Family Friendly Montpellier

Things to Do, What's New — By nickmahshie on July 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm

When taking a trip ‘en famille’, it is sometimes difficult to entertain the whole family simultaneously. Whilst parents may chose to visit the stunning area of France in order to delight in the fineries of life- good wine, rich culture, impressive art, for the younger family members such attractions can become a little tiresome. It is therefore good to know that Montpellier is a very family orientated city, and has a great range of attractions and activities to satisfy the age and taste spectrum of the whole family.

A tour of the city can instantly be made child friendly, by hoping on the “Le Petit Train” for a ride around town. The endearing little white and blue train loops the city, covering the main historical centre, and monuments. After this orientation, you will be able to take a stroll along the Esplanade de L’Europe. Whilst older family members can appreciate the beautiful fountains and gardens on display here, the children will no doubt be mesmerized by the numerous kiosks, serving up delicious chocolate crepes and ‘Gaulettes’ cakes. Pony rides and carriage drives are on standby, or enjoy a ride around on the old fashioned carousel here. With enough divertissement to keep the youngsters amused for a long while, parents can take the opportunity and visit the fantastic Fabre picture galleries just nearby.

A short bus ride North will take you to the ‘Serre Amazonienne’, built adjacent to the city Zoo. The largest of its kind in France, this Amazonian greenhouse exhibits an amazing display of tropical flor and fauna. Whilst being a great educative tool, which raises awareness about importance of biodiversity, kids will have a great time gawking at the anteaters, giant spiders and fearsome looking piranhas, or perhaps enjoy taking a tour of the bat caves. The greenhouse has seven different climate zones, with a corresponding assembly of plants and animals. The impromptu rain forest storms which strike the rain house every two hours are particularly exciting.

A short tram ride will take you to the Mare Nostrum, which is Montpellier’s new generation aquarium. The aquarium is a true undersea world of wonder which features an amazing 3,500 exhibits and 300 species of marine life, filling 24 pools. The entire aquarium was specifically designed to immerse visitors in the aquatic landscape, which ranges from the Atlantic to the Tropics. A huge amphitheatre viewing window goes right to the floor so that every toddler can get a good view of the amazing diversity of sea species. Other than the aquarium, there are other things to do for smaller kids; tree slide, interactive displays and sea life sound affects sound effects. The staff is extremely friendly, and there is an onsite café and outside picnic spot.