On our short trip to Lyon, we opted to leave our daughter – we just figured it would be more fun that way. But as a parent, I now naturally find myself constantly looking at destinations through the eyes of a parent. As far as cities go, I found Lyon to be super kid-friendly. Was that just me missing M? Yeah maybe, but I think like many French cities, the green spaces and walkability are great for kids. Here are some things we did that I wish we had brought M along for. I didn’t mind doing most of them as an adult, either!
Parc Tete d’Or
I know I wrote about the Parc Tete d’Or already, but it really deserves special mention. For starters, it’s a beautiful green space that kids would love running around. But it also could be super romantic for adults as well, pre-dinner stroll perhaps? Like any park, it’d be great for a picnic or a run or both.
The park also has a lot of activities that would be great for kids. There are boats to rent on the lake which would be great for older kids. There also is a full blown zoo that actually had quite a few animals – way more than I’d expect from something with free admission! There’s also a train to ride and a ton of playgrounds. If we had brought M I think we could have spent an entire day at the park, especially since the Hilton was so close we could have gone back for a nap.
One thing I noticed about Lyon is that there seemed to be a ton of playgrounds everywhere. I guess that’s true of every city but for some reason they stood out to me in Lyon. A great example is a play space that was created near one of the bridges on the Rhone river. There were all sorts of fun things to do, a “sunken” pirate ship, and even a gigantic slide that I was pretty tempted to go down. So if plain old green space gets boring for the kids, there are structures to be climbed and slides to be slid on all over the place.
If there’s one thing kids and adults can both get behind, it’s chocolate. Yes, the Salon du Chocolat was in town, but even if it isn’t, there is good chocolate to be had. When I was reading about Lyon, Bernachon was on the must visit list. We visited on a rainy day and pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was a good thing too – we spent quite a bit of time there. They have some amazingly decorated cakes, pastries, desserts, and of course – chocolate! We’ve been slowly making our way through a box of truffles that we bought – amazing stuff.
If you’re walking around Lyon, you can’t miss the Notre-Dame de Fourviere. It’s a beautiful building that is worth a visit in and of itself. For kids, the highlight might be the funicular ride up. For just a few Euros roundtrip you can ride a short tram ride up and down the hill. Just the kind of things a lot of kids would enjoy. And if they don’t, the views from the top are spectacular.
Something cute kids might like, there are small passages cutting through some buildings that kind of feel like secret tunnels. Some nice architecture in there too.
It seemed to me like there were quite a few fun things to do if you have kids in town in Lyon. It definitely doesn’t feel stiff or unfriendly at all. We didn’t bring ours, but still enjoyed all these different activities. Especially the chocolate.
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