On our recent family trip to Paris, France we had grand plans of visiting a number of the places highlighted in our Paris with Kids family travel guide. How then did we end up spending so much time two days in a row in the Jardin du Luxembourg? Well, once there, our three-year old didn't want to leave. The only way we got him to (reluctantly) leave with us was when he got hungry enough so that our offer of food somewhere sounded enticing. The first thing our son spotted soon after entering the gardens was a secluded pond with some hungry-looking ducks. He put a little bit of leftover bagel to good use feeding them, chortling at the feeding frenzy.
We then wandered over to the main fountain, with a number of sailboats. While at first we wondered if local kids had brought their own sailboats with them, a quick conversation with one of the mothers confirmed that there was a stand nearby renting sailboats, for just a few Euros. Our son soon got the hang of punting the sailboat with the provided stick, and enjoyed seeing it sail leisurely across the pond. No doubt it would have been a bit more exciting on a windier day, but it was still great fun for him.
After returning the sailboat, we asked the vendor where the playground was. He pointed us in the right direction, and we were soon at the entrance of Le Poussin Vert, easily the best playground we've been to anywhere. There is an entrance fee of 2.50 EUR per kid, and 1.50 EUR for adults, which is good for the entire day. The modest fee was completely worth it. For younger kids there's a train, small ride-on wooden animals, small slides and jungle gyms and a sandbox. For older kids, there's a huge array of spider web-like and other climbing structures, tunnels, steep and spiral slides, and rope bridges. There's also a nearby carousel, although it wasn't open at the times we were there, and frankly the playground looked like more fun.
Cool rope climbing structures abound:
There's even a curved zipline for older kids (7+) although our son was too young for it:
After all that running, jumping, climbing and sliding we left with a tired but happy kid, already asking when we could come back. We stopped in for crepes at L'Avant Comptoir, the casual bar and creperie sister spot to Yves Camemborde's Le Comptoir du Relais. A savory galette, made with buckwheat flour and encasing a gooey filling of melted gruyere and fresh ham (jambon cru) was the perfect satisfying lunch, followed by a sweet crepe of banana and dark chocolate.
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