True, Paris is the romantic city par excellence, but I must say that it is also an ideal city for a family trip with children and teenagers. The French capital, in addition to the great classics such as: Disneyland Paris, the Eiffel Tower, the city of science and the various and famous amusement parks, offers a lot of activities even for the little ones, certainly less known, but no less beautiful. This is also due to the fact that in Paris children do not go to school on Wednesdays and there are practically two weeks of school holidays every two months.
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Musée des arts forains (literally: the museum of foreign arts)
An unmissable museum for children of all ages, this very special private museum has a collection of rides, games, costumes, and organs from various eras from village festivals from different countries, but what makes it a veritable paradise of Alìbabà is the fact that the owner, Jean Paul Favand, is a true enthusiast and has restored these games in such a way that it is possible to continue playing them even today. During the two-hour visit / show you will have the impression of being in a playground rather than a museum. Seeing is believing!
PS: during the Christmas holidays the museum organizes the “Festival du merveilleux”, a kind of “open doors” during which the museum is filled with shows by acrobats, magicians, acrobats and opens all its games to the public.
Fairground Arts Museum: 53 Av. Des Terroirs de France - 75012 Paris
15th Arrondissement, metro: line 14 station: Cour St Emilion
Tel: +33.1.43401622 - Reservations are required
In one of the park's “Folies” (the red pavilions), right in front of the city of music, there is this little paradise for children. In this free space, accessible without reservation, you can find play exhibitions, reading space, the board games bar and in addition to the ateliers (for a fee and upon reservation) of the circus, theater, giant mikado, maxi marble track etc.
Park of the Villette: access from Avenue Correntin Cariou, or from Avenue Jean Jaurès or from Quai de la Marne. Metro: Line 7 - Porte de la Villette or line 5 - Porte de Pantin
Jardin des Plantes
Inside this magnificent park, in front of the Austerliz race there are several special things to see. Surely:
Large Greenhouses of the Jardin des Plantes
Especially on cold winter days, there is nothing more pleasant than taking a "hot bath" inside these four large glass and metal greenhouses. The perfect opportunity for children to admire the vegetation of different parts of the world: the giant palm trees of Bermuda, the ficus from 30 years, lianas and acacias that grow in the heart of Paris, a stone's throw from Notre Dame. In a warm and humid atmosphere, you will learn how the canopy works, the organization of the tropical forest, the strategy used by plants to resist periods of drought, and discover the history of plants, from millions of years ago to the modern specimens. Definitely a rich experience that goes back to the origins of life itself.
Closed on Tuesdays
Adults € 7, up to 25 years € 5, and up to 4 years free
Menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes
Also inside the Jardin des Plantes, there is one of the oldest zoos in the world. In the “Ménagerie” around 1200 animals of 180 different species find refuge (of which a third are unfortunately threatened with extinction), from the tortoise to the panda. Opened in 1794, this zoo has also welcomed the first giraffe ever seen in France, the famous Zarafa! Children can experience strong emotions walking along the enclosures of the snow panther (especially at the memento of the baby food around 16h), the bear pit, or entering the Art Deco-style vivarium, full of reptiles. Another obligatory passage is the “singerie”, where Orangutans and other monkeys of all sizes are found. Always take a look at the temporary exhibitions and animations organized by the guardians: this is above all a protection center as well as a historical one.
Garden of plants
NORTH access from 57, rue Cuvier. 5 ° Borough. Metro: lines 7 and 10, stop: Jussieu
EAST access from Gare d'Austerlitz: Quai Saint-Bernard. Metro RER C, line 5 or line 10, Gare d'Austerlitz stop
WEST access from 36, Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 75005 Paris. Metro: Censier-Daubenton or Place Monge stops of line 7
We could define it as a 2.0 Museum, dedicated above all to digital cultures and contemporary music, the Gaité Lyrique (ancient temple of operetta in the nineteenth century) is not reserved for geeks only. Its 11 thousand square meters offer families, in addition to an area with free access for video games, a great variety of other activities: workshops, mini conferences, screenings, meetings, shows, concerts and much more.
Gaité Lyrique: 3 bis, rue Papin, 75003 Paris, 3zo Arrondissement
Closed on Mondays, from Tuesday to Friday from 14h to 22h, on Saturdays from 12h to 22h and Sunday from 12h to 18h. Children's workshops € 6, tel: +33.1.53015200 - Gaite-lyrique.net
The most beautiful playgrounds of the "ville lumière"
The French capital has many playgrounds for children, but some of them really have a real edge and can give strong emotions without spending a euro. Among these, the most convenient to reach (because they are close to other monuments) or the most spectacular are:
Parco giochi: Garden of the dragon
Just behind the city of science, and next to the Géode, this children's playground features a giant 80-meter-long metal dragon ending in a tongue that forms a very long slide. In this park movement reigns: swings, walkers, inclined and vertical surfaces. Nature lovers will also appreciate the fact that it is nestled in a beautiful park.
Park of the Villette, access from Avenue Correntin Cariou, or Avenue Jean Jaurès or Quai de la Marne. Metro: Line 7 - Porte de la Villette or line 5 - Porte de Pantin
Parco giochi: Garden of winds and dunes
Open every day from 10am to 20pm from April to October and the rest of the year on Wednesdays, weekends and school holidays from 10am to sunset.
This closed and safe play area is dedicated to children aged 0 to 2 and older children up to 13 years. Inspired by the Breton sea, it is characterized by dunes with pedal windmills, trampolines, air mattresses and many other structures where to develop or improve motor skills.
Always in the Park of the Villette but on the other side of the canal, access from Avenue Correntin Cariou, or from Avenue Jean Jaurès or from Quai de la Marne. Metro: Line 7 - Porte de la Villette or line 5 - Porte de Pantin
Nelson-Mandela del giardino adventure park (les Halles)
Children between 7 and 11 years old are the only ones allowed in this newly designed playground in the center (right in les Halles, in front of the new canopy). Inside, a multitude of micro-landscapes await them, with different reliefs, designed for their enjoyment: water games around a globe / fountain, a cave to hide in, trampolines, a giant slide, spinning tops, incredible walkways and columns with track games.
A true paradise to which 100 "privileged" people can access by reservation (by phone) for one-hour sessions, supervised by animators or their parents.
Les Halles : 32, rue Berger - 75001 Paris, 1 ° Arrondissement, Metro: Chatelet-les-Halles
The “Paquebot” of the park of Belleville
If you think a few bruises are a great learning aid, take your kids (aged 6 and up) on this Belleville Park descent. Depending on your child's imagination, he will find himself in a hut, a ship, a cliff or even a dinosaur carcass. This wooden and concrete colossus resting on a hill will drive the little daredevils crazy who will try to climb it thanks to the lianas.
Belleville Park: 47 rue des Couronnes, 20 ° Arrondissement. Metro: Crowns. Aperto tutti i giorni slab 8 a.m. to 20:30 p.m.
Parco giochi: The Green Chick
The perfect space to let off some energy. This playground has two well-protected and demarcated areas: one for children up to 7 years and the other from 7 to 12 years. Inside there are about thirty games on approx. 1000 square meters of surface.
Take advantage of it especially in the morning (it's calmer); in the park you can also find many other fun activities: pony rides, boat races, pedal cars, puppet theater and the swimming pool to play with water, during the summer, in front of the Orangerie, for children up to 6 years.
All'interno del Jardin du Luxembourg, access from Rue Guynemer, 6th Arrondissement. Metro: line 12 stop “Notre dame des Champs” or line RER A and B stop Luxembourg.
Where to sleep in Paris with children
- Family Residence (23 Rue Fondary, 75015 Paris, 15th Arrondissement) In the Eiffel Tower area, with two nearby metro lines, it offers several self-catering studios ideal for families!
- Le Regent Montmartre by Hiphophostels (37 Boulevard Rochechouart, 9th Arrondissement, 75009 Paris, France) In the heart of Montmartre, a stone's throw from the Anvers metro station, this hostel offers a shared kitchen, a games room with table football!
- HolidaysInParis - Bourg Tibourg (3 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, 4th arr., 75004 Paris, France) Magnificent apartments, in the heart of the Marais, super central, between the Pompidou center and Notre Dame. They are real mini apartments with living room, kitchen, dining table, etc.
- Studio Saulnier (18 Rue Saulnier, 9th arrondissement, 75009 Paris, France) An apartment in the heart of the Opéra Garnier.