Outdoor activities for children in Paris

There’s always fun and games to be had in child-friendly Paris with play areas throughout the city!

Enjoy some time with the family: most of Paris’s parks and gardens have play areas for children!

There are some 600 in total!  There is something for all tastes and all ages: swings in Parc Montsouris, rollerblading and scooter lanes in Parc Monceau, table tennis tables in the Jardin du Ranelagh, balancing beam and merry-go-round at Parc de Bercy

The Jardin d'acclimatation, the Parc floral and the Tuileries

It is no surprise that the Jardin d’Acclimatation features among the hit-parade of children’s favourite playgrounds. Inaugurated in 1860 in the Bois de Boulogne by Napoléon III, it is the oldest leisure park in France.

This park has retained a sense of charm that makes it unlike any other park. Here, kids are king. They have a 19-hectare area full of exciting things to see and do in a luxurious verdant setting.

On the programme: 40-odd activities (attractions, shows, nature walks, free play areas, etc.). Major attractions include the Rivière enchantée, which has been popular with children and grown-ups since 1927, the tantalizing distorting mirrors, the little train, speed-rocket rollercoasters and chair-o-planes… Not to be missed!

Situated in the Bois de Vincennes, the Parc floral de Paris is not only home to a wonderful collection of 3,000 different varieties of plants; it also has a lovely play area for children! They can have lots of fun, for free, playing on slides, swings, roundabout … as well as on the Amazone Tower with its huge 6-metre-high slide, as well as a dizzying ten-metre-high climbing structure! Paying attractions include a tree-climbing trail, a mini golf that is a miniature version of Paris, the famous ‘Rosalies’ (quadricycles), and the attraction the ‘Trésors du Parc’ which is like a modern treasure hunt.

Boasting an ideal location between Concorde and the Louvre, the Tuileries Gardens has lots to offer. It is an ideal place for a walk with the children. That with a nearly 25-hectare expanse, there is plenty of room for kids to burn off some energy: cycle rides, races along the wide paths, ball games, hide-and-seek behind the trees ... Plus, for a few euros, they can bounce on a giant trampoline or ride on the merry-go-round with its wooden horses.

The Grand Couvert playground is accessible for free. A wooden hut perched in the trees can be reached through nets and climbing. After all the effort, a well-deserved descent on a slide.

And remember, every summer, the Tuileries Gardens turn into a big funfair: it has been hosting the Fête des Tuileries for twenty years.  A not to be missed family outing!

La Villette: an open-air paradise for kids

The Parc de la Villette, the largest green area in the capital, has numerous play areas for kids! The Jardin des Vents et des Dunes will delight young tightrope walkers with its air mattresses, zip-lines, trampolines, swings and other slides.

Finally, the highlight: the Jardin du Dragon! The star attraction here is a metal dragon 80 metres in length. The giant creature now delights kids with its tongue, which forms an enclosed tubular slide 11-metres-long. Children jostle with excitement to ride down it!

Pony rides

Kids love pony rides! There are various options for young riders who wish to indulge in their passion in the capital. Animaponey organizes pony rides in the most beautiful Parisian green areas: Bois de Vincennes, Bois de Boulogne, Parc Montsouris, Parc Georges-Brassens, Parc Monceau, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, jardin du Luxembourg, etc.

Just inside the city limits, adjacent to the Louis Vuitton Foundation, the Jardin d'Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne offers pony rides to children whose height ranges from 90cm to 130cm. 30 minutes from the capital, the Parc Aventure Floreval offers pony rides for children aged 3 to 5, and other activities: climbing trees, Accro Spider (700m2 high playground in the nets), outdoor escape game, outdoor laser game, animal space etc.

Playgrounds galore

New spaces are being imaginatively-designed with fun experimental facilities.

The play area ‘Là-Haut’ in the Parc André-Citroën, in the 15th arrondissement, aimed at teenagers, this ‘up in the air’ trail is an ingenious combination of boards on stilts of different heights and rope apparatus that children must cross to reach a 3-metre-high observation point.

Located in the heart of Paris, in the Les Halles district, the adventure playground at the  Jardin Nelson-Mandela boasts a 2,500 m² trail with lots of play features for kids aged 7 to 11 to explore, plus a 1,400 m² trail for younger children (2 to 6 years old). Main features: unique play equipment, monumental sculptures that challenge young minds and fire the imagination, rest areas, etc.

In the 20th arrondissement, the Parc de Belleville also has a ‘new generation’ park for pre-teens from 8 to 12 years. Completely atypical, this climbing trail built on a slope is interspersed with slides, aluminium tubes, climbing nets, climbing area, hatches and  balancing beams.

On the Left Bank, the recently laid out Berges de Seine are a new landmark play area for kids. Main features: a vast expanse of oudoor games, many of which are drawn on the ground: world map, hopscotch, chess, maze, huge ‘Jeu de l’oie’ (board game) … Budding climbers can have fun on the Little Adventurers trail with its mini climbing wall. And young artists can express their talent on a 20-metre-long slate wall. So, chalk at the ready!