Since moving to Bordeaux in 2017, we have been visiting the Dordogne region a few times a year.
There are just so many amazing things to do with kids in Dordogne, that I find myself going back there again and again. Luckily, and to my surprise, there’s always new stuff to experience as a family in the magical region of Dordogne.
In this article, I gathered some of the most family-friendly attractions we visited in Dordogne over the years. Most of them are activities you can do with little ones but can also interest older kids.
There are many more activities and kids-friendly places to visit in Dordogne, but here I wanted to give you a variety that covers all parts of Dordogne. For more ideas, you can follow me on Instagram where I regularly share all the places I visit with my kids.
If you’re traveling with kids in other parts of the Southwest of France, don’t miss my articles about
If you’re planning to do several things from this list, see if it’s worth purchasing the Perigord pass. The pass gives you a 20% discount on entrance to different castles, gardens, and caves.
Best things to do with kids in Dordogne – the Sarlat region
Le Bournat – discover the traditions of the Dordogne region at an amusement park
Located in Bugue, at the heart of the Dordogne region, Le Bournat is a truly one-of-a-kind amusement park that whisks you away to the golden age of the area. Prepare to be immersed in the rich history and traditions of the region as you step into “Le Village Artisanal”, the craftsmen village. From bread making to pottery, the park offers a range of engaging and educational workshops where your little ones can unleash their creativity and learn ancient artisanal skills.
After discovering the wonders of traditional craftsmanship the kids can enjoy a great selection of attractions like a vintage carousel, an old funfair with wooden games, riding in a 19th-century horse carriage, and more.
Now mind you, this is not one of these modern amusement parks with speedy rollercoasters. Everything here has a very vintage vibe to it, kind of like going to an amusement park in 1900, and that’s the real charm of Le Bournat. My 7yo and 5yo kids really loved spending the day there, but it’s worth noting that teenagers might not find it as thrilling.
The park is open from early April to the end of September – see the opening schedule here. From mid-July to the end of August, the park is open until 23:30 on Wednesdays and Thursdays, for an event called La Nocturne Du Bournat.
The park offers plenty of restaurants and snacks so you can stay there for hours (and let me tell you, you will 🙂 ). Buy your tickets here.
Jardins de Marqueyssac – a labyrinth in the most beautiful gardens of the Dordogne
Prepare to be mesmerized by the Jardins de Marqueyssac, a breathtaking wonderland of meticulously manicured gardens and one of the most popular attractions of the Dordogne region.
The gardens were created in the 19th century by Julien de Cerval, a visionary aristocrat who was so passionate about box tree gardens he planted 150,000 boxwoods in Marqueyssac.
Jardins de Marqueyssac is a perfect place for a family outdoor day when traveling in the Dordogne. As you wander through the winding paths, your little explorers will enjoy navigating through a fascinating labyrinth of greenery. The park also offers two playgrounds and a small tree net adventure course, that kids really love.
The whole place is a delight for the little ones!
One of the highlights of the park is the cliffside promenade from where you can witness a stunning view of the Dordogne valley. When you’re tired from walking, you can enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of tea at the cafe located just next to the chateau. There are also a few designated picnic areas near the chateau so you can bring your own snacks.
Throughout the year and especially on kids’ school breaks the park offers a variety of activities such as rock climbing and creative workshops. You can see their list of events and activities here.
The gardens are open all year long, so you don’t have to book the tickets in advance – see the opening hours here. On Thursdays in July and August only, the park hosts beautiful candlelight Evenings. You have to buy tickets for that event in advance- you can do that here.
Kayaking on the Dordogne River
If you’re looking for a thrilling outdoor activity, kayaking on the Dordogne River is your next destination! With its gentle currents and breathtaking surroundings, the river offers a perfect setting for a family-friendly water escapade.
Along the banks of the Dordogne River, you’ll find kayaking clubs dotted throughout the villages, offering an array of routes suitable for all ages. Explore the most enchanting villages near Sarlat, such as Castelnaud-la-Chapelle or Beynac, which also conveniently have kayaking clubs where you can pick one up.
One of the best clubs is located in Vitrac a few minute’s drive from Sarlat, from there you can embark on a beautiful journey past some of the most beautiful villages in France. If you’re visiting the region in the summer, booking in advance is recommended.
If you’re staying near Bergerac, there’s no need to drive up to Sarlat for a fun Kayaking experience. There are plenty of kayaking clubs in that part of the Dordogne as well. One of my favorite ones is Pessac sur Dordogne, where you can also enjoy a drink in their terrace restaurant. Check out all the details here.
There are many more places for Kayaking and canoeing experiences in Dordogne – I summarized my favorite places in this article.
Aquarium Noir du Perigord – visit the crocodiles of the Dordogne
Le Bournat is not the only kids’ attraction you can find in Le Bugue, there are actually quite a few places your kids would love in this small town in Dordogne. One of those is Aquarium Noir du Perigord, a captivating attraction that immerses visitors in an underwater world.
Built more than 30 years ago, the Aquarium of Perigord is today the largest private freshwater aquarium in Europe. What makes it so unique is its Alligator Park, inhibiting various species of crocodiles in their natural habitat, from the mighty Nile crocodile to the impressive American alligator.
Apart from crocodiles, you can discover more than 6000 fish and water creatures through interactive exhibits and activities. It’s one of the best ways to learn about the biodiversity in the Dordogne region in a fun and interactive way.
The park is open from February to December and offers a lot of extra activities during school breaks. See all the info, including ticket prices on the Aquarium’s website.
Lascaux – discover prehistoric art in one of the most famous caves in the world
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about the world-renowned caves of Lascaux in Dordogne, but did you know that it’s also a fun attraction for kids?
The Lascaux cave is an archaeological treasure unveiling captivating paintings and engravings dating back over 17,000 years. Visiting the caves with kids is a remarkable opportunity to spark their curiosity and ignite their imagination as they witness the ancient artistry firsthand.
You should know that the original caves were closed to the public in 1963. This decision was made to protect the delicate and ancient cave paintings from harmful effects such as changes in temperature and humidity. However, the replicas are still extraordinary and worth the visit.
Visiting Lascaux with kids, you’ll have different attractions to choose from. The oldest and most visited part is Lascaux II, which offers a partial replica of the cave. Lascaux II is providing a glimpse into the past as you explore sections that closely resemble the original artwork. While it’s not a very interactive experience with kids, they have great guides who try hard to make it interesting for kids as well.
I wouldn’t recommend it with very small kids but if your kids are older than 5, I think it can be a great experience.
Only a limited amount of people can enter Lascaux so I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance. There’s usually only one tour in English a day so make sure you choose the right language when booking. Lascaux II is open from April to November.
Important note – you can’t enter the caves with strollers so make sure to have a baby carrier with you.
The most interesting part for kids is actually The Lascaux IV, known as the International Center for Cave Art. This modern exhibition space offers an immersive experience where you can admire meticulously recreated replicas of the original cave paintings. This educational journey combines advanced technology with artistic accuracy, allowing children to appreciate the beauty and significance of prehistoric art in a controlled environment.
You can buy tickets to Lascaux VI separately, but you get a discount if you buy a combined ticket with Lascaux II – see all the info here. Lascaux IV is open the whole year except the first three weeks of January – see hours here.
That’s pretty much a full day with kids but if you want to tag another place, you can visit Parc du Thot, a prehistoric park located within a few minutes drive from the caves. Here your kids will explore life-sized reconstructions of prehistoric habitats and participate in demonstrations of prehistoric techniques and tools.
If you’re considering visiting Parc du Thot. it’s worth buying the combined ticket with the two caves. Read more about the park here.
You also have the option to take a semi-private tour in English that will take you from Sarlat to the caves of Lascaux and the famous archeological site of Abri Cro-Magnon at Les Eyzies de Tayac, where 28,000-year-old remains of anatomically modern humans where found. You can book this tour here (kids under 4yo are not allowed on this trip).
Cycling along the Vézère River
Cycling is something my kids are always happy to do, and if I can get a whining-free activity, I’m there for it! Dordogne is a relatively hilly region and is not particularly known for cycling trips. However, on my last visit to the Dordogne this summer, I discovered the Voie Verte, a new cycling path that follows the Vézère River. Most of the green path is closed to cars which makes it very safe for cycling with kids.
Currently, you can cycle on this route from Les Eyzies (the Prehistoric center of Dordogne) to Limeuil. On the way, you’ll pass through Le Bugue, a place with plenty of attractions for kids, many of which are on this list.
The Green Path will be open entirely at the end of July and will include a cycling route of 60km from Saint-Chamassy to Aubas.
If you’re staying in Les Eyzies and want to rent bikes, go to the snack bar O’Bison, they have bikes for adults and kids. Otherwise, you can use Aquitaine Bike, which will bring the bikes to your hotel.
Say hello to the monkeys at La Forêt des Singes in Rocamadour
La Forêt des Singes (the monkey forest) in Rocamadour is home to 150 barbary macaques (also known as maggots). It’s a magical nature reserve where visitors can get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures.
A day with your kids in the monkey forest will give them a privileged insight into this fascinating animal society living in conditions similar to the wild. As you stroll through the reserve, you can observe their playful antics, watch them interact with each other, and be fed by the staff.
It’s not a very long visit, but you can pass a few fun hours in the park. If you’re trying to cut on the budget, I highly recommend avoiding the gift shops as the stuffed monkeys there are just too adorable 🙂
The forest is open daily from mid-March to mid-November- see the opening hours here.
La Roque Saint Christophe – visit an ancient village carved into a rock
La Roque Saint Christophe is a massive cliffside fortress, carved into a rock. The historical site, located in the eastern part of the Dordogne, provides a fascinating glimpse into life in the region in ancient times.
Exploring the site with kids is a remarkable adventure, as they can discover the intriguing world of prehistoric and medieval civilizations. The site features well-preserved dwellings, troglodyte houses, and networks of caves that once served as homes and workshops.
On your visit, you can join a guided tour, where one of the knowledgeable guides will tell you the fascinating history of the place. The tour includes a demonstration of how the ancient machinery was used to protect the animals of the village from enemy attacks.
After you finish the tour, you can take the time to discover the rest of the site at your own pace. Children can roam freely through the labyrinthine passages and ancient structures and imagine what it would be like to live there during prehistoric times.
La Roque Saint Christophe is located within a short drive from Saint Leon sur Vezere, one of the most beautiful villages in the Dordogne. The village is home to Donjon et Manoir de la Salle, a well-preserved architectural gem dating back to the middle ages. There’s a combined ticket to see both sites.
Otherwise, you can just stroll the beautiful village and have lunch in one of its many restaurants.
La Roque Saint Christophe is open all year long – see all the info here.
Visit the stunning cave – Gouffre de Padirac
There are many caves to visit in Dordogne and it’s hard to pick the best one, but if I had to choose one to do with kids it would probably be the Gouffre de Padirac.
The Padirac cave is a remarkable natural wonder located near Rocamadour in the neighboring department of Lot. It is an immense underground chasm that offers a unique and breathtaking experience for visitors. Descending into its depths, you’ll navigate an underground river and marvel at the stunning rock formations. The highlight of the visit is the Grand Dome, a vast cavern surrounding a serene underground lake.
What makes it particularly fun for kids is that part of the visit is done by boat underground. On the way, the knowledgeable guides of Gouffre de Padirac will tell you plenty of enchanting tales about this magical place. Before you leave, don’t miss the “Cœur de Gouffre”, heart-shaped chamber, creating a stunning window to the outside world.
If you’re traveling with little ones it’s important to know that strollers are not allowed in the cave so make sure to have a carrier with you.
The caves are open from April to early November. You can see all the info and purchase tickets here.
Visit the war museum at Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle
Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle is one of the most impressive castles in the Dordogne region. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Dordogne River, the chateau offers a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.
While there is no lack of castles to visit in the region, what makes this one especially interesting for kids is the war museum.
The museum was created with the aim of preserving and educating about the military history of the region. On display, you’ll find an extensive collection of arms, armor, and medieval weaponry. It offers an immersive experience that transports visitors, including kids, to the tumultuous times of medieval warfare.
In the village itself, you can find plenty of nice restaurants and shops with knight costumes and medieval accessories. The village is divided into two parts, with the chateau being located in the upper one. Be sure to park next to the chateau if you don’t want to climb the steep alleyways of the village.
During the summer and school breaks the chateau has many activities such as archery and medieval gardening.
Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle Is open all year long – check out the hours here.
Labyrinthe de Maïs des Châteaux – open only in the summer
Another fun activity for kids in the Sarlat religion is the corn Labyrinth located in Vezac. The labyrinth is open only during the summer months and it’s a perfect light activity after a day of visiting historically charged villages.
You can see the opening hours here. The place accepts cash only.
A treasure hunt in Château de Losse
A few minute’s drive from Lascaux you can find the stunning Château de Losse. The castle was originally built as a medieval fortress with protective walls and a ditch. In the 16th century, a Renaissance Hall was built within the castle. The decor of the chateau is a testimony to the luxurious lifestyle of the Marquess Jean II de Losse in the 16th century.
Today the castle and its extraordinary gardens are listed as a French historical monument.
Apart from the traditional visit, Château de Losse offers a variety of fun activities for kids. The most interesting one is the treasure hunt, which is perfect for kids aged 5-11 yo – you can book it in advance online.
Other activities include Chivalry shows, pony rides, and more. Be sure to check the schedule before going to see what activities are currently offered.
The castle is open from May to October – see opening hours here.
Kids-friendly attractions in Dordogne – around Bergerac
Château de Bridoire – the castle of 1000 games
Château de Bridoire is located at the heart of the Monbazillac wine region about 10km from Bergerac. The beautiful château is a private historic monument dating back to the 15th century.
The chateau itself is beautiful but what makes it so special is the games you can find in almost every room. No wonder it’s nicknamed the chateaux of 1000 games.
The best part is the château garden where plenty of super fun games were put in place to be played by the visitors. Needless to say that it was very hard to make my kids leave this place.
The chateau is located within a few minutes drive from Eymet, a charming little village in the Purple Perigord. Here’s an article I wrote about my visit to Eymet, in case you’ll decide to continue your day in that direction.
Château de Bridoire is open from February to October, see the opening hours here. In the summer months, your kids can also enjoy a fun Laybirinth on the property of the chateau.
Embark on a Gabare boat on the Dordogne river
Gabare boats are traditional riverboats that were historically used for transporting goods along the Dordogne River. Today the Gabares are popular for leisure cruises, offering visitors a unique way to explore the picturesque Dordogne River.
The boat tours typically last between one to three hours and some include wine tastings as well. The tours are all guided and allow you to discover plenty of interesting facts about the rich maritime history of the Dordogne as well as learn about the Fauna and flora of the region.
The wooden boat has character and the kids were really excited to embark on it, I think it’s a really fun way to discover the history of the Dordogne on your family trip 🙂
I did this adventure with my kids in Bergerac a few years ago and we loved it. The tour starts at Quai Salvette in Bergerac and operates from April to October. During the summer there’s a high demand for these tours so reserving your places is highly recommended. You can see all the details, including opening hours and tariffs here.
Visit the Panoramic gardens of Limeuil
Limeuil, located at the heart of the Dordogne, is labeled as one of the most beautiful villages in France and one of the best to visit with kids in the region. You can stroll through the paved alleys to the top of the village, enjoy some ice cream in one of the terrace restaurants, do canoeing and there’s even a small beach to take the kids to.
However, the highlight of Limeuil for kids is the Jardins Panoramiques de Limeuil which are perched on a hill at the top of the village. The gardens offer a feast of senses with vibrant colors and perfectly manicured hedges that seem straight out of a fairy tale.
The gardens offer a stunning view of both the Dordogne and Vézère Rivers. It’s probably one of the best panoramic views you can get in Dordogne.
What makes it a particularly kid-friendly place are the games spread around the gardens. Another thing I really appreciated was the playful educative signs for kids that make them learn about the flowers in place in a fun way.
Recently they also added a treasure hunt game for kids ages 7yo and up. When the weather is nice you can pass an amazing day in the gardens. The place is open from April to the beginning of November – see the opening hours here.
The Bastideum in Monpazier
The Bastideum in Monpazier is an interactive museum dedicated to showcasing the history and heritage of Monpazier. Labeled as one of the most beautiful villages in France, Monpazier is one of the best preserved medieval bastide towns in the SW of France. It’s also one of my favorite villages to visit around Bergerac.
Visiting The Bastideum in Monpazier with kids is a fantastic way to delve into the history of this charming bastide town. The Museum offers immersive exhibitions and activities that make kids immerse themselves in the rich heritage of the region.
Kids can dress up in medieval costumes, do replicas of ancient artifacts, and participate in hands-on workshops that allow them to experience the past in a tangible way. With its immersive displays and child-friendly atmosphere, the Bastideum provides an enriching and entertaining experience for families.
The Bastidium is open from April to October – see more info here.
Plage du Buisson de Cadouin – a kids-friendly beach on the Dordogne river
Plage du Buisson de Cadouin is located just between Sarlat and Bergerac, two of the most attractive towns of the Dordogne. This delightful river beach offers a picturesque setting for families to enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable day by the water. Kids can splash in the refreshing river and build sandcastles on the sandy shore.
With its calm waters and shallow areas, the beach of Buissons is a safe and welcoming environment for children to swim and play. It’s equipped with amenities such as picnic tables, a few shaded areas, and restroom facilities. In the summer the beach is supervised which makes it one of the safest ones for little ones in the Dordogne region. You can see some information about parking close to the beach here.
Kids-friendly hotels/accommodations in Dordogne
The Dordogne department is quite big and if you want to avoid long car rides with your kids, it’s crucial to choose the right location. It’s hard to say that there’s one good base for your trips in Dordogne with kids, as everything is stunning here and there’s stuff to do in every part of this region. But from my personal experience, traveling with the kids to Dordogne several times a year, the best place to stay as a family is Le Bugue.
This little town in the heart of the Dordogne is home to many kids’ attractions such as the black aquarium, Le Bournat Parc, a huge prehistoric labyrinth, and more. You can enjoy kayaking on the river and go cycling on the green cycling path without ever needing a car. It’s also quite close to some of Dordgone’s landmarks such as Sarlat, Beynac, Chateau des Milandes, and others. All of this makes it a perfect base for a family vacation in Dordogne.
If you are planning to stay in Le Bugue, here are a few places I recommend.
Camping du Bournat
Camping du Bournat is a very popular camping site, located just next to the le Bournat amusement park. It offers a variety of mobile homes with a private dining area, kitchen, and a little terrace. The campsite also includes a pool, a bar, and many other services. The bonus for kids is that the guests of Camping du Bournat have unlimited access to the amusement park “Le Bournat 1900”.
Book your stay in Le Bournat here.
Location de Vacance au coeur du Périgord Noir
If you’re traveling with a big family and need lots of rooms, Location de Vacance au coeur du Périgord Noir is a great option. It can host up to 10 people and has kids-friendly facilities like a playground and bikes for all the family.
Other hotels/accommodations I recommend with kids in Dordogne
Another great part of Dordogne to spend your vacation is around Sarlat, where many of the most beautiful villages in France are located.
Le Clos de la Canéda is a great place to stay near Sarlat. The guest house is located in a stunning 18th-century stone house, beautifully designed, and complete with a big pool. One of their rooms can fit a family of 4. Book this charming guest house here.
Gorodka -If you’re looking for more of a unique experience, you can sleep in a wooden house in an art village called Gorodka. It is a one-of-a-kind park adorned with sculptures and other art exhibits and there are a few wooden houses you can stay in. Gorodka is located just a few minutes drive from Sarlat. Book your little magical house here.
These are my recommendations for how to spend the best family vacation in Dordogne France. I hope you found it helpful, please spread the word by sharing it with your friends 🙂
If you’re looking for more amazing kids-friendly destinations in the Southwest of France check out my articles about:
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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂