What do you mean the grandchildren are coming? What in the world are we going to do with them?
There are a number of activities to do with your children while travelling the southern regions of France.
#1 Accrobranche or Tree Climbing Adventures
There are many tree climbing facilities throughout southern France that are suitable for all ages from beginner to experts. Most open during Spring break, and stay open until Toussaint holidays. Some offer different levels of difficulty, such as little kids wishing mostly to jump, intermediate where they climb easy and safe obstacles with nets closely beneath without gear and then of course the traditional using the mountain climbers equipment.
My children particularly enjoy the zipline runs with the very high-up station to launch from. My palms sweat just watching them climb up there, but the safety gear is very efficient and the lock safety works to keep the climber safe at all times.
#2 Lazer Game
This is best played in groups of 6 or more, two teams of three and it really is a favourite among children. Although sometimes parents and families play together, and have some healthy combat, usually two- 20 minute games are played with a 20 minute break between for snacks and refreshments. Note, they run for the entire 40 minutes and bringing cool drinks is a must.
Bowling is always a family favourite. The best part is you can put up the barriers so even the very little ones can play. These facilities are always clean, good quality equipment, although not profession lane quality, so if you are coming from North America where there’s perfectly round balls and freshly waxed lanes, forget about it. It is more considered a game here. And whatever you do, don’t try to give tips to neighbouring lanes throwing with the backwards hand toss. They honestly have never been shown. I think in North America is it a sport we learn in gym class if I remember correctly
All girls like to shop. And some adults and teenage boys like it too! Grandparents love to treat their grandchildren to a wee shopping spread and the Polygone in Montpellier is a wonderful place to make it happen. The one next to the IKEA offers open air shopping with many restaurants, a big sports shop, and endless cafe’s. It is also home to the Aquarium, and the Planetarium.
When we go, never mind the kids, the fathers seem to love this the most! Sun karting is far slower to the Racing Kart 66 counterpart, but both are fun ways to spend the day. I even tried my hand last year, and although I wasn’t very good, I enjoyed myself very much.
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#6 Beach Activities and parks
No matter what your favourite beach activity; jet skis, volleyball, soccer, kayaking, canoeing, slides, cycling, scooting and rollerblading on the beach, there is something for everyone during your holidays.
Narbonne, Vias, Sete, Gruissan, or Valras beach, this is why most people come to Southern France to enjoy the white sand beaches, the turquoise waters and the warm sun.
Also parks often have skate bowls, so bring your helmet and protective gear. Rollerblading, scooting, BMX biking; all very popular in the southern region of France for children and well worth buying or borrowing a scooter to keep with you during your holidays. It also helps the little one keep up during those long walks through castles and villages.
#7 Cave Exploration
There are many caves in the Languedoc to explore. If spelunking is your thing, look no further than la Grotte de Clamouse. Extraordinaire!
Aven Armand, Lozère
La Devèze, Hérault
Cave of the Demoiselles, Hérault
La Cocalière, Gard
Les Grandes Canalettes, Aude
But we have dozens of caves throughout the Languedoc on the Grottos and Caves in the Languedoc homepage.
#8 Horseback Riding
These beautiful appaloosa horses are among the most beautiful I have ever seen. My daughter happens to ride here, but i also take my students here once a week for a one hour tour through the forests, to overlooking ridges and even into the river. Well worth the drive and tell Camille Eva sent you!
La Fount del Bosc also has a gite onsite and hour rides to enjoy. On the other side of the same hill, these horses are well trained and fit. I highly recommend both.
Another nice one to try is Amor Nouri, who is based at the foot of the Caroux and the Espinouse mountains. You’re guaranteed stunning views.
#9 Archaeological Digs, Museums and Sites
If ancient civilizations are your thing, then visit the Oppidum to explore from 50 BC to 500 AD. This is a very important find for the region and you can see the remains of houses and discover how this once surrounded by water hill became extinct.
Rafting is always so much fun, and Roquebrun is not only fun but beautiful to cruise through. Especially when the weather gets hot! And hot it does get!
We also recommend canoeing and kayaking on the River Orb using Smile Kayak! They have paddle boards too! Imagine paddling with the Beziers church in view! Exquisit
The canoeing in Tarassac is also great. It’s a lovely stretch of the river Orb, and there are a few exciting rapids to navigate.
BONUS #11 Montpellier Zoo
Montpellier is an awesome place to take children, especially if they want to see animals in simulated natural environments, in open air enclosures, in a safe and secure park with tranquil walking paths. We like to visit a few times a year and it is free!
BONUS #12 Sigean African Reserve
A large park, open air enclosures, drive through areas to see the animals up close in their natural environments. It is not cheap but worth a visit with a van full of kids and eager adults. Wonderful photo opportunities to visit these happy animals, many in retirement. It has a nice area to walk through, and a good place for snacks and lunch too! Make it a whole day to get your money’s worth.
With 300+ days of sunshine you can’t go wrong visiting Languedoc with children and grandchildren and many of these activities are great on the few rainy days we have in the region as well.