Paris is a great city for children, there are so many well-equipped and well maintained parks with slides, seesaws and swings, plus a host of organised activities to keep busy throughout the holidays or at weekends. Many of the parks are small neighborhood ones that are for the children who live in the area, others are bigger and offer more in the way of attractions.
The Jardin du Luxembourg is centrally located on the Left bank, just a short stroll from Notre Dame or the Pantheon. There are play areas, with jungle gyms, puppet shows, pony rides, a carousel and a small pond where children can sail boats on the weekend.
The Eiffel Tower and Champs de Mars Park is a wonderful place to take children with fantastic views over Paris. For those full of energy, it’s 328 steps up to the first level and 340 to the second. The Eiffel Tower has created a game called ‘Follow Gus’ that presents the tower’s history is an interesting and engaging way for children with clues to follow and stories that accompany them. The game book is available at the Cineiffel audiovisual theatre on the first floor.
The Parc de la Villette has a science museum that is divided into two sections, depending on the age of the child. It features wonderful hands-on activities. It also has 10 theme parks, including the Garden of Dunes, which is great for children who need to burn off a lot of energy, and has a rolling landscape with pedal windmills, jungle gyms and air cushioned areas to play in. The Garden of Movement is a play area with all kinds of moving equipment and the Garden of the Dragon has a 100 metre long climbing apparatus, which ends in a slide exiting from the Dragon’s mouth. For older children, the Garden of Childhood Fears has a walkway through a forested area, which broadcasts eerie music.
The Parc Asterix is very popular with local Parisians and is just outside the city. It features the two favorite Gaulois: Asterix and Obelisk. It has rides, shows and world famous roller coaster that turns upside down seven times, so it is not for the fainthearted!
Another out of town attraction, just 16 miles outside of Paris, is the France Miniature. This is always popular with adults and children alike. It contains about 150 miniature monuments and landmarks, representing the highlights from all the main areas of France. There are choirs singing in cathedrals, sea gulls and fog horns in the bays and cows mooing in the Alps. Tickets which include the train, bus and admission fee are all available from Montparnasse station.
There are so many things to see and do in Paris for children that it is hard to choose just one. The river boat tours are a great way to see the city and learn some of the history, taking a Paris bike with older children is also an option with Velib Bike Rentals. Wherever your vacation rental Paris apartments are in the city, you are never very far from any of these parks and attractions and it is important to remember that children will always learn something about the place they are visiting if they have fun. Paris is very definitely high on the list of fun cities to visit.