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.

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These play parks are based on the Center Parcs concept popular in Northern Europe. And it turns out that, even in Provence, families need a covered, air-conditioned space now and again to escape from the cold winter Mistral, the torrential spring and autumn rains or the blazing midsummer heat. And that applies to tourists just as much as locals.

The only surprise is that a city the size of Marseille did not get something like this long ago. Instead it was left to two young mums in their late twenties, Ghita Bonnet and her sister-in-law, Marie Caiazzo, to come up with the idea.

They converted a former packaging warehouse, doing much of the work themselves. They and their friends even laid the floor tiles, all 1,600 square metres / 17,000 square feet of them.

LudiQ' Land (the spelling is even more unnecessarily complex than that of Legend'aire) is aimed at children up to the age of twelve, and its attractions include toboggans, trampolines, bouncy castles, a ball pool, two sizes of table football for small and tall kids, zip lines and scooters. Go-karts (pictured) are available at a small extra charge.

Ludiq' Land children's play park, MarseilleThe park is divided into two zones, a "beach" area for children under three and a "Mediterranean sea" area for the older ones.

LudiQ' Land has a marine theme and an educational programme to introduce children to ecological and environmental issues in a light-hearted way.

Some of these activities are probably more suited to French-speakers, but all kids should enjoy the mascots: a tuna fish (pictured), a dolphin, a baby crab and various other characters based on endangered local species of marine life.

They wander around LudiQ' Land to pose for photographs or organise games and workshops.

Ludiq' Land children's play park, MarseilleLudiQ' Land offers a child-minding service and can also host birthday parties. It has a snack bar - equipped with high chairs and a microwave - which serves pasta, salads, sandwiches and pancakes. Note: anyone, small or big, wishing to use the equipment must wear socks.

LudiQ' Land is open every day during school holidays and Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in term times. Arrive early to beat the crowds, especially on Sundays (its capacity is 500 visitors at a time).

 

 

Where: LudiQ' Land, 189-191 boulevard de la Valbarelle, 13011 Marseille. Tel: (+33) 9 53 15 11 51. Website for LudiQ' Land

How to get there: A downside for tourists is that Ludiq' Land is a little tricky to reach by public transport. However it is entirely possible to get there by metro and bus. Click here for a guide to Marseille's transport system with metro and bus maps.

There are three different routes: metro Sainte Marguerite / Dromel, then bus 15/15b. OR metro Castelanne, then bus 18. OR metro La Timone, then bus 40. In each case, get off at the Valbarelle-Lanfranchi stop, which is very close to LudiQ' Land.

By car, take the D2, then the N8 east out of Marseille in the direction of Aubagne. The journey should take about 15 minutes.

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