The Best Things to Do in Bordeaux with Kids

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Tucked away in southwest France, Bordeaux is a city steeped in history, culture, and famous vineyards. But what you might not realise is that it’s also a fantastic destination for families looking for fun-filled adventures with their little ones. 

Collage of scenic views from Bordeaux including the historic buildings and modern Cite du Vin along with suggestions for kids

The Best Things to do in Bordeaux with Kids

With its captivating museums, expansive parks, and thrilling outdoor activities, Bordeaux provides the perfect mix of entertainment for both children and grown-ups. 

As a parent who loves discovering unforgettable travel experiences, here are my my top picks for kid-friendly attractions in this enchanting city. 

So, grab your luggage and come along as we uncover the best family-friendly activities Bordeaux has to offer!

Where to stay near Bordeaux

While Bordeaux itself is not on the coast, you can make the most of beach camping at somewhere like Yelloh! Village along the Atlantic Coast and then head into the city for the day. Many Yelloh! Villages have swimming pools, terraced pitches, tennis courts, entertainment, surf spots and more. They’re also supposed to be extremely family friendly.

For example, Yelloh! Village Les Grands Pins is set within a pine forest right next to the sand dunes and the shore. It has more than 100km of cycle paths, a wellness centre, zen swimming pool and a separate splash pool with water slides for every age.

Then, there’s Yelloh! Village Domaine Les Oréades. Just 50 metres from the sandy Caton beach, it also sits on the banks of Lake Sanguinet, providing plenty of ways to get into the water. It has its own swimming pool and a range of creative projects for children at the kids club.

Both sites are within easy reach of Bordeaux, allowing you to combine the thrills of the city with a peaceful return to nature.

Best Time to Visit Bordeaux

If you’re planning a family trip to Bordeaux, the best time to visit is during the late spring and early summer months, from May to June. The weather is pleasantly warm and sunny, perfect for outdoor activities with the little ones. Plus, it’s not too crowded as it’s right before the peak tourist season.

During this time, you can explore the city’s beautiful parks, join an educational wine tour (for the adults, of course), and visit kid-friendly museums. The other seasons, like autumn and winter, might bring cooler temperatures and fewer activities. However, they also come with lower prices and smaller crowds.

Activities to Try With Kids While in Bordeaux 

Unleash Your Inner Scientist at Cap Sciences

Cap Science is a museum with a mission: to promote science and technology through experimentation. Located on the right bank of the Garonne River, the museum is famous for its permanent exhibition, where visitors can learn about physics, biology, chemistry, and more. Kids can participate in workshops, enjoy shows, and even experiment with their own ideas.

Your kids will have a blast exploring the museum’s scientific wonders while learning new things. They’ll be able to experience a tornado, create their own robots, and even discover new planets. Getting to Cap Science is easy by tram, bus, or bike from the city centre. 

La Cité du Vin is a great place to learn about Bordeaux’s wine history with kids

A Grape Family Adventure at La Cité du Vin

Bordeaux wine is so famous that they built it a museum. And a really spectacular one, one might say! With an intriguing shape that swirls and twirls just like wine into a glass, La Cité du Vin showcases the history of wine, its cultural significance, and the different techniques used in winemaking. 

A visit here offers your kids the opportunity to learn about the different types of grapes and wine, taste grape juice, and explore the museum’s exhibits. They can also join workshops to learn about the art of tasting and how to pair food with wine. Plus, you can do some pretty nice wine tasting in the meanwhile. 

La Cité du Vin is located near the city centre and can be easily accessed by tram, bus, or bike. It’s also near the historic Chartrons district, so if you are short on time you can pair these two tourist attractions in one day.

Make a Splash at Le Miroir d’Eau

Located near the Place de la Bourse, Le Miroir d’Eau or Water Mirror is a shallow water fountain renowned for its reflective surface, which creates a stunning mirror effect. The fountain was created in 2006 and today holds the title of the world’s largest reflecting pool, covering 3,450 square metres.

It is a popular meeting place for the locals during the summer days when they come here to escape the heat. It also mesmerises all the kids who immediately fall in love with its reflections, so it is a great stop on any itinerary.

Relax and Play at Jardin Public

With beautiful landscapes, historic monuments, and a diverse botanical collection, this public garden offers both shade from the sun and the opportunity to spend quality family time in the middle of nature. The park dates back to 1746, being one of the oldest in France.

There are plenty of fun things to do here, from exploring the rose garden, the botanical garden, and the pond to visiting the mini-zoo on the premises. Younger children can also play in the playgrounds or ride the carousel for an extra dose of excitement.

Wild Encounters at Bordeaux Zoo

A big hit both among parents and kids, Bordeaux Zoo is home to over 1,000 animals from around the world, offering great animal conservation programs and showing a strong commitment to teaching visitors about wildlife.

Your kids will see giraffes, lions, and elephants up close (which is always a lot of fun) and can also participate in educational activities and workshops to learn more about the animals and their habitats. 

Ascend the Pey-Berland Tower

One of the best places to see Bordeaux from above, the beautiful, Gothic-style bell tower of Pey-Berland is definitely worth visiting. 

Built in the 15th century, it stands apart from the nearby Saint-André cathedral, offering panoramic views of the city where visitors can see the Garonne River winding through the city and the old town’s historic buildings. 

The best part of this tower is that it’s not too tall, so even younger children can make the climb. Kids will love the spiral staircase leading up to the top, and the views of the city from the top are sure to take their breath away. 

Moreover, the tower is conveniently located near the Place Pey-Berland and is accessible via public transportation, bicycle, or on foot.

Ride the Tram in Bordeaux

One of the best ways to get around Bordeaux with kids is by tram. The city has an extensive and modern tram network that covers all the Bordeaux museums, main attractions, and parks. 

The trams are clean, safe, and easy to use, making it a great way to explore the city with your family. 

Buy tickets at any tram stop or online and show your kids the city from a different perspective, allowing them to see several of the big attractions through the locals’ eyes. 

Skate Your Heart Out at Darwin Ecosystem

If your kids love adventure, then Darwin Ecosystem is a must-visit destination. The former military barracks turned into a cultural centre boasts a skate park that has become famous among local skaters. 

The park has a friendly atmosphere, and the juniors can enjoy different obstacles, from ramps to rails and even a mini-bowl. Not only is it an excellent opportunity for kids to burn some energy, but it’s a great chance for them to meet new friends from the area. 

Parents can also enjoy a drink at the nearby bar while watching the kids skate. 

Kayak Together on the Garonne River

The Garonne River is another exciting and fun way to explore the Bordeaux region with kids. A family-friendly kayak tour is an excellent way to spend a sunny afternoon and take in the city’s beautiful scenery. The river is calm, which makes it perfect for kids who have never kayaked before. 

During the tour, you’ll see the charming 18th-century facades of Bordeaux’s quays and the historic Pont de Pierre bridge while sliding along Bordeaux’s most important river. 

Boat trips are also available if you are looking for a more comfortable ride.

Family Movie Time at Cinéma Utopia

If you stumble upon a rainy day, then Cinéma Utopia is a great indoor activity for families with kids. Located in the heart of Bordeaux, this independent cinema offers an excellent selection of family-friendly films. 

The cinema has a retro and cosy atmosphere and regularly shows foreign films with subtitles, which can be a great opportunity to expose kids to different languages and cultures. 

After the movie, head to the nearby Place de la Victoire for a snack or a drink. Cinéma Utopia is reachable on foot from any point in the city centre.

Delve into History at the Museum of Aquitaine

Established in 1783 and having undergone a significant renovation in 2007, the Museum of Aquitaine boasts an extensive array of artefacts, paintings, and sculptures that highlight the rich history of this wine region.

The museum serves as an excellent learning space for older children to discover how people lived during various historical eras, offering them a great opportunity to examine ancient items such as pottery, tools, and weapons from the Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Roman Empire.

Unlock the Secrets of Grosse Cloche

This medieval bell tower dates back to the 15th century and served as a prison and a courtroom during the Middle Ages.

Climb the tower’s 230 steps to get a stunning view of the city and its surroundings. The tower also houses a museum where kids can learn about the history of Bordeaux and the role that the Grosse Cloche played in shaping the city.

Explore the Majestic Basilique Saint-Michel

Just a short walk from the Place de la Victoire, Basilique Saint-Michel is a majestic church that has been spreading the faith to Bordeaux starting with the Middle Ages. 

Built in the Gothic style in the 14th century, the basilica showcases a unique tower, which stands 114 meters tall and can be climbed for a stunning panoramic view of Bordeaux and its surrounding area.

Kids will love exploring the intricate details of the church’s architecture, including the stained-glass windows and the ornate carvings on the doors and walls. They can also attend mass or participate in one of the many guided tours available.

An Exotic Day Out at La Ferme Exotique

Located on the outskirts of Bordeaux, La Ferme Exotique is an exotic animal park that is home to over 100 species of animals from across the globe, such as llamas, alpacas, zebras, kangaroos, and many more. 

The park features a petting zoo where children can interact with gentle farm animals like goats, sheep, and rabbits, learning about their care and feeding, and even having the opportunity to milk cows. 

Although it is a 20-minute drive from the city centre, La Ferme Exotique is well worth the effort, particularly for young kids who will truly treasure this day trip.

Pedal Through Bordeaux on a Bike Tour

Bordeaux is a bike-friendly city with plenty of cycle paths and dedicated bike lanes, so taking a bike tour is a great way to explore the city and its surroundings.

Many tour companies offer guided tours that take you through the historic district of Bordeaux, along the Garonne River, and even into the vineyards of the nearby countryside.

Along this fun family adventure, you’ll stop at different points of interest along the way, such as the Château Trompette, Grand-Théâtre de Bordeaux, Place des Quinconces, and others where you can find out more about their long history.

Guided bike tours typically start from the city centre and can be booked online or at tourist information centres. Of course, renting bikes and pedalling on your own is also an option.

Soar Above Bordeaux on the Ferris Wheel

Take your kids on a breathtaking ride high above the city on the Bordeaux Ferris wheel. Opened in 2006, this 60-meter-high giant landmark stands tall on the Place des Quinconces, in the heart of the city. 

The Ferris wheel offers visitors panoramic views of the Garonne River and the city’s sprawling architecture. 

Enjoy watching the busy city from the top while capturing memorable photos and creating unforgettable family memories.

Discover Art and History at Espace Saint-Rémi

Espace Saint-Rémi is a cultural centre and former Benedictine abbey in the heart of Bordeaux. The space offers a range of activities and temporary exhibitions that explore the history and art of the region. Your kids can enjoy interactive displays, workshops, and tours of the site.

The space’s collections include archaeological discoveries and historical artefacts dating back to the Roman era. It also houses contemporary art exhibitions that showcase local artists.

Family Thrills at a Bordeaux Escape Room

Do your kids love solving puzzles and cracking codes? Then adding an escape room to your Bordeaux itinerary is the best way to keep them engaged. 

Creative Exploration at Le Garage Moderne

Located in an old car workshop in the Saint-Augustin district, Le Garage Moderne invites children and adults alike to embrace the joy of creativity. They offer a range of workshops, including bike repair, woodworking, and sewing. Kids can also participate in coding classes, music workshops, and storytelling sessions.

Savour Local Delights at Marché des Capucins

Dating back to 1749, this lively marketplace has evolved into a favourite destination for locals and tourists alike. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast or lunch with your youngsters while discovering Bordeaux. 

The market is renowned for its fresh, locally sourced products such as seafood, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and bread. Enjoy right away or purchase ingredients to prepare a meal together later. 

To reach Marché des Capucins, take the tramway to the “Sainte-Croix” stop or stroll from the city centre. The market is open daily except for Mondays.

Experience the Charm of Saint-Émilion

A quaint and charming town located just a short drive from Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion is a UNESCO World Heritage site that will transport you and your family back in time. This historic town is famous for its red wine and beautiful vineyards, which date back to Roman times.

Explore the town’s narrow streets, ancient buildings, and gothic churches and climb the bell tower of the Monolithic Church with your kids for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

The best time to visit Saint-Émilion is during the annual wine festival in June, when the town comes alive with music, food, and, of course, exceptional red and white wine. 

Fun in the Sun at Parc Bordelais

For some outdoor fun, head to Parc Bordelais, one of Bordeaux’s largest parks. This sprawling green space boasts over 100 acres of gardens, walking paths, and sports facilities, making it a great place to spend a day with your kids.

The park is famous for its beautiful rose garden, and you will also find a playground, mini-golf course, and even a small zoo with goats, ducks, and rabbits for your kids to enjoy.

Embark on Thrilling Treasure Hunts

For an exciting and challenging adventure, take your family on a treasure hunt through the streets of Bordeaux. This scavenger hunt will lead you through historic neighbourhoods and landmarks as you solve clues and complete challenges.

You can book a self-guided tour or hire a guide who will customise the hunt to your family’s interests and preferences. Either way, it’s a fantastic way to explore Bordeaux with your kids and create lasting memories.

Meeting points vary depending on the chosen route, but most of them are located near the city centre or major tourist attractions.

Nature’s Beauty at Parc de Majolan

If your family needs a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to Parc de Majolan. This expansive park is located just outside Bordeaux and offers a serene escape into nature. 

Created in the 19th century, the park has been beautifully maintained and features lush gardens, a lake, waterfalls, and several walking trails. Kids can run around and play in the open spaces, climb the trees, and explore the hidden corners of the park. 

The highlight of the park is the “Folly Majolan,” a fairy tale castle that adds to the magical atmosphere of the park. 

Journey Through Space at the Planetarium

Kids with an interest in space will love the planetarium in Bordeaux. Located in a modern building in the Jardin Botanique, the planetarium offers immersive shows that take you on a journey through the universe. 

Kids can explore the stars, planets, and galaxies in a fun and interactive way. There are several shows available, each with a different theme, and the shows are available in multiple languages. 

After the show, be sure to check out the botanical gardens, which offer a beautiful and relaxing escape from the city. 

Let Their Imagination Run Wild at the Children’s Theatre

The Théâtre des Salinières is a historic theatre in Bordeaux that offers a range of shows for kids and families. With shows designed specifically for children, the theatre provides an opportunity for kids to explore their imaginations through live performances. 

Shows range from puppetry to storytelling to musicals, and there’s something for every age group. 

The theatre itself is a beautiful building, with ornate decorations and a cosy atmosphere. Plus, it is located in the city centre, so it can be easily accessed by public transport or on foot.

Cycle in Style at Les Hangars à Vélos

For an active and adventurous day out with the family, head to Les Hangars à Vélos. This bicycle centre offers bike rentals for all ages, as well as guided tours of the city. Kids will love exploring Bordeaux on two wheels, and the centre also offers a range of other activities, such as roller skating and scootering. 

Les Hangars à Vélos is located in the Chartrons neighbourhood, just north of the city centre. It can be easily accessed by tram or bus and is located near several other tourist attractions, such as the CAPC Contemporary Art Museum.

Visit the Natural History Museum

Step into a world of wonder and discovery at the Natural History Museum of Bordeaux. Established in 1791, this museum has been a treasure trove of knowledge and fascination for generations. 

The museum is renowned for its remarkable collections of fossils, minerals, and preserved specimens. Your kids will be captivated by the dinosaur skeletons and interactive exhibits that bring the natural world to life. 

A mere 15-minute walk from the city centre, the museum is easily accessible, allowing you and your family to embark on an unforgettable adventure.

Stroll Across the Historic Pont de Pierre

As you stroll across the iconic Pont de Pierre, you’ll be traversing history. Completed in 1822, this elegant stone bridge stretches over the Garonne River, linking Bordeaux’s historic heart to the vibrant Bastide quarter. 

The Pont de Pierre is renowned for its 17 graceful arches, symbolising the 17 letters in Napoleon Bonaparte’s name. It serves as an excellent spot to educate your kids about the city’s role in the French Revolution while taking in the best views of the river and city skyline. 

From the front of the Place de la Bourse, it’s just a short stroll along the waterfront to reach this magnificent bridge. 

Have Family Fun at Place de la Victoire

Place de la Victoire is the ultimate destination for family fun in Bordeaux. This lively city square, steeped in history, has been a gathering place for locals and visitors since the 18th century. 

It’s famous for its iconic victory arch, the Porte d’Aquitaine, which stands as a proud symbol of Bordeaux’s past. Your children will delight in running around the spacious square, chasing pigeons, and climbing the quirky turtle sculptures. It is also a great spot to take cool vacation photos.

Explore and Shop at Bordeaux’s Kid-Friendly Flea Markets

Bordeaux’s vibrant flea markets offer a unique shopping experience that the whole family can enjoy. These bustling bazaars are filled with hidden treasures, from vintage toys to antique furniture and quirky collectables. 

The most famous of these markets, the St. Michel Flea Market, takes place every Sunday morning in the historic St. Michel neighbourhood. 

As you meander through the stalls, you’ll be transported back in time, and your kids will be enthralled by the fascinating items on display. 

To get there, take tram line C from the city centre and disembark at St. Michel station.

Experience Medieval History at Porte Cailhau

Travel back to medieval times at the enchanting Porte Cailhau. This magnificent city gate, built in 1495, once served as the main entrance to Bordeaux. Its striking Gothic architecture and intricate sculptures make it a sight to behold. The gate is renowned for its role in Bordeaux’s history, having witnessed countless triumphs and tribulations over the centuries. 

For a small fee, you can explore the narrow spiral staircases and gaze out over the city from the lofty terrace. Moreover, children under 12 enjoy free access. 

Located just a short walk from Place de la Bourse, Porte Cailhau is an unmissable stop on your Bordeaux adventure.

Discover Bordeaux’s Fascinating Street Art

Imagine wandering the streets of Bordeaux and stumbling upon vibrant murals and thought-provoking graffiti. This is the world of Bordeaux’s street art scene, a huge space for creativity just waiting to be explored. The city’s walls have been transformed into an open-air museum over the years, showcasing the works of both local and international artists.

Bordeaux’s street art movement began in the 1980s and has since flourished, with the city now recognised as a hub for urban art. Renowned for its large-scale murals, such as the famous “Le Chat” by Monsieur Chat, this form of expression captivates young and old alike.

Your kids will be thrilled to discover the intriguing stories behind each masterpiece, sparking their imagination and encouraging their own artistic pursuits. Many guided tours are available, offering a fun and interactive way to uncover the city’s artistic gems.

To begin your street art adventure, simply head to the city centre or follow the trail from the iconic Place de la Bourse. As you wander through Bordeaux’s lively streets, you’ll soon find yourself immersed in a world where art knows no bounds.

Collage of images that represent where to stay in Bordeaux including a map, vineyard, coastal and city spot

Where to Stay in the City of Bordeaux when Travelling with Kids

The wide range of kid-friendly hotels makes the beautiful city of Bordeaux an even greater attraction for family holidays. Here are a few accommodation options for your stay in one of the most delightful French cities:

Le Boutique Hotel Bordeaux – This charming hotel features an elegant 18th-century architectural style. The spacious rooms offer comfortable accommodations and modern amenities, with a dedicated play area for children and an on-site wine bar for parents.

Novotel Bordeaux Centre – With its contemporary design, this mid-range hotel offers well-equipped family rooms. The comfort level is excellent, and kids can enjoy the indoor play area while parents relax at the on-site restaurant.

Mama Shelter Bordeaux – This trendy and affordable hotel boasts a quirky, colourful design. The cosy rooms are perfect for families, and children can have fun in the lively common areas. The hotel also provides board games and kids’ entertainment.

Château Grattequina – For a luxurious experience, stay at this stunning 19th-century château. The opulent rooms provide ultimate comfort, and the hotel offers babysitting services. The expansive grounds are perfect for outdoor activities and exploration.

Ibis Styles Bordeaux Gare Saint-Jean – This budget-friendly option has a vibrant, modern design. The family rooms are comfortable and functional, and the hotel offers a play corner for kids. Its convenient location near the train station makes it easy to explore Bordeaux.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Bordeaux 

Like most French cities, Bordeaux focuses on local produce, offering plenty of family-friendly restaurants. Here are our recommendations: 

Le Petit Bain – Nestled by the riverside, this affordable restaurant boasts a modern, nautical-themed architecture. The attentive staff ensure that kids are well taken care of with a special menu featuring tasty options like fish and chips and chicken nuggets. The outdoor playground and sandbox offer endless fun for children.

Les Enfants À Table – The service at Les Enfants À Table is exceptional, as the staff diligently cater to the needs of both children and adults, ensuring a memorable dining experience. The menu offers an array of mouth-watering dishes crafted from fresh, top-quality ingredients. Their roast chicken accompanied by deliciously seasoned potatoes comes highly recommended – a meal that will have your little ones asking for seconds!

Loco By Jem’s – With an artistic flair, featuring eye-catching murals on the walls and eclectic furniture that adds a dash of playfulness to the ambience, Locco is a great place to have lunch. Also, the menu boasts a variety of appetising dishes, including their famous homemade burger, loaded with fresh ingredients and served with golden crispy fries. It’s a crowd-pleaser that will leave both kids and adults craving more!

More on Travel in France

Discover plenty of unusual things to do in France with our unique look at the country, this list of interesting facts about France and our guide to hidden gems in Paris. For more on the city of wine, check out our perfect 4-day Bordeaux itinerary. Still keen to learn more? Check out our guide to what France is famous for here. Finally, check out our guide to visiting Paris with kids.