paved so is accessible for families with baby strollers, and also wheelchair users.

The Prom’ Party is held on the Promenade des Anglais and has 7 stages set up offering a variety of free music ranging from jazz, funk, pop rock, latin and the street is closed to traffic allowing pedestrians to dance in the street.

This Saturday the music covers Brazilian music, English ’60’s pop rock, Niçoise and Argentinian music, batacuda and funk.

Concerts start at 9.30pm and run through to 11.30pm.

See you there!

Sightseeing – EZE

My brother and sister-in-law are visiting and we decided to travel by car to Eze.  Eze is split into 2 parts – Eze-sur-Mer where the coastal train stops, and the perched village of Eze set high on the cliffside with views across to Cap Ferrat.  We drove along the Moyenne Corniche (the road that travels between Nice and Menton), the traffic was busy at Villefranche-sur-Mer but not unbearable.  This road does however get extremely busy at the height of summer so be prepared for long queues.

view from Eze to St Jean Cap Ferrat

You could also take the motorway to get to Eze village – exit off the A8 motorway at Junction 57 sign posted for La Turbie and look for the D45 road that links La Turbie and Eze Village. Coming from the direction of Italy you look for the Monaco exit and follow the signs for Eze Village on the Moyenne Corniche. All routes are signposted well and whilst there are winding roads, it is not difficult to drive.

If you prefer public transport, Ligne d’Azur runs Bus #82 between the main Nice bus station or Nice Port and Eze village, and the RCA company runs Bus #112 between Nice and Monaco, with a stop at Eze village.  The fares are 1€ per person, oneway.  The village is not directly accessible by train – the train stops at Eze-sur-Mer on the coast and you would then need to hike up the Nietzsche path for about one hour (it’s a rocky and uneven pathway, definitely not suitable for families in the hot weather, or travelers with limited mobility).  Lignes d’Azur does operate Bus #83 between this train station at Eze-sur-Mer and Eze village so you are not completely stranded if you prefer the train.  For timetables visit their website at

the perched village of Eze

On arrival in Eze village, we secured a place to park our car at the base of the village.  I won’t lie to you, parking is a nightmare and the main carpark is small with an adjacent carpark reserved just for the tour buses.  Good luck!  There is a Casino supermarket next to the carpark, a Tourism Office and numerous restaurants and snack shops nearby.  Public toilets are located just above the main carpark area to the right (small fee payable).  If you have reduced mobility, or use a wheelchair, bypass the public toilets and buy an espresso and use the accessible ground-level toilets at Du Cheval Blanc, a restaurant to the right behind the Casino supermarket.

Exploring Eze village is not impossible if you have a baby buggy/stroller, or wheelchair however it requires a medium to high amount of effort to push everything up hill for 10 minutes.  You can follow the zig-zag road to the entrance, however there are small steps interspersed through the actual village so unless you are mobile enough to step up these then Eze is not for you.

We found it accessible with a baby stroller, however the best panoramic view from the Jardin Exotique at the top of the village is only obtained via many steps (and a 6€ entrance fee) so I bypassed that with my son and let my family members proceed to the top.  The streets were busy with tourists but no one was inconvenienced by a baby stroller in their way occasionally.  Eze is small and compact with cobbled alleyways filled with souvenir shops, jewellery stores, art galleries and high-end hotels.  The Chapelle de la Sainte-Croix is lovely.

local donkey on the walk up to the village

I would recommend Eze if you can imagine how life would have been in a medieval village that has stunning views of the coastline.  I wouldn’t recommend Eze if you are not a fan of souvenir shops, tourist traps or traffic jams.

Traveler tip:  The Fragonard perfume shop is located on the left up the road to the village.  The Galimard shop is across from the main carpark.  If you are interested in perfumes, both perfumeries offer a 10% discount if you have the Eze map, obtained from the Tourist Office near the carpark.

perfumerie in Eze

PLAYGROUNDS on the French Riviera

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.


– 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.


– 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


– Small playground at Square Nabonnand on the main road by the post office.


– 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)


– 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)  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 du Castel des Deux Rois, Nice


– 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.

Parc de Loisirs, Opio (playground Opio)

Parc de Loisirs, Opio (playground Opio)

Parc de Loisirs, Opio (playground Opio)

Parc de Loisirs, Opio (playground Opio)


– 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.

public playground by Darse port

public playground by Darse port

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


Eat and drink – NICE

One of the best things about traveling to the Cote d’Azur is the high probability that the weather will be sunny and clear.  What a great excuse to sample a delicious local ice-cream or sorbet and explore the streets perusing French boutiques or finding a souvenir at the market?  I highly recommend Fenocchio ice-cream shop in Nice old town at Place Rossetti or 6 rue de la Poissonerie.  Fenocchio is a family-run master glacier that has been open since 1966, they offer 94 (yes, 94!) different flavours of ice-cream or sorbet from the classic vanilla through to more obscure tastings such as tomato and basil, cactus, Guiness or lavender.  My favourite is citron (lemon) – perfect and refreshing for a warm day!

Eat and drink – NICE

Children are welcome in restaurants, cafés and bars, however not all restaurants will provide special facilties for families such as high chairs.  Most restaurants do not offer children’s meals (the range may be limited for children to fries, chicken nuggets and similar) but those that do specifically offer children’s menus have fixed-price menus at reduced prices.

Ma Nolan’s, 5 Quai des Deux Emmanuel, 06300 Nice (Telephone: 04 92 27 07 88):  An Irish pub with good range of food, televisions for coverage of sports games and an outdoor terrace situated to the front of the premises that provides customers with front row seats to stunning views over Nice Port and across to the Chateau.  Has disabled toilet facilities inside the pub, with baby changing table.