Summer is a great time to visit Paris with the kids. The city’s gardens, pedestrian-only districts, funfairs and wide variety of summer events make it the perfect travel destination for children – and for their parents too!
Highlights of summer
France’s national day is summer’s biggest celebration. The display of fireworks – set off at 11pm from the Eiffel Tower – is something everyone looks forward to. This spectacular fireworks extravaganza lasting for more than half an hour will dazzle kids and adults alike.
There are many places from which to watch the 14th July fireworks, including the courtyard of the Sacré Cœur Basilica, the Trocadéro gardens, Place de Catalogne and the Parc de Belleville.
More info about Bastille Day
Another highlight of summer in Paris is Paris Plages. During this event, the Seine quaysides and the Bassin de la Villette are lined with deckchairs and open-air cafés. The capital takes on the feel of a seaside resort for everyone to enjoy.
Children can take part in all kinds of activities organized especially for them: water games, creative workshops, dance classes, a mini-golf course, a library, a comic book selection, and even a kids’ club for children aged 3 to 7, just like on a regular seaside holiday.
More info about Paris Plages
Family-friendly summer activities
The capital boasts more than 500 parks, squares and gardens where children can play ball or cycle on vast lawns (Parc André Citroën, La Villette, Esplanade des Invalides, etc.). Many have children’s play areas and water games to cool off (Parc André Citroën, Jardin d'Acclimatation, Parc Martin Luther King, etc.).
The newly renovated Place de la République is another great alternative, as the water games for kids are located right next to a pleasant terrace for their parents.
More info about parks and gardens
Summer is also a good time to visit the big amusement parks in the Île-de-France region. There’s the world-famous Disneyland® Paris and Parc Astérix, of course, but also the Jardin d’Acclimatation, a zoo and amusement park rolled into one and a favourite leisure spot of Parisians since 1860, and Sherwood Parc, a huge treetop adventure course inside an 11-hectare forest, with a zip wire spanning 260 metres!
More info about amusement and leisure parks in Paris
Places to have some family fun while keeping cool in the heat of summer.
Bassin de La Villette
In summer, the Bassin de la Villette gets transformed into a water sports centre. Children will enjoy kayaking, rowing, paddle boarding or sailing along the canal. Kids and grownups can also make free use of four bathing pools (two paddling pools, one small pool and one large pool) or hire an electric boat from Marin d’eau douce and have a leisurely sail as a family.
More info about Bassin de la Villette
Aquaboulevard de Paris offers plenty of water-based activities, both indoor and outdoor. Children adore the mega water slides, wave pools, and rivers where you swim against the current in this water park – the biggest one in any European city.
Merry-go-rounds, candy floss, hook-a-duck stalls… a funfair is a must-do on any family holiday. Come summer, many funfairs open in Paris and around.
Foire du Trône (5 April to 2 June 2019)
Paris’s oldest funfair, the Foire du Trône, is also one of the biggest in Europe, with no fewer than 350 attractions over an area of more than 10 hectares on the Pelouse de Reuilly (metro stop: Porte Dorée or Porte de Charenton). Big wheels, pirate ships, dodgem cars, rollercoasters, ghost trains, chairoplanes, skyfall rides, go-karts … there’s something for everyone!
Fête des Tuileries (21 June to 25 August 2019)
A fixture on Paris’s summertime calendar, the Fête des Tuileries takes over the magnificent Jardin des Tuileries for two whole months. There are 60 attractions and 20-odd stalls to entertain the entire family, especially the chairoplanes, which offer a spectacular view of the gardens, the Palais du Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.
Fête des Loges (28 June to 18 August 2019)
This funfair in the town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye offers a chance to sample nearly 200 attractions. Featuring everything from merry-go-rounds for tiny tots to big, thrilling rides, the Fête des Loges extends over an eight-hectare expanse in the woods surrounding Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
Summer at Parc de la Villette
The Parc de la Villette, one of the French capital’s largest parks, is the perfect setting for an enjoyable outdoor family day out. In summer, La Villette has many events and activities for children, such as:
La Ferme Tiligolo
The Little Villette children’s section has a pop-up event programmed from 6 to 14 July 2019 – the Tiligo educational farm. Located at the entrance to the Jardins Passagers (seasonal gardens), the farm gives both children and grownups a chance to pet and feed farm animals and their babies.
From 29 June to 31 August 2019, the Espace Chapiteaux circus venue at the Parc de la Villette will be turned into an inflatable theme park featuring everything from a super-sized slide to trampolines, a maze, bouncy castles and bubble play pools.
More info about Parc de la Villette