The Parc de la Villette is an ultra modern gigantic (35 hectares) park that leads us to experience and interact with nature, art and technology. This open space park, with no gates, no fences enclosing it, has a collection of twelve themed gardens: some of them very playful for kids, like the Jardin du Dragon (Garden of the Dragon), home to a large sculptural steel dragon that has an 80 ft. slide for kids to play on; the Jardin des Dunes et des Vents (Garden of Dunes and Wind), which offers a rolling landscape, pedal windmills and air-cushioned areas for kids to expend lots of energy; the Jardin des Voltiges (Garden of Movement), a play-area with different kinds of moving apparatus, and many others.
On the opposite end of the Maison de la Villette from the Fountain of Lions, is an area of several carousels providing a very festive atmosphere.
Within the Park is the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, the City of Sciences and Industries, the biggest science museum in Europe, that presents a host of attractions combining science and interactive leisure activities. The museum arouses interest on science and technology with great creativity in its 5 storeys full of high-tech equipment, where children can interact and play with almost everything.
Among its several features are the Explora, where you can pilot an airplane, travel throughout the human body and visit the Ariane rocket; the Argonaute, an attack submarine open to visitors; the planetarium; the Mediterranean aquarium; the Cinaxe, a simulator outfitted with the same equipment used to train airplane pilots, and one of the prominent features of the complex, the Géode, a 36-metre high shiny steel sphere that houses a giant (1,000 square-metre) 3-D hemispherical cinema screen, where you feel involved as though it is reality.
The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie has special departments for kids, the Cité des Enfants for 2-7 year-olds and the Cité des Enfants for 5-12 year-olds, which gives a first access to science to the children.
Address: Parc de la Villette, 211, avenue Jean Jaurès – 75019 Paris Opening Hours: The park is open every day, year round, with restricted access between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. The Cité des Sciences Opening Hours: From Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 7 pm.