10 Best Things to Do in Paris with Children

If you're travelling with children to the French capital, fun is guaranteed with just a few simple tips. Discover one of the best family entertainment offers in Europe.

Joaquín Montaño

Joaquín Montaño

11 min read

10 Best Things to Do in Paris with Children

View of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris | ©Mika Baumeister

When travelling to Paris with children, most people think of Disneyland. However, there are plenty of things to see and do in Paris for the little ones to enjoy their trip. From its spectacular gardens to the monuments themselves, there are attractions for the youngest members of the family.

Here are some tips and suggestions to make your trip a success and leave a lasting impression on the youngest members of the family.

1. Enjoy Disneyland Paris, the visit you can't miss if you go with children.

Disneyland Paris| ©Sean MacEntee
Disneyland Paris| ©Sean MacEntee

The jewel in the crown when visiting the city with children is, without a doubt, to make the most of the trip for everything there is to do and see at Disneyland Paris.

This theme park is perfect for a few hours of fun, although it is important to buy a pass to avoid the queues if you don't want to spend more time waiting than you do at Disneyland's most popular attractions. Here are the two options available:

With Disney's restaurants and services, it will be hard to get the kids out of the park when the visit is over.

Buy tickets for Disneyland Paris

2. Take a guided tour of Paris, the most comfortable way to travel with your family

Guided Tour with Kids| ©MTSOfan
Guided Tour with Kids| ©MTSOfan

When visiting a city as big as Paris, with so many places to see and so much distance between them, tiredness can give children a hard time. One of the ways to avoid this while still visiting the places you want to see is to start by taking an organised tour or excursion around Paris. Here are my favourite options:

If you're going with children, my advice is to choose one of the ones that allow you to customise the tour. After all, you are the one who knows your children best and, for that reason, you will know which places will attract their attention.

Besides, this way of visiting the city will allow you to get to know it a little better and then move around on your own, without forgetting the informative work of the guides. Many of them are used to having children in the group, so they will certainly know how to arouse their interest in what they are seeing.

Book a private tour of Île de la Cité for children

3. Discover Paris in comfort with the sightseeing bus

Paris sightseeing bus| ©Tilemahos Efthimiadis
Paris sightseeing bus| ©Tilemahos Efthimiadis

If you find the metro too complicated to take with children, the city offers a really interesting alternative: the Paris tourist buses, which will allow you to discover Paris comfortably and at your own pace, without crowding the little ones.

As there are several of them, with different stops, there will be no problem getting to almost anywhere you want to visit, with the advantage that you can get on and off as many times as you want. What's more, the top of the bus is uncovered, something that children tend to love. Lastly, many of them have an audio guide in Spanish so that you can get information about the places you pass through. Here are the main ones:

Finally, a similar option to the tourist bus is the batobus. It is a boat that travels along the Seine stopping at the most important monuments on its banks. Children are sure to enjoy going around the city on a boat.

Paris Big Bus night bus tour bus

4. Have an unforgettable experience at the Eiffel Tower.

Walking to the Eiffel Tower| ©Isabella Barreto
Walking to the Eiffel Tower| ©Isabella Barreto

Travelling to Paris with children doesn't mean not visiting the city's most important monuments. However, in order for them to enjoy themselves and not get bored, you have to change the way they see them and introduce activities that they can look forward to. The views from the Eiffel Tower, for example, can be fascinating for the little ones. Going up is always a good idea and, in addition, at the entrance they will be given a game starring a character called Gus Gus with whom they will discover some curiosities about the monument.

One of the factors you should bear in mind when taking the children on this plan is the climb up the Eiffel Tower. The stairs, although spectacular, may be too long for the little ones. On the other hand, the lift option is much more comfortable and, therefore, more appropriate for them.

And what I would never pass up is the possibility of going up the Eiffel Tower with a guide who will explain all the secrets and curiosities of the tower. Below, I highlight all the options available, with and without a guide, with and without a lift, so that you can choose the one that best suits your interests:

Book your guided tour of the Eiffel Tower

5. Explore other experiences for the little ones

Visiting the Ballon de Paris| ©Aero4
Visiting the Ballon de Paris| ©Aero4

As well as the obligatory visit to the great Parisian icons, there are other lesser-known activities that children can enjoy for a while.

  • Don't miss the Paris Zoo, also known as the Vincennes Zoo. It is a huge space with five bio-zones distinguishing the native animals of each continent and where you can discover more than 180 animal species.
  • Visit the Aquarium de Paris, one of the oldest in the world, where you can literally touch the fish. Explore the depths of the sea among more than 13,000 species, see the mermaid show or the shark tank. A perfect place to go with children.
  • Visit Le Grand Rex Studios, a former art deco-style cinema. This is a great option for film buffs, both young and old, as you can tour the studios, see first-hand how film special effects are developed and see the archive of photos of your film idols.
  • Take a ride in the Ballon de Paris, a hot air balloon that rises 150 metres above the French capital. If you want to live this experience, just go to the Parc André Citroën from 9:00 in the morning.
  • Visit the Grevin Wax Museum: almost all children love wax figures, and the ones in this Parisian museum are no exception.
  • Experience the FlyView Paris virtual reality experience: although children under 6 years old are not allowed, if you go with children over 6 years old you can be sure they will enjoy the experience of seeing Paris in a totally different way.

Book tickets to the Paris Zoo

6. Visit the top museums in Paris

External view of the museum| ©Pedro Szekely
External view of the museum| ©Pedro Szekely

One of the questions you're likely to have when planning your trip to Paris with children is whether they'll be able to cope with the pace of some of the museums. Obviously, it doesn't seem the best thing to do to force them to spend a whole day at the Louvre, for example, but you don't have to give up these visits either.

Besides the fact that many Parisian museums are free for children under a certain age, if you prepare your visit well and shorten it, it's sure that they can enjoy it. Following the example of the Louvre, the first thing you should do is to book tickets to the Louvre Museum without queuing up and to delimit the rooms you want to visit.

Another important aspect is to check whether the museum has activities for children, as in the case of the Louvre. For example, the Louvre sets up family points on Sundays with entertainers who give tips on how to visit the museum so that children don't get bored. You can also book a guided tour of the Louvre and let them know that you are going with children so that it can be taken into account.

Other museums to visit with children

There is a wide range of museums in the French capital and some of them are more fun for children than others. Here is a short list of those that may be more suitable for children:

  • Cité des sciences et de l'industrie de Paris: In this great science museum you can learn by investigating with experiments, optical illusions and scientific exhibits, as well as visit the planetarium. The best way to educate while having fun at the same time!
  • Rodin Museum: Its smaller size, as well as the fact that part of the collection is located in its beautiful gardens, can be an advantage when visiting with children. Besides, these gardens are equipped with deckchairs and places to buy an ice cream.
  • Natural History Museum: Without a doubt, this is one of the museums that can attract children the most. Its galleries hide a large number of objects related to the natural world. Visiting the Palaeontology Gallery, with its dinosaur fossils and sabre-toothed tigers, is very attractive.
  • The Museum of Magic: Much less known, this museum located in Le Marais is one of the best places to take children. At the ticket office they surprise them with a little trick and the interior is full of artefacts related to the world of magic.

Book tickets to the Cité des Sciences

7. Don't miss Notre Dame

Notre Dame façade| ©Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz
Notre Dame façade| ©Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz

The same goes if you can take them to see the exterior of Notre Dame Cathedral, which due to the fire in 2019 remains closed. But don't worry, there are virtual tours that allow you to get to know the architecture of the majestic cathedral before it burned down in an immersive way. Take advantage of the visit to tell your children the Disney version of the story of the famous hunchback.

Book a virtual tour of Notre Dame

8. Have fun outdoors in the parks and gardens

Tuileries Garden| ©Roland Turner
Tuileries Garden| ©Roland Turner

Those travelling to Paris in spring or summer will be able to enjoy the city's gardens. When travelling with children, these green spaces are perfect for allowing them to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Many of them also contain play areas that will delight the little ones.

  • Jardin des Tuileries: located near the Musée d'Orsay and the Louvre, these gardens have a Ferris wheel, swings and a merry-go-round. It is an ideal place to intercalate between visits to the museums.
  • Luxembourg Gardens: in addition to the beauty of the park itself, this garden is famous for its famous puppet theatre, so much so that it is usually full of Parisian families on the days when there is a performance. There is also a merry-go-round and you can go sailing.
  • The Champ de Mars: it is right at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, so you can spend some time there after coming down from it. It has several areas with swings, as well as food stalls if you fancy a little family picnic.

Reservation for the Jardin d'Acclimatation de Paris

9. See amusement parks beyond Disneyland Paris

Asterix Park| ©Vinicius Pinheiro
Asterix Park| ©Vinicius Pinheiro

Despite its well-deserved fame, Disneyland Paris is not the only amusement park to visit during a trip to the French capital. Thus, Asterix Park is really interesting for the little ones. Less crowded than the previous one and with a more didactic vision, many people think that it is more interesting and fun than Disney.

Within Paris itself, you can visit the Jardin d'Acclimatation, a park where activities combine attractions with culture and nature. Here you will find a circus and educational workshops, as well as the chance to see farm animals, a puppet theatre or go on a boat trip.

Another interesting option to explore with the little ones is to book tickets for the Paris Zoo, a 14.5-hectare park with 180 special animals.

Book tickets for the Paris Zoo

10. Find events for children in Paris

Cirque Bouglione| ©DXR
Cirque Bouglione| ©DXR

Like any great capital city, Paris offers a wealth of things to see and do and shows aimed at the youngest members of the family. Spending a morning or afternoon watching one of them will make their experience more enjoyable.

These shows range from puppet shows to magicians, singers to storytellers. Here are some of the most popular ones for children:

  • Les Pestacles: every year between June and September, the Parc Floral de Paris is filled with concerts and musical shows for children.
  • Workshops and games at Paris Plages: Paris' famous river beaches have a variety of events for children to enjoy during their stay. Among the most fun are the activities of the BHML (extra-mural libraries).
  • Cirque Bouglione: the oldest circus in Europe: between October and March, the Cirque Bouglione troupe opens its doors to offer its new repertoire. It is located in the 11th arrondissement, in the Bastille area.
  • Little Villette programme: in La Villette park, activities for children and teenagers can be enjoyed all year round, from circus performances to film screenings, magic and puppet shows.

Getting around Paris with children

Metro in Paris| ©FranceHouse
Metro in Paris| ©FranceHouse

Even if you've booked an organised tour for a few visits, the question of how to get around Paris will still be important if you're travelling with children. The obvious first choice is the extraordinary Paris metro, but in some cases it won't be convenient. Stations (some of them tourist attractions) don't have lifts, so if you're travelling with a pushchair you're going to have a lot of difficulty. In addition, the entrance doors are usually narrow, so you will have to ask for a special door to be opened if you have a large pushchair.

If your children are older, the metro can be a valid option. You just have to be careful not to lose sight of them in the busiest stations and just before arriving at the stop you are interested in.

On the other hand, if you are staying for more than two days and plan to use this transport a lot, the cheapest option is to buy the Ticket t+ card, which gives children a 50% discount. Children under the age of 3, on the other hand, can use the underground free of charge.

Book the Paris tourist bus