Posted on 24 March 2010 by Dan Johnson
Disneyland Paris remains France’s most popular theme park, but if you want something other than huge queues and fairytale castles, there are other attractions that offer a typically French slice of family fun.
Science park Futuroscope and history-themed park Puy du Fou are both located on France’s west coast, where the big beaches, friendly seaside towns and activity-packed holiday parcs make for an ideal family holiday destination.
Puy du Fou
If you want a noisy, smoky, live spectacular that will bring your children’s history lessons to life, then step back in time at Puy du Fou in the Vendée where, in one afternoon, you can experience a Roman circus, Viking longboats and an 18th century village.
Puy du Fou is essentially a series of live historical shows dedicated to 2,000 years of French history. You can watch gladiators battle, Vikings loot and, in a new show for 2010, armies lay siege.
There are performances of falconry, jousting, magic and music, and the park explodes into life during the evenings when a thousand local volunteers perform a historical sound and music extravaganza on what they claim is the world’s largest stage.
Siblu’s four-star Le Bois Masson holiday parc, in the coastal resort of St-Jean-de-Monts, is within a short drive of Grand Parc Puy du Fou. A two-bedroom holiday home starts from as little as £725 for two adults and up to three children staying for 7-nights, based on a 17 July departure. Puy du Fou tickets start from €27 for adults and €17 for children.
Futuroscope in Poitiers, in the Poitou Charente region of west France, is the country’s second most popular theme park.
There are a series of giant Imax cinemas that broadcast awe-inspiring films which include an interactive safari to see the animals of the future, the legendary Apollo 11 moon flight as viewed by a fly on the wall, and, in a new show for 2010, take viewers on an incredible 4D-adventure created by renowned film director Luc Besson.
There are many other attractions, including giant robot arms that dance with their occupants, and a light show blasted onto water.
Siblu’s Les Charmettes holiday parc is located at La Palmyre in Charente Maritime, within easy reach of Futuroscope. A 7-night stay at the four-star parc starts from £921 for two adults and three children staying in holiday home accommodation, based on a 17 July start date. Tickets for Futuroscope start from €35 for adults and €26 for children.