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By Kieron Sellens
So, you’re taking a family holiday in France, but have no idea where to take the kids? You can’t go wrong with theme parks, and thankfully France has got a fair few of them. Here’s the pick of the biggest ones, guaranteed to keep the kids quiet (or screaming loudly depending on the ride!) on your family holiday in France.
Any of these makes for a great excursion for all ages – just make sure you leave your hotel in France early, as they get busy quite quickly!
Puy du Fou
Puy du Fou is a bit of a curveball to begin the list – it has no slides, roller coasters or mini trains. Instead you get elaborate shows charting the history of the area, stunning scenery and a fun, educational day out. If the word ‘educational’ is likely to make your kids run for the hills, perhaps you should sell them on the main event: a huge outdoor stage behind the castle-ruins recalls 700 years of the local history on the world’s largest stage with thousands of actors, hundreds of horses and around 400 fireworks per performance! Understandably this is quite costly, so is only on in high season – check it’s on in advance, but if it is don’t hesitate in making this a central part of your family holiday in France.
Parc Asterix is a theme park based around the comic book (and subsequent film) adventures of Asterix the Gaul. Despite the licensing deal limiting its scope, it’s actually an excellent theme park and a great alternative to Disneyland Paris (which is just 20 miles away). It has a wide range of rollercoasters, themed around characters and places from the books (the log flume takes the form of ‘Menhir Express’, for example.) Not only is it a great choice for fans of the comic books, but a terrific theme park in its own right for those who love big rollercoasters and thrills while in France. A hotel is on site for those who think they’ll spend more than a day there – easily done considering the park’s size!
One of the most famous theme parks in France, and once again breaking the traditional grounds of rollercoasters and waterslides, Futuroscope is a theme park worked entirely around film. With many 3d cinemas and other attractions and shows (some of which are the only examples in the world), the park is an excellent choice for those looking to holiday further south of Paris. Although the films are in French, headsets with translations are available, but to be honest it’s more about the experience than the dialogue. The real pick of the attractions is the motion sensitive chairs, which react to the action on screen – just as thrilling as your average rollercoaster!
The Disneyland Park needs no introduction. With an impressive array of rides and all your kids’ favourite Disney franchises represented, it’s no wonder it’s such a popular part of family holidays in France. The pick of the rides has to be Space Mountain – not for the weak of heart, with double corkscrews and 360 degree loop-the-loops in near darkness really testing your mettle! With shows, rides and an incomparable atmosphere, Disneyland is deservedly one of the most famous attractions in France. A hotel is on site, too so you can be within easy reach if you’re planning multiple visits.
You’re not short of reasons to leave your hotel in France, but there are few attractions as effective as theme parks at keeping the kids happy! Bon voyage!
About the author
About the Author: Kieron Sellens is the marketing manager of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AiTO). With AITO’s
family holidays in France
, cultural breaks can tailor-make the dream holiday – whether you want piste pleasure or family fun.