One of the best-kept secrets on the Côte d’Azur is the sensational, and hugely original, Bois des Lutins, well-known to locals but luckily for us, not often mentioned in the tourist guides. And even luckier for us is that it’s only 10 minutes from Lou Messugo. It may just be the best adventure playground ever
The Bois des Lutins, (Pixie or Elf Wood) is a charmingly low-tech fun park for all ages (billed from 2-102 years) mainly consisting of rope walkways linking treehouses high in the trees.
There are enormous bouncy castles, zip wires and giant net trampolines, along with traditional wooden games, swings, slides, hammocks, “hamster wheels”, toboggans and tunnels to crawl through, all in a natural forest setting.
The theme of elves and pixies runs throughout the park with trees named after different characters and magical little creatures hidden high in the branches to search for. Some trees blow bubbles, some play music or squirt water and most have a story to tell, in French, naturally.
We went yesterday with cousins, in a group ranging from 10 months to 14 years and a handful of enthusiastic adults and we all had a blast. It’s getting harder and harder to find a place that entertains both our 8 year old and teenager but this place still hits the spot.
Even the baby enjoyed watching her siblings and cousins muck around in the fresh air. It’s late October and we were verging on too warm in jeans and long sleeves, such is the lovely autumn weather at the moment.
The Bois des Lutins actively encourages picnics with plenty of tables all around the park, though there is a simple snack bar for drinks, ice-creams and sandwiches if you don’t want to bring your own food.
There are also several drinking-water fountains making it unnecessary to lug around heavy bottles of water, another little touch hugely appreciated by pack-horse parents!
We’ve been many times over the years, in hot summers and cooler seasons but as the majority of the activities are in the trees it’s shady and not too warm in the summer and can even be a place to go in light rain. I recommend this adventure activity park to all my gîte guests with families and without a single exception, they’ve all loved it.
Recently some even went twice in a one week stay! If you’re planning a holiday on the Côte d’Azur with children you won’t regret spending a day at the Bois des Lutins, honest! You’ll love it! And in the words of my 5 year old nephew from England, every time he comes to France from now on he wants to visit the magical pixie wood. Every time!
And in the words of my 5 year old nephew from England, every time he comes to France from now on he wants to visit the magical pixie wood. Every time!
What do you reckon? The best adventure playground ever?
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Thank you for this blog. We will be going there towmorrow with a 3.5 en 4.5 year old. They will so love this park. We would not have known about it whithout you.
Hello Dmitrij, thank you for your kind words, I’m so pleased you like this article. I would say with a 2.5 year old, the Bois des Lutins would be your best bet. It’s definitely the best one for really young kids and I think you’ll find that there’s plenty to do there to occupy you for the day. Trying to do more than one park in a day would be very tiring I think. I hope this helps you decide and I hope you enjoy your time in my lovely part of France.
I would really like to thank you for your excellent blog! I am so happy that I have found it via google when looking for the things to do with children in Nice.
My wife and I and our two kids – 4.5 boy and 2.5 girl will be travelling to Nice on 12th of November for a week. I found your description of Le Bois des Lutins and was instantly charmed by it. We will certainly go there, and we would like to go several times, but according to their timetable 13th of November is actually the last day of the season… Thus we can spend only one Sunday there – and I was wondering – what would be the best place to spend a day in Villeneuve-Loubet – Le Bois Des Lutins, Le Village de Fous, or Pitchoun Forest? The places look so big I guess one is more than enough for the day, and they are open only 10 to 15.30 anyway… Can you per any chance give some advice? Thank you in advance! Regards, Dmitrij
Hi SB I’m so glad you found my blog and enjoyed your visit to le Bois des Lutins, I totally agree about how refreshingly traditional it is. Thanks for taking the time to let me know, I appreciate it.
We went to Bois des Lutins today on the strength of this write up, and my wife & i and our 5yo and 18mo had a great time.
We intended to split the day between Bois des Lutins and Le Village de Fous, and perhaps even Pitchoun Forest. As it turned out, there was plenty for the kids to do in Bois des Lutins and we spent the day there. It has a lovely relaxed feel and has lots of well designed, simple, “traditional” games, which is a refreshing change from the mechanical-rides arms-race being fought at UK fairs and theme parks.
Thanks very much for the recommendation!
Thanks for coming back again and again Delia, I do so appreciate it and love to hear your encouraging words. 🙂
Beautiful place, Phoebe! As always, I get so pumped when I read your posts and see the wonderful pics 🙂
And thank you Susan for your kind words! 🙂
YOU and your grands Margaret! I’m sure you’d have a ball too.
You’re right, it is so much fun that everyone can join in. You know where to come for a visit Deanna!! 🙂
Thanks for popping by Eva, it IS a great place!!
What a beautiful place — and the photos you took are stunning. Thank you for telling us about it.
I love it! Especially those net walk ways…the tree houses are awesome. Great place I would love to go with my grands they would have a ball!:D
This looks like such a fun place! So many great, physically challenging activities…I love that it is for all ages! Too bad I don’t live anywhere close to this!
Seems to be a great place!;) And such nice pictures.
It was great and some parents left before all kids!!
Looks like huge fun. I. Guess parents were exhausted.
I think the first time we ever went was with you Cindy. You MUST come back as it’s got even better – it’s not sooo far from Sydney!!! 😉
yay Dan! :p
YES! Best place for kids ever!
Dan the man is a fan