Family Holidays in France: Exploring France with Kids
Wondering what to do on your France family holiday and how to engage little ones but still feed that cultural and gastronomic trip you’ve been yearning for? Then keep reading to see our guide to France with kids.
From the sun-baked beaches of the Cote d’Azur to the cobbled streets of Paris, France holds a special place in the hearts of British people. Unspoilt countryside, the glitzy Riviera, long, languid lunches, market trawling and skiing in the Alps – a family holiday in France promises glamour and excitement but also the chance to reconnect with your children and partner amid the unhurried rhythm of French life.
Where Is Best for a Family Holiday in France?
France has something for everyone, whether that’s sleepy village life in the south, culture and coastlines in the north or whizzing down the mountains on a fun-fuelled week in the Alps. And, of course, there’s Paris. The romantic capital of the world might not be the first place you think of visiting with kids, until, that is, you hear about what’s on offer for little ones in the city’s top hotels. Here are the best places for a family holiday in France, handpicked by Scott Dunn.
South of France Family Holidays
Family holidays in the South of France are about disconnecting from reality, sharing great meals, playing on the beach until the sun goes down and colourful espadrilles in charming villages. And there is no shortage of charming villages in Provence. This postcard-perfect part of France filled with hilltop towns, lavender fields, vineyards, and farmhouses embraces the slower pace of life. Maybe it’s the combination of sea and mountains or the warm Mediterranean sun, either way, you can’t help but leave feeling relaxed. Move between the hotel pool, delicious lunch spots, cycling and a touch of exploring, before heading back to the hotel for Michelin-star dinners (with a babysitter).
Those who can’t resist the call of the ocean should head down to the Cote d’Azur’s best beaches like Paloma or Juan les Pins. Explore Marseille, then hop on a boat to feel miles from it all on Porquerolles or Port-Cros. The two sandy islands are 20 minutes from the Cote d’Azur, giving you a glimpse of how St Tropez might have been 20 years ago – remote and unspoilt beaches, lapped by turquoise waters. Perfect if you’re looking for a beach holiday in France for your family.
Paris Family Holidays
Perhaps not the first place you think of taking a toddler, but with the help of some incredible kids’ club offerings, the capital of France is shaking off its reputation for being adult only. The most stylish of the bunch is Le Bristol, a favourite with the international elite and yet with interconnecting rooms, special gifts, mini bathrobes, hotel cats and a dedicated kids’ area it couldn’t be more welcoming to children. There’s plenty to do in Paris with families, from scavenger hunts around the city to cooking classes and private sightseeing tours. It’s not just for couples.
Adventure Family Holidays
Family holidays in France are ideal for those looking for adventure. Top of the list must be the Alps, in both winter and summer. When it comes to an adrenaline-fuelled holiday, it’s hard to beat a family ski holiday. The French Alps are one of the best places in the world to take to the slopes. You’ve got out-of-this-world scenery, incredible hotels and restaurants, and, in Val d’Isere and Courchevel, there are Scott Dunn Explorers kids’ clubs. Although the winter might steal the limelight in these resorts, the summer in the mountains is just the tonic for a busy life. Walks through wildflower meadows, swinging through rope courses, white water rafting, and paragliding all under bright blue skies and crisp fresh air will leave you and your family feeling lively and happy.
Family Holidays Northern France
Since WWII, France’s dramatic northern coast has been a place to pay homage to D-Day. But near these sombre, windswept beaches, you’ll find beautiful towns steeped in classic Gallic charm, and ancient castles to explore. There is such varied culture in Normandy, from Giverny, Monet’s famous home and garden, to Rouen, with its own version of Notre Dame and 500-year-old astronomical clock. There are also amazing restaurants in Honfleur, a charming port town which has inspired impressionist artists for years, and of course, the Bayeux Tapestry. Sitting alongside these big-ticket attractions is a thriving artisan industry, where lacemakers, potters, cheese makers and cider farms work to supply the rest of France with their wares. This is where to come with kids who are curious, love history or art and want to see it all come alive.
Things to Do in France with Kid
You’ll find new experiences and crowd-pleasing activities on a family holiday in France.
In Provence, there’s cycling through tunnels of cypress trees looking for a shady picnic spot or taking in the sights and smells of lavender-filled Grasse. The village is famous for its purple fields and perfumeries, and you can make your own fragrance with your teens as a lovely keepsake from your holiday. Younger kids will squeal with delight when you suggest a tour of the Confiserie Florian sweet factory. While, for the more active interests, there is white water rafting and kayaking in Gorges du Verdon or horseback riding in the Camargue with a Provencal cowboy.
Sailors and water babies will love exploring the protected islands of Porquerolles or Port Cros on a beach holiday in France for families. Discover white sandy coves by bike, 4x4 or e-car, before a lobster lunch aboard your private boat. If you'd prefer to stay on the water, cruise around Les Calanques National Park by sailing boat and swim, kayak and snorkel the clear waters, surrounded by limestone peaks. Then feast on a delicious meal prepared by a private chef.
Bring sightseeing in Paris to life for your kids by watching the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower at night, joining a treasure hunt through Le Louvre, cruising down the Seine by boat, or climbing up the Arc du Triomphe. Younger children will be delighted by Jardin du Luxembourg with its huge playground, vintage fairground rides and remote-control boats. While a rummage through vintage markets for treasures to take home will put a smile on the face of your teens. And of course, there’s always Disneyland Paris to bribe them with! Make it extra special with our VIP Disney Dream Day experience.
While on a family holiday in France, you can also join a historian onboard a WWII military vehicle in Normandy, complete with vintage radio and actual equipment that would have been used. Learn about the D-Day landings and taste the same kind of food that was eaten in 1944, which is still produced by the same companies today.
For mountain getaways, one of the best resorts in the Alps for families in the summer is Chamonix. Rather than shut down when the snow disappears, it comes to life and is a haven for adrenaline junkies young and old. There are treetop zip lines to whiz down, canoe rides along a gentle river, canyoning in mountain creeks, and special adventure camps for kids to head off to on their own.
Best Places to Stay in France with Family
To experience all that we’ve listed above and more, here are our tried and true best hotels in France for families.
Kids’ clubs and babysitting, family room options and warm, welcoming staff. These are the hotels and properties to stay in with younger children while on luxury family holidays in France.
Terre Blanche in Provence is an ideal destination for young children and families due to its extensive range of family-friendly activities, including a dedicated kids' club, outdoor playgrounds, and a variety of sports facilities. Additionally, the resort offers spacious family-friendly accommodation options, all set amongst the beautiful Provencal countryside.
Le Bristol Paris is an enchanting haven for young children. With its timeless elegance and a graceful blend of luxury and child-friendly amenities, the hotel embraces little ones with open arms, ensuring their comfort and delight, while indulging parents with the highest standards of service and sophistication
The Kimpton Hotel Paris offers a delightful array of child-friendly facilities including a dedicated playroom filled with toys, games, and colourful books. Meanwhile, parents are taken care of with an inviting spa, and stylish interiors, including a rooftop overlooking the city.
Hotel Les Fermes de Marie is an idyllic place for children aged 5 and up. Delightful outdoor activities include gardening, feeding chickens and rabbits, plus treasure hunts and mountain lunches amongst the wildflowers. There are also creative workshops, football tournaments and cooking lessons to be had.
With everything your teens or tweens need on a family holiday, these hotels will keep your kids busy and you happy.
Hotel Mont Blanc in Chamonix caters brilliantly for teens, with a plethora of thrilling activities, such as access to nearby adventure sports like hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding. It’s close to the vibrant town centre filled with trendy shops and lively cafes, plus there’s a fantastic outdoor pool.
Welcoming children of all ages and set in a stunning, coastal location, Les Roches Blanches has a stellar lineup of kids' activities, from sailing and climbing to water sports and tennis. While your kids are occupied, take advantage of the private beach access, Sisley spa or a leisurely vineyard tour.
Chateau La Chenevière presents a world of enchantment for children, where they can embark on whimsical adventures exploring the lush gardens with beehives, engage in creative workshops, splash in the heated swimming pool, and indulge in delightful picnics amidst the captivating Normandy countryside. Nearby, there are jeeps, buggies and quad bikes to hire, horse riding, hiking, sailing and golf.
For memories that last a lifetime, check in to one of these properties on your family holiday in France. They will impress your in-laws as much as your kids
La Réserve Paris Apartments have all you need for a successful jaunt to Paris with all the family. One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are contemporary and chic, and most importantly big enough for everyone to have their own space. Colouring pencils and books, PlayStations, chess, cards and other games are all on hand, and you have access to La Reserve Hotel’s swimming pool, 10 minutes away.
Make this little village of chalets your base for a multigenerational holiday in the mountains full of adventure. Its list of family-friendly activities includes high-altitude golf, canyoning, paragliding, climbing and mountain biking. Family members after something a little calmer will love its outdoor cinema, hot air balloon rides, photography, and wildflower workshops.
These hotels and chalets in the French Alps have the best kids’ clubs, games rooms, family accommodations and food to please even the pickiest eaters.
This stylish bear-themed hotel seamlessly balances the utmost luxury with wholesome family fun. Barmes de l’Ours is a place where little adventurers can embark on exhilarating ski lessons and enjoy a plethora of kid-friendly indoor activities, while adults are treated to a top-notch spa and pool, and Michelin-star food.
Stay at this hotel on your family holiday in France for a blend of excellent hotel facilities with the peace and privacy that comes with a chalet. La Grange is part of La Mourra village, which includes five homely, Savoyard-style houses. Each comes with a butler and chauffeur, private cinema, their own wellness area, and a small pool, as well as access to the hotel spa and 17-metre pool. Meals are served either in the chalet or in the hotel restaurant, which specialises in Asian and French fusion.
For the Beach
Either right on the coast or a stone’s throw away, these hotels are ideal for beach holidays in France for families.
With a captivating blend of timeless glamour and modern sophistication, Regent Carlton Cannes creates an atmosphere of the utmost luxury. But rather than being unapproachable for families, the hotel is very welcoming, with rooms large enough for extra beds for children, and adjoining options too. The Carlton Beach Club (the first private beach in Cannes) across the street is not only a huge draw for parents but equally for paddling toddlers and sun-worshipping teens.
Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat stands out as an exquisite destination for family beach holidays in France, offering an idyllic seaside setting, a private beach with crystal-clear waters, and an array of family-friendly activities. There's a dedicated kids' club, water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding, and the opportunity to explore the surrounding area’s natural beauty through guided hikes and bike rides.
Epitomising the laid-back St Tropez spirit, this boutique hotel exudes Provencal style while also catering to families. As cool as the hotel interiors, the kids’ club runs creative workshops, such as jewellery making or painting. There’s a pétanque corner, shuttles to the beach, in and outdoor pools and a Tata Harper spa. This is about as chic as a family-friendly hotel gets.
Our France Family Holiday Itineraries
If you’re looking for more inspiration, try exploring our sample France family holiday itineraries that can be curated to suit any guest.
Family Adventure in France
Paris, Cassis, Marseille, Côte d'Azur, South of France, France
Embark on an unforgettable luxury family vacation to France, immersing yourselves in the timeless elegance and cultural wonders of this enchanting country.This meticulously crafted 10-night itinerary combines the iconic city of Paris, the breathtaking coastal beauty of Cassis, and the vibrant city of Nice.
SGD $12,500 pp
Royal Family Escapade: Paris, Versailles & Loire Valley
Paris, Versailles, Loire Valley, France
Discover magnificent Paris, the majestic Chateaux of the Loire Valley, and the opulence of Versailles on this private family travel itinerary offers an exclusive blend of luxury, culture, and adventure. Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of the City of Light, indulge in macaron-making classes, and embark on vintage car tours. Float above the...
SGD $14,600 pp
Provence and The Alps for Families
South of France & Chamonix
This two week combination has all the ingredients for a perfect family holiday combining rest and relaxation in the South of France followed by a week of family adventures and fresh mountain air in Chamonix in the French Alps.
SGD $9,000 pp