Friday, April 9, 2010

At Le Jardin Du Luxembourg

One of our favorite places in Paris has got to be the Jardin du Luxembourg, one of the big, beautiful city parks. I love it because it's a great walk from our house, and the boys love it because there's so many fun things for kids to do. Unfortunately, the fun things for kids only happen on Wednesday (because French kids don't have school on Wednesday) and the weekends, so we hadn't had a chance to take advantage of them all. But a couple of weeks ago we actually had a nice day on a Wednesday so we decided to go and do all the things we'd been wanting to try.

First was Les Bateaux. I had read about these cool, old school boats that you can rent for the kids to sail on the large fountain in the middle of the park, right by Luxembourg Palace. We had tried on the weekends a couple of times to find them there, but the weather wasn't good enough or the guy that rents them was taking a mental health day, but finally, we found him there. Here's the photos:

The boats are old, wooden hand painted sail boats that the kids push with a long bamboo stick to get them going. Doesn't sound too exciting, but those things really get cruising, especially on a windy day like the day we were there.

Boats afloat.

We had a bunch of boat races between Max and Jack, and this time the boats actually got stuck together, but it was a great photo opportunity. Max's boat was the one with the number 5 and the French flag, Jack's was the one with the pirate skull and crossbones.

These two sailors did a great job on their maiden voyage.

And then it was off to the playground. We've spent a lot of time in this playground mixing it up with the French kids. It's got some great play equipment, including a zip line and tons of fun merry go rounds like this one. The only downside is that I get a little nervous at how fast a group of kids can get this thing going.

New French friends.

Max having fun on the see-saw.

Then it was off to see the Guignol Puppet Show right next to the playground. Again, I have always wanted to do this but we've never been at the park at the right time. Today was our lucky day, there was a production of Pinocchio starting just as we left the playground.

The crowd getting ready. Max and Jack got front row seats (you can see jack up in the front left).

The show was hard to capture in photographs, and although it was all in French, the kids loved it. The French kids called back to the characters and told them what to do and not to do, and there were all kinds of special effects like fog and a explosion of fire when one puppet turned into a bat. Very cool.

And finally, we are seeing some signs of spring in Paris, which are more than welcome. The flowers are out, Steve's allergies are attacking, and there's little bunnies in the furrier's window. Must be spring.

Four hours in the Jaridin du Luxembourg = One terrific afternoon.