Five fun family-friendly activities

Normandy is filled with countless family-friendly attractions sure to be a hit with kids of all ages, and parents too. We’re talking breathtaking coasts, golden sandy beaches, fascinating historic sites and lush rolling hills full of adventure. If you want to skip the touristy stuff in favour of new experiences that connect your kids with nature, people or history, here are five fantastic options to help you venture off the beaten track!

1.

Walk barefoot in the garden

Enjoy a great day out in a garden at the heart of the Vire Valley with children or grandchildren and immerse barefoot in a natural environment. The point of walking barefoot is to experience the pleasure of feeling the soft grass beneath your feet, the warm sand between your toes, the textured, plush, smooth, rough surface on your skin. An essential childhood memory-to-be-made!

 

While you’re at it…

Whether you want to linger over an outdoor family feast or just chill and enjoy the landscape, the close-by Souleuvre river is a perfect picnic spot. Tuck into your sarnies and sip a refreshing drink in the glorious views under the Souleuvre Viaduct, mainly used for bungee jumping. This imposing bridge is a structure of outstanding importance in France’s engineering heritage as the legacy of the 19th century French engineer, Gustave Eiffel for the Caen to Saint-Lô and Vire railway line.

If bungee jumping is not your thing, plenty of other activities cater for children of all ages : the giant swing (from 16 years old you can do it alone, below a written parental authorization is requested), the zip line (from 35 kilos / 1m35 minimum), the sledge on rails (from 3 years old accompanied by an adult / alone: from 8 years old and over 1m20).

 

2.

Escape the dungeon in Rouen

Ever imagined being locked in a donjon (the tower of Joan of Arc precisely) and challenged to break out using nothing but team skills and brainpower? That’s the latest trend in immersive entertainment in Rouen for an hour of adrenaline rush! By teams of 3 to 8 people, players must solve puzzles and challenges in order to get out. Rouen’s escape game’s location is special and unique, set within the keep of the castle where the trial of Joan of Arc took place, built by the King of France Philippe Auguste. Ideal to create memories and experience something new with the kids!

While you’re at it…

If you’re visiting Rouen, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the Panorama XXL attraction, a massive 360-degree exhibition of striking landscapes over 31 meters high and 32 meters in diameter set in a large, circular column on the waterfront. Nothing like you’ve ever seen before! Enjoy lunch at one of Rouen’s family-friendly restaurants and set off to medieval times on an interactive journey at the Historial Jeanne d’Arc. With projections, screens, 3D maps and a wealth of technology, this new-generation museum ensures kids will have an unforgettable cultural experience!

 

3.

Meet Vikings and dinosaurs

Prepare to embark on a fun-filled adventure celebrating the region’s rich Viking heritage at Festyland, Normandy’s largest amusement park welcoming up to 250,000 visitors per year. With its new attraction MIØLNYR, the Age of the Vikings comes roaring back to life. Giant hammers make you take off and spin at more than 6m high (open to children taller than 1.4m).

parc-attractions-festyland-caen

While you’re at it…

On the coast, in Villers-sur-Mer, an immersive experience at the Paléospace will bring dinosaurs to life and take you back to Jurassic times.

Journey to the stars with the kids in the 360° Planétarium that carries visitors through space and time to experience the life and death of the stars in our night sky. A dazzling way to explore the fascinating story that connects us all to the stars.

4.

Relive history at the D-Day Experience

In Saint-Côme-du-Mont in La Manche, the D-Day Experience has been around for some time now. But it’s so exceptional we can’t resist telling you about it again. Board an authentic C-47 converted into a 4D Dynamic Flight Simulator to relive the mythical crossing of the Channel on 6 June 1944, part of the largest landing operation in history with over 13,000 paratroopers. For more realism, their story is told through the eyes of Colonel Wolverton. A chaotic seven-minute ride through the sky as a paratrooper

While you’re at it…

Looking for another original idea for a family day out? In Ecausseville, discover a World War I airship hangar. During the summer holidays, fulfil a childhood dream: try the “aéroplume”, an individual balloon, inflated with helium, which takes off by flapping its wings. Depending on kids’ ages and weights, they can either fly in the Baby Brazil (a spherical balloon with a wicker basket that allows the child to soar through the air) or the Nino (an individual dirigible balloon with flapping wings).

Also…

Another super child-friendly educational activity close-by is visiting the Utah Beach D-Day Landing Museum, paying tribute to the soldiers who fought for freedom in 1944. The museum offers a kids activity book in English with a soldier named “Jim” narrating the story of the operations, from training in the UK for months to the DDay landings with 150,000 soldiers on five beaches.

 

 

5.

Bounce around at Honfleur’s trampoline park

Welcome to Normandy’s first massive indoor trampoline park equipped with everything from interconnected trampolines in the free jump area (individual trampolines, trampoline walls and acrobatic zone), to dodge ball courts or slam dunk area.

Open to children aged 5 and up

While you’re at it…

Why not plan a great day out at Naturospace? A butterfly tropical house for a guaranteed up-close encounter with exotic butterflies and hundreds of wonderful species from all over the globe.

Also…

Board the Jolie France for a family-friendly discovery boat tour of the harbour of Honfleur and the Seine Estuary. Sailing under the gigantic Normandy Bridge will leave a lasting memory on the kids!

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Family-friendly Normandy