Paris activities children – fun activities from parks to zoos to science museums abound and I will share a few of them with you here. These activities are either free or relatively inexpensive and will provide fun for all ages in your family. Paris is relatively flat, making it easy to navigate with a stroller if you have one. There is also wonderful public transportation that makes it easy to get around.
- Luxembourg Gardens has a delightful play area for children with child sized bathrooms. There is an entrance fee but it will provide them the opportunity to run and play in the play areas with no worries to you.
- There is a carousel in the gardens (dating to 1900 or before) that children of all ages will love. You will also find another beautiful carousel in front of the Hôtel de Ville.
- You can rent a model boat to float in the fountain/pond if you don’t happen to have your own.
- Another “don’t miss” feature in the gardens is the puppet theatre. They have delightful puppet shows at Théatre des Marionnettes the Punch and Judy characters of Les Guignols every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 2pm.
- For older children don’t miss a visit to the apiary found in Luxembourg Garden. All in all this is a beautiful place to spend the afternoon so why not bring a picnic lunch or supper.
Parks and Zoos
- Paris has two zoos; one is called the Ménagerie and is located near Gare d’Austerlitz in Jardin des Plantes while the other is called Parc Zoologique de Paris or Zoo de Vincennes and is in Bois de Vincennes. The Ménagerie was founded in 1789 and is host to many species of rare animals. The Zoo de Vincennes began a 131 million euro renovation in late 2011 and reopened the spring of 2014.
- Do you just need a shady place to recharge? Look for the nearest church on your map – there is likely a park very close by and often there will be play equipment for the children.
Children love the immensity of the Eiffel Tower and at night the sparkling lights makes it look like a Christmas tree. Arrive about 8:30 in the morning (tickets go on sale at 9) to avoid long lines in the summer heat. Don’t forget to come back at night for a close up view of the sparkling light show. For more information, click here.
Whether you choose a daytime or evening ride on one of the cruise boats both you and your children will enjoy the ride and it is a great way to rest in the middle of a busy afternoon of sight-seeing. For more information, click here.
Don’t hesitate to take you child to one of Paris’ famous museums. Every time we visit the Louvre there is always at least one group of school children there. The ancient Egypt exhibit at the Louvre is one I am sure you will all enjoy. Be sure to arrive via the Louvre Metro stop to avoid the long lines outside at the pyramid. For more information, click here.
- Located in Jardin des Plantes along with the Ménagerie is the Museum of Natural History. You won’t want to miss the Paleontology Galerie there.
- The Palais de la Découverte which is located on the right bank just across the Pont Alexandre III bridge. This science museum is open daily except Mondays.
- The Cité des Enfants is located near the periphrique (ring road) but this complex has a science museum for children, exhibits, cinemas, library, etc. Metro stop Porte de Pantin will take you to the complex. Be sure to allow time for play at Parc de la Villette which is located here.
Train and Metro Excursions
- Although you may have not arrived via train and may not have a train journey planned, your child will definitely enjoy a trip to one of the train stations to see the big trains. I would suggest Gare de Lyon as it is a beautiful station both inside and out.
- In my mind, it is difficult to visit Paris and not ride the metro but then I tend not to want to pay for the expense of a taxi. So, if you haven’t thought about a Paris metro ride, that is definitely something your child would enjoy. Avoid high traffic times when people are coming and going to work. Kids will love the fantastically long escalators and the metro ride itself! Metro line 14 stops at Gare de Lyon; line 6 stops at the Eiffel Tower; the metro line 1 stops at the Louvre.
For Budding Photographers
Early in the day when everyone is rested, climb to the top of Notre Dame. The views are amazing and the kids will love the up close and person view of the gargoyles. The first time we climbed to the top we were in front of a group of 10 pre-schoolers who were thoroughly enjoying their excursion. Let your budding photographer get some close up shots of the gargoyles as well as a nice shot of the Eiffel Tower on a clear day.
- Did you know that Paris has 37 different bridges that cross the seine? Each one is different and unique from the oldest Pont Neuf near Notre Dame to the newest one Simone de Beauvoir which is a footbridge. The ornate Pont Alexandre III with its 4 gilt-bronze statues is sure to please. But don’t just look at the top of the bridge. Have your budding photographer look at the differences in the structure supporting the bridge.
- Finish your outing with an ice cream cone at Berthillon which has its primary store on Île Saint-Louis or at Le Bac à Glaces which is located at 109 rue du Bac.
Paris Activities Children Map
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