Summer’s here! C’est les vacances! Whether your grandkids are coming to visit or you live here permanently with your family, chances are you are looking for things to do with children this summer. Take a look at Eva Hamori’s Top Ten List of Things to do with Kids in the Languedoc for some great ideas!
Top Ten Activities for Kids in the Languedoc, by Eva Hamori
#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 Laser Games
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
Shopping centres in France are light and spacious with all kinds of activities! Grandparents love to treat their grandchildren to a wee shopping spread and the Polygone in Montpellier is a wonderful place to make it happen. Odysseum, the complex next to 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.
#5 Karting in the Languedoc
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. Be sure to check groupon for discounted rates before you go.
Racing Kart 66
#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, Sète, 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 Languedoc Caves and Caverns
There are many caves in the Languedoc to explore. If spelunking is your thing, look no further than la Grotte de Clamouse. Extraordinaire! But we have dozens of caves throughout the Languedoc on the Grottos and Caves in the Languedoc homepage.
#8 Horseback Riding with children in the Languedoc
These beautiful appaloosa horses at Appaloosa Ranch 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.
#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.
#10 Rafting or canoeing
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! Exquisite
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 as well.
Looking for more activities? Don’t hesitate to contact Renestance for ideas and resources.
Natasha Freidus was Renestance’s first blog editor and web content advisor. She is a consultant and trainer specialising in multimedia storytelling. You can learn more about her work at her website, Creative Narrations. Natasha moved to Roujan from Seattle in early 2013 with her husband and two children.
All articles by: Natasha Freidus