This is the last post on Paris for our summer 2012 European escapade. I know it’s already 2013 and I am yet to finish writing about it but as I shared with you before my computer crashed, then we had some crazy holy–days and a fun birthday party. I still have a few more posts on Frankfurt, Madrid, Barcelona and Toledo. I have already shared with you our adventures at Disneyland Paris, our two favorite museums for kids: the sewage museum and the Centre Pomidou, a photolog of our promenade thru the Champs Elysees and a very picturesque depiction of Paris as seen by the boys.
To close with a high note I want to share with you one of our favorite activities to do with kids in Paris. During the summer months Paris dresses itself with summer attire and offers tourists and authentic Parisians a little taste of the beach. From music festivals to DJ soirees and activities at the public piscines there’s something for everyone, whether you are one or one hundred. As tourists we didn’t have much time to devote to the public pools and the boys weren’t into the music scene that much but time to build a sandcastle is always a priority on a toddler’s to do list and Paris Plage was there to respond to Evan’s never-ending craving for dirt and anything messy.
Paris Plage is an artificial beach set by the Seine complete with beach chairs, sand toys, ice-cream vendors and lots of street performers. What could be more perfect than that? This project has taken place for about ten years now and the government has done a great job ameliorating it every year. I remember I saw it for the first time in 2005 when I was there for the summer and now 7 years later I was able to enjoy it with kids. There are maps and information booths all around it and there is a calendar of events available online.
There are several sections of the plage and the main one extends from the Louvre to Pont de Sully. These area encompasses the main tourist sections so you can actually “walk on the beach” on you way to the museums, Notre Dame, etc. They actually have changing rooms, proper bathrooms, and a lot of areas to wash off the sand from your feet and toys.
We were thrilled to find an area with hundreds of sand toys. Although I had already learned a lesson in Frankfurt that bringing a couple of sand toys in the stroller is not only appropriate but necessary if you want to avoid toddler-quarrels of the sandbox kind. I was very happy to see that the quantity of toys available superseded the amount of kids wanting to play. So we sat down on the sand and let the boys experience it’s grainy texture once again. If you remember the first time Josh touched sand he hated it, but this time he actually enjoyed it and started playing with it as we tried to keep him from eating it.
Evan was as delighted by the toys as I was by the views. It felt like Paris but also felt like a short vacation at the French Riviera. A big attraction for Evan was looking at the tourist boats pass by. We got to see police boats doing some practice stunts. Evan was really excited to see them.
Teenagers, older couples, and a bunch of kids enjoyed sitting by the Seine and reading a book, chatting with friends, flirting, and just relaxing. If you are visiting Paris towards the end of July or during August you should really check it out. It will be the perfect escape from the city, a fun experience for the kids and a nice way to see Paris from the canals.
- Check the schedule of events if you want to attend one.
- There’s no need to bring sand toys. We had to bring our old faithful dump truck but there are plenty of toys available.
- The bathrooms are quite clean and are a good option for a pit stop.
- Although there are vendors on the plage, if you have picky eaters make sure you bring some snacks from a nearby restaurant. A good idea is to bring some water, too.
- If you really like water sports check out Paris Plage at the Bassin de la Villete. They actually have a huge set-up complete with kayaks and boats.