I’m going to make a confession. We’ve been living in Paris for over a year and we haven’t taken our children to Disneyland Paris. Yes I know, I am awful. Bad, bad mummy. But the kids haven’t hassled us about Disneyland Paris. And let’s face it there are so many great things to do in Paris for kids. Mickey is just going to have to wait. If you are planning a trip to Disneyland Paris, tack on a day or two and drop into the City of Light, you won’t regret it. There are so many great things to do in Paris with kids.
10 great things to do in Paris with kids
1. Of course, the Eiffel Tower is a must
The Eiffel Tower has to feature on this list. Paris doesn’t have any skyscrapers, or real high rises so La Tour Eiffel dominates the Paris skyline and she’s well a worth visit to get an uninterrupted the view from the top. You can either opt to take the lift or if you are feeling really energetic climb your way to the top. To avoid the queues book your tickets in advance.
- Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris
2. And while you are there, take a peek at Musee du Quai Branly
If you are near the Eiffel Tower, then swing by Musee du Quai Branly. To be honest, I didn’t think the kids would be into indigenous art and artefacts but don’t underestimate children, they loved this place.
They museum has curated its collection in such a way that you just have to stop and marvel at the displays of masks, jewellery, statues, vessels from Africa, Near East, Oceania and the Americas. The Musee du Quai Branly is an incredible place. The building itself is a place of wonder, as is the 17,5000 square metres of wild garden, peace and tranquillity in the heart of Paris.
- Musee du Quai Branly, 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris
3. A hair-raising experience at Cite des Enfants and Palais de la Decouverte
I love these two museums both dedicated to the exploration of science. And they are both fantastic.
Cite des Enfants is pretty much a giant playroom of games and activities for children aged 2-7 and for kids aged 5-12. The 5-12 room is split into six themed zones: body, communication, TV studio, water games, garden and factory. All the exhibits are interactive allowing kids to really engage and get involved with science, like measuring how fast you can run. My kids love the Cite des Enfants.
And while you are here, check out the Parc de Villette, it has a super kids playground and is great for picnics in the summer.
Palais de la Decouverte is the sister museum based in the centre of Paris. It has an excellent permanent exhibition of all the sciences and is educational and entertaining. This is more of your traditional style museum, with both static and interactive exhibits.
If you do go then check out the static electricity workshop which uses a 350,000v machine and audience participation to demonstrate hair-raising experiments (literally!).
- Cite des Enfants, 30 Avenue Corentin Cariou, 75019 Paris
- Palais de la Decouverte, Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 75008 Paris
4. Hang out with the modern greats at the Centre Pompidou
We are big fans of the Centre Pompidou, my kids find the art funny, engaging, engrossing. The Richard Rogers is building jaw-dropping, the kids’ are endlessly fascinated by the giant tubes that run around the building and external escalators.
At the Centre Pompidou, you can rub shoulders with the modern masters Matisse, Kandinsky, Picasso, Warhol, Rothko, Rauschenberg. While you are there do check out the Galeries des Enfants and the kids’ workshops.
- Centre Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris
5. Belleville, a stunning skyline, a beautiful park and street art
Many people will recommend that you head up to Montmartre to get a view of the Paris skyline. But I prefer Belleville.
Walking through Belleville you will get to see another side of Paris, China Town (slowly undergoing gentrification). Take a stroll up Belleville Hill through one of Paris’ prettiest park. There is a great playground for kids. And when you get to the top of the hill, you get a private view of the Paris skyline (away from hoards of tourists taking selfies). While you are there check out the street art.
- Belleville Park, 47 Rue des Couronnes, 75020 Paris
6. Make a splash in Aquaboulevard
This is an awesome place, Aquaboulevard is Europe’s largest water park in the heart of Paris. Aquaboulevard boasts slides, tubes, rafting, indoor and outdoor pools, jacuzzis, and in the summer you can hang out on the beach. It’s easy to spend a whole day here, and it’s perfect for tiring out energetic kids. Both my kids spent their birthdays splashing about in Aquaboulevard.
- Aquaboulevard, 4-6 Rue Louis Armand, 75015 Paris
7. Do the Parisian thing and take a stroll in Jardin du Luxembourg
Now Jardin du Luxembourg is my kids’ favourite park.
There is a super kids’ playground which I struggle to get my kids out of. Once unleashed they are lost in tubes and slides, never mind the zip wire. The playground is in an enclosed safe, space within the park. All you need do is grab a seat, relax and let your kids play. And when it’s time to go, you aren’t short of cafes, and restaurants for a quick pick me up.
On a bright summer’s day, this is where you will find Parisians hanging out with their families. And why not do the Parisian thing, send the kids on a pony ride, rent a toy boat to sail on the lake or have a game of petanque.
- Jardin du Luxembourg, Rue de Médicis – Rue de Vaugirard – 75006 Paris
8. This is where Parisian mum’s go with their kids, le Jardin d’Acclimatation
If you ask any mum living in Paris where they like to take their kids, and one place she will recommend the le Jardin d’Acclimatation. This awesome park is set in the beautiful grounds of the Bois de Bolougne, on the western edge of Paris. The park has its own fun fair with 35 permanent rides and attractions, as well as a petting farm, playground, water fountains – great for running in and out of when the weather starts hotting up! (soon I hope!).
- Le Jardin d’ Acclimatation Bois de Boulogne, Rue du Bois de Boulogne, 75116 Paris
9. Take in the fresh air at Parc Floral
Parc Floral is situated on the south-eastern edge of Paris. This wonderful green space is both a beautiful park and botanical garden with three fantastic play areas for kids including the infamous Amazone Tower slide, tree climbing trail, mini-golf and a treasure hunt. And nearby is the Paris Zoological Park and Lac Daumesnil.
- Parc Floral, Route de la Pyramide, 75012 Paris
10. Food, glorious French food to be found at the local markets
Food, this is what Paris is about. And there is no better way than to get a taste of Parisian life than to take a morning stroll through one of its amazing food markets. Every arrondissement (local area) has regular food markets selling salivatingly fresh produce: bread and pastries, fish, meat, vegetables, cheeses (oh the cheeses!) cakes, freshly made crepes (great for hungry kids), super succulent rotisserie chicken, j’adore!
My favourite markets include Boulevard Raspail, Avenue President Wilson, Saxe-Breteuil (against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower), Bastille. If you want a market where you can sit and eat, then check out Enfant Rouges.
- Marche Boulevard Raspail, Rue du Cherche-midi – Rue de Rennes, 75006 Paris
- Marche President Wilson, Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
- Marche Saxe-Breteuil, Avenue de Saxe, 75007 Paris
- Marche Bastille, 8 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris
- Marche des Rouge Enfants, Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris