FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
United

Traveling With Young Kids in Lyon, France

by Barbara Rogers

Aug 20, 2018

© Stillman Rogers

Age Specific / Kids

Although it’s France’s third-largest city, Lyon is only about one-fifth the size of Paris. This makes it a more compact city to get around, its main tourist sites within easy reach of each other. In other words, it’s an easy city to tour with children. For those old enough to have learned about the Romans, it offers another treat — two Roman theaters to explore. Here are some tips on touring Lyon with kids.

The Roman theater, Lyon, France © Stillman Rogers

Roman Theaters

Not one, but two theaters are part of the oldest ancient ruins in France. The Grand Théâtre, dating back to 15 BC, was for tragedies and comedies, while the Odéon was for musical performances. These open-air theaters are set into the steep hill that rises from the Saone River in the oldest part of Lyon. Look for the foundations of a temple to the Goddess Cybele, and if kids show an interest beyond climbing on the ancient stones, go to the nearby Gallo-Roman Museum to see the giant Hercules sculpture, marble decorations from ancient baths, and a beautiful mosaic floor representing the God of Oceans.

Puppet Shows

Lyon is known for Guignol, the lead character in traditional comical puppet shows known by his name, performed on colorful small stages. The shows will be in French, of course, but they are full of action, with lots of thwacking about, so kids will be entertained without having to understand a word. You can see shows at Le Guignol de Lyon, at 2 Rue Louis Carrand in Vieux Lyon, or Théâtre la Maison de Guignol, also in Vieux Lyon, the old town. The Musée des Arts de La Marionnette (Puppet Museum), near Le Guignol de Lyon, has marionettes from all over the world.

Guignol Puppets in Lyon © Stillman Rogers

Parc de la Tête d’Or

When kids just need a place to run off steam, head across both rivers to this immense green park (it’s a long walk, so take the bus or a cab). Along with plenty of grass and wide stroller-friendly walkways, there’s a rose garden, a botanical garden, a zoo and a lake where you can rent boats. There are lots of activities for kids: a smaller lake with boats for ages 3 to 12, pony rides for those between 2 and 13, pedal cars for ages 3 to 7. Balad’or bike carts will hold parents and small kids and two little trains tour the park. Not to mention the Guignol Theater. The Parc de la Tête d’Or website is in English, so you can learn all the details, including the best ways to get there.

Place de Célestins

Place Célestins in Lyon, France © Stillman Rogers

It’s not on any tourist guide, but if you want to feel part of local life, take your younger children to this tiny square on a warm afternoon. You’ll find neighborhood mothers and caregivers sitting on the shaded steps of the Célestins Theater, watching kids splash in the fountain pools and play soccer on the pavement. There are few language barriers among little kids — tossing a ball and wading in a pool are the same in any language.

You’ll find Place de Célestins just off the Saone embankment in the central Presqu’île quarter, a narrow strip a few blocks wide enclosed between the converging Rhone and Saone rivers. Two small, budget-friendly hotels are nearby, both with larger rooms for families. Hotel Des Artistes faces right onto the square, and Hotel des Celestins is a few steps away. It’s another traditional hotel, with suites that have pull-out sofas and sleep up to four. The square is not far from Place Bellecourt, where the tourist office is located, and just behind the theater is a footbridge that crosses right into the heart of Vieux Lyon.

#WhereverFamily

Insta Feed
Destinations
Feb 23, 2024

6 Spring Break Destinations for Families in 2024

Spring break is a great time for family travel, and these six destinations might be the inspiration you need for this year’s getaway.

Unearth Seoul’s Hidden Gems

Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.

Destinations / Asia
Feb 22, 2024

Don’t Miss These Family-Friendly Attractions in Tokyo

Tokyo is a fascinating city that draws visitors for many reasons. Some go for the city’s exceptional cuisine, some look to experience a city teeming with technical innovations, while others go to discover Japan’s fascinating culture. But one theme seems to be constant no matter what your reason for visiting the city; it is a great place for family travelers, with plenty to see and do.

Parents
Feb 22, 2024

Tiny Traveler: A Safer Way to Travel with a Baby

Are your upcoming family travels taking you on a road trip? It’s not always easy trying to keep an eye on the little ones while also keeping an eye on the road, but with Tiny Traveler, parents can have peace of mind about their child's safety on the road. This safe companion monitors the kids and can even record precious moments for eternity.

Travel Tips to Help Protect Your Health and Your Trip

Five Tips to Help Minimize Potential Travel Problems

Slideshow
Feb 22, 2024

5 Muscat, Oman, Destinations for Family Travel

It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Muscat, Oman, with us.