As we travel through France quite regularly to visit family, we love to break up our long journeys with fun stopovers. At around 2.5 hours from Calais, Reims is a perfect town to stop at with kids – either if you’ve had a a long pre-ferry/Eurotunnel journey already and can’t face another long drive, or if you are returning from further afield in France and need to stop before continuing on to the UK.
So, here are our favourite things to do in Reims with kids during a 24 hour stopover.
Visit a Champagne Cave
Although this seems like a grown up only activity, visiting a wine cellar can actually be fun for kids too. The excitement of heading deep underground and wondering through cool, dark tunnels will enrapture them and become a real adventure. And on a hot day, it is actually a great way to cool down!
We visited the classic Taittinger, which we all enjoyed – even the kids, but I’ve also heard great things about the tour at Champagne Mercier which has a little train that takes you around the cellars. The kids get to ride on a train, the grown ups get to taste champagne – win win!!
Ride a Tram
My boys get so excited when we visit a town with a tram system. We always end up taking a ride, even if just for a couple of stops. It is a great way of seeing the city, as well as mingling with locals.
Visit the Cathedral
The cathedral in Reims is a stunning building and well worth going to have a look at, even just from the outside. There is a pedestrianised area which is ideal for the kids to run around, and with a few bars, cafes and restaurants dotted around the edge, it can be the perfect family friendly pit stop.
Enjoy a meal along Place Drouet d’Erlon
Place Drouet d’Erlon is a long pedestrianised street lined with restaurants, bars and cafes. It is lovely on a nice warm afternoon or evening to sit and enjoy a meal or drink, and watch the world go by. Lots of the restaurants are child friendly and offer kids menus, and this summer (2016) there were free activities for kids during the day, including bouncy castles and large inflatable pools with pedal boats!
Take a ride on the traditional carousel
When we are on holiday, if there is any kind of carousel, my kids will be desperate for a turn! I love it when we come across a lovely traditional carousel, and Reims doesn’t disappoint. With pretty lights, painted horses, golden carriages, spinning tea cups and even an upstairs, this one ticks all the boxes – the boys loved it as always.
Stay at a Champagne Chateaux
It may seem like an extravagance, or not suitable with children, but staying in an actual Champagne chateaux is totally possible. We visited when our oldest was a 1yr old and the staff at the Ployez-Jacquemart B&B (not far outside Reims) couldn’t have been more welcoming.
We had a lovely large room with plenty of space to put our travel cot up. And the views from the bedroom were to die for!
In the evening, we took our baby monitor down stairs with us and enjoyed a few glasses of champagne. You helped yourself from the fridge and just let reception know what you had when you checked out – bliss!!
Considering we had a little one in tow, it was a very relaxing stay and felt like such a treat.
Have you visited Reims with kids? If so, let me know if there is anything brilliant that I have missed.