We have just returned from an amazing holiday in Normandy with 4 teenagers aged 13 and 14. So I thought I would share what we did and what they enjoyed.
I am going to preface this with the fact that my husband hates doing nothing, 2 of the boys’ could have stayed in bed all morning and the other 2 are pretty early risers but would have happily stayed in the pool all day! Me, well I am happy if everyone else is happy.
So we agreed that they could have stayed at home to stay in bed and that we would be getting them up. We also agreed that we would do things on a morning, early afternoon and that they didn’t have to come as long as two people stayed behind. This never happened, they all came.
Mont-Saint-Michel is a magical place and was actually one of the places that Maxi asked to visit. We have been before and things have really changed in the 15 years since we last visited with the addition of a fab visitors centre and also new car parking and free shuttle buses.
I am not going to lie it was very busy which did put Mini off a little, but the higher we got the quieter it was. The boys’ all went round the abbey.
Airbourne Museum – Sainte-Mère-Eglise
There is so much WWII history in Normandy and you could visit a museum every day, but obviously that wouldn’t go down well with the teens. The Airbourne Museum is a great visit for teens and children.
You are given a tablet upon entering the museum which makes your whole visit interactive. It really helps you immerse yourself in the events of the D Day invasion. There is a special focus on the airborne side obviously.
Arromanches and the D Day landings Museum
Although troops didn’t land on the beach at Arromanches it is still a really moving and important place as it is where the Mulberry Harbour was and is also where the D-Day Museum – Musée du Débarquement is which focuses on the D-Day landings and the crucial months of Allied action afterwards.
The museum isn’t large but it is a very intense experience with movies including archive footage.
Normandy American Cemetery – Omaha Beech
With the graves of 9,387 soldiers fallen in combat, the American Cemetery is a sobering sight and also one that really brought home to everyone the sacrifices made. There is also a visitors centre but we chose not to visit, purely as we had reached out WWII limit for the day.
Bayeux Tapestry and Bayeux
All of the boys’ had studied at least part of the Bayeux Tapestry at school so were happy to visit it. You walk around the 70-meter long tapestry with an audio guide.
There is also a permanent exhibit after the tapestry. However, Mini had seen enough and sped through it. Next time we will ask to do the tapestry after the exhibit.
Mondeville 2 – Centre Commercial de Caen
A shopping centre I hear you say? Well, what teen doesn’t like shopping? All of the boys’ loved visiting French supermarkets and brought back various things. They also enjoyed visiting the sports shops. Maxi got a new backpack for school and a Manbag and master Frugal picked up a basketball shirt for £30 less than in the UK (even with the state of the £).
Where to Eat
We had a couple of pretty fussy eaters with us and I was worried, but I needn’t have been. We managed pretty well and one of the blessings of being in France is that the bread is amazing so if all else fails a simple baguette and jam works.
McDonald’s – Like British McDonalds only better according to all the teens.
Creperie – Who doesn’t like a pancake? This was great even for the fussiest of eaters as they just had sweet crepes.