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Stinley's avatar

Any suggestions for good places to visit with kids in France?

Asked by Stinley (6136 points ) May 17th, 2011

Just thinking about my summer holiday and we are going to France again. I need to think about day trips and activities otherwise we end up getting bored. Does anyone have any suggestions for cheap, kid friendly day activities? They don’t have to be specific places to go, though those would be nice. I’m also thinking of suggestion for things to do, as well as places to go. For example last year we visited a lighthouse with picnic, a WW2 secret bunker with picnic, a little train ride to a beach with picnic – let’s just say a picnic is a given! We are spending 1 week in Vendee and the rest of the time we are open to suggestions. We will stay in campsites with our caravan and will be able to use our car to get to places.

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14 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

This site offers some suggestions. How old are your children?

Mine were never really bored at the beach. Sometimes it’s good to let them be a little bored in the outdoors so they can amuse themselves. Take some balls, digging implements to make sand castles, plastic jars to collect sea life.

nunoAfonso's avatar

Only the most awesome place in the world to take children…Disneyland!

Stinley's avatar

Kids are 9 and 4 year old girls

janbb's avatar

Not sure about how far it is from the Vendee but Carcasonne is a wonderful town to take kids to. It is a fortified medieval city high on the hills above the new town; quite touristy, yes, but very magical in feel. Les Baux is another magical town and any old castle ruins to climb around that you can find are fun. The calaque boat rides at Cassis are interesting; they take you up ino the fjords. A hike and a picnic is always good; as you say, a picnic is de riguer! We always liked forest and river walks. I know there are also kayaking and canoing on several of the rivers. Both the Veziere River and the Gorge du Verdon definitely have boat rental places.

thorninmud's avatar

One of my best memories from when my kids were that age was exploring tide pools at low tide on the beach at St Malo, an old pirate hang-out on the northern Brittany coast. The outgoing tide leaves little pools in niches of the beach (you can see some in the lower left of this picture). Each pool is a world of its own, teeming with sea anemones, crabs, clams, and plenty of other surprises. No too far from the Vendee.

You’ll also be quite close to the Ile de Re, in island off La Rochelle. It’s very easily explorable by bike (rentals available there).

janbb's avatar

Is the Vendee near Brittany and Normandy? If so, as @thorninmud suggests, St Malo is great and they will also have a good time climbing all the way up to the top of the abbey at Mont St. Michel. The water around the causeway there, too, is tidal and you can walk across the flats to Mont St. Michel at low tide. Honfleur is a lovely fishing and artists’ town and th Erik Saties Museum is the most amazing and maigcal (even for kids) museum I have ever been in. The Bayeus Tapestry in Bayeux is impressive and you can talk about the history of England and the Normans.

There are hikes you can do in places to natural springs (sources) and it is fun to go there and collect the water for drinking. Also, make sure to order “citron presse” somewhere if you can; it is “make your own” lemonade.

Sunny2's avatar

I agree with @nunoAfonso . I think Disneyland in French would be a great experience. (but I have no idea where it is in relationship to where you’re going.)

gailcalled's avatar

How old are the kids? Old enough to enjoy the old chateaux in the Loire valley or the charming towns in Brittany, north of La Vendee?

janbb's avatar

Just a question and not meant to snarky – Why would you want to go to Disneyland if you are in France?

snowberry's avatar

How about the fijords of France? It’s a nice hike, and if you want to you can go for a dip when you get there.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/france/riviera/725022/Marseille-Exploring-the-fjords-of-France.html

Sunny2's avatar

@janbb Disneyland is very familiar to Americans. Seeing it with French signs and with the influences of France would be both comfortable and a learning experience. What do they call the haunted house? Or It’s a small world after all. And do they sing it in French? But, as @Stinley said, it is very expensive. The four year old might not appreciate it. . .except she will know all the characters. They could both realize that learning another language, like French, might be a good thing to do.

Stinley's avatar

Thanks for some great suggestions. We probably won’t go to Disneyland as it is very expensive. I like the idea of a boat trip so will keep that in mind even if we don’t get to Marseilles. Would like to see inside a chateau so will keep that in mind. I’d also like to vsit a vineyard but that might be boring for kids

snowberry's avatar

Yes, the calanques (fijords of France) would offer boat trips too.

MellisaTurner's avatar

Oh yea ! Cannes is a GREAT city you can visit ! don’t miss it ! it’s on the beach and its resorts are greater even .. you can visit Nice also, its a nice city but I guess you are gonna prefer Cannes so stay in Cannes and visit Nice ;)

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