Creativity & Forest Bathing Family Retreat

near Paris, France

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*This programme is also available for a private retreat on a date of your preferred choice

We love it for

Creative Family Workshops, Forest Bathing, Tree-House Cabins

Overview

Mark the beginning of summer, having fun, bonding and reconnecting with little ones on the Creativity and Forest Bathing Family retreat. Get excited for new adventures, creating memories together in a unique destination with this extraordinary programme, designed and hosted only by Balance Holidays. Involving various workshops, classes and exercises, the main objective is learning to appreciate the presence of one another, promoting a stronger bond and relationship between parent and child.

Begin each day with a session of Child and Parent Vinyasa Energetic Yoga, stretching and extending the limbs in fun and active exercises together in the pristine castle grounds. Chosen poses and movements aim to improve muscle strength and increase flexibility, which begins at a young age. Each session will consist of sitting, standing and lying down poses, drawing inspiration from animals and nature, observed through the surrounding environment and imitated on the mats. By exploring different movements and poses together, both parent and child will cultivate a non-verbal intuition and communication mechanism, reinforcing the family dynamic. All postures are safe and will be carefully monitored under the attentive eye of the teacher. Evenings will be dedicated to gentle Yin Yoga and Pranayama sessions, which will be slower yet emotionally encouraging. Children will have the option to engage in mindfulness orientation exercises and activities under the supervision of a dedicated expert in the room next door. 

Wander through the forest, collecting tokens of nature for patchworks, collages and more in the Creativity in Nature Workshop. This workshop will be led by an expert in Psychomotricity who specialises in activities for child brain development. In an era where the use of digital devices begins at a young age, causing divides and disconnection, Psychomotricity has the objective of helping kids creating harmony between the body, the emotions and the cognitive aspect, through movements and games. It also helps to increase self-esteem, concentration and communication skills.

During the Forest Bathing workshop, explore the benefits of trees and learn how to breathe and meditate with nature. Parents and children will be guided through a series of physical and mental exercises to aid relaxation, refocus and feel energised by way of connecting with Mother Nature. The kitchen is a great place to nurture and cultivate a stronger parent-child relationship. Held in one of the castle living rooms, children will be invited to explore their senses through touch, taste and smell, unleashing their creativity energy to prepare healthy and tasty treats.

Delicious locally sourced, plant-based food will be prepared from a menu carefully designed by Balance Holidays. Incorporating classic recipes and healing herbs, enjoy plates of high-energy food. We have also designed a special kids menu for this retreat to keep those little tummies happy. Mealtimes will be held in the dining room of the imposing castle surrounded by vast oak trees, which once provided the impressive backdrop for the first original film adaptation of Beauty and the Beast by Jean Cocteau. A typical French dinner is also included in this programme to mark an authentic experience. 

In moments of free time, take the opportunity to bond further in the Nordic O-Zone treated hot tub, which are installed on the majority of the Coucoo Grands Chênes treehouse cabins, admiring the undisclosed depths of the stunning scenery for an authentic nature immersion. 

Please note, this retreat is suitable for children between the ages of 6-12.

*To learn more about how a typical day on a retreat looks like, please see sample here and for more information about food and cuisine, please see here.

What's included

  • Morning Kids and Parents Vinyasa Energetic Yoga
  • Evening Yin Yoga and Pranayama Meditation
  • Creativity in Nature Workshop
  • Forest Bathing Workshop
  • Healthy Cooking Workshop
  • Engaging Children's Activities
  • Traditional French dinner
  • Field-to-Fork Gourmet Meals
  • Accommodation and Toiletries

The Expert

Happy Healthy Ila

Happy Healthy Ila is a passionate yoga and dance teacher who began yoga in her early 20s to improve her ballet dancing. She holds grace, elegance and gratitude as the key pillars of her philosophy. Living abroad and travelling across countries such as Brazil, New York, Singapore and now Paris has enabled her to adopt core elements of different yoga and meditation traditions into her personal methods of practise. It has also allowed her to access ports of different healing techniques ranging from forest therapy Shinrin Yuku to ayurvedic treatments all with a key purpose to help members heighten achievements of health and happiness independently every day.

Venue

Nature welcomes guests in a warm embrace, as they step into their luxurious spherical wooden cabins in this enchanting forest of oak trees. Each accessible through a set of spiral staircases, wake up high amongst the trees to the beckoning of cheerful birds singing and bunches of brittle leaves swaying with the wind.

Room Types

Aventure

Feel as if you are sleeping in the middle of a forest in the newly built Aventure wooden cabin. 5M above ground level, climb up the spiral staircase to land on the wide-open terrace complete with table and chairs. The Nordic hot tub is also located to the side of the terrace with unparalleled views of nature. Walk a little further to enter the generously spaced living area. Two separate rooms, are located in the same cabin, as well as the bathroom and another bedroom in the Mezzanine. This cabin is ideal for up to 6 people.

Tribu

Let Mother Nature be a source of inspiration in the Tribu wooden cabin, 6M above ground level. Climb up the wooden staircase to find the contemporary living area. Located in the same cabane is the bedroom, as well as a bathroom. A separate bedroom is located in the Mezzanine. The Nordic Hot Tub with chemical-free, UBO technology treated water at 40°C is located on the outdoor terrace. This cabin is ideal for up to 4 people.

Imaginaire

Set your imagination free in the Imaginaire wooden cabin. This newly built, 3 storied double-terrace tree house is set in a beautiful location of the forest, accessible via a wooden staircase. The first level is 6M above ground level and the second, 11M above ground level. On the first floor sits the main living area, bathroom. The outdoor terrace with Nordic hot tub is also on this floor. Secondary bedroom is on the next floor up. This cabin is ideal for up to 4 people.

Cachette

Merged as one with the forest, the Cachette wooden cabin is built around the trunk of an Oak tree. Standing 6M above ground level, this tree house features a spacious living area, modern bathroom and an outdoor terrace with a stunning view! The cabin is equipped with bathrobes and towels. This cabin is ideal for up to 3 people.

Coupole

Begin the weekend retreat in the Coupole cabin, a spherical pod nestled amongst the oak tree forest, made from the trunk of scalar oak. Accessible through the spiral staircase, this wooden cabin sits 6M above ground level with a panoramic roof to enclose guests in a warm embrace with nature. Out on the terrace sits the Nordic hot tub with chemical-free, UBO technology treated water at 40°C while the spacious bedroom is situated in the mezzanine, accessible through a short set of internal stairs. Modern bathroom with shower and toilet also situated in the main cabin. This cabin is ideal for up to 2 people (adult and child).

Etoilée

Get up close and personal with nature throughout this retreat in the Etoilée wooden cabin. Suspended above the ground level, made from the trunk of an Oak tree, this cabin is composed of a wide open terrace, where the Nordic Hot Tub is located, a comfortable living area, connected to two bedrooms and bathroom. This cabin is ideal for up to 2 people.

Food and Cuisine

Indulge in a happy and healthy range of dishes made from locally sourced, plant-based meals to regain energy after a morning and afternoon of outdoor activities. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared with locally farmed ingredients by a local chef to deliver an authentic taste of the nature. The menu for adult and kids will differ. *Please notify us of any dietary requirements and allergies.

Health, Safety and Hygiene

Your health and safety have and will continue to take central priority in everything we do. For this retreat, Balance Holidays and Coucoo Grands Chênes have worked together to introduce and adopt heightened levels of health and safety vigilance and measures guided by local health authorities, WHO (World Health Organisation) and CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) above their existing stringent standards. The objective is to provide a safe, comfortable and high-quality experience as expected from us. We also have an individual Creativity and Forest Bathing Family Retreat determined Health & Safety protocol in place. If you wish to learn more, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you. Otherwise, please refer to our Terms and Conditions or Covid-19 Update.

The Ambience

Be at peace and reunite with Mother Nature. Enjoy smooth sound sleep in one of the tree house cabins and experience a stunning display of dancing stars above your head as the night sky embraces you from the panoramic rooftops. Various classes and workshops will be held throughout the day overlooking pristine countryside fields and the companionship of wildlife in the woodlands.

For a Private Retreat

This programme is also available on-demand as a private retreat, optional to solo travellers and parties of 2 or more on dates preferred by you and/or your group. Please contact us for more information.

Location

Situated North of France amongst the laurel green countryside fields, approximately an hour away from Paris, Raray is a small village famous for the castle, which it is named after called Château Raray and dates back to the 14th Century. It also once provided the impressive backdrop for the original film adaption of Beauty and the Beast by Jean Cocteau in 1945.

Practical Info

How to get there

With accessible modes of transport available across France, the domain is only a stone’s throw away from both Charles de Gaulle airport and Gare du Nord Station. Call a taxi outside the airport or station, quoting the below address to the driver. If traffic conditions permit, the total journey time from Charles de Gaulle airport is 30 minutes and from Gare du Nord Station, one hour. Alternatively, a transfer at an extra cost can be arranged to pick you up from either the airport or Gare du Nord station to bring you to the domain. Please contact us for further information regarding this service.

Address: Coucoo Grands Chênes, 1 Rue Jean Cocteau, 60810 Raray

Check-in/ Check-out

An arrival and initiation ceremony takes place at 6.30pm, therefore, we suggest booking tickets with an arrival time that allows sufficient time for travel from the airport/train station to the domain. As a general rule, guests will be allowed to check-in from 4 pm on the day of arrival. On the day of departure, this programme includes activities scheduled until 2 pm however, you are welcome to depart earlier to suit your personal agenda. Please contact us if you have any enquiries regarding check-in and check-out.

What to pack

A Nordic hot tub is available in all cabins therefore it would be advisable to bring a bathing suit and some comfortable work out clothes for the morning and evening activities. As children will also be participating in outdoor activities, we would also recommend bringing additional spare clothes, sunscreen and insect repellent.