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Established in 1815 through the impetus of the Marquis de Montgrand, then mayor of Marseilles, the Natural History Museum of Marseille assembles some of the most invaluable examples of our natural heritage. Housed in the right wing of Palais Longchamp, a magnificent palace built in the Second Empire, the museum's collections earned it, in 1967, a place among the top nine museums in France. Today, with more than 200,000 species classified according to similarities of origin, structure etc., the museum seeks to preserve the memory of our rich biodiversity.
The Observatoire de Marseilles was created in 1702 by Jesuites. The star gazers delight in the programs offered: the observatory organises regular exhibitions and provide the opportunity to study the sky, as well as schedule shows, events and conferences at the planetarium. The instrument room can only be viewed by appointment. A dizzying journey through the stars and into the cosmos makes for a unique and awe-inspiring experience.
Across from the Stade Vélodrome, the Archange Théâtre presents consistent comedy; some comedians make a single appearance, some perform regularly, some are there to take part in the festivals and special events throughout the year. Classes for comedy, acting, and singing are also offered, helping anyone who wishes to make it onto the stage with projection, diction, rhythm, and stage design. A restaurant in the theatre offers meals for the hungry audience before or after the show. Ticket prices vary; see website for details and current programming.
Nicknamed la maison du fada (fada meaning 'crazy' in Provençal dialect) by the Marseillais in reference to its designer Le Corbusier, the 55,000 tons of this building resting on gigantic pillars and surrounded by three hectares of grounds provides an unusual setting for the three-floor Hôtel Le Corbusier. Built in the immediate post-Second World War period, this colossal apartment block was conceived as the ideal family habitat, complete with a supermarket, bakery and tennis court. Hotel rooms are on the small side but attractively decorated and furnished, and from the rooftop you get a great view of the sea.
It was 1975 and in spite of having a long coastline, Marseille wasn't well equipped as far as beach facility and safety was concerned. The Plages du Prado was thus created, combining park and beach facilities all along the coast. Calling this area the "poor man's riviera" would be selling it short. The beaches are a lot less crowded, a lot less pretentious and a lot more beautiful, and the water is ideal for surfing, especially in autumn and winter. Dining at any of the restaurants along l'Escale Borély will round up the perfect day at the beach.
Below the hills of Marseilleveyre there is a 112-hectare (277-acre) park: Campagne Pastré / Montredon Park which includes a 19th-century country house, the Chateau Pastré. The half-mile (0.8-kilometer) path to the Chateau is a nice walk past lawns, ponds and children's playgrounds. The Campagne Pastré / Montredon Park is the place for a game of pétanque, or a cultural outing (Musée de la Faïence - Tile Museum - in the Chateau Pastré), outdoor activities, a picnic or even a nap under the trees. What makes it even better is that it's only two steps from the beach! The Campagne Pastré / Park Montredon is also a great starting point for a hike into the Calanques. - P.Wicki
In a vast and luminous space, this toy supermarket has everything to please your kids. From baby cribs to stuffed animals, to Playmobil, Lego, Barbie and bicycles, you'll have a vast selection of toys for every age to choose from. Also, educational games and sweets are available in this store.
Located just on the outskirts of Marseilles, the Novotel is easily accessible from the A50 motorway to the east of the city. Contemporary and comfortable, the hotel is surrounded by an aromatic herb garden and to add to the enjoyment of your stay, there is a swimming pool, tennis court and children's play area at your disposal. The hotel also has a restaurant with dining area on the terrace.
Provence may be known for its herbs, cigales, fields of lavender, and soupe au pistou, but the modern traveler cannot end a trip to Provence without zipping around an indoor go-carting track. Karting Indoor Provence offers three vehicle choices, a schedule of tournaments, and a bar and restaurant with a view of the racetrack. Check website for membership and youth discounts.
Located in the south of France just a few miles from Marseilles is the Magic Park Land. A visit here promises to be a fun day out with the thrilling rides that suit children of all ages. The venue can also be hired for kids parties, wedding anniversaries, private bashes, banquets and more. Check their website for more details.
This theme park (built in 1970) is situated between Marseille and Toulon in a natural environment dotted with pine trees and lush foliage. Come and discover the most amazing rides in the largest amusement park in the south of France. You can spend a relaxing day with friends or family: the attractions will appeal to all ages. Some of the most impressive attractions include: "Grand Canyon Mountains", "Black Eagle", "Colorado Rapids", "Sitting Bull's Teepee", "White Buffalo", "Indian Canoe", "Mexican Twist", "Blue River" and "Rodeo". Relive the days of the American Wild West through a variety of Western-style shows. Meet the leaders of Native American nations: Sioux, Apaches, etc, who will perform traditional dances for you. For younger visitors, there are many other activities like puppet shows, the "Texas Boots" and "Pony Express". Between rides, don't forget to check out the boutiques. There are also two snack bars, a self-service canteen, pancakes stalls and refreshment stalls; picnic tables are also dotted around the park.