Paris local, Camille Spanjaard shares some of her favorite indoor activities and baby friendly cafes for a rainy day in Paris. Camille is a French mum of two close-aged children and has lived near Paris for more than 10 years. She is also the proud owner of the Paris baby equipment rental company baby’tems. Thank you Camille for all your fantastic family friendly indoor activity suggestions in this post !
The Best Indoor / Rainy Day Activities for Babies and Toddlers in Paris
Visiting Paris outside of summer high season is certainly a good option (cheaper apartment rental, less crowded tourist attractions, ….), however with a baby or toddler, it is sometimes usefull to plan for few baby indoor activities. Here are a set of addresses known and appreciated by Parisian parents.
1. Baby and Toddler Friendly Cafés in Paris
Baby friendly cafes are now present in almost all areas of Paris, mostly outside of the touristy areas (but never very far). During your stay in Paris, have a break there and enjoy meeting and chatting with Parisian parents. These cafes are equipped for children (high chairs, bouncers, changing station, toys, etc.). Many of them also offer workshops (music, cooking, baby massage, singing etc.) so check their website as they could be fun to participate in.
- 4th : Happy Families (in Chatelet les Halles & Centre Pompidou– the most central in Paris)
- 7th : Café Central (a typical Parisian style café but with high chairs and changing table)
- 10th: Poule Mouillette
- 10th : Un air de famille
- 11th: Square Gardette (high chair and toys – no changing facilities)
- 11th : Le petit café du monde entier (created by a mum of and for multilingual children)
- 12th: Les 400 Coups – at the Cinémathèque of Bercy Village (high chairs, changing table and play area)
- 15th : Mombini (baby accessories & toys shop + cafe)
- 15th : Une mere une fille a Paris (this one looks like an apartment, you are welcomed by the mum and her daughter)
- 18th : Petit Pois (on Butte Montmartre)
- 19th: Le Renard & L’Entonnoir (a music store and tea room with snacks for kids)
- 19th : Miamophile (a charming but tiny tea-room)
2. La Maison des Petits (for children under 6)
The 104 (a former municipal funeral parlor!) offers a dynamic range of cultural events including art installations, art fairs, events, concerts and theatre performances.
La Maison des Petits (House for Children) has been designed by Magali Crasset a well-know designer, with unique shapes, colors, materials and lights. This is an open place for listening, speaking, meeting, using art and play, as described on 104 website. Check their website for opening times. No booking necessary but limited to the number of places available.
3. A la Cité des Enfants (for toddlers 2 and above)
Cité des Sciences (Science museum, La Villette) has a dedicated area for children with 2 sections 2 to 7 and 5 to 12 year old: La Cité des enfants. In this area, children can participate in several experiences within 5 areas: I discover myself, I can do, I locate myself, All together and I experiment. Please note that it is mandatory to book in advance (especially if you are visiting the museum during France school holiday period)
4. Exotic Glasshouses at Jardin des Plantes (baby and toddler of any age)
Jardin des Plantes glasshouses: this is a place my children love particularly; you are making a trip to an exotic environment with a bus ticket! These beautiful glasshouses have been recently renovated with new museography: new paths, new explanations boards, more interactions for visitors, the whole family will discover great vegetation there.
4 glasshouses are accessible to visitors:
- the tropical rainforest glasshouse: hot and humid atmosphere of an imaginary tropical forest.
- desert and arid land glasshouse: dedicated to the adaption of plants to dryness.
- the New Caledonia glasshouse: plants from New Caledonia.
- History glasshouse: uses a chronological pathway, history of adaptation to changing environments.
5. Theaters for Children (toddlers 18 months+)
There are a few theaters in Paris that specialize in plays for children, starting at 18 months old. Here are few of them: Theatre Essaion, La Cachette, Peniche Antipode, La Folie theatre, and more. Shows are in French but with limited vocabulary as they have been written with the youngest audience members in mind. Most of them are very musical. Check the current program on the internet or local paper program (Officiel des Spectacles). Booking ahead is highly recommended.
baby’tems makes travelling to Paris with baby easier !
baby’tems rents out and delivers all the necessary equipment directly to your doorstep. All it takes is a few clicks. The products and equipment rented are all recognized brands ; they are all new and are kept in perfect condition thanks to maintenance procedures used in nursery schools. In order to offer a fully comprehensive service, baby’tems also offer delivery of nappies/diapers, milk, baby food as well as childcare accessories which can be purchased at the same time. All the items either purchased or rented are delivered at the same time.
And to provide tips, activities and baby-friendly addresses in Paris, baby’tems also edits it’s blog: http://babytems.com/blog_en.
The founder of baby’tems, Camille Spanjaard came upon the concept during her travels, having come face to face with this sort of problem only to discover that this type of service actually exists in other countries, but not in Paris – one of the most visited cities in the world!