Paris Plage

paris plageIt is that time of year again here in Paris: the right bank of the Seine has been taken over by lounge chairs, palm trees, sun and sand.

If you happen to be in Paris for the month of August (most Parisians have left for the country and the city is spookily quiet) Paris Plage is the place to be. It has something for everyone: bars, a swimming pool and a great play area.

If you go in the mornings the “beach” is relatively quiet, even on the weekends, and it is a perfect place for kids to get rid of some excess energy. This year the place to be for kids is the area around the Pont de Sully at the eastern edge of the beach.

The other area of Paris Plage around the basin de la Villette is great too, there is even a sailboat you can rent! I loved the idea of sailing around a canal in the middle of Paris, but so apparently do a lot of people so it is completely overbooked. If you have kids from 6 years upwards, there are some fantastic little pedalos that they can peddle around in, in a supervised area of the canal. All of this has been sponsored by the Mairie of Paris so almost all the attractions are free!

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Les Fourmis Rouges

fourmis.jpgIn the heart of Paris, though maybe not in the most glamourous of all locations (the shopping centre Le Forum Des Halles), is a great kid’s shop called Les Fourmis Rouges (the Forum des Images is under the same roof). It offers everything you could ever dream of: toys, clothes, furniture and accessories. Most of the items are discounted, and all of them are beautiful. The Fourmis Rouges also offers ateliers for kids, in which kids get to make their own soft toys (or ‘dodos’ as we call them over here). It is definitely worth checking out if you are ever in the area!

- Emilie

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Forum des Images

forum.jpgAfter being completely refurbished, the Forum des Images finally reopened its doors a couple of months ago. Founded about 20 years ago, the Forum is Paris’ premier film library and cultural cinema venue.

The new Forum is fantastic, and a stark contrast to the ugly Forum des Halles shopping centre that houses it. (The Forum des Halles is now also up for a major refurbishment, so hopefully what is known as the eyesore of Paris, will finally disappear). It does mean that the Forum des Images is right in the centre of Paris and very easily accessible.

One of the major attractions are the children’s film screenings. There are screenings every weekend and on Wednesdays. At the moment, during mid-term holidays, there is a very popular children’s film festival on. Films start from 18 months onwards. The choice varies from classic art school films to old classic Disney films. (more…)

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Paris Plage

paris-plage.jpgThere is no way the Parisians are going to be outdone by the Dutch. Amsterdam might have Strand Zuid, but we have Paris Plage — at least 2km of golden sand and palm trees all along the right bank of the Seine with scantly clad Parisians and Parisiennes sunning themselves. There are bars, there’s music, an exercise area and lots of other entertainment. It is great fun, but really hectic and so packed that it is difficult to relax there with kids in case they might mistake the Seine for the Ocean and decide to go take a dip….

This year the city council here in Paris has cleverly put up an outpost of Paris Plage off the beaten track on the basin de la Villette in the 19th (metro Jaures) which is hugely kid-friendly and a huge amount of fun. The ubiquitous manege, big trampolines, a waterplay area and a little beachy sand area all geared toward kids. You can even rent pedalos! It is incredibly clean (even the toilets), relatively empty and what impressed me the most are the organizers (or animateurs as they are called over here), who are incredibly good with kids and make sure that the kids know how to use the facilities and are properly supervised.

So why go to the beach if the beach comes to Paris?

- Emilie

P.S.: all of the facilities are free and the beach is around until the 21st of August

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