Why Normandy ticks all the boxes this Easter

Normandy is one of the top destinations for non-stop, child-friendly entertainment this spring. Whether by the seaside or in the heart of the countryside, families will find lots to see and do during the next school hols a short ferry ride away over the Channel.

Dungeons, daredevils and big dippers

NEW! Could you escape the dungeons of Rouen?

This brand new Dungeon Escape Game is a larger-than-life escape game for adults and children over 9 that involves successfully solving a series of puzzles and escaping in less than 60 minutes from the very medieval tower where Joan of Arc herself was kept prisoner. Prices start at 11.50€.

Live on the edge at the Parc du Bocasse theme park

Only 25km north of Rouen, with 40 rides to choose from including rollercoasters, water rides, slides, flying teacups, a pirate boat and a runaway mine train, this family-friendly theme park has something for everyone! This year, the Parc du Bocasse is celebrating its 50th birthday and the excitement kicks off 1 April, so what better time to pay a visit? Prices start at 16.40€.

Where to stay: Cottage Caramelle (gite)

Just an hour away from the port of Dieppe (with regular daily crossings from Newhaven with DFDS) this two-bedroom gite boasts a spa and swimming pool, ideal for relaxing after a day of family fun. Situated near the town of Neufchâtel-en-Bray, famous for its heart-shaped cheese, the gite is on the Avenue Verte cycling trail with bicycle hire facilities within easy reach. Prices start at 890€/week.

 

Sun, sea and safari

Cabourg in bloom

Every Easter, visitors flock to the pretty seaside resort of Cabourg for the annual Garden en fleurs festival. Enjoy a ride on the big wheel, explore the town on the tourist train, try out Norman specialities at the festival or go in search of treasure with the new family-friendly tablet tour! Entry to the garden festival is free.

Explore William the Conqueror’s Castle

Relive the story of William the Conqueror in 3D! Follow a tablet tour of his castle in Falaise, where film, audio and period furnishings all come together on screen to reveal what the ducal castle would have looked like in the Middle Ages. A family pass costs 20€.

Where to stay: Cerza Safari Lodge

Only an hour’s drive from the port of Ouistreham (with regular crossings to Portsmouth with Brittany Ferries), enjoy a day out with the animals then spend a night in their midst in a safari lodge, ‘zoobservatory’ or yurt! With wallabies, monkeys and pelicans nearby, premium lodges and zooberservatories accommodate 4-6 people (with TV room, kitchen, bathroom and terrace), and yurts accommodate 2-5 people (with shower room and separate toilet). Prices start at 125€/night.


Wildlife and waterways

Make new friends at Biotropica

Be sure to visit Biotropica this spring, as the zoo has just welcomed its latest addition, a baby sloth which staff are hand-rearing themselves! Enter the tropical greenhouse and find yourself in the rainforest, see mammals, reptiles and birds, and travel around the world on the walking trails, meeting penguins, red pandas and kangaroos along the way! Tickets start at 13.50€.

Where to stay: A barge on the River Seine

Just an hour from Paris Saint-Lazare by train, downriver from Monet’s famous home and gardens in Giverny, the Blau Paz barge moored in the Seine-side town of Vernon is certainly family accommodation with a difference. Compact but perfectly formed, the barge accommodates up to five people, and boasts a shower room, kitchenette and leafy terrace for dining al fresco on sunny days. Prices start at 420€/week.

Easter expeditions

Easter egg hunt at the Agon-Coutainville Equestrian Centre

Enjoy a day full of Easter eggs and equestrian fun, with children’s entertainment, family picnic and pony shows taking place throughout the day.

Saturday 15 April, 10am-4pm. Tickets cost 35€ per person

Where to stay: Ferme de la Croûte (gite)

A 45-minute drive south of Cherbourg (with regular crossings to Portsmouth with Brittany Ferries) in the beautiful Cotentin and Bessin Natural Regional Park, this two‑bedroom house has rural charm galore, with original stone features, fireplace and private garden. Prices start at 310€/week.

Buried treasure in the Perche

Embark on a fun-filled treasure hunt against the backdrop of the Ecomuseum of the Perche, a beautiful old priory in the heart of the Perche Natural Regional Park. With an Easter egg trail and puppet shows for the little ones at 11am and 3pm, there’s something for the whole family.

Sunday 16 April, 10:30am-6pm. Free entry.

Where to stay: La Barbinière (gite)

Deep in the picturesque Perche Natural Regional Park, just under two hours south of the port of Ouistreham (with regular crossings to Portsmouth with Brittany Ferries), this child‑friendly two‑bedroom cottage comes complete with resident horses and is close to several hiking trails which are great for riding and rambles. Prices start at 510€/week.