Château de Chargé is pleased to welcome our younger guests. On site, children can have fun in the swimming pool and play with the many toys and games provided including an outdoor play area with trampoline, swings, slide, sandpit and climbing wall. There are a number of attractions catering for children of all ages in the area and we have used our own four children to try them out and keep our information up to date with everything from outward bound to cycle hire, zoos to theme parks.
Here is a snapshot of ideas :
- Chateau du Rivau : a short 15 minute drive from Chargé, the gardens at Rivau have been designed around a fairytale theme, with a Rapunzel tower, a maze, peacocks strolling the grounds and lots of adventures to discover in the woodland. Costumes available to hire for your young knights and princesses. Two other chateaux are particularly appealing to children : Ussé tells the tale of Sleeping Beauty in waxworks set in rooms around the west turrets; and Langeais, once you're over the drawbridge, has the most spectacular treehouse in the garden.
- Bioparc de Doué : about 45 minutes' drive will bring you to this African rare breeds conservation park housing rhinos, giraffes, monkeys, big cats and many more besides. The restaurant overlooks the zebra and giraffe enclosure so it's worth getting a table on the terrace on a sunny day!
- Outdoor pursuits : the Vienne flows through the centre of Chinon and we can organise canoe and kayak itineraries, cycle hire (including baby seats, trailers and tagalongs), horseriding, and we recommend an afternoon for older children (5+) at the St Benoit adventure centre to experience their ropes courses in the forest.
- Troglodyte sites : for those who have ever wondered what life in a cave was like... Doué has an amazingly detailed restoration of a troglodyte village complete with underground church; Azay le Rideau has a wonderful troglodyte farm including the old-fashioned animal breeds and a great escape tunnel; Turquant has a selection of caves now used as artisan craft studios which also include a mushroom grower and mushroom restaurant.
- Mini Châteaux : miniature model reproductions of the famous Loire Valley châteaux set in an easy access park near Amboise. A model railway, ride-on cars, childrens play area and costumed guides complete the line up for an easy day out, and if the weather is poor, go for a dual ticket deal including the Aquarium du Val de Loire.
- Terra Botanica : (1 hour drive) a new theme park dedicated to plant life - from vegetable gardening to more exotic spicy species - all delivered in a very family friendly way with rides, 3d cinema experiences, dinosaur bones, a pirate ship and some rather 'wet' fun with irrigation!
- Other Theme Parks : for little children, the Parc de la Vallee at Massais boasts over 30 attractions including water rides and water slides, and LuluParc at Tours has a day's worth of inflatable fun. Futuroscope at Poitiers (1 hr by car) has plenty to entertain the older kids (6+) on a futuristic science theme. Puy du Fou (2 hour drive) offers fantastic historical 'shows' including a full Roman aphitheatre and the Viking story.