Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It also happens to be a great city for kid-friendly outings!
Here at Le Rrépertoire de Gaspard, we know how important it is to create meaningful opportunities for children to discover and explore. In our series on “Fun Things to Do in Paris with Kids,” we suggest some ways to plan the perfect Parisian outing for you and the children.
This week we focus on one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in Paris – read on!
The Luxembourg Gardens
Between Saint-Germain-des Prés and the Latin Quarter lies the Luxembourg Gardens (or Jardin du Luxembourg). Roaming around this 25-hectare treasure in the 6th arrondissement is an excellent way to enjoy the Parisian outdoors with children. Here are a few tips for a great day:
Tip #1 – Sail Away !
The center piece of the gardens is the central pond. Surrounded by iconic green chairs (grab as many as you need, they are there for you to use!), this spot is a great place to have a wee break and take in the scenery. Pick up an ice-cream or crêpe at one of the kiosques and enjoy a snack with the children.
Best of all, for a few euros, you can rent adorable mini-sailboats that the kids can set loose in the central pond and follow around. The children can even choose their boat’s flag, including the much coveted pirate flag. This is also a great moment to help children reflect on how to be respectful and gentle with the ducks and birds who also share the pond. Ahoy!
Tip #2 – Visit the Bees !
Tucked away in the south-east corner of the gardens, near the Pavillon Davioud, is an apiary and a bee school that dates back to the mid-1800s. Here, the bees buzz happily away and the honey collected from their precious work is sold at the Autumn Festival at the gardens.
The children will enjoy seeing where and how the bees live – another beautiful moment to reflect on care and respect for all creation, big and small.
Tip #3 – Marionettes and Merry-go-Rounds !
The Luxembourg Gardens also house one of Paris’s oldest marionette theatres. Also known as ‘guignols,’ there are other marionette theatres scattered around the city (including at the Champ de Mars and near the Champs-Elysées).
Another iconic structure in the gardens: the merry-go-round (or manège) designed by Charles Garnier, the same architect who designed the beautiful Opéra de Paris. It’s known as the Manège Garnier, and its simplicity and nostalgic feel reflects the fact that it is one of the oldest manèges in Paris.
Don’t hesitate to visit the the orchards and various statues scattered throughout the gardens (including a mini-Statue of Liberty).
There are plenty of nice play areas, including a large playground with an entrance fee of around 2.50 euros for children (1.20 for adults).
A fun day (and beyond) at the Luxembourg Gardens! As always, don’t hesitate to let us know about your favorite ideas for a great Parisian outing. 🙂