Parks, Gardens, and Squares, Paris
Right in the center of Paris, there is a very nice playground in the medieval garden at the Cluny Museum (Musee de Moyen Age) and entrance to the park and playground is free. There are lots of benches for parents and you can take a sandwich and eat there too. Grab a sandwich from a vendor across the street. The free entrance is off Blvd. St. Germain, not the museum entrance.
The Luxembourg Gardens have several play areas and all are nice. In season there are also pony rides (for a small fee).
Both the Luxembourg and Tuileries gardens have little sailboats children can rent and sail in the fountains. You can feed the fish in the far fountain (by Pl. de la Concorde) in the Tuileries but must bring your own bread crumbs. Save a small piece of baguette or a cracker from lunch. Keep it small.
It's not a playground per se, but the Buren sculptures in the garden of the Palais Royal are a magnet for children. We've often seen French mothers playing games with their children hopping from post to post of the sculptures.
In summer there is a carnival / fair in the Tuileries Gardens near the Louvre. There is a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, and lots of games and treats.
There is no playground but you will see lots of French parents with their children enjoying the grass and fountains at the Place des Vosges and you can get an ice cream at the cafe on the northeast corner of the square. There are often musicians playing there too.
The Jardin des Plantes has gardens and a small zoo (menagerie) your child might enjoy.
In season there is a puppet show (Guignols) in the Luxembourg Gardens and I think this is on Sunday. You could ask at the hotel.
There are lots of small squares and green areas in Paris. It's one of the joys of the city. You'll notice parks along the streets as you wander in Paris. Go inside because most of them have a play area for children. They are very popular with folks who live in the neighborhood so it's a good way to meet people too. Small children make it easy to meet others. Enjoy your trip.
See more photos in the Playground Travelogue way below.
Square René Viviani adjoins the Church of Saint Julien the Poor, a Greek Catholic parish church that is one of the oldest religious buildings in Paris.
The square is an irregular shape, bounded by the Rue Galande and church buildings to the south, the Rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre on the west, the Quai de Montebello to the north and by the Rue Lagrange and the Rue du Fouarre on the eastern side.
I loved the very pretty garden located in a great position. Why? Because if you sit on one of the benches here, you have one of the best views of Cathedral of Notre Dame in all of Paris.
The inside of the square is lawned, has walkways, lovely trees and Roses and plenty of park benches. In 1995, erected in the the very centre of the square, was the odd-looking St. Julien fountain. The design represents the legend of St. Julien the Hospitaller, involving a curse by witches, a talking deer, a case of mistaken identity, an horrific crime, several improbable coincidences, and a supernatural intervention. The story was told and retold during the Middle Ages, and it became a favourite although it's believed to be just that - A TALE!
Even so, hospitals, hospices, and churches all over Europe adopted Julien as their patron. He was also a patron saint of hunters, innkeepers, and ferrymen; traveling pilgrims often prayed for his help in finding comfortable lodgings.
In the square, there are odd pieces of carved stone that were salvaged from the architectural rubble from the Cathedral of Notre Dame, when some of it was partially destroyed in the 19th century.
The square is noted for being the site of the oldest planted tree in Paris. The robinia pseudoacacia, (locust tree), is believed to have been planted by its namesake, Jean Robin (1550–1620).
This is an exciting urban park with modern buildings on three sides and the Seine River on the fourth. And of course the world's largest tethered balloon going up and down in the middle.
It is located in the far southwest corner of Paris, on a site which used to be an automobile factory (hence the name) and before that was a melon patch.
Second photo: Parc André Citroën as seen from the world's largest tethered balloon.
Third photo: Our shadow on the park.
Fourth photo: Another part of Parc André Citroën on a hot summer day.
Located in the square infront of Notre Dame Cathedral, is an interesting statue of Charlemagne, who was King of the Franks between 768 - 814 and Emperor of the West from 800 - 814. He was also known as Charles the Great, the King who helped define Western Europe as we know today. The statue is not as old as the Notre Dame itself, as it was created in 1886 by Louis and Charles Rochet.
The statue shows him on his Horse with two of his followers, Oliver and Roland with his sword. These two men were the bravest warriors and were chosen to be companions and guards for the King.
A medieval type of statue with the inscription "Charlemagne et ses levdes"
...... meaning “Charlemagne and his noble servants”.
This little garden square is at the Eastern end of the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on the Ile-de-la-Cité. It's a nice place to pause and admire the flying buttresses of the cathedral beside the river and whilst not quiet, it's much less crowded than the surrounding streets and eating/drinking establishments.
The square is site of the former archbishops palace which was ransacked during riots in 1831 and later demolished. The garden replaced this building and the gothic "fountain of the virgin" has been in the square since 1845.
The local Parc André Citroën is one of the best places where you'll find a perfect spot for picnic for the whole family or a group of friends. Kids can also splash in the fountain in the park, although the sign say that you can not do it - well everyone does it - you are in Paris.
Situated by the river Seine in the 15th district of Paris it also offer something very rare - a view of Paris in a hot air ballon.
At the moment it is refurbished and the welcoming extension of the Parc André Citroën, with fountains, kiosks and rides are due to open in Summer 2013.
This is one of the newer parks in Paris, created in 1995 on the site of the former Bercy wineries on the right bank of the Seine.
The park is directly across the river from the new François-Mitterrand Library, with which is connected by the new footbridge Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir.
Second photo: A large garden in the Parc de Bercy is named after Yitzahk Rabin (1922-1995), the Nobel Peace Prize winner who was assassinated in November 1995 in Tel Aviv.
There are hundreds of public parks and gardens in Paris. Most available to the general public, and many of the smaller ones in the residential area's well used by the local population. Many of these are set up with sports equipment, tables, seating etc, and you see many family groups there enjoying themselves.
The centre of Paris has them as well, tucked away in many many corners.
It's great to see that being able to relax with nature is still an option
Christened "Bagatelle", it was to become a location for festivities and a hunting meet.
In 1770 Count Chimay, the brother of Louis XVI became the owner. Invited by Chimay, Count d'Artois developed a passion for the estate and bought it in 1775. He demolished the decaying folly and built another even grander & quite extraordinary castle. This saw the appearance of a fabulous estate with a landscaped park.The cost of the work was estimated at over two million pounds!
Miraculously spared during the Revolution, Bagatelle experienced several fates: as a restaurant in 1797, then as a hunting meet under Napoléon, the estate being returned to the family of Count d'Artois under the Restoration.
Bagatelle was reborn when it was bought by Lord Seymour in 1835.
With the addition of a grand entrance on the park side, an orangery and new stables, the park was extended then transformed into the Jardin Napoléon III in the second half of the XIXth century.
Roses, Irises and Water Lilies
In 1905, Bagatelle was sold to the City of Paris.
Just prior to its redevelopment, Bagatelle was a strange sight. A landscape where rivers, paths and beds of flowers, created in the XIXth century, softened the surprise effects of the pre-romantic gardens of the Count d'Artois without detracting from its spirit.
From 1905, the J.-C.-N. Forestier, the Commissioner of the Jardins de Paris, succeeded in retaining the garden's style whilst at the same time redeveloping it.
In order to make the public more aware of the growing popularity of horticulture, J.-C.-N. Forestier created temporary and permanent collections of horticultural plants. He built the famous rose gardens, the iris garden and the presenters, designed a pond to improve the presentation of aquatic plants and water lilies which were so dear to the painter Claude Monet. In 1907 he organised the first international competition for new roses.
Parc de la Villette is a huge and very beautiful area in the northeastern part of Paris. In my mind surely a must-see!
I first discovered this area on my fifth trip to Paris, but I'll be back for sure, as I haven't even seen half of it.
The area includes beautiful landscape, playgrounds, a canal and a wide range of exhibitions like the huge 'Cité des sciences & de l'industrie' and 'Cité de la musique' to mention a few.
This is a highly cultural area of Paris and home to many concerts and events like open air cinema in the summer!
Le Parc Floral
Created in 1969, for the third "Floralies Internationales", the Parc floral de Paris is a landscape always in movement, a unique place of observations where people can relax in a green space.
Place du Tertre is one of the sights I loved when I was in Paris in 1998. It was very atmospheric with its numerous painters, some shady trees and some nice brasseries. Unfortunately, it isn't anymore, at least not in August. The square is incredibly full of people all of which seem to do the same thing: trying to avoid being addressed by one of the street artists who would enjoy nothing more than drawing a picture of you, while at the same time trying to take a photograph of one these very artists. It's pushing and elbowing your way through, it's sneaking a peek on the "art", it's nervously clutching your belongings to protect them from pickpockets - but most of the romantic character has gone. Perhaps I should try to come back in another time of the year...
Walking around Marais district was great one Sunday morning, most of the streets were empty and we had the chance to visit some great museums that located in the area (Picasso, Carnavalet and Cognacq-Jay)
At Marais we also found the oldest planned square of the city which is Place des Vosges that was built in 1605!
The shape of the square is a true square (140x140meters) but the most impressive here are the housefronts of 36 different houses that have the same design with red brick and stone facings. Formerly known as Place Royale and although no royals were living here some other famous people had lived here (Victor Hugo and Richellieu are some of them)
We came across this monument on our way back to the apartment on a grey, drizzly late afternoon in February.
It is located at the eastern end of the Champ de Mars in front of the Ecole Militaire - slightly ironic I think as it is a monument dedicated to peace across the world.
There is a wall and 32 columns each with the word Peace translated into different languages. Apparently there is a computerised message board where individuals can leave their own message of peace but I didn't notice it.
I think the monument is rather pleasant though I'm sorry to say we didn't stop for long as the rain was getting heavier. We do approve of the sentiment though.
The Tuileries are the gardens that lead to The Louvre. I strolled through them on my first day in Paris en route to meet my friend. Then, on the following Sunday afternoon we sat here for about an hour or so to rest our feet and just enjoy the beauty of park.
We chose a couple of the many seats that surround a large fountain. The sky was blue; the clouds were fluffy and it was a wonderful spot to just be.