Visit the landmark D-Day sites and museums as a family
How about scheduling a trip to the Normandy Landings sites during your family holidays or weekend away? This is a great opportunity to combine tours of commemoration sites and museums with fun-packed activities. Round your trip off on a high note by heading to the beach for a team sandcastle-building effort! Do you enjoy going on bike rides? Well, there are greenways galore criss-crossing the Manche département where you can pedal in complete safety. So why not plan to come and spend some quality family time in the Manche to coincide with the 75th anniversary of D-Day!
Activities for the whole family at the D-Day sites
There are all sorts of fun activities to be enjoyed as a family in the Manche département. Head out along a 50-km discovery trail around Sainte-Mère-Église and Utah-Beach guided by an iPad where you’ll be able to access photos, testimonies and archive videos… You can hire these devices from the tourist information centre in Sainte-Mère-Église.
Make the most of being in Sainte-Mère-Église to visit the Airborne Museum for an unforgettable experience: climb aboard a C-47 aircraft in England at night, and land in the thick of the fighting on the square in Sainte-Mère-Église. Immerse yourself in the D-Day operations that follow as if you had really been there! Here’s another cultural idea: hire a “Histopad” iPad for an immersive experience. Thanks to augmented reality, interactive features and ultra-realistic graphics, get ready for a 360° dive right into the history of Sainte-Mère-Église during the Occupation and the summer of 1944.
At the D-Day Museum that overlooks Utah Beach, you can see an authentic American bomber plane, the B-26 Marauder, the star attraction and popular with the museum’s young visitors.
At the Roule battery in Cherbourg, explore part of the fortifications dug out during World War II. Put on a caving helmet complete with a headlamp and join a guided tour of this site.
Another remarkably well preserved battery, where you’ll be able to get a glimpse of what day-to-day life was like in these military fortifications, is the Azeville battery.
As a fitting end to your sightseeing trip, why not pay your respects to soldiers who lost their lives in Normandy by visiting one of the war cemeteries where they now rest in peace.
“Le Musée à ciel ouvert” (Open-Air Museum) discovery trail
Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère-Église
Site and museum renovations especially for the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings
In time for the 75th anniversary commemorations of D-Day in the Manche, several sites have undertaken renovations and extensions to give visitors an even more memorable experience with new thrills in store for the whole family!
The Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère-Église has doubled the size of its reception area and gift shop for the comfort of visitors. The museum had already extended its display areas ready for the 70th anniversary by opening a building in the shape of an aeroplane’s wing, dubbed “Operation Neptune”. Now you can venture inside and board a real C-47 aircraft – alongside the parachutists of the 82nd Airborne Division.
D-Day Experience in Saint-Côme-du-Mont now has a 200-seat Imax 3D cinema where you’ll be able to watch a gripping documentary on the Landings in 3D.
At Azeville battery, a museum of the Manche Département-level Council, the German officers’ mess is currently being rebuilt on the former building’s foundations. This social space will provide a different perspective of the battle sites.
Saint-Lô Museum will be putting on an exhibition on furniture during the Reconstruction period.