Family Friendly

Our Family-Friendly section suggests some ideas from the very wide range of things for children and families to do in Provence. For ease of reference, we are dividing the region into areas within roughly a 40 minutes' drive from Marseille, Aix en Provence and Avignon.

Click here for guides to things to do with kids within Marseille, Aix, Arles, Avignon and Toulon themselves.

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The Harlequin show at the Children's Museum, MarseilleThe Préau des Accoules is a museum and exhibition space designed especially for children in a beautiful building in Marseille's Old Town: a former Jesuit college dating back to the 18th century.

Knights at the Chateau de la BarbenNestled in lush countryside a half hour's drive from Aix, the village of La Barben offers an enticing package for children: a Château and a zoo.

Santon playing petanqueHere's the sort of miniature world that kids love, with a unique provençal twist: a display of 200-odd clay figurines acting out quirky scenes from Marcel Pagnol's life, books and movies.

Charlie Travers book coverThe pleasures of Aix en Provence - wine, art, history, culture - are mostly rather adult ones. But this book set in the city aims to bring Aix alive for children aged from 8 to 12.

ParcdesLabyrinthesBouncyCastleA 40-minute drive north-west of Aix, the Park of Giant Labyrinths (Le Parc des Labyrinthes Géants) claims to be the biggest planted maze in Europe.

Thrill ride at the OKCorral, near MarseilleA cowboys-and-Indians themed family amusement park, OK Corral sits in a large pine forest between Marseille, Aix en Provence and Toulon.

An exhibit from the Motorcycle Museum, MarseilleSome 250 motorbikes are on show in this educational and enjoyable museum dedicated to the art of speed, from early 19th century prototypes to futuristic racing machines.

Tree-top adventure park in MarseilleAn enormous park a short bus or metro ride from Central Marseille, the Campagne Pastré has something for children of all ages, from a tree-top adventure park and riding school to hiking trails.

The Planetarium and Observatory at the Palais Longchamp, MarseilleA pretty astonishing edifice in its own right, the Palais Longchamp also has a excellent range of family attractions clustered around it.

Logo for the Elephant Rose cafeThe bohemian-chic Cours Julien district of central Marseille is a perfect place to explore with children.

The Ecomusee du ForetIf you are looking for an alternative to the usual characterless American-style theme parks, the Écomusée de la Forêt (Forest Ecomuseum) could fit the bill.

Kids at the Palais Omnisports, MarseilleThe Palais Omnisports is a very large indoor ice-skating and skateboarding sports facility in Marseille's eastern suburbs. It hosts major league matches but is also open to kids and total beginners of all ages.

Ludiq' Land children's play park, MarseilleThis large indoor play centre on the edge of Marseille opened in 2010, shortly after the very similar Legend'aire and Urban Kids, both near Aix en Provence. And, like them, it has been a great success.

Pony riding in the Parc de Figuerolles, MartiguesA great variety of family attractions are on offer at the huge Figuerolles park, prettily set in pine woods and olive groves by the Berre Lake just outside Martigues.

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