Ideas for the Kids!
La Merveille is the ideal place for families and there is always plenty for the kids to do and enjoy. The garden has a swimming-pool that is particularly suited to the younger children and plenty of space to just run around in and let off steam. We have two trampolines which seem to attract an enormous amount of attention when children arrive. Inside there is table football and for the older children a pool table is available during the evenings.
You do not have to travel far from La Merveille to find plenty of activities that are ideally suited to children of all ages. Only twenty minutes away you will find some of the best sandy beaches in Northern France.
The Beaches at Jullouville and Carolles
It's hard to improve on the beaches just south of Granville at Jullouville and Carolles. To arrive there, leave La Merveille for La Haye-Pesnel. At the main crossroads in La Haye-Pesnel, turn left for Sartilly and then follow the signs for the beaches.
Even during the holiday time the beaches are rarely crowded and there are miles and miles of sand. The tide goes out some way so it might be worth checking the times of high and low tides. There are plenty of car parks and if you move a short distance from the patrolled areas you will find plenty of unoccupied space and privacy. Cafés and restaurants are scattered along the length and breadth of the beaches.
Carolles also has a generous supply of rocks to explore as the tide goes out. It's a great place for the kids with totally safe swimming. A little further north at Jullouville there are excellent markets on Tuesday and Friday mornings during the summer season.
If you want a break from the sea and the beaches, travel inland to the adventure park at Bellefontaine and spend the whole day enjoying the natural appeal of the Enchanted Village.
Enchanted Village at Bellefontaine
Location: North of Mortain, ~35km due east of Avranches.
General Information: Under new management from 2006. Open daily from 1st April-30th Sept and weekends from 1st Oct-30th Dec. High season prices €8.50 for adults and €6.00 for children. Website. Tel: 02.33.59.01.93
Description: This is a pleasant attraction which particularly appeals to the younger family. Situated in a large parkland it offers a variety of traditional attractions including a miniature railway, electric cars and a quaint fantasy land. It is the perfect place to go if you would like to spend a relaxing day outdoors with a picnic... But not so ideal on wet days!
For the children: There is a great deal here for the younger children. Recently there have been more improvements to the park and it now has dodgem cars which all the children love (the youngest being accompanied by their parents). There is a small animal farm with goats and pigs, and there are also the usual picnic areas.
It is difficult to drag the children away from the dodgem cars and the youngest will enjoy the bouncy castles (some are more challenging than others so they keep the older ones occupied). The rope walk is fairly challenging to younger children and adults but enjoyed by all. At the Enchanted Village, you get very good value for money - even the train ride around the park is enjoyed by all and of course there is the zip wire which was introduced recently (the only thing that has an extra charge for).
The older children will appreciate the freedom to explore and take to the treetop walkways which appear to have fewer restrictions than similar amenities in the UK. Above all, it is a day out in the fresh air with activities to exercise and amuse the kids.
Zoo and Gardens at Champrepus
Location: Situated on the D924 between Villedieu-les-Poêles and Granville.
General Information: Open 11th Feb-early Nov, weekends only in second half of March and afternoons only in second half Feb to 1st half March and October onwards. Daily from 10.00am-7.00pm in high season. 2007 prices €12.00 and €6.50 and 13-18's €10.00. If you book online (website) prices are €1 cheaper. Tel: 02.33.61.30.74
Description: A well maintained zoo covering 7 hectares and spread across both sides of the D924 (a footbridge links the two sections). The northern, smaller section has a mini-farm and a selection of exotic birds, while the main area contains larger 'jungle' animals - lions, leopards, tigers, monkeys, etc. The whole zoo is well laid out with themed gardens to show animals in their natural settings. It has recently been expanded with a giraffe enclosure and other additions.
Our recommendations: Don't miss the Lemur reserve where lemurs run freely. The whole area is designed to teach children about respecting animals in their natural habitat. It's one of those places where you see the animals enjoying plenty of open space. It means you have a good walk round the enclosures and even use a bridge to cross the main road to see the farm animals. For children who love animals this is a great place to see them - relatively free to roam their enclosures.
For the children: Like most zoos this one will appeal more to children up to around 14 years of age. An added bonus for younger children is the games area at the end of the visit with bouncy castles, inflatables, and a ball pool - young children will love it!
Champrepus now hosts a series of 'exotic gardens' with beautifully constructed pathways, a tree-top walkway, flamingo marshes and a wide variety of flowers and plants. On a sunny day you can enjoy an oasis of greenery, a haven of relaxation and some magnificiently lanscaped gardens.
Ange Michel Leisure Park
Parc d'Attractions et de Loisirs Ange Michel, Saint-Martin de Landelles, 50370. Tel: 02.33.49.04.74 Website
Ange Michel is a major amusement park and really only about thirty minutes from La Merveille. It has approximately 30 attractions, ranging from carousels and fairground rides, to pony trekking and rides on board a colourful land train. This is definitely the place for children of all ages. It may not be as grand as the major theme parks in the UK, but it does offer an impressive variety of activities.
Children of all ages will enjoy spending an entire day there, zooming down the long hill slide and cooling off in the outdoor swimming pool, where there are a number of water slides. Inside you will find tenpin bowling, snack bars and a museum with vintage cars. At Ange Michel you can also sample a number of historical themes.
All activities included in entrance price
April, May, September
- Adult: €11
- Children (under 12): €9
- Little children: free
- Adult: €12
- Children (under 12): €10
- Little children: free
Alligator Bay Reptilarium
On the road to Pontorson from Mont Saint Michel
Advertised as a mere five minutes from Mont Saint Michel, the Alligator Bay Reptilarium is a rather unexpected attraction, but worthy of a few hours nonetheless. Home to more than 200 different alligators and crocodiles in all shapes and sizes, Alligator Bay also features tortoises and turtles, giant pythons, various lizards, and a recently opened tropical greenhouse. You can walk around the alligator enclosures by using a series of trails and wooden bridges.
Alligator Bay is also a breeding and reproduction centre of sensitive species threatened with extinction.
The crocodiles are fed at 11h30 and 16h30 - try not to miss this!
On your visit you will be directed to follow a set path which takes you first to the tortoise and turtle farm. The stage of the visit takes you to the dragon maze, boas, pythons, giant monitors and chameleons. Finally you will take a dive into a Louisiana forest and an African oasis. You will be directed along a wooden pontoon bridge, passing through various log cabins where you can at last admire around 200 crocodiles, alligators and caimans in their natural environment!
Open daily from April to September, 10:00 to 19:00 and from October to March, 14:00 to 18:00
Admission: Adults €11.50, Children aged 13-18 €9.50, Children aged 4-12 €7.50, Children under four years old are free