Stay Active with Kids in Paris | Kristin Merryman
The trees are almost bare and the air is crisp. As the temperature drops, it’s helpful to find fresh inspiration to stay active during the winter months in Paris. I’d like to share some wonderful spots and activities that will give you many options to keep moving with your children into 2018.
Kids often learn the value of fitness through their parents and other adults around them. There are many possibilities to exercise or participate in sports at the same time as your children in Paris and also many choices just for kids, giving you that extra hour, or even day, (see Kristin Merryman L.L.C and Kids Energy Academy below) to go for a run, or walk along the Seine, or in one of the many beautiful parks of Paris.
Here are some of my favorite locations and programs for you and your kids.
Jardin de Luxembourg
After 8 years of exploring the parks and outdoor spots of Paris, always on the lookout for a nice place to exercise, The Luxembourg Gardens are still one of my favorite spots. The pristine and elegant garden beds transform with new colors and types of flowers every season. The gardeners may even be consulting with Parisian fashion designers in order to coordinate the flowers with the upcoming fashion week.
Running, jogging, or walking around the perimeter of the gardens is a lovely way to treat yourself to an inspired cardio workout. You can push the limits of your best BPM while admiring the curvy bodies of the ancient statues placed through the gardens, a good reminder that being a size 4 wasn’t always in style! There are also beautiful tennis courts where anyone can play, as long as you reserve in advance.
For the kids there are pony rides, the city’s oldest carousel, a game for older children using sticks to catch brass rings, and beautiful model sailboats that you can rent and push around the fountain with a wooden stick. Most importantly, for the little ones, is the epic playground. There is an entrance fee, that is well worth it, because once you enter, there are endless types of formations and equipment for jumping, climbing, hiding, chasing, and playing until it’s time for an ice cream cone or crepe, both of which can be found in the gardens. Les Jardins de Luxembourg will delight the whole family with their sheer beauty and allow plenty of activities for all ages to get their daily exercise dose.
Location: Rue de Médicis – Rue de Vaugirard – 75006 Paris
Hours: Opens between 7.30am and 8.15am, and closes between 4.30pm and 9.30pm according to season.
This amazing park in northern Paris is home to many large concert halls, theaters, and outdoor pavilions. All year long a wide variety of shows and concerts pass through this park, which is known mainly to Parisians, such as hip-hop and break dancing competitions, and large
electronic music events. There are endless activities here for children to play outdoors for hours on end, and the area is so big, that everyone will get plenty of exercise. The canal d’Ourq runs through the park and in the summer there are spots where teenagers and 20-something year olds are jumping off bridges and swimming. Throughout the large open grassy spaces, which are a luxury in Paris, you’ll find very talented dancers, jugglers, yogis, circus performers, and tightrope walkers practicing in groups and picnicking. The large open space with undulating bridges and dynamic modern architecture is enough in itself to excite children and keep them running and playing for an afternoon, but Parc de La Villette offers so much more, like unique and very fun playgrounds.
The Dragon Garden Playground is well known for it’s huge slide where kids shoot out of the dragon’s mouth, after having completed a ropes course for children 8 years and up. Just doing this a few times will get your kids working their whole body without even knowing they are exercising! You’ll also find balance activities, climbing nets, rock animals, and more.
The other playground at Parc de La Villette is called Jardin des Ventes et des Dunes, which means Garden of Winds and Dust. I love how the French language, and apparently the French people who choose playground names, can fit poetry into the name of a playground.
Here you will find many activities for children of all ages, and the playground is divided into sections for each age group. Some of the activities include running on a kid sized hamster wheel, rolling on hills, crawling through tunnels, powering windmills while pedaling, an air-filled trampoline, and a climbing gym.
Parc de La Villette is very large and has lots to see, so give yourself plenty of time there, bring a picnic, or plan to eat in one of the restaurants on the spot, and enjoy playing and relaxing in the open space.
Location: 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris
Hours: Open from 6am to 1am everyday
Bois de Vincennes
The Vincennes Forest is where you can go to get a true nature fix in Paris. It’s a lovely place to be active, or relax, for every age. If you take the metro line one and exit at Chateau de Vincennes, you’ll find a large medieval castle, Chateau de Vincennes, which children will love to explore. Then you can head out to the forest and fields, of what used to be the hunting ground for the royal family, and is now the Bois de Vincennes. There are multiple lakes to go with children and a bag of bread, to feed the ducks and swans. You can explore the forest,
following wide and skinny paths, walking, jogging or on bicycle, and when you need a rest, there are many sprawling grass areas to choose from. These spaces are also wonderful for playing soccer, badminton, or doing yoga.
The Parc Floral, a large space full of gardens, is part of the Bois de Vincennes. Here you’ll find hills to roll down, a large amphitheatre which hosts the annual jazz festival, and depending on the season, many festival activities around the perimeter of the park for children, including a large playground. Another highlight of the Bois de Vincennes is a children’s farm, La Ferme Georges-Ville, where you can wander around and interact with animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, and goats. Bois de Vincennes has many activities and, on a day without rain, is a great choice for staying active with your family or friends.
Location: Route de la Pyramide, 75012 Paris, France
This beautiful park, which is the 5th largest in Paris, and maybe the most adventurous, is located in the northeast part of the city and is a 25 acre space full of hills and hidden treasures. Walking, running, or biking here is great exercise because of all the up and down geography.
If you have a stroller, even better, just make sure you are remembering to tighten your core to protect your back as you work your glutes up the hills!
Kids don’t seem to view the hills as a workout, more like a fun way to run and roll around. Unlike most Parisian parks, you are allowed on the grass. Because of the varied terrain and plentiful trees, Buttes de Chaumont holds a mysterious quality, with a surprise around every
corner. There is an island in the middle of a large lake, with a gazebo on top, and plenty of rocks on which to climb. You’ll also discover a large cave with an impressive waterfall. The park includes classic Parisian park highlights like a carousel, pony rides, a playground, and
carnival games such as hunting lions and zebras.
A perfect active day to enjoy with your kids could be arriving at the park in the late morning, and enjoying the carousel, ponies, carnival games, etc. Then relaxing on one of the large grass areas with a picnic. Once you’re all rested up, explore the park by foot, scooter, bike or
stroller in order to get a challenging cardio and lower body workout. If you’re still there for dinnertime, try the bar/café, Rosa Bonheur, in the lower grounds of the park.
Location: Botzaris, 75019 Paris, France
Hours: 7am to 9pm
Kristin Merryman L.L.C.
Kristin Merryman, founder of Become Paris, an international luxury fitness and wellness service company, recently created an American business, Kristin Merryman L.L.C. Through this company, she creates original experiences for clients around the world. One of her most
popular offers is experiences for kids in Paris. Kristin creates custom designed adventures for clients of any age. For example, if your child is interested in art, you can contact Kristin and let her know what type of art , how many hours, how many days, and what language you’d
like the experience to be in, and she will create it for you with experts that meet your specific desires and needs.
Another type of adventure for kids could be going out for a day to explore different playgrounds, have a lesson at a pastry shop, learning how to make croissants with a French chef, and then finishing the day off with a hip-hop dance class. Another favorite experience to
keep kids active starts with a children’s fitness professional picking up the kids at their home, taking them down to the Seine to play on all the new equipment that has been installed recently for children, then going to warm up with a hot chocolate at Blé Sucré, a fantastic
bakery by Square Trousseau. After resting up, the kids and their chaperone will go to the fantastic playground at Square Trousseau to burn off the sugar high. Kristin’s services are very specialized and created for each client on a unique basis.
KM L.L.C serves clients throughout the world, specializing in creating experiences in the U.S.A, France, Italy, and Spain. Your custom designed adventure can last anywhere from 1-hour, to several months. Kristin is happy to create experiences around physical activity, art,
baking, theatre, or any other subject(s) you and your youngster are interested in.
Contact: Kristin Merryman- Kristin@becomeparis.com
Facebook; Kristin Merryman
There are many locations in Paris where you can take your kids to Zumba classes for children. As you probably know, Zumba is a type of latin dance workout. It’s a fun way to burn lots of calories! Zumba Kids Jr. are classes created for children ages four to six, and Zumba Kids is for children from seven to eleven.
These classes create a party atmosphere, where the dance steps are simplified, games are added, as well as cultural exploration.
It’s very positive for kids to experience a fun way to exercise, creating a lifelong love of movement. Other benefits of Zumba kids include; learning to work with different instructors, respecting others, working on a team, self-confidence, memory, coordination, balance, and
You can follow the link below to find a location and time that works for you.
The Paris Children’s Club is based in the center of the 17th arrondissement. They offer a wide range of activities for kids from infancy to adolescence, as well as activities for adults. Their classes are in French, so it can serve double duty for your kids- staying fit and improving their French! The types of activities offered include specific classes in the following fields: art, fashion, sports, music, visual arts, and cooking. There are also unique courses such as hip-hop, drumming, classical dance, modern jazz, musical awakening, and circus arts. Follow the link above to see a full listing of their classes and times.
Location : 57 rue Ampère, 75017
Hours : 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday
Energy Kids Academy
This sports academy created specifically for children, by Lionel Sartoris, is dedicated to using a specific pedagogy in order to allow children to enjoy and improve in sports from a young age. M. Sartoris worked for many years in the USA training professional tennis players and he created the first tennis school for kids in Paris, later founding the Energy Kids Academy, where children as young as 3-years- old can take classes. The Academy offers transportation to and from home for each child and puts strong importance on developing a trusting and positive relationship between the instructors and students, all instructors being trained in psychopedagogy. You can book sports activities for your kids if you’re staying at a hotel in Paris and the instructor will come to you. There are one-hour classes available, and full-day camps. EKA also has a private club offering lessons in practices such as tennis, soccer, golf, and gym. In the winter they offer special programs for taking kids skiing. You can feel secure in signing your kids up for classes with Energy Kids Academy, knowing that their mental and physical well-being will come first, plus, you don’t have to drive anywhere! What a great idea.
Location: 47 Rue de Naples, 75008 Paris
Hours: 10am to 5pm Monday to Sunday
As you can see, there are a myriad of ways for you and your children to stay active in Paris all year long. Besides the options listed above, there are many more choices and lots of other parks and playgrounds to explore. I hope the options in this article will get you started and
inspired to explore Paris this year and into 2018, enjoying all that this magnificent city has to offer.
If you would like any help with fitness planning, booking, consulting or advising please contact Kristin Merryman: Kristin@becomeparis.com
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