September 13, 2020

City Guide: Things to Do in Paris with Kids

If there’s one city in the world that automatically comes to mind when we say the word ‘romantic’, it would have to be Paris. Of course, being the city of lights, Paris is filled with a lot of tourist spots that everyone wants to tick off their bucket lists! From historical sites to shopping and romantic activities, the city seems to come up with endless offerings.

However, the good thing here is that Paris isn’t only for lovers. It’s good news for families with small children whose parents are longing to see the city. There are so many places to see and activities to do with your younger kids! But before that, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting facts about Paris.

Things you might not know about Paris

  • The City of Intellectuals

You might have heard of Paris being referred to as the City of Lights, and you might have thought that it’s because of all the lights that come on at night. Sorry to burst that bubble, but the actual meaning of that is being a city of intellectuals with its high concentration of writers, academics, and artists? Is anyone going to dispute that? I didn’t think so!

  • The Louvre Museum

Paris: facade of an old building

Everyone knows that familiar glass pyramid in the heart of the city, right? The Louvre Museum is the largest art gallery museum in the whole world, housing 38,000 pieces of art. Here, you can find the Mona Lisa, which is the world’s most famous painting. And in 2018, it also became the most visited museum on earth with 10.8 million visitors who came here that year alone!

  • There are more dogs than children in Paris

two dogs on the grass with the Eiffel Tower at the back

Yep, there’s no typo there. The Parisians truly love their dogs and really take care of them. In fact, they spend about half a million dollars in pet care and grooming. They even bring their fur babies to the doggie spa! Of course, many of the hotels are pet friendly too!

  • The first ‘Bloody Mary’ was made in Paris

a tall glass of Bloody Mary

Cocktail lovers out there! Listen up! It’s fun to know that the first ‘Bloody Mary’ cocktail was actually concocted at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. It is believed that it was created for Ernest Hemingway after he requested for a drink that didn’t smell like alcohol. So, what better drink is there than vodka mixed with some tomato juice, right?

  • Carrier pigeons are still a thing here

This is now uncommon, but the French Army is the only one in all of Europe to still use carrier pigeons, which they keep in Mont Valérien near Paris. They are going to be used in the event of a catastrophe.

So now, it’s time to discover the places and things to do with kids during your stay in Paris.

Activities and places for the family and kids in Paris

1. Jardin d’Acclimatation

a park with trees and a lake

It’s only a bit difficult to pronounce, but once you get here, you’ll be fascinated to find its success both with French and foreign kids. It has puppet shows, pony rides, acrobatic obstacle courses, an aviary with over 200 birds, and a farm with livestock from Normandy. It’s especially popular during the summer because it lets kids cool off with its water-themed activities. They can also be engaged in different nature-based attractions, workshops, and rides.

2. Disneyland Paris

Pirate ship docked on an island in Disneyland Paris

Well, we all know that this place is not just for the kids. Coming here would benefit both kids and adults as Disneyland is ‘the happiest place on earth’! Like its American counterparts, Disneyland Paris is fun with Mickey speaking French very fluently. It’s only a short ride from the city, and you can tackle both parks in one day! There can really be long queues so we suggest getting the fast pass to make the most of your day here. The place is not just all about Captain Hook, Goofy, and the entire gang because it also features Halloween and Christmas activities in autumn.

3. Jardin du Luxembourg

daytime in a garden with flowers and a huge structure

Apparently, gardens in Paris don’t refer to parks but to theme parks. Jardin Luxemburg features puppet shows and pony rides. The city’s oldest carousel can be found here, which was designed by the same architect as the one behind the Opera Garnier. There is also a playground nearby where kids can play and jump. And because there is a small entry fee, you can trust that your kids stay safe within the fenced playground.

4. Chateau de Versailles

a beautiful image of Paris Chateau de Versailles with wide gardens and flowers

While in Europe, why not give your kids an experience they won’t ever forget? Skip the skyscrapers and opt for the royalty experience by visiting the Chateau de Versailles. If you go inside the palace and explore, there’s a fee to pay. However, you can come here early in the morning to beat the crowds and other tourists, and just lay out a mat in the park or by the Grand Canal. Bring along some sandwiches and drinks and experience a picnic the royalty style.

5. The Pompidou Center

Paris: building with pipes and escalators outside it

If you want modernity and style in one place, then the Pompidou Center is a must-visit! Named after Georges Pompidou who was President of France from 1969 to 1974, this building is turned inside out. You’ll see the escalators and water pipes colour-coded outside the building—green for water pipes, blue for air-conditioning ducts, and yellow for electricity cables. Inside this unique structure is a modern art gallery with a permanent exhibition of art that suits children. It also has the Interactive Galarie de Enfants, which is aimed at kids, as well as a junior’s cinema that sometimes shows English movies. Go up to the top for beautiful views of the city.

6. Food trip

Paris: a display of colourful desserts

We cannot even stress this out more! When in Paris, make sure to spend a day exploring its food culture to fully experience the city. There are food tours being offered everywhere that are designed for families and take you to some of the city’s best cafes, restaurants, and snack shops. However, it would also be nice to spend it by yourself, get lost in the city, and involve your kids in navigating around Paris. Even if you’ve already had French Macarons in your locality, you can never underestimate the taste of the genuine one.

7. Arc de Triomphe

wide street in Paris with cars, lights, and the Arc du Triomphe at the back

In case you don’t know what this is, it’s the beautiful monument that sits in the heart of the city of Paris. It’s not just a structure but a place to explore to get to know the city better. Wander inside and climb to the top for a fee and enjoy the mesmerising sight over Paris. It’s not only a good place for learning about the city’ history, but it’s also where you can get a souvenir from the gift shop.

8. Fishing day

Paris: fishing boats on the lake

Teach your kids to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime. Kidding! But really, you can go on a fishing tour with the family in the outskirts of Paris. You’ll find a small haven where you can go pond water trout fishing. Let your kids try their hand at fishing thanks to the team that offers baits and rods. The fish you catch are weighed and purchased so you can take them back to your accommodation. Otherwise, you can just catch them and throw them back into the pond.

Perhaps now you won’t be having second thoughts about that trip since you can be sure your kids will be busy too! Paris is definitely for romantic couples and families alike! See you there!

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