Things to do with kids in Paris
Paris might be the most romantic city in the world but it's also well geared towards children. Parents will find there are endless activities and attractions to enjoy with their little ones.
Families can marvel at the glorious city views from the top of the Eiffel Tower, or head down the Champs Elysées for a spot of shopping, though they should beware of the tourist traps. Kids will love the miles of beach along the shores of the Seine River. Playing in the sun and splashing in the river has become a popular activity for families and children during the summer months. The Jardin des Tuileries is a great place to take the kids for a stroll and to let out some of their pent-up energy.
Paris is a haven for carousels, which can be found in various parks around the city, including the Parc du Champ de Mars, the Jardin Des Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens.
When the weather turns bad and outdoor activities are not an option, families can visit some of the exciting museums and indoor playgrounds dotted throughout this exciting city, such as the Ludimax, a giant indoor playground situated near St Germain-en Laye and Versailles, and the Aquaboulevard indoor waterpark.
Of course, kids won't let their parents forget the proximity of the magical Disneyland Paris and there are other famous amusement parks to visit, such as the Parc Asterix and France Miniature.
The blueprints for the holiday destination of Disneyland may have been developed in the United States, but the world's favourite theme park concept has transported exceedingly succ…
The blueprints for the holiday destination of Disneyland may have been developed in the United States, but the world's favourite theme park concept has transported exceedingly successfully to Europe. Situated 20 miles (32km) east of Paris, Disneyland Paris (also known as EuroDisney) is a vast complex of hotels, restaurants and shops together with the exciting theme park. Those in the know have it that Europe's Disneyland is actually better than its US counterparts, boasting more modern technology and existing in the ambit of less control and different safety regulations. EuroDisney has also unavoidably picked up a European flavour which adds charm and intimacy to the entire experience.
EuroDisney actually consists of two theme parks. The Disneyland Park, based on California's iconic Magic Kingdom, boasts 53 awesome attractions, drawing thousands of holidaymakers every year. The Walt Disney Studios were built more recently and follows the trend of the Disney MGM Studios in Florida, USA, using movie-like settings for thrill rides and experiences. Adults and children alike become enchanted and enthralled as they explore fantasy neighbourhoods bristling with Disney characters, and stop to take in the spectacle of the day and night parades.
Most visitors come to EuroDisney on a package deal that includes onsite hotel accommodation and passes to enjoy the shows and attractions. At least two days are required to make the most of the Disney magic, and there will still be plenty left for a second visit.
Address 77777 Marne-la-Vallée
Opens Open daily from 10am, closing time varies according to season. Check the website for specific dates.
There are many different ticket options and special deals. Check the website for details.
Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle
Located in the Jardin des Plantes, the Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum) greets visitors with two gigantic whale skeletons at the entrance. With wonderf…
Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle
Located in the Jardin des Plantes, the Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum) greets visitors with two gigantic whale skeletons at the entrance. With wonderful exhibitions and fascinating displays on botany, archaeology and palaeontology, the museum will captivate kids' imaginations and educate them as well. The dinosaur exhibit is hugely popular with the younger visitors, but this museum is a must for children of all ages. The museum is large and actually combines three museums into one (sometimes they are listed independently), including a four-story taxonomy wing called the Hall of Evolution, a gallery dedicated to palaeontology - the study of fossils, including the beloved dinosaur exhibit - and a separate building devoted entirely to mineralogy. You can choose to visit only one of these three museums. There is plenty to enthral little ones (and grown up ones) and the fact that the museum feels a little old-fashioned actually adds to its charm.
Address 57 rue Cuvier
Opens Wednesday to Monday 10am-6pm. Closed Tuesday and some French holidays.
Admission costs vary depending on which exhibitions visitors want to see. Check the website for details.
Le Jardin d'Acclimatation
This children's amusement park attracts thousands of tourists every year. It features a menagerie and the Exploradome Museum, with fantastic optical illusions and amazing structure…
Le Jardin d'Acclimatation
This children's amusement park attracts thousands of tourists every year. It features a menagerie and the Exploradome Museum, with fantastic optical illusions and amazing structures. The park's attractions include zip-lines, swings, deforming mirrors, paddling pools, radio-controlled boats, a theatre, a small farm, pony and camel rides, an aviary, a butterfly garden and amusement rides. Apart from being loads of fun this wonderland of games and activities is frequently educational. The park offers workshops for children over three that aim not only to amuse but to teach skills and cultivate talents; workshops revolve around things like cooking, gardening, magic and theatre. There are also joint workshops for parents and young children and a few classes for adults only. There are a number of restaurants and cafes on the premises for refuelling. This is a great place for kids to blow off steam at the same time as learning some useful skills, and the activities are wonderful for parent/child bonding too.
Address Bois de Boulonge
Opens Open every day: April to September 10am-7pm; October to March 10am-6pm.
€3 entrance and extra for some of the attractions. Concessions available.
Based on the famous comics by Uderzo and Goscinny about cheeky Gauls who annoy the Roman Empire, the Parc Asterix is a theme park located just outside of Paris. Kids will love meet…
Based on the famous comics by Uderzo and Goscinny about cheeky Gauls who annoy the Roman Empire, the Parc Asterix is a theme park located just outside of Paris. Kids will love meeting their favourite characters, including, of course, Asterix himself, and his giant friend Obelix. The park is well known for its large variety of roller-coasters and has begun incorporating rides and themes from historic cultures such as the Romans and the ancient Greeks. There are now six different worlds at the park: Gaul, Egypt, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, Vikings, and Travel through Time. Apart from the epic rollercoasters, popular rides include the Menhir Express, a log flume ride, the Goudurix, the Grand Splatch and the Oxygénarium. There are lots of shows at the park and entrance to these performances is included in admission tickets. One of the more popular shows is the dolphin and sea lion show. The Parc Asterix will delight children but it is also wonderful for adults and there are plenty of thrilling rides for adrenalin seekers.
Address 60128 Plailly
Opens Open daily from 10am-7pm during peak season; 10am-6pm during off-peak season. Open until 11pm on selected summer weekends. The opening times vary according to season and it is best to check the website for details before visiting.
There are ticket options available at varied prices. A freedom ticket will cost: €47 (adults) €39 (children under 12).
Located in Flancourt, France Miniature features more than 130 models of famous French attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower, Lourdes, St Tropez, Le Mont-Saint-Michel and Versailles…
Located in Flancourt, France Miniature features more than 130 models of famous French attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower, Lourdes, St Tropez, Le Mont-Saint-Michel and Versailles, for visitors to enjoy. Everything has been created with a 1:30 scale and some for the models are even animated. The detail of the models is remarkable and a joy for those interested in architecture as well as kids. The miniature world includes mechanised trains, cars and boats and there are tiny people visiting the attractions. Children will love spending a day out at this miniature country which feels like a massive doll's house. There are also some fun games and a small amusement park with several rides on offer. There is a restaurant and a souvenir shop on site but a lovely way to enjoy the park, and save money, is to bring along your own picnic.
Address Boulevard André Malraux
Opens 10am to 7pm July and August; 10am to 6pm the rest of the year; closed November to February, and selected weeks in March, April, September and October. Check the website for a comprehensive calendar.
Tickets range in price between €12 and €22 depending on season, visitor and special deals available.
The largest water park in Europe, located in the heart of the city of Paris, Aquaboulevard is a great treat for kids (and adults!). One of the big advantages of this attraction is …
The largest water park in Europe, located in the heart of the city of Paris, Aquaboulevard is a great treat for kids (and adults!). One of the big advantages of this attraction is the fact that most of it is indoors, making it fun on sunny or rainy days in Paris; if you are travelling with kids it's a good activity to keep up your sleeve for a rainy day. The park itself includes various waterslides, a spa area with hot baths and Jacuzzis, indoor and outdoor wave pools, a beach area for relaxing, and a wave machine which allows you to try surfing or wakeboarding on a standing wave, among other things. The attractions are not limited to water either: the complex also offers cinemas, a mini-golf course, tennis courts, a fitness centre, play areas, and other indoor attractions. Children under three are not allowed into Aquaboulevard and proof of age should be taken for young kids.
Address 4 to 6 Rue Louis Armand
Opens Opening times may vary according to season. Monday to Friday 9am to midnight; Saturday 8am to midnight; Sunday 8am to 11pm.
Tickets range in price according to the season and day of the week. Adults can expect to pay around €33 and for children under 12; €19.