Paris: The city of light with children
School is over… welcome les vacances! Yes, it’s time to relax and enjoy the summer. But wait, what about the little ones?!
Paris is an amazing city for your holidays, only traveling with kids is not always as smooth and glamorous as it is cut out to be… So if you are headed to the city of lights, right along some amazing wine tasting and enjoying the best patisseries, you need to schedule in some kid-friendly activities.
Whereas there is no doubt in mind that you will LOVE Paris, I have prepared a handy list to make your little (and not so little) ones fall in love in the city.
Here are my best tips for digital-devices-free activities for happy kids in Paris.
Best Outdoor Places
Marne-la-Vallée, a new town located 32 km east of Paris (RER ride)
Ok do I need to say more?! It is the most visited theme park in all of France and Europe with all your favorite figures in one location, the perfect experience for kids all ages (and their parents!).
Bois de Boulogne 75116, metro: les Sablons
This children’s park was actually designed in the 19th century, and although it’s been updated with lots of cool rides and play equipment there’s still an air of old Paris about the place.
1 Route de la Pyramide 75012, metro: Château de Vincennes
A cross between a botanical garden and an amusement park, where jazz concerts are held on weekends in summer.
Jardin des Plantes
57 Rue Cuvier 75005, metro: Jussieu or Gare d’Austerlitz
This is the main botanical garden in France. It is one of seven departments of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. It contains more than 10,000 species and includes tropical greenhouses and rose, winter and Alpine gardens – is an enchanting place.
Bois de Vincennes
metro: Château de Vincennes
The largest public park in the city, there are boating lakes, a Buddhist temple, a racetrack, restaurants, a baseball field and a small farm.
La Cité des Sciences et de lIndustrie
La Villette, 30 av Corentin-Cariou, metro: Porte de la Villette
This ultra-modern science museum has everything from space, to science work, videography and more. The Cité des Enfants runs workshops for younger children. See the website for details.
Centre Georges Pompidou
Place Georges-Pompidou 75004, metro Rambuteau
The children’s gallery at the Centre Pompidou is a great way to engage those six and above with contemporary art. Interactive workshops, painting and art creation.
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
62 rue des Archives, metro Rambuteau
A private museum of hunting and nature located in the 3-rd arrondissement. The museum houses a collection of weapons and stuffed animals.
Musée de la Poupée
Impasse Berthaud 75003, metro: Rambuteau
The Paris Doll Museum is a lovely museum well suited to children. It has 300 French dolls from 1850 to today, displayed as part of lively Parisian scenes, art and culture.
Cite de la Musique
221 Avenue Jean Jaurès 75019, metro: Port de Pantin
A wonderful museum that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Great exhibits on instruments, composition, and the history of music. There are also workshops available.
Le Poussette Café
Square Montholon, 6 rue Pierre Semard 75009, metro: Poissonnière
Pushchair café is an ideal place to bring your baby. Not only is it a child-friendly cafe but it has a play-area, offers courses such as baby massage and has baby clothes for sale.
92 bis Quai de Loire 75019, metro: Crimée ou Laumière
Cafézoïde is the only café in Paris which is reserved exclusively for children from 0 to 16 years old (accompanied by a parent)! Every day, this unusual venue hosts games, shows, exhibitions, encounters, chats, outdoor games and parties.
161 avenue du Maine75014 , metro: Mouton-Duvernet
Cafe Grenadine offers home-made dishes for children and parents, a shop area, a toys corner, workshops, story hours and of course all the necessary equipment for your little ones.
For Rainy Days
5 Rue Curial 75019, metro: Le Centquatre
This is one of the most special places in Paris. It is part art installation, part interactive museum. The installations are made to play in and “experience” and are perfect for both children and adults.
Aquarium de Paris
5 Avenue Albert de Mun 75016, metro: Trocadero
The aquarium offers a restrained but entertaining array of fishes and other marine life, just across from the Eiffel Tower in the Palais Chaillot.
The Passages of Paris
Metro Les Halles
Paris has numerous passages or covered malls dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. These days they house interesting shops and restaurants. Some recommendations: Galerie Vivienne and Passage du Grand Cerf. The common characteristics of the covered passages are that they are pedestrianised with glass-ceilings, illuminated at night and are highly ornamented.
Grande Galerie de l’Évolution
36 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire 75005 , metro: Place Monge
More than 7000 preserved animal specimens over 4 floors, each presenting a different theme.
The Cream of the Crop
Chocolate and Pastry Tasting Tour
19 rue de Sèvres75006, metro: Sèvres – Babylone
Taste 3 pastries, 5 chocolates, and several sorts of bread in the shops you visit on the tour in the upscale neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a premier fashion district in Paris.
35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 , metro: Abbessess
Paris’ most famous Church is an amazing sight to behold any time of day, but it is truly special late at night. The basilica is lit, and the steps leading to it are choc-a-bloc with revellers, especially in the summer.
There’s nothing like enjoying a nice summer picnic in one of the big green parks of the city. This company provide you with quality meats, cheeses, breads and wines, make delicious fresh salads and desserts and provide you with cutlery, plates, glasses and even a blanket to sit on (which is yours to keep) for a perfect picnic in the city of love.
Rita Golstein-Galperin is a Career Makeover Strategist® for expat women and the founder of Expat Renaissance.