Paris may be for lovers, but it can just as fun – in a different way – for kids too. One of our favourite places in the City of Love is the Jardin du Luxembourg. Located near the historic Latin Quarter of Paris, the Jardin is the perfect place to enjoy some downtime after wandering the busy streets and visiting the many museums in the city.
Jardin du Luxembourg with Kids
A favourite of children and families everywhere – ourselves included – is the Jardin (Gardens) du Luxembourg. This stunning 25 hectare park is a gorgeous green space in the heart of the city. It is lively with Parisians eating lunch and tourists resting between visits to Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sorbonne or the next stop on their tour itinerary.
Punt boats in the pond
The big attraction in the Jardin for kids is the large pond, the grande bassin. The bassin can be found in the middle of the gardens. For only a few Euros, children can rent sailboats to punt along in the pond.
This activity can be an hour or more of pure fun and entertainment if your children are anything like mine. In fact, our kids enjoyed themselves so much we returned for a second day just to punt a boat, run around the pond, then punt the boat again. It was a marvellous time.
Enjoy a bench picnic
The Jardin is a lovely spot to sit and enjoy a bench picnic with the kids. Purchase baguettes, meat and cheese from a nearby bakery, and people watch as you enjoy lunch in the garden.
Don’t step on the grass
Sadly, no picnics on the grass in the Jardin. And you aren’t able to step on the grass either. That’s for enjoying only from afar, as the local parks police maintain a watchful eye on anyone attempting to frolic in the gardens.
Stop and smell the flowers
The kids can run free along the gravel pathways while you can stroll by beautiful flower beds, trees, and the many fountains in the park.
Enjoy the Puppet Theatre or Playground
On a hot summer’s day, a rest stop at the Jardin puppet theatre or playground is a great plan. Note that it’s pay to play in this park. It will cost a few Euros for the kids to play in the playground.
Go to the Pantheon
If your children are older, head to the Pantheon, home and burial place of some of France’s most famous and notable writers and ‘great men’, and one woman. Luminaries such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Marie Curie.
Eat ice cream
A day at the Jardin isn’t complete without a short walk to Ile St. Louis and at stop at the most famous ice cream store in Paris, Berthillon. Yes, there will be a line, and it will be worth the 30 minutes+ wait to taste a delicious ice cream or sorbet in blood orange, black current, dark chocolate or marron glacé (candied chestnut).
Tip: Establish the tradition of a special daily treat for your family when on holiday. Our family tradition is a gelato or ice cream a day. It’s a great pick-me-up when everyone’s getting tired and cranky – adults included!
Photo Credit: S. Laroye
Have you visited Paris and punted boats in the Luxembourg Gardens?