There is nothing like a holiday in Paris. Most people think that it is just a place for lovers who want to get away for some romance, but the City of Lights is also a very family-oriented place to visit. There are a lot of places to visit and spend entire days exploring. World famous historic sites, kid-friendly museums, amazing parks, just to name a few. This is sure to be a trip that you all will remember for years to come.
One of the biggest negatives about visiting Paris is once you start planning your trip you’ll find there are more things to see than you can possibly fit in. Make a list of your “must-dos” and arrange your days to fit them in. It’s a good idea to let everyone have a vote. If this is your first visit to Paris there are most likely things you’ve always dreamed of seeing – make sure you fit them in even if you do some separately.
The wonderful thing about Paris is the metro is fast and comprehensive so getting around the city to see several things in a single day is actually very easy, even with kids in tow. Be realistic and know what your children’s limits are though. If you know they start to get crabby in the early afternoons, try to visit your most important spots in the early part of the day. Many things in Paris stay open late so you can easily pencil in some down-time to help everyone recharge before embarking on the next adventure. Don’t be afraid to split up either. I ended up visiting the Louvre by myself simply because it was my ‘must-see’ and the kids were too exhausted to go. Instead they spent an afternoon eating croissants in a park with Dad. I would have been upset if I didn’t get the chance to go the Louvre but it would have been a disaster to drag two tired kids there. This way everyone still had a fantastic afternoon.
If you dread taking your rambunctious kids into a quiet French restaurant, consider grabbing takeout and a picnic blanket and eating in a nearby park. Paris has some truly beautiful parks. We found that almost every place we wanted to visit had a park nearby. The kids get to be outside in the fresh air and make as much noise as they please and no one will be judging their table manners (or lack thereof).
With a city like Paris, most people already have an idea of the ‘big tourist attractions’ they want to see. The Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, Notre Dame, the Louvre. Just to name a few. But what else is there to do with kids? Here are some great choices for places to take the kids in Paris that are sure to create long-lasting memories:
Take a boat tour on the Seine
A boat trip along the Seine is a fabulous way to sightsee and catch all the important sights, without overtiring little legs. Several cruise companies operate along the Seine, all leaving from different points close to popular tourist attractions. Cruises generally last 1 hour and you can enjoy a sunet cruise. Alternatively you can buy a 1 day pass for Batobus, a modern river ferry stopping at 8 popular attractions along the river in the heart of Paris. It’s more expensive than walking or taking a train, but you might consider the view worth it!
What is top of your children’s “must-see” list in Paris? I’d almost be willing to bet that it’s the same as my children: many children dream of holidays to Disneyland Paris. You can plan the entire trip around your day at the park. Explore all five of the special areas inside the park, including Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, and Discoveryland. The kids will love spending the day riding rides, watching shows and taking pictures with their favorite characters.
Watch the puppet shows
Since it’s a pretty good certainty that you’ll be visiting some parks while you are in Paris with the kids, then you can stop and sit a spell and watch one of the classic marionette shows that are held in some parks. Champs de Mars and Jardin de Luxembourg are known for putting on shows that will delight the kids with their physical comedy.
Go to Parc Floral
This amazing park will have you all entertained. There are tons of slides, ziplines, toys and fields of flowers for you all to take advantage of. In between all of the playing and excitement, stop to enjoy some snacks from the many snack bars throughout the park. Set aside time to explore the rest of the park. It’s stunning.
Visit the Cite des Enfants
Kids love a museum that lets them get hands-on and this is just the place to do it. This is a good spot for toddlers and even older kids. They get to explore scientific toys and activities, which is the sneakiest and best way for kids to learn.