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Both adults and children enjoy Toulouse's mini-train. The half-hour trip starts at the Place Wilson and takes in all the major sights of the historic center: the Place du Capitole, the Saint-Sernin basilica, the quays of the Garonne River and the Place Esquirol. Young visitors love this child-sized train whilst adults take advantage of its lazy pace to get an overview of the city. Between June 1 and September 30, the trains run everyday from 10:30a to 12p, and then from 1:45p to 6p. Outside of the tourist season, the trains run on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and school breaks (at the same hours).
Located just off the place Wilson, this is a sober and elegant shop dedicated to recreational games. It specializes in chess, bridge and billiard, offering very high quality equipment as well as specialised theory books. There is a great range of billiard cues, while Chinese checkers and other card and boardgames are also available here. It is also a good place to find out about carom, a miniature billiards from India, which uses the fingers as cues and is becoming wildly popular.
The Saint-Raymond museum runs guided tours for 7-10 year olds on Sunday afternoons. The tour lasts about an hour, and covers one of the following subjects: "Roman Toulouse", "Greco-Roman gods and goddesses" or "Hercules, the true story of a Greco-Roman hero". Whilst the children are busy, parents can take in the archaeological treasures of this major museum. There is a gift shop at the entrance and drinks are served in the museum garden. Tours are conducted in French only.
This large shop dedicated to model building has a team of four helpful assistants. They offer a vast selection of remote controlled vehicles-cars, boats, rockets and classic static models: aeroplanes and tanks, among others. You'll also find a supply of useful miniature spare parts here. Also notice the rare, beautiful and collectable regional train station models copied from the nearby Agen or Villeneuve-sur-Lot cities.
Tous en Jeu is the ultimate gaming center for children and adults alike. With 1000 activities on offer, as well as festivals, there is little chance of not finding something to do here. Call or see the website for more information.
This garden, which is surrounded by the town's medieval wall, was created during the renovation of the Espace d'Art moderne et contemporain. A long gravel path runs between the two buildings to the top of a dike, which overlooks the Garonne River. From here the views of the Bazacle waterfall and the right bank are splendid. Lean against the long wooden balcony immediately above the water, and feel the spray carried by the wind. There's a children's playground in the park and a path, which avoids the dike's steps, for cyclists.
This hotel is spread over 10 leafy hectares, close to the Japanese garden and opposite the Palais des Congrès. Its architecture is typical of the region: a modern take on the traditional French chateau. Your room will have all the comforts you could want, including mini-bar, radio and en-suite bathroom. The hotel bar, L'Arrosoir, offers drinks in the sun by the pool while the restaurant, Côté Jardin, serves a range of specialities.
Located in the Jardin des Plantes, the Muséum de Toulouse, or the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle, holds a wealth of exhibits and displays that both children and adults can enjoy. The entrance hall showcases huge dinosaur skeletons, but that is only the beginning of a visit into the realm of nature and the environment presented at this multi-leveled museum. The main floor of the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle has permanent, interactive exhibitions that depict the development of the earth and France over the years. As one continues, the displays become more nature-based, and visitors enter a hall that depicts the animal kingdom, with hundreds of taxidermy exhibits from every major genus on display. The second-floor hosts rotating exhibits which usually focus on particular topics affecting the world today, and there is a large outdoor garden space with a mini labyrinth in the center. Above all, the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle offers a mulch-faceted view of nature.
For the young at heart and adventurous, Laser Quest is the place to hang out in the Midi-Pyrenees Capital. This is one of 125 Laser Quest worldwide locations. Whether it's for a birthday party or a teambuilding event, Laser Quest is unique. More than a game… it’s an adventure! In a Mad Max-like scenery, the Toulouse center offers the LQX version of this high-tech hide and seek game. For modern heroes aged 7 to 77, LQ can be played individually or on a team. Slip your harness on and be ready to tag your opponents sensors in the 800-square meter (8611-square foot) inventive maze-like arena in Toulouse.
A huge loop of go-kart tracks provides the space for children, adults, and competitors to speed past the finish line as many times as open hours allow. The venue also contains a panoramic bar looking out onto the tracks, hosts competitions, and may be rented for events or workshops. During certain hours, the course is restricted to children or specific vehicles on the tracks. Tickets may be purchased for individual runs or in packages. See website or call for details.
Espace Chapiteau Grainerie located on the Rue Saint Jean is a tent set up to host events and cultural activities. The tent belongs to the association Le Grainerie, which is dedicated towards the circus art, and offers a perfect atmosphere for the circus groups to train, rehearse and perform on the stage of Espace Chapiteau Grainerie. Call or visit their website for more information.
Established in 1997, La Cité de l'Espace brought space within people's reach in Toulouse. An outdoor museum dedicated to the exploration of space, the massive theme park is a dream come true for budding astronauts. Interactive exhibits and a truly unique landscape have drawn millions of visitors since the museum's doors opened, and tourists and locals alike continue to be drawn to this unique establishment. Visitors can zoom past the stars in the museum's 280-person planetarium, get up close and personal with a full-scale model of the Ariane 5 rocket, and even take the controls in a simulated rocket launch. There is also a restaurant and on-site souvenir shop so you can take a little bit of space home with you.