Family Fun in Paris this month
September is a wonderful, energetic month and there are plenty of things to do in Paris with the kids. Everyone is refreshed and back, ready to enjoy the city. If we’re lucky, the summer sun stretches through this month and the flowers keep blooming. It’s really a great time to be out and about with the family, making the most of Paris. MLP has investigated the very best activities to pack your September with fun! Get the diary ready!
Jazz a la Villette for Kids!
The Jazz Festival at Villette has a special programme just for kids and their families. The Jazz a la Villette for Kids programme looks great and performances include Peter and the Wolf, Jazoo and On the Road with Alan Lomax. Most performances seem to take place in the amphitheatre at Cite de la Musique in the Parc de la Villette in the 19th district. The festival runs from August 30 to September 11 and you can buy your tickets here. And while you’re over there, make time to pop into Little Villette, the new play zone for kids.
Musical water fountain shows at Versailles
Those of you with slightly older kids who can stay up later on a Saturday night might want to head out to Versailles for the Fountains Night Show. When night falls at Versailles, the gardens are transformed by lighting and stage-effects artists from 8.30pm. And stay if you can for the fireworks which start at 10.50pm! The shows take place on Saturday nights until 17 September.
The biggest fireworks display in Europe
Every year, the Domaine National de St Cloud (a huge park which is worth a visit in its own right, by the way), just to the west of Paris, hosts the biggest fireworks display in Europe. It’s a late Saturday night for the kids but it’s worth doing just once! You can buy advance tickets here. It’s impressive and in a beautiful setting on Saturday September 10!
Heritage Day – Open House!
On September 17 & 18, you can sneak a peek at parts of the city’s heritage you don’t normally get the chance to see, as the historic buildings of Paris open their doors Details about the Paris programme will be posted shortly here. The National Archives on 60 rue Franc Bourgeois in the 3rd district is likely to be a highlight for families this year, and workshops will be taking place, with kids as young as 3 being able to make bookmarks, and ‘Explorers’ workshops for the 7+ crowd.
Car Free Day in Paris
On Sunday, September 25, from 11am until 6pm, there will be no cars on the road in Paris. All motorized vehicles from bikes to electric are officially banned from being used in the city. The initiative is called “La Journee sans voitures” Time to dust off your rollerblades and skateboards as they will likely be the only modes of transport on wheels allowed to be used without penalties! #parissansvoiture
Fete des Jardins
This special weekend sees the gardens and green spaces of Paris hosting over 400 tours, workshops, games and concerts. This year the Parc de Bercy seems one of the best places for families to enjoy this festival. Parc de Bercy will be hosting a lot of workshops for kids, including painting your own pots and quizzes about how to care for the environment, plus tree-climbing and monkey bridges too! So keep September 24 and 25 free and check out the programme for all the details!
The Fete de la Gastronomie starts on September 23 and lasts for three days of deliciousness. This food fest brings together culinary professionals and the general public and is a huge celebration of the major role cuisine plays in French life. Top restaurants have special, lower priced menus to allow people to sample their cooking. Fancy an eating-and-walking tour of the Marais to sample the best Jewish cuisine? Want to experience Michelin starred chefs cooking alongside the public at the town hall of the 9th district? Cooking demonstrations too? It’s all happening and you can learn more about the programme here.
The Animation Festival
If your children love animated shows and you want them to learn more French, then this event might be perfect for you. It’s the 9th edition of this FREE film program designed for children and adults. At least 200 films will be broadcast over 6 days and will include screenings across genres, coupled with sessions from directors, discussions groups and other opportunities to get under the skin of the animations on show. You can just go and see the movies with the children but get there early to secure a seat. The full programme of events awaits your scrutiny! It kicks off on September 13 and runs until the 18th.
Musique au Jardin
The family mecca that is Jardin du Acclimation is always a brilliant choice with the children, it is an absolutely awesome place to have fun with kids. Some say it’s the ‘poor man’s Euro Disney’ but that’s a bit harsh. In MLPs opinion, it’s the smart choice if you don’t want to head too far out the city but need to occupy the children with some Disney-like rides!
As always, the fairground is supplemented with some cultural inspiration and from now until October, music takes centre stage. Choirs, orchestras, brass bands, singers will entertain and include child tailored shows like their ‘Puss in Boots’ rendition. It’s sure to add a lovely dimension to your experience here. The programme of events can be found on http://www.jardindacclimatation.fr/
Jardin d’Acclimation, 75016, Paris September 5 until October 11
The Brazilian Festival
Having visited Brazil a few years ago, this festival struck a cord with MLP. Right in the heart of Paris, you and the family have the chance to salsa and samba, alongside hundreds of costume wearing dancers and drummers, who’ll be sashaying their way through the 8th arrondissement! Not only that, but there will be concerts, workshops, food and it’s gonna be taking place over 5 days! There’s even a Zumba class! The website has all the details. The big Parade is on August 31 and the Brazilian Market opens on Sept 4.
FYI. The event Lavage de la Madeleine (translated) The wash of Madeline, is based on a historic event 250 years ago, when slaves washed the church of Bonfim in Brazil in preparation for a feast.
Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris.
MLP is continually stunned by the creativity of the City of Paris. On September 16 the Parking Bays in la ville are being handed over to the citizens, artists…basically anyone, in an attempt to bring front of mind the concept of sharing public space. The use of these urban zones reserved for cars are being made available, so people can have a platform for their imaginative ideas! Love Love Love it! MLP reckons it’ll be one of those days worth sticking in the diary, so one can observe the creativity brought to life, in a city determined to bring out the ingenuity of the locals!
Fete à Neu Neu
This huge fun festival for kids takes place in the Bois du Boulogne with one hundred fairground attractions! It is an annual event designed for families and offers a free show every weekend for you to enjoy -including a Disney Princess Parade on September 4. You can find all the information you need on their website! http://www.fete-a-neuneu.com/
The event takes place from September 2 until September 9
Les Traversees du Marais
This festival runs from 9 – 11 September and aims to open up the museums, private homes, green spaces and contemporary galleries to a much wider audiences. Over twenty venues will be opening up for free events such as masked balls, operas, street performances, movie screenings, readings and art workshops. You can find the full programme here. This year’s festival has a carnival theme and you’ll family workshops included in the programme, such as costume-making at the Pompidou.
Les Pestacles in the Parc Floral
Les Pestacles, the festival for kids in the Parc Floral, is not just for summer. The event runs right up to 28 September, so there is plenty of time for you and the kids to head to the eastern edge of Paris and join in the concerts, games, workshops and shows taking place for families. You can see the whole programme here.
Free entry to the Museums
The first Sunday of every month offers you the chance to explore your Museum of choice for Free! Our only recommendation is that you get to your museum selection early to avoid the extensive queues. It’s a great opportunity to try something a little different with the kids without worrying that you may end up wasting money if they end up not enjoying it. Take full advantage and read more about the Free Monthly Sundays in Paris for more information. September 4!
Street art at the Musee en Herbe
The Musee en Herbe, a children’s art museum in the 1st district, has just recently moved to their new premises at 23 rue de l’Arbre-Sec. You can check out their September programme of kids’ workshops here. We think the ‘4 mains’ (four hands) workshop where kids and parents work together on a project based on 1980s American street artist Basquiat looks like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. You’ll need to reserve in advance and their email address is email@example.com.
Cinema for Toddlers
Special screenings for the little ones from 3 years old.
Le Petite Frabrique du Monde – 6 short films – Nature
Les Petite Canards de papier -3 short films – Little ducks
Maison sucrée, Jardin Salée – 6 short films – The world of the garden and the house.
Get a single rate for the whole family at €4! Wednesdays (except Quai de Loire), Saturdays and Sundays from 9:50 in the cinemas MK2 Quai de Loire, and Nation Library! Throughout September.
Go the website, put the film title in the search and then book your place.
1 rue balls – 75011 Paris (150m), 5 place in the nation – 75011 Paris (170m)
A Paris initiative, to get families playing sports together is all set to take place on the lawns surrounding the Eiffel Tower on Sunday, September 25. It is completely FREE and jam-packed with every type of sport you could possibly imagine. From capoeira and cricket to fencing and football! It’s for all age groups so don’t forget Grandma
Champs des Mars, 75007 Paris. September 27 11am – 18:00pm
A lot of our MLP mamas will be running in La Parisienne this year on 11 September. This wonderful race is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Every year, tens of thousands of women gather to run 6.7km in Central Paris. This year, due the special anniversary, the La Parisienne route will include the Champs Elysees and there is a carnival theme! The atmosphere is always terrific, with women just running for fun. People aren’t really trying to get a personal best time. Its all about the spirit of the event, women running together and enjoying it. You see Grandmas, mums and daughters, all from the same family, and you see all ages, shapes and sizes. It looks as if there might be some places left through their website. MLP will be cheering you all on!
Tous au Restaurant!
Tous Au Restaurant (everyone to the restaurants!) is a great initiative started by Alain Ducasse and basically involves top restaurants signing up to allow 2-for-the-price -of-one dining so that more people can be exposed to some of the best cuisine in France and Belgium. It runs from 19 September to 2 October this year and you can find details of participating restaurants and how to book at the Tous au Restaurant site.
Musee Maillol re-opens with Ben
The Musee Maillol is re-opening its doors on September 14 and first up will be a retrospective of French-Swiss artist Benjamin Vautier, better known as simply Ben. This will be the first ever retrospective of his work and will feature his sculptures, installations and photography. One section of the exhibition is actually created by him in collaboration with the museum. The exhibition will ask the question ‘Is everything art?’ and this seems a pretty good conversation-starter for families to have with their kids. You can buy your tickets in advance.
Chocolate cookery for teens
If your teens are into cooking and chocolate, they might as well learn from the best. Famous pastry-makers Le Notre have a chocolate special for teens amongst their cooking lessons. The hands-on workshop Les Toques on September 18 will have the kids making chocolate cookies, chocolate mouse, spiced hot chocolate and a molten chocolate cake. It’s pricey at 80 Euros for the session but a great idea for a special one-off experience. And here’s hoping they bring those goodies home with them afterwards…
Gotta love the classics!
The stage at Parc Floral is still providing a platform for talented classical musicians. It is impossible to deny the wonderment of this music coupled with the setting. Until September 18 The Festival Classique au Vert invites you to come and enjoy one of the highlights in the Parisian calendar. Make an experience of it. Bring a picnic, bring wine and just take it all in. Don’t miss it! The kids will love it.
The Great Animal Orchestra
Their press team reports that from until January 8, 2017, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is pleased to present The Great Animal Orchestra, inspired by the work of American musician and bioacoustician, Bernie Krause. The exhibition brings together the work of artists from all over the world and invites the public to enjoy an aesthetic meditation, both aural and visual, on the animal kingdom, which is increasingly under threat in today’s modern world.
Outdoor Movie Moment
The Swedish Institute will be screening to films in the grounds of their garden this month. The films are documentaries. One called Astrid ‘screened September 10), centers around the rise of the author of Pippa Longstocking! The other on the success story of two dancers reflected in the title Martha and Nikki. The screenings are free and taking place on September 9 and 10 at 9pm. Only rainy weather will prevent this event going ahead
…and from the archives
The Barbie exhibition ends on 18 September so it’s your last chance to get the children down to see the exhibition or enjoyed a Barbie-themed workshop at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Read MLP’s report about the exhibition here.
The Art of Blue Sky Studios
It’s also your last chance to see The Art of Blue Sky Studios at the Art Ludique Museum in the 13th district. The exhibition has been prolonged to 25 September to give people more of a chance to catch the artwork from movies such as Rio, Robots, Horton and Snoopy. Take the kids along to see hundreds of examples of artwork of their favourite characters. This museum does a great job of bringing to life how animation is made and the artistry behind it. It’s likely to be popular in its final weeks so it’s a good idea to get advance tickets.
Sunny days in the parks
Very often in Paris, summer extends into September and there are some glorious days to enjoy the beautiful parks with the kids. Take a look at our guide to the green spaces of Paris for some inspiration and get out there and enjoy some outdoor time while the sun still shines!
Last just to see Bond
“My name is Bond….James Bond” From April 16, the Grand Halle de la Villette celebrates 50 years of the man in the suit, that has saved the world countless times without putting a hair out-of-place! They have curated an expo that holds 500 original objects from the movies over the years. MLP’s spies tell me there’s even an Aston Martin on show, alongside everything else you would expect like; costumes, sketches photos etc etc. Awesome! Kids under 4 go free – but for everyone else it ain’t cheap #justsaying. Until September 4.
The Big Wheel
Take the last chance to ride The Big Wheel at Place de la Concorde this year. It will be running till 23 September so hop into one of the 48 pods and enjoy some fantastic view of Paris.
So there are plenty of things to do in Paris with the kids this September so enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
If you still haven’t covered all of our suggestions for the summer, read out 50 things to do in Paris with the kids over the Summer which will provide plenty of inspiration while the sun is still shining. Fancy a Picnic in Paris, we have that covered too and so many fun places to check out like Le Recyclerie, Le Grand Train, The White Rabbit, Promenade Plante read them all to stay one step ahead of the curve.
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