The Ultimate Guide to After School and Weekend Activities for Kids in...

The Ultimate Guide to After School and Weekend Activities for Kids in Paris

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Have a budding artist, athlete or rock star in your household? Looking for a place to nurture their talents and balance out their academic workload? Paris is a paradise of activities for kids of all ages, and INSPIRELLE has prepared this handy selection of activities your kids can join any time of year when school’s out, in and around Paris!

Whatever your budget allows, you’re sure to find something to help expand your children’s horizons. We’ve tried to select activities taught in English, but most classes are taught in French — so your kids can improve their French skills while doing something they love!

Click on each tab below to open up a treasure trove of ideas to keep your kids busy and happy all year long! (NOTE: All information is correct at time of publication but always check with the establishment or business for any updates!)

Paris has inspired great artists and writers throughout its history, and it’s no wonder – with public art, museums and impeccably adorned national monuments around nearly every street corner, it’s hard to avoid being captivated by the rich arts and culture scene. So, you’re in luck because if your kids (or you) are looking to hone their creative skills, Paris is a creative utopia.

boy-painting
Museum-based Activities and Workshops

What better inspiration for painting Cyprus trees the way Van Gogh did, than to do it while standing in front of one of his masterpieces? Most of the city’s magnificent museums have a rich offering of themed and affordable children’s, adults, and family activities and workshops (ateliers) on Wednesdays and weekends throughout the year.

Some of our tried-and-true favorites include: the Louvre (fine arts), the Musée du Quai Branly (indigenous arts) Centre Pompidou (contemporary/modern art) Musee D’Orsay (19th/20th century French & European arts)Musee Guimet (Asian arts), and Palais de Tokyo (modern/contemporary art) and the Ateliers du Carousel, which offers fun art workshops for young kids as well as intensive workshops to prepare students for further studies in art and architecture.

Young scientists will love the presentations and workshops at the Palais de la Decouverte, or the Cité des Sciences, and they’ll love being able to play with water, role play in a TV studio, and come face-to-face with live butterflies in the spectacular interactive kids area at the Cité des Enfants

Check the individual museum websites for booking details and make sure you reserve your spots in advance!


Jardin D’Acclimation (arts, music, and much more)

Smack in the midst of the green woods of the Bois de Boulogne, the LVMH-owned Jardin D’Acclimatation is a treasure trove of activities for kids of all ages. The quaint 19th century-style Maison des Ateliers is a thriving center of educational and creative workshops for kids from 3 years and up throughout the year. Where else can kids hone their gardening skills, learn to cook or turn child-sculpting-with-claysome magic tricks, create their own perfume, balance like a circus acrobat, sculpt with clay, sing, and even pick up some Zumba or hip hop moves—all in one place? English workshops are also offered afterschool for kids 4 to 12.

It’s also a popular venue for interactive children’s birthday parties. But make sure to reserve at least one month in advance.

INSPIRELLE TIP: If you want to stay in the area while your kids are busy, pop over to the Fondation Louis Vuitton to catch the latest exhibit.

Bois de Boulogne, 75016 Paris. Metro: Les Sablons (line 1)
Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 67 90 85


Le Centquatre (104) Paris Arts Center (visual arts, culture)

The unique and vibrant Centquatre (104) Paris, a multi-purpose hub of arts and culture (including cinema, culinary, dance, music, theatre, video, digital and urban art) whose Maison des Petits is a modern space dedicated to little ones up to 5 and their parents. You can sign up for artistic activities en famille on Wednesday afternoons, as well as a variety of artistic workshops for kids 6 to 12 during school holidays.

5 rue Curial, 75019 Paris. Metros: Riquet (line 7) and Stalingrad (lines 2, 5, 7)  


La Petite Académie (arts, theatre)

petite academie Paris
© la Petite Académie

This cheerful and creative place invites all art lovers, including children from 4 to 18 years old and adults, to learn drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture and theater in a playful environment throughout the year. With over a dozen locations around France, including 4 in Paris, each Petite Académie includes a workshop, shop and art gallery displaying the works of students. You can also sign up for workshops during school holidays, or organize your children’s artistic birthday party here on weekends!

For locations and contact details, consult their website HERE


Pari-Grandir (art, music, baby gym, kids yoga, theatre)

A network of friendly, bi-lingual and international “edutainment” centers which offer a variety of activities for kids from 3 to 10 and parents in English and French. These include  after school and Wednesday activities, holiday camps, art and music, baby gym and kids yoga (pre and post-natal yoga for moms), and theatre classes. You can also arrange for one of their animateurs to pick up your child from school and supervise homework at the center.

Consult their WEBSITE for the center nearest you.

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Paris is an expensive city to live in, and we pay a lot of taxes. So, you should take advantage of the taxpayer-funded municipal options when you can! There are plenty of affordable options for after-school, weekend activities and holiday camps for school age kids, from the leisure centers (centres de loisirs) to public swimming pools mentioned under Sports/Fitness.

The hundreds of centres de loisirs hosted in all the public kindergartens and primary schools around the city are very popular with busy French parents, because they have low-cost, supervised activities for kids from 3 through 14 years old on Wednesday afternoons and during school holidays. How much you pay depends on your household salary.

Photo: Connie Ma
Photo: Connie Ma

If your child attends public school, it’s a piece of cake! You’ll receive registration forms at school each year in June. However, if your child is not in a public school these programs can be hard to get into. Even many French families who know the system find long waiting lists (or long queues) for the subsidized programs. Still, all children living in and/or attending any school in Paris can join these activities, so you shouldn’t rule them out.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE CENTRES DE LOISIRS? 
On Wednesdays during the school year, animateurs lead the kids in diverse activities including: drawing, painting, sculpture, drama, singing and group games. During school holidays, some centers may take the kids out on outings around the city.

HOW TO REGISTER?
Go to Paris’s official website (Paris.fr) to find all the information about registering for the Centres de Loisirs (in French).

You can also stop by your local mairie (town hall) which should have lists of other local clubs, associations and sports centers that offer children’s activities in your neighbourhood.

If you have a video game fanatic at home, why not encourage them to learn how to create their own computer games, music and cartoons with simple coding skills? They can play while learning a new skill which is increasingly important in a digital world.

Boy-coding-computer
© GWF for INSPIRELLE

Magic Makers

Magic Makers offers classes from the basic New Scratchers to App creation and Robotics for kids from 8 and up in dozens of locations in Paris and Ile de France (and they keep adding more). They can even organize a coding workshop birthday party!

Regular workshops are held afterschool, Wednesdays and Saturdays from October through June. They also offer one-week intensive stages during school holidays. Most workshops are in French, but during school holidays, some locations offer workshops in English.

Bookings: online at www.magicmakers.fr

kids-cooking-party
Photo: cliparthut.com

Do you have a Master Chef in training? Sign them up for one of these cooking workshops and they’ll be taking over your kitchen duties in no time!

Atelier des Chefs

This modern cooking school has multiple locations around France which offer cooking courses for adults and children, and a professional training center in Rueil Malmaison. You can drop off your kids for a 1-1/2 hour workshop or share the fun with a parents and kids session on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year. They change what’s on the menu every week, so your kids can learn how to cook anything from a quiche lorraine to brochettes croustillantes de saumon and desserts like fondant au chocolat. They also have a little boutique where you can pick up all those extras for your kitchen that you really didn’t need.

Check location nearest you and register online at atelierdeschefs.fr
Cost: 76€/parent and child duo


Les Petits Cordons Bleus

Everyone in the culinary world has heard of the Cordon Bleu cooking school for professional chefs. Here, kids from 8 to 12 can also learn to develop their culinary skills in fun workshops (translated into English), or organize a birthday party to share the fun with their friends.

8 Rue Léon Delhomme 75015 Paris. Metro: Vaugirard or Convention (line 12)
Tel: +33 (0)1 53 68 22 50.  Email: [email protected]


Jardin D’Acclimatation 

From 3 years and up, little ones can join L’Atelier de Cuisine to learn how to make their own cookies, macarons, cakes, and crêpes in the spacious kitchen of the cozy Maison des Enfants.

Bois de Boulogne, 75016 Paris. Metro: Les Sablons (line 1)
Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 67 90 85.   Email: [email protected]

© serrnovik / 123RF Stock Photo
© serrnovik / 123RF Stock Photo

As with sports classes, many seasonal music and dance classes take place in traditional academies and conservatoires, but expect to line up early in the Spring for activities starting next Fall. Here are some options that you can still look into for now!

American Children’s Theatre (ACT) 

With a little acting, singing, dancing and silliness, your child will have a LOT of fun at ACT. This theater company for children ages 3-16 offers classes during the school year, holiday camps (stages), and special workshops. A highlight of the Fall and Spring sessions is performing in a professional theater here in Paris, so children get to experience the thrill of a real stage performance with lights, sound, effects, and a full audience. ACT can also bring their program into schools, birthday parties, and other events!

Multiple locations around Paris
WEBSITE: actparis.com
Tel:
 +33 (0)6 58 54 13 48

music teacher
© Stacey Pavesi Debre

Music Together – Bébé Music Box

American mother of two Stacey Pavesi Debre launched Bébé Music Box to bring Music Together’s international award-winning early childhood music program to families in Paris. Children up to 8 years old learn to dance and sign as naturally as they learn to walk and talk through weekly classes packed with musical activities and sounds from around the world in a mixed age setting. Online classes are also available.

Multiple locations in Paris and Saint-Cloud. Check their WEBSITE for details, or e-mail: [email protected]


girl circus training
© cherrymerry / 123RF

Cirqu’Aouette (circus arts)

Your kids can get limber, keep fit, gain confidence and improve their personal and physical expression while learning traditional circus arts like juggling, balancing, and walking across tight ropes. Cirqu-Aouette works with many schools around Paris and offers courses throughout the year at their center in the 13th arrondissement, as well as workshops during school holidays. For kids from 2 and up, and adults too!

25 rue August Lancon 75013 Paris. Metro: Corvisart (line 6)
Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 80 29 75   Email: [email protected] 

Other places with circus/acrobatics classes for kids include the Jardin D’Acclimatation and the Dojo de Grenelle.


ballet-little-girl

Centre Danse du Marais (dance)

Good news! Registration is open all year and you can begin classes whenever you want at the Centre Danse du Marais. They offer over 40 different dance disciplines for everyone from beginners to the most advanced dancers. Choose from Classical ballet, African, Bollywood, Balinese, Belly dancing, Tap, Flamenco, Salsa, Tango, Hip Hop, Martial arts, Pilates, Yoga and much more. English is spoken.

41 rue du Temple 75004 Paris. Metro: Hôtel de Ville (line 1)
Tel: +33 (0) 1 42 77 58 19   Email[email protected]


Teen Rock U band in concert
Teen Rock U band in concert © GWF for INSPIRELLE

 

RockU (music)

Get ready to rock ‘n roll! What better way for kids and teens (adults too!) to develop their musical talents than to join a band? Musicians in grades 3 to 12 (or CE2 – terminale) can join Rock U, which holds practice sessions at the their studio near the Eiffel Tower. Guitarist and vocalist Matt Black, a familiar face at Anglophone parties and events, leads Rock U. You can register for Fall, Winter, or Spring sessions, and everyone’s invited to the Rock U band’s concerts at the end of each session.

Details and registration via their WEBSITE.
Contacts:  Tel: +33 (0) 6 19 69 25 74  Email:
[email protected]


golf-escalade. Photos: © Iurii Sokolov/123RF (left) & ©Alexey Poprotsky/123RF (right)
Photos: © Iurii Sokolov/123RF (left) & ©Alexey Poprotsky/123RF (right)

 MULTI-SPORTS

Club Atheon (martial arts, sports, dance, rollerblading, rock climbing and much more…)

Club Atheon offers a huge variety of sports, dance and fitness courses for kids from 4 through 15 and adults throughout the year – so many that we can’t possibly list them all here! Take your pick of anything from baby gym and gymnastics to American baseball, from hip hop and break dancing to judo and kendo, from indoor rock climbing (escalade) and tennis to rollerblading, yoga or tai chi? Spots may still be available for certain seasonal classes, so call to check. If not, registrations open mid-September for their well-run holiday camps for kids from 4 to 15. Toussaint holidays are coming up in October so you can check their website right about now.

Various locations around the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Head office: Stade Jean Bouin, 26 Avenue du Général Sarrail 75016 Paris.
Tel: +33 (0) 7 61 74 31 03 or +33 (0) 6 98 24 00 16
For more details visit their WEBSITE


Energy Academy (tennis, golf, soccer, and more)

energy academyEnergy Academy is a very friendly, exclusive, private tennis, golf, soccer and multi-sports club for kids, with courses on Wednesdays and weekends throughout the year and holiday sports camps for children from 3 to 14 years old. As long as they have places you can register your kids for any of their regular classes on a weekly or à la carte basis thanks to their online enrollment 24/24. If you’re just visiting Paris, you can even drop off your kids here for a session or two so they can play with kids their own age. There’s a convenient door-to-door minibus service shuttling kids from Paris to their “Club with Transport” location which boasts 2 hectares of green space in Bièvres. They can even organize a sports-themed birthday party for you!

Too far from home? Their “Gymnasiums in Paris” offers tennis, soccer, and gym for kids from 3 to 10 years on Saturdays in gyms in the 7th  8th 16thand 17th arrondissements of Paris. And, they speak English!

Main academy: Lieu-dit les Jonnières 91570 Bièvres.
Tel: +33 (0) 1 47 01 59 60. Email: [email protected]


Paris Country Club (golf, tennis, soccer)

Set in the leafy, green suburb of Rueil-Malmaison, this exclusive country club is normally open only to members; but non-member children 3 to 16 years can sign up for golf, tennis or swimming lessons throughout the year. They also offer excellent multi-sport half-day, full-day and weekly stages (day camps) during the school holidays (there’s always one coming up!). Not easy to get to on public transportation if you don’t live nearby, but there is parking on site and a shuttle bus from Porte Maillot for kids attending the holiday camps.

121 rue du Lt Colonel de Montbrison 92500 Rueil-Malmaison.
Tel: +33(0)1 47 77 64 00; Email: [email protected]

boy-swimmingSwimming is so popular in Paris, we had to give the sport its own tab! Whether your kids are looking to perfect their front crawl or just splash around in the water, there are a variety of piscines in and around Paris, from the affordable public ones to the over-the-top exclusive hotel pools. But wherever you choose to wet your toes, remember that French pools usually require swimming caps, and boys and men wear slips de bain (yep, like bikini bottoms) rather than baggy board shorts.

Public Swimming Pools 

To take a dip without emptying your wallet (we’re talking 3€ per adult and 1,70€ for kids at most pools), you can try one of the dozens of municipal pools in and around Paris. Most of them have instructors who offer individual and small group private lessons outside of the regularly scheduled seasonal classes – which are usually full by now.

Some of the standout municipal pools in Paris include:

Piscine Josephine Baker

This one-of-a-kind pool floats in the Seine River near Bercy, has WiFi in the reception area, a training room, sauna, Jacuzzi, hammam, solarium, a small café, and is spectacular in the summer when its roof opens to let the sun in.

Quai François Mauriac 75013 Paris. Metro: Quai de la Gare (line 6)

piscine-josephine-baker
Piscine Josephine Baker. Photo source: www.nageurs.com

Piscine Keller

This pool has a reputation. It’s for serious swimmers. There’s a laps-only pool for serious swim training and a second pool for leisurely swimmers and little ones (when Aquabiking courses aren’t in session). Keller treats its water with ozone filtering instead of chlorine, and has a sliding roof which opens to let the sun in when it’s warm out. It’s a very modern facility, but don’t forget a pair of flip flops for the locker room.

14 rue de l’Ingénieur Robert-Keller 75015 Paris. Metro: Charles Michels (line 10)

Piscine Pontoise Quartier Latin

A beautiful art deco pool and historical monument, designed by the same architect behind the much pricier, private Piscine Molitor (see below under Hotel Pools). Individual changing rooms over two floors, a squash court, cardio room and fitness courses on site are a plus. And, if grown-ups feel like a late-night dip, they’re open till midnight on weeknights.

19 rue de Pointoise 75005 Paris. Metro: Maubert Mutualité (line 10)

Piscine-Pontoise
Piscine Pontoise Quartier Latin. Photo: © Gérard Sanz / DJS / Mairie de Paris

Several standout pools in the banlieues (suburbs) around Paris include: 

Piscine Patinoire Boulogne Billancourt

A large, modern complex with a separate fun pool and water slide for kids and a semi-outdoor lap-pool for serious swimmers and classes, plus a gym, hammam, jacuzzi and solarium. For those who like ice skating or ice hockey, there’s even a nice patinoire (ice rink) next door. Seasonal ice skating and hockey classes have started, but you can just rent skates and go for a spin (check hours on their site). If you want your little ones to learn the basics, on Sundays they have a Jardin d’Enfants for kids 3 to 5 years, which you can register for in January and September.

165, rue du Vieux Pont de Sèvres 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt. Metro: Billancourt (line 9)

Centre Aquatic de Neuilly-sur-Seine

More than just a pool, this is a fully equipped aquatic center, 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, UV cabins, clean and well organized.

27-31 boulevard Inkermann 92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine. Metro: Les Sablons (line 1)

Piscine-Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Photo: Piscine Olympique Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Piscine Saint-Germain-en-Laye 

A modern, well maintained Olympic-sized swimming pool situated in 2 hectares of green forest. Unfortunately for Parisians, it’s open only to residents of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and its surrounding communes. Kids will adore the inflatable waterslides on weekends and public holidays. There’s also a gym with equipment and fitness classes, a sauna and hammam on site. It’s also a scuba diving training center. Private swimming lessons available.

Avenue des Loges, 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Metro: Saint-Germain-en-Laye (RER A)

Note: Expect a crowd! School groups and weekly classes keep the public pools very busy during certain hours. So, before you don your swimming caps, check in with the www.Paris.fr/piscines site or call ahead for basic information like prices and opening hours of your pool of choice. If you want to book private lessons or join any of their classes, it’s best to go in person and ask to speak to their maître nageur. Don’t expect a high level of English, if any.

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