PLAYGROUNDS on the French Riviera

I thought it was due time to update my previous blog post about playgrounds on the French Riviera.  If you have children, the region has lots of options for playground fun.

I have included mostly free public options in my list here, so if you have any questions feel free to post your question in the comments below the post (if there is an entrance fee I have specified where relevant).

This is by no means an exhaustive list, just an overview of a few playgrounds we have tried and tested on the Côte d’Azur.

PLAYGROUNDS ON THE CÔTE D’AZUR

ANTIBES

– UPDATE 19 August 2018:  Unfortunately, the 2 public playgrounds in Antibes old town on rue Republique, beside the carousel and main post office (La Poste) have been closed due to construction works for the Marenda Lacan new shopping precinct.  Construction work has been stalled for some months now, so it is a great shame that tourists and local residents have no playgrounds for use during summer 2018. The nearest public playground to old town Antibes is on the way to Salis beach at the bottom of Albert 1er.

– 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 the carpark at the beach.

The Jardin Enfant Albert 1er is the closest playground to old town Antibes

– 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.

– A playground at Les Semboules area, next to Jacques Prévert school.  This is a great playground for hot days as it is entirely shaded by trees.  Plenty of free carparking across the road.  Suitable for toddler age to older kids, there is also a basketball court and ping-pong table adjacent and picnic tables. No toilet facilities onsite and the water fountain doesn’t work, but a great playground nonetheless because it is a community playground and never busy.

– 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.

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

CAGNES SUR MER

– Large playground zone beside parking Villette.  There is an accessible pay toilet beside the playground. Lots of play equipment for different ages including climbing frames, swings (including a baby swing), rockers as well as a mock road system which is great for scooters and bikes.

CANNES

– A playground is located at Square Mistral which is a good option for beach goers along the boulevard du Midi.  It is 5 minutes flat walk from Cannes Vieux Port.

– Adjacent to the Palais des Festivals on boulevard de Croisette (near to the public beach where the Petit Train departs from):  Children’s entertainment area including carousel, funfair stalls, snack kiosks.  There is a small climbing frame, but it’s pretty unimaginative.  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

GOLFE JUAN

– 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 La Jétee restaurant 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).  Lots of trees so it’s great for hot days!

– Another small fenced public playground at Square Duluys (corner of rue St-Marguerite and boulevard Raymond Poincaré).

– Parc Exflora, chemin du Vallauris, between Juan les Pins and Golfe Juan:  Large open grassed area for picnics (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 a small playground with public toilets nearby.

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.  The biggest benefit of Ludiparc is they have water activities that are perfect for hot days including a splash park and access to the River Loup.

Ludiparc, La Colle sur Loup (photo: Vence Tourisme)

– 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.

MONACO/MONTE CARLO

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.  You can’t run around or kick balls but it’s a nice zone to wander through.

MOUANS SARTOUX

-Playground at the Château

MOUGINS

– Free entry playground at Ecoparc Mougins, on chemin de Fontaine de Currault. Accessible eco-toilet onsite at the playground, climbing frames, swings (including a baby swing), small ropes courses, playhouses, balancing beams. 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, and sometimes there are amusement rides such as vertical bungee or bouncy castles set up in summer (rides are payable).

NICE

– 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 – find out more about Parc Phoenix here.

– 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

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Parc du Castel des Deux Rois, Nice

OPIO

– Parc de Loisirs on the Carrefour du Piol, D3 d’Opio-Valbonne is a great park with a big playground zone 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)

ST TROPEZ

– 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.

VALBONNE/SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS:

– Playground in Valbonne on Val du Tuveret beside the big carpark and skate park.  There is a toddler playground on the road with Hôtel de Ville and the Abbaye de Valbonne.

– 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 which are well-maintained for scooters and bikes.  No toilet facilities onsite.

VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-MER

– 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 in Villefranche sur Mer

VILLENEUVE LOUBET

– 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.

NOTE:  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

 

Activities – ANTIBES (Royal Kids, indoor play centre)

A new indoor play centre opened in February 2014 in Antibes, which has been very welcome to residents and tourists in the area after the closure of the Boomiland indoor play centre in Mougins.

First impressions are that the centre is well lit, organised and clean. Staff that work there are friendly and helpful.

Children must wear socks to use the play equipment.

The centre has 2 large party rooms available for hire for birthdays with different options (‘formules’) available, priced from €13 per child upwards. The party options include mornings, afternoons and a Friday early evening session. There must be a minimum of 8 children attending, and birthday party rooms must be reserved in advance. Dependent on which option is purchased, Royal Kids supplies unlimited access to the play equipment, birthday certificate, birthday cake, drinks and entertainment from Léon, the dragon mascot. (Note: you can not bring your own birthday cake, food or drinks). For party guests, there is a cloakroom at the centre entrance with storage boxes for shoes and gifts, and children attending the party receive a bright-coloured top to wear for the duration of the party.

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For patrons with babies, there are high chairs with safety belts to use.

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Royal Kids has clean, accessible toilets onsite – 2 each in the ladies and mens toilets, with a designated disabled access toilet in both the mens and the ladies bathroom. There are step stools for kids to reach the basins to wash hands, and the ladies bathroom also has a baby changing table.

Onsite attractions include:

– Ball pits, soft play climbing, mini football, basketball, slides, climbing frames, giant Lego building area

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– A disco room with continuous music playing, mirror ball, lights

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– Coin-operated machines/games including air hockey, football, motorised cars, vending machines with toys

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There is a snack restaurant onsite with many tables and chairs serving a range of hot and cold drinks, ice creams, paninis, crêpes etc.

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Royal Kids is an accessible play centre with 2 designated mobility carpark spaces nearby to the entrance, flat ground to the entrance and no stairs inside the centre (excluding climbing frames). There is a designated disabled access toilet in both the men’s and the ladies bathroom, and there is ample room for baby strollers/buggies.

Access:

By car: Royal Kids is located at 172 avenue Weisweiller, 06600 Antibes.

If arriving from the A8 highway, take exit 44 towards Antibes/Juan les Pins and at the third roundabout (with McDonalds/SFR/Renault/Quick) turn right onto avenue Weisweiller (the road with the ‘Quick’ fast food restaurant).

If driving from Antibes/Juan les Pins, continue up the Route de Grasse to the roundabout with McDonalds/SFR/Renault/Quick and turn onto avenue Weisweiller (the road with the ‘Quick’ fast food restaurant).

There is a free onsite carpark (14 spaces including 2 designated mobility spaces) accessed by the first road on the right-hand side Voie Tripoli. Also, ample carparking can be found on Voie Bertrand le Bon as Royal Kids is located in an industrial area.

Public transport: Royal Kids can be accessed by bus number 6 from Antibes and there is a stop ‘Foyer P. Merli’ on avenue Weisweiller that is 2 minutes walk from Royal Kids. Find the timetable at www.envibus.fr. There are no trains that travel here.

Opening hours:

Open 10am-7pm: Every Wednesday, every Saturday, every Sunday, bank holidays, every day during school holidays

Open 4pm-7pm: Friday evenings only

Prices (correct at Wednesday 09 April 2014 but subject to change)

Adults: One or two accompanying adults are free of charge; €2 each for third adult or more

Children 4 years upwards: €10 each (or buy a ‘Royal Pass’ 10 entries for €80)

Children under 4 years: €6 each (or ‘Royal Pass’ 10 entries for €50)

Group discounts available on discussion with Royal Kids

For more information on party pricing or descriptions, visit their website www.royalkids.fr

 

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.

nice-with-children-lunapark

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.

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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

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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

Activities – GRASSE (Children’s arts and crafts workshops)

Fait Maison is a lovely boutique with goodies to help with your child’s crafting adventure, or somewhere to find a nice homemade gift.  They also have a bonus of an onsite arts and craft workshop for children.

The gift shop stocks homemade toys, decor items and accessories, as well as creative kits for arts and crafts projects (build your own dollhouse, castle etc).

In addition, if you need assistance with custom-made decorations for your next party or special occasion don’t hesitate to talk to them as they are happy to work with you based on your colour scheme and ideas.

Downstairs, they run children’s arts and craft workshops in small groups (maximum of 4 children in the 3-4 years age group; maximum of 6 children in the 5-12 years age group).  Parents are invited to join and there is a tea/coffee area for parents or caregivers during the workshop. There is a toilet and sink located in the workshop.

For parents with baby strollers/buggies, the boutique is closed during workshops so you can fold up your stroller and leave it there onsite.

Examples of the fun workshops they hold:

  • Decorating puppets
  • Carnival mask-making
  • Archaeological digs – make your own fossil!
  • Special events crafts – Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day etc

Prices:

  • 3-4 year age group Crafternoons = 12 euros per session
  • Saturday workshops = 12 euros per session
  • 9-12 year age group Crafternoons = 15 euros per session
  • Wednesday workshops = 15 euros per session
  • They also hold Holiday workshops – see their website for further details

Location:  15, rue de L’Oratoire (right beside place aux Aires in the Old Town)

For directions and workshop details, visit their website:  www.faitmaisongrasse.com

Happy Crafting!

Activities – VALBONNE SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS / ANTIBES (Story telling / music )

If you have children aged 18 months – 4 years a good option for an indoor activity is to visit one of the Médiathèque locations.

As well as being a public library service, they hold photograph exhibitions, multimedia workshops and lectures regularly.

Albert Camus Médiathèque © photo copyright cabinet architecture Bruno Huerre

For children based near Valbonne Sophia Antipolis or Antibes, there are two story-telling sessions (ages 0-3 years, and for 4 years upwards) and free music workshops (18 months-3 years).  Registration is free at the relevant Médiathèque, though it is recommended to book in advance as the sessions do fill up quickly.

The 3 locations are:

Médiathèque Valbonne Sophia Antipolis, 1855 route des Dolines, Les Bouillides, carrefour de Garbejaire, 06560 Valbonne)

Médiathèque Albert Camus, 19 bis boulevard Chancel, 06603 Antibes (on the corner by the traffic lights. Carparking behind the Médiathèque by Intermarche supermarket).

Médiathèque des Semboules, Residence Les Pins B1, rue Robert Desnos, 06600 Antibes

For the current programme of toddler-friendly activities held by the Médiathèques, click on http://www.mediatheque-casa.fr/mediatheque-casa.fr/cms/articleviewpreferences?id_categorie=&id_items=156-157-128&display_order=Selection&nb_aff=5&nb_analyse=10&display_mode=Submenu&summary_content=Summary

Activities – RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES

I love a good thunderstorm!   Today, it is raining and while the rain brings an opportunity to break from routine and spend some time indoors, it can be tricky to come up with ideas to entertain the kids without them getting cabin fever.

If you are looking for ideas to entertain your children on the French Riviera on a rainy day, please also read my previous blog post ‘Activities – RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES’ under my May 2012 archives.

One of my favourite rainy day activities to do with my son is baking.  Making muffins, biscuits or cakes can be lots of fun, and it’s educational as you can explain the various cooking ingredients and implements used.

Sometimes, we create a pretend ‘shopping list’ and ‘shopping basket’ and go ‘shopping’ filling it with items from the kitchen pantry (canned food, herbs, pasta etc).  My son is almost 2 years old, but he is learning the words for food in both French and English and I find that hands-on activities like this really help his comprehension and memory.  Plus it is fun for him to use the ingredients to then make something he can eat later!

pretend ‘grocery shopping’

Here is our fail-safe easy and delicious recipe for rainy days!  (my son is almost 2 and he helps to mash the bananas, sift the flour and mix the egg mixture so don’t be put off that your child may be too young to understand or will make a mess.  Any spillages can be cleaned up afterwards.)

BANANA MUFFINS (makes 12)

200 g (7 ozs) plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3 large bananas, mashed

150 g (5 ozs) caster sugar

1 egg

75 g ( 2 1/2 ozs) butter, melted

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Place baking cases into a muffin tin.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.

3. Combine mashed bananas, caster sugar, egg and melted butter into another large bowl.  Fold in the flour mixture and mix until smooth.

4. Spoon into muffin tins.

5.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when lightly tapped.

Bon appetit!

What To Do on a Rainy Day on the French Riviera

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:

ANTIBES

  • 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.

BIOT

  • 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

GRASSE:

  • 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’).

MONACO/MONTE CARLO:

  • 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

MOUGINS:

NICE:

  • 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  creatyvesculi@aol.com 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:

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.

VENCE:

  • 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.

VILLENEUVE LOUBET:

  • 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

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