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Children – information for visitors to Museums, Theme Parks, beaches and other places of interest in Pas de Calais and Nord Departments in France – Day-tripper.net.

tourism in France

Museums, Themes Parks and Places to visit for Children

There is plenty to do for families with children in North France.

The Nord, Pas-de-Calais tourist Board are trying hard to make a break in this region safe and enjoyable for children. Specially designated beaches called "KID Stations", of which there are 27, ensure your childs safety. The ones in Nord / Pas de Calais are at Berck, Gravelines, Hardelot, Le Portel, Le Touquet, Wimereux, and Wissant.

A new scheme started in 2011 called "Famille Plus" and has certified places all over France. "Famille Plus" is a new national quality label that aims to be supportive of families with children aged 3 to 12 years. Its purpose if to help travellers find family friendly places to visit. 69 French resorts are currently labeled "Famille Plus".

Created in 1992 the scheme signifies that families with children are particularly welcome.

Famille Plus family friendly centres in France. www.familleplus.fr

Map showing the centres in France. www.familleplus.fr

The centres in the North of France are at; Dunkirk, Hardelot Plage, and Le Touquet. There are six in Normandy, and ten in Brittany.

Places awarded the "Famille Plus" label aim to offer;

– a personal welcome in hotels and restaurants

– Activities and entertainment for all ages

– From the smallest to largest: good prices

– Professional staff to look after your children

– an opportunity to discover the local environment and heritage

– Convenient: all shops and services on hand.

Kid stations KID Stations in Northern France.

The web site no longer works, but we have seen some still up and running.

Berck-sur-mer. Tel: 0033 321 09 50 00.

Boulogne-sur-mer. Tel: 0033 321 10 88 10.

Calais. Tel: 0033 321 96 62 40.

Dunkerque – Dunes de Flandre. Tel: 0033 328 66 79 21.

Gravelines. Tel: 0033 328 51 94 00.

Hardelot. Tel: 0033 321 83 51 02.

Le Portel. Tel: 0033 321 31 45 93.

Le Touquet. Tel: 0033 321 06 72 00.

Wimereux. Tel: 0033 321 83 27 17.

NORD / Pas de Calais Theme Parks

aqualudAqualud (water park), Bd. de la Mer, 62520. Le Touquet. Regions largest water park, on the seafront. 3 indoor and outdoor pools. Wave pool, Giant toboggan run. Tel: 0033 321 05 90 96. Open: 10.00am – 6.00pm. Closed November – March. www.aqualud.com

balparcBal Parc, 207 rue du Vieux Château Tournehem-sur-la Hem. 62890. Fun park for the under 12's. Animal farm, carousels, mini golf and train. Tel: 0033 321 35 61 00. www.balparc.fr

bagatelleBagatelle, CD. 940, 62155. Merlimont near Le Touquet. Directions; A16 exit 25. Huge amusement park, 44 different rides and attractions. For all ages. Tel: 0033 321 94 60 33. www.bagatelle.fr

cite du train – Cité du Train. 2, rue Alfred de Glehn, 68200 Mulhouse. Tel: 0033 389 42 83 33. www.citedutrain.com

dennlys parcDennlys Parc, 62560. Denbroeucq, near St. Omer. For younger children – set in the grounds of an old watermill. Rides, aquatic bumper cars, animal park. Tel: 0033 321 95 11 39. www.dennlys-parc.com

eurolacEurolac, (miniature park) 1098, Av. du Lac, 62610. Ardres. Tel: 0033 321 35 13 91. Open: 1st April to 31st October from 10.00am. www.eurolac-ardres.com

la coupole museumLa Coupole Space Centre, Herfaut-Wizernes. Pas de Calais. 62504 (5km from St. Omer). Discover the fascinating wartime history of this area at this rocket. Tel: 0033 321 93 07 07. www.lacoupole.fr

naussicaa aquariumNausicaa, Bd. Sainte-Beuve. 62203. Boulogne-sur-Mer. Tel: 0033 321 30 99 99. A 600 cubic metre aquarium with sharks, rays, sea lions and 10,000 fish. www.nausicaa.fr

opal aventureOpal Aventure, Chemin des Bateaux. 62176. Camiers Sainte Cécile. Pas de Calais (south of Boulogne). Tel: 0681 64 23 42. www.opalaventure.com

passion d'aventurePassion d'Aventure Park. Thrills with trails, rope bridges and zipwires (for adults and children). Guînes (South of Calais). www.passiondaventure.com

Le Zoo de MaubergeLe Zoo de Maubeuge, Avenue du Parc 59600 Maubeuge. Tel: 0033 327 53 75 84. www.zoodemaubeuge.fr

Other theme parks in France

infoparks – Info Parks – Theme parks in Europe. www.infoparks.com

walibi – Walibi – A company controlling many of the most popular theme parks in Europe. www.walibi.com

Le Chene perche – Le Chêne Perché (Tree top houses and adventures). Domaine de la Vénerie, Route de Maranwez. 08460 Signy l'Abbaye. Tel: 0033 679 73 52 73. www.lecheneperche.com

cite de l'espace – Cité de l'espace, Avenue Jean Gonord – BP 25855. 31506 Toulouse Cedex 5. Tel: 0033 820 377 223. www.cite-espace.com

cite de la mer – La Cite de la Mer. The old Cherbourg maritime terminal renovated and transformed into a museum. www.citedelamer.com

disneyland paris – Disneyland Paris – Tel: (UK) 08705 03 03 03. www.disneylandparis.co.ukdisneyland paris

France miniature – France Miniature, 25 route du Mesnil. 78990 Elancourt St Quentin en Yvelines. France. Tel: 0033 826 30 20 40. www.franceminiature.com

futuroscope – Futuroscope in Poitiers. Voyages of sensation, discovery, imagination, and emotion. www.futuroscope.com

jardins boulogne – Jardins d'Acclimatation. Bois de Boulogne, 75116. Paris. Tel: 0033 1 40 67 90 82. www.jardindacclimatation.fr

jardins boulogne – Alpha Loup (wolf). Parc Alpha – Chalet d'Accueil du Boréon. RD 89. 06450 Saint Martin Vesubie. www.alpha-loup.com

le pal theme park – Le PAL, zoo and theme park in Auvergne. Saint-Pourcain-sur-Besbre. 03290 DOMPIERRE-SUR-BESBRE. France. Tel. 0033 470 42 68 10. www.lepal.com

marineland – Marineland, RN 7. 06600 Antibes. Tel: 0033 493 33 49 49. www.marineland.fr

micropolis – Micropolis, La Cite des Insects. Le bourg – 12780 Saint Léons. Tel: 0033 565 58 50 50. www.micropolis.biz

mini chateaux – Mini-Châteaux, La Menaudière – D31. 37400 Amboise. Tel: 0033 247 23 44 57. www.decouvrez-levaldeloire.com

Musée Vivant de l'Apiculture (bees and honey), 45220 Château-Renard. Tel: 0033 238 95 35 56. Not quite a theme park, but may be of interest. 130km South East of Paris. www.museevivant.com

nigoland – Nigloland. N19, 10200 Dolancourt. Tel: 0033 325 27 94 52. www.nigloland.fr

mocturnia – Nocturnia La Nature la Nuit – Bois de Roucy – 08250 Olizy-Primat – D946 entre Vouziers et Grandpré. Tel: 0033 324 71 07 38. www.nocturnia.fr

oceanpolis – Oceanopolis, Parc de Découverte des Océans, Port de Plaisance du Moulin Blanc. BP 91039 F – 29210 Brest Cedex 1. Tel: 0033 298 34 40 40. www.oceanopolis.com

parc asterlix – Parc Asterix, based on comic strip heroes Astérix and his friend Obélix. www.parcasterix.com

Parc des Combes – Les Chemins de Fer du Creusot, rue des Pyrénées – 71200 Le Creusot. Tel: 0033 385 55 26 23. www.parcdescombes.com

Parc Saint Paul – Parc St Paul. "PARC SAINT PAUL provides a fun and unique entertainment experience with its 37 attractions for the whole family, for the young ones, for the more adventurous, 2shows and 5food points, and tranquil water gardens. A perfect place to picnic! Park can accommodate 800 guests with 40 barbecue grills. The entrance to PARC SAINT PAUL entitles you to unlimited access to 37 attractions and 2 shows". www.parcsaintpaul.fr

planet sauvage – Planet Sauvage. Planète Sauvage La Chevalerie 44710 Port Saint-Père. Tel: 0033 240 04 82 82. www.planetesauvage.com

planet sauvage – Port Aventura. Theme Park. Just over the border in Barcelona. fr.portaventura.com

puy du fou – Puy du Fou, 30 rue Georges Clemenceau, BP25 85590 Les Epesses. Tel: 0033 251 64 11 11. www.puydufou.com

March 2012 – "The Themed Entertainment Association has voted that the French theme park Puy du Fou is the best in the world, the first time a French park has won the industry's "Oscar". The Vendee park, near to Angers, was chosen ahead of 700 parks and shows in 40 countries to receive the Thea Award."

roc aux sorciers – The Roc aux Sorciers exhibition centre near Poitiers has images (the originals date back 15,000 years) recreated by laser etching tools to feature bison, goats, cats and even erotic female forms, that were found in the original caves in the 1950s. The centre is at Angles-sur-L'Anglin, Vienne, and the exhibition also features a sound and light show which brings the wall paintings to life, highlighting how people lived in the caves and how they were discovered. www.roc-aux-sorciers.com

cerza safari – Cerza Safari Lodge (Parc Zoologic du Cerza). 14100 Hermival les Vaux (near to Lisieux). Normandy. www.cerzasafarilodge.com

vulcania – Vulcania, Auvergne. All about volcanoes. Tel: 0033 473 19 70 00. www.vulcania.com

Other places to visit

gouffre padirac – The Gouffre at Padirac is a natural, 75 metre chasm in the limestone plateau of the "Causse de Gramat" (Lot), below which, at 103 metres underground flows a river (photos). www.gouffre-de-padirac.com

airbus – Airbus Industries. www.airbus.com

airbus factory – Organises tours around the Airbus factory in Toulouse. The Airbus fleets take shape on the "Aérospatiale" site in Toulouse, which is now open to the public. You can now visit the assembly hangar of the A380, the largest aeroplane of all time. You can also find out about the technical secrets of the supersonic flight of Concorde no.1. The ninth Concorde from Air France, can also be seen (this was the last Concorde to be flown in France). www.manatour.fr

The Gouffre at Padirac

gauffre padirac gauffre at padirac

Places to visit in Belgium

euro space centreEuro Space Centre, Rue Devant les Hetres, 1 – B-6890 Transinne. Belgium. Tel: 0032 61 65 64 65. If you are passing through luxembourg, find the time to stop off at the Euro Space Centre in Belgium. Fun for both children and adults. www.eurospacecenter.be

Useful Outside links

infoparks – Infoparks.com, find a theme park in European countries. www.infoparks.com

parc et loisirs – Parc and Loisirs, a French site listing all the theme parcs in France. Useful for web links and interactive map. www.parcsetloisirs.fr

le petite moutard – Le Petite Moutard, a guide (in French) listing places to visit for children. www.lepetitmoutard.fr

All French monuments and museums. www.culture.fr

Nord Department Tourism. www.cdt-nord.fr

Nord / Pas de Calais Tourism. www.northernfrance-tourism.com

French Embassy – USA site. www.info-france-usa.org

calais tourist office – Calais Tourist Office English web site. www.calais-cotedopale.com

the other side France – The Other Side, lots of useful information. www.theotherside.co.uk

slow travel – Slow Travel is a community of people who like to travel and experience new places! www.slowtrav.com

Also Sloweurope.com (photos) and Slowtalk.com (message board).

say no to 0870 – Say NO to 0870. www.saynoto0870.com

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