The 13 best thing to do with kids in Paris

Paris is often seen as a romantic destination, but it can also be a wonderful place to visit with children. I recently took my 5-year-old son to Paris in the winter, and we discovered that the city is a kiddie wonderland. We stayed at the Hôtel Des Grands Voyageurs, which is located in the heart of the Left Bank and offers connecting rooms for families. It was the perfect quiet retreat after a day of exploring the city.

One of the best things to do in Paris with kids is to visit the Luxembourg Gardens. This enchanting blend of French formal and English informal gardens is a delight for children. They can ride the vintage carousel and try to grab brass rings as they spin around. The iconic sailboats on the Grand Basin are also a must-see. Renting one of these wooden boats and watching it drift across the water is a perfect activity for a relaxed afternoon.

Another great activity for kids is taking a ride on the Little Train of Montmartre. This charming train offers a unique way to explore the historic Montmartre district without tiring little legs. The journey takes you through picturesque streets and provides commentary on the area’s rich history and culture. The flexibility to hop off at the top, explore, and then catch a later train back down is a bonus for families.

For a captivating experience, the Aura Invalides light show is a must-see. Set against the backdrop of the majestic Dôme des Invalides, this light show combines music, history, and cutting-edge light projections to create a captivating show that is both educational and entertaining. It’s a perfect activity for those with jet lag, as it starts in the evening and lasts only about 45 minutes.

No trip to Paris with kids would be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. While the summit may be closed during certain times, the lower levels still offer stunning views of the city. You can take the elevator or climb the 674 steps to the second level if you’re feeling energetic. Afterward, head to the carousel across the street for a quick ride with incredible views.

If your kids love amusement parks, Jardin d’Acclimatation is a must-visit. Located in the Bois de Boulogne, this amusement park offers a variety of attractions suitable for all ages. Younger children will be captivated by the miniature train and whimsical carousel, while the more adventurous can explore zip lines and themed playgrounds. There is also a petting zoo and pony rides for animal lovers.

Taking a boat tour on the Seine is a quintessential Parisian experience that kids will love. It offers a unique vantage point from the water to see many of Paris’s famous landmarks, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower. Several companies offer different types of cruises, some even with dining options. It’s a relaxing way to see the city and learn about its history and architecture.

A short train ride from the city center, Disneyland Paris is a magical world where kids’ favorite fairy tales come to life. Divided into several lands, each with its own set of attractions, shows, and character experiences, Disneyland Paris offers a full day of fun and is less overwhelming than other Disney theme parks.

Paris is also home to some of the most enchanting toy stores in the world. Pain D’épices and Si Tu Veux are wonderlands filled with traditional wooden toys, educational games, and the latest in children’s entertainment. Kids will love browsing toys they’ve never seen before, and it evokes nostalgia in adults.

To participate in French culture, consider taking a cooking class with your kids. Companies like Cook’n With Class Paris and La Cuisine Paris offer family-friendly classes where you can learn to make classic French pastries or a full meal. It’s a fun and interactive experience that allows you to learn new skills and enjoy the delicious results of your efforts.

The Cité des Sciences is Europe’s largest science museum and is considered Paris’s most kid-friendly museum. It covers a wide range of scientific disciplines and features exhibits specifically designed for children. The highlight for many is the planetarium and the submarine Argonaute, which offers a glimpse into life under the sea. It’s a place where kids can explore, experiment, and learn about the world in a fun and engaging environment.

Creating a scavenger hunt in a museum is a fantastic way to make art and history exciting for kids. Whether it’s the Louvre or Musee d’Orsay, you can design a hunt to search for specific sculptures or historical sites. It’s a fun game that also helps children engage with and remember what they see.

The Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes is one of the oldest zoos in the world and a great place to spend a few hours with kids. It’s home to a variety of animals, from big cats to reptiles and birds. The zoo is designed to be navigable for small children, and the historical architecture of the enclosures adds to the charm.

Taking the kids to Cafe Fleur for some hot chocolate is an absolute treat. The whole experience makes it special, from the adorable giant teddy bears that are everywhere to the oversized cups of hot chocolate. It’s a cozy and whimsical wonderland that kids will love.

In conclusion, Paris is not just for romantics. It’s also a fantastic destination for families with kids. From exploring enchanting gardens and riding carousels to taking boat tours on the Seine and visiting amusement parks, there are plenty of activities to keep children entertained. Don’t forget to visit the Eiffel Tower, take a cooking class, and explore the city’s museums and zoos. Paris truly is a kiddie wonderland.

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