Bonjour! A few days ago, I asked my Instagram followers for a blog post idea. In my stories, I uploaded a poll. It asked you to vote for one of the three proposed destinations: Paris, Florida, or Mexico. As you can guess from the title of this blog post, a city break in Paris with kids defeated vacation in Mexico and Florida. Hence I am sharing the best things to do in Paris with kids during your city break in Europe!
Actually, I was pleased about the winner. Although I would have enjoyed writing about Florida and Mexico, having lived in Paris for two years, I have warm sentiments for the city of lights and love.
Although while living in the French capital, I was single and more focused on eating hot crepes loaded with Nutella than searching for the best things to do in Paris with kids, I did go to Disneyland. Multiple times.
Hence I am starting this list with one the best of the best things to do during a city break in Paris with kids. Enjoy!
Pro tip: The easiest way to get to the city from the airport with all that luggage after a long flight is by taxi. Unless you bring your own travel seat, book a car service that comes with a child’s car seat included.
Pro tip 2: A family vacation in the city of light and love deserves more than selfies! I recommend a Flytographer photoshoot of the traveling family to capture those precious memories. After all, aren’t the memories from the trip the best souvenir? (Use the code LITTLETRAVELLER for $25 off)
Disneyland Paris with kids
Disneyland needs little or no introduction. Simply put, it is a heaven for kids, tweens, and teens. For many adults too, by the way.
My personal favorites in Disneyland are Phantom Manor, the Big Thunder Mountain, and, having watched so many Disney cartoons, the iconic castle of Sleeping Beauty.
When I took toddler Thea to Universal Studios in Singapore, we were able to enjoy maybe 20% of the attractions because of height requirements. There were very few attractions for toddlers shorter than 1.10 cm. However, Disneyland is baby and toddler friendly. There are dozens of attractions and activities suited for all heights.
The activities range from getting lost in Alice’s Curious Labyrinth to flying carpets over Agrabah. With plenty of places to eat, attractions, shows, and activities to explore, Disneyland is a perfect destination for families.
I know the disappointment of coming to the park and expecting to enjoy your favorite attraction, only to find that it’s being closed for refurbishment. That did happen to me in Disneyland in Hong Kong. Disneyland Paris offers a calendar of current and upcoming refurbishments, and you can access it via the link below.
Although Disneyland Paris is outside of the city of love, getting to the magic is easy. The park gates are 20 miles from the French capital, and there are regular shuttle buses to the park from the Paris airports. Or, if you prefer taking a train, the main gate of the entrance to the magical park is just a couple of minutes’ walk from Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy train station.
Disneyland Paris tips: There are several useful apps that I strongly recommend you download before you visit the place of magic. Namely, Lineberty (to digitally queue for character meets), Line Predictor, and Photopass.
The Eiffel Tower for kids in Paris
What a city break in Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower with or without kids? By the way, did you know that Gustav Eiffel initially wanted to build the tower in Barcelona? The Spanish didn’t like the idea of a giant steel structure ruining the views of Barna (nickname of the city, in case you’re wondering), so the Tower was built in Paris instead.
Being one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, the Eiffel Tower needs no further introduction. Just a recommendation. Absolutely, do go! It’s a wonderful experience for the whole family!
However, don’t just go up and move on to the next attraction! Eat a freshly baked crepe under the Tower, take photos from various angles, watch it light up in the evening, spin on a carousel nearby, enjoy a stroll, or have a picnic in the Champ de Mars. It is a beautiful green public space between the Eiffel Tower and the École Militaire.
By the way, the Eiffel Tower is a perfect landmark to play the ‘spot it’ game around the city as it comes in and out of view behind the beautiful Parisian buildings.
Another option to enjoy this giant structure is looking at it from other observation desks. For example, from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, the Montparnasse Tower, or Sacre Coeur Basillica in Montmartre.
River Seine Cruise
You will see plenty of boats running up and down the Seine River. It’s a wonderful option to explore the city from a different angle! Besides you avoid the traffic jams that you usually get with the hop-on-hop-off buses.
There are plenty of boats and tours to choose from. The cruises vary greatly in pricing, length, and type. I recommend this family-friendly River Seine guided cruise.
Enjoy spectacular views while hearing the water splash on the sides of the boat and listening to fascinating, family-friendly tales and secrets about the city of light. That’s one of the best things to do in Paris with kids. A memory that they will treasure for many years to come.
It’s for a reason that French cuisine is famous worldwide. I absolutely love it and guarantee your taste buds will have a blast in Paris. While in the French capital, try as many local dishes as you can. What I definitely recommend is the onion soup.
Although its name does not sound inviting, the soup is incredibly delicious. My daughter, who is half-French, loves it even though she is usually not a big fan of onions.
Another way to enjoy French culinary delights and learn about the culture is to join cooking classes. There are many cooking classes to choose from. And they are family-friendly too.
My daughter loves cooking classes! Especially the ones that involve making desserts.
Check out and join this cooking class on making French macarons!
City Break in Paris: Musee du Chocolat for kids
When we are on vacation, I allow Thea to enjoy extra sweets and treats than what she would normally get at home. After all, it’s her vacation. Moreover, it’s interesting to try new things in different countries. Besides, sometimes, for kids, such simple things as a colorful macaron or a funnily shaped piece of chocolate bring as much joy as for us visiting some exciting attraction.
That is why I include visiting the Chocolate Museum in this list. It’s not a usual museum, mind you. Musee du Chocolat is exceptionally kid-friendly. Kids can go on treasure hunts which in addition to loads of fun, teach about the history of chocolate. Little travellers can join workshops, solve quizzes and even celebrate birthdays.
While visitors young and young at heart can join the treasure hunt and get a reward, educational workshops are available for kids aged six and up.
If your little one has a sweet tooth, I absolutely recommend this chocolaty place which will delight the children! To learn more and to book, click on the link below!
The Luxembourg Gardens for kids
If you are wondering what do French kids do in Paris, the Luxembourg Gardens is your answer. It is not a tourist hot spot. The Gardens is rather a place to mingle with local families and let the kids experience different kinds of games. A toy boat and a stick, to be exact. These can be rented for a couple of euros, and I swear they keep kids busy for hours. There is just some childhood magic in the pond of the Gardens of Luxembourg.
Given relatively high admission prices to attractions in the French capital, floating boats and relaxing in a charming place is almost free. Spending a leisurely afternoon in a distinctively Parisian way is one of the most memorable activities in Paris with kids. Add it to your itinerary!
Musée du Louvre with kids
Now here I have an issue recommending one specific art museum because there are so many. And all of them are just fabulous.
Having been a Paris insider for a few years, I advise you not to miss the Louvre. Especially if it is your first time in Paris.
It is a world-famous museum for a reason. If your children are not keen to go inside and look at works of art, visit the iconic glass pyramids outside. They are located at the main entrance of the museum.
They look magnificent, you can see them for free, and the pyramids are amazingly lit up in the dark. Moreover, they make for a great photo opportunity!
However, the Louvre is very kids friendly. Just check all the amazing content they have for children on the Louvre Kids app .
Exploring the content of the Louvre for kids will inspire them to really want to visit the museum and see the works of art.
If they enjoy going to art galleries, then explore the Louvre and take a selfie with the iconic Mona Lisa.
Speaking of which, there is a slight problem. There are so many heads in front of the Mona Lisa that it becomes really difficult to see hers.
I didn’t count, but they say that if you spent one minute looking at each work of art in the Louvre, walking steadily for at least eight hours per day, it would still take you 75 days to see them all. I do not recommend doing that while on a city break in Paris with kids, though! Having said that plan your visit in advance. It is better to check beforehand where masterpieces you want to see are located within the museum. Like that, once inside, you know your way and don’t have to spend hours in the crowds trying to find it among millions of others.
There are tours designed specifically for families with children. You can learn more about them by clicking on the links below.
The queues for tickets can get lengthy, so I advise booking your tickets in advance. Keep in mind that there will be queues at security as well. Even with the pre-purchased tickets.
Tip for getting inside the Louvre. Most people enter the museum from the main entrance, next to the pyramids. However, there are way fewer people at the Carrousel du Louvre next to the inverted pyramid. The majority of tourists aren’t even aware of the existence of this underground indoor entrance.
A tip for visiting museums for free: many museums in Paris allow free admission on the first weekend of the month. For some of them, it is a year-round offer while for others it’s valid only during the winter months. However, it also means more crowds.
The Museum of Natural History
I haven’t yet met a child who would not be fascinated by the dinosaurs. While we can’t show them the real thing, the Muséum national d’Histoire in Paris has an impressive collection of dinosaurs from the most distant past. That includes a female t-rex from 65 million years ago!
The museum organizes various family-oriented tours. Click the link below for more information.
However, there is more to Muséum national d’Histoire than just dinosaurs.
This museum is super family-friendly. They organize various workshops, guided tours, birthday parties, breakfast with giraffes, apprentice zookeeper activities, games books, downloadable tour guides, etc.
On the museum’s website, you can find entertaining podcasts for children called Bestioles (Bugs). It is a series of podcasts for 5-7 year-olds and the kids at heart looking after them. Each episode takes its listeners on educational learning adventures. However, please note that they are in French.
Muséum national d’Histoire also organises monthly Pousse-Pousse projections for young kids at the Jardins des Plantes, as well as Effervescience events for 8-12 year-olds, which explore biodiversity.
Overall, I highly recommend adding the Museum of Natural History to your Paris itinerary.
Taking a stroll with kids in Montmartre
Montmartre is probably my favorite place in Paris. Not just because I rented a flat there, but because it’s so uniquely charming. I remember how I used to wake up on the weekends to street artists singing French songs or mouth-watering aromas coming from patisseries, ice-cream vendors, and cafes.
Montmartre is a great place to go to with kids because there are some really cool things to do there! For example, one of the gorgeous carousels is spinning joyfully at the base of Montmartre, inviting kids to hop onboard.
A ride up a funicular to the top of the hill offers fascinating views of Paris. Not to forget the Little Train, which tours the hilly cobblestone streets of Montmartre and brings lots of joy to its passengers.
The Sacré-Cœur Basilica located on the very top of the hill is a must-visit place even if you are not religious.
It’s a stunning building, inside out, and offers amazing views of the city of lights and love.
And if you do play the game of spot it that I mentioned above, you will see the Eiffel Tower very clearly. I find the entire area becomes even more picturesque and magical when the sun goes down. That is when the lights illuminate the cobblestone streets and fairytale-like Parisian buildings.
Finally, I tremendously enjoyed writing this blog post and compiling the list of the best things to do for your city break in Paris with kids. It took me down a sweet memory lane, and I hope to go back to Paris soon. If you’ve been to the city of light and have something fabulous to add to the list, please share in the comments below. Thanks!
Photo credit: unsplash.com
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