Paris with Kids this Summer

Oh, how we love the long summer days in Paris! There is so much to do for families, which is just as well given how very long the French school holidays are! Mama Loves Paris has hunted down the very best places, spaces and events to help you decide what to do in Paris with kids this Summer. So whip out the sunscreen and your diary and get ready for a spectacular fun fest Mama! It’s time to get planning with this brilliant guide to a wonderful family Summer in Paris!

News Flash

If you live in Paris, this is just a quick reminder that registrations to enlist your children into day camps provided by the City of Paris over the Summer holidays will soon be accepted! You can enroll from June 9th to June 25th. It’s a great opportunity to sign up for something fun for your kids, providing the chance to enroll them in a full-time programme for a period of weeks if required. Check out this page on the council website. For form filling tips check out this awesome post by Ami Cadugan

Summer on the Canal

We just love summer by the canal! This year will be the 10th L’été du Canal and we advise you to head up to the Canal de l’Ourcq for boat trips, dance events, walks, boats with bars, the beaches and so much more.

what to do with the kids this summer in Paris

It’s fun for all the family and this festival is a summer classic, running from July 8 to August 27. We love the sound of the brunch-on-a-boat taking place  July 8 and tickets are already available. Getting the family onto a rented electric boat is also a must. To see why L’été du Canal is always so popular, check out this video.

Lazy boating days

There is something idyllic about messing about in boats on a sunny Paris day. There are quite a few places where you can rent a boat for a lazy, sunny time. We love the Lac Inférieur in the Bois de Boulogne on the western edge of the city where you can boat among the ducks and admire the woodland and Eiffel Tower views. For those further east, the Bois de Vincennes offers a similar experience on the Lac Daumesnil, a massive lake bordered by willows, poplars, and tall grass where you can rent a rowboat from a wooden shed on the lake shore.

©hotelexelmans.com-Bois du Boulogne

Don’t fancy rowing? Well, how about captaining your own electric boat? Small wing? Small electric canal boats are available for hire at Bassin de la Villette and are the perfect way to take yourselves on a mini-cruise of the Canal de L’Ourcq area. No boat licence required!

A New and Improved Rooftop in Paris

La Defense is reopening its roof to give you a chance to enjoy the panoramic views of this beautiful city. It has been closed since 2010 so this has been a much awaited moment. Boasting a stunning 360 view of Paris over 11,000 square meters, with a fancy walkway bridge – this epic climb up 35 floors will not be for the faint-hearted but totally worth it.

It costs €4 and there is a bar and a restaurant up there too. Now we’re talkin! Open now!

Outdoor movies

The French have a wonderful tradition of a summer outdoor movie season (or ‘cinema en plein air’). We recommend the Outdoor Film Festival at La Villette as the programme is usually a great mix of classic and more recent films.  It’s the perfect spot to relax with a bottle of wine and a picnic while you take in the movie.

This year the La Villette festival runs from 20 July to 20 August and it’s completely free! Think about renting a deckchair. There are plenty of other open air cinema events dotted around the city so you have plenty of choices. MLP’s guide to outdoor movie spaces coming soon.

Paris Plages

The Paris Beaches have become an iconic symbol of summer in the city.  This is a three- week-long summer event spread over two locations: on the riverbank at Voie Georges Pompidou and at the La Villette canal basin.Unfortunately, there will be no sand this year but the city is determined to keep up with the tradition nonetheless. What the hell! Sandless beaches they may be but…it’s Paris, so be assured of a beautiful experience regardless.

Water sports, dance and martial arts lessons, table football, pétanque and pop-up cafes, are just a few of the activities you and your family can expect to experiene.. One of our favourite spots is up at the La Villette canal basin where you can rent pedalos and kayaks.  This year the Paris Plages will be open from July 22 to August 13. Last year, there was quite an extension due to the hot weather so it’s possible the beaches will be open even longer.

Free Music and Water Games

On June 10 and 11 take the kids to St Cloud to enjoy a day of wonderful music amongst the green space and fountains at the Domaine de St Cloud. The only cost to you is the parking, so if the weather is gorgeous, which it is likely to be you can take in the sounds of artists across the globe and enjoy the refreshing balance of the water features. Pourquoi pas! It’s lovely to try something new and different. It’s on from 2pm until 6:30 pm on both days.

Jardin d’Acclimatation

One of the happiest sights possible is watching the kids running with wild abandon through the water sprinklers at the Jardin d’Acclimatation on a hot summer’s day. Such a simple pleasure but all they really want when the city heats up.  It’s a 20-acre amusement park in the Bois de Boulogne but it is gentle and understated compared with Disney or Asterix.

Kids in Paris

All Year Round Fairground. Jardin d’Acclimatation

There are rollercoasters, carousels and good old-fashioned fun like hook-a-duck for the little ones. There are pony rides and a mini farm and the Jump Zone trampoline area. The Jardin d’Acclimatation now also houses the Fondation Louis Vuitton art gallery but we don’t rate your chances of getting the kids to agree to abandon the park. A fun way to arrive for younger kids is to take the little train that runs from Porte Maillot to the main entrance of the park.

Dungeons & Dragons

If you have been wandering around Paris, you’ve probably seen the giant posters promoting this event. Well, if you haven’t the kids are sure to have spotted them. Already on the list, as the ‘thing to do in Paris with the kids this Summer in Paris’ in our family, basically because we have two dragon obsessed boys; and the appeal of 30 animated almost real life dinosaurs is way too exciting to be ignored.

All the events at Portes de Versaille are usually pretty good, the only downside being the cost and the jostling for position amongst the thousands of people that descend upon this space when there is a fun exposition on. Looks like fun though! More information can be found on the Porte de Versailles website. Opened May 25, on until September 3!

Parc de la Villette

The Parc de la Villette is the third largest park in Paris and is found in the north-east of the city. Many Parisians head there to visit the fantastic science museum, the Philharmonie music venue and the IMAX cinema. But the park itself is well worth a visit in its own right, especially in the summer. There are ten themed gardens to explore.

picnics in paris

A favourite with kids is the Jardin du Dragon which is home to a very large dragon sculpture with a huge slide for children. Enjoy a stroll along the Canal de l’Ourcq. There are some great activities at Little Villette, the new children’s centre in the park. La Parc de La Villette is a completely different experience do any of the other Paris parks.  Modern and vibrant, it is close to Mama Loves Paris’ heart. Perfect place to have fun in Paris with the kids this Summer.

Play it Again Sam!

Paris in June

Oooooh MLP loves this initiative where hundreds of pianos just descend upon the city. Each one is essentially inviting you to tap on the keys and play to your heart’s content! Play Me I’m Yours can be seen on beaucoup des rues around the city, but if you want to see an orchestrated show, then check out the 20 pianos that will be customized before your very eyes followed by free concerts at Le Grande Halle de la Villette from June 22 – July 11.

The Pushchair Run

If you fancy running with a stroller through Paris, take part in this glorious initiative from Magic Maman! A 5km run for parents with kids under three strapped comfortably in their strollers complete with trainers! :). It takes place on June 18 and you have until June 15 to register.

Fairground Museum

If you want something a little different for a family excursion, the Fairground Museum could be for you. This unique museum in Bercy is packed with a collection depicting the history of Fun Fairs. It’s a very special place that can only be explored as part of a tour but it is also extremely interactive. The children get to play games from the 1800’s and ride the carousels. The tour is about 90 minutes long and lots of fun.  You should reserve your spot in advance.

Night time at the Zoo

Paris in June

Throughout June & July, Parc Zoologique will be open every Thursday night from 7:30pm. You and the family could take a late night stroll through the zoo and watch the animals sleeping or prowling in their surroundings during the night. Perhaps a late night picnic is your thing or an apéro. Whatever takes you fancy, this is indeed an unusual opportunity that might be worth a punt. Tickets can be bought here.

Parc Zoologique, Zoo de Vincennes, 53 Aveneue de St Maurice Paris 12.

Parc de Sceaux

Parc de Sceaux is just south of Paris and is easily accessible on the RER (Line B to Bourg-la-Reine, Sceaux or Parc de Sceaux). It’s a fantastic summer destination for a picnic outside the city. There is a grand chateau and you can stroll through the gardens which were designed by Andre Le Notre, who also designed the gardens of Versailles and Chantilly. An easy and refreshing excursion.

Tour de France

At Mama Loves Paris we are not going to claim to be big cycling fans but even we get caught up in the sense of occasion of the Tour de France arrival into Paris. It’s a fabulous atmosphere as crowds gather to watch the cyclists conquer the last stretch of their 2000 mile, 21-day journey.

Tour de France

A Reuters Image

The excitement is palpable as the Tour de France riders enter the city and whizz up the Champs-Elysées. This year it’s Sunday July 23 so take the kids and make a day of it. Stay tuned to MLP for tips about where to stand to get a good view.

Chantilly

Chantilly is one of our favourite summer day trips. Of course, the chateau houses wonderful art galleries and private suites. But in the summer months, even the grounds alone are worth the visit, with fountains, flower beds and the Anglo-Chinese Garden for the family to enjoy. Kids love the maze and the Children’s Hamlet, which has two play areas, one for 3 – 6-year-olds with a huge snail-shaped play area covered in grass, mini wooden houses and farm animals on springs. The other is for children aged 8 to 12, with a play structure on which bigger children can climb and jump from. There is also the Petit Parc with sheep and kangaroos. From April to November there is a mini train. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays you can take a coach out to Chantilly from rue des Pyramides in central Paris run by ParisCityVision  An alternative however, is to take the train from Gare du Nord to Chantilly-Gouvieux and then it’s a five-minute taxi ride or 20 minute walk to the Chateau or a free DUC bus ride to ‘Chantilly, Eglise.

Air and Space Museum

Just a short jaunt outside the periphique of Paris is the Paris Air & Space Museum. It’s a venue little known by tourists but very popular with the French.   There is also a planetarium here and so many interesting things to get immersed in – including a Boeing 747 to explore!  What kid wouldn’t want to have a go at learning to fly on the flight simulators? You can get there by public transport.

Carnaval Tropical

The Carnaval Tropical de Paris takes place on Sunday, July 2 and is a joyful mass of music, costumes and colour.  You can take a look at a previous year’s fun here.

It is a huge event, with usually 4000 participants and 200,000 spectators. Even if you don’t plan to attend it is worth looking at the route to see what transport chaos you might encounter in the city that day.

FNAC Festival Live at Hotel de Ville

The FNAC Festival Live at the Hotel de Ville will run from July 6-8. Entrance is free and there will be over 30 outdoor concerts to enjoy! The full programme will be released closer to the time but in the meantime, you can enjoy highlights from last year.

Christian Dior at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs

One of the biggest exhibitions of the summer will take place at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs and will celebrate 70 years of the fashion house Christian Dior. The exhibition will feature the work not just of Christian Dior, but also those who followed including Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and most recently Maria Grazia Chiuri.

what to do in Paris with kids this summer

The exhibition begins on July 5 and promises to be a treasure trove, not only of dresses but also photography, sketches, letters, shoes and perfume bottles. The activities for kids and families are exceptionally good at this museum so stay tuned to their site to see what related activities they come up with.

Cuban National Ballet

The Cuban National Ballet is coming to the prestigious Paris venue the Salle Pleyel and they will be performing from July 6 – 20. Their programme features an opening night tribute to their founder Alicia  Alonso as well as performances of Giselle and Don Quichotte. A special experience for families with older children.

L’Ete des P’tits Futes

All summer long there is a kids festival at the Theatre Darius Milhaud. It runs from 1July 10 to September 1 and is known as L’été des P’tits futés.

what to do in Paris with kids this summer

It’s become an annual fixture in the north of Paris and children are offered a programme of productions throughout July and August. Modern stories, comedy and magical tales are planned to be shown during the festival very day for children as young as 2 years old. You can find the full schedule of theatre shows here as soon as it’s available.

Summer stadium concerts

Paris always hosts some big stadium concerts in the summer and this year Coldplay are at the Stade de France on July 15 and 16. Robbie Williams will be at the AccorHotels Arena at Bercy on July 1. U2 will play the Stade de France on July 26. If you’re interested, buy tickets early.

Jardin des Plantes

This beautiful botanical garden is home to four museums and a mini-zoo. Those who know the Jardin des Plantes feel great affection for this park but it is never over-run with visitors and so is ideal for the summer months.

What to do in Paris this weekend

Jardins des Plantes

Tempt your kids over there with the promise animals of the Galerie de l’Evolution and then get the whole family out for a stroll around the beautiful plants and trees that this garden hosts.Think about delicious mint tea and cakes at the cafe of the Paris Mosque afterwards.

Le Cent Quatre (104)

You probably know that the Mama Loves Paris team have a bit of a love affair with the Cent Quatre (104) venue. This giant cultural space in the 19th district is a stunning creative haven for artists. Open 6 days a week and free to all to wander, it makes the perfect family chill out spot.

Le Centquatre

There is always some form of entertainment going on here even if it’s just the dancers/jugglers/gymnasts practising for their performances! They also have a special section for parents with babies/toddlers (for a small fee), plus the Pizza van out the back provides excellent sustenance. It’s such a great place to just hang out. They have lots of paid for events there too. Suitable for kids of all ages

Paris Gardens open day

This is an annual event in Paris and presents the opportunity for you and your family to explore the most private of green spaces in the city. Parks that are not normally open to the public will be awaiting your visit on this special weekend.

The theme this year is colours, with gardeners positioned as the artists, creating a rainbow of flora and fauna for our viewing pleasure.There will be workshops and demonstrations to encourage some level of participation plus some free concerts.

All the gardens open in your area can be found on the Ministry of Cultures website.

Rendez vous aux Jardins – 2nd-4th June.

Up, Up and Away at Parc Andre Citroen!

The Parc Andre Citroen is worth a visit anyway. It is so modern, feels almost futuristic. The park was built on the site of the former Citroën car plant and features computerised sounds, a reflecting pool, water jets, smaller, colour-themed gardens and glasshouse pavilions. But if you really want to wow the kids, take them up in the hot air balloon.

©Paris is beautiful

Yes, really, a hot air balloon! It will take you up to see Paris from 150m up in the air. The tethered Eutelsat helium balloon costs 12 Euros for adults and 6 Euros for kids. If the weather looks unreliable, call 01.44.26.20.00 to check if they’ll be operating that day.

Show Jumping at the Eiffel Tower

Just a little reminder that the Longines Paris Horse Show is back from June 30 until July 2 at the Eiffel Tower. Perfect for all you equestrian lovers out there. www.pariseiffeljumping.com

Picnics in parks

Picnics in Paris

© Paris Tourist Office – Photographe: Amélie Dupont

A must on a beautiful summers day. This is an essential experience in the Parisian calendar. Find a park or a space on the river bank and take in the rays as well as the beautiful views of Paris. The biggest challenge will be working out exactly where to have that Picnic but luckily MLP has the perfect top ten spots for you

Bastille Day

It’s the most famous French national holiday. July 14 is Bastille Day and commemorates the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution. The military parade on the Champs Elysees is an impressive site for the kids and usually begins around 10am.

A good spot to watch the festivities is on Rue de Rivoli, opposite the Tuileries as we found it to be less cramped than on the Champs Elysees. Kids love being allowed to stay up to watch the evening fireworks display set off from the Eiffel Tower and Trocadéro gardens. They are impressively dazzling against the Paris night sky. You can watch from the Champ de Mars or Place du Trocadéro. Stay tuned to MLP for timings and the best spots.

Batobus

Guess what?  The Paris Batobus is not just for tourists. It’s actually a great way to give kids a sense of their city as a view from the river really brings the city alive for them. It’s especially great in the summer as it shows them the major sights but eliminates moans and groans about having to walk on a hot sticky day.

Summer in Paris

 

You can get on and off as you please and use your ticket all day as the boat stops at around nine places all the Seine including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. A great adventure if you’ve got visitors with kids from out of town, this boat-bus gives a wonderful snapshot of the city from its best vantage point – the river

Jardin du Luxembourg

Every time we go here we are reminded what a privilege it is to have this special place as ‘our’ park. The summer blooms in the Jardin du Luxembourg are incredible.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Toddlers keep busy with their buckets and spades in the rose garden (endless tipping of water from the taps!). Pony rides, Guignol puppet shows and the sound of racquets hitting tennis balls. Wooden sailboats and a terrific playground.

Ice cream stops!

The founder of Bertillon may have been against eating ice cream in summer but we don’t agree with him. Get the kids out with the promise of ice cream and then a whole new adventure in a different neighbourhood begins.

summer in Paris

We love Scaramouche near Abesses for their delicious scoops from Provence, Pozzetto for unbeatable Italian style and the classic Grom at Rue de Seine.

High ropes in the Parc Floral

Chances are you might be heading out to Parc Floral for the Les Pestacles kids festival. While you’re there, do think about getting yourself up into the treetops for some high ropes and zip wires! This is a classic French activity – they love their ‘accrobranche’!

Evasion Verte

 

It’s a lot of fun and the Parc Floral is such a beautiful setting. Remember that children need to be over six years old and they suggest you wear sports shoes. The cost is 21 Euros for adults and 16 Euros for kids. Read Mamas review here.

Disneyland

Summer is a good time to go to Disneyland Paris as we find queuing in winter a bit chilly! It is really two parks, Walt Disney Studios and Disneyland Park. Take the RER A from either Chatelet or Gare de Lyon to Marne –La Vallee which literally brings you right to the entrance of Disney. It couldn’t be easier. If you’ve got younger children, they will be more than happy with the gentle ‘It’s a Small World’ ride, and Spinning Teacups at the Disneyland Park. Be warned that if they want to meet a Princess, you should reserve that immediately upon your arrival. By the way, it’s true that little girls often walk around the park in their full Princes’s outfits.  Take one along so that you don’t get roped into an emergency purchase.

Summer reading

Get yourself and the kids stocked up on some summer reading and support the English Language bookshops that thankfully still exist in Paris. Shakespeare and Company is a favourite with us and they now have the great new addition of a cafe.

paris with kids this summer

The Shakespeare & Company Cat! Trés mignon

Berkeley Books is another gem that deserves your support. WHSmith is great to combine with a trip to the Tuileries gardens.  Use them or lose them – we have already lost the Red Wheelbarrow, Tea and Tattered Pages and Village Voice from our city!

Parc de Belleville

Parc de Belleville is set on a slope and has the longest waterfall in Paris. Head up to the terrace at the top of the park for a wonderful panoramic skyscape of the city and a fantastic spot for photos. Go in the late afternoon and stay for an early picnic dinner.

Parks of Paris

This park has a relaxed vibe, with table tennis tables, wooden playgrounds and large lawns with families enjoying picnics.

Baladobus

This idea is so inspired it could only be French. The Baladobus really opens up the countryside to Paris residents. Take the RER train to Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse or an SNCF train to Rambouillet, and the Baladobus will pick you up and drop you at various countryside locations. Destinations include Chateau de la Madeleine, Chateau du Breteuil, Vaux de Cernay Petit Moulin and Abbaye Vaux de Cernay. The Parc Naturel Régional de la Haute Vallée de Chevreuse is opened up to city dwellers with no car with this simple but brilliant scheme. Please report back to MLP if you ride the Baladobus as we love the idea!

Les Pestacles 2017

This annual summer-long family festival takes place in the beautiful Parc Floral, part of the Bois de Vincennes in the East of Paris. Les Pestacles runs from June 8 to September 28 and features shows, workshops, dance, and learning tours for kids. Plus lots of classical music. It’s a great way to get the whole family over to the Bois de Vincennes. Oddly the Pestacles.fr website still has 2016 information -so keep checking the link for the latest information.

Rives de Seines – making the most of the riverside!

In April 2017 a special new green space opened up on the Paris riverside. Rives de Seine is on the Right Bank and is a similar concept to what we already know over on the Left Bank. This is all part of the city of Paris’ drive to reclaim for pedestrians the beautiful UNESCO.

The area has transformed into a 10-hectare park, swapping tarmac for grass and trees. The roads have been replaced by plants and countless fun things to do – just like on the left bank. It’s a great place for a family stroll.  Check out this video to see how delightful it is.

Mini Rock en Seine 2017

Rock en Seine is a major annual music festival and while you enjoy it, the organisers also make sure your kids get special treatment by hosting an event aimed at the youngest festival-goers!  Mini Rock en Seine is for kids aged 6 to 10, it’s free of charge and away from the crowds.  Whilst the grown-ups enjoy the main performances, the kids get to become rock stars, music critics and even presenters on Mini Rock en Seine TV!  Both the grown-up and the kids’ version of Rock en Seine run from August 27.

La Fete Foraine des Tuileries

In the summer months, the Tuileries gardens host a fantastic annual funfair. With carousels, ghost trains, trampolines and giant swings, this year promises to be one of the best. Waffles, churros, candyfloss and toffee apples galore! Entry is free but obviously, the cost of rides and food add up.

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

The dramatic waterfalls, cliffs, meandering paths and large lawns of the Buttes-Chaumont are fantastic for a long, lazy summer day.

Parks of Paris

Buttes des Chaumont

Pack a picnic, lounge on the grass and people watch.  Theatrical and quirky, this park has character. Check out the Mama Loves Paris review of this fabulous park.

Musee de Poche summer day camps

The Musee de Poche is a wonderful little museum for children and the offer fantastic holiday day camps for kids. Younger children can be dropped off to do a short activity in their studio.  Older children get taken on an outing to a major museum and then brought back to the Musee de Poche to make their own art based on what they have seen.  Keep a close eye on the Musee de Poche website for information about their summer holiday programme as soon as it is released.

Parc Asterix

If you want something a little different to Disney, then this is it. Yes, it’s based on the characters from the famous comic books but, even if your children are not into Asterix, Obelix and their merry friends, there is a huge amount of summer fun to be had. Rollercoasters, sea lion and dolphin shows, playgrounds and the new Forest of Dogmatix area. It’s so much fun for the family and teens will love it too.  There are several ways to get there, including a coach (‘navette’) that will pick you up at the Louvre or you can take the RER to Charles-de-Gaulle Terminals 1 and 3 stop and take a coach from there. Details for both options can be found on the Parc Asterix website.

Paris with kids this Summer

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Quartier d’Ete festival

The Quartier d’Ete Summer festival in Paris is always a fantastic programme of performing arts and so worth checking out.

Les Siestes Electroniques

Les Siestes Electroniques is an outdoor music festival taking place at the Musee Quai Branly July 8 and 9.  It’s a nice occasion to enjoy the outdoor space that surrounds this museum and you can take a look at the schedule.

Les Nuits aux Invalides


An annual event that is much loved by the French and gives you the chance to absorb 2,000 years of the history of France. Projected onto the stunning building at Musee des Armes it is an exquisite show but it is on late at night. Shows will be broadcast in 3D in the open air in both English and in French July 6 – September 2. The video gives you a flavour of what you can expect

France Miniature

France is recreated in a miniature form giving you and your family the chance to travel around the country in a totally unique and different way. At France Miniature you’ll find 117 replicas of monuments and 150 typical French landscapes. To make it super fun there are a tonne of activities including trampolining, interactive spaces, the chance to make a barrel and barrage, treasure hunts, slides, a car driving course, engraving! The list is endless. It is quite close to Versailles and you can find out more information on how to get there here.

Parc de Bagatelle

You don’t need to leave Paris to see a lovely chateau and explore some French landscape gardens. The Parc de Bagatelle is nestled just on the western edge of Paris, in the Bois de Boulogne.  The small chateau used to be a hunting lodge and the gardens are beautiful. It’s hard to believe you’re near the Metro 1 line at the Pont de Neuilly stop!

Promenade Planté

Before New York had its High Line, Paris got there first with the world’s first elevated park. It is called the Promenade Plantée but also gets called the Coulée Verte. This disused railway line in the 12th district of Paris now blooms with cherry trees, roses and lavender and stretches from close to the Place de la Bastille all the way out to the entrance of the Bois de Vincennes.

Promenade Plante

It’s both an interesting and relaxing walk, offering some new perspectives on the city, and lots of conversations starters with the kids about how nature and the city can interact. We recommend going during the week when it might be less busy. Read our Promenade Plante review here.

Trouville-sur-Mer

Ok, we know it’s not in Paris.  But we love the seaside town of Trouville.  Combined with its immediate (and more elegant) neighbour, Deauville, this coastline is often referred to as ‘The Other French Riviera’. Just hop on a train from the St Lazare train station in central Paris and you can see it for yourself in two hours. Trouville has huge beaches for bucket-and-spade fun and delicious food and is probably more appealing to kids than its more sophisticated neighbour Deauville. A trip to Trouville is the way to get the kids out of the city when it starts to swelter.  You could technically do it as a day trip, but why not stay the night and perhaps include the quaint fishing port of Honfleur in your travels?  Take a look at the SNCF website for train times.

Giverny

Pick a day and just go!  Giverny is on most people’s bucket list but it takes many of us a while to just get on the train and experience it for ourselves. You can buy your tickets in advance.

Paris with Kids

To get there, either take the train from St Lazare station in central Paris or think about travelling on a coach trip organised by Cityvision in which case your entry ticket should be included in the price along with an audioguide. You can arm yourself in advance with some great resources for kids, including Colour by dots and Spend a Day with Monet – A Kids Guide to Giverny.

Martin Luther King Park

We love the Martin Luther King park in the 17th district of Paris. We don’t get there often enough and so the summer is the perfect moment to make time for it.

KIds in Paris this Summer

 

It has the reclaimed urban feel of New York’s High Line and it’s an underrated Parisian green space. We enjoy the deckchairs, the play areas, the landscaped water features with lilies and reeds and the sports areas.

Palais de la Decouverte

The Palais de la Decouverte is a great destination for families. You can introduce the kids to astronomy at the Planetarium and there are all kinds of interactive spaces to bring science, light and acoustics to life.

©Guillaume Devincre – EPPDCSI

Their special exhibition this summer focuses on maths games and runs until August 27.

Outdoor pools!

Give the kids a chance to cool off and enjoy a splash around in an outdoor pool. Even some of the indoor pools can remove part of their roof.

outdoor pools

The Josephine Baker pool is a favourite with us. The kids love Aquaboulevard (just prepare yourself for insanity!) and we are just fantasising about the day someone invites us to the super-exclusive Molitor pool. MLP has a guide to the best outdoor pools of Paris – so check it out and report back on where you and the kids swim this summer!

Jamaica Jamaica

The celebration of Jamaican culture has captured the hearts of Parisians. The city has a thriving reggae vibe going on here so this history lesson in Jamaican roots and culture strikes a cord here in the City of Light. It’s on until August and it”s located in a fabulous part of town, near the Science Museum and a stone’s throw from Parc Villette.

things to do with the kids in Paris this summer

It’s a wonderful cultural experience and exploration for children with lots of interactive elements for you to enjoy. So check it out.

Fete de la Musique

June 21 is one of MLP’s favourite dates in the calendar. This is when the rues of Paris become a stage and musicians far and wide take their positions and share their talents with the city.  It is truly fabulous. You’ll see music playing outside cafés, on the river banks and inside unusual venues with the aim of bringing some of the world’s most influential cultural disciplines front of mind and for free. Here is a piece MLP wrote about the event previously and if you want to know what’s going on near you then check out this Fete de la Musique guide here

Lollopalooza

You may or may not want to take the kids (this seems like a time for a babysitter!) but Paris is hosting the Lollopalooza festival for the first time, with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The Weeknd headlining. We are intrigued to see how this notorious American festival tradition translates into France!  The event will take place 22 – 23 July at the Hippodrome de Longchamp, the 57-acre horse-racing venue in the West of Paris. July 22 – 23  at the Hippodrome de Longchamp, the 57-acre horse-racing venue in the West of Paris.

Petite Ceinture

Take a walk along the old railway track which is now open to the public. In the last 1800s, a 32 Kilometer railway track was used to transport people, goods and services around Paris but it was closed after modern technology introduced better transport systems and links.

For years there has been an initiative to revive it and finally, it’s now partly open. It will take around 3 more years for the entire track to be ready and eventually enable an alternative scenic stroll through the city of light but we aren’t quite there yet. Right now you can explore about 3.km.

The Family Music Events at Parc Floral

Classique au Vert and the Jazz Festival are two staple events that take place at this beautiful park each year. Parc Floral plays host to some of the most talented musicians nationwide and the public is invited to enjoy this music en plein air over the summer months. The classical music event takes place from August 5 until September 17 and the Jazz Festival from June 17 until July 30.  They are both fabulously enjoyable and a great way to while away the hours on a sunny day in Paris.

Versailles

The palace and gardens of Versailles are awe-inspiring. Don’t forget the Petit Trianon area, created by Marie-Antoinette as a rural escape from the pomp of the Palace. Getting there is quite straightforward. SNCF trains will bring you from Gare Montparnasse to Versailles Chantiers or from Gare St Lazare to Versailles Rive Droite.

The RER line C will bring you to Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche. There is also the Versailles Express Coach that will bring you in from Central Paris.  Now here is a thought.  Why not make a weekend of it by taking the kids to stay at Huttopia Versailles chalets? There is a heated outdoor pool so you can combine the splendour of Versailles with an out-of-town summer mini-break for the kids in the hot summer months.

Et Finalement

NO MLP listing on things to do with the kids in Paris this Summer would be complete without mentioning the spaces in the city where enjoyment is a guarantee. Berge Street along the River is wonderful for kids. The Science Museum, the biggest in Europe has the best children’s spaces that challenge the mind and keep the children occupied for 90 minutes.

summer in paris

Berge Street – Slate Wall

The Puppet Shows around the city provide perfect entertainment for the little ones as well as the many workshops on offer from all the major museums and cultural spaces, some of which you’ll find here. The Pompidou is always a winner especially with their dedicated children’s mezzanine and dedicated atelier space, and we love taking the kids on the Petit Velibs over by the canal.

A visit to Montmartre for a ride on the Petit Train is a grand idea and the obligatory stroll up to the top of the Eiffel Tower should be on your list. Don’t forget you can head to the top of the Arc du Triomphe too and take in the stunning views of the city and of course there are all those wonderful exhibitions to explore.

With so much happening MLP will be posting regularly throughout June and July as there is so much ground to cover, so subscribe to keep up to date via our newsletter. But if you want a daily tip or idea then follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Have a fabulous time in Paris with the kids this Summer and keep it locked to MLP. Spread the word, share this post and enjoy the season of sunshine.

This post could not have been produced without the fantastic contribution from the lovely Jennifer Hamerman and the support and editing skills of Sarah Jennings and Linda Mak. Thanks, Mamas x

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Mama Loves Paris – Escapism for you and the kids