Taking a family camping holiday in Ile de France near Paris
A lot of people opt for a family camping holiday in France, whether it be in a tent or with a caravan, and this is especially true if they have young children, as it can be a far cheaper option than staying in a hotel. However, there are lots of French campsites that also have rental accommodation like a fully equipped tent, chalet or a mobile home you can rent as well.
Also today the North of France has become a very popular destination for camping holidays because it has easy access with ferry crossings such as P&O into Calais and the EuroTunnel with lots of people thinking about the Normandy region or the Brittany region. But, Ile de France with its capital city of Paris is only around three to four hours drive from the ferry ports, and this region of France really does has so many tourist attractions for a family camping holiday in France, even if you do not want to go into Paris itself.
Family tourist attractions around Paris in Ile de France
Ok, we have got to start with the most obvious place to visit near Paris, and yes you have already guessed that we are going to say Disneyland Paris. Without the expense of travelling to America, you have the next best option for a magical and exciting experience with different themed lands, attractions and thrill rides through to meeting the Disney characters or watching shows and parades. Here there is something for all ages including the adults that are young at heart.
You also have the Walt Disney Studios park where you can go behind the scenes and have tours so you can see film and TV sets, costumes and much more, not forgeting all the different rides you can enjoy.
However, there are also other theme parks near Paris you can visit. The next one we will mention is Parc Asterix, which is based on the comic book character Asterix and it is here you will find the largest wooden roller coaster in Europe along with many, many other rides for the thrill seekers among you, although there are water rides and much more for young children as well.
Then, you also have the Mer de Sable wild west theme park with cowboy and Indian shows, re-enactments like out of the old spaghetti westerns, plus rides from those suitable for toddlers right through to the thrill seekers, which makes it great for children of all ages. However, we would like to point out that it is all in the open air and therefore is only open from April to September.
And then there is France Miniature, which is exactly what it says, an amusement park designed as a map of France but all in miniature with different monuments, trains, etc, which can be found close to Chateau Versailles, and is open from Spring through to Autumn.
However, if you have young children and it is a really horrible, rainy day, rather than staying at the French campsite in Ile de France that you have chosen, why not take them to PlayMobil where there are different themed areas all based around the PlayMobil toys and it is a very reasonable cost.
But perhaps you prefer the idea of animals or something completely different. Well, you have plenty of choice and again this one is indoors. So, to start with you have Sea Life Val d’Europe which is located only about five minutes away from Disneyland Paris within a complete village area with shopping malls, restaurants etc. It has the largest collection of shark species in France, a seahorse breeding centre and much more all to enjoy.
Then you have Chateau Thiory with its Wildlife park where you can drive through the African reserve setting in your car or via a tour bus to experience many different animals such as elephants, giraffes etc along with a zoo part that has lions, tigers, etc. Yet there is far more to this incredible place. To start with you have different themed gardens with flora and fauna, botanic gardens and a bluebell wood, and then there is a landscaped labyrinth, which is the only interactive maze in the world, that is more like a computer game! However, you also have the chateau itself, where you can have guided tours with people dressed in authentic costumes, so this is a definite for a family day out with a difference.
And still keeping on the theme of animals, you have Espace Rambouillet that is a wildlife reserve located in a forest on an old hunting estate and is now dedicated to the preservation of birds of prey with around 20 different species, along with deer, wild boar and the flora and fauna found within the forest. Now this is a very vast area which does mean lots of walking, but ponies are available to hire on certain days for young children to save their little legs, and from the months of April through to October you can see birds of prey demonstrations.
For those of you that enjoy horses, you have the Dimanches Au Galop, which basically translates to Sunday at the Races and during the Sundays of April and May at the Longchamp horse racecourse, it is designed as a day out for all the family where you can have a picnic, let children enjoy the carousel and other entertainment, take tours behind the scenes and even learn how to bet if you have never been to the races before.
If you like shows then you have the Theatre Equestre Zingaro that was founded by the world renowned Bartabas, which is a magical choreographed show with music lighting, the performers and their horses, although this has to be booked well in advance, as the show is taken around the world.
However, if you do not manage to get to see this magical experience, then you could go to the Chateau Versailles, where Bartabas set up an equestrian training academy and here you can experience shows at set times along with guided tours of the stables and training areas. Oh, and while you here, why not take the time to go round the grounds of the chateau on a golf cart you can hire, maybe rent a little boat for an hour of fun on the water or watch one of the spectacular fountain shows that are organised each weekend from April to September.
As you have probably gathered by now that the list of things that you can do on a family camping holiday near Paris is endless and we are only just scratching the surface, but if you want leisure activities then a visit to the Base Regionale de Loisirs de Saint Quentin en Yvelines, which is located around 30km to the West of Paris. Here you can enjoy the beach, swimming, fishing, sailing, golf, horse riding and cycling, not forgetting the nature reserve for migrating birds, the nature trails and numerous picnic areas.
There is also Fontainebleau forest that is ideal for walking, cycling, horse riding and experiencing nature, plus you have the fabulous Fontainebeau chateau where you can feed the fish in the carp lake, take a horse drawn carriage ride or just admire the colours on the peacocks that roam round the grounds.
This goes without saying that there are some fantastic French campsites in Ile de France that have excellent facilities and numerous activities for children as well as adults, so you will be hard pushed trying to fit in everything you want to do, whilst on your family camping holiday in France.
But whatever you decide, enjoy. And we know you will want to go back for another holiday, and this does not include the different things you could do if you decide on a family Camping holiday in Paris itself!