Family Friendly: Marseille Area

Marseille, the petit train on the Old PortThis is a survey of the best kid-friendly destinations within 40 minutes' travel around Marseille. Click here to read an overview of what to do within the city itself and some suggestions for dining out there with children.

 These activities will be enjoyable even if your kids don't speak French. If they do, many more options will be open, from cooking lessons and guided nature walks to children's theatre. To find out about these, check with the Marseille Tourist Office (L'Office de Tourisme).

Bear it in mind, too, that several of the family excursions in and around Aix en Provence, such as Legend'aire or Aix by Llama, are an equally short drive from Marseille. If you are prepared to travel a little further, you'll find more ideas in our section on family excursions in and around Avignon. It's also worth checking our section on activities and sports in Provence.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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