AN ENCHANTED DAY IN THE FAIRYTALE WORLD OF ELFY PARK
Laura et Seb, les Globe blogueurs
Member for 5 years 1 month
The globes blogueurs
Slow travel with the family
3hours of enchantment
Since time immemorial, the mysterious Ardennes forests have inspired countless tales and legends. It is rumoured that they are inhabited by strange creatures called goblins, elves and nutons (local dialect for gnomes). We discovered their enchanted world and their minute, fairytale villages in the heart of the Elfy theme park. The park is entirely devoted to local legends and tailor-made to stimulate children’s rich fantasy world. We enjoyed enchanting family moments during our visit to the park.
In a dense forest, scattered with strange houses, unusual games and treehouses perched high up in the trees, you will definitely enjoy a day of family fun!
An enchanted world inhabited by strange creatures
As soon as you enter Elfy Park, the tone is set. We need to embrace our inner child and the world of fantasy in order to immerse ourselves in a world filled with fairytales and enchantment. Before detailing the activities we can discover all over the park, our guide entrusts us with a mission of the highest importance: find the 10 dragon eggs that are hidden all over Elfy Park. At a couple of furlongs from the entrance, we are welcomed by a formidable dragon. In less than no time we find our first dragon egg, which gets us off to a great start!
We keep our eyes peeled open for the other dragon eggs. It is there and then that we discover enchanted worlds. In the world of the Knockers, children get to enter strange looking dwellings only to discover an obscure maze. The doors of the other houses exert an irresistible attraction on children and adults alike. Impatiently, I open the door to a quaint little cottage. Its pointy and convoluted roof leads me to believe I might find a witch inside… During that time, while I am visiting the cabin, Hélio and Sebastian go off to play tightrope walkers on the Lumerettes (old French for Will-o’-the-wisp, ghost light) trail.
We need to embrace our inner child and immerse ourselves in a fairytale world
Wandering barefoot on the Doyeux trail
Above a swamp, wooden footbridges and beams trace a wacky path where we can put our balance to the test. A dragon egg is supposed to be hidden somewhere around here, but, try as we might, we can’t seem to ferret it out. Not everyone is cut out to be a dragon hunter! We follow another trail that is just as entertaining: the Doyeux barefoot trail, named after the gentle monster of the same name. He likes nothing better than walking around barefoot and encourages children and adults to free themselves of their shoes and socks. Powdered earth, cool stones and tickly moss titillate our tootsies. The different types of material spread out over the path are just as many different ways to reconnect our senses to nature, to fully soak in our natural environment. Our heightened sense of touch awakens our other senses. The bird songs resonate, a rich odour exhales from the humus, and we feast our eyes on an unexpected infinity of infinitesimal details. On this warm summer day, it feels like pure joy to cool our feet in the brook. And of course we end up happily splashing water all over each other…
Taking flight in the air
We continue our day of discovery in Elfy Park. When we arrive at the Karnabo inn, a magician holds his audience captive. In between two disappearance acts and conjuring tricks we sip a delicious glass of artisan apple juice from the area. Hélio can’t keep still for long and dashes off to soar in the air with a little help from a trampoline. He practises so he can jump as high as possible and match his father’s impressive bounds. Because he wants more room to practice, he heads for a sea of trampolines brimming with balls and bouncing children. There are jumping all over the place, tumbling and executing crazy figures. An atmosphere of euphoria and indescribable joy reigns.
Next door, in the treehouses linked by hang bridges, the place is also buzzing with excitement. Hélio is slightly overwhelmed, but musters his courage to climb up and wander about in this other world. Proudly, he whizzes down the giant slides, maliciously taking his father down for the ride. And it is with this beautiful moment of father-and-son bonding that our afternoon in Elfy Park comes to an end. Now it is time for us to enjoy some well-deserved rest in our unusual accommodation.
Unusual accommodation in the Ardennes
At 25 minutes from Elfy park, the “Merisiers” gypsy caravan, our quite out of the ordinary accommodation awaits us. It is located on the Domain of the Fosses aux Chevaux (loosely translated ‘Horse Pit Farm’) where beautiful Irish Cob horses are bred. This original accommodation is surrounded by farmlands with grazing farm animals. Ducks, geese, goats and pigs will be our neighbours for the night. When scouring the domain, we are surprised to discover exotic animals (camels, ostriches, racoons, etc.). Talking to the owners, we learn that they aim to set up a wildlife park. Personally, we prefer observing wild animals in their natural habitat, so we go back to enjoy our cocoon for the night.
When we open the door to the caravan we are pleasantly surprised to discover how roomy it is. It has been designed to maximize every inch of space. The caravan is entirely covered in wood, and is really very cosy and welcoming, making us want to curl up with a good book and a nice cup of coffee. Well, at least that was the plan before our son decided on a family pillow fight. We enjoy great family moments, occasionally spied upon by the Valais Blackneck goats and their stunning black and white coats (with black forequarters and white hindquarters). The greedy goats will visit us several times in order to beg for treats…
Enjoy this experience
Rue du lac, Les Masures
Tel: +33 3 24 53 18 43
Open from 2 to 29 September: on Saturdays & Sundays, from 13:00 to 18:00
Open from 6 April to 28 April: every day, from 10:30 to 18:00
Open from 29 avril to 30 juin: on Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays from 10:30 to 18:00 and on Wedsnesdays from 13:00 to 18:00
Open from 1 July to 1 September : every day, from 10:00 to 19:00
Visitors aged 5 to 59 : € 14
Visitors aged 2 to 4 and senior citizens : € 7
La Fosse aux chevaux
Chez Sophie & Romain
8, La fosse aux chevaux, 08260 Eteignières
Tel : +33 3 24 53 27 76
Website : www.lafosseauxchevaux.com
Rates for the night range between € 90 and € 110, depending on the time of year.