12 Things to do in Paris with Kids

with 31 Comments

Are you wondering what to do in Paris with kids? Fear not, help is on the way with our guide to Paris for kids.

From many trips and a ton of research, we share the 12 best things to do in Paris with kids. Whether you are seeking information on things to do in Paris with toddlers or tweens, you will find Paris kids attractions that will delight and amaze right here.

12 Things to do in Paris with Kids – The Guide

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Paris with Kids – Kids in Paris Guide

Like most people on a Paris family vacation, we have climbed the Eiffel Tower, ridden on dozens of carousels, enjoyed some Paris picnics, visited markets, done a Paris family tour of the Louvre and eaten our weight in french pastries.

All this, while trying to avoid tears and meltdowns, sometimes amplified by jet lag.

I have written this post to try to help other families traveling to Paris with children because I want to set you up for success. Let’s face it – a family trip to Paris isn’t cheap and I want yours to be everything you imagined it would be.

To start, here is a little 90 second video on what you might choose to enjoy as a family traveling to Paris, or just continue on to read about all of our favourite things to do in Paris for kids.

 

Kids in Paris Video (90 sec)

 

12 Things to do with Kids in Paris

 

 

1. Les Bateaux Mouches – Seine Boat Cruises

There are numerous companies that run boat tours on the Seine. Regardless of which one you choose, a boat ride is sure to keep both a child and parent amused. Personally I have always found that when visiting Paris with kids, mine are the happiest when kept on the move.

I am a big fan of taking a boat tour on a first visit to Paris. It is a great way to get your bearing (you can see a lot of the major sites from the boats – including the Eiffel Tower). It is also a wonderfully low-key activity if you are jet-lagged.

Popular Paris boat tour operators include Bateaux Vedette du Pont Neuf, Bateaux-Mouches and Bateaux Parisiens. Most Seine boat tours offer commentary in various languages at a minimum, but you will also find lunch, dinner and special event Seine River cruises.

Alternatively, the Batobus is a basic hop-on, hop-off, boat transit system that runs along the Seine. It has eight stops along the river connecting some of the major sites, including a stop in the 5th near the Notre Dame.

Seine Boat Cruise Paris

 

Family Friendly Seine Dinner Cruise

On our more recent trip to Paris with kids, we tried an evening dinner cruise on the Seine. We chose the boat Le Calife because of its kids’ menu option (see photo) and the fact that it consistently receives excellent reviews (see Le Calife TripAdvisor reviews).

The food on Le Calife is very good (not amazing), but we thought they provided a very nice experience. There is not a ton of room to move around on the boat, so if you have a young child with you, you may want to bring along a couple of activities for the 3 hour return trip.

The cruise runs from 8pm-11pm. If this is too late for your family, Le Calife also offers a Seine lunch cruise on weekends. Something to consider if you have just flown in from North America however, is that 8pm Paris time will feel much earlier with the time difference.

Tip: Not all seats on Le Calife have a view so be sure to arrive early for the best selection.

 

Seine Dinner Cruise with Kids - Le Calife

Kids Menu – Le Calife Boat Cruise Paris

 

2. Luxembourg Gardens – Jardin Luxembourg

These lovely gardens in the 6th arrondissement are not to be missed with kids. Not only are they a wonderful place for a stroll, but they also have one of the best playgrounds to enjoy in Paris with toddlers and young children (small fee).

Directly outside the playground is a puppet theatre and carousel where the kids can play a little game trying to spear rings onto a metal stick.

Oh yes, and I almost forgot the best part ! The playground is fenced. For those navigating Paris with a baby in a stroller as well as trying to tend to a toddler or two, this park is a real sanity-saver.

On weekends, Wednesdays, and during the summer, the park has pony rides, carriage rides and little boats available to sail on the Grand Basin in the center of the park.

Learn more about Luxembourg Gardens here or see recent TripAdvisor reviews.

Note: If you are looking for some chic kids clothing in Paris, this area is also home to many lovely children’s stores along Rue Vavin including Petit Bateau and Jacadi.

Jardin Luxembourg – Luxembourg Gardens Paris

 

3. The Eiffel Tower with Kids

One of the blogs that I read before our first trip to Paris suggested visiting the Eiffel Tower with kids without even introducing ascending it as an option. Although we have always ended up going up the tower, I especially like this idea if you are traveling to Paris with a toddler or child that is quite young.

Option A: Enjoying the Tower from Below

If you take the Paris Metro to the Trocadero Station just before sunset, you can enjoy a fabulous view of the tower. For kids, there is a beautiful double decker carousel, gelato and crèpe stands.

From this lovely vantage point, you can join the crowds in a collective “Ahhhh!” as the twinkling tower lights are turned on at dusk.

We tried this on our first trip to Paris (when my youngest had just turned five) and it was magical. I only wish we had stopped there. If we had, it would have been the perfect evening in Paris.

Eiffel Tower Kids

Unfortunately, my eldest child knew that going up the tower was an option and was desperate to do it. We purchased tickets at the base to climb the stairs to the 2nd floor and then take the lift to the third floor. This particular ticket combination can only be purchased at the tower from a separate line (no long waits).

The kids loved the stair climb (it took us about 25 minutes), but were interested in checking out the view from the 2nd floor for about 5 minutes. We then had to stand in a very long line to take the elevator to the top. After about 30 minutes, we bailed (we were only half way through).

Anyway, if you can pull it off, I think viewing the tower from below at dusk is a great idea. If you are visiting during the day, the Champs de Mars is a beautiful green lawn area in behind the tower that is perfect for a Paris picnic.

 

Option B: Going Up the Tower

On a subsequent visit to the Eiffel Tower when my kids were older, we made a plan to go all the way to the top (pre-booking our tickets and time slot online). Honestly though, I find the view from the second level much nicer as it is unobstructed (less cage like). You can get an idea of the different perspectives from the photos below.

 

View of the Champs de Mars from the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower – View From Top

 

If you have the time, visit the 1st floor interactive space with its unique transparent floor, touch screens, restaurants and shops. Although I have yet to do it, I think it would be a glorious place to enjoy an overpriced glass of champagne.

*Online tickets sale for the Eiffel Tower open up 60 days in advance (at 8:30 Paris time). You can alternatively book a ticket to take the stairs to the second floor 7 days out.  I really like Rick’s Steve’s post on how to visit the Eiffel Tower and I encourage you to read it before booking.

Book tickets online at: www.toureiffel.paris. Also important to know is that when you book a ticket to the top, you still need to stop at the second floor and line up for the elevators to the top.

 

Eiffel Tower – View from Below

 

What to do if the Eiffel Tower is Sold Out

Eiffel Tower sold out for your dates? No need to panic. There are still several options.

  • Same day tickets are always available at the Eiffel Tower ticket booth. You may just have to wait in a rather long line. If you want some exercise, the lineup to buy a ticket for the stairs is usually short (and cheaper).
  • Tour companies pre-book priority access tickets. On sites such as GetYourGuide and Viator, you will find all kinds of Eiffel Tower ticket options.

 

 

4. Tuileries Gardens – Jardin des Tuileries

In the Jardin des Tuileries, close to Place de la Concorde, is a lovely little fenced playground, carousel and trampoline park.

While not as grand as the park in the Luxembourg Gardens, it is still a fun place to spend a few hours (and the playground here is free). This is a great place for kids to burn off some energy after having visited the Louvre or The Orangerie museums (they are at opposite ends of the park).

Tuileries Gardens Paris - Carousels

Tuileries Playground Paris

From the last week of June until the last week of August, the park also becomes home to the Tuileries Fairground with over sixty carnival rides and attractions. The ferris wheel offers some gorgeous views the city. Learn more about Jardin des Tuileries here or see TripAdvisor reviews.

Tuileries Fairground - Paris Summer Attractions for Kids

 

5. Museums in Paris with Kids

On our first visit to Paris, I chose to only take my kids to the Musee Orangerie. It is the perfect size to be able to just duck in for a short period of time and enjoy some classics by Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, Picasso, Rousseau, and Matisse. The Tuilleries trampoline park, playground and carousel are also close by, making for an excellent “good behavior” reward for young children.

On a more recent visit to Paris, we were provided with a complimentary private family tour of the Louvre, which we found to be very enjoyable. Context Travel actually offers all kinds of Paris tours for families with both group and private options should you be interested in a more immersive Paris experience.

Private Louvre Tour with Kids

Doing a group tour of the Louvre with kids can also be a great option (more budget-friendly). A friend of mine booked a family tour of the Louvre through GetYourGuide.com recently and thought it was quite good. The beauty of booking a family Paris museum tour over a traditional tour, is that the family ones are typically more concise (shorter) and entertaining for young minds.*

*If you are considering booking a tour, I would encourage you to take a few extra minutes to read recent reviews before committing (not all tours/guides are equal).

Many Paris museum tours include skip-the-line admission. Alternatively, If you purchase the Paris Museum Pass, you can also skip the line with kids (under 18s are free). The Paris Museum Pass is good for 55 museums and monuments including the Louvre, the Orsay Museum and the Palace of Versailles.

Note: The well-priced Paris Museum Pass can be purchased on its own but is also included with the Paris Pass (3+ days) – the city’s most popular attraction pass.

When planning visits to Paris museums with kids, keep in mind that they generally close one day a week. For example, the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays year-round.

See also this post on the most family-friendly museums in Paris.

 

 

6. Cooking Classes in Paris for Kids

Why just buy pastries, when your budding little chef can learn how to make them as well? Paris has a number of cooking schools that offer pastry and cooking classes for kids, including Cook’n with Class, Cooking Baz’Art and Le Cordon Bleu.

Cooking Classes for Kids in Paris

My daughter absolutely loved her french desserts workshop at Cook’n with Class. This cooking school is located quite close to Sacre Coeur, so we managed to do both on the same afternoon. Learn more on the Cook’n With Class website or read reviews here.

Note: Of all the things we have done in Paris, this is the thing my daughter most wants to do again.

 

7. Jardin D’acclimation – Paris Parks with Kids

A great way to spend a day in Paris with kids is to take in the attractions at Jardin d’Acclimation. This fun little park has amusement rides, a train, an adventure playground, wacky mirrors, a puppet theatre, a water park, trampolines and a farm.

While I was a little tentative about taking my kids to an amusement park in Paris (it didn’t feel very cultural), there was enough that felt French to curb my guilt.

By French enough, I mean that we enjoyed French snacks, watched a puppet show at the quintessentially French marionette theatre, rode on the carousel and watched French families enjoying picnic lunches that seem to consist of little more than chocolate biscuits, wine, cheese and cigarettes.*

* For more on French parenting, read the hilarious and informative book Bringing Up Bebe – one mother discovers the wisdom of french parenting (4.5/5 stars on Amazon).

Learn more about the Jardin D’Acclimation or see Jardin d’Acclimation TripAdvisor reviews.

Jardin D'Acclimation - Paris

 

8. Centre Pompidou

The Pompidou Center is located in the fashionable Marais district. It has a Children’s Gallery inside, but is also great fun outside. The area surrounding the center has a lovely outdoor space for an impromptu picnic, artistic fountains, many cafes and lively street entertainers.

If you are looking for things to do in Paris with toddlers, this area is especially nice because there is a large pedestrian-only section where your little one can run around, leaving you relatively stress-free.

We have a personal bias towards Le Marais and believe that it is one of the best areas to stay in Paris with kids. We have often started our days of exploring the city with coffee and pastries in this very spot.

Learn more on the Centre Pompidou website or read TripAdvisor reviews.

Centre Pompidou Paris

 

9. Notre Dame de Paris

As I’m sure you know, a devastating fire destroyed much of Notre Dame’s roof in April of 2019. Stunned by the loss of such a treasure, donors from around the world came together to provide financial support so that she can be restored to her former glory.

Paris with Children

 

The earliest projected date for Notre Dame’s reopening is 2024 – to coincide with the Paris Summer Olympics. That said, with the scale of this project, it could take much, much longer. Personally, I still think Notre Dame is worth taking a peek at from the outside, even during the reconstruction period.

The cathedral is located on Île de la Cité where you also will find Paris’s famous flower market (or bird market on Sundays).

Learn more about the Paris Marché aux Fleurs et Oiseaux here or see this post on the Top 10 Markets in Paris.

 

Paris Bird and Flower Market

 

If you cross the little bridge behind Notre Dame over to Île St. Louis, you can sample some of Paris’s best ice cream at Berthillon. The lineups here can get very long (especially in the summer), but if you are willing to pay a little extra (a 2-tier pricing system), there are usually tables available inside.

Note: On one Paris family trip, I snuck out solo early one Sunday morning, rented a Vélib bike (shared bike program Paris) and enjoyed a coffee at Berthillon. It cost the extraordinary price of 7€, but it was worth every penny to me.

This linked article tells you a little more about the various Paris bike share programs. Sundays are nice for bike riding in Paris as the street are very quiet (no trucks doing deliveries).

 

Best Gelato Paris - Berthillon

 

10. Disneyland Paris

I have a lot to say about our visit to Paris Disneyland. From a cultural perspective I felt a little guilty about taking my kids there, and wondered if we should instead be going to the more authentically french Parc Asterix — but I’ll admit that I was also a little bit curious to see the french version of “the happiest place on earth”.

Disneyland Paris with Kids 

Well, I want to start by saying that my kids loved it. It is a smaller version of the California or Florida parks, but the layout is more or less the same. That said, I will quote my son who commented upon our arrival  “Mom…..I have never seen so many parents smoking!

Even as a child I remember being impressed by how perfect and clean everything was at Disneyland California. Disneyland Paris is a little rougher around the edges.

The water in the ponds of It’s a small world is a little dirty, the seats on some of the rides are broken and the bathrooms are, well, kind of grungy.

It just seems to be missing the attention to detail that good old Walt Disney was famous for. These details, however, did not seem to bother a 5 and 8 year old even in the slightest, and they had a wonderful time.

Learn more about Disneyland Paris or read TripAdvisor reviews.

How to get  to Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris can be done as a day trip. You simply need to hop on the RER A train (at Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, Auber, Chatelet les Halles, Gare de Lyon, or Nation station) and hop off about 40 minutes later at Marne-la-Vallée station (right outside Paris Disney Gates).

Saving Money at Paris Disneyland

I find the website MouseSavers.com to be a great resource for finding deals at all of the Disney properties.

Getting Lost

I interject here with a story. I really want to be truthful in my tales about travel with kids because as much as I love the journey, things do not always go perfectly. I lost my eldest child temporarily in our first hour at Paris Disneyland (my husband was not on this particular trip with us).

At 8 years old, my son wanted to go on a big kids ride and I wanted to prove that I was not a helicopter parent. I arranged to meet him at the exit of the ride with my 5 year old. She fell and bumped her head while we were waiting, and due to this incident we unfortunately missed seeing my son exit the ride. This lead to 40 excruciating minutes before we were reunited.

The nice part of this story is that we had made a get lost plan. A lovely french family found him waiting at our get lost point, and called my cell phone from the business card I had given him.  Now yes, I was mortified that they retrieved my phone number off a card that said Pint Size Pilot – Survival Skills for Travel with Kids, but the point is, the get lost plan worked.

 

11. Visiting Versailles with Kids

To be 100% honest, my kids enjoyed the grounds of Versailles more than the palace itself. The palace can get very crowded (think shoulder-to-shoulder) and lines can be very long. On our visit, I heeded some excellent advice and enjoyed the grounds first – leaving visiting the palace until one hour before closing (at which point we whipped through very quickly)*.

*Note: Tons of sites mention visiting Versailles at opening to avoid long lines, but if you have just arrived in Europe from North America, it can be hard to get kids going in the morning. 9am in France might be feeling like the middle of the night until you are over your jet-lag. This is why we chose to visit near closing instead.

Palace of Versailles with Kids

One of the most popular places for kids at Versailles is not the palace itself, but rather, The Queen’s Hamlet. Marie-Antoinette ordered her Hamlet to be built in 1783 to get away from the Court at Versailles and to enjoy the charms of peasant life. Kids can peer into the little cottages and visit the farm where they will find sheep, goats, pigs, ducks and more!

As little legs can tire quickly (and a day trip Versailles is a big adventure), you should consider a little help to get you around the grounds.

Electric Vehicle Hire:  These golf carts allow you to follow five itineraries leaving from the South Terrace (discovering the Gardens, Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet, tour of the Grand Canal, tour of the entire Estate).

Mini-Train : The train leaves from the North Terrace and will take you to and from the Estate of Marie-Antoinette (Petit Trianon), Grand Trianon and Little Venice The train is more of a transportations system than a tour. We rode it to the Grand Canal (Little Venice) and then enjoyed looking at the boats, swans, and gardens on our short walk back to the chateau.

Bikes Rentals:You can rent bicycles to tour the grounds of Versailles near the Grand Canal (Little Venice).  Baby seats, trail-a-bikes, and kids bikes are also available.

Learn more about the Palace of Versailles or read TripAdvisor reviews.

 

12. Picnics in Paris

Enjoy lunch in plain d’air in one of Paris’s beautiful parks or plazas. On our most recent trip I brought along a picnic blanket specifically for this purpose. My plan, was to enjoy a family picnic on the Champs de Mars with a view of the Eiffel Tower. This plan, however, was foiled once I realized that the whole Champs de Mars had been converted into a Fan Zone for a soccer (futbal) match. Instead, we spent a beautiful afternoon at Place de Vosges (Yes, I just might be holding a glass of wine in the photo. When in Paris….).

For more family picnic spot suggestions see this post on the best spots for a picnic in Paris written by a local.

 

Picnic in Paris

 

13. Paris Family Perfume Workshop

I know, I know…this post is supposed to be about “12 Things to do in Paris with Kids”. I just stumbled across something I really like though. Did you know that there are a number of Paris perfumeries that offer workshops where you get to create your own custom scent blend?

Candora Atelier de Parfums offers not only classes for adults, but also family classes that can include kids as young as 6. I’m going to try this out on an upcoming trip in 2020, but for the moment, I wanted to share the link here:  candora-fragrance.com.

 

Saving Money in Paris

Discounted Attraction Passes for Paris

If you plan on visiting a lot of attractions in Paris with kids, you may want to look at the Paris Pass. It conveniently includes admission to over 60 museums, tours and attractions, fast track entry to some of the busiest venues, a metro card, a Paris guide book and more. This pass comes in 2,3, 4 and 6 day options. Keep an eye out for promotions as the Paris Pass sometimes runs a 10% off special.

You may also want to consider the more affordable Museum Pass, which is what I used on my first trip to Paris. The main reason I bought this was so I could skip the line because I couldn’t fathom the idea of waiting in long lineups with two kids. Children under 18 are admitted to most Paris museums (including Versailles) for free, so only adults need to have the pass.

 

Books on Travel to Paris with Kids

Personally, I really like to overdo it when it comes to my trip research (fear of missing out), so I read everything I can get my hands on. That said, here are my favourite guide books and resources for Paris.

Naturally, most of these also come in a downloadable version. It is 2020 after all.

 

Paris Family Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Paris (2020) – I am a longtime Lonely Planet devotee and I find that you just can’t go wrong with them. Although this guide is not specifically designed for families, there are always sections in the guides devoted to kid-friendly attractions and experiences.

Family Guide Paris – Eyewitness Travel – This guide does a pretty good covering the best spots to play and stay in Paris with kids.

Bringing up Bebe – Although not a guide, per sé, this book is a very entertaining read about the differences between parenting in France and in North America. My kids are actually very good eaters due to some of the little gems that I took away from this book.

Monocle Paris (2020) – I bought this so that I could pretend that I was really in the know when it came to new hotels, boutiques, restaurants and art installations in Paris.

 

Kids Books About Paris

Not For Parents Paris – This Lonely Planet guide shares the perfect amount of facts about Paris for kids to keep them nicely engaged at all the major sites.

 

Blog Post and Articles on Visiting Paris with Kids

If you are a Pinterest user, the Pint Size Pilot account is entirely devoted to travel with kids. Within it, you will find a board called Paris Family Travel populated with posts from many talented writers on the subject of visiting Paris with kids. Please join me on Pinterest.

 

Further Reading

Pint Size Pilot Amazon Store
12 Things to do in Paris with Kids - Paris for Kids Guide

31 Responses

  1. Aimee S Palacios
    | Reply

    I came across your site in my family-friendly Paris search. Thank you so much for the great tips as well as the book suggestions! 🙂

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Aimee! I’m so glad you like it. At this very moment, I am actually in the process of updating it, so my apologies if you notice that things are moving around. 🙂 I am heading to Paris again in March, so please check back again for updates. Cheers! Tara

      P.S. Please also feel free to reach out directly if you have questions (tara@pintsizepilot.com).

  2. Pallavi
    | Reply

    This is such a wealth of information. Thanks so much! We are planning a trip (for my 40th) with our 2 girls aged 8 and 10 yrs this fall – the tentative dates are Nov 28-Dec 5.

    Here’s the problem – my 10 yr old is into history/art and would enjoy this trip but, my 8 yr old hates museums (unless there are kid programs/scavenger hunts like they had in the museums at London). So, we would need to break it up with some outdoor/interactive stuff (playgrounds, amusement parks, cooking class etc.) That being said, Nov end I am guessing we will have to do only indoor activities due to the weather.

    Are there any day trips, other cities/countries that we could combine with the Paris trip?

    Thanks!

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi,

      What a great place to spend your 40th birthday together!
      Your timing is excellent since I am also planning a return trip to Paris in March. My assumption is that we could have less than ideal weather (and be spending more time inside).

      Although my youngest quite enjoys museums now (at 12), previously, we have always moved through them pretty quickly. We would never do more than one in a day, and each visit would generally be followed up with something fun as an incentive (ice cream, hot chocolate, a visit to a playground etc.) As the Louvre is so overwhelmingly large, the family tour really made our visit more enjoyable (there are many options for this).

      To answer you question, I would definitely do Versailles as a full day trip. Mont St Michel is another possibility (although that is a pretty long day). As you mentioned, doing more than one city on the same trip is also an option. On our last trip we started in London and took the train to Paris. We have also done Paris and then taken the train south to Provence (although that would not make sense in November). Really, you have so many train and plane options from Paris (Amsterdam, Bruges, Antwerp etc.)

      I know I have been thinking about what kind of interesting activities we can do in Paris (ideally combining fun and culture). I am thinking about the catacombs tour, the Jardin des Plantes greenhouses (they have a cool-looking holiday lights event that starts in mid-Nov. too), and the Paris Opera house (check out their “Escape from the Opera House experience – https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/visits/palais-garnier). I’ve also been dying to visit the Fondation Louis Vuitton art gallery. It is right beside the Jardin D’Acclimation amusement park (open all year). If you picked a day that wasn’t rainy, perhaps you could do both. I highly recommend a cooking class. Although there are a few options, my daughter really enjoyed Cook’n with Class (which we followed up with a visit to Sacre Coeur).

      I hope this helps. Please also feel free to reach out to me directly at tara@pintsizepilot.com.

  3. Lisa
    | Reply

    Thanks so much for your recommendations! I see your kids have grown so much now! Heading to Paris with our 8 and 5 year old in July! Now following you on social media as well 🙂

    ( We are From St Maarten in the Caribbean and we also have an airbnb that caters well to families with kids )

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Oh my gosh…your Airbnb on St. Maarten is so beautiful! What a lovely place to live (although I’m sure the hurricane recovery has been difficult).

      I hope you have the most wonderful time in Paris!

  4. Julia
    | Reply

    I am so happy to come across your blog. I am planning a trip to Paris with my daughter who is turning 10 next April. I am pretty overwhelmed with what I have been reading and learning. Your blog has been very helpful to at least get my head around the main things to do with a 10 yr old. Thanks!

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      I am so happy that it could be of help Julia. I’m sure it will be a wonderful mother-daughter trip!

  5. Jen Maselli
    | Reply

    I’m a travel agent who sends people to Europe regularly and I found this post so so so so helpful! This is such fantastic real world advice and I love that you shared your experience temporarily losing a kid as well as the get lost plan. My family has a “Disneyland Rule” which is, if you find yourself lost, STAND STILL. Do not move, we will find you. The meeting place is a great idea for older kids and love the business card with contact info.

    Thank so much for this!

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Jen,

      Thank you so much for reaching out. I sometimes forget how important it is to share the stuff that doesn’t work as well as the stuff that does. I put so much effort into planning our trips, but well, sometimes things just go sideways ! You are in the travel business…you know. 🙂

      Your website is beautiful. Nice work !

      Tara

  6. Angie
    | Reply

    I am so glad I found your site! By far the best advice I have found for traveling with a family! Thank you so much!

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      What a lovely thing to say Angie. Thank you so much. 🙂

  7. N. Walsh
    | Reply

    Hello, we are looking to spend a month or so in Paris with our small (3 and 7yrs) children in the summer. Do you happen to have any recommendations for child care? We will (unfortunately) need to work while we are there for such an extended period of time as well.

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hello there,
      How lovely that you will get to work from Paris ! Let me ask my family travel blogger network about this to see if anyone has some solid recommendations. Do your children speak french?
      Tara

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Again,

      I had a couple of comments from my family travel blogger friends. I hope this helps. 🙂

      1. Baby Chou Agency in Paris (https://www.babychou.com).
      2. My Parisian Nanny (http://myparisiannanny.com).
      3. Paris has some excellent summer day camps. Perhaps worth looking into.

  8. Stephen Beech
    | Reply

    Hello,
    Wondering if you can help – I’m planning to travel Paris from Toronto, Canada with my daughter 12, and son 10 (no other adults) – I’m also a French teacher, so can only travel in July and August. What would you suggest for 1 week trip? The suggestions for kids seem to be for younger kids (under 7?) – mine are almost ‘tweens’…
    Any info you can provide is appreciated – avoiding crowds, dining – hotel or vacation rental?
    Thanks!
    Stephen

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Stephen,

      I started writing that guide quite a few years ago, but on our last trip my kids were 9 and 12. Your options are certainly greater with tweens that with little ones. 🙂

      I would definitely visit the museums that interest you. Most of the major museums offer some family friendly tours. Alternatively, visit late in the day – say, 3 hours before closing. The Louvre has extended hours a couple of nights a week. If you are coming from North America and have a bit of jet lag, the evenings are a great time to visit museums. We’ve done this in New York before, visiting the Whitney on a Friday night after dinner with the kids (taking advantage of our Pacific Coast jet lag – we live in Vancouver). There are also some companies such as Context Tours that offer some special family-friendly tours of Paris museums and other sights. They are really good but quite pricey. (https://pintsizepilot.com/louvre-private-tour-paris-private-tour-guide/)

      My daughter frequently mentions that if we have the opportunity to return to Paris that she would love to do another cooking class. Cook’n with Class is good. I see on their website that they have a “Cuisine en Famille” class that looks quite fun, along with several other kids classes.There are also a number of other companies to choose from and as I assume that your children are bilingual, there should be plenty of suitable class options (not limited to English only).

      While I have only visited Versailles with my kids when they were little, my sister visited with my nieces when they were tweens and loved the day they spent there. The grounds are very large, but they rented bikes to get around the property. It is really a full day trip from Paris with everything there is to see.

      Although I hoped to skip the Eiffel Tower on our last trip (it was the Euros and the city was so busy), my kids insisted on going up again. Keep in mind that you don’t have to take the elevators up, you can take the stairs to the second tier. If you do plan on taking the elevators, buy your tickets online in advance.

      We love riding the Bateaux-Mouches along the Seine. It is a really nice first day thing to do as you get a nice view of the city from the water (and perhaps your first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower).

      I am huge fan of having a picnic in one of the beautiful city parks for lunch. I have a post on some nice spots here: https://pintsizepilot.com/paris-picnic-parks-places/

      If you visit Notre Dame, it is fun to pop by the nearby Flower Market (or the Sunday bird market in the same spot). There is also a great ice cream spot just steps away called Berthillion.

      If I returned to Paris in the summer, I would still stroll the Tuilleries Gardens with the kids and ride the large ferris wheel (it is there as part of the Tuilleries Fairgrounds in July/Aug). It provides quite a magical view of the city and is fun for kids. The Tuilleries is between two museums, The Louvre and the L’Orangerie (Monet’s Water Lillies). The gardens are also a nice place for kids to get some fresh air and freedom after a more structured activity.

      I’m not sure how you feel about cycling, but there are a couple of companies that offer family friendly city tours including Fat Bike Tours. Alternatively, you could just rent bikes on your own. I explored the city on a Sunday morning and it was lovely (streets were quiet as few deliveries are made on Sundays).

      We prefer to stay in a vacation rental in Le Marais (4th arr.) because we like the area. It is lively with some nice shops and good restaurants (it can get a bit noisy on Fri/Sat nights as there are lots of LBGTQ bars in the area). That said, you can’t really go wrong if you are staying in any the following arrondissements: 1,4,5,6, 7 & 8 which are all located close to the Seine. If you do go the vacation rental route, just be sure to read reviews carefully.

      We primarily use Uber to get around Paris (nice clear cars – very easy).

      Oh yes, one more thing. Since you have a week (perfect), I would recommend some “down time”. I have a habit of cramming our days so full of activities that I can suck the fun right out of the experience. Plan for some time to just relax and absorb the beautiful ambience that is Paris!

      I hope this helps. I will add to this as I think of more things. Please also feel free to ask more questions. 🙂

  9. Amanda C.
    | Reply

    Thanks so much for the info! Excited to bring my daughter (9), sister, and 2 nieces (12 and 15) for a girls trip in April! I am planning to book an Air B and B. I was leaning towards near the Eiffel Tower. What are your thoughts on location?

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Amanda,
      How exciting that you are planning a trip to Paris. I think staying around the Eiffel Tower (the 7th Arrondissement) would be a great choice. In my opinion, you really can’t go too wrong staying in any of those central arrondissements close to the Seine (#1,4, 5, 6, 7 & 8). We normally stay in Le Marais (the 4th) because it has a charming neighborhood feel and some good restaurants, but it is not for everyone as it has quite a lively night scene (LBGTQ district). That said, I try to pick a quiet place within that district as I am pretty much in bed by 10.
      P.S. I love vacation rentals for Paris since it makes it so much easier when traveling with family.

  10. Paulina Gaitan
    | Reply

    I’m so thankful to be done with strollers! Our first trip to Paris with the kids they were 1 & barely3, so we brought a side-by-side double umbrella stroller. It was great in the streets but horrible for the metro!! I completely agree with your point on bringing the smallest stroller possible!

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Oh that metro can be tough ! I was in another big city recently riding the metro (Santiago, Chile), and I couldn’t help but wonder how anyone would do it with a stroller ! It was rush hour and I could barely stand !

  11. shabnum
    | Reply

    Hi i will be at disney park for a few days. We have to check out at 11am and our flight is at 9pm.We will get into the city by 12 and have 5 hours to pass time and we will be doing Paris tour day before what can we do which is cost effective and easy with hand luggage? I have read we can leave luggage at airport which is good.

  12. Elise
    | Reply

    Thank you for this excellent post! I’ve been to Paris (but in 2002!) and am planning a trip with my two kids for next (early) June. Have you been more recently? How do you find the crowds? I’ve heard the tourist crowd situation has gotten worse in Paris (esp. in museums). My kids can get overwhelmed by a press of people (they didn’t like the DC metro, their first time on a subway). I’m figuring the best way to avoid this is to avoid some of the major museums and the metro? Thank you!

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hello there,

      Thank you for getting in touch. How exciting that you will be visiting Paris with your kids. I’m not sure what time of year you are going, but the summer months can be very busy. On our first trip, I skipped the Louvre altogether for this very reason. We visited the much smaller Musee de L’Orangerie instead, near the end of the day (4pm), and it was almost without crowds (this was in August). We were in there for less than an hour and it was perfect. I have since visited the Louvre with the kids (July). It was a zoo, but we went on a private Louvre tour with a family-friendly guide from Context Travel. It’s a splurge, for sure, but it made it so much more relaxing.

      We took the stairs up the Eiffel tower (no crowds) on the first trip. A friend went recently and just enjoyed looking at the tower from the park below with her 3 children (there are carousels, gelato and other things to enjoy on the ground). With little ones, I think the latter is a great way to enjoy it, or from a Bateaux-Mouche on the Seine.

      Would you take Uber? We loved it in Paris. It might be a nice alternative to the Metro which I do agree can be a little stressful with kids.

      The long and short of it is that yes, Paris can be very crowded. You can, however, find some nice open spaces to enjoy. We have spent many hours in squares and parks, just soaking up the Parisian vibe – which we enjoy as much (or more) than the tourist sites.

      Please feel free to connect again if you have more questions. Tara

  13. Erika
    | Reply

    Love your ideas! Thank you. I am traveling to Paris with my 6 year old this summer and I am thinking of spending day in Disneyland too while we are there. Are there a lot of things to do in Paris on a Sunday or are most things closed? Should we go to Disneyland on Sunday instead so we can take advantage of other activities on Monday?

  14. Erica Knight
    | Reply

    What a fabulous and thorough list. I’ll be sure to bookmark it for my next trip! Thank you

  15. Carrie Peacock
    | Reply

    GREAT blog!! I am taking notes as I read it!! We leave in December for 10 days in Paris. We are actually staying at a condo outside of the city. We are taking our 2 daughters (6 and 12) and my niece who is 16. None of them have ever been to Paris. My husband and I have not been since high school. Anything specific that we need to know traveling there in December?

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