What is there to do in Lyon with kids? We explored the city located in the middle of France, where many travelers stop on their way to vacation in the south of France. Lyon has a beautiful old town that is definitely worth seeing, and you can also have great food and drinks. Despite being a big city in France, you will have seen all the sights with kids in no more than 2 days. Here are the 5 best sights to see in Lyon with kids.
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Lyon with kids #1: canal boat
Lyon lies right at the confluence of the Rhone and Saone rivers, and of course you can take a tour on these rivers by canal boat. You have several tours that are offered. It is a great way to see the city of Lyon from the water with kids and we always find it a fun activity to do with our daughter as long as the cruise is not too long.
The shortest cruise takes 35 minutes, and this canal cruise sails to the Musée des Confluences, with museum admission included in a sort of combination ticket.
In addition, you have a one-hour canal tour, which sails past the historic buildings in the center and gives you a nice overview of the beautiful buildings of the city of Lyon.
Take a look at the boat company’s website for the different tours and their prices.
Lyon with kids #2: Amusement parks in and around lyon
In and around Lyon, you also have two “amusement parks” located for kids. For example, in the city itself you have Mini World Lyon. Mini World Lyon is a miniature version of the city and its surroundings. Every 20 minutes, the city comes alive again. Every hour there is some kind of small light show in Mini World.
If you want to go to a slightly larger amusement park with your kids, you will have to drive quite a bit. North of the city of Lyon just under an hour away by car is Touropark. This is a zoo, water park and amusement park all in one. There are also two more museums on the property. For information on what to do at this amusement park check out the amusement park’s French-language website
Lyon with kids #3: playgrounds throughout the city
Throughout the city are several fun playgrounds. For example, the city’s large main square (Place Bellecour) is home to a playground, where your kids can play and you can have a drink on the terraces near the square. This square is also home to fine restaurants. We had a nice pizza here near the square with the family.
Also on the waterfront by River Rhone, you have some nice waterfront play equipment. Buy some goodies at the supermarket and have a family picnic along the waterfront while the kids have fun on the playground equipment. Highly recommended here is the playground near the bridge Passerelle du College Pedestrian. Here you have two slides and a kind of wooden ship where the kids can play.
Lyon with kids #4: museums
The most famous museum in the city is the Musée des Confluences, which focuses on the development of mankind. The building is an extraordinary architectural feat and it looks something like some kind of spaceship. The museum features many stuffed animals, a dinosaur skeleton and many human statues.
Don’t expect a scavenger hunt in your kids’ language to be present in this museum, so you do have to keep the kids mostly entertained on your own in this museum.
If your kids love anything that flies then the aviation museum in Lyon may be for you. There are dozens of planes and helicopters here for you to view.
Not really a museum, but worth mentioning is the Lyon Aquarium with many different fish. At times it is possible to feed the fish. Check the website for this.
Lyon with kids #5: Parc de la Tete d’Or
This is one of the largest urban parks in France with a whopping 120 hectares of surface area. The city park has a large rose garden, a zoo and a botanical garden, and all of these things are free to enter.
What is special, of course, is that the zoo in the park is free. The zoo features elephants, tigers and zebras, among others.
There are also of course playgrounds in the park, you can sail electric boats on a large lake, a little train runs through the park and two merry-go-rounds can be found. You can understand that you can easily spend a half to full day in this park with your kids if you are in Lyon with kids. For further information about the park check out the French-language website.
Where to sleep in Lyon with kids
Budget hotel: Novotel Lyon Gerland Musée des Confluences
During our city break in Lyon, we slept in the above budget hotel and we liked it very much. The hotel is located on the banks of the Rhone River and parking is easily available at the hotel. In addition, the hotel has a small swimming pool and in the morning you can have a delicious breakfast here. We had a spacious room with a bathtub (which the ladies really like) and not too far from downtown. We really liked it for not too much money during our stopover in the city of Lyon.
Mid-range hotel: Citadines Presqu’ile Lyon
Luxury hotel: Hotel des Celestins
To find other hotels in Lyon with kids click here for more information.
Further information Lyon with kids
Lyon City Card: if you want to visit many museums and other attractions with your kids, the Lyon City Card can be beneficial. You have free admission to 23 museums, you can take a free canal cruise with the card and public transportation is also included in the price of the card. See in advance where all you want to go and then see if the card offers a benefit for you and your family.