Lyon with kids

Lyon With Kids

Planning a trip to Lyon with kids? Discover hidden passages, explore world-class museums, and savor delectable treats in this vibrant French city! With its rich history, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine, Lyon offers an array of activities tailored to entertain both parents and children alike. From exploring ancient ruins to indulging in mouthwatering pastries, Lyon promises an enchanting journey for your France family holidays.

Why Visit Lyon With Kids

Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a unique blend of history, culture, and family-friendly activities. Beyond its stunning Renaissance architecture and world-renowned gastronomy, Lyon boasts hidden secrets and interactive experiences that will keep young minds engaged.

  • Treasure Hunt Through Time: Explore Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), a maze of medieval streets and Renaissance mansions. Look for the “traboules,” hidden passageways used by silk workers centuries ago.
  • Foodie Paradise: Introduce your children to French cuisine at its finest. Sample local specialties like pralines, Quenelles (fish dumplings), and of course, pastries from the renowned bouchons (traditional Lyonnais restaurants).
  • Museum Mania: Lyon boasts a variety of museums catering to all interests. Let your kids marvel at miniature film sets at the Cinéma et Miniature Museum, or witness the grandeur of ancient Egypt at the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
  • Park & Play: Escape the city bustle in the sprawling Parc de la Tête d’Or, a haven for families. Rent a pedal boat on the lake, explore the botanical gardens, or visit the zoo and see exotic animals.
  • Location, Location: Situated in central France, Lyon offers easy access to other regional attractions. Take a day trip to the charming villages of Beaujolais or explore the medieval town of Pérouges.

Things to Do in Lyon With Kids

  • Puppet Power: Watch a traditional Guignol puppet show at the Petit Musée de Guignol. Kids will be captivated by the lively characters and slapstick humor.
  • Lights, Camera, Action!: Learn about the history of cinema and animation at the Musée Cinéma et Miniature. See iconic film props and even create your own stop-motion animation scene.
  • Silk Secrets: Uncover the fascinating world of silk production at the Maison des Canuts. Witness a traditional silk-weaving demonstration and learn about the history of Lyon’s silk industry.
  • Take a Scenic Cruise: Enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the Saône or Rhône rivers. Admire the city’s skyline from a different perspective and spot landmarks like the Fourvière Basilica.
  • Get Active: Rent bikes and explore Lyon’s extensive network of bike paths. Cycle along the riverbanks, explore hidden squares, and enjoy a picnic lunch in a park.

Best Places to Visit in Lyon with Kids

  • Parc de la Tête d’Or: This expansive park offers a variety of activities for families. Explore the botanical gardens, visit the zoo, rent a pedal boat on the lake, or simply relax in the beautiful surroundings.
  • Mini World Lyon: This miniature wonderland showcases detailed replicas of famous landmarks from around the world. Kids will be amazed by the intricate details and miniature trains zipping through the landscapes.
  • Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière: Take a funicular ride up to Fourvière Hill and visit the magnificent basilica. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city and explore the surrounding gardens.
  • Lyon History Museum: Housed in the Gadagne mansions, this museum offers interactive exhibits that bring Lyon’s history to life. Kids will enjoy learning about the city’s Roman past, medieval merchants, and silk industry.
  • The Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse: Immerse yourselves in a feast for the senses at this renowned food market. Sample local delicacies, watch skilled butchers and cheesemakers at work, and pick up picnic supplies.

Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Lyon

  • Presqu’île: This central district offers easy access to major landmarks, museums, and the charming Vieux Lyon. It boasts a lively atmosphere, excellent restaurants, and plenty of family-friendly shops.
  • Ainay: Located next to Presqu’île, Ainay is a calmer option with a charming village vibe. Explore the beautiful Abbaye d’Ainay, stroll along the Saône River, and enjoy the local cafes and restaurants.
  • Croix-Rousse: This former silk-weaving district offers a unique experience. Explore the “traboules,” wander through narrow streets with colorful murals, and enjoy stunning views of the city.
  • Gagneux: Nestled on the slopes of Fourvière Hill, this residential area offers a peaceful escape. Explore the vineyards, visit the Gallo-Roman Museum of Fourvière, and enjoy panoramic cityscapes.
  • Part-Dieu: This modern district is home to Lyon’s main train station and a large shopping center. It’s a convenient option for families arriving by train and offers a variety

Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Lyon

Choosing a hotel that caters to families is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable trip. Here are some top picks for family-friendly hotels in Lyon:

  • Mercure Lyon Centre Brotteaux: This modern hotel boasts spacious family rooms, a swimming pool, and a dedicated play area for children. It’s located close to the Parc de la Tête d’Or, making it ideal for nature-loving families.
  • Mama Shelter Lyon: This trendy hotel offers a vibrant atmosphere and family-friendly amenities. Enjoy themed rooms, a rooftop restaurant with city views, and game consoles for in-room entertainment.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Lyon Centre: This centrally located hotel provides comfortable accommodations for families. Take advantage of the on-site fitness center, relax by the indoor pool, and enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet to fuel your day of exploring.
  • Hôtel Silky by SoGétel: Located in the heart of Vieux Lyon, this hotel offers a unique historical setting. Choose from family suites, enjoy a traditional French breakfast, and explore the charming surrounding streets.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Lyon: This luxurious hotel caters to families with spacious rooms, a dedicated children’s club with activities, and an indoor swimming pool. It’s located close to the Part-Dieu train station, making it convenient for arrivals and departures.

Best Time to Visit Lyon

Lyon enjoys a pleasant climate with warm summers and mild winters. However, the best time to visit with kids depends on your preferences:

  • Spring (April-May): Pleasant weather with fewer crowds makes spring an ideal time for sightseeing and exploring outdoor attractions.
  • Summer (June-August): Long sunny days are perfect for enjoying outdoor activities like swimming, biking, and picnicking in the park. However, it can get crowded and hot, so be prepared.
  • Fall (September-October): Pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds make fall another great time to visit. Enjoy harvest festivals, explore the city without the summer heat, and savor seasonal delicacies.
  • Winter (November-March): The city transforms into a winter wonderland with festive decorations and Christmas markets. However, some attractions may have shorter hours, and the weather can be chilly.

How Long to Stay in Lyon

The ideal amount of time to spend in Lyon with kids depends on your interests and pace of travel. Here’s a guideline:

  • Short Break (2-3 days): This is enough time to explore the city’s main highlights, visit a few museums, and experience the local food scene.
  • Family Adventure (4-6 days): With this timeframe, you can delve deeper into Lyon’s history and culture. Take day trips to nearby villages, enjoy leisurely picnics in the park, and participate in interactive workshops.
  • Extended Exploration (1 week or more): If you have a week or more, you can truly immerse yourselves in Lyon’s charm. Enroll your kids in cooking classes, explore the surrounding wine regions, and discover hidden gems off the beaten path.

Lyon Family Itinerary (4 days)

This sample itinerary provides a starting point for planning your perfect Lyon family adventure:

  • Day 1: Start your morning with a delicious breakfast at a local boulangerie (bakery). Explore the charming Vieux Lyon with its narrow streets and hidden “traboules.” In the afternoon, take a funicular ride up Fourvière Hill and visit the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière for breathtaking city views.
  • Day 2: Spend the morning at the Parc de la Tête d’Or. Rent a pedal boat on the lake, explore the botanical gardens, or visit the zoo. In the afternoon, head to the vibrant Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse market and indulge in a gourmet picnic lunch. Later, explore the fascinating exhibits at the Lyon History Museum.
  • Day 3: Take a day trip to the Beaujolais region, known for its charming villages and vineyards. Enjoy a scenic train ride through the countryside, visit a local winery, and savor a delicious lunch featuring regional specialties.
  • Day 4: In the morning, explore the Croix-Rousse district, a former silk-weaving hub. Discover the “traboules,” learn about the history of silk production at the Maison des Canuts, and enjoy the street art scene. In the afternoon, unwind with a relaxing boat cruise on the Saône River and admire the city from a different perspective.

Getting Around Lyon

Lyon boasts a convenient public transportation system, making it easy to get around with kids. Here are your options:

  • Metro: The efficient metro system is a fast and affordable way to navigate the city. Most stations have elevators and escalators for easy stroller access.
  • Tram: The tram network complements the metro, reaching areas not covered by the subway. Trams are modern and comfortable, making them a great option for families.
  • Bus: Buses offer a more extensive network, reaching suburbs and outlying areas. While less frequent than the metro or tram, buses can be a good option for specific destinations.
  • Vélo’v (Bike Sharing): Lyon has a well-developed bike-sharing program. Rent bikes and explore the city at your own pace, following designated bike paths along the rivers and through parks. This is a fun and eco-friendly way to get around, especially for older children.
  • Lyon City Card: Consider purchasing a Lyon City Card for discounted access to public transportation, museums, and other attractions. This can be a cost-effective option, especially for families planning on visiting multiple sights.

Lyon offers a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered by families. From exploring hidden passageways in Vieux Lyon to indulging in delectable treats at local markets, Lyon promises a unique and unforgettable adventure for all ages. So pack your bags, unleash your sense of adventure, and get ready to create lasting memories with your loved ones in this vibrant French city!

 

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