Monaco Life presents the best holiday camps, clubs and classes for children in the Principality during the upcoming half-term break.
School’s out from 11th to 26th February, but parents needn’t worry about how to fill their children’s days. From nursery age kids to teens, there’s plenty going on in Monaco this half-term for all to enjoy.
We start with one of the Principality’s best-loved attractions: the Oceanographic Museum. It’s a year-round hit with families, but the Club Oceano that runs during all school breaks is really something to get excited about. Reserved for six to 12-year-olds, the Club runs over five consecutive days in both weeks of the holidays (€375 for each block) from 9am to 5pm.
It offers young people an experience that you can only get in Monaco, allowing them exceptional access to the tanks, animals and expertise of the museum. Participants will help prepare the food for and feed the various sea creatures, visit the onsite hospital and care for its patients, and let their imaginations run wild with games, stories and creative workshops.
Even if you can’t commit to a full week of activities, the renowned establishment is still worth a visit during the holidays. Our favourite attraction at the moment is the grand Mission Polaire room with its interactive floor and walls that depict different scenes from the poles, but older children will love the Escape Game aboard Prince Albert I’s legendary laboratory ship, the Princess Alice II. It’s suitable for seven-year-olds and over. Even seasoned sailors will enjoy the challenge!
For older children, the Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques or Pavillon Bosio is running three creative courses during the holidays: a watercolour painting class, a pottery and ceramics experience, and photography training.
You can also keep little hands and minds busy at the Bibliothèque Princesse Caroline on 1 Boulevard Albert I, which is laying on a series of ateliers over the holidays, from sewing and classical music classes to story-telling and comic strip designing workshops, many for children as young as three. They are free to join, but space is limited so we recommend contacting the Médiathèque to reserve a spot in advance.
For the sportier kids, the Monte-Carlo Country Club’s coach, Pino Fazio, is heading up a tennis camp from 13th to 17th February for those between four and 14 years. It’s open to both members and non-members, but if your child is new to the sport, this could be a great initiation at one of Europe’s best-known courts.
Day trips and excursions have their place too during the holidays and a visit to the private Princely car collection should be top of the list for lovers of all things automobile. This fan project started out under Prince Rainier III, who gradually acquired more and more models from the 1950s and onwards. His collection soon outgrew the garage at the Palais Princier and, in 1993, he decided to share it with the public. Now found at 54 Route de la Piscine, from 10am to 6pm, the 3,500sqm exhibition features beauties such as a 1903 De Dion Bouton and a 2013 Lotus F1, as well as many more in-between. There’s also a fantastic new exhibition to check out from 20th February.
The Jardin Animalier de Monaco will delight too. Found close to the Fontvieille Port, this zoo counts more than 60 exotic species among its number, with many having been rescued by the Principality. A playpark rounds up its attractions.
And we can’t forget the whistle-stop tour of Monaco via the tourist train. Taking just over 30 minutes, the train flies by the most famous and iconic places in the Principality, and is a great way to experience all that Monaco can offer without having to drag little feet behind you.
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Photo credit: M. Dagnino