Best activities for children to enjoy on holiday in France

October 16, 2019
arc de triomphe

Wondering what are the best activities for children to enjoy on holiday in France? Find some ideas of things they will enjoy doing here.

I have great memories of holidays in France when I was a child. Every year we went to a different region, staying in a different holiday home. We had many adventures, made new friends and learnt a different language.

France is easy to get to from the UK, so it’s a good choice if you want to take your child abroad. Getting to France was part of the adventure! Our dad would drive us to Dover and we would get on a ferry. We would watch the white cliffs of Dover recede into the distance and look to forward to seeing what was on the horizon.

Photo by Willian West on Unsplash

After arriving in France, we would negotiate customs and my dad would tackle driving on the wrong side of the road. Our destinations were normally only a couple of hours drive. Today, there are more options for travel to make getting there even easier, such as via the channel tunnel.

We would stay in gites – rented self-catering cottages – in sleepy French villages, with the village shops giving us a great chance to practice our French. However, these days there are much broader accommodation options when camping in France.

Best activities for children to enjoy on holiday in France

In today’s technology obsessed world, it is hard to get the family to put down their devices and spend time with each other. Taking a trip into the French countryside is a great way to spend some time together. Take the chance to enjoy the simple things and create memories surrounded by natural beauty.


Go into any French village and you will usually see a game of boules being played on the village green. The object behind the game is to get your boule as close to the little ball or jack as possible. There is a lot of skill behind the game, as you can send the other boules flying trying to get to be the nearest one.

The game is taken very seriously and makes fascinating watching. Why not buy a set of boules and have your own game when you get back home?

Enjoy a leisurely lunch

The French love a long leisurely lunch, with many of the local cafes offering a fixed price meal. These will have three or four courses. Sit back and watch the world go by as you enjoy your lunch. There is no hurry, so you might as well savour your food.

Explore the village shops and order a loaf

Photo by Reuben Mcfeeters on Unsplash

There is something magical about exploring village shops in France. Not only do they have musical names, la boulangerie, la boucherie, la pâtisserie, la fromagerie, the array of goods is worth lingering over. Who hasn’t looked at the cakes in the pâtisserie window wondering which to choose? It is a great chance for children to practice a little bit of French. Send them to get the morning baguette with the phrase, “la baguette s’il vous plait.”

Search for fireflies in the night

On a family holiday in France, I remember being surprised to see both fireflies and glow worms, which are actually beetles. We had never seen them before and spent a fascinating evening searching for them. We had a game to see who could find the most and it was great fun exploring in the dark.

Explore a châteaux

One thing you will find in France are châteaux or castles. Some regions have one round every corner. They vary from fairytale castles to more mundane fortified houses. Children love to visit castles so why not take the chance to explore a one while you are in France.

Be careful not to overdo it or you may get the refrain ” not another châteaux”!

Join in Bastille Day Celebrations

Bastille Day celebrations take place on the 14th July. The storming of the bastille, a jail, took place in 1789, marked the start of the French Revolution. Today the day is marked with festivities including firework displays, fairs and often a parade around the village with Chinese lanterns.

Most small villages have their own event and all of them are different. It is worth finding out what is going on and joining in.

What activities would you add to the list? Let me know below.

One response to “Best activities for children to enjoy on holiday in France”

  1. Galina V says:

    Lovely memories, Alison, I imagine searching for firelfies in the night is a magic experience.
    We’d love to visit the castle, where Merlin has been filmed. Maybe one day we will.

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