Metro: George V (line 1), Franklin D. Roosevelt (lines 1 and 9)
This beautiful spa in the heart of Paris’ golden triangle features 1,400 m2 of tranquillity, sophistication, beauty and comfort, hidden in the lower level of a Haussmannian building. Book a relaxing massage or facial and you can use their divine indoor swimming pool. Want to get fit? Get a membership at their fitness center, which offers aqua fitness classes as well as pilates, yoga, zumba and boxing. After working out, grab a drink at their juice bar and chillout on a comfy lounge chair around the pool.
Metro: Exelmans (line 9)
Based in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, Club Atheon offers adults and children a wide variety of sports and fitness courses throughout the year, including martial arts, pilates, yoga, zumba and more.
During school holidays, they hold one-week multi-sports, dance and English class workshops (only during school holidays) for kids aged 7-15 at Stade Jean Bouin in the 16th arrondisement.
As mentioned in our ultimate guide to kid’s activities…
Metro: Porte Dorée (line 8)
It may not be very big but, housed in the beautifully maintained Art Deco building, Le Palais de la Porte Dorée, this small aquarium won’t disappoint. Learn about the richness and diversity of the aquatic world and the importance it represents. Its 84 aquariums contain about 5,000 animals, including 300 species of tropical fish and fauna.
Metro: Arts et Métiers (line 3)
A wonderful little museum exhibiting over 2,400 inventions, from scientific instruments to energy to communication and transportation. Guided tours and numerous demonstrations and workshops are organized regularly throughout the year.
Metro: Champs Elysées Clemenceau (line 1 and 13)
A hands-on science museum housed in the magnificent Grand Palais in the heart of Paris. Includes a planetarium, permanent and temporary exhibits and regular demonstrations and workshops. It’s also a sister museum to the Cité des Sciences, so you can get an annual Universcience pass to visit both museums through the year.
Metro: Balard (line 8)
Grab your bathing suits and head to the largest aquatic park in Europe — equipped with indoor and outdoor pools, jacuzzis, numerous large water slides and a wave pool. It’s an all-year-round fun attraction for everyone, and a great place to plan a kids’ birthday party! The complex also includes restaurants, a fitness center, Decathlon sporting goods store and movie theaters.
Also mentioned in our ultimate guide to kid’s activities!
Metro: Les Sablons (line 1), Louise Michel (line 3)
One of the nicer fully-equipped aquatic centers around Paris, with multiple pools for leisure and for training, as well as an outdoor pool, two solariums and a “beach” in the summer. Clean and well-organized, they also have a spa, hammams, saunas, and UV cabins.
Hidden away in a real greenhouse, you can admire the beauty of 40 different species of butterflies. It’s a wonderful new experience for your nature-loving children where you can witness the egg-laying, hatching and the metamorphosis of these beautiful insects.
Metro: Odéon (lines 4 and 10)
This beautiful park, located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, covers 23 hectares and is known for its lawns, tree-lined promenades, and flowerbeds. The model sailboats on its circular basin will keep the kids busy for hours. For children, there’s an enclosed playground (small entry fee), a famous carousel with brass ring game, tennis and basketball courts, and pony rides.
Metro: Porte de Pantin (line 5)
This is the 3rd largest park and represents one of the largest concentrations of cultural venues in Paris. It houses Europe’s largest science museum (Cité des Sciences et l’Industrie), 3 major concert venues, and a 360 degree cinema.
Metro: Porte Dorée (line 8)
At this zoo, also known as the Vincennes Zoo, imagine you’re in the savanna, Patagonia, or in the tropical climates of Guyana and Madagascar. All year round, you can come here to encounter more than 180 animal species kept in conditions as close to their original habitat as possible.
A 10-minute drive from the Arc de Triomphe, it’s an ideal place for all the family – 55 hectares of open green space, with a golf course, tennis courts, gym, swimming pools and kids’ club. The membership price is steep and requires other member sponsors.
INSPIRELLE tip: even non-member children can sign up for sports classes during the school year, and their holiday day camps offer a choice of tennis, golf, soccer, dance, English, and circus workshops during the major school breaks.
Metros: Cambronne (line 6), Vaugirard (line 12)
A wide offering of courses for adults and children of all ages, from Monday through Saturday. Children’s classes run the gamut from baby gym (1 year and up) to fencing and multiple martial arts disciplines (Aïkido, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Self Defense, Viet-Vo-Dao). They even offer dance classes (baby dance, street dance, hip-hop) and Circus/Acrobatics. For adults, all the martial arts, plus Zumba, Salsa, Classical Dance and Modern Jazz.
A former professional dancer and ballet teacher, Canadian Maria Ney is a fully certified Stott Pilates instructor, offering group and personal coaching on mat and machines from her studio in Clamart. The coach of several INSPIRELLE readers, Maria is regarded as one of the finest Pilates instructors, helping women and men get into shape properly. Her fully equipped studio is the go-to-place for those living in the southwestern suburbs of Clamart, Sèvres, Meudon and Issy-les-Moulineaux.
Get your FREE 12-week fitness program – beginner, intermediate and “no time for fitness.” Learn from experts around the world how to achieve greater fitness and well-being with this informative website and community of women of all ages.
Check out their book too: “Lessons from France – Eating, Fitness, Family.”
Just minutes from the Arc de Triomphe, The Standard Athletic Club is hidden in the forest of Meudon. An International English-speaking Sports and Social Club, it is the perfect place for the family to play sports casually or competitively or just relax and enjoy the social life.
See their website for membership fees and their many activities on offer.
Guédelon has been described as the “world’s largest archaeological experiment”. It all began in 1995, when an archaeological study at Saint-Fargeau Castle revealed a medieval stone fortress hidden within the red brick walls.
A team of construction builders works from medieval financial records, manuscripts, stained-glass cathedral windows and research. Their mission is to build a 13th century castle over 25 years using the construction techniques and logistical organization of the Middle Ages. The site, located in the heart of Burgundy’s wine vineyards in eastern France, possesses all the resources necessary for the building of a castle: a stone quarry, an oak forest and a water supply.
Read abotu it here: “Archaeological Challenge: Building a Real Medieval Chateau Today”
If you, or your little Serena Williams or Rafael Nadal, want to perfect your serve, Tennis Action usually has openings all year long for players of all ages and all levels.
They offer weekly classes which run from October through May, as well as intensive stages during the major school holidays. You can also request one free trial class.
Bonus: You get FREE membership to all Forest Hill fitness centers and swimming pools at Aquaboulevard for the duration of your course.
8 locations in Paris, plus Nanterre and Meudon-la-Forêt.
Metro: Porte Dorée (line 8)
Here’s a real cultural jewel. Learn about the immigrants who helped build France over the past two centuries at this fascinating multicultural museum. Discover a large collection of photographs, documents and video that trace the history, culture and contributions of the many ethnic groups that make up France today.
The museum is located in an exquisite Art Deco building, the Palais de la Porte d’Orée, built in 1931 for the International Colonial Exhibition in Paris. INSPIRELLE recommends this museum for adults and older children, but younger kids can fully enjoy the tropical aquarium on the lower level.
As mentioned in our article 15 Indoor Activities for Children in Paris on Rainy Days!
Metro: Cour St-Emilion (line 14)
One of the best kept secrets in town is the enchanting Musée des Arts Forains, or Museum of Carnival Arts. Discover a stunning collection of beautiful, old amusement park rides and other carnival-related attractions in a magical space hidden in Bercy Village, southeast Paris. The gorgeous craft and workmanship of these carousels will astound you.
As mentioned in our Guide to After School and Weekend Activities and 15 Indoor Activities for Children in Paris on Rainy Days!