Top 10 Toddler Spots in Normandy
Normandy is a fantastic part of France to visit with toddlers. If you are travelling from the UK it is not too long or arduous a journey to get here and whilst we have great weather we do not get the searing heat of some more southern areas, both of which make it very toddler friendly. Plus there is just so much for the younger members of your family to see and do in Normandy.
Top 10 Toddler Spots in Normandy
Miniature Railway, Clécy
Just 20 minutes down the road from us in the beautiful Swiss Normandy village of Clécy, this is a must visit for any Thomas the Tank Engine fans! In an area of 310 m² you'll find more than 450m of track, 250 locomotives, 450 wagons and 650 model houses as well as a ride-on miniature railway and play area outside. This would make a great visit for a wet day.
Our nearest beach is at Ouistreham, an hour away and it is wonderfully toddler-friendly with plenty of sand and shallow, calm waters. Unlike some beaches where the sea-front is crammed full of shops this is not the case here so you won't have your children nagging you to buy all sort of toys etc and you can simply settle down to a lovely day on the beach.
This family friendly theme park has rides for children of all ages. For brave older children there are some real hair-raisers (ask Tom who went on Eretic!) but the younger members of the family are well catered for. It's not the biggest of theme parks but there is plenty to do and you rarely have to queue too long.
Soft play areas
You can't beat these if you have a toddler in tow who needs to burn off some energy, especially if the weather is not ideal to be outside. There are several to chose from locally including 2 in Caen (L'îlot z'enfants and Royal Kids) and Les P'tits Fous in Flers
What toddler doesn't love a zoo and our closest (Jurques) is less than half an hour away and I blogged a bit more about it here. Slightly further afield you'll also find Champrépus Zoo and Cerza Zoo. The boys have been to all three and love them all enjoying holding snakes at Jurques and having a lemur get comfy in Ben's buggy at Champrépus. Feeding goats was possibly the thing they loved the most on this trip a few years ago.
This family centred amusement park between Vire and Avranches has simply loads for toddlers to see and do with over 30 attractions on the site. Please note, though, that it is only open from late June to the end of August.
Birthplace of William the Conqueror this imposing castle has been much renovated having suffered much damage over the years and especially during WWII. It now boasts state of the art displays, viewed with the help of hand held tablets which is a great way to engage out technology focused younger generations!
Cérisy Belle Etoile Country Park
There are actually very few country parks in Normandy but this one, just 25 minutes from us is a great place for a family day out. You can walk through the large wooded parkland, play crazy golf and the children can wear themselves out in the newly refurbished play area. For more details do read this blog post I wrote.
Château de Vendeuvre with it's Magic Water Gardens
Another fabulous castle here and where-as Falaise is a castle as we imagine them (tower, thick walls etc) Vendeuvre is what we would call a stately home. This may not immediately appeal to toddlers but the ground will where you will find the Magic Water Gardens. I recommend you take a change of clothes!
Forêt de Grimbosq
The Forest covers 482 hectares and is found between Thury Harcourt and Caen. It has guided routes, a picnic area, a pond, arboretums and an animal park where you can see wild boar and deer. It makes a lovely place for a day out in the fresh air with toddlers.
And for a bonus Toddler Treat you can't beat our very own play area here at Eco-Gites of Lenault!
Do you have a favourite place you have visited in Normandy with toddlers - or perhaps somewhere you would not recommend? Please do leave a comment below.
You can pin me.