Paris with children – 5 places not to miss in the City of Light
Thinking of Paris in the summer conjures up images of walks along the Seine, picnics in the park, and chilled rosé on the terrasse, but what many visitors do not realize is that Paris is the perfect destination to explore with kids! Many French School families are eager to discover the French capital with their language learners, so here are 5 places not to miss.
1. Jardin du Luxembourg
Located in the 6th arrondissement, the Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the most popular parks in Paris, known for its immaculate gardens and elegant 17th century palace. Today, the open, green spaces are ideal for imaginative play and playgrounds will impress toddlers, preschoolers, and big kids alike. The theater hosts marionettes performances every Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, and on school holidays. Puppets perform classic tales like Les 3 petits cochons (“The Three Little Pigs”) and Le petit chaperon rouge (“Little Red Riding Hood”), a favorite of our French School students who put on their own performance this school year. An iconic image of the Jardin du Luxembourg is the site of children pushing vintage toy boats around the Grand Bassin duck pond. When weather permits, your child can rent a sailboat and participate in a tradition that dates back to 1922. There are chairs nearby where parents can relax and watch their young ones chase boats around the perimeter of the pond.
Renovated in 2018, the Jardin d’Acclimatation, situated in the Bois de Boulogne in the 16th arrondissement, was France’s first ever amusement park. The remarkable gardens were inspired by Hyde Park in London and are home to diverse species of plants. The park offers more than 45 children’s attractions including amusement park rides and carnival games. Children can also ride camels, sail down the Enchanted River in a gondola, explore rural life in the Ferme Saint-Hilaire (a Normandy-inspired farm in the middle of the city), and escape the heat of summer in the fountains and pools.
3. Musée Rodin
Museums can be a lot of fun to discover with children. Pick up a guide for each family member and have a scavenger hunt to locate each of the noted works of art. At the Musée Rodin, children will love that most of the famed sculptures are located outside. Have your kids pose like the statues and take photos of them next to each one to create a creative and hilarious memory of the visit! The museum has remarkable views of the Eiffel Tower as well!
4. Jardin des Tuileries
Nestled between the Place de la Concorde and the Musée du Louvre in Paris’ 1st arrondissement is the idyllic Jardin des Tuileries with its 2 beautiful, immense fountains. Relax by the fountains or wander down the gravel pathways to discover sculptures by Rodin, Giacometti, and Maillol. From June to August, a portion of the gardens transforms into a carnival with rides, games, and food stands. The most prominent feature of the Fête des Tuileries in the summertime is La Grande roue (ferris wheel) that offers incomparable views of the city.
Paris’ modern art museum, located in the 3rd arrondissement, is high at the top of the list of kid-friendly museums. Its designated space for children called the Galerie des enfants presents current museum exhibitions using interactive and fun programs. For teenagers, Studio 13/16 is a social space where they can participate engage with artists and learn about new methods in fashion, gaming, broadcasting and more. Every first Sunday of the month, the museum and the Galerie des enfants are free to the public. Check out their calendar of family-friendly events where you can search current programs by age group. Children will be amazed with the view of Paris from the 6th floor where you can make a game out of spotting all of the landmarks.