Toulouse is known for its large space industry and its remarkable red brick architecture which attracts many visitors. If you’re considering traveling here with kids you’d be surprised to know that Toulouse is a family-friendly city. There are quite a lot of fun things to do in Toulouse with kids such as the space museum, boat rides, treasure hunts, and more.
This list includes both indoor and outdoor attractions you can do with your kids in Toulouse. Like other cities in France, Toulouse offers something that’s called the Tourist Pass which gives you discounts and free entrance to many museums and other entertainment in the city. With the pass, you can also use public transportation for free.
If you’re a particularly active family and you know that you can make it to several museums or other activities on this list in 2-3 days, then it’s really worth purchasing the pass. The price of the pass is 18€/28€/35€ for 24/48/72 hours respectively. You can see the list of all the discounts you can benefit from here. If you want to purchase the city pass – click here.
Entry to museums in France is usually free (or reduced price) for kids, so I recommend purchasing the pass only for yourselves, the parents. Also, it’s important to note that the museums are free every first Sunday of the month, so don’t buy a pass if that’s the day you’re going to visit Toulouse.
Here’s my detailed list of all the family friendly things to do in Toulouse.
- Best kids-friendly activities in Toulouse
- Best things to do with kids around Toulouse
Best kids-friendly activities in Toulouse
Visit the Space museum
La Cite de l’Espace is one of the most popular attractions in Toulouse, a city known for its space industry. The museum opened its doors in 1997 and has attracted millions of visitors ever since. It has a variety of different exhibitions focusing on the International space station, the solar system, weather predictions, and more. Most of the museum is very interactive which makes it very popular with kids of all ages.
Apart from the main building, there are a few interesting exhibitions and demonstrations in the outdoor area of the museum. One of these is the Russian MIR space station, which you can visit and learn about the astronauts’ daily life at the station.
Younger kids aren’t left behind!
One of the buildings, called “La Cite des petits” is dedicated to small kids (4 years and older). The two-floor space-themed park allows kids that don’t read yet to discover the work of an astronaut and their day-to-day lives in the space station. That’s the perfect place to let them touch, construct, deconstruct and just get curious.
There are many daily demonstrations and activities offered by the museum for different age groups – you can prepare your visit in advance and see all the information for that day in their app.
The tickets: The tickets are a bit pricy (23€ for adults and 19€ for kids over 5yo) but quite worth it for a full-day experience. Here’s a link to purchase the tickets. If you have a city pass, you have a 15% discount on the tickets. Purchase the pass here.
Opening hours: The museum is closed in January and opens daily throughout the rest of the year, although some weeks it’s closed on Mondays so check the hours before going. Address: Av. Jean Gonord, 31500 Toulouse
How to get there: La Cite de l’Espace is located in the eastern part of the city, only about a 6 km drive from the center of Toulouse. If you get there by car, there’s a huge parking space next to the museum. If you don’t have a car, take the metro (line A) to the Jolimont station and then the bus (line 37) to the Cité de l’Espace station.
The little train
If you have little kids you know how exhausting visiting a city with them can be. In recent years I learned that the easiest way to see all the monuments in a city is by using the little train, that many French cities offer to tourists. Luckily Toulouse has one of those too.
The little train in Toulouse offers two different circuits. First, Circuit Garonne follows the Garonne river and takes you through most of the historic center around Place du Capitole. The second tour is the “Circuit de Canal du Midi”, following the canal, the gardens around the Grand Rond, and the chic Carmes neighborhood.
The tickets: The ticket price is 7€ for adults and 3€ for kids (3-11 yo) and you can get a 2 € discount with the city pass. You can buy the tickets next to the train, but be sure to arrive about 20 minutes prior to the scheduled train time.
La Halle de la machine
La Halle de la machine is one of my favorite places in Toulouse and is the perfect place to take your kids to!
This huge machinery playground belongs to a theatre group called la Compagnie La Machine which incorporates machines in its shows. The machines, built by the group members, are usually quite funny and ridiculous which makes the visit very entertaining. The place itself is the storage hangar of the company, where they keep all the machines that aren’t currently used in shows around the world.
At first glance, the whole place looks overwhelming, full of what seems like useless machinery. That’s why you must follow one of the guides, hear the stories behind the machines and see how they operate. However, what your kids will probably love the most is the Minotaure. Outside the hanger, you’ll meet a 14 meters height wooden animal, created especially for a show in Toulouse. This humongous machine is operated by the staff and takes the visitors on its back for a ride.
The tickets: You can pay for a visit and the ride separately if you’re not interested in both activities. Like in many other activities on this list, here too you can enjoy a 2.5 euros discount with the city pass (the discount is for the exhibition only). If you don’t use the city pass, here’s a link to purchase the tickets to the exhibition.
Opening hours: La Halle de la machine is open daily from Tuesday to Sunday and closed in January. See the schedule here. Address: 3 Av. de l’Aérodrome de Montaudran, 31400 Toulouse
How to get there: La Halle de la machine is located outside the city center but is reachable by public transport (you can use public transport for free with the city pass). Take metro B from Jean Jaures station in the direction of Ramonville, get off at Rangueil station, and take bus number 23 to the Jardin de la Ligne station.
Take your kids on a family boat ride
With the Garonne river and the canal du midi running through the city, Toulouse is a great destination for boat trips.
One option is to go on a big boat for a cruise on the Canal, which is fun but a rather static experience. I tried that in many cities in France and it doesn’t work well with my dynamic kids who get quickly bored.
Instead what works perfectly for our family is small electric boats you can navigate by yourself. Your kids can then help you navigate the boat and feel like they are more involved. The boat speed is very slow so it’s pretty safe to let your kids hold the wheel (under your supervision of course).
In Toulouse, you can choose between two boat sizes (without any special permit): up to 3 people and a bigger one for up 8 people. You can choose a one or two hours tour, but from my personal experience with little kids, one hour is more than enough.
The tickets: The prices range between 50€ to 88€ for the boat, depending on the number of people. You can get a 10% discount with the city pass, so try to plan it on a day with other activities so you can enjoy the discounts.
Opening hours: Les Caboteurs, the company that runs this operation is open from June to November. You can see more info here. Address: The departure point is Port Viguerie in the Saint Cyprian neighborhood in Toulouse.
Aeroscopia – the airplanes museum
If your kids love airplanes, they will definitely enjoy Aeroscopia, a 7 000 m² museum dedicated to the history of aviation. The huge exhibition includes some of the most legendary planes like the Concorde, Caravelle, Super Guppy, and A300B.
The museum is very interactive and includes many activities for kids. Older kids are offered activities like drone flying and lab experiments, while the small ones can enjoy a lego workshop. You can see the program of workshops and events here.
The tickets: The tickets are 14€ for adults and 11€ for kids – you can purchase your tickets here.
Opening hours: The place is open daily, see the opening hours here. Address: 1 All. André Turcat, 31700 BlagnacHow to get there: the aviation museum is located outside the city of Toulouse. It takes about 20 minutes to get there by car and about an hour by public transport. Public transport is free if you have a city pass.
The Natural History Museum of Toulouse
One of the best places for kids in Toulouse is the Natural History museum.
Muséum de Toulouse possesses more than 2 million items in its collection and is considered one of the best natural history museums in France.
Their collections evolve around five main themes: Planet Earth, living beings, the notion of time, human beings, and the future. The interactive exhibition involves sounds and explanations to accompany your family’s journey at the museum.
A little tip for the parents – there’s a really cute garden coffee place on the Terrace of the museums, just in case you need a glass of rosé at the end of your visit 🙂
Opening hours: The museum is open daily except on Mondays. See hours here. Address: The museum is located in the big park of Toulouse, le Jardin des Plantes.
Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes, one of the more beautiful parks of Toulouse, is located just next to the Museum of Toulouse. Here you’ll find a pond with ducks, a big playground, a coffee and ice cream shop; everything little kids need to enjoy. With its many cute shaded spots spread all over the park, it’s also a perfect place to picnic. If you didn’t bring food with you, head to the Carmes Market and buy fruits, veggies, and some good cheese, et Voila you have the perfect French picnic.
The gardens are open all year long, see the opening hours. Entry is free.
Quai des Savoirs
Quai des Savoirs is the science museum of Toulouse. It’s a huge interactive space allowing kids to touch, try, and experiment with science-related activities. On weekends the museum offers interesting workshops for kids (7 yo and older), called Plateau Creatif. During the workshops, they touch on topics like equilibrium and 3D by experimenting in a creative environment. The best way to make them fall in love with science!
For younger kids (2 to 7 yo) the museum offers a fun space called Le Quai des Petits. A magic mirror, weird tunnels, an emotions-themed photo booth, and musical instruments are only part of what this magical space offers.
Apart from these activities, the museum always has different exhibitions running during the year.
Opening hours: The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm and is closed on May 1st, January 1st, and December 25. See all the details here. Address: Where: Allée Matilda, 31000 Toulouse. The museum is located just next to the Natural Science museum of Toulouse
Take your kids to a playground
Sometimes the most simple thing to do is just to go to a playground and let them play with other kids. There are many good playgrounds in Toulouse but two have a particularly attractive location for parents as well.
One is an ocean-themed playground with a big boat in the middle, located on Quai de la Daurade. You can enjoy the stunning view of the Garonne while they play, and then do a fun picnic on the river banks.
The other is located in the middle of Place Saint George, right in the heart of the historic center.
It’s a beautiful playground but what makes it perfect is the location, surrounded by plenty of chic restaurants and cafes. So while your kids play you can enjoy a drink or snack, a win-win situation!
Play in the Virtual Reality room
This is a perfect spot to take older kids (over 10 yo) who might be a bit bored from a classic city trip. The concept of a virtual room, a 3d version of an escape room, has become very popular in France in the last few years. The Virtual Room in Toulouse is run by one of the best companies in this field which happens to be French.
The place offers several themed games that you can play in a team of two to four people.
The tickets: Tickets prices range from 20€ to 28€- you can purchase your tickets here.
Opening hours: The place is open daily, see the available hours when you book your game. Address: 457, l’Occitane – 31670 Labège
How to get there: Take the train from the Toulouse Matabiau station to Labège-Innopole and walk for 15 minutes.
Best things to do with kids around Toulouse
You don’t have to stay in the city to make it a family-friendly vacation in Toulouse. There are plenty of amazing day trips from Toulouse that your kids are going to absolutely love. Here are a few of the most kids-friendly day trips from Toulouse.
Take them on a day trip to Carcassonne
Toulouse is located within just one hour’s drive from one of the more magical places in the South of France, the medieval town of Carcassonne. This old citadel is located on the right bank of the Aude river. Early signs of civilizations date back 2500 years, it’s said to be one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the world.
Access to the citadel is free and you can take the whole day to stroll the narrow medieval streets. It’s considered one of the best day trips from Toulouse for both adults and kids.
Now, as a mom of three kids, I had my share of traveling with them to historic destinations. Strolling the streets and admiring medieval gates is not something they are overly motivated to do. Luckily, the Carcassonne Tourist Office offers families fun games and activities to make it a kid-friendly visit. These include workshops in calligraphy, medieval cooking lessons, and virtual experiences among others. My kids really enjoyed the Treasure hunt box that allowed them to discover the city in a more interactive and fun way. Read about all the family-friendly activities in Carcassonne here.
You can also take a guided tour to discover Carcassonne in a fun way. Led by a guide in a medieval costume, the tour is a living story of Carcassonne in the 13th century. The tour is for adults and kids over 5yo. See all the details here.
How to get from Toulouse to Carcassonne
Carcassonne is located about 90 km from Toulouse (a little more than an hour’s drive). However you can also get there by train, there are many trains going there daily. You can see the schedule and buy tickets here.
Another option is taking the organized bus tour from the center of the city with the City tour Toulouse company.
Zoo African Safari
Toulouse has one of the biggest Zoos in the SouthWest of France, located only 20 minute’s drive from the city center. The African Safari Zoological park inhibits more than 600 wild animals from all over the world. One part is done by car, with animals freely running around you, kind of a simulation of an African Safari. The park also has big sea lions and bird shows, which are the most beloved part of the visit for many kids. It’s not a huge zoo, but little kids really love it.
Opening hours: The park is open all year long. See the opening hours here. Address: 41 rue des landes, 31830 Plaisance-du-Touch
Au Lac de la Ramée
If you are visiting Toulouse in the summer and want to include some beach time, Lac de la Ramme is your place. The lake is located about 30 km from Toulouse and offers a variety of kid-friendly activities such as kayaking, windsurfing, skating, and more.
The natural lake has a nice beach, surrounded by a park where you can let your kids run. You can also enjoy the public BBQ facilities on the beach if you’re planning to stay there for a few hours.
Swimming is authorized only during the summer season (July and August) when the beach is supervised. See all the facilities at the Lac de la Ramée in this link.
The lac is located at 21 Chem. de Larramet, 31170 Tournefeuille.
It’s reachable by car or by public transport (metro+bus). If you happen to have a Tourist Pass, you can use public transport for free.
Visit Village Gaulois
Village Gaulois is a unique archaeological site located on the banks of the Garonne river about 50 km south of Toulouse. The old Gallic village of nine hectares was reconstructed in the heart of the forest by a group called “Les Gaulois” after extended historic and scientific research. The historians and researchers behind the project became farmers, craftsmen, carpenters, and every other profession needed to run this beautiful eco-museum.
During your visit to the village, you can see demonstrations of metalwork, pottery, woodworking, and more. Children are offered different games to help them discover the village. In this link, you can see the different activities and craftsmen operating in the village.
The tickets: Ticket prices are 14€ for adults and 12€ for kids over 4 yo. You can buy your tickets here.
Opening hours: The site is open from Wednsday to Sunday from 14:00 to 17:00 most of the year and all day in the summer months. See the 2023 calendar here and more info here. Address: La Chaussée Rd 25, 31310 Rieux-Volvestre
How to get there: The best way to get there is by car. But you can also take a train from Toulouse to Carbonne or to Cazères and get a taxi from there (about a 10-minute drive). Here’s a link to get train tickets and here are a few taxis you can contact.
The animaParc is the amusement park of Toulouse, where families go for a day of pure adrenaline and fun! Located in a large, four hectars forest, the park offers plenty of activities for any age.
The amusement park has 26 attractions such as the wild tower, the pirate boat, a splash park, and more. Another fun feature is the dinosaur park with 30 real size dinosaurs spread over the forest. And finally, for the little ones, there’s an animal farm with more than 150 animals they can feed.
The tickets: Tickets range from 15€ to 18€. See all the info and tickets here.
Opening hours: The park is open during the tourist season from April to October and during the Christmas season. See all the info and tickets here. Address: 3000 Pouchot, 31330 Le Burgaud. The park is located 40 km North-west of Toulouse, you have to have a car to get there.
Bike along the Canal
Toulouse is a bike-friendly city, with biking lanes in the city center and along the Garonne riverfront. However, the most fun biking trip to do with kids is the one along Canal du Midi. The famous navigation canal connects Toulouse to the Mediterranean sea, in the city of Sete. All along the canal, there is a path, that is perfect for walking and biking.
You can start your trip at any point on the Canal du Midi near the city and continue cycling in the south direction. If you’re traveling with kids and want A Short Ride, You Can Do The 5km Route Ramonville. If you’re looking for a longer trip, continue to Villefranche-De-Lauragais which is located around 40 km south of Toulouse.
That’s it for my “What to do in Toulouse with kids” list! I hope it gave you a lot of new ideas for how to turn it into an unforgettable trip for both you and your kids.
If you also happen to travel to Bordeaux, check out my article about the 30 best things to do in Bordeaux with kids.
You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:
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