While researching our trip to Paris, the theme I saw time and again, was that Paris was family-friendly because of its numerous parks. There are small ones where you’d least expect them (next to Notre Dame). Or parks with fountains, tennis courts, cafes, and breathtakingly beautiful ones — like Luxembourg Gardens.
Luxembourg Gardens is an absolute must-see when traveling with children. A vast space where children can run free is priceless. And for several Euros (per child and activity) you can also entertain them with sailing miniature sailboats on the pond in front of Luxembourg Palace, watching a puppet show, or riding the old fashioned merry-go-round. We chose to save those activities for another day. Instead we spent our limited time (and Euros) in the fenced in, and oh-so deluxe, playground.
We spent our morning climbing the Arc de Triomphe, and arrived at Luxembourg Gardens in the afternoon. The moment we stepped through the gates, the kids forgot their tired legs, let go of our hands, and ran. They chased each other, jumped in piles of leaves, all while making their way to the main attraction.
We were in Paris during the Parisians fall vacation, which meant this playground was bustling with children. Our kids immediately joined the fun. Ada came running over, hopping with excitement and said, “Mom! I said Bonjour! to a girl, and she said it back, but then she kept talking, and I couldn’t understand her! So we kept see-sawing.”
Along with see-saws, this park has a climbing structure that mimics the shape of the Eiffel Tower; wooden trains to climb in and on; ropes to trek across and climb up and… I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves:
Ada’s favorite was the zip line, which she rode countless times. Each time, she patiently waited in a long line of older kids, stepped up to the platform, grabbed onto the rope and took off at a crazy speed. Her smile grew wider with each ride.
The kids played to their heart’s content.
As the afternoon sun lowered behind the trees (which would be ideal in summer heat), and the rain sprinkled off and on, a chill crept underneath my wool coat that I couldn’t shake. Aaron bought me tea from the snack bar, which I hugged in my hands; I blew on the steam hoping to defrost my cheeks. But it was no use. I was freezing and yearned for the sun. Thankfully we were all ready to explore more of the gardens (and hopefully warm up).
Once the kids finally stopped moving, they realized just how tired they were. And who can blame them? Climbing several hundred steps, walking the Parisian streets, and running through Luxembourg Gardens for several hours tends to catch up on you when you least expect it.
We knew we had only scratched the surface of what Luxembourg Gardens has to offer. And I hoped that we’d spend another afternoon here sailing boats and watching a puppet show. But with only a few days left on our trip, we still had more of Paris to discover. And tomorrow, we’d get to see her from splendid heights at the top of the Eiffle Tower.