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Fun Family Days Out

Here’s our round up of some great family-friendly days out where ever you are in the region…

Charente >>

Charente-Maritime >>

Deux-Sèvres >>

Vienne >>

Best Beaches >>

 

Charente

AVENTURE-PARC LAC-DE-HAUTE-CHARENTE

»  Aventure Parc

16310 Massignac

Treetop adventures for adults and children, including bungee jumping. Entry depends on your choice of circuit. Open from 10am-7pm.

+33 (0)5 45 24 07 43;

 

»  FeelNature

16700 Ruffec

Outdoor activity centre with tree top climbs and water sports on the banks of the Charente river. Open daily.

+33 (0)6 81 15 65 20; www.feelnature.fr

 

» Parc Animalier de la Colline Enchantée

16490 Hiesse (10km from Confolens)

40 animal species in a 12 hectare park. Entry 8€.

+33 (0)5 45 89 65 45; www.colline-enchantee.com

 

»  Safari Parc de Haute Saintonge

16480 Guizengeard

Discover wild local animals from the safety of a 4-wheel-drive vehicle that takes you around the 650ha estate. Entry 12.50€. Visits at dawn or dusk, by reservation only.

+33 (0)5 45 98 99 31; www.safari-parc.fr

 

»   La Font du Brâme

16380 Mainzac

A 130ha deer-breeding farm where you can visit both the animals and a walnut plantation. Entry 6€. Open on Thursdays in July and August from 3pm.

+33 (0)5 46 23 02 56; www.laforetdubrame.fr

 

»  Label Autruche

16130 Salles-d’Angles

Visit this ostrich farm in the heart of Cognac country. Call for times.

+33 (0)5 45 83 70 27; www.label-autruche.com

 

»  Nautilis

16710 Saint-Yrieix-sur-Charente

Seven different indoor and outdoor pool areas including an 80m slide, a spa and a cardio-gym all under one roof.

+33 (0)5 45 95 50 00; www.nautilis.fr

 

»  Isle Nature

16140 Saint Fraigne

Built on marshes close to the river, Isle Nature's Jardin Ephemère is a wonderfully wild garden and includes a labyrinth, willow teepees and games for children.

+33 (0)5 45 21 37 67; www.islenature.fr

 

»  Aquad’Jetland

16440 Roullet St Estèphe

Quad and jetski centre just 12 minutes from Angoulême. Costs depend on vehicle and time.

+33 (0)6 76 13 61 74; www.aquadjetland.net

 

Charente-Maritime

visit-la-palmyre-zoo»  Zoo de La Palmyre

17570 Les Mathes

One of the best zoos in Europe, it’s set in 14 hectares amongst the pines of the Forêt de la Courbe. See more than 1,600 animals from all five continents including polar bears and snow leopards plus Siberian tigers, elephants, monkeys and apes. Open 9am–7pm 1st April to 30th September, 9am–6pm rest of year. Sea lion and parrot shows: from April to end of October. Cost: adults 15€, children 3-12 11€

+33 (0)5 46 22 46 06; www.zoo-palmyre.com

 

»  L’Hermione

17300, Rochefort

In 1997, work began on building a replica of the frigate that General Lafayette sailed to America. Visit this amazing project as it nears completion. Open daily 9am-7pm over summer. Entry is 9€ or 15€ with the guided tour (recommended, reservation required).

 +33 (0)5 46 82 07 07; www.hermione.com

 

»  La Rochelle Aquarium

17000 La Rochelle

From the moment you enter through a lift that simulates a ride deep into the sea, the museum will have you hooked. One of Europe’s best aquariums, it has more than 10,000 sea creatures on display from brightly coloured fish to a 20m deep shark tank that can been seen from three levels. Open every day from 9am-8pm. Adult Entry 15€.

+33 (0)5 46 34 00 00; www.aquarium-larochelle.com

 aquarium-la-rochelle

»  Les Antilles de Jonzac

17500 Jonzac

In this intriguingly shaped building you'll find beaches, outdoor and indoor pools and a series of saunas, hammams and jacuzzis. Open every day all year round.

+33 (0)5 46 86 48 00; www.lesantillesdejonzac.com

 

»  Château des Enigmes

17800 Pons

The Château d'Usson is the location for this fun 3-hour circuit of riddles to solve based on the theme of the Knights of the Templar. Entry 13€.

 +33 (0)5 46 91 09 19; www.chateau-enigmes.com

 

»  Paléosite

17770 Saint-Césaire

An interactive centre that is themed on prehistoric times and is great for children who can invade a camp of prehistoric hunters. Open every day during school holidays, from 10.30am-8pm. Entry 10€.

+33 (0)5 46 97 90 90; www.paleosite.fr

 

» Cabane de Moins

17870 Breuil Magné

A freshwater nature reserve where rare birds nest. Open from 2pm-7pm every day except Wednesday. Entry is free.

+33 (0)5 46 84 48 60; http://cabane-de-moins.over-blog.com

 

»  Asinerie du Baudet du Poitou (donkey farm)

17470 Dampierre sur Boutonne

The Poitou mule is bred on this farm, where you can also see heavy horses and visit exhibitions. Open from 10am-12pm and 2pm-6pm every day. Entry 3€.

+33 (0)5 46 24 68 94; www.poles-nature.fr

 

»  La Pierre de Crazannes

17350 Crazannes

Guided visits to the stone quarry that supplied stone to build Fort Boyard and Cologne Cathedral. Workshops in stone carving available.

Open daily 10am-noon and 2pm-7pm in summer. Visit 5€.

+33 (0)5 46 91 48 92; www.poles-nature.fr

 

»  Le Cep Enchanté

17490 Macqueville

An educational circuit takes you through the vineyards to discover all about grapes. Pitch and putt also on site. Open from 10.30am-7pm Tuesday to Sunday, 2pm-7pm Monday. Entry 5€, golf extra.

+33 (0)5 46 26 67 76; www.lecepenchante.com

 

»  Antioche Kayak

17400 Fouras

Based to the south of the Fouras peninsula, this sea-kayak centre can provide guides to accompany you on trips around the islands and in the Charente estuary. 2 and 4 place canoes are available. Prices vary according to the option chosen.

+33 (0)6 63 20 51 44; www.antioche-kayak.com

 

»  Les grottes de Régulus

17132 Meschers-sur-Gironde

In the cliffs of the Gironde estuary a series of surprising troglodyte caves are hidden. Visits are all guided, in French, but a document in English is available. Open every day. Entry 5€.

+33 (0)5 46 02 55 36; www.meschers.com

 

Deux-Sèvres

family-days-out-poitou-charentes

 »  Pescalis

79320 Moncoutant

For a watery day out, visit the largest fresh water aquarium in the region before enjoying the 150 hectare nature park with its no-kill fishing lakes. There are plenty of activities for non-fishers, from horse-riding to mini-golf. Entry 6€.

+33 (0)5 49 72 00 01; www.pescalis.com.

 

»  Parc Ornithologique  Les Oiseaux du Marais Poitevin

79210 Saint Hilaire la Palud

An 8ha park in the midst of the Marais Poitevin, this paradise allows you to discover the 70 species of bird as well as typical marsh flora. You can access the wilder areas by boat. Open from 10am-7:30pm every day. Entry 8€; boat hire from 17€ for an hour.

 +33 (0)5 49 26 04 09; www.oiseauxmaraispoitevin.com

 

»  Zoodyssée

79360 Villiers en Bois

Wild European animals in large spaces, a mini-farm and a games area. Horse-drawn carts can take you around the circuit. Open every day from 10am-7pm. Entry from 11.50€.

+33 (0)5 49 77 17 17; www.zoodyssee.org

 

»  Le Petit Train Pibalou

79510 Coulon

A fun way to discover the Marais Poitevin in one hour. Boats, bicycles, and horses-and-carts can also be hired. Cost of the train ride: 9€.

+33 (0)5 49 35 14 14; www.coulontourisme.com

 

»  Pic Vert Aventure

79320 Moutiers-sous-Chantemerle

Treetop adventures for 2-year-olds upwards. Open from 10am-7pm. Entry from 22€.

+33 (0)6 81 45 71 37; www.parc-aventure-79.fr

 

» Mouton Village

79340 Vasles

Everything you want to know about sheep and more! Open daily, 10am-7pm, entry 10€.

+33 (0)5 49 69 12 12; www.moutonvillage.fr

 

Vienne

visit-futuroscope-theme-park

 

»  Parc du Futuroscope

86130 Jaunay

There are a host of activities to amuse the family at this nationally known theme park. A must visit if you are in the region. Open daily - see coupon on inside front cover.

+33 (0)5 49 49 59 06; www.futuroscope.com

Read our Futuroscope feature here >>

 

»  Le Labyrinthe Végétal

86700 Romagne

7 hectares of labyrinths, each with a theme, will make discovering myths, legends, monuments and gastronomy a pleasure. Open from 10.30am-7pm. Entry 7€.

+33 (0)5 49 87 45 27; www.labyrinthe-vegetal.com

 

»  Parc de la Belle

86160 Magné

Spend an afternoon in the beautiful gardens of this park with its 20,000 different plants, not to mention the playground and its little farm for the kids. Open from 10am-6pm during the weekends in June and September and every day in July and August. Entry 6€.

+33 (0)5 49 87 80 86; www.parcdelabelle.com

 

»  Défiplanet

86410 Domaine de Dienné

Ever stayed in a snail? You can at this 47 hectare nature village! Non-residents are welcome at the animal park and adventure park which includes 1.2km of zip wires through the trees. Open daily.

+33 (0)5 49 45 87 63; www.domaine-de-dienne.fr

 

»  Moncontour Active Park

86330 Moncontour

Lots of activities around a 10ha lake including water-skiing, bathing, playground, beach volleyball, tennis, a skate park and fishing. Entry 4€.

+33 (0)5 49 22 38 50; www.moncontour-active-park.com  

 

»  Planète des Crocodiles

86320 Civaux

200 animals can be seen here, representing species from all over the world during a guided visit in a tropical environment. Open from 10am-7pm. Entry 12€.

+33 (0)5 49 91 80 00; www.planete-crocodiles.com  

 

» L'Ile aux Serpents

86290 La Trimouille

60 species of reptile are looked after in this centre, which also has an outdoor area. Open from 10am-7pm every day. Entry 9€.

+33 (0)5 49 91 23 45; www.ileauxserpents.com

 

»  La Vallée des Singes

86700 Romagne

Get directly into contact with the 350 monkeys that are in total liberty over the 15ha park. Open from 10am-7pm. Entry 17€.

+33 (0)5 49 87 20 20; www.la-vallee-des-singes.fr

 

»  Les Géants du Ciel

86300 Chauvigny

Housed in a chateau, these birds, originating from all the continents, give an open-air show every day in July and August. Open 10.30am-12.30pm and 2pm-7pm, entry 11€.

+33 (0)5 49 46 47 48; www.geantsduciel.com

 

»  Le Vieux Cormenier

86400 Champniers

Learn all about rural life in France at the end of the 19th century in this 50-minute visit hosted by Paillou the scarecrow (visit available in English). Open in July and August every day from 10am-7pm. Entry 9€.

+33 (0)5 49 87 32 33; www.levieuxcormenier.com

 

»  Centre Aquatic Abyssea

86320 Civaux

Bowling and swimming complex that’s perfect for a rainy day. The pool has a giant toboggan while adults will appreciate the spa complex. There is also a 20m deep well for underwater diving and an 8 lane bowling alley. The pool is open daily and entry costs 4.30€.

+33 (0)5 49 48 09 09; www.vert-marine.com/abyssea-civaux-86

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