Indoors and Outdoors, Paris Offers a Magical Summer Holiday Adventure for all the Family.
With the summer holidays now well underway, you might already be wondering how you’re going to survive the remaining few weeks, especially if the weather doesn’t make a swift improvement!
If you’re looking for an easily-accessible change of scene for a few days away, Paris makes for a perfect, family-focussed getaway and an ideal introductory city break destination for the little people in your life, especially during the summer holidays when the Parisians leave the city and hotel prices are attractively low. After all, you’ve got the excitement of travelling high-speed under the sea via Eurostar directly into the French capital, as well as all the iconic sights such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the pyramids of the Louvre and the colourful pipes of the Centre Pompidou, not forgetting of course the pre-requisite Seine boat cruise. There’s parks and outdoor spaces in abundance too: the Jardin du Luxembourg, Parc de la Villette, Parc Montsouris, Jardin d’Acclimatisation (situated within the Bois de Boulogne) and Bois de Vincennes, affectionately known as Paris’ lungs, are all worth a mention for their child-friendly credentials, as is the Seine-side, summertime Paris Plages, bringing the seaside right into the heart of the French capital.
Indoors, there’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained, with fabulous introductions to art in the Orsay, Orangerie or the Louvre, the Musée Grevin (Paris’ equivalent to Madame Tussauds) or perhaps the Cité des Enfants, part of the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, specifically “designed to awaken children’s curiosity” for those under 12 years of age. Whilst there’s a wealth of permanent exhibits to entertain your offspring here, there’s also an interesting-looking temporary exhibition devoted to Dogs and Cats and improving our animal instincts, running until February next year.
Speaking of temporary exhibitions, I recently blogged about a wide number of fabulous events taking place across Paris this summer with children in mind, from Harry Potter at La Cité du Cinéma to Aardman Animations at Art Ludique – Le Musée and Tintin at the Musée en Herbe. Read more about them here.
For fans of LEGO® meanwhile, Paris is also the place to be if you want to see fantastically fabulous LEGO® creations on an altogether more awesome scale. Currently on display at Paris Expo (Porte de Versailles) is ‘The Art of the Brick’, an exhibition devoted to the world of LEGO® featuring 100 plastic works of art comprising one million of these iconic little moulded plastic bricks. Described by CNN as “one of the top 10 must-see global exhibitions”, ‘The Art of the Brick’ is the brainchild of Nathan Sawaya who, having played with LEGO® from an early age, pursued into adulthood the creation of ever more original designs, wanting to create artworks using a medium familiar to the masses.
Covering a surface area of 16,000 square feet, these exceptional constructions pay homage to some of the world’s most famous artworks such as Rodin’s The Thinker, the Venus de Milo and Edvard Munch’s iconic The Scream. And amongst the many other amazing creations, there’s also a Buddha, a female swimmer, a 20-foot-long T-Rex skeleton made out of over 80,000 bricks and the rose window of Chartres Cathedral.
Having already toured North America, Asia and Australia, The Art of the Brick arrived in Paris mid-May and stays in the French capital until August 30th. Ticket prices cost 16.50€ for adults and 13.50€ for children (4 – 12 years, under fours are free) and the exhibition is open from 10am to 7pm daily. On a smaller scale meanwhile, at the Hilton Paris Opéra, you can also see some of Paris’ finest monuments constructed out of LEGO®, including the Sacré Coeur Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower.
And, if all else fails, Disneyland Paris is just down the road!