Happy children mean happy parents and there’s no shortage of inspiration when it comes to finding things to do in Monaco with kids, including local attractions and entertainment, playgrounds, parks and museums. Our list of the top 10 activities for children in Monaco offers something for all ages, no matter the weather.
The Oceanographic Museum is top of our list, as it is a great outing for the whole family with aquariums, exhibitions, games and close encounters of the watery-kind; the shark lagoon and Turtle Island are our particular favourites.
Open all year round, prices and opening times vary by season.
Prince’s Palace & Changing of the Guard
At the heart of the Principality, surrounded by some of the finest Monaco real estate, stands the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. Tours of the opulent State Apartments offer a journey through seven centuries of sovereignty, from the Renaissance, the Napoleonic period, right through to the present day. The splendours include the Throne Room, Palace Chapel, Louis XV bedroom and the Mirror Gallery.
Open from March until October, from 10am.
Insider tip: Time your visit to coincide with the Changing of the Guard which takes place every day at precisely 11.55am, in the square in front of the palace.
Car Collection of HSH the Prince of Monaco
A visit to the Prince’s Palace can be combined with a tour of the museum of vintage cars. Collected by Prince Rainier III over some forty years, almost 100 cars are gathered on the Terraces de Fontvieille. “It is not a car museum but a personal collection of vintage cars of all ages and countries. Popular or prestigious, they have marked their time and I like them.”
Vehicles of significance include the 1903 de Dion Bouton, 2013 Lotus F1, Rolls Royce, Delage, Delahey, Packard, Napier, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and many more. The collection is sure to offer something of interest for every budding car enthusiast.
Le Jardin Animalier
On the south side of Le Rocher, overlooking the port of Fontvieille, the Jardin Animalier includes around 250 animals from 50 different species; exotic birds, tortoises, reptiles, primates and a very imposing hippopotamus all inhabit the zoo.
Open all year round, with seasonal timings, the zoo closes every day between 12h and 14h.
Swimming is always a popular activity for children and Monaco offers a number of public and private pools, both indoor and out.
The Piscine Saint Charles offers indoor aquatic fitness activities and a creche while the Stade Nautique Rainier III is the largest swimming complex for outdoor swimming. Centrally located by Port Hercules, the Olympic-sized, open-air pool is heated to a perfect 27˚, while the complex also includes diving boards, a 45m water slide and a ‘toborock’ for the little ones. Sun beds and parasols are available to hire and lifeguards are on duty to oversee proceedings.
During the winter months, from December until March, the pool is transformed into a 1000m² ice rink.
Under 12’s must be accompanied by an adult. Children under 3 years old swim free.
There are several playgrounds situated around Monaco and as any parent of small children will know, it is always handy to know where the nearest one is located.
- The upper playground in Monaco-Ville is next to the Palace but can be hard to spot. Mainly filled with tourists, there is a panoramic view to enjoy while the children rush back and forth.
- In Place d’Ármes, next to the roundabout in La Condamine, children can play while parents enjoy a coffee in the square.
- The Trocadero playground is in a small garden square and is popular with locals. Shaded benches surround the play area, which closes between 6-7pm each evening.
- The playground at Larvotto Beach offers an oasis of happiness for children, including a ship-shaped slide and plenty of shade.
- Parc Princesse Antoinette incorporates several play areas and a sports field. Good facilities, including a summer café, water fountain and bathrooms and the guards give out balls to play with, on request. There is even a zoo corner inhabited by goats and rabbits, so plenty to occupy an entire day.
When the weather means indoor activities are the only option, Funhouse, located in Les Jardins d’Apolline, provides an indoor play area for children to let off steam. Just steps from Fontvieille’s shopping centre, it is also a fantastic birthday party venue.
Mother and Baby Group
For really little ones, the Mother and Baby group at St Paul’s Church meets twice a week on Monday and Thursday mornings and provides a stimulating and safe environment for toddlers to play while parents (or carers) meet.
The church is located on Avenue de Grande Bretagne. For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larvotto Mini-Club (seasonal)
From Monday to Friday the Mini-Club of Larvotto welcomes children from 3 to 12 years old and offers a range of activities including sewing workshops and visits to the beehives.
Open from 8am until 6pm, full and half-day options available.
Jardin Exotique de Monaco and Grotto
This botanical collection sits on the rocky mountainside above the Principality, where an impressive assortment of South American and African succulents feature, being well suited to the climate and surroundings; cacti, aloe and gigantic agave plants are all gathered here.
60m below ground, this cave reveals evidence of prehistoric human habitation, the remains of which can be viewed on-site. The grotto itself houses spectacular stalactites and stalagmites which have formed over several millennia.
Open all year round.