The French have a love affair with chocolate – every Easter 13,000 tonnes of chocolate are sold in France and in surveys 82% of those questioned said they love chocolate and that it is “the food of happiness”.
Over the Easter weekend thousands of Easter entertainments from grand Easter egg hunts to egg decorating sessions take place in castles, monuments and parks all over France – check with your local tourist information office to find out more details of what’s on in your area.
The organisation Centre des Monuments Nationaux, sponsored by Cémoi, one of the oldest chocolate manufacturers in France holds an annual Easter egg hunt at 53 national monuments across France on Easter Sunday.
Castles, parks, fortresses, gardens and historic sites will host Easter egg hunts – searching for clues, solving puzzles related to history and of course finding chocolate eggs.
In Paris you can join in the Easter fun at Conciergerie, Towers of Notre-Dame de Paris, Château de Rambouillet, Villa Savoye in Poissy, Chateau de Maisons-Laffitte Maisons, Domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis and the Château de Vincennes
Check the website for the full list of Easter egg hunt venues: http://www.monuments-nationaux.fr
At Vaux Le Vicomte in Maigne, about an hour’s drive from Paris, there is a grand Easter egg hunt for children off all ages as 35,000 eggs will be hidden amongst the beautiful gardens created by André Le Nôtre, the famed garden designer of the 17th Century whose other notable gardens include Versailles. What a way to enjoy the gorgeous gardens and fabulous chateau. Check the website for details of the Easter Egg hunt, gardens and chateau www.vaux- le-vicomte.com
Chateau Thoiry in Paris, just twenty minutes from Versailles is a renaissance chateau with beautiful gardens and a zoo. They will hold a grand Easter egg hunt with 9000 coloured hard boiled eggs hidden in the beautiful grounds of the Chateau. There are also 450 chocolate bunnies hidden amongst the shrubs. Originally, the Easter egg hunt at Chateau Thoiry was invented by the Earl and Countess of La Panouse for their own children. There are games to be played and as a special event for the animals in the Chateau zoo – special eggs will be created made from frozen fruit for the monkeys and from meat for the carnivores! See the website for details: www.thoiry.net
Outside Paris at the medieval city of Provins, Seine and Marne, a fabulous Easter egg hunt in the medieval city complete with characters dressed in costume will take place as children up to the age of 13 hunt for the hidden 7,500 eggs! Provins is a UNESCO world heritage site and an incredible showcase of medieval architecture (military, religious and civil). It is one of the few towns in France that can boast of over fifty listed Monuments with historical value. See more details on the website: www.provins.net
These are just a few of the exceptional Easter egg hunts going on this year – your local Tourist office will have more details of events near you.