Paris with children
Next on my list for a one-on-one trip with one of our children is Paris. The city of love and of poop, as my son insists on calling France’s capital. I would love to show him to that to me it is the city of so much more… Have a glance at my tips on where to go in Paris with kids. I will keep adding new tips to this blog. If you think I missed something, let me know.
Suggested itinerary for a weekend
Notre Dame or boat trip on the Seine – picnic at Ile St. Louis – play time in the garden on Square du Vert Galant – Louvre (for kids: the mummies and Mona Lisa) – Arc de Triomphe – dinner at Drugstore Publicis
And are you lucky enough to visit Paris in the spring? Then keep an extra eye out for chocolate fish (fish?) in the stores to celebrate April 1st and Easter. At Bois de Vincennes the kids can enjoy themselves all year, but in the spring there are extra activities.
Where to go
One thing I always try to do is read books with the kids about the city or country we ware going to visit. In this blog you can find five books to read with your children to prepare for a trip to Paris.
- Eiffel tower: on its website for children you can find a guided tour for children from 6 to 10 years old. Be sure to book tickets in advance if you would like to go up the Eiffel tower during your visit to Paris. For older kids, this is definitely worth it. With smaller kids you could choose to go up Tour Montparnasse and let them take pictures from the Eiffel Tower from there.
- A visit to the Louvre is bound to be on your list. Keep it short and simple, take the direct route to the Egyptian mummies and the Mona Lisa. Have a look at this website www.pariskid.fr, which offers guided tours for families with children from six to twelve years old. You can book a tour at the Louvre, but also to several other cultural highlights such as the Centre Pompidou or walking tours through le Marais.
- Although something different from the main attractions, the Paris local history museum Carnavalet is also worth your visit. Located in the third arrondissement, this museum tells the story of the history of Paris from the prehistoric age to the Middle Ages up until the present day. The Paris museum website for children Muséosphere helps your family start your way through the collection.
- Paris also has several museums especially for children, such as the Musée en Herbe – which is not about herbs but about art. Children can learn about art and try to make some art work themselves. Another family favorite is Cité des Enfants, a science museum. Have you ever been to a Magic Museum? I haven’t, but the Paris Musée de la Magie is going on our list for our next trip.
- At the Quartier Latin you can relax at the zoo Parc Zoologique and Jardin des Plantes, which has a maze and a rose garden. Also in the fifth arrondissement, the museum of natural history
- Bring a padlock from home and fasten it on the Pont des Arts. Then throw the key into the Seine (although this might not be that a great idea for the Seine’s water quality…)
- My personal favourite is Place des Vosges, the most romantic square in Paris. Especially on a warm and sunny day, this square makes you feel as if you are walking into a historical movie set
- If you are traveling with older children, then Musée Rodin might interest them. It has a wonderful garden with several sculptures by Auguste Rodin himself.
Parks and playgrounds
- Are you the lucky one to visit Paris in summer? Then take your family to the Paris Plages, one of the first city beaches.
- La Geode is an interactive playground and music museum
- From the Pantheon in the 6th arrondissement it is a short walk to Palais du Luxembourg. In the park at the back of the palace, you will find a large play ground with a sand box
- Jardin des Tuileries also had a fantastic playground. And have a coffee at Café Renard
- Jardin d’Acclimation at the Bois de Boulogne, fabulous playground with a petting zoo, rowing boats and much more (metro Porte Maillot, line 1). You will also find Musée en Herbe in this Jardin (see above).
dedicated to original art and to children.dedicated to original art and to childre
Where to eat
In the suggested itinerary at the top of this blog, I already mentioned some fun places to eat where you can take your kids. In Le Marais on Rue de Archives there are also several nice places to have breakfast. A must-do when in Paris is of course enjoy a cup of tea and a world famous macaron at Ladurée. You can do so in Ladurée’s boutique in department store La Printemps on Boulevard Hausmann 64 or on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees 75. Best ice cream in Paris is supposedly to be enjoyed at Maisson Berthillon on Rue Saint Louis en l’Ile 31, where Mr. Berthillon’s granddaughter runs the family store.
Where to shop
- The best toy shop in Paris can be found in department store Bon Marche
- Le Marais is one of Paris’ best arrondissements to sniff the true Parisian atmosphere and so some shopping, for example in Rue de Francs Bourgeois, Rue du Temple and Rue des Rosiers.
Are you looking for more ideas on Paris with kids? Have a look at my Winter in Paris with kids and 7 tips for Disneyland Paris with young children posts. Still looking for a hotel? We loved ours, read my review of the Hotel Excelsior Latin.