With 2100 hours of sunshine a year in Toulouse, there’s no need for the kids to be stuck indoors, but when the sun isn’t shining it’s always handy to have a few places in mind to take the kids. Here are 4 indoor play areas to keep them entertained.
This is the only indoor play area in the centre of Toulouse and provides 3 age specific soft play zones, a computer zone complete with Wii consoles and PS3’s, a garderie, and a café. They seem to have everything covered to keep the kids busy, including art workshops, yoga and pâtisserie making to name a few. The cafe offers a lunchtime menu and snacks, including baby meals. I’ve spent a handful of times here and whilst I think it’s great in terms of offering a variety of activities, I do feel the play zones are a little small and spacing in the cafe area is a little too cramped, particularly when it gets very busy. I wasn’t very impressed with the one-time only meal I ate here and the service in the cafe is slow and not very attentive! There is a lovely terrace to take advantage of in the warmer months however and if you’re stuck for somewhere to go in the centre then it’s a godsend, just avoid the busiest times! Tip: Babies up to 18 months can play for free.
Ludothèques are play centres equipped with toys and games for kids to play, socialise and learn, all whilst having fun. They are open to all French residents and you can find one in most areas of Toulouse. I think it’s a great concept and regularly visit the St Aubin ludothèque with my kids who love it. They have 1 floor dedicated to 0-6 year olds and another adapted to 7-99 year olds. Yes, big people can join in too! There is a large collection of toys, games, puzzles and even costumes for dressing up and a sizeable terrace with tricycles, motorbikes, playhouse and slide. There is always someone on hand if you need help with game instructions and although there is no cafe, there is a small corner with water and coffee set up to help yourself. It’s clean (no shoes policy) and toilet facilities are perfectly adapted for our little friends. At 40 euros a year to become a member, it’s amazing value for money. Tip: You can hire out toys for your kids to play with at home.
I’ve only recently discovered this indoor play area through friends and was quite pleased to find somewhere new for a morning out with my little clan. Based close to the metro in St Agne, Kafé des pitchouns provides a space to enjoy a moment with the kids amongst friends or family. They offer activities such as finger painting, making masks and puppets, musical games and the adults can participate too with baby massage or sign language. You can also relax in the salon de thé with a refreshment and a pâtisserie and let the kids pick out some toys and games to keep themselves entertained. A very pleasant place with kind staff. Tip: Birthdays and baby showers are catered for.
Housed in a 1300m2 warehouse this “mega park” in L’Union is sure to please the kids with it’s giant bouncy castles and inflatables adapted to different age groups. With slides and tunnels this is one great way to get the kids to expend some of their energy, whilst you watch from a short distance in the refreshments area. During the summer months the kids can bring swimwear, as the outdoor area is accessible and features inflatable water slides within a 2500m2 enclosed space. It makes for an enjoyable time out and when the kids are done with the inflatibles they can try out the trampolines for more fun. Tip: There is free WiFi in the refreshments seating area.
Illustrations by Ines Reid-Mundow