Jardin du Ranelagh

In one of the more fashionable parks in Paris, Jardin du Ranelagh offers a vast play area for children, gymnasium, stationary trains, swings, a carousel, large grass areas to play football/soccer, badminton, tag, and even pony rides.

In the chic 16th, it is close to some nice restaurants, and thus perfect after a Sunday brunch at swank places such as La Rotonde de la Muette, or Bistro de la Muette. Naturally, it is common to see Parisian moms in their high heels — even furs in the winter — and dads characteristically wearing their dress down tweed jackets and Sunday ascots.

As with most good parks, there is a kiosk to buy treats, including ice cream, candy, and much-needed espresso for adults. Toys, such as plastic soccer balls, can also be purchased.

Jardin du Ranelagh also has one of the very best Marionnettes in Paris. It is a one man show, and the marionnettiste is simply a delight, enthralling children each and every time. No worries if you don’t know French, as I guarantee your little ones will love it and understand the gist of the story, and the price of admission is so low it would be a crime to miss this unique and traditional craft. Just listen to the bell ring before playtime — usually around 3:15 and 4:15.

It is also adjacent to Musée Marmottan, which is a brilliant museum that houses Monet paintings. Take your child and some crayons or colored pencils and paper, and have him or her sit down and sketch Monet’s water lilies. My child’s pre-k class did just that for a field trip, and you would be astonished at the results. More information about the Marmottan museum may be found here.

Close to the La Muette metro (Line 9), Jardin du Ranelagh is within walking distance to the très chic Rue de Passy shopping area, so mom still has the opportunity to visit one of the better shopping blocks in Paris before or after a visit to the park.

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