The Cultural Olympiad: Events for Kids in Paris

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The Cultural Olympiad: Events for Kids in Paris

This is the second article on the cornucopia of cultural events staged in conjunction with the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Read the first here.

The 2024 Paris Olympics promises to be a remarkable experience for visitors of all ages. There are many amazing events throughout the region for children and their families that don’t require admission to the Games themselves, but still supply a happy and healthy dose of Olympic spirit. As part of the Cultural Olympiad, these events – which combine sports with the arts – look like a lot of fun. Teens too, can take an independent plunge into the values of the Olympic Movement, observing how the world can be bettered through peace and inclusivity.  

Art 

The Atelier Rodin offers Jouez, Creez, Bougez – Play, Create, Move. Dedicated to the discovery and understanding of sculpture by practicing it yourself, the Atelier Rodin is a hands-on experience where young visitors can discover their own strengths by drawing, sculpting, even striking a daring pose. By sparking curiosity, the work of Rodin can be better appreciated. Until Sept. 6th, 2024. Part of admission ticket.

The Largest Painting in the World is presented by the Maison de la Culture du Japon, with the objective of bringing children together around the values ​​of peace and hope. This project officially launched in Tokyo will be in Paris on July 20, 2024. For this occasion, frescoes created by children in France will be exhibited. Located at the Mairie du 15th arrondissement, 31 Rue Péclet.

Dance/Sport 

Arthlète is a cultural festival that brings together art and sport, artists and athletes under the spirit of equality. The aim of the project is to promote breakdancing – a new category at the 2024 Olympic Games. There will be dance battles, demonstrations, exhibitions, film screenings, and interactions through digital devices. Arthlète events will be held in various locations at various times. The event in central Paris is on June 27, 2024 at the Palais de beaux-arts de Paris, 13 Quai Malaquais, 6th arrondissement.

Music  

The Philharmonie de Paris is putting on performances for youth where sports and music collaborate. In Panenka, the atypical string quartet Quatuor Leonis meet freestyle dance, with allusions to football. Inspired by Zidane’s infamous gesture, we enter the imagination of a child where the gesture of team spirit wins the day.  

La Victoire de Karima focuses on the individual achievement of a passionate female boxer on the path to qualifying for the Olympics. Other events suitable for both young and old alike can be found at the Philharmonie de Paris- known for its rich programming.

Theater 

Mon Grand-Pere, Les Jeux et Moi, a play by Angela Portella.  

Luna, the play’s main character, hates sports. Unfortunately she has to spend a week in Paris with her grandfather during the 2024 Olympics. Unfortunate, because Luna’s grand-père is the coach of France’s first “roller basketball” team, an imaginary demonstration sport, selected for the first time for the Olympics.  When his whole team battles a lice outbreak, their participation in the Olympics is compromised. The ingenious little Luna finds a miracle solution and becomes a heroine in the eyes of her grandfather. Four weekly matinees of My Grandfather, The Games and Me are offered throughout the summer at Théâtre Le Funambule Montmartre, 53 Rue des Saules, 18th arrondissement.

Small Sports 

Little Sportif  – Little Villette is transformed into a vast ground for young athletes 2 and up. Little ones can enjoy ball games with Baby Basket and Baby Golf, defy gravity with the Baby Trampoline, pole vault and Little Capoeira. The more adventurous can embark on nautical jousts with small boats. There is also a toddler rotunda, the Lego® tables and wall, as well as the Little Cinema and a Little Expo. It’s free, and if you miss Little Sportif in June there are many kid-based activities at Little Villette available for a fee, including hiphop classes, baby gym and circus school. Little Villette, 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 19th arrondissement.

Puppets  

Le Mouffetard – Centre National de la Marionettes is actively involved in the Cultural Olympiad. Diverse companies poetically combine emotion with sport. The best in puppet creation can be appreciated at seven locations throughout the Marais. Through  puppetry, audiences are introduced to the themes of the history of sport, physical challenges and discipline. These puppet performances can be startlingly creative and not just for kids. June 12-16. Outdoor events are free. Head office 73 Rue Mouffetard, 5th.

Song 

La Cité des Marmots*Minots is a singing school that allows children to learn another language through music and a shared repertoire. Nearly 1,500 children experience the joy of artistic practice and the creation of a musical show alongside an artist –  and this year it’s Angelique Kidjo. The initiative creates a curiosity of cultures from a very young age. After several months of workshops, schoolchildren from the working-class neighborhoods of Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, and Marseille, plus a symphony orchestra culminates in a free afternoon performance on 23 June, 2024 and is free to the public. Théâtre du Châtelet, 2 Rue Édouard Colonne, 1st arrondissement.

Multidisciplinary 

Un Brin de Culture is so named because it’s happening on the narrow island in the Seine, the Ile Saint Germain. Young people from 11-25 can participate in workshops and combine sport and culture, in a heritage park setting. Workshops include roller dance, break dance, acrobatics, and trampoline. It’s a completely free program with online registration, From July 9 to July 24, 2024.  Île Saint-Germain, Issy-les-Moulineaux.

Viewing Locations

Giant Screen TVs will be available to watch Olympic events live at the following locations. 

1st arrondissement: the Parc Rives de Seine and Quartier Jeunes 

2nd arrondissement: the Fabrique de la Solidarity  

4th arrondissement: the Académie du Climat 

5th arrondissement: the Arènes de Lutèce 

6th arrondissement: the Place Saint-Sulpice 

8th arrondissement: the Parc Monceau 

9th arrondissement: the Mairie 

10th arrondissement: the Canal St-Martin and the Grange aux Belles district 

11th arrondissement: the Mairie 

12th arrondissement: the Allée Vivaldi 

13th arrondissement: the Parc de Choisy 

14th arrondissement: the Centre sportif Elisabeth 

15th arrondissement: the Mairie 

16th arrondissement: the Parc Sainte-Périne 

17th arrondissement: the Parc Clichy Batignolles Martin Luther-King 

18th arrondissement: the Jardins d’Éole and the Square Léon Serpollet 

19th arrondissement: the Place Stalingrad, the Bassin de la Villette 

20th arrondissement: the Complexe sportif Louis Lumière

Lead photo credit : A viewing party for the 2020 Summer Olympics at Place du Trocadéro, which will host the official protocol for the opening ceremony, Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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A freelance writer and amateur historian, Hazel knew she wanted to focus on the lives of French artists and femme fatales after an epiphany at the Musée d'Orsay. A life-long learner, she is a recent graduate of Art History from the University of Toronto. Now she is searching for a real-life art history mystery to solve.