{"api":{"host":"https:\/\/pinot.decanter.com","authorization":"Bearer ZmU5NmU3YzcyY2Q5OTc1YmYxNzJiNWNmMzc5YjgxNjI4YjQ0MGFmMWRhMWVhMjE4N2ZmY2E5ZTkzNzE2YTM1Zg","version":"2.0"},"piano":{"sandbox":"false","aid":"6qv8OniKQO","rid":"RJXC8OC","offerId":"OFPHMJWYB8UK","offerTemplateId":"OFPHMJWYB8UK","wcTemplateId":"OTOW5EUWVZ4B"}}

Family-friendly Bordeaux activities

Enjoying the vineyards and cellars of Bordeaux is no longer a pursuit reserved for adults so we've collated a range of child-friendly experiences geared towards the whole family.

Although children will not be tasting the wine (there’s always grape juice), there is an abundance of family-friendly Bordeaux activities for them to enjoy throughout the châteaux of the region designed just for them, plus plenty more that they can enjoy together with their parents.

Out and about in the vineyard

Just a stone’s throw from the beautiful town of St-Emilion, Château Soutard has a self-guided tour which takes you through the various animal and plant species found on the estate, and encourages children to seek them out for themselves.

The Les Jardins de Mirabel walk at Château Saint Ahon in the Haut-Médoc is a tour which allows all to stroll through its vineyards, with QR code panels dotted along the way to aid and enhance your explorations.

Château Saint Ahon also offers guided tours of the property, after which adults can expect a pair of wines to taste while the children sample the grape juice. There’s also a picnic area where families can continue their day, complete with a playground area,

Château Marquis de Terme in Margaux has a similar children’s discovery path through its vineyard, and older kids can join adults for a bicycle tour for adventures further afield across the appellation.

Château d’Arsac, just 22km from Bordeaux’s city centre, also hosts wine and musical ‘Songs of Arsac’ tours this summer. Taking place each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, booking is essential. If you can’t make one of those, it’s still worth visiting to see their collection of sculptures dotted around the vineyards and parklands or take part in one of their food and wine matching activities.

On the move

Departing from Château La Tour Blanche, in Sauternes (just less than an hour’s drive from Bordeaux city), the whole family can learn about the classed growths of Sauternes on a horse-drawn carriage, meandering through the vines, past the elegant châteaux and enjoying the views across the rolling vineyards..

In St-Emilion, families can partake in special safari tours of the estate learning the secrets of its biodiversity and there’s a special mini electric Land Rover just for kids at Château Troplong Mondot. Children are encouraged to pick vegetables straight from the garden (which services the Michelin star restaurant Les Belles Perdrix) and to search the grounds for Eddy, the little squirrel mascot, before returning to the château for a snack while the grown-ups taste the wine.

Credit: Château Troplong Mondot

Château d’Agassac in the Haut-Médoc offers adventures aplenty. Bespoke tours designed towards your interests are available, while allowing you to send your children off on a scavenger hunt – assisted by iPad – to save the winery’s ‘Star Princess’, who has been imprisoned for centuries in the château’s tower.

Hands on

At fifth growth Château Dauzac in Margaux, take the family and join the château’s beekeeper and discover the fascinating life of bees in the hives of the property. Help harvest the honey and then take home your very own pot as a souvenir.

At Marquis d’Alesme, also in Margaux, children are as welcome as their wine-loving adults with its Le Petit Marquis treasure hunt, which is aimed at six to 12 year olds. Once the treasure is found, young and old can stay for lunch at La Table de Nathalie that offers fresh local food on its sheltered terrace, surrounded by a herb garden.

Escape from the château

Across Bordeaux, older children and teenagers can rise to the challenge of escape games.

Château Monconseil Gazin in Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux will only let you out when you have found Charlemagne’s hidden treasure. Château La Rivière in Fronsac puts their endless dark limestone caves to good use as you try and find your way out, and Château Rayne Vigneau in Sauternes challenges participants to find the secret of the jewels in the terroir.

Château Villemaurine in St-Emilion also offers tours through their quarries letting kids explore the underground labyrinth that was mined of its limestone to build the city.

Down the road Château Fleur de Lisse in St-Emilion has created an interactive visit for children in its cellars. It takes youngsters on a journey from vine to cellar to glass. Using stories and anecdotes, it encourages them to learn through their senses of smell and taste, and to understand the magical transformation from grape to wine.

Credit: Château Fleur de Lisse

The cellars of Château La Fleur de Lisse also offer a ‘son et lumière’ 0r sound and light show. Using beautiful images and an atmospheric soundtrack by Eric Le Collen, it takes visitors on a journey, from the climate and the terroir through to the vine and the winemaking.

There’s an immersive experience waiting for children and adults inside the barrel cellar of Château Fleur de Bouard in Lalande de Pomerol which opened earlier this year. Created in conjunction with Les Bassins des Lumières, it projects a history of wine and winemaking across the walls, tanks and barrels of the cellar. They’ve also opened a new wine bar serving local foods, a newly landscaped outdoor tasting area and a guest cottage situated among the vines.

It’s a kind of magic

If all this still hasn’t convinced your family of the magic of Bordeaux, make one final stop at Château Giscours in Margaux It has real magic, thanks to magician Michaël, who has a few tricks up his sleeve to keep children entertained, as well as glasses of wine for the adults.

Related articles

Pessac-Léognan & Graves 2020 in bottle: overview plus top-scoring wines

Bordeaux 2022 en primeur prices forecast to rise, finds Liv-ex

What to do in Bordeaux for wine lovers: The essential list

Latest Wine News