If your children are between 3 and 12 years old, you might think that making plans for your stay in Paris is going to be a real headache. Well, obviously, an entire afternoon wandering from an impressionist painting to another at Musée d’Orsay is likely to prove difficult, but apart from that kind of activity, the city is stunningly filled with places which, if not designed especially for them, can easily please our kids. Here is a list showing how to have fun with children in Paris.
Traveling with kids can be a real feat, but the French capital is actually one of the best places to keep them busy, interested, and happy! Here are a few tips from a local on how to have fun with children in Paris.
Take a boat cruise
Sitting in a boat for a 30 minutes or one hour tour is a sure way to have fun with children in Paris. It is nice to do so on your first day in the French capital, as it gives you an overview of the different neighborhoods and landmarks all around the heart of the city, so that you can easily decide where to come back on the following days. As for kids, they will love to sit in the front and wave to people crossing the bridges are walking on the banks.
Have a pause in a park
Some Parisian parks and gardens are gorgeous, and if it is sunny, they turn into a real goldmine for those in search of places to have fun with children in Paris. Afternoon snacks, ball games, hide and seek… You will get a bit of countryside in the heart of the city, and an idea of the way Parisians themselves keep their kids busy on weekends or after school. By the way, if you would like to have a cheap lunch outside, have a look at our article about the Top 5 places to have a picnic in Paris! Bonus for the Luxembourg garden where your kids will be able to drive small radio-controlled boats on the fountain, spend hours in the playground, or have a pony ride!
Closer to an amusement park, the Jardin d’Acclimatation offers various attractions, such as rides on small barks or trains.
Go to the zoo
Going to the zoo is also one of the activities we opt for when we want to have fun with children in Paris. After a long renovation period, the Zoo de Vincennes has just reopened its doors, to the delight of every Parisian parent. More than one thousand animals, 130 different species, beautiful landscapes… you should not miss it.
Go to Cité des Sciences
Some museums are really dedicated to kids, and we have to mention Cité des Sciences among the best places to have fun with children in Paris. There is always a temporary exhibition designed for kids going on, and it is all about explaining to 6-year-olds scientific phenomenon you would have never dream to teach them. There are also great 3D movies about the nature or space displayed inside a great silver globe, the Geode, and an entire area inside the museum, called Cité des enfants (Cité of children) proposes various activities that are both playful and instructive, like a building lesson.
Be courageous: tackle a museum!
Going to the museum with kids is no impossible feat, and it can actually be a pretty good way to have fun with children in Paris. If you are enthusiastic about some exhibition, you will always do very well to catch their attention and give them some clues to enjoy the paintings or sculptures. Even the most intimidating museums like the Louvre of Grand Palais actually have a lot to offer to your offspring. The only key to success is to prepare your visit a little bit before you enter those huge and crowded places.
Ask yourself what you would like to see and what your children might be more interested in, and go for that specific area into the museums. You will avoid those disastrous aimless walks into the vast corridors and rooms, and the scrambles in front of the few “touristy” paintings that are not necessarily the most interesting ones. Here is a map of the Louvre to help you prepare your visit: The Louvre
Have a walking tour
A walking tour can be something truly fun to do with children in Paris. Guides will always be happy to have kids in their groups, and they will gladly adapt the tour to them so as they don’t get bored. Among our Free tours, Notre Dame is probably the one that will most appeal to children: Notre Dame Paris tour. Look for the pink vest!