PARIS - France’s capital is more than romance, fine food and fashion. Paris prides itself in welcoming and entertaining families, too. So you may not be settled in for a quiet evening with a glass of wine at the top of the Eiffel Tower, but you can discover a world of activities that are not only fun but will also raise your kids’ cultural awareness.
• The Centre Georges Pompidou, at Beaubourg Les Halles, dedicates space to families, featuring a different artist every six months. Through interactive exhibits, children aged 5 to 10 can explore the painter’s work, tools and sources of inspiration. On the main floor, workshops are offered to various age groups. Little ones can enjoy a gigantic mural of Paris, which they can paint and decorate their way. Teenagers can develop their talent through workshops and interact with guest artists, and the youngest ones can explore the architecture and exhibitions of the Centre and create their own model of the museum under the guidance of curators.
Left: Playing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Centre: Having a ball in a museum. Right: Some kiddie treats.
• The Louvre offers an interactive visit of its most famous pieces with an audio guide Nintendo 3DS XL and has lots of activities to discover its many collections. Workshops, tales and itineraries specially crafted for children and teenagers are given throughout the Louvre, introducing young visitors to the various techniques artists used for their masterpieces. These fun and educational activities require advance booking.
• The Cité des sciences, La Villette, has educational workshops and fun activities such as: discover the human body, experiment the powers and uses of water, learn about the planets and stars, live the life of insects, shoot your own TV show.
The beauty of Paris is appreciated in its streets. Walking the Champs Elysées in the evening and seeing the splendour of the Arc de Triomphe, gazing at the stunning view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, having your caricature drawn in the Place du Tertre, or strolling among the statues and fountains of the Jardin du Luxembourg are all activities families can enjoy.
Left: Clowning around while drifting down the Seine. Right: War games take on a new meaning.
Another great way to have fun and unwind at the same time is to take an Enchanted Cruise. Two elves take you on a tour of Paris and tell you all about the Seine River, while singing songs, playing tricks and making you laugh during your one-hour ride. Young children are invited to participate in games and learn about the main Parisian monuments and the city’s epic history.
Paris is the capital of fun, too, and these theme parks are all within 45 minutes of downtown.
• Parc Astérix, home of the heroic Gaul warrior created by René Goscinny in 1961, welcomes visitors from April to January in a park divided into themes: Greece, Rome, Egypt and Vikings, which offer their own fun attractions (Oziris, in Egypt, is one wild reverse roller coaster). Shows offer entertainment and a pause between rides. Be prepared to get wet as many rides involve water slides.
• Disneyland Paris allows you to meet with your favourite Disney characters and enjoy some heart stopping rides. Divided into three areas — Disney Village, Parc Walt Disney Studio and Parc Disneyland — Disneyland Paris offers sure thrills and fun for the entire family in English and French.
• For the little ones, there’s nothing like spending a day at the Playmobil Fun Park and creating things with hundreds of Playmobil figurines in gigantic settings. There are 2,000 square metres of space divided into 12 playground areas, plus one dedicated to 18- to 36-month-olds.
So, next time you head to Paris for a romantic interlude, take the whole family because you’ll have much more fun!