Our list of the best family things to do in Lyon was not difficult to write. The third-largest French city is already reputed for its food, but it also hosts a fair range of things to do with your children. On warm days, you can go and enjoy the outdoor playgrounds in the Parc de la Tête d’Or or take your children for a high-adrenalin experience at the Actua Karting complex.

    Interesting indoor attractions such as the Movies & Miniature Museum and the aquarium are also at hand to entertain your children. In short, Lyon has all it takes to spend a memorable vacation with your kids. Check out Lyon’s best family-friendly places below.


    Parc de la Tête d’Or

    Enjoy outdoor activities and visit Lyon Zoo

    The Parc de la Tête d’Or (Park of the Golden Head) is a 117-hectare urban park just north of the city centre. Featuring boat tours on the lake, pony rides, a mini train and a kid’s playground, the park is a true hive of attractions and activities for children. Besides these cool features, the park is home to a zoo in its central part. You can see animals from all around the world enclosed in 5 sections here. You’ll also find snack stands and restaurants in the park.

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    Location: Parc de la Tête d’Or, 69006 Lyon, France

    Open: Daily from 6.30 am to 10.30 pm


    Musée Miniatures et Cinéma

    Take a tour behind the scenes of popular blockbuster movies

    Located in Lyon’s Old Town, at the foot of the Fourvière Hill, the Musée Miniature et Cinéma (Movies & Miniature Museum) showcases 2 permanent collections that will trigger your children’s interest. The first is dedicated to the art of miniaturisation. The small-scale replicas of a restaurant, an abandoned theatre and more are really impressive. The second is about cinema special effects. It displays models, props and costumes from movies like Gremlins, Mars Attack!, and Alien, to name a few.

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    Location: 60 Rue Saint-Jean, 69005 Lyon, France

    Open: Monday – Friday from 10 am to 6.30 pm, Saturday – Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm


    photo by Micka13 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Actua Karting

    Race around one of the largest go-kart complexes in Europe

    Located 20 km southeast of downtown Lyon, Actua Karting is among the largest go-kart complexes in Europe. It has 4 race tracks with stands and 250 karts available. Long-established and extremely professional, Actua Karting is accredited by the French Federation of Automobile Sport. There are 3 types of karts available for children, but the minimum height to use them is 1.3 metres. A restaurant, a bar and a boutique are also available on site.

    Location: Chemin de Fournéa, 69720 Saint-Laurent-de-Mure, France

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 7 pm


    Macarons at Sève Saint-Antoine

    Indulge your sweet tooth with a master chocolatier

    Head to the centre of Lyon, on the Presqu'île (peninsula) to sample the delicious macarons and chocolates baked by Sève Saint-Antoine, one of the most famous pastry shops in the city. The multi-award-winning master chocolatier Richard Sève produces chocolate delicacies from bean to bar. Besides chocolate and macarons, you’ll find a vast assortment of other yummy treats here. You and your children can also learn the basics of patisserie at the MUSCO Chocolate Museum, founded in Lyon by Richard Sève.

    Location: 29 Quai Saint-Antoine, 69002 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday – Saturday from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm, Sunday from 9 am to 6.30 pm (closed on Mondays)


    France Aventures Lyon Fourvière

    Swing from tree to tree in an eco-friendly park

    Take a break from sightseeing and enjoy a slightly more energetic experience at France Aventures Lyon Fourvière. A stroll away from the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the park features 7 acrobatic treetop courses and 1 interactive orienteering course. Each treetop course is designed to suit the ability of a specific age and features a minimum height requirement. A café is available on site for you to take a break in between courses.

    Location: 3 Pl. du 158e Régiment d'Infanterie, 69005 Lyon, France

    Open: Saturday – Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm, Wednesday from 1 pm to 7 pm


    Musée des Automates

    An automatic puppet museum

    The Musée des Automates (Automatic Puppets Museum) is a nice place to learn about the history of Lyon through the creations of some of its most talented craftsmen. The museum showcases 20 animated scenes. Some of them depict the bygone daily life of Lyon while others bring pictures to life, showing replicas of scenes involving famous characters such as Captain Hook and Quasimodo. The vintage décor and atmosphere of the museum makes it a very pleasant place to visit in the centre of Lyon.

    Location: 100 Rue Saint-Georges, 69005 Lyon, France

    Open: Daily from 2 pm to 6 pm


    Wakoo Park

    Have fun in an outdoor amusement park

    Wakoo Park is an outdoor amusement park 7 km southeast of Lyon city centre. Your children can enjoy a wide range of fun activities here, from pedal-go-kart racing on a circuit to jumping on large bouncy castles to moving from tree to tree on an acrobatic course. The park also features a small restaurant serving snacks and drinks.

    Location: 38 Rue du Clos Verger, 69200 Vénissieux, France

    Open: Saturday – Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm, Wednesday from 1 pm to 7 pm


    Touroparc Zoo

    A zoo/museum/amusement park complex 1-hour north of Lyon

    Touroparc Zoo is far more than a simple zoo. Located an hour’s drive north of downtown Lyon, it’s a large complex with 2 museums and an amusement park, in addition to the zoo. The 2 museums are part of a reconstructed 1930s village, with shops and geological display. The amusement park features a carrousel, a mini train and a playground area, including seasonal water slides. The animals have enclosures as close to their natural habitat as can be. A restaurant and 2 snack stalls are available for you to lunch at.

    Location: 400 Boulevard du Parc, 71570 Romanèche-Thorins, France

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm


    photo by Benoît Prieur (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Théâtre La Maison de Guignol

    Blend into the traditional culture of Lyon

    • Families
    • History

    Guignol is a famous theatrical character created in Lyon during the 19th century. Located in the heart of Lyon’s Old Town, the Théâtre La Maison de Guignol presents the traditional satirical show in which Guignol mocks the authority for the great pleasure of children. As the show is very visual and inspired by the Commedia dell'arte, so you don't have to speak French to get the gist. Do not miss the opportunity to see the puppets after the show.

    Location: 2 Montée du Gourguillon, 69005 Lyon, France

    Open: Saturday – Sunday at 4 pm, Wednesday at 2.30 pm and 4 pm


    Mini World Lyon

    Captivating miniatures for the young and young at heart

    Mini World Lyon is an impressive miniature museum showcasing small-scale representations of well-known urban and natural landscapes. The endearing exhibit has tiny models of the city’s most iconic landmarks, from Tête d’Or Park to Piscine du Rhône and Place Bellecour. Temporary exhibitions span fictional favourites like Harry Potter and Star Wars.

    A team of 20 workers has spent over 50,000 hours constructing the displays, which feature 35,000 tiny characters and 1,000 buildings. Most families spend several hours marvelling at the minute details. The affordable entry fee includes a 3D Cinema experience, a Playmobil Exhibition, and a Jurassic Tour.

    Location: Pôle du Carré de Soie, 3 Av. de Bohlen, 69120 Vaulx-en-Velin, France

    Open: Wednesday–Friday from 11 am to 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +33 (0)4 28 29 09 19


    photo by Benoît Prieur (CC0 1.0) modified

    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveller

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