Best Things to Do in Paris with Children
Paris is not only the best possible destination for a romantic getaway. If you are traveling with children, fun is also guaranteed by following a few tips. Not surprisingly, the French capital has one of the best offers of family entertainment on the continent.
When traveling with children to Paris, most people think of Disneyland. However, there are plenty of things to see and do in Paris for the little ones to enjoy the trip. If you organize well and keep in mind to change a few things, the city can be very entertaining for the whole family.
From its spectacular gardens, many of them with attractions for children, to the monuments themselves, there are enough attractions for the experience to be engraved in the memory of the youngest members of the family. Here are some tips and suggestions to make your trip a success.
Disneyland Paris, a must-visit if you go with children
The jewel in the crown when visiting the city with children is, without a doubt, to take advantage of the trip for everything there is to do and see Disneyland Paris.
This theme park is perfect for them to spend a few hours of fun, although it is important to buy the pass to avoid the queues if you do not want to spend more time waiting than the time spent in the most popular attractions of Disneyland. With Disney's restaurants and services, it will be hard to take the children out of the park when the visit is over.
A guided and personalized tour of Paris, the most comfortable way to travel with your family
When visiting a city as large as Paris, with so many places to see and so much distance between them, fatigue can give children a hard time.
One of the ways to avoid this while still visiting the places you want to visit is to start by taking an organized tour or an excursion around Paris, in case you want to get out of the city. To go with children, my advice is to choose one of those that allow you to customize the tour. After all, you are the one who knows your children best and, for that reason, you will know which places can attract their attention.
In addition, this way of visiting the city will allow you to get to know it a little better and then move on your own, without forgetting the informative work of the guides. Many of them are used to having children in the group, so they will surely know how to awaken their interest in what they are seeing.
The tourist bus, the other great option to move around with children
If the metro seems too complicated to go with children, the city offers a really interesting alternative: the tourist buses of Paris.
These will allow you to get to know Paris comfortably and at your own pace, without crowding the little ones. As there are several, with different stops, there will be no problem getting to almost anywhere you want to visit, with the advantage that you can get on and off as many times as you want.
In addition, the top of the bus is uncovered, something that children tend to love. Finally, many have an audio-guide in Spanish so that you can receive information about the places you pass through.
Finally, a similar option to the tourist bus is the batobus. It is a boat that travels along the Seine stopping at the most important monuments on its banks. Children are sure to enjoy the boat ride through the city.
Take them to live unforgettable experiences: Eiffel Tower with kids
Traveling with children to Paris does not mean not visiting the most important monuments of the city. For them to enjoy and not get bored, however, you have to change the way of seeing them and introduce activities that can make them excited.
The views from the Eiffel Tower, for example, can be fascinating for the little ones. Going up is always a good idea and, in addition, at the entrance they will be given a game starring a character called Gus Gus with whom they will discover some curiosities of the monument.
One of the factors that you should take into account when taking the children to this plan is the ascent to the Eiffel Tower. The stairs, although spectacular, may be too long for the little ones. Instead, the option to do it by elevator is much more comfortable and, therefore, more appropriate for them.
What I would never pass up is the possibility of going up the Eiffel Tower with a guide who will explain all the secrets and curiosities of the tower.
A must-see: Notre Dame
The same happens if you can take them to the terraces of the Notre Dame Cathedral. There they will not only contemplate the views, but you can also tell them the Disney version of the story of the famous hunchback.
Don't limit yourself to monuments: other experiences for the little ones
In addition to the obligatory visit to the great Parisian icons, there are other lesser-known activities that children can enjoy for a while.
- Don't miss the Paris Zoo, also known as the Vincennes Zoo. It is a huge space with five biozones distinguishing the native animals of each continent and where you can discover more than 180 animal species.
- Visit the Aquarium de Paris, one of the oldest in the world and where you can literally touch the fish. Explore the depths of the sea among more than 13,000 species, contemplate the mermaid show or the shark pond. A perfect plan to go with children.
- Visit Le Grand Rex Studios, a former art deco-style movie theater. This proposal is for movie buffs, both young and old, as you can tour the studios, learn firsthand how the special effects of the films are developed and see the photo archive of your movie idols.
- Take a ride in the Ballon de Paris, a hot air balloon that rises about 150 meters above the French capital. If you want to live this experience, just go to the Parc André Citroën from 9:00 am.
- Grevin Wax Museum: almost all children love wax figures and the ones in this Parisian museum will be no exception.
- FlyView Paris virtual reality experience: although children under 6 years old cannot go, if you go with children over that age I assure you that they will enjoy the experience of seeing Paris in a totally different way.
Parks and gardens: outdoor fun
Those traveling to Paris in spring or summer will be able to enjoy the gardens of the city. When traveling with children, these green spaces are perfect to allow them to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Many of them also contain playgrounds that will delight the little ones.
- Jardin des Tuileries: located near the Musée d'Orsay and the Louvre, these gardens have a Ferris wheel, swings and a merry-go-round. It is an ideal place to intersperse between visits to the museums.
- Luxembourg Gardens: in addition to the beauty of the park itself, this garden is famous for its famous puppet theater, to the point that it is usually filled with Parisian families on days when there is a performance. In addition, there is also a merry-go-round and you can sail on a sailboat.
- The Champ de Mars: it is located right at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, so you can spend some time after coming down from it. It has several areas with swings, as well as food stalls in case you feel like having a small family picnic.
Museums yes, but with limitations
One of the doubts you will probably have when preparing your trip to Paris with children is whether they will be able to keep up with the pace of visiting some museums. Obviously, it doesn't seem to be the best thing to force them to spend a whole day in the Louvre, for example, but you don't have to give up those visits either.
Besides the fact that many Parisian museums are free for children under a certain age, if you prepare your visit well and shorten it, they can certainly enjoy it. Following the example of the Louvre, the first thing you should do (after buying tickets in advance to avoid queues) is to delimit the rooms to visit.
Another important aspect is to consider whether the museum has activities for children as in the case of the Louvre. For example, the Louvre sets up family points on Sundays with entertainers who give tips on how to visit the museum so that children do not get bored. You can also book a guided tour of the Louvre for children by letting them know that you are going with children so that it can be taken into account.
Other museums to visit with children
The museum offer in the French capital is very wide and some of its museums can amuse children more than others. Here is a short list of those that may be more appropriate for children:
- Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie de Paris. In this great science museum you can learn by investigating with experiments, optical illusions and scientific exhibits, in addition to knowing the planetarium. The best way to educate while having fun!
- Rodin Museum. Its smaller size, plus the fact that part of the collection is located in its beautiful gardens, can be an advantage to go with children. In addition, these gardens are equipped with loungers and places to buy ice cream.
- Natural History Museum. Undoubtedly, it is one of the museums that can attract children the most. Its galleries hide a large number of objects related to the natural world. Visiting the Paleontology Gallery, with its dinosaur fossils and saber-toothed tigers, is very attractive.
- The Museum of Magic. Much less known, this museum located in Le Marais is one of the best places to take children. At the ticket office, they surprise them with a little trick and its interior is full of artifacts related to the world of magic.
Find events for children in Paris
Like all great capital cities, Paris offers a large number of shows for the youngest members of the family. Dedicating a morning or afternoon to see one of them will make their experience more enjoyable.
These shows range from puppets to magicians, singers to storytellers. Here are some of the most popular ones for children:
- Les Pestacles: every year between June and September, the ParcFloral de Paris is filled with concerts and musical shows for children.
- Workshops and games at Paris Plages, the famous river beaches of Paris have various events for the little ones to enjoy their stay. Among the most fun are the activities of the BHML(libraries outside the walls).
- Cirque Bouglione, the oldest circus in Europe: between October and March, the Cirque Bouglione company opens its doors to offer its new repertoire. It is located in the 11th arrondissement, in the Bastille area.
- Little Villette program: at La Villette park, activities for children and teenagers can be enjoyed all year round, from circus performances to film screenings, magic and puppet shows.
Amusement parks beyond Disneyland Paris
Despite its well-deserved fame, Disneyland Paris is not the only amusement park to visit during a trip to the French capital. Thus, the Asterix Park is really interesting for the little ones. Less crowded than the previous one and with a more didactic vision, many people think that it is more interesting and fun than Disney.
Within Paris itself you can go to the Jardin d'Acclimatation, a park where activities that combine attractions with culture and nature are carried out. In this space you will find a circus and didactic workshops, as well as the possibility of seeing farm animals, a puppet theater or a boat ride.
Getting around Paris with kids
Even if you have booked an organized tour for some visits, the question of how to get around Paris will still be important if you are traveling with children.
The obvious first choice is the extraordinary Paris metro, but in some cases it will not be comfortable. Thus, the stations (some of them, real tourist attractions) do not have elevators, so if you go with a baby stroller you are going to have quite a few difficulties. In addition, the entrance doors are usually narrow, so you will have to ask to open a special door if the stroller is big.
In the case of older children, the subway can be a valid option. You just have to be careful not to lose sight of them in the busiest stations and just before reaching the stop you are interested in.
On the other hand, if you are going to stay more than two days and you plan to use this transport a lot, the most economical option is to buy the Ticket t+ card, with which children have a 50% discount. Children under 3 years of age, on the other hand, can use the subway for free.