- 06, Jul 2018
- All things Paris
- Amanda Mehtala & Arthini Pulenthiran
Family travel to Paris, or simply looking for Parisian activities for all ages? We've got you covered
The time is finally here, to pack up the family and head on that European adventure you've been dreaming about, taking the kids to Paris! While the City of Lights is known for its romanticism and history, there's plenty of unique Paris activities for the whole family to enjoy. Don’t let the city intimidate you during your stay, there are plenty of options and activities suitable for kids and families. From rain to shine, whether your family prefers outdoor adventures or discovering new findings in an interesting museum, there's something for everyone in the family to love in Paris. Here’s a few of our favorite activities for you and your children in Paris!
1. Explore the animal kingdom alive and extinct at the Museum of Natural History
Paris is filled with plenty of museums, and it can sometimes be overwhelming to choose from the bunch, especially with children. Museums can often be boring through the eyes of children. Repetitive paintings and sculptures aren’t always up their alley. One of our favorite picks for children is the National Museum of Natural History. It’s filled with life size animals, guaranteed to keep children on their toes. The whole building and its interesting decor is built to mimic the wild, complete with thunderstorms and sunsets! Here you can explore marine life, before climbing through the ages from dinosaurs to animals currently roaming the world. There's even a special room dedicated to extinct animals, fun and educational at the same time with so much to discover!
2. Go on your very own Parisian family scavenger hunt at the Louvre
Another one of our favorite museums is Paris’ famous Louvre. If you’re dying to visit one of the world’s most recognized museums, but are afraid to try it with kids, we have a solution for you: a Louvre treasure hunt! The kids are even able to pick a theme to their scavenger hunt. This is an easy and fun way to get lost in the biggest museum in Paris, and it is able to keep you and your children occupied for hours on end (whoever thought it could be so easy?). Rainy day in Paris? Perfect idea.
3. A weather-appropriate Parisian sweet treat
Fall or Winter Paris trip?
After the kids find all the treasure, it's definitely worth your while to take a pit stop at Angelina. Located right next to the Louvre, this little pastry shop won’t be out of your way. Angelina is famous for their hot chocolate and has become a must-try in Paris. Pair your warm drink with some authentic French desserts for a winter warm up, Parisian style. This will be sure to put a smile on the kids’ faces.
Spring and Summer in Paris with the family
During the warmer months, even the most delicious of hot chocolates might not be the best idea, so opt for a family Parisian treat that is sure to cool you down. For that, you'll have to head to Paris' legendary ice cream shop on Île-Saint-Louis, Berthillon. Stop by to pick up a few scoops of this delicious sorbet and enjoy along the banks of the river. The ice cream itself is truly a family affair, with 5 generations devoted to providing almost 80 flavors of ice cream and sorbet à la française. What’s more? You can ONLY find Berthillon ice cream at their Île Saint Louis location and a select few designated retailers, a truly Parisian treat you wind find anywhere else!
4. See a show with the whole family in Paris
What’s a better way to end the day than seeing a Parisian show in one of Paris’ beautiful, timeless theatres? This can sometimes be tricky with since most shows are in French, but a few Parisian shows have a unique solution for the whole family. For example, shows like Circus Incognitus and Pierric, man framed on white have no dialogue at all, and are appreciated by all ages. A funny musically charged spectacular with clowns and miming, perfect for the whole family! Another idea if your children are old enough to read, see a show with English subtitles as another way eliminate the language barrier!
5. Take a boat ride through the center of Paris
The lovely Bateaux Mouches boats take you on a smooth cruise along the Seine River, the perfect way for the whole family to get outside and see many of Paris' famous sights along the way. Paris’ most famous monuments are located along the Seine River, so you’ll get to see a lot from a cool perspective. The boats are typically free for children under four and heavily discounted for children under 12. This is definitely a fun way to bask in the Paris sun for two hours, and wave to a few Parisians along the way.
6. A day in the park
Take advantage of Paris’s green spots! Sometimes the kids just need a little time to be kids. Let them run around in one of the many parks and gardens around the city, Paris is simply full of them! You could even choose to have a meal at one of the gardens and picnic like a true Parisian. Bring some bread and cheese, and you’re good to go! Many parks also have playgrounds, courts, or caves to explore. Definitely a good place for the whole family to release some energy!
André Citröen Park and its very own hot air balloon
Buttes Chaumont Park has caves to explore
Luxembourg Gardens has wooden boats for rent for endless fountain play
Some more Paris parks and gardens to explore
7. Learn how to cook like a Parisian with the whole family
Learn how to be a top French chef with the whole family, during your very own French cooking class in English! Getting messy in the kitchen is a perfect way to introduce all ages to a bit of French cuisine, and ave some fun before you taste your creations! Paris is stock full of cooking schools and many offer family classes, here's a few recommendations:
L'Atelier des Sens
Cook N With Class
8. Head just outside the city for a day of rides and amusements
When you think of Paris, you probably don't think of roller coasters and cotton candy, but there's not one but two amazing amusement parks just outside the city!
Disneyland Paris - While the two parks that make up Disneyland Paris probably need no introduction, they are definitely worth the train trip outside the city! People from all over Europe and beyond come to see a taste of Disney in Paris. Comprised of 2 park centers (Walt Disney Studios ad DIsneyland), you can opt to stay in local hotels and visit for a few days, or simply head over to explore for a great family day trip outside the city. The Disney you know and love, with a touch of Paris!
Parc Astérix - In honor of one of France's most beloved cartoons, Astérix & Obélix, an entire theme park dedicated to the crew of Gaules from the early days of France is just a train ride away from Paris. With the beloved characters around every corner, it's a true window into what it's like growing up in France!
9. Visit some animals in the park - Ménagerie at the Jardin des Plantes
Open since the 1700s, this small zoo situated in the heart of one of the many amazing parks in Paris is one of the oldest zoos in the world still welcoming visitors! Over 180 species of animals, birds, and reptiles live right in Paris in the Ménagerie of the Jardin des Plantes, and you and the whole family can visit! Spend the day wandering the park and exploring the zoo, and you're just steps away from the natural wonders of the world at the Natural History Museum.
10. See someone famous, in wax that is - Grévin Wax Museum
Where can you cross paths with Hollywood actors, world class soccer players, and a few kings from ancient times? The Musée Grévin is the only place! This wax museum in Paris has all kinds of known faces, the family will love taking pictures next to Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonardo Dicaprio.
No matter what your age, there's always something new to discover in Paris. Care to explore more? Here's some honorable mentions:
- Explore Paris has created multiple original tours of the secrets of Paris esspecially for kids! Check out their tours for the whole family here
- Check out some cannons and knights in shining armor at the Paris Army Museum
- Head to the Paris Science Museum for all kinds of interesting interactive exhibitions for all ages
- Visit Paris by bike with Fat Tire bike tours