Nice is a kid-friendly town, scattered with parks, gardens, the Promenade des Anglais and a long stretch of coast. The best part of exploring Nice with kids is that the whole family can enjoy the "kid friendly" attractions. All of the following things to see with children are within Nice and easily accessible by public transport.
Hit the Beach
The 7km string of beaches in Nice that run from the port to the airport are obviously great for kids to run around. Their little feet will be more comfortable on galets (pebbles) than adults! Are the beaches safe for swimming? Yes but small children should not be left unsupervised as the drop-off can be quite steep. Watch the safety flags carefully (green is good) as they indicate when the sea is too rough to swim. Best is to choose a beach with a lifeguard. See more about safety on Nice beaches.
Some private beaches in Nice have small playground areas for kids and special kids menus. Ruhl beach and Les Canailles are reliably kid-friendly.
Best is Li Rateta, a sandy beach maintained by the city especially for kids 6-12 years old. There's supervised swimming in a pool plus a variety of watersports, beach soccer, beach volleyball, trampolines, frisbee and other organised games. It's open Monday to Saturday 10am-12.30pm and 2-6pm.The price is €12.50/15.50 morning/afternoon session or €20.5 for the whole day. Payment is by credit card only on site from 9-10am and 1.30-2.30pm. Open July and August only. See here for location and access.
Cool off in the Coulée Verte
The Coulée Verte that runs from Place Massena to MAMAC is a paradise for the little ones. From the water mirror (above) with its rows of spouting fountains to the unique slides and climbers in the playground area, kids can stay busy playing all day. The whole family will enjoy checking out the well-labeled exotic plants that form the park's botanical garden.
Hop on a Carousel
There are two carousels in Nice, one in the Jardin Albert 1er and another on Place Garibaldi.
Wander the Park Phoenix
This green and shady oasis of exotic vegetation boasts a birdhouse, a petting zoo, an orchid garden, an aquarium and a lake with fish, reptiles, caimans and other creatures. There's a terrarium, a kiddie park, an orchid garden and a pleasing array of fountains. More on the Parc Phoenix.
Explore the Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill)
The Colline du Chateau offers a wealth of delight for curious kids. There are reconstructed remains of the old fortress, ancient ruins, a splendid cascade, and a playground in the midst of a vast park. Don't miss the free Bellandarium with dioramas. More on the Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill).
Naive Art Museum
Located in an old villa in west Nice, the Naive Art Museum is a fun and un-museumy place to visit with kids. The art is accessible to young tastes and it's in the middle of a manicured park dotted with colorful sculptures. More museums in Nice.
Rent a Bike
Nice is a fantastic city for biking with clearly-marked bike paths running the length of the Promenade des Anglais and many interior streets. Yes, the city-sponsored Velo Bleu is cheap but the bikes are heavy and may be too much for young legs. I recommend reserving a bike through bikesbooking.com. The minimum age for a rental is six and child seats are available for no extra charge. See more about cycling in Nice including maps, safety advice and more.
But what about winter attractions? No problem! Luna Park is an amusement park that takes over a vast lot outside the Palais des Expositions during the Christmas holidays. There are rides, games, toy stands and more. Also during the holidays is the giant Ferris Wheel installed on the Place Massena. And don't forget the colorful Nice Carnival with floats and flower battles that takes place around Fat Tuesday.
Follow a self-guided walking tour with Nice Uncovered: Walks Through the Secret Heart of a Historic City which is filled with fun stories and out-of-the-way sights. More about the book here.
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