Camping in France with the Kids: Our Top 10 Activities in the Normandy
Are you and your kids excited for camping in France? What can you do when you're there? Don't worry loads of great things! Check out our top 10 activities in Normandy.
Taking the whole family on a camping trip to Normandy is a great way to create memories and enjoy spending time together.
With plenty of historical sites, fun activities and opportunities to connect with nature, this beautiful region in Northern France is the perfect destination for all the family.
Read on to discover our top 10 things to do in Normandy while you're camping in France.
1. William The Conqueror's Castle
Built by William the Conqueror himself, and improved by his ancestors, this 11th-century castle is an impressive structure that you and your kids will love exploring.
The castle offers an imposing sight at the top of a hill, and includes three restored keeps, a large hall, and high walls with incredible views of the surrounding area.
But, it's the combination of history and cutting-edge technology that really makes this castle a must-see attraction while you're camping in Normandy.
On entry, all visitors are given an iPad which helps bring the castle to life through augmented reality.
By hovering your iPad over the 'time gates' in each room you can connect to information and videos relating to where you are. You can then scan the room with your iPad and view what the room would have looked like back in the 12th century.
2. Parc Festyland
Normandy's biggest amusement park is great fun for younger children. It includes roller coasters, bumper boats, a medieval castle and water slides for a perfect family day out.
With over 30 rides in total, your kids are sure to have fun playing all day. And, as most of the rides and attractions are historically-themed, they'll also be learning about the Battle of Hastings and Vikings while they enjoy themselves.
It's important to note, however, that the park isn't open every day so make sure to check the website link above if you plan on visiting Festyland during your stay in Normandy.
3. The Alabaster Coast
For some breath-taking natural beauty, a trip to the Alabaster Coast is a must-see for visitors to Normandy.
The jewel in the crown of this 80-mile coastal stretch is Etretat, where l'Aiguille (The Needle) is sure to leave you speechless.
To take in the best views, it's worth taking the simple hiking trail that goes along the edge of the cliff. From here you'll see white cliffs and dramatic rock formations, including one that looks like an elephant dipping its trunk into the sea!
Make a day of it by bringing a picnic or a selection of patisserie treats to enjoy at the top of the cliffs, then take a walk down to the beach to build sand castles or go for a paddle in the sea.
4. La Cite de la Mer
Situated close to the ferry port in Cherbourg, La Cite de la Mer is one of the most popular things to do in Normandy for families visiting the region.
Set in a vast ocean-liner Art Deco terminal, this unique attraction is also just a 30-minute drive from Camping La Gallouette.
La Cite de la Mer specialises in exciting exhibits depicting life under and on the sea.
Highlights include an incredible 17 aquariums, including the deepest in Europe, and the chance to walk through some of the luxurious rooms of the Titanic.
You can also climb aboard La Redoubtable, the largest submarine in the world on public display, or go on a virtual adventure through the depths of the ocean.
A few hundred yards from the Normandy coast, the stunning 8th-century abbey of Mont-St-Michel is one of our top picks of things to see in Normandy.
This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site perched on top of a granite outcrop seems like it's straight out of a fairy tale. And it's especially stunning to look across the bay when the lights start to come on around sunset.
But, when it comes to getting a closer look, crossing the bay to get to the abbey can be an adventure in itself!
The tides move fast, and when it's low tide in the bay there are areas of quicksand. So, even if your children are daredevils, it's best to stick to the connecting causeway when you want to cross to the island and back.
Once you get across to the island you can explore the mount's winding cobbled streets, filled with Gothic museums, restaurants and souvenir shops. You might also want to stop off for a crepe before you tackle the steep climb of over 900 steps to get to the abbey!
6. Parc Ange Michel
While you're in the area, the Parc Ange Michel is just 25 minutes away from Mont-Saint-Michel.
Set in beautiful surroundings, this amusement park is open from the 22nd of April to the 23rd of September, and is a great option for families on the lookout for what to do in Normandy.
The park boasts a variety of rides to appeal to children of all ages, from roller coasters to carousels. It also has karting for adults and electric cars for children, so there's something for all the family.
If the weather's not so great the park includes an impressive 7D cinema and a laser game, as well as other indoor activities to keep your kids busy.
And, in the hotter months, you and your kids can zoom down water slides and cool off in the outdoor swimming pool. There are also a number of water rides and bumper boats, as well as a paddling pool for little ones.
7. Memorial de Caen
The Memorial de Caen museum is definitely worth a visit while you and your family are camping in Normandy.
The museum caters for all the family, with free entry for children under 10. But, as some of the exhibits are a little gory, it's best for children around seven and over.
Through spectacular presentation, the museum tells the story of the 20th century from the pre-1945 to the post-1945 period, and the events that had such a great impact on European history.
You and your kids will learn all about the events of World War II and D-Day, as well as its continued impact on the years that followed, such as during the Cold War.
Bringing history to life, the Memorial de Caen includes a recreated German bunker in the museum's expansive memorial gardens. And you can also sign up to one of the guided tours of the D-Day Landing beaches in Normandy to see where it all happened.
8. Monet's Garden
For a more tranquil day out with the family, a trip to Monet's Garden in Giverny is perfect for art lovers young and old.
The gardens have been restored to look as they did during Monet's lifetime. The waterlilies, Japanese bridge, and weeping willow trees are all easy to recognise from some of his most famous paintings, hung in galleries around the world.
You'll feel like you're walking through a painting as you explore the grounds and wander through the beautiful scenery.
And, if your kids are budding artists then they can take coloured pencils and a sketchbook into the gardens to have a go at recreating their own works of art. There are also family workshops at the Museum of Impressionism for children aged from five to 12.
9. Zoo de Champrepus
The zoo boasts over 50 animal species, all with ample space to roam around in the unique 10-hectare setting divided into two parks. The well-thought-out layout includes a 'hands on' farmland area where you can get close to animals such as donkeys, goats and sheep, as well as various worldwide zones to explore.
For fans of big cats, there are tigers, panthers, lions and cheetahs, as well as zebras, giraffes, penguins and otters. But for many, a highlight is the lemur enclosure where you can walk among them and see them being fed between April and September.
There's also a play area and bouncy castles for all ages if your kids have any energy left after roaming the parks as well as a picnic area if you choose to bring your own food.
10. Clecy Gliss Luge Circuit
One of the most original things to do in Normandy, Clecy Gliss is a monorail luge circuit which allows you to slide down the hills of the Normandy countryside at speeds of up to 45 km per hour.
The 650-metre track takes in views of the Clecy viaduct and nearby cliffs, with slopes, jumps and bends for an exciting ride.
Although children under 90 cm are not allowed to ride, children between 90 cm and 130 cm can ride when accompanied by an adult. Adults and children over 130 cm can ride alone.
If not all of your kids can join in, there is a bouncy castle for younger ones, as well as a snack bar and terrace for enjoying the view with a snack or drink.
Camping in France: What to Do in Normandy
It's clear from this list that Normandy has it all when it comes to a great camping trip for all the family.
If you're searching for campsites in France for your stay in Normandy, then look no further. There's no better way to experience this beautiful region and all it has to offer than by booking one of our campsites today!
And don't forget to check out our essentials guide to camping in France before you head off.