As one of the most visited cities in the world, Paris earns a spot on many travelers’ European itineraries. It’s a center of culture, art, and history, known to offer some of the world’s best cuisine, making it easy to see why so many people are clamoring to see it for themselves.
While many families choose to make Paris an adult-only trip, it doesn’t have to be. It’s actually surprisingly easy to have a great time in Paris with kids. From shops and restaurants to shows and green spaces, you’ll find much of the city is accessible – and enjoyable – by kids of all ages. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding a sitter, and you don’t want to put off your Paris trip any longer, don’t. With a little effort and planning, you’re guaranteed to have a great time – even with kids in tow.
If you’re planning a vacation to Paris with kids, consider adding these fun ideas and activities to your itinerary:
CHECK OUT THE CENTRE POMPIDOU
This quirky building houses one of Paris’ most well-known and loved museums. Instantly recognizable from the exterior-facing piping, ductwork, and escalators that give this building the appearance of being “inside out,” it’s a great place to spend a few hours exploring with little ones between trips through the Louvre and other, more adult-oriented art museums. Your little ones will have a blast exploring the Children’s Gallery, which houses rotating exhibits geared toward visitors under 10, as well as the Kids Studio, which offers little ones an introduction to the world of art. Look online before you go to see exactly what’s going on while you’re here!
INDULGE IN SOMETHING SWEET
Paris is a town for foodies – including little ones with a big sweet tooth. Plan a visit to Laduree, a world-famous bakery known for churning out delectable, picture-perfect macarons. Working up a sweat during the summer? Find a shop that sells gelato and splurge on a scoop or two of something sweet to cool off. And, of course, you can’t forget about the crepes sold at cafes and food carts around the city. If you aren’t sure which flavor to fill your crepe with, stick with Nutella banana – a classic combination!
For kids who really consider themselves serious foodies, you may even want to book a kid-friendly cooking class to teach your little one the basics of mastering French desserts. Learning how to make your own macarons, petit fours, and other treats can be a fun and hands-on way to spend a few hours.
EXPLORE THE SPOOKY SIDE OF PARIS
Traveling to Paris with older kids? You should consider visiting some of the city’s older, more macabre attractions. The Pere Lachaise cemetery, one of the most famous resting places in the world, is a great place to enjoy an afternoon stroll. The whole family can admire the ornate tombs, many of which have existed for well over 100 years.
Alternately, consider a trip through the Catacombs. Part creepy tour, part history lesson, you’ll find yourself winding through the tunnels beneath the city whose walls are lined, floor to ceiling, with bones. An attraction best left for older kids and teens, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience well worth visiting.
ENJOY A DAY TRIP TO VERSAILLES
Your little ones will have a blast channeling their inner royal with a trip to Versailles. This world-famous palace is well worth a visit and is an easy place to spend a full day. You can take a guided tour of the palace to learn all about its history and marvel at the ornate interior, including the famous Hall of Mirrors. Once you’ve experienced the palace itself, rent bicycles to explore the ground and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the lavish, well-kept gardens.
Versailles is a popular spot to visit, so plan to visit early if you want to beat the crowd.
PLAN A PICNIC LUNCH IN LUXEMBOURG GARDENS
Paris is home to several gorgeous parks and gardens featuring everything from play structures and tennis courts to carousels and amusement rides. For a classic Parisian afternoon, pick up a picnic lunch and enjoy it at Luxembourg Gardens. The whole family will have fun admiring the park’s fountains, playing on the lawns, and pushing boats across the glassy surface of the Grand Bassin duck pond, and you’ll find some excellent spots to snap a few photos for the family album.
GET YOUR SCIENCE ON AT THE PALAIS DE LA DECOUVERTE!
This science museum in Paris is geared toward kids, making it the perfect spot for little learners to explore and play after a long day at the Louvre. The fact that the museum doesn’t offer many English translations does make it tricky, at times, to understand exactly what’s happening, but for the most part, it’s relatively easy to navigate and get engaged. You’ll find everything from optical illusions and hands-on experiments to exhibits that explain the mysteries of physics, chemistry, astronomy, and other areas of science.
ADMIRE THE EIFFEL TOWER
No trip to Paris is complete without a stop at the Eiffel Tower. This iconic landmark, originally loathed by locals, has become the most well-known structure in the city, making it the perfect spot to snap some photos to commemorate your trip.
Many visitors pay to travel to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but if you’re with kids, you may not want to do this. The line can be quite long, and it can take an hour or more to reach the second observation deck. Instead, admire the tower from the Champs de Mars, the long public green filled with picnickers and families at play, or climb the steps of the Trocadero for a different angle.
From landmarks and museums to drool-worthy desserts, there are plenty of ways to have fun and make memories with your kids in Paris. The ideas included on this list are just a few of the ways you can make the most out of your time in the City of Lights with your little ones.