This walk takes you across one of Paris’s most imaginative modern parks, which features child-friendly science and music museums and some weird and wonderful gardens.
The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (1, 30 avenue Corentin-Cariou) is a huge, high-tech, modern science museum full of interactive exhibits. Topics include sound, light, volcanoes, genetics, cars, and space. Experience weightlessness, play with optical illusions, and converse with the Mona Lisa. Aimed specifically at children, the Cité des Enfants area runs hands-on activity sessions (in French) for 3-5s and 5-12s.
Exit on the park-side of the building. The shiny spherical Géode (2) screens ever-popular OMNIMAX films, mostly relating to space, science, and nature. Check out the interior of the Argonaute (3), a former naval submarine. To the west, the Chinese dragon slide (4) provides an exhilarating ride. Twenty-six red metal structure, or folies, dot the park, including an information kiosk, first-aid post, and, of most interest to kids, a crêpe stand (5) and burger bar (6). Cross over the Canal de l’Ourcq into the southern half of the park and its huge lawn called the Prairie du Triangle (7), great for picnics or running around. Visit the assorted themed gardens : one with spooky noises, another with vines and fountains, and a dune garden (8) with trampolines and pedal windmills for small children. Wrap up at the Cité de la Musique (9, 221 avenue Jean Jaurès), which serves as both concert hall and music museum. It may sound staid, but there are numerous activities for children, and the audioguide plays all sorts of instruments from historic lutes to a Javanese gamelan.
Metro Station : Porte de Pantin (Line 5), Porte de la Villette (Line 7)