The Best Playgrounds in Paris
Visiting France with kids and needing a break from museums and tours? Take time to play at one of our favorite playgrounds in Paris! You can find these parks all over the City of Light, so make the most of them and avoid those meltdowns. These are some of the best playgrounds in Paris we are sure your kids will love!
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The Best Playgrounds in Paris for Families
Paris has been one of my favorite cities since I was a teenager, and I was so excited to take my children there for the first time last summer. Sacré-Cœur, the Eiffel tower, Musée D’Orsay – I was eager for my kids to see and do it all.
But, very early in our one-week stay, my younger children became restless with the non-stop touring of sights. Especially my four-year-old. She had very little interest in walking through Notre Dame, the Natural History Museum, or the Louvre. My older kids wanted to look for all the popular Paris Instagram spots.
So, after realizing there were only so many Nutella crêpes and ice cream cones I could offer as bribes in a day, I started researching good playgrounds and places to play besides Disneyland Paris. I had no experience with central Paris parks, so tracking them down to visit came with a few surprises.
We found all kinds of parks like Parc de Belleville, Jardin des Plantes, Jardin des Tuileries, Luxembourg Gardens, Parc Monceau, Parc Montsouris, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, and Jardin Nelson Mandela, but only had time to visit a few.
Surprise number one: the best parks in Paris take time and effort to get to. Our first stop was Jardin d’Acclimatation, a 47-acre park in northwest Paris.
It didn’t look far from the city center on the map, but it took us close to an hour to reach using public transportation. Then, it was a long walk from the Metro to the park’s entrance.
Surprise number two: many parks and playgrounds in Paris are not free and are more like sprawling garden theme parks. Jardin d’Acclimatation, for example, charges 5€ per person aged three and up. That meant 35€ for my whole family of seven, which was a little painful for a playground visit.
But we spent hours in the park doing fun activities and could easily have spent several more. So, in the end, it was worth both the effort and the expense.
Jardin d’Acclimatation is something of a low-budget amusement park with a free play area mixed in. The park boasts 41 attractions, so you may want to decide how much you want to tackle before you visit.
One of the best things is that it’s about half free, with entry options and half-paid amusement park rides scattered throughout the park. It is possible to not spend any money beyond the price of admission like we did and still have a grand time.
But it’s a great place to enjoy the carousel, flying swings, a boat ride, and other small rides, there are options to purchase tickets online.
What’s free? Four fun playgrounds, flying foxes, a small zoo, lovely walking trails and gardens, a large sprayground (bring bathing suits or a change of clothes), an aviary, and lots of fun circus mirrors.
For paid tickets, you can also enjoy pony rides, pedal boats, an “enchanted river” boat cruise, a train, and even camel rides.
If you’d like to go, check out the website for Jardin d’Acclimatation. It will blow you away – the place is huge!
Jardin du Luxembourg
Our second playground stop was Jardin de Luxembourg, the largest public park in Paris. More centrally located in the 6th arrondissement, Jardin de Luxembourg offers nearly 60 acres to explore.
While the grounds are free, there is a small charge to play in the enclosed themed gardens, Parc de Jeux. Children aged 15 months to 16 years are 2,50€; adults are 1,20€; babies under 15 months are free; disabled children plus one caretaker are free; large families are 1,20€ per family member.
(While the “large family” discount sounds great, you must buy a card from SNCF for 19€ to qualify. So, unless you’re planning a lot of SNCF rail trips, it’s likely not worth it for visitors.)
In any case, Parc de Jeux was a huge hit with my younger kids. Riding this flying fox on a curvy track was a fan favorite.
The best thing about spending time at an adventure playground in Paris is watching your kids make fast friends with children of other nationalities.
Mine never had any problem making new buddies within minutes of arriving to play. It was a great experience to watch them try to communicate in a variety of languages!
After tiring the kids out at Parc de Jeux, there is still plenty more to see as you wander through the 50-plus acres and beautiful parks of Jardin de Luxembourg. By the main basin in front of Luxembourg Palace, it’s the perfect place to rent toy sailboats.
This low-tech indulgence allows kids to enjoy the simple pleasure of chasing their boat with a long stick as the boat sails across the water. My kids desperately wanted to rent a boat, but their mama was worn out. Walking through these sprawling Parisian parks is a great way to get in your steps!
Parc de Floral de Paris
The fourth largest park in Paris, Parc de Floral de Paris, is the best place to take a picnic and let the kids run free.
With floral gardens, a small playground, and lots of neat spots and green space for young children to climb and explore, this vast park is the one for you if you’re staying on the east side of Paris. You’ll get your exercise here, too.
But, alas, this park isn’t free in the summer. If you visit from May to October, admission is 2,50€ for adults; 1,50€ for ages seven to 26. It is free for children under seven.
Once inside, there is plenty to explore: a giant slide, a climbing structure, and tunnels. There’s also a butterfly garden, peacocks, a botanical garden of tulips, and more. If you want to pay extra, kids can try a ropes course in the trees, mini golf, family bikes, a treasure hunt, ping pong, or the mini train.
Check out the map of Parc de Floral here.
Parc de la Villette
And now for something completely different: a park with cool play equipment where entry is always free! The modern Parc de la Villette offers three playgrounds. The main attraction for big kids is the Jardin du Dragon, with its 82-foot metal tube dragon slide.
The largest fully landscaped park in Paris, at 137 acres, Parc de la Villette offers gardens and plenty of unique play equipment, from bouncing board trampolines to rolling hills with tunnels to a ropes course.
We didn’t make it to this one, but I’m kicking myself now that I’ve seen photos of the play areas and awesome dragon slide. I guess we’ll just have to go back to Paris to check it out!
Thank you to contributor Heidi Gollub for this article. If you’re looking for more inspiration on exploring Paris with the family, don’t miss our posts: How to Save Time and Skip the Line in Paris, How to Spend One Day in Paris, and the Best Places to Stay in Paris with Kids!
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If you travel frequently, consider investing in a Priority Pass for airport lounge access. It’s nice to have a space where you can relax before your flight.
Book Your Accommodation
We regularly use Expedia.com and Hotels.com to find lodging when we travel. It’s a great way to compare vacation rentals, hotels, and resorts.
If your family knows they want to stay in a vacation rental, we recommend looking at VRBO and Plum Guide.
Book Your Transportation
For rental car agencies, try Rentalcars.com. We tend to use Hertz simply for the quality of service. If you need airport transfers, we recommend Welcome Pickups.
When traveling in Europe, we use AutoEurope to make our bookings. They find the best rates and allow you to compare different car rental agencies. Europcar is another option.
Book Your Tours and Travel Photos
We regularly used companies like Viator and GetYourGuide to book tours when we travel. Both have great communication and a large variety of activities that work for all ages. Other companies to look at include Tours by Locals and Withlocals.
If you’re visiting a city with multiple attractions, be sure to check out a discount pass, such as CityPASS or Go City. Both are worthwhile investments.
Context Travel is another option and they offer more educational-based activities. The former teacher in me loves their tours.
One of our favorite things to do annually is taking photos with Flytographer. They have photographers around the world and we’ve used them on four separate occasions. This is our favorite travel souvenir.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
With the state of travel these days, it’s important to have some type of travel insurance to cover any unforeseen accidents, illnesses, threats, or cancellations. We always travel with insurance and would recommend SquareMouth, Travelex, or Medjet as good options. And if you want to compare different insurance options, use Travel Insurance Master or World Nomads to find the best policy for your group.