We took our near 4 year old to the 2-7 year old part of the Cite des Enfants for a well-deserved totally child oriented day in Paris.
She had a ball with multi-themed areas of interactive science play. Truely engaging activities and even the child within (my partner and myself) were fascinated and delighted at the prospect of what it would be like to be 3 again and let loose here.
Particularly fun was the mini maze, which was like a mouse run, and the water play area, which supplies water aprons to help reduce saturated children.
Only complaint is the queueing system prior to the timed entry. We were 'ushered' into a 'holding pen', shoulder to shoulder with other families awaiting entry. Screaming and crying kids, frustrated and impatient. It was stressful and irritating. The 'holding pen' had no activities or entertainment to amuse waiting children and this caused much tension. Bored kids picking on other kids, cranky parents, whinging and whining. Horrible.
A visit to the Cite des Enfants requires a booking with a timed session. I think from memory there may be 3 to 4 sessions per day. And the session last around 1hr 45 min hours. So while there is a lot to explore and play, there is not enough time to thoroughly utilise the whole presentation of themes and activities. It is a bit of a mad rush in, once we are allowed to enter, and chaotic rampage around play centres.
Our daughter loved it but as a parent I found the crowding and timing of the visit stressful. We even 'lost' our daughter in the mad rampage between sections. So keep a hold of your 2-7 year old. They can easily get carried away scuttling from one section to another. Like a child in a candy store.
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