Visit this Hidden Treasure – Parc De La Villette Paris Gardens
If you are looking to hang out where the locals hang out, then head straight to these Paris Gardens located around and behind the Cite Des Science (Paris Science Museum). With a canal running through the centre, this reclaimed industrial landscape has been reimagined into a fabulous futuristic park. The third-largest park in Paris, a massive 55.5 hectares in area, these Paris gardens are also home to three major concert venues, and the located at the northeastern edge of the city in the 19th arrondissement, about 40 minutes by metro.
While not well-known to tourists and travellers as “must visit” Paris Gardens, if you are travelling Paris with kids, a visit to the Cites de Enfants is not complete without a walk throughout the Parc de la Villette Paris gardens.
Paris Gardens “Jardin des vents et des dunes”
These Paris gardens are huge too – we found ourselves with some time on our hands so we just wandered and wandered, finding little treasures along the way – a playground here, a carousel there. There’s something futuristic about the place too, as the landscape is dotted with these giant red architectural ‘follies’ (meaning, a building constructed mainly for decoration) that are a nod to the park’s industrial history.
Today, the eye-catching follies remain as cues to organisation and direction for park visitors. Some of them house restaurants, information centres, and other functions associated with the park’s needs (Wikipedia)
Sadly for us, the colourful Dragon Garden Playground with the extended 25 metre silver tube that takes you on a slippery dip from his mouth to the ground was undergoing refurbishment and was fenced off. BUT, it has since reopened.
Kids have to climb up to the slide via a short rope course. (Recommended for 8 years +) But there’s also a cute playground with balance activities, climbing nets, rocking animals and more. This play area is located at the rear entrance of the Cite Des Science Museum and Geode, near the bridge that crosses the Canal de l’Ourcq.
Another unusual Paris playground at these Paris gardens
But if you walk a little further, along the walkway between the Pavillon Paul Delouvrier and the Folie des Visite, you’ll find this cool playground too – the Parc de la Villette “Jardin des vents et des dunes” or “Gardens of the Winds and Dunes”.
- The playground is gated, and you go through a red building to enter. You may have to wait a while to be allowed in if the playground is busy. We’ve heard late afternoon is the best time to go.
- Once inside, the Paris playground is divided into sections based on age suggestions. 0-2, 3-5 years, 6-8 years, and 9-12 years. Not that anyone seemed to be policing that. It’s more of a general guide. And it’s FREE!
- All the kids can play running games on rolling hills (albeit with fake grass), spin on “hamster wheel” rides, hang onto flying foxes over the mounds, find tunnels to run and climb through, pedal-power the windmills, and jump on this giant undulating bouncy air-filled trampoline!
- For the younger kids, there were balancing pallets, climbing gym , digging machines in the sand, lifesize abacus beads, and slides.
Take a Seat and put your feet up at these Paris Gardens!
Paris takes care of its’ parents. At every park and playground we’ve visited, chairs have been in abundance. At this one, the sling-back single deck chairs are just right for a quick rest while the kids play. I LOVED these!
The Inside Scoop – Parc De Villette Paris Gardens and The Wind and Dune Garden
Correct at time of publication
- The Parc de la Villette is open and accessible from 6am until 1am daily.
- The Wind and Dune Garden Playground is open from 10am to 8pm daily between April and October, and between 1st November and 31st March on Wednesdays, Weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
- Entry is FREE!
- There are restaurants and cafés located throughout the park if you wish to take a break between activities. There are also two cash distributors and public toilets at three locations around the park.
Location and Map:
Address: Parc de La Villette, 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès 75019 Paris
- Line 5 – Porte de Pantin / Line 7 – Porte de la Villette
- Lines 75, 151, PC2 and PC3 – Porte de Pantin / Lines 139, 150, 152 – Porte de la Villette
- Line 3b – Porte de Pantin, Ella Fitzgerald or Porte de la Villette>
- Cycle path along the Canal de l’Ourcq
- Velib Stations: Porte de la Villette, Porte de Pantin, Quai de Metz, rue Rouvet
- Bike Path: In front of the Cité des Sciences, near Porte de la Villette.
By Boat on the Canal:
- Cruises between the Bassin de la Villette and Arsenal Harbor with CanalStrama.com
- Cruises between the Parc de la Villette and the Musée d’Orsay with Pariscanal.com
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