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Family friendly things to do.

Chicago, Illinois
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Family friendly things to do.

My family (1 year old) and my sister's family (5&9 year olds) are living near Orne for the month of July.

Any recommendations of family friendly things to do? Small villages that are must sees? Pear/Apple farms to visit nearby?

Our little one still naps so we're hoping to do lots of half day trips.

Thanks!

4 replies to this topic
England, United...
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1. Re: Family friendly things to do.

Where in the Orne will you be staying? It is a relatively large and varied area of Normandy.

A couple of years ago or so we stayed in the Perche national park for several days. It has beautiful and peaceful countryside, some interesting small towns and villages and offers lots of outdoor activities, including horse-riding, cycling and more. See:

www.parc-naturel-perche.fr/en/index.asp

MD
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2. Re: Family friendly things to do.

We visit the eastern Orne around Mortagne au Perche and know that area pretty well,. but as celestina says, it's a big department. If we knew what town you'd be close to, it would help us advise you.

Here's some info about the area, just in case that's where you're staying. The Mortagne area is rural and low-key. You can see a very pretty goat farm where excellent cheese is made at La Madeleine-Bouvet. You can see donkeys and the big Percherons in the fields at the park offices, near Noce. There's a Voie Vert trail for walkers and bikers between Alencon and Conde-sur-Huisne. On the back roads, your kids can look out for lavoirs (the old wash houses), manor houses, old mills. Mortagne is known for its sundials on the old walls--the tourist office can provide a list for the kids to look for.

The big market on Tuesday morning at l'Aigle is a bustling place, lots of food, clothing, flowers and plants, and small caged birds and animals for sale (you may want to skip this section).

Lots of pretty villages--Mortagne, Belleme, La Perriere, St Ceneri le Gerei, St Fraimbault, Bagnoles de l'Orne, though they might appeal more to adults than kids.

As I say, low-key.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Family friendly things to do.

Thank you!

We're in Ranes if that helps at all.

MD
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4. Re: Family friendly things to do.

I don't know this area well. Just a few thoughts.

If anybody in your group is horse crazy, they would enjoy the Haras du Pin, one of the national centers where horses are bred, raised, and trained. They have special shows. Website here:

www.haras-national-du-pin.com/index.php?L=3

There's a canal path along the Mayenne river that runs from the town of Mayenne to Laval and further south. There are some very pleasant stretches to walk along. There wasn't a lot of river traffic when we were there, but we did get to see the lock-keeper buzz up on his motorbike to raise the lock for a boat.

Friends have said that the nearby chateau of Carrouges is interesting to visit. It's made of bricks, which is unusual.

You're not far from Bagnoles de l'Orne, a spa town.

Fougeres is a great town for visitors, though at somewhat of a distance from you. It has a fortress with mighty stone walls and towers and a moat. Down near the fortress is a medieval quarter with half-timbered houses. You can walk a zigzag path between the oldest part of town and the public garden at the top. Great views from up there. There's also a Peace Garden at the foot of the hill. Saturday is the market morning.

On a less impressive note, there's a little stone Eiffel tower in the tiny village of Francheville. It's in somebody's yard and it's only a few feet high, but still...a miniature Eiffel tower.

None of this sounds all that riveting for kids. I think they will enjoy a lot of everyday things that are different from home. Like going to the boulangerie and picking out pastries for breakfast or dessert, learning how to greet the shopkeeper when you enter a shop, going to a street market and seeing what's for sale, seeing that dogs are welcome in restaurants, seeing cows grazing in apple orchards, checking out the size of the chocolate bar display in a supermarket (huge), driving down a quiet country road and being surprised by a chateau, eating crepes, that kind of thing.

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