Is Paris for kids? Absolutely — but it requires some planning. There are tons of things to do in Paris for children and for families. Mind you, don't expect your children to be thrilled about visiting the Louvre all day or standing in line for hours at the Eiffel Tower.
Over the course of sixteen or seventeen trips to Paris with our son, we've discovered the best of Paris for kids — places and activities that will entertain, thrill and educate your own children. And the best thing about these parks, museums and attractions is that they're as interesting to parents as they are to children! We know.
The Paris Pass includes free entrance to museums and lets you skip the long ticket lines! PLUS, you get to ride the Metro & buses for free.
This is what you might call a no-brainer. It's also what you might call a bribe.
Your children are more likely to go along with you to some of the less-interesting-to-them- place if you agree to put aside some "kid time" and plan to spend a day or two at the happiest place on European Earth. There are many ways to get there and various passes. You can visit Disneyland from Paris, or you can stay in a hotel next to the park. We recommend you book your tickets in advance, online, before you leave home. Use the following links for planning ideas, hotels, and Disneyland deal packages.
An open-top bus ride is a great way for you and your kids to get an overview of the city. You travel all around Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, Champs de Mars, Orsay Museum, Notre Dame, Louvre Museum, Champs-Elysées, Grand Palais, and Trocadero.
One circuit takes two hours but you're free to hop off at any stop and explore. By the way, a hop-on bus tour is included free with The Paris Pass. Here are two hop-on buses we recommend —
Nobody likes standing in long lines, and especially not young travelers. One way to please kids in Paris is to avoid line-ups. By booking an Eiffel Tower tour, you and your kids will learn fun stories about the building of the tower from your tour guide and, best of all, you will skip the long ticket lines at the most-visited monument in history.
Take an aquarium and a cinema, put them together and what do you get? You get the Paris Aquarium, also known as Cineaqua, one of the most creative Paris for kids attractions. Located steps away from the Trocadero, this aquarium combines 9000 fish, 26 sharks with 16 cinema screens. Kids love to explore the various displays, screens and a fish petting zoo as the grand finale.
You'll find it in the 16th Arrondissement opposite the Eiffel Tower in the gardens of Trocadero. It's open 365 days a year.
Kids love the d'Orsay. The vibrant Impressionist painters like Monet, Van Gogh and Manet seem to appeal to young visitors and the building itself is beautiful, set in a Beaux-Arts train station.
On our last visit, the line-up was horrendous but we made a bee-line to the reserved door (Entrance C, on the right of the building) where there was no waiting time. It does pay to have your Paris Pass on hand!
Another great way to experience Paris museums with kids is to book a skip-the-line museum tour at the Louvre for the family. These not only get you past the lineups, but your knowledgeable guide takes you right to the most important works. Skip the line, go directly to the Mona Lisa!
Here's a perfect Paris-for-kids museum! With over 300 wax statues, this museum is a fun way to entertain the whole family. There are all the parents' favorite celebrities as well as the latest for the kids, including Scrat, the most famous prehistoric squirrel! This is another museum that the Paris Pass gets you free entry to.
A trip to Paris with kind isn't complete without a visit to the Palais de la Decouverte – the Science Discovery Museum. This hands-on museum features plenty of changing exhibits, like a dinosaur display s, as well as old favorites, including an insect collection and the popular École des Rats — Rat School.
This 28 hectare botanical garden, founded in 1626, houses the expansive Natural History Museum covering paleontology, evolution, mineralogy and entomology. Don't let the big words scare you — the exhibits are fresh, exciting and very kid-friendly. And then there's the lovely, old-fashioned zoo. It's all conveniently located on the Left Bank in the 5th Arrondissement.
When your kids are clamouring to run around in open spaces, take them to Parc des Buttes Chaumont. This magical park has a fabulous walking trail, a suspension bridge, waterfalls, ponds and playgrounds to appeal to kids of all ages. And you can run on the grass!
The site of the park was a limestone quarry where the blocks for Paris buildings were mined. Like much of modern Paris, Parc des Buttes Chaumont was built by Baron Haussmann.
With its vast tangles of wild flowers, a cascading concrete stream that goes on forever, grass you can sit on, and the longest slide in Paris, Parc de Belleville is not your typical Paris park.
Although the park is a bit of Metro ride from the center of things, it's worth it to see your kids clamber up the modern climbing wall and run free. Be sure to take in the view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower from the plaza area on top of the park.
One of the prettiest parks in Paris, Parc Monceau is set in the luxurious 8th Arrondissement and features plenty of places to walk, a children's carousel, swings and a concession stand right out of the 19th century. Your kids can order up hot chocolate, crêpes and ice cream while you admire all the beautifully-dressed Parisian children.
What to Do in Paris While You're There
• Skip-the-Line Museum Tours…
• Open-Air Bus Tours…
• Ballet at Palais Garnier…
• Paris for Kids…
• First-Timers Guide to Paris…
• Paris Honeymoon Planning…
• Paris Department Stores…
• Monthly Activity Calendar…
Discover What's On When You're There
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• Month-by-Month Calendar…
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