Making sense of French school holidays

Bonjour! If you’re planning a family trip to France, you might wonder when the French school holidays are. The holiday schedules vary from year to year, so it’s always best to check the dates.

When are the French school holidays?

The French Ministry of Education sets the holiday dates each year and divides the country into three zones (A, B and C), with Paris falling into Zone C. You can find the dates for current and future academic years here.


This segmentation helps manage the flow of holidaymakers and prevent overcrowding in popular tourist areas during peak holiday periods.

What do French children do during the school holidays?

While some kids are fortunate enough to enjoy vacations or stay with their grandparents during school holidays, many parents still need to find reliable childcare options for other times.

Centres de Loisirs

As a parent in France, you’ll be happy to know that the French government has made it simple to find holiday childcare solutions. Enter the Centres de Loisirs! These leisure centers are located in schools and offer a variety of activities, such as sports, arts, crafts, and games, to keep your little ones entertained and engaged during their time off school. They are run by qualified professionals who are trained to work with children, and all children aged 3 to 14 can enrol.

You can register your child for the leisure centre in Paris on this government portal here.

The registration process opens about four weeks before the start of the school holidays, and the cost is minimal, with different rates for different family income brackets.

The registration period is open for approximately 30 days, and you can only register during the registration period. It is still possible to get a place at the leisure centre last minute, subject to the number of places left available and at a slightly higher cost if not booked in advance.

The daily cost of a full day at centre de loisir, including lunch, is between EUR 2 – 25 per day depending on which of the 10 income brackets your family income falls into.

Private summer camps and workshops

In addition to the state-funded centers, there are private summer camps you can sign your children up for. So, whether your child is into sports, music, or nature, you will find something that suits them.

Paris’s museums offer a wealth of children’s and family-oriented activities and workshops during school holidays throughout the year. Be sure to reserve your spots in advance to avoid missing out.

With so many options available, planning your children’s school holiday activities can be a stress-free experience!

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