Amusement Parks Galore in Paris!

Spring has arrived in Paris, so why not spend the day outdoors at one of Paris’ amazing amusement parks? You can experience everything from roller coaster rides, to safaris, to adventure themes, and much more! Here are some of our picks for amusement parks you don’t want to miss!

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris Resort France

Of course you don’t want to miss Disneyland while in Paris! 566,560 square meters of fun! They have 48 different attractions, and while some are based on the same premise as the attractions in the US, they all have their own unique Parisian spin on them. You can learn more about the park on our article here.

Parc Asterix

This park is renowned for it’s large selection of roller coasters, including the biggest roller coaster in all of Europe! Besides the roller coasters there are tons of other activities, like catching a sea lion or dolphin show! The park is open between March and October each year.

Mer de Sable

Mer de Sable (La) Near Paris France

This is the first major theme park that was built in France, and is based on a wild west theme. Such attractions as The Colorado Train, the Wild River, or the Pirate Ship provide hours of amusement. And, when you need to rest a bit, it’s chock full of great restaurants and cafes.

Parc Zoologique de Thoiry

This park was Europe’s first wildlife park. Take a wild trip here and see animals from lions, to zebras, to elephants, and more right from the safety of your car or tour bus. Definitely a must see!

Playmobile Fun Park

Playmobil Fun Park Near Paris France

If you’re looking for inexpensive entertainment for the kids, this is the place! There are tons of places for the kids to play in different imaginative settings, such as castles, doll houses, trains, and more. It also has a wonderful restaurant within the park called Dans les Nuages.

5 Romantic Things to do in the City of Love

They don’t call Paris the City of Love for no reason. The city is absolutely teeming with romantic things to do, see, and experience around every corner. Romance seems to even be in the air itself, and unavoidable for even those who try. But, if you’re looking for something extra special to do with your loved one, especially with Valentines Day right around the corner, we’re here to help with our picks for this month on romantic hot spots in Paris.

Le Baron Rouge

Le Baron Rouge

This isn’t your typical cozy and romantic dinner place. It’s loud. It’s crowded. But, it’s wonderfully romantic. You’ll be squeezed in between a slew of locals, all seeking a glass of wine and platter of cheese from the bar. On winter weekends, you can also grab some fresh oyster right on the sidewalk in front.

Flûte l’Étoile

Flûte l’Étoile

This place screams romance. It actually used to be a gentleman’s bar, but now you and your significant other can cozy up to a fireplace with a champagne cocktail, or go upstairs and enjoy a romantic quiet dinner. The prices are very reasonable, the food is good, and there’s even live jazz on Wednesdays.

A Chocolate Massage at the Four Seasons

A Chocolate Massage at the Four Seasons

With chocolate and massage all in one, you can’t go wrong. Take your loved one to the Four Seasons George V Hotel for a chocolate-mint body scrub, followed by  a Swiss chocolate and toffee body wrap, and completed with a cocoa oil deep tissue massage. They’ll never forget you for it.

 

Dame du Canton

Dame du Canton

Whisk your sweetie away to dinner on the Dame du Canton for some gypsy themed romance. Below deck there’s a cozy and lantern filled restaurant where you can enjoy a wonderful dinner filled with gypsy jazz and gentle boat rocking.

High Tea at the Ritz

High Tea at the Ritz

Dazzling crystal, priceless antiques, gleaming and polished silver make for an elegant rendezvous with your honey. Enjoy amazing tea, tiny sandwiches, pastries, scones with cream and jam, and a romantically sophisticated setting.  Definitely a tea you’ll always remember.

 

Five Activities for Kids in Paris

paris carouselFinding kid-friendly activities while on vacation anywhere can sometimes be a challenge. Paris is an extremely kid friendly city, there’s no doubt about that. The only challenge that may present is on Sundays, as a good bit of everything is closed, as with many areas throughout Europe. Parks dot the city with kid friendly and clean equipment, though, so Sunday’s aren’t a complete loss. If you’re looking for something a little more exciting and organized, however, we’d love to share our five favorite things this month to entertain the kiddos while vacationing in Paris.

Cité des Enfants

Cité des Enfants

This is a great children’s museum that’s easy to lose track of time in. They have exceptionally well designed play areas for children of all ages. They even have a special section for 2-7 year olds, and another section for 5-12 year olds. Buying tickets early is recommended, as the museum can get rather crowded and tickets sell fast.

Ice-skating

Ice-skating

Out of many wonderful things in Paris, there’s also the unique fact that between the months of December – March, ice skating rinks are set up in several places around the city. You can find them at Montparnasse tower, Place de l’Hotel de Ville, and others. You and the kids will certainly have a blast skating around town and taking in the breathtaking views.

The Palais de la Découverte

The Palais de la Découverte

A fabulous museum geared towards children 12 and under and focused on the wonders found in science. The 19th century building it’s located in is gorgeous, and was actually built originally for use during the World’s Fair. Everything is in French, but the visuals and interactive activities are so well done that no language need be understood.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg

If you make your way to the southwest corner of these beautifully landscaped gardens, you’ll find an area that is completely devoted to kids. It’s 1,50 Euro to enter and features play equipment for the kids to enjoy, and the famous carousel. You can also grab an espresso for 1 Euro and sit under shade trees and relax a bit. You may even catch a puppet show.

Jardin d’Acclimatation

Jardin d’Acclimatation

This children’s park was originally built in the 1900’s, but has been continuously updated with neat rides and activities over the years. Kids will love the ‘petit train’, jungle boat ride, the zoo, the sprinkler, and of course all the junk food available on the boardwalk.

Fete de la Musique

Fete de la Musique

Fete de la Musique, or Paris Street Music Festival, is a vibrant and colorful street music festival that takes place in Paris every 21st of June. If you happen to be in Paris in June, you don’t want to miss this. Musicians gather in the streetsm in bars, and in cafe’s and provide free performances from music ranging from electronica, to rock, to jazz, to hip-hop. The festival is unique in that it is open to any musician, both amateur and professional, that wish to perform in it. This way, it appeases a larger audience than other concerts and gives onlookers the opportunity to discover a wide array of musical talent.

The festival all began in 1981 when director Maurice Fleuret began to study the cultural habits of the French and he discovered that out of five million people, 1 out of every 2 persons played a musical interest. He then began dreaming of a way to bring these people together and out onto the streets. And so Fete de la Musique was born on June 21st, 1982, which is also the day of Summer Solstice ( Pagan tradition of feasting). The event was a success! And, with the support of SACEM, the media, the territorial municipalities, and an ever increasing interest from the population, the festival became one of the biggest and well loved events in Paris. The event is also widely supported by Opera Houses, regional orchestras, chamber music ensembles, conservatories, music schools, and many professional music organizations such as Scènes de Musiques Actuelles (SMAC) and the Cafés Musique or the Antennes du Printemps de Bourges. Major amateur federations are also widely involved by having members throughout France participate. Volunteers are also greatly depended on to ensure the livliness and spontanaiety are continued throughout the festival.

In order to best enjoy the street concerts, your first step would be to visit the website here where you can download the program and view the musical line ups and performance times. It’s important to remember to often check the program, however, as times can change throughout the event, but the website does a good job of keeping the current schedule available. Other attendees prefer to just walk the streets of Paris and see what they stumble upon. This is a good approach if you don’t have any listening preferences and just want to see what you can discover throughout the festival.

Remember that standard travel on buses, by car, or by train are rather difficult during the event as all forms of transportation or incredibly packed. For this time, it’s best to keep a hotel nearby and walk every where.

Celebrating New Years in Paris

If you’re lucky enough to ring in the new year, or St.Sylvestre as the Parisians call it, while in Paris – you’ll find there is no shortage of things to do or events to attend. New Years celebration is taken to a whole new level in France, with St.Sylvestre celebrations beginning January 1st and lasting all the way through February 1st. During which time fireworks are set off, parties are held, greeting cards are mailed, and presents are gifted. There’s literally so much going on at this time of year, it can be a bit overwhelming. Here’s some key things to consider checking out on New Years Eve if you’re looking to make your celebration a memorable one:

Champs-Elysees – Champs-Elysees is basically party central in Paris on New Years Eve. Around 9pm people begin gathering here to celebrate until (and after) the countdown to midnight. The neat thing about this spot is you can also get a great view of the Eiffel Tower, which will burst into a colorful fireworks display at the stroke of midnight.

The Sacre Coeur Cathedral plaza in Monmartre

The hill top views offered at this beautiful spot are perfect for New Years Eve because it offers a spectacular view of the Parisian skyline. You’re sure to catch any fireworks going on anywhere in Paris at this spot!

Dinner Cruises

Taking a cruise down the Seine River on New Years – that’s living! The Bateaux Parisiens or the Yachts de Paris boat companies both offer New Years Eve dinner cruises that include gorgeous night views of sights like the Notre Dame, Tuileries Gardens, and Concorde, gourmet dinners, musical entertainment, and champagne.

Lido

What better way to bring in the New Year while in Paris than at a cabaret? Lido offers classic Parisian cabaret and a special dinner and show on New Years Eve. Beware, it’s very expensive – $867 a head. But, the champagne, the show, the lobster, and the after party make it a worthwhile expense for some.

Clubs

Plenty of dancing in Paris on New Years! Check out some of these hotspots: Batofar, Nouveau Casino, La Fleche d’Or, The WAGG, REX Club, and Divan du Monde

~Be safe, and Happy New Years!~

 

 

 

Take a Cruise Down the Seine River



Taking one of the available cruises down the Seine River gives one of the best views of Paris. Depending on which river boat tour you take, the cruise can last anywhere from 1-3 hours and is a really inexpensive way to experience some of Paris’ extensive beauty.

Tours are offered between March and November and are generally pretty inexpensive, with fares for children starting at only$5.20 and adults at only $10. Sun decks, bars, and even restaurants are found on some of these boats. The boats that have the restaurants generally offer dinner tours as well, which can be especially inspiring – viewing Paris at night is spectacular. Be sure and wear your dinner jackets and ties, men, if you take one of the dinner tours

The Seine river, which flows through the center of Paris, used to be a the main form of transportation for the city and provided added protection. The Seine is such a beautiful river that it has long been revered in the art world and has been the subject of many paintings. When you take a cruise down the Seine, you’ll be able to see beautiful old bridges, old homes gracing the river, and get a unique perspective on historical landmarks such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

For more information and to schedule your tour, here are 2 of the most notable river cruise company’s:

Bateaux-Mouche Tours

Phone # 01-40-76-99-99

Website: www.bateaux-mouches.fr

 

Paris Canal

Phone # 01-42-40-96-97

Paris Opera

The Paris Opera, founded in 1669 by Louis XIV, is a cornerstone of Paris’s long history of being a giant in the arts and music community. Originally, the idea for the French opera was that of Pierre Perrin’s, whose intention when presenting it to the king was to debunk the common thinking at the time that the French language was “unmusical”. This false idea has certainly been tossed aside over the years, as not only do some of the most beautiful opera’s take place here, but the classical ballet as it is known today rose out of the Paris Opera.

The Palais Garnier (shown above) is mainly used to host the Paris Ballet, and is more widely known than any other opera establishment in the world. Decorated with the best marble, gorgeous columns, chandeliers, and bronze busts of notable composers, the Palais Garnier is the revered in the architectural community. It’s actually the setting for one of the most famous novels of all time – The Phantom of the Opera, which was eventually turned into a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The Paris Opera Library-Museum is also here.

The Opera Bastille, an opera house built in 1989 with a more modern design, is home to the Opera national de Paris currently. Here you can experience classical French opera and concerts performed by only the most talented musicians, singers, and performers .You can view the line-up for this year’s performances here. You’ll find the line-up for this season to be phenomenal, featuring Operas written by classical musician greats such as Richard Strauss, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Wagner, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, and much more.

Paris in March 2012

Paris in springtime – plenty to see, do, and eat. There’s also no small amount of local activities and unique Parisian events you can experience during March. Here’s our list of local happenings this month you should check out while in Paris.

Foire du Trone

If giant amusement parks are your thing, this is a must-visit. Held on the lawns of the Pelouse de Reuilly, this fair begins at the end of March and runs until the end of May. It actually dates all the way back to A.D. 957 from when farmers and merchants gathered to trade their goods. Acrobats, ferris wheels, fire eaters, carousels, and much more make this a pretty entertaining hotspot for a few months.

Banlieues Bleues

A jazz festival taking place between March 16th and April 13th that features an assortment of telented musicians from around the world. You won’t want to miss these smooth sounds!

Dancing Through Life

This is a wonderful exhibition that is being held at The Centre Georges Pompidou. It will feature influences shared between dancing and visual arts. Held through April 2nd, seeing the comparison of art and dance is a truly unique experience everyone can enjoy this spring!

Trompe l’oeil

Directly translated into “Tricking the Eye”, this is a show that opened in February of this year and runs until November of 2013. This exhibit has over 400 paintings, sculptures, and textiles that were crafted specifically to trick the eye. It’s being held at the Paris Arts Decoratifs museum.

Festival of the Imagination

Held on the boulevard Raspail and running from March 19th – June 17th, you can come explore cultural revolutions from the world over expressed in dance, music, and traditional displays. This is truly a unique festival for Paris, and anywhere for that matter. Something you won’t want to miss!

Salon Vivre aurement bio et nature 2012 trade show

Paris’s “go green” trade show! This is held at the Parc floral de Paris from March 16th thru March 19th.

La Bonheur Show

Presented by the Lido revue, this is a show that consists of 4 scenes: “La Femme” celebrating women and love, “Paris je t’aime” celebrating Parisian fashion and nightlife, “L’Inde Legendaire” celebrates Shiva and Indian culture, and “Reves d’etoiles” celebrating classic film and cabaret. Catch dinner while watching this unique Parisian show happening from January 1st through March 31st in the Chams-Elysees/Louvre district.

Tim Burton at the Cinematheque Francaise

Tim Burton lovers won’t want to miss this! Held March 7th through August 5th, this is an interesting look at this beloved filmmaker and director’s work through the years. Over 700 drawings, sculptures, models, film excerpts, and costumes featured!

Map of Disneyland Paris

Map of Disneyland Paris, Paris France

Disneyland Paris: Magic in Paris!

If you’re seeking family fun while in Paris, spend a day at Disneyland Paris! Only about half an hour outside of Paris by train, visiting this Disney theme park is well worth it. You may be thinking that there is a Disneyland in the US you can already visit, so why would you make this one of your stops while in Paris? Well, there’s actually several different reasons!

First on the list: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. While there is one of these in the US, the version in Disneyland Paris is actually longer and a much more daring ride. Sharing the spotlight in the Frontierland area of the theme park is The Phantom Manor, which includes a western town, unlike its US counterpart The Haunted Mansion. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride, located in Adventureland, is also worth checking out among others!

Another neat aspect to visiting Disneyland Paris is many of the resorts are actually immediately outside of the park! For instance Disneyland Hotel – right at the gates of the park! Imagine only a 3 minute walk to the park from your hotel – not only is this convenient but makes it much easier when traveling with children. Not to mention the hotel is absolutely beautiful and offers its very own magical Disney flair!

One day tickets start at only 81 USD for adults and 73 USD for children ages 3 to 11. Children under 3 are free! You can book online at www.disneylandparis.com.