What's on during the school holidays ?

what to do this summer 2017 around Paris ? July and August 2017Looking for something to do during the school holidays all year long with your kids in the Paris region ? We can suggest outing ideas and several leisure activites to do in Seine-Saint-Denis and North-East Paris with friends or family. Sports or fun-filled activities, visiting sites or museums, concerts, shows and cinema… or simply somewhere to picnic on a fine day, sip a drink outside overlooking the canal.

Even more astonishing and at any time of the year : go graffiti hunting and let yourself be amazed by new graffiti talent.

During the holidays, week-ends and bank holidays : the different transport passes "navigos dézonés, cartes imagineR" allow you to take the public transport between zones 1 – 5. The week-end pass Ticket Jeunes week-end, is reserved for the under 26s, (valid 1 day) : this ticket can be used on Saturdays or Sundays or during a bank holiday, you choose how many zones you would like to cover (more information on transport passes and journeys on ratp.fr or transilien.com)

Eté du canal - Summer festival Paris 2017Good plan for 1 euro this summer

In july and august 2017 - Eté du Canal de l'Ourcq festival : fun, sport and cultural activities with concerts, balls, water-based leisure activities, street-art, cruises, parties, visits and strolls, open air cinema…

Summer festival : Eté du canal 2017 and Paris Plages beach festival

Cruises for 1 euro (saturday) or 2 euros (sunday)
Festivities in Paris

A family show on the Antipode barge

In the 19th district in Paris, be sure to sign up for a short performance suitable for children from the age of 1 to 5/6 years. September to June the Antipode barge, moored in the canal du bassin de la Villette, is THE place to be for listening to stories told down through the years between brothers and sisters.

Discover shows for tiny-tots

What's on during the holiday in the Paris region ?Outings during the school holidays 2017 in the Paris region - Ile-de-France. It’s holiday time ! how to entertain all the family and find budget-friendly activities to do in the Paris region – Ile-de-France ? Here is a mix’match of outing ideas for all the family, kids and teens, but not just for them !

What’s on during the holidays in the Paris region

Long live the summer break – keep warm and take in a movie alone or with friends, throw together a meal at the last minute and relish it !

Saint-Denis Basilica, stained-glass windows> In the afternoon discover the history of the superb stained-glass windows in Saint-Denis Basilica with a guide (reservation essential). Adults, teenagers.

> This visit during the holidays will allow you to discover the superb tomb sculptures, recumbent princess statues, queens and kings of France (the great names of Merovingian, Carolingian, Capetian, Valois, Bourbon dynasties). Revise your history and edmire ! General public

Exhibition Mater - Queens of France (by Ariles de Tizi) in Saint-Denis Basilica

> For the 2 to 11 year olds : go to the leisure park in Montreuil - Ile de Robinson.

> For the more foolhardy and with your teenagers or friends, you can always try out the climbing wall – three major indoor climbing walls are accessible during the holidays and there’s no need to be an expert. (Arkose in Montreuil, Murmur in Pantin, Block'out in Saint-Ouen)

It’s all happening in the 19th district in Paris !

  • Cité des Sciences - Paris! An exhibition for teenagers : Brain ! An exhibition for pre-teens, teenagers and adults to know what going on in our heads ; and it’s non-stop ! (for the over 12s)
  • Exhibition at the Cité des Sciences - Paris - discover the Middle-AgesThe exhibition on Baby animal is instructive and funny and will delight the children. They won’t be the only ones to enjoy it… Open to 20 August 2017
  • Exhibition at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie : Discover the Middle-Ages – so what’s new ? Open to 6 August 2017
  • The Géode is a cinema not to be missed ! Take a break and come in from the cold, projections are short. Come and see planet Earth or animals on a giant 180° screen ; documentary clips on : whales, hurricanes, titans from the Ice –Age…

> Little Villette has opened its doors in the pavillon Delouvrier near the Grande Halle. It is the perfect place for children and families with different play areas for free : circus, workshops, shows, reading, board games, etc.
Open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2.30pm to 6pm. 
Highly popular activities : workshops dedicated to children (registration essential – careful – these workshops are in popular demand ; plan ahead)

Free outings…or almost

air and space museum Paris Le Bourget (France)> Go to the Air and Space Museum Paris Le Bourget where the entrance to the permanent exhibition if free. A place to be discovered after many months of construction work and renovation on the Halls. Discover the new halls opened at the beginning of 2017.
Check out the space « Planète Pilote » (games for children) which is due to open at the beginning of 2018. 
Good tips for budget-friendly outings with friends, family or alone

Nordic walk in parc near Paris> For adults and adolescents over 15. Want to move ! sign up for the Nordic walk in parc de la poudrerie or in parc du Sausset
It’s free, you just have to sign up beforehand and make sure you’re equipped witht the right clothes and shoes. 

Apart from this activity the parks also propose other, free activities (adults and children)

Looking for an antique, a rare or vintage object ?

French Flea Market Paris St Ouen and MontreuilThese can be found on a Saturday, Sunday and Monday. All day long the chic antique markets or second-hand markets in the Paris St Ouen, original or ordinary, for clothes, different objects etc. are open to the public. Les Puces de Paris – Paris Flea Markets is either affordable or extremely chic, even luxurious. You must dive into this special world, let yourself be tempted by these indoor and outdoor markets. For most people it is both a surprising a free stroll through the small streets of the Flea Markets.

In a more simple style of practical bits and bobs check out the Puces de Montreuil – Flea Market – for different outdoor markets every week-end.

Courses for children during the mid-term holidays 2017 in Seine-Saint-Denis

Holiday courses – learn how to play golf, circus arts or skating

golf clubs near Paris, parc de la Poudrerie> The golf clubs put on mini-courses during the school holidays : Easter holidays from 10th to 14th July 2017 and  21st to 25th August 2017. 

2 thematic courses – (fee and on registration) at the golf de la Poudrerie for young people : 
-either a « golf initiation course and multi activities from 9am to 4.30pm. 3h of multi activities in the morning (football, rugby, lawn hockey, pedal karts…), lunch with the instructor at midday (plan a picnic), and 3h of golf in the afternoon.
- or a « 100% golf session » from 1.30pm to 4.30pm 
Careful : 10 places per course (book quickly)

circus training during french holiday - Académie Fratellini> Circus training at the Académie Fratellini over 3 days for children from 5 to 14. Two groups according to age to learn some acrobatic tips, trapeze, tight-rope, balancing on balls or ropes, rolla bolla (balance board), juggling, etc.

No training session this summer. Next training sessions school holidays in october 2017
- for children from 5 to 6 introduction to circus arts 
- for children from 11 to 14 circus, slackline (balance on a strap) 
These courses are quickly filled even though there is a fee so hurry up !

> In Paris 19th district the Patinoire Pailleron is organising snow sliding sport courses over 4 days during the holidays for children from 8 to 12 (snow sliding sessions or water sport sessions) 
The course will take place from Monday to Friday - next holiday October 2017

> Climbing course, learn how to block climb. Some climbing halls, such as Arkose in Montreuil – 93, put on courses for children during the school holidays. A one week climbing course : 4-6 years, 7-10 years and 11-14 years. (registration essential).

Outdoor sports to unwind

Leisure: outdoor activities, adventure park, runningRoller skate paths, bicycle rides or running in the parks along the canal, go with your family to the adventure park and climb trees, stroll alone or with friends : there is a large choice of sports activities for all tastes (horse-riding courses, climbing outings…)

Good to do when it rains : skating rink or the covered leisure park île-de-Robinson

Parks in the 93 department : it’s free, take a stroll, do sport

Park in Seine-Saint-Denis: running, cycling, day-outA day-out in the park is free and a great way for kids to let off steam and also for a family outing after lunch. The « maisons des parcs » associations put on free workshops for all ages (children, teens, adults), « guided tours » to explain fauna, nature according to season, learn yoga, photograph nature, learn about the life of birds, frogs…

Take advantage of the wide spaces to run, do cardio alone or with friends. Put on your gear and go running or cycling.

A short cruise on the canals

Cruise on the parisian canals: St Martin, Ourcq, Bassin de la VilletteIf you prefer to be on water than in it cruises from bassin de la Villette run by Paris Canal or Canauxrama are just for you : canal de l'Ourq during summer, canal Saint-Denis, canal Saint-Martin, or simply sail on one of the licence-free boats on the Parisian canals. 

Pilot a licence-free boat on the canal in Paris

Swimming pool, nautical park during your holidays

swimming pool near Paris and Seine-Saint-DenisThere is surely a swimming pool or nautical park near your home : swimming costume, towel and snack (remember you might need a swimming cap) and you’re all set! Whether it’s raining, snowing or very sunny ; swimming is the best choice to let off steam or simply relax.

Each year the swimming pools do a large clean-up of the pools so remember to phone beforehand.

Day-time cinema projections during the holidays

Cinemas have always had success with the public ! It’s a great outing idea : refreshing when hot and « keep dry » when wet. From a small cinema studio to the bigger cinema names Seine-Saint-Denis is rich in choice to spend a pleasant moment in front of the big screen. Think about going to the matinée showing which can be cheaper.

Adults and teens: visit a company, go on a guided-tour

Seine-Saint-Denis and the North-East of Paris is rich in enterprising companies, culture and districts all to be discovered with a guide, a professional. Free or fee paying the visits are surprising and the people that explain their jobs are amazingly enthusuastic. Let yourself be tempted by a visit, a guided-tour, a workshop !

Outing ideas for children, teenagersOuting ideas for children, teenagers in Seine-Saint-Denis or Paris

For the younger ones (under fives) : some mini-outings to respect their routine. For children up to 10 here are some suggestions – shows, concerts, exhibitions… We can also propose a selection of activities and shows for the over tens !

Don’t forget to have a look at concerts, shows, matches that are not necessarily dedicated to children but where they are most welcome…

Who said shopping was just a girls thing ? Now fashion is open to everyone and it really is quite pleasant to browse through the shops to be “like the others” or on the contrary to stand out form the crowd: Shopping Malls open every day or cheap clothes at the Flea Markets. Fashion victims will be spoilt for choice.

There is a public library in every town. A book, an album, a magazine ; you’re sure to spend a happy moment at the Library-Media Library. Every Wednesday and Saturday there are regular story-telling sessions and activities – during the school holidays !

A family visit, with children and teenagers, friends or alone : tourist attractions in the 93 department and Paris

French Saint-Denis Basilica, kings and queens, architecture> La Basilique-Cathédrale de Saint-Denis is a splendid example of architecture and history. In class children will surely have learnt about this place which witnessed times of sorrow and joy. A cultural site that your child will not forget that quickly !
The recumbent statues and architecture are a must-see.

visit Stade de FranceThe Stade de France…a mythical place forever alive.

You can visit the stadium’s behind-the-scenes with its multiple corridors, rooms, changing rooms, stands not forgetting the famous exit tunnel through which the players emerge one after the other onto the much awaited pitch. Check out the splendid view from here.

French air and space museum - Paris le Bourget> The Air and Space Museum ! how did they dare fly in such fragile engines « paper-like » airplanes, and then came rockets and satellites, various military planes and the majestic « Concorde ». Both boys and girls will love it. It is a fantastic site on the history of aviation. Your child loves planes ? Check out the space dedicated to children between 6 and 12 - Planète pilote - to touch and play and know all there is to know about aviation.

museum of sciences Paris la Villette - Cité des Sciences> La Villette is a vast area where you can find the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie : exhibitions for the general public, a library open to all,… go to the Géode and look at documentaries in giant-sized format, you will never forget it ! For the bigger children go to the Cité de la musique.
La cité des sciences, Géode and Cité de la musique are closed on Mondays.

La Cité des enfants (Paris la Villette) located inside the cité des Sciences has got two indoor play areas (fee paying). 
These spaces with their different themes are designed according to children’s age. Whether you come with your only child or as a family you will find the space best suited for the 2/7 year olds or the 5/12 year olds. (pre-booking highly recommended).

> Free games for all ages at la Villette

Enter into the Jardin des Dunes et des Vents – the garden of dunes and winds ! this is a free entry game zone for children, outdoors and safe.

Since April 2015 the jardin du Dragon – the Dragon garden has reopened -free game zone from tots to teens (14 years).

School holidays in France

There are three terms in the school year, starting in September. While everybody starts on the same day, dates of the French school holidays vary according to the “zone” you live in listed in regional education authorities –“academies”.

  • Thanksgiving holiday - autumn holidays: The Thanksgiving holiday lasts for two weeks in October or November. All the three academies – zones A, B and C – are all concerned and have the same school calendar for autumn holidays.
  • Christmas holidays – December: Christmas holidays last for two weeks and straddle over the end of December and the beginning of January - December / January. The dates for the Christmas holidays are the same for all academies - Zone A, Zone B and Zone C.
  • Mardi Gras Holiday - winter holidays: Formerly known as Mardi Gras holidays, the winter holidays straddle overthe months of February / March. The duration of the winter break is two weeks for the three academies but not on the same dates (two zones overlap one week).
  • Easter holidays, spring break: To each his own preference! On the official agenda of the French National Education it is called the spring break, for others it remains the Easter holidays. Depending on the academy sector thus for the zone A, B or C, it is possible to have their Easter holidays on the same dates as the religious festival (the "Easter Monday" is a public holiday in France ). Spring break lasts two weeks in the month of March / April. The three areas are not on vacation at the same time - two school zones overlap over one week.
  • The summer holidays, summer vacation: The “holiday” dates cover all zones (A, B, C) over the period of July and August. The term “great vacation” was changed to "summer vacation" in the 1980’s. The duration of the summer holiday is about eight weeks - it tends to shorten over the years (in 1960 there were ten weeks). Please note that some schools prefer to begin the new term in late August rather than the official entry date in September.
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