The Best 11 Things to do with Kids in Paris

With a bit of forethought and a good dollop of patience, a holiday with kids in Paris could be the trip of a lifetime.

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Paris for lovers? We say not only! The French capital is also a fabulous family destination, brimming with great things to do, see and taste for the young and young at heart. From the iconic silhouette of Notre-Dame to the serene charms of a Seine River cruise, with delectable bakeries and enticing shop windows at every turn, young explorers have plenty to get excited about.

Before you leave for Paris, take a moment to introduce your kids to some cultural references. Victor Hugo’s classic novel ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’ has been repackaged in several formats for young minds, and the children’s book series ‘Madeleine’ (also a film) introduces youngsters to the top sites in Paris through the antics of an intrepid seven-year-old. More recently, the hit TV series ‘Emily in Paris’ has enchanted young adults with its glossy portrayal of modern-day Paris.

Even on winter days, the city’s parks and playgrounds prove to be a hit. Your children can revel in lush greenery, wander landscaped paths, and admire beautiful statues and fountains. Or for the little ones who love animals, the Jardin des Plantes and Parc Zoologique de Paris offer immaculately kept enclosures with all sorts of wildlife.

Check out our list of the best things to do in Paris for you and your kids.

The main holiday attractions for kids in Paris

Eiffel Tower

What trip to Paris with the family is complete without a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower? Kids of all ages can’t help but be awestruck by this colossal structure. If they are feeling energetic, walk part of the way to the second floor, asking them to count the steps (674 in all) as you go. Explain that the tower’s creator, Gustave Eiffel, once lived in a plush, sky-high hideaway on the top level, then watch them marvel at the panoramic vista from the ‘Sky Lab’ at the very top. The site’s official website thoughtfully has a tracker that estimates how long your wait will be to get in. 

  • Location: 7th arrondissement
  • Hours: 9am to midnight
  • Accessibility: Not suitable for reduced mobility
  • Getting there: Métro line 9 to Trocadéro, line 6 to Bir-Hakeim or line 8 to Ecole Militaire

Louvre Museum

When on holiday, kids and museums are a challenge, to say the least. While you will wish them to say hi to the Mona Lisa, you will also want to plan this experience well to avoid a meltdown inside one of the greatest collections of art in the Western World. Before you arrive, show them these fun videos that explain the stories behind some of the key paintings in the Louvre. Once there, hand them a map of the museum and let them guide you to the rooms where these paintings are displayed. Pre-book your tickets for early morning or late evening to avoid the long queues. After your visit, take a short walk to the gorgeous Jardin des Tuileries, the former gardens of the Tuileries palace.

  • Location: 1st arrondissement
  • Hours: Open daily (except Tuesday) 9am to 6pm (9:45pm on Fridays)
  • Accessibility: Suitable for reduced mobility 
  • Getting there: Métro lines 1 or 7 to Palais-Royal / Musée du Louvre or line 14 to Pyramides

Musée d’Orsay

The whimsical art nouveau movement tends to enchant young minds, making the Musée d’Orsay a sure-fire hit. Situated on the banks of the River Seine in a grandiose former railway station built in the Beaux-Arts style, you can introduce them to iconic masterpieces by Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, Picasso and a whole range of artistic movements. The decorative arts collection is a real crowd-pleaser, with fanciful fin de siècle furniture and décor that give a thought-provoking counterpoint to modern-day functionalism.

  • Location: 7th arrondissement
  • Hours: Open daily (except Monday) 9:30am to 6pm (9:45pm on Thursday)
  • Accessibility: Suitable for reduced mobility 
  • Getting there: Métro line 12 to Solférino

Disneyland Paris

Dropping in on Mickey Mouse during your holiday in France may feel like an oxymoron, but such is the universal appeal of the world’s most famous amusement park. Nestled on the outskirts of the city, Disneyland Paris presents the essence of the brand’s enchantment in two theme parks which are both sprinkled with bountiful touches of French allure. All the favourite characters – from Cinderella to Buzz Lightyear – are here. Even the ‘Main Street USA’, with its charming storefronts, emits a certain Gallic chic.

  • Location: Town of Chessy, 30 km from Paris city centre 
  • Hours: Open daily from 9:30am to 11pm 
  • Accessibility: Good access; see here
  • Getting there: RER line A to Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy

Arc de Triomphe

In the heart of Paris and at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe, commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon Bonaparte, pays eternal homage to France’s military victories and valiant soldiers, something kids can appreciate as they take in the large-scale stone reliefs that adorn its upper arch. Ascend the 284 steps to the viewing platform at the top for stunning open-air vistas over the city of lights.

  • Location: 8th arrondissement
  • Hours: Open daily 10am to 10:30pm (11pm April 1 to Sept. 30)
  • Accessibility: Reduced access; see here
  • Getting there: Métro lines 1, 2 and 6 to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile


Steep streets and endless stairs notwithstanding, it’s impossible not to be captivated by Montmartre, arguably the best Paris district for kids and families to mooch around. Home of the dome-topped, landmark Sacré-Cœur Basilica, get your kids in the mood by showing them a clip of ‘Amélie’, the romantic film shot in Montmartre’s famously bobo cafes and squares. Tell them that the Sacré-Cœur is dedicated to Saint-Denis, the patron saint of the city, and cap the experience with a visit to À la Mère de Famille, the oldest and one of the most delectable chocolate shops in Paris (35 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre).

  • Location: 18th arrondissement
  • Hours: Open daily from 6:30am to 10:30pm (dome until 8:30pm)
  • Accessibility: Ramp and lift at the rear of the basilica
  • Getting there: Métro lines 2 or 12 to Pigalle + #40 bus, line 12 to Abbesses + cable car or stairs

Outdoor activities in Paris for kids


Jardin du Luxembourg

In the heart of Paris, the Luxembourg Gardens are a popular pleasure ground of bucolic elegance. With its wide manicured lawns, elegant fountains, immaculately kept flowerbeds and fairytale castle, this public garden is perfect for getting a glimpse into how Parisian children play. On any given day you might see puppet shows, storytelling sessions or outdoor theatre, or head to the artificial lake known as the Grand Bassin to launch miniature wooden sailboats to the other side.

  • Location: 6th arrondissement
  • Hours: 7:30am to 8:15pm (summer) 
  • Accessibility: Suitable for reduced mobility 
  • Getting there: Métro lines 4 and 10 to Odéon, line 10 to Mabillon or line 4 to Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Bois de Boulogne

Skirting the western edge of Paris, the Bois de Boulogne is an expansive woodland interspersed with landscaped gardens and several lakes. Tell your kids to keep their eyes peeled for squirrels and rabbits as you meander past mature chestnut and oak trees to the Jardin d’Acclimatation. This utterly magical place features a petting zoo and vintage rides including a traditional carousel that feels like it has stepped straight off the pages of ‘Madeleine’.

  • Location: 16th arrondissement
  • Hours Jardin d’Acclimatation: Daily 10am to 7pm 
  • Accessibility: Suitable for reduced access
  • Getting there: Métro lines 1 to Porte-Maillot, line 2 to Porte-Dauphine or line 10 to Porte-d’Auteuil

Fun & unique things to do in Paris with kids

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Visiting a cemetery may not be an obvious choice when taking the family on holiday to France, but Père Lachaise is not your average graveyard. Established in 1804, it has developed into a place of pilgrimage and offers plenty of fascination, particularly for teenage children. Quickly refresh your knowledge of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison before seeking out their tombstones among the ornate family chapels and mausoleums. You will need a map (download here) to help navigate the site’s verdant rolling hills and criss-crossing cobblestone paths.

  • Location: 20th arrondissement
  • Hours: Daily 8am to 6pm (from 8:30am Saturdays and 9am Sundays)
  • Accessibility: Suitable for reduced mobility
  • Getting there: Métro line 2 to Philippe Auguste 

Pavillons de Bercy - Musée des Arts Forains

This hidden gem in Paris transports visitors to a bygone era of enchantment and amusement. Housed within a former wine warehouse, the ‘Fairground Museum’ is a meticulously curated private collection of antique carousels and rides, penny arcade automaton and theatrical décor, all offering a mesmerizing glimpse into pre-digital entertainment. Visits are conducted with a guided tour, allowing your children to fully interact with the exhibits and scenography of each of the exhibition rooms through roleplay and multimedia. Prior booking is required via the museum’s website, with tours in English available.

  • Location: 8th arrondissement
  • Hours: Tours are conducted Wednesdays, weekends and during school holidays (reservation essential)
  • Accessibility: Suitable for reduced mobility  
  • Getting there: Métro line 14 to Cour St Emilion

Ladurée Paris Royale

Treat your teens to a quintessential ‘Emily in Paris’ moment by visiting the original Ladurée cafe-shop in the upmarket Madeleine district. Opened in 1862, it was one of the first tearooms in Paris, though it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that it started serving its signature product: delicate, candy-coloured macarons in heavenly flavours. The cafe was designed by art nouveau artist Jules Cheret, who embellished the ceiling with delightful cherubic frescoes.

  • Location: 8th arrondissement
  • Hours: Daily 8am to 9:30pm  
  • Accessibility: Good access
  • Getting there: Métro lines 1 and 12 to Concorde, lines 8, 12 and 14 to Madeleine

Even if you take a whirlwind trip to Paris with your children, you will see that far from a city for lovebirds and sophisticates, Paris is a family destination that unfolds like a colourful, exciting and history-filled storybook. So peruse our hotels, pack a sense of wonder, and tell the kids to get ready to discover the most magical playground of all.

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