With its beautiful parks, tree-lined boulevards, magnificent landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and 12th-century Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, and the tranquil Seine River meandering its way through the city, Paris conjures images of a romantic city for lovers. However, if you are traveling with kids, France's capital packs a punch when it comes to fun entertainment for the whole family. From Disneyland Paris and the Cité des Sciences to swimming at Paris Plages, exploring the original Paris Catacombes, and discovering the mouthwatering culinary delights of French food.
1.Arc de Triomphe
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Standing sentry at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. Built between 1806 and 1836 in honor of those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic wars, the Arc stands as a powerful, unified symbol for France. The decorative arch is engraved with all of the names of the generals and battles fought, along with friezes, figures, and beys-reliefs, and beneath the vault of the arch lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I and the Memorial Flame, which burns continuously. The monument stands at the center of a juncture formed by twelve radiating avenues that were previously known as Place de l'Étoile, before being renamed Place Charles de Gaulle.
Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France
2.L’Atelier des Lumieres
Based in a former iron foundry between Bastille and Nation in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, the Atelier des Lumières is a digital art studio that exhibits monumental immersive exhibitions through the AMIEX® process (Art & Music Immersive Experience). Dedicated to digital art, the 300-square-meter studio space features ten-meter-high floor-to-ceiling walls onto which the works of artists such as van Gogh and Klimt are projected using 140 video projectors with BARCO lasers and a spatialized sound system. Visitors are immersed in pictures and music in a sensorial adventure showcasing the biggest names in art.
38 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris, France, Phone: +33-1-80-98-46-00
3.Parc du Champ-de-Mars
The Parc du Champ-de-Mars is an extensive public park and green space in the seventh arrondissement extending from the Eiffel Tower to the École Militaire. Named after the Campus Martius in Rome, a field that honors Roman God of War, Mars, the aptly named park was once used by the French military as drilling and marching grounds. Opened in 1780, the park can be accessed freely and is a popular spot for both Parisians and tourists to gather and enjoy picnics, play games, listen to music, and soak up the breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower. The Parc du Champ-de-Mars is also a hotspot for national events, concerts, and festivals.
2 Allée Adrienne Lecouvreur, 75007 Paris, France
4.Château de Versailles
The Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles) is a spectacular French Baroque complex and former royal residence that is famous for its beautiful architecture and turbulent political history. Located about 16 miles outside of Paris in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, the palace was a principal royal residence of France from 1682 until the start of the French Revolution in 1789. The castle is surrounded by exquisitely manicured gardens and grounds and has a large boating lake known as the Grand Canal, which are all free to the public. Take a picnic along in the summer and relax beneath the trees or hire a rowing boat and head out on the lake.
Versailles, Yvelines, Île-de-France
5.Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie
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Located in Parc de la Villette on the edge of the city, the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie (the City of Science and Industry) is the largest science museum in Europe. One of the three dozen French Cultural Centers of Science, Technology and Industry that promote science and science culture, the Cité des Sciences features two huge arenas filled with exhibits and displays on light, energy, sound, genetics, and transport, as well as a cinema inside a sphere and a planetarium. Signature attractions include a 1950s submarine known as The Argonaute, and a giant chrome sphere called the Géode, in which 3D films are shown.
30 Avenue Corentin Cariou, 75019 Paris, France, Phone: +33-1-40-05-70-00
Disneyland Paris is a fun-filled family theme and amusement park, a short train ride from Paris that features a variety of areas including Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park, Disney's Davy Crockett Ranch®, Villages Nature Paris®, the Disney Village, and the Val d'Europe shopping center. World-renowned attractions at the 4,800-acre park include It's a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, and Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters. Visitors can meet all their favorite Disney characters, join guided walking tours, and enjoy an array of parades, events, character parties throughout the year.
Boulevard de Parc, 77700 Coupvray, France
7.Château de Fontainebleau
The Château de Fontainebleau (Palace of Fontainebleau) is a magnificent Renaissance-style royal palace in the commune of Fontainebleau about 35 miles outside of Paris. The beautifully preserved Château served as a residence for the French monarchs from Louis VII to Napoleon III and has 1,500 rooms, including Napoleon III’s lavish theater and Marie Antoinette’s Turkish boudoir. The castle is surrounded by 130 acres of formal gardens and parklands, and the town of Fontainebleau is ensconced by the Forêt de Fontainebleau, 25,000 hectares of national forest that offers 1,600 km of walking trails, and a wide variety of outdoor activities such as hiking and horseback riding, mountain biking, bouldering, and wildlife watching.
77300 Fontainebleau, France, Phone: +33-1-60-71-50-70
Located in the Bois de Boulogne, the Jardin d’Acclimatation is a family-friendly amusement park with an array of fun rides, acrobatic obstacle courses, puppet shows, and water-themed activities at the Jardin Plage during the summer. The 19-acre park has a farm with livestock from the plains of Normandy and a variety of animals that can meet and greet, a large aviary with more than 200 birds, an archery range, a miniature-golf course, and a science museum called the Exploradôme. Other attractions in the park include the Musée en Herbe art museum, a house of mirrors, pony rides, and a narrow-gauge train called Le Petit Train, which winds its way around the park, offering fun-filled rides for children of all ages.
Bois de Boulogne, Route de la Porte Dauphine à la Porte des Sablons, 75116 Paris, France, Phone: +33-1-40-67-90-85
9.Jardin du Luxembourg
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The Jardin du Luxembourg, also known as the Luxembourg Gardens, is a beautiful garden and park in the 6th arrondissement of Paris that was inspired by the Italy’s Boboli Gardens. Established in 1612 by the widow of King Henry IV of France, Marie de' Medici, the gardens were created for the newly constructed Palais du Luxembourg and span 25 hectares with French and English gardens, a large pond, a geometric forest, and greenhouses filled with beautiful orchids and a rose garden. Today, the gardens also feature an array of attractions, including the city’s oldest carousel, 1920s vintage boats, puppet shows, and pony rides, and a children’s playground with climbing structures and bandstand that hosts a variety of concerts.
75006 Paris, France, Phone: +33-1-42-34-20-00
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10.Promenade des Berges de la Seine
The Promenade des Berges de la Seine is a newly redesigned public park along the left bank of the Seine river extending from the Pont de l'Alma to the Musée d'Orsay. Located in the seventh arrondissement of Paris, the pedestrianized park features a wealth of outdoor activities and attractions, ranging from climbing walls, board games and hopscotch along the riverbank, and performance and exhibition spaces to five floating gardens atop barges, playgrounds, and a variety of sports facilities. Take-away restaurants, coffee shops, and cafés line the promenade, and children can enjoy craft workshops and scheduled activities throughout the year.
72 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris, France, Phone: +33-6-17-89-37-17
11.The Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum, known simply as the Louvre, is the world's largest art museum and a central landmark of the city. Located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the first arrondissement, the historic monument boasts 782,910 square feet of space and boasts an unrivaled collection of over 400,000 artworks with 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century on display. Housed in the Louvre Palace, which was originally built by Philip Augustus II as the Louvre castle in the late 12th century, the building has been renovated and extended many times to form the present-day Louvre Palace. The museum entrance is crowned by a steel-and-glass pyramid designed by the American architect I.M. Pei, along with three glass-roofed interior courtyards displaying ancient Assyrian artworks and French sculpture.
Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
12.Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (French National Museum of Natural History)
The Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (the French National Museum of Natural History) is a collection of sites throughout France with its main building in the Jardin des Plantes on the left bank of the Seine. Established over 400 years ago, the museum is dedicated to nature-related artifacts, items, and objects, and includes collections of fossils and dinosaur skeletons, taxidermied animals, and meteorites and crystals. The surrounding Jardin des Plantes features beautifully manicured gardens and greenhouses filled with orchards, and a zoo showcasing a wide diversity of animals and highlighting the story of biodiversity.
57 Rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, France, Phone: +33-1-40-79-56-01
13.Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is a 25-hectare park in the 19th arrondissement of Paris and one of the largest and most significant and original green spaces in the city. The public park was constructed on quarries and has a variety of elevations and heights with spectacular views of the city, particularly in the Montmartre district. The park is laid out like a giant playground with steep hills, caves, and waterfalls, exotic, indigenous trees, grassy knolls and lawns for picnics, an artificial lake with wading birds, and mallard ducks, and a suspension bridge over the water. The park has several food concessions and snack bars and offers family-friendly entertainment throughout the year.
1 Rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris, France
14.Parc de la Villette
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Designed by architect Bernard Tschumi and built on the site of former abattoirs, Parc de la Villette is an urban park, cultural center, and playground paradise for children of all ages. Based in the 19th arrondissement on the banks of the Canal de l’Ourcq, the 55-hectare park features green spaces, ponds, and fountains along the canal, playgrounds and activity areas, cultural spaces and theaters for visitors of all ages. The park is also home to several top cultural attractions, including the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie and the Géode, the Jardin des Dunes et des Vents with ziplines and kid-sized hamster wheels, the Musée de la Musique, the Zénith de Paris, and the Philharmonie de Paris. The park hosts exceptional events throughout the year, including an open-air film festival in the summer.
211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris, France
The Parc Zoologique, colloquially known as the Vincennes Zoo, is a 14.5-hectare animal sanctuary in the Bois de Vincennes. Open year-round, the zoo is part of the National Museum of Natural History and has five distinct biozones, namely Amazon-Guyana, Europe, Patagonia, Madagascar, and Sahel-Sudan. Spanning nearly 15 hectares with two miles of winding trails to follow through each biozone, the zoo is home to over 1,000 animals from more than 125 species. Other attractions at the zoo include an aviary, a dense woodland, a greenhouse, picnic areas, two restaurants, and a gift shop, and visitors can hire buggies to explore the zoo.
Avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris, France
16.Paris by Mouth
Paris by Mouth is a fantastic way to explore the culinary side of the city, offering website reviews of the best (and worst) places to eat in a handy neighborhood-by-neighborhood format. The brainchild of Alexandra Marshall, Paris by Mouth also offers guided foodie tours that pop into patisseries, fromageries, and chocolate shops and offer visitors the chance to sample some of the best bites Paris has to offer. The tours are led by experts in the field, ranging from trained chefs and certified sommeliers to food journalists who share their passion and knowledge of French food culture.
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Every summer, the beach comes to Paris, and the banks of the Seine turn into a bustling riverside resort. Created in 2002, the Paris Plages offers lovely area for locals and visitors to relax with deckchairs, umbrellas, palm trees, grassy lawns, and an array of cultural and sports activities. Paris Plages is based on the Parc Rives de Seine, which extends from the Pont de Solferino to Pont Alexandre III on the left bank, and from Pont de Sully to Pont Neuf on the right bank, as well as on the Quai de Seine at the Bassin de la Villette, and the Quai de Loire. Exuding a laid-back seaside atmosphere, the Paris Plages also features a variety of games, such as mini-golf and table football and live performances, dance shows, and theater workshops for visitors of all ages.
Parc Rives de Seine, Bassin de la Villette, Quai de Loire
The Centre Pompidou, also known as the Pompidou Centre, or simply the Pompi by the French, is an industrial-looking complex in the Beaubourg area of the fourth arrondissement of Paris. Designed a team of famous architects, including Renzo Pianos and Richard Rogers, the building is famous for high-tech architecture, which boasts exterior escalators and large colored tubing. Named after former French president George Pompidou, the complex is home to the Musée National d'Art Moderne (National Museum of Modern Art), which features internationally renowned collections of 20th and 21st-century art. It also houses the Bibliothèque Publique d'Information, the city’s main public library. At the center of the complex stands a free-standing 25-foot-tall sculpture by Alexander Calder called Horizontal.
Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France
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The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as the Sacré-Cœur, is a magnificent Roman Catholic church in the Montmartre district of Paris and a famous landmark of the city. Standing at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city, the church stands sentry over the metropolis, boasting spectacular panoramic views for miles. Designed by Paul Abadie and built in 1875, the church can be reached by a steep climb of 300 steps, which tends to be crowd-free, or by a charming funicular which travels to the top of the hill. The little village of Montmartre around the Sacré-Cœur is home to artists, poets, and all manner of creative thinkers, and is worth a stroll around the cobbled streets.
35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
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20.Shakespeare and Company
Arguably the most famous independent bookstore in the world, Shakespeare and Company, is a literary utopia on the Left Bank with beautiful views of the city. Established in 1919 by Sylvia Beach and later reopened by George Whitman in 1951 after being closed during the Second World War, the world-renowned bookstore has long been a fixture on any literature lover’s list. Boasting a faded yellow façade with an ornate drinking fountain out front, the bookshop is packed with an extensive stock of second-hand books with works from Voltaire to Verlaine. After browsing the store, head to the nearby Le Procope restaurant with walls are adorned with author-signed title pages by famous writers and poets.
37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France, Phone: +33-1-43-25-40-93
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21.The Aquarium de Paris
The Aquarium de Paris is a colorful contemporary aquarium that offers an unforgettable underwater world experience in the heart of Paris. Located in the Trocadéro gardens with views of the Eiffel Tower, the Aquarium is home to more than 7,500 sea creatures and boasts over 60 tanks, including one of the biggest shark tanks in France, complete with a walk-through tunnel. Other attractions include a petting pool where visitors can touch koi carps, 15 tanks filled with more than 2,500 jellyfish, and the Cinéaqua, a two-screen cinema that presents a variety of shows. The Aquarium de Paris hosts an array of workshops and demonstrations every day for children of all ages.
5 Avenue Albert de Mun, 75016 Paris, France
22.Marche aux Oiseaux (The Bird Market)
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The Marché aux Oiseaux (The Bird Market) is a bird market held on Sundays in the famous Paris Flower Market that comes alive with the tweets of thousands of birds. Located on Place Louis Lépine on Île de la Cité, the market is a child’s paradise with thousands of birds to see, ranging from budgies, canaries, and lovebirds to cocks, chickens, other animals like rodents and fish. Surrounded by several flower displays despite the flower-sellers having the day, the birds are housed in a fascinating range of cages and containers, showcasing the history of bird-keeping.
Allée Célestin Hennion, 75004 Paris, France
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The Catacombs of Paris is a network of old caves, quarries, tunnels, and underground ossuaries stretching hundreds of miles that house the bones of more than six million souls. Built between the 17th and 18th centuries to connect the city’s ancient stone quarries and create a space for the overflowing burial pits and cemeteries during the Revolutionary Terror, the original Paris Catacombs lay long forgotten until they became a macabre venue for special events in the early 19th century. Today, the sinister network of tunnels attracts locals and visitors alike who come to explore the ancient burial grounds far beneath the city.
1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France
24.Musee Grevin (Grévin Wax Museum)
The Musée Grévin is a family-friendly wax museum on the Grands Boulevards in the ninth arrondissement that features a fascinating collection of wax mannequins modeled after famous historical, cultural, and political figures. Opened in 1882 and offering an unusual take on French history, the museum is divided into different rooms, including a theatre and a viewpoint and features over 500 life-like wax characters representing the world’s most celebrities from Napoleon to Celine Dion. Rooms are decorated to reflect significant events throughout history, ranging from a lush jungle to the Hall of Mirrors, which was built for the Exposition Universelle in 1900.
10 Boulevard Montmartre, 75009 Paris, France
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25.Une Glace a Paris
Une Glace à Paris is an ice-cream boutique and tearoom that serves out-of-this-world ice-cream and other fancy frozen patisseries. Founded by Emmanuel Ryon and Olivier Ménard, the ice cream parlor on Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie is light and airy with elegant décor, two counters and seating for up to 20 people. The lavish counters hold 24 flavors of ice-cream that that are all handmade in the basement below the shop using fresh, seasonal produce and served at the perfect just-about-to-melt temperature. The shop also offers a variety of sorbets in unusual flavors like fragrant matcha green tea and an excellent selection of traditional patisseries, glacées, and other sweet treats.
15 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris, France, Phone: +33-1-49-96-98-33
25 Fun Things to Do in Paris with Kids of All Ages
- Arc de Triomphe, Photo: H-AB Photography/stock.adobe.com
- L’Atelier des Lumieres, Photo: akintevs/stock.adobe.com
- Parc du Champ-de-Mars , Photo: zoerae28/stock.adobe.com
- Château de Versailles, Photo: neko92vl/stock.adobe.com
- Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Photo: Bruno Bleu/stock.adobe.com
- Disneyland Paris, Photo: satur73/stock.adobe.com
- Château de Fontainebleau, Photo: aterrom/stock.adobe.com
- Jardin d'Acclimatation, Photo: dbrnjhrj/stock.adobe.com
- Jardin du Luxembourg, Photo: Aliaksandr Kazlou/stock.adobe.com
- Promenade des Berges de la Seine, Photo: Simon/stock.adobe.com
- The Louvre Museum, Photo: erikdegraaf/stock.adobe.com
- Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (French National Museum of Natural History), Photo: Redzen/stock.adobe.com
- Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Photo: foxytoul/stock.adobe.com
- Parc de la Villette, Photo: Tommy Larey/stock.adobe.com
- Parc Zoologique, Photo: Samuel/stock.adobe.com
- Paris by Mouth, Photo: Anna_Anny/stock.adobe.com
- Paris Plages, Photo: Pierre Juin/stock.adobe.com
- Centre Pompidou, Photo: alltrip/stock.adobe.com
- Sacre-Coeur Basilica, Photo: kmiragaya/stock.adobe.com
- Shakespeare and Company, Photo: ParisPhoto/stock.adobe.com
- The Aquarium de Paris, Photo: jhaider/stock.adobe.com
- Marche aux Oiseaux (The Bird Market), Photo: Elena Dijour/stock.adobe.com
- The Catacombs, Photo: Guy Bryant/stock.adobe.com
- Musee Grevin (Grévin Wax Museum), Photo: Georgio/stock.adobe.com
- Une Glace a Paris, Photo: 1L26/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: david_franklin/stock.adobe.com