The Argonaute

A girlfriend of mine came to visit us in Paris with her 2 boys who were 8 and 10. I was at a complete loss on how to entertain them. Playing with my girls entertained them mildly,  but when their mother and I suggested hitting the shops we had a bit of a mutiny on our hands…and who could blame them?

So I did a bit of research and it turns out there is a ton of fun things for boys to do in Paris, that I had never, ever heard about… one of them was the Argonaute, a  1950s submarine that was decommissioned in the ’80s and is now a museum. I had never been inside a submarine before and to see how a crew lived underwater for weeks on end and how a submarine works was fascinating. (more…)

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La Maison des Petits at 104Butte de ChaumontParc de la Villette

Butte de Chaumont

FINALLY we have been having a few days of sunny weather here in Paris.  And as we live in a typical Parisian apartment with no outdoor space, the main thing I have been yearning for is a spot of grass I can plop myself and my 2 girls on to enjoy some rays of sunshine.

Finding that is easier said than done, as most Parisian parks are made out of gravel, and grass is generally off-limits to walk or sit on.

So I decided to get off the beaten track of the centre of Paris and head over to the Butte de Chaumont, a park in the 19th arrondissement.  It is lovely!  It was built about 150 years ago on what used to be the city’s gallows and wasteland.  Today it looks like a Gothic dreamscape — complete with waterfalls, a temple and a grotto. (more…)

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The ArgonauteParc de la VilletteLa Maison des Petits at 104

Parc de la Villette

villette.jpgIt is finally warm here in Paris and we are all loving getting out there amongst the action and not being cooped up inside. This is the first year that I have two mobile children who both want to explore the world, so I am getting to know the parks in Paris better and better.

I have just discovered the great outside play park at La Villette. La Villette is the place you can find the fantastic Science Museum for kids (I still have not been, but I need to go, so I can let you guys know my verdict on it). There are more than 10 different themed gardens at La Villette — the one my kids loved is called “Jardin des Dunes et des Vents”. (more…)

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Butte de ChaumontThe ArgonauteLa Maison des Petits at 104

La Maison des Petits at 104

104.jpgI have received several emails from you guys asking if I know of a good indoor play area for toddlers… and I didn’t! There is a serious lack of them here in Paris. That is… until now. On Saturday I took my girls to the brand new play area called “la maison des enfants” in an amazing new arts centre in the 19th arrondissement of Paris called 104. Granted, it is a bit off the beaten track in a residential part of Paris, but it is worth visiting if you need your little one to get rid of some surplus energy on a rainy day.

All the equipment is brand new and fantastically well designed. There are drawing pods for older kids, a soft play area for smaller ones, dolls, tea sets… The centre is free, though they do limit the amount of kids coming in, so that it doesn’t turn into complete madness. The “maison des petits” is also planning to host ateliers lead by the artists in residence of 104.

On the same premises there is a great bookshop with a huge kid’s section and reading area, and out in the courtyard there is a pizza van and a café. As of yet, most of the centre is still empty and undeveloped but I reckon that in a few months it is going to be buzzing and full of life.

- Emilie

ALSO IN THE AREA:

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Butte de ChaumontParc de la VilletteThe Argonaute