The Loire Valley offers a huge range of family activities for when you fancy taking the kids over to its beautiful and versatile countryside. Bring them along on a family-friendly tour with a twist, let them run riot in an adventure park or join in the region’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance and fire up their imaginations at a grand, historic chateau. No matter what suits you and your family best, we’ve compiled a selection of the best things to do with kids in Loire Valley, so everyone in the clan is guaranteed a good time. 

1. Meet the animals at La Fleche Zoo

Happy laughing boy and his toddler sister cute little girl with curly hair wearing a dress having fun together in a zoo watching giraffes and other animals on a day trip during summer vacation | best things to do with kids in Loire Valley

Though hardly unique to the region, this Loire Valley zoo is among the best in France. Some 1,200 animals live here in environments which replicate their natural habitats in the wild. La Fleche Zoo is probably best known for its innovative viewing windows. These allow curious kids to sneak glances into otherwise off-limits dens and hideaways without disturbing their inhabitants. The polar bear enclosure is another kiddie favourite, with a glass viewing wall that allows you to see what the bears get up to under the water. Feeding sessions and sea lion displays provide further opportunities to learn all about the species at the zoo.

Price: Adult €27.50 and Child €20

Location: Le Tertre Rouge, 72200, La Flèche, France

Book: No need to book; just show up! 

2. Soar through the skies with Balloon Revolution

Rising above the forests, fields and rivers of the Loire Valley in a colourful hot air balloon is the stuff of memories – the kind of magical adventure that will stick with kids for a lifetime. For many adults, it’s a bucket-list experience which Balloon Revolution will happily help you tick off. After the exhilaration of take-off, their balloons will carry your family up and up, aloft among the clouds. Drift along the wind, float over the Loire Valley landscapes and admire some of the region’s best chateaux from a whole new perspective.

Price:  Starting from 195.00

Location: 7 Rue de l’Ile d’Or, 37400, Amboise

Book: Online at Balloon Revolution

3. Explore the Renaissance history of Chateau de Chambord

best things to do with kids in Loire Valley

No child is too young to get a kick out of visiting this emblematic Renaissance chateau, which – though grand and imposing – is far from stuffy. In fact, it makes for a great family day out. Pick up a ‘HistoPad’ at the front desk as you enter. These interactive tablets were designed with younger visitors in mind, and are sure to keep inquisitive kids agog while touring the inside of the chateaux. The real joys for youngsters are to be found among its vast grounds. Here, a raft of fun activities including boat and bike tours as well as horse-drawn carriage rides are available. There’s also a period-style equestrian show held at the chateau in summer, where costumed knights re-enact six historical episodes from Chambord’s history.

Price: €16 full rate, €13.50 reduced rate

Location: 41250 Chambord, France

Book: No need to book; just show up!

4. Explore the exhibits at the Natural History Museum

We’ve all been there. You’re enjoying the perfect family holiday with picnics, parks and outdoor play… until an unexpected summer shower rains on your parade. Kids are the first to feel the restrictive effects of rain, with almost all outdoor activities wiped off the agenda. If you find yourself a victim of changeable weather, we recommend a family trip to the Natural History Museum in Tours, one of the most child-centric museums in the region. Kids will go wild for the stuffed animal section, where gorillas, lions and other fearsome predators are lined up for inspection, and even wilder for the live animal exhibits, which include insects, reptiles and loads of other crawling critters. Signage is in French only, but the visual impact of the displays is likely to be of more interest to little ones anyway.

Price:  From €4.50

Location: 3 Rue du Président Merville, 37000, Tours

Book: No need to book; just show up!

5. Get your thrills at Papéa Parc

This family-friendly theme park is a sure-fire boredom buster for families whose youngest members need to expend some energy. Rally together with the whole familial crew for a pedalo-ride out on the lake, then bring the kids for a meet and greet with the furry farm creatures before gawking at the colourful plumage of the park’s resident peacocks. For a more stomach-churning experience, test out some of the park’s themed rides. Hurtle through the air on a log flume or cling on for dear life on the careening pirate ship. A small waterpark area complete with slides provides welcome relief on hot summer days. Families will find food concessions and a restaurant within the park, but the French seem to favour BYO picnics, and we recommend following suit.

Price:  Adult €24.50 and Child €22.50

Location: 72530 Yvré-l’Évêque, France

Book: No need to book; just show up!

6. Conquer the Forteresse Du Faucon Noir

The Loire Valley is full of impeccably restored and meticulously maintained chateaux, so why go to this ruined fortress? The answer is simple: the kids will love it. Where other museums and exhibits dole out information, this museum has a more theatrical, hands-on approach. Costumed docents tell stories of life at the fortress in the past, and demonstrate traditional crafts. Special tours also take visitors into the torture chamber. During the summer season, little hands will be kept busy trying out a range of activities, such as calligraphy, candlemaking, coin minting, fencing and other medieval-era pursuits, and they can even practice their knight skills with soft swords and shields.

Price:  Starting from €12 Adult and €8 Child

Location: Rue du Château, 37250 Montbazon

Book: No need to book; just show up!

7. Go donkey trekking with Le Monde d’Ossyane

girl wearing a purple shirt smiling next to donkey in a petting zoo | best things to do with kids in Loire Valley

From Eddie Murphy’s Donkey in Shrek to the ever-despondent Eeyore, these gentle animals have captured the hearts of the young (and the not-so-young) worldwide. At Le Monde d’Ossyane, you can wander the forest with these delightful hoofed creatures. Parents can take the lead for an easy donkey’s pace trek through the woods, occasionally stopping to allow their friendly steed to snack on some grass along the route. The kids can take in the sights from atop the saddle. Make a day out of it and bring a picnic along. Your donkey for the day can carry your provisions until you find a suitably idyllic spot to pause and eat, before setting off on the leisurely return leg.

Price: Hikes starting from 40

Location: La Boutinière, 41250, Tour en Sologne

Book: Call 06 84 25 71 69 

How’s that for a list of the best things to do with kids in Loire Valley? If you’re as enticed by the prospect of a family trip to this picturesque corner of France as we are, don’t forget our range of luxury chateaux in the Loire Valley has a great selection of places to stay no matter how old the kids are! If you need any help with your search, just get in touch with our expert concierge team who can help find your perfect fit.

Looking for a full list of villas to rent this year? Check out our villa holidays page here.

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2 Responses

  1. Sarah Rouse Kemnitz

    Just to let you know that for your listing #3 in The Best Things to do with Kids in Loire Valley is incorrect. The Château de Chambord address you have listed is wrong. You have the address for Château de Chenonceau.

    • Natalie Gomez

      Hi Sarah, good spot – thanks for letting us know! We’ve now changed the address. Thanks, Natalie


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