We LOVE holidays, who doesn’t? But as a mum, a family holiday is often not a holiday. In fact, it is often harder work than a week at home. Often the best family holidays we have had are the ones where we find a balance of the kids being happy and the adults being happy that the kids are happy!
We have been asked by Al Fresco Holidays to share with our ideal family holiday in France. France is a great location for a family holiday and we know this from experience having holidayed there before kids and a couple of times with the boys too. We are big fans of Al Fresco Holidays, they have some super holiday parks throughout France and great accommodation choices too.
So first off the adults. What do we want from a holiday? First off, MadDad needs is not the sort of chap to sit and do nothing, he is not happy sitting around a pool, even though that sounds like heaven to me, as long as it is warm and I have a good book, suncream, sunglasses and a large hat!
Sports facilities for two active children. My boys love to swim, play football, play table tennis etc. They never sit still. So we need a park that has lots to offer on this front but is also safe. At 11 and 10 they are desperate for some independence and to be free from our coattails on holiday.
Great Food. Both the boys are pretty adventurous eaters and love trying new foods wherever we go. As a parent this is a delight. There is something so adventurous about foods in a different country and they adore going to the supermarket. I think the opportunity to have lots of Nutella and pain au chocolate for breakfast is a huge bonus! I am pretty content with some fab cheese and french bread and add some red wine in for MadDad and then we are pretty happy.
When it comes to the boys they are pretty simple as to what they want from a holiday. Lots of free times, sports, swimming, activities, friends to play with and great food. Yep, my boys are a little like dogs, they need lots of exercise, food and praise! They are both at the age where they want to visit theme parks, but are happy to explore the local area as long as they also get time to have fun too.
Our Family Holiday in France
When I asked the boys where they wanted to go and they both knew immediately- they wanted to go back to La Croix Du Vieux Pont.
It is four years since we have been and they have never shut up about it since! But this time they would like to go with their best friends (and my best friend) visit Disneyland Paris.
So together we have put together a list of must do for our two families, which would be 4 adults and 6, yes 6 boys aged from 5 to 13 and the thing is that at La Croix Du Vieux Pont there is something to keep all of us busy and happy.
Places to Visit
Pierrefonds – Chateau du Pierrefonds where the BBC series Merlin was filmed. It is a picture perfect fairytale chateau. Pierrefonds is a very picturesque town with a lake you can use pedalos on the lake.
Disneyland Paris – The boys are insistent that we visit Disneyland this time. They all love theme parks and there is so much to do and the park and is the perfect day trip from the holiday park.
Armistice Museum. This is somewhere that we stumbled upon last time we visited and we would love to take the boys back, especially as it is something that both of the boys are interested in and Mini is studying at the moment.
The Donjon de Vez – I loved this place when we last visited. It is a privately owned and is full of modern art
Things to do on site
There really isn’t any need to leave the site as there is so much to do and the only thing that makes holidaying better when you are a kid is to have your friends to play with. More people to play football and cricket with!
Sports – There are so many sports facilities on the camp site. From indoor and outdoor football pitches to table tennis tables, which are both free. There is also archery, trampolining, fishing, GoKarting, mini golf, bike hire, pony trekking, a climbing wall, bowling alley and much more.
Swimming Pool – My boys are water babies and love nothing better than being in the pool and the one at La Croix Du Vieux Pont is ace. It has a lazy river, waterfalls and a kids pool. It also has an area with a retractable roof along with a splash area for little children and slides for older ones. So the boys can have lots of fun whilst I sit and read my book!
Beach and Lake – Yep there is a sandy beach and freshwater lake. It is great for building sandcastles or playing some volleyball on. Or for burying your Dad. There is a bar that looks out onto the beach and the area has parasols for shade.
Games Area – With a soft play area for younger kids. I know that my best friends five year old will love this place and the rest of the boys will love the Laser Quest area, pool tables and bowling alley.
Beauty Salon – As we all know holidays can be hard work for Mum’s, so I think that a treatment or two is any holiday essential.
Kids Club – Al Fresco have really thought of everything as their kids’ club is perfect for kids of all ages and it is free too!
What can I say, we love eating and La Croix Du Vieux Pont is perfect as you can self cater with Al Fresco or have a BBQ at your cabin or you can grab a takeaway. My boys really enjoyed the moules at the on-site restaurant.
However, the highlight of any trip to France has to be the breakfasts. Freshly baked bread, croissants, pain au chocolate and scooby doos from the camp site shop every morning. The boys take their breakfasts very seriously!
So our ideal holiday would be a mix of eating in and out, with some family trips to the supermarket and some wine or cidre for the adults and diablo for the kids (grenadine and sprite)!
So our ideal holiday would involve mornings exploring the local area and then afternoons making the most of the fab facilities that an Al Fresco holiday has to offer. Made better by having our friends with us, so that the kids can keep each other company and us adults can share the chores and the wine! Oh and a day trip to Disney too. It really is the perfect holiday when you have a mix of kids and there is somethng that will keep the little ones happy and even keep the teens busy too (yes, there is wifi if they can not bare to be parted from their tech).
What would your perfect Al Fresco holiday be? Which park would you have picked?
Oooh this looks brilliant just the sort of place I’d love to stay
My kids love sites like this. We had a fab time last year at somewhere similar and it was great to have so much time outside but still on the site.
That does sound so relaxed and perfect. I think if you can please the school-aged kids, the teenagers, and the grown ups, you really are winning. It really is the only way to have a holiday that isn’t stressed and tiring. We are always busy on holiday, not ‘sit by the pool’ types – we don’t have the chance – but with all of the sports facilities on site, maybe we would be able to enjoy that pool for a while ourselves I have a holiday to book, and you really have given me some good pointers on what to look out for. Thanks Jen 🙂
Sounds and looks incredible Jen. Would love to take the kids somewhere like this!!
Looks amazing Jen. I tried to book for an Al Fresco break last year but it was already full! Mich x
Oh my goodness that sounds perfect for us! We haven’t been abroad for a couple of years but are planning on doing so again next year, being close enough for a day at Disney while not having to spend the whole time there would be perfect for us.
This sounds like the perfect place for a family holiday and would suit us down to the ground. I love a park that you don’t need to leave as everything is there to enjoy. We would be no doubt taking a day or two to Disneyland and the museum for some culture. As children get older they want their friends around too so you will have a brill time! x
perfect place for a family holiday trip. Enjoy.
It looks brilliant here, Jen, just our cup of tea. We’ve done Eurocamp before and this looks pretty similar. I always love places where there is something to suit everyone and we can get out and about and see stuff too! x
This looks fabulous and I guess you could say that Chateau du Pierrefonds is magical!