Are you visiting Paris with kids? Check out the complete guide for visiting the French capital city with children on this page! I’m telling you about all kinds of fun activities, museums and restaurants that are great to visit with kids in Paris. I found Paris to be a great city to visit with our son. And I love how it’s easy to reach by train from many other European cities. So Paris could be your next citytrip with kids destination! Continue to read my complete guide for visiting Paris with kids!
Cité des Sciences
Cité des Sciences, officially called Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, is my number one tip for visiting Paris with kids. The museum houses The Children’s City (Cité des Enfants); two separate areas completely designed to challenge and stimulate kid’s imagination and curiosity. There’s an area for 2-7 year olds and an area for 5-12 year olds (and they also have a baby area for kids 0-2 year olds).
We went to the Children’s City for 2-7 year olds with or 2 year old son and he absolutely loved it. It’s an area of over 1700 m² and it’s divided in five spaces, each with their own theme. Our son particularly loved the ‘All Togehter’ room, where he and his peers had a lot of fun constructing a house of rubber bricks with all the aspects that you’ll come across in real life too. There were small train wagons, wheelbarrows and even a miniature crane.
I highly recommend to reserve your tickets for the The Children’s City of Cité des Sciences in advance. They work with 90 minut time slots, so that way you’ll be assured that you can enter at the time that suits you.
National Museum of Natural History
Another museum that’s a recommendation for visiting Paris with kids is the National Museum of Natural History, and in particular the Grande galerie de l’évolution of the Jardin des Plantes. This fantastic gallery shows how amazing and diverse nature is. When you go in, you’ll feel like you’re taking an amazing trip through the history of life on Earth. In the gallery, you can see many well-preserved animals, from tiny bugs to huge mammals. These animals are put in scenes that look just like where they live in the wild, and they look stunningly realistic. Here I also highly recommend buying your tickets online beforehand to secure your time slot.
The Promenade Plantee is an old train track that’s elevated above street level. About 10 meters above the ground you can stroll around this green belt. Because it’s only accessible for pedestrians, your kids can walk and run around freely. The Promenade Plantée starts behind the Opéra Bastille at the intersection of Rue de Lyon and Avenue Daumesnil, and it ends at the entrance to Bois de Vincennes. You can start from either end, and in the middle of the route, you can also go up or down. If you want to walk the entire path, it takes about an hour to an hour and a half.
Fun fact: The Promenade Plantee served as an inspiration for the High Line in New York City.
Jardin du Luxembourg
Jardin du Luxembourg is a big, quiet park in the center of Paris, South of the Seine river. The park is actually the backyard of the Palais du Luxembourg, a 17th century palace. Kids can walk and run around in the park, you can go for a picnic or search for the small Statue of Liberty. And the best thing for kids in the Jardin du Luxembourg if you ask me, is to rent a small sailing boat that the kids can move around the pond with a large stick. The miniature boats rental office is open every day in June, July and August and the other months on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. In winter they close for approximately 3 months.
There are many Merry-go-rounds that can be found all across Paris. Many of them are very nostalgic and will bring back memories of your own childhood! It’s always a fun intermezzo for the kids when you’re on a city trip in Paris to go for a ride on a merry-go-round.
You can find them in most parks and also close to some of the touristic highlights.
My 3 favorite merry-go-rounds in Paris are:
* The Carrousel de la Villette, in the park La Vilette, near the science museum. It’s in perfect state and has original rides like a hot air balloon and a vintage airplane (pictured here).
* The Carrousel at the Eifel Tower, right next to the public toilets where you can take the iconic picture of the merry-go-round and the Eifel tower that you see at the top of this page.
* The Carrousel de Saint-Pierre, at the foot of the stairs that lead up to the Sacre Coeur. There’s also a small playground with a slide right next to it.
The Jardin d’Acclimatation in Paris is an amusement park where kids and families can have a great time. It’s filled with all sorts of great things to do; rides, games, and even a little farm with cute animals. You can also stroll through beautiful gardens and enjoy some of the tasty treats available like ice cream. It’s a wonderful place for a day out in Paris with lots of fun stuff for the whole family to enjoy. The entrance fee is €27 per adult (kids less that 80cm can get in for free).
The Galeries Lafayette in Paris might just be the most beautiful department store you’ve ever visited. Make sure to go to the Women’s Building (there are 3 shops close to each other). From the center of the store you’ve got an amazing view of the stained glass dome of the store. You can also take the escalator all the way up to the rooftop of the store for beautiful views over Paris (including the Eiffel tower in the distance). Also convenient if you’re visiting Paris with kids: the toilets at Lafayette are for free and clean.
Space Invader Tour
Are you visiting Paris with teenagers? I’m sure they’ll love a street-art tour! There are several companies offering either guided or self-guided street-art tours. But you can also download the FREE Flash Invaders application on your phone to hunt for Space Invaders in Paris. Space Invaders are small mosaics, often in the shape of Space Invaders from the old computer game. You can find over 1,000 of them in Paris. If you spot one, you can ‘flash’ it with your phone to score points.
Kid Friendly restaurants
There are several kid friendly restaurants in Paris that you can take your children to. Here’s a short overview of my favorite family friendly restaurants in the city. For more information you can visit my blog post about kid friendly restaurants in Paris.
- Cafe Zoïde
- La Felicità
- Ground Control
- La REcyclerie
- Les Fils a Maman