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France: Paris, Six Great Reasons for Families to Share Summertime in Paris.Paris Li Wei Art in Villette Park Paris with Kids  Thinking about a family vacation in Paris? Our Paris travel expert and guide, Isabelle Southgate, shares tips about family-friendly festivals and events.  

Here’s the scoop. Isabelle Southgate is the founder of DiscoverPariswith She offers customized family tours in Paris including more than 20 themed intineraries created kids as well as teens. Her urban junkets match the needs and wishes of the participants. While no two tours are alike each is packed with  anecdotes and tips, special treats and fantastic children's activities. She has plenty of connections to the real Paris so we asked her to highlight a few of the best - meaning clever, creative, unique, and most Parisian - activities in the city.

1. La Villette Park – The best of summer in the park. This 55-acre city park in northeastern Paris is home to La Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie but that is not its only reason for being. The park offers  a variety of exhibitions and shows as well as playgrounds for children, the National Conservatory of Music and Dance. Wait for it!  From late July through August pack a picnic; take a blanket and enjoy movies underthe stars. (www.villette.comParis Water Park Fun for Kids

2. Centre Pompidou - Planet Manga for teens. Each year the Centre Pompidou showcases more than two dozen public exhibitions plus cinema and documentary screenings, concerts, dance, and educational activities. The Centre provides a venue  where the visual arts synergize with live theatre, music, cinema, literature and the spoken word. Wait for it! Planet Manga includes an exhibition, workshops, and film projections that will take teenagers into the fascinating world of manga and show them what happens behind the scenes. (

3. Shakespeare in the garden (April - June). Within Bois de Boulogne along the western edge of Paris spring arrives with purpose. Enjoy the garden’s architectural follies, the villa, Shakespeare Garden, open air theater, and the rose gardens as well as the largest beech tree in Paris. Jardin D'Acclimation at the north end of thepark features a zoo, boat rides, miniature golf, and acres of greenery. (Jardin d’ D'Acclimation, Paris 75016. 01 40 67 90 82 or Wait for it! Shakespeare’s Garden Theater Festival (May - October). A rich menu of classic plays performed in an outdoor setting within Bois de Boulogne. The Pre-Catalan, a historic garden that features an open-air Shakespeare theater is the location ofshows in French and occasionally in English. It is the home of the legendary purple beech tree. 

4. Free concerts at Paris Plage (July).
Enjoy summer at the beach on the Seine in Paris.  Why not? Plus enjoy Secera, free open-air concerts during July in tandem with the annual Paris Plage (Paris beach) operation.During the four warmest weeks of summer Seine’s banks draw sun loving folks of all ages including tots and teens. The three most popular beach spots include: sand, deck chairs, swimming pools, water sports, volley ball, open-air attractions, and musical concerts. (

5. Paris Quartier d’Ete (mid July to mid August).  Presented throughout the parks and gardens of Paris, this lively festival includes modern dance, music, theater, and ballet. 

6. Versailles – A celebration on its own (July 14 (Bastille Day). A day at Versailles will always be full of rewarding from mime in the gardens and treasure hunts to gallery talks well-suited to young children. Share music in the gardens while the fountains dance the rhythms. At dusk, the same gardens and fountains are transformed into a magical journey of light and water. Bonus points: Sharing the vast beauty of Versailles with youngsters is easy because they have created an audio guide for children and it is  available in 10 languages.  Wait for it!  Les Grands Concert de Versailles (April through July). Enjoy open-air concerts and awesome pyrotechnical displays on the lake at Versailles. (Versailles.  01 3083 78 00 or

Isabelle Southgate Founder DiscoverPariswithKids.comMake it happen. To create a unique urban family  adventure  in Paris contact Isabelle or her staff. They know the city and will be happy to share unique places and authentic activities. For ideas and clever options browse

Content and images provided by Isabelle Southgate - a Paris tour guide and founder of Discover Paris with Kids. Comments by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Editor FTF. Copyright 2013.