Paris for kids, by kids
Too tired, too hungry, too bored? When tiny feet start to drag, it pays to have insider info up your sleeve to keep everyone happy. So, we’ve rounded up a team of local experts to guide you through all the key sights.
Their petit plus? They’re all under 10 years old. Here’s their take on the city’s sweetest attractions.
Jardin du LuxembourgRue de Vaugirard, 75006
Racing a wooden sailboat on the gardens’ pond is a rite of passage for petits parisiens. You can rent one on the spot during the school holidays, or on Wednesday afternoons and weekends most of the year. You’ll be out of luck in the winter months though, so make sure to bring your own if you’re itching to hit the water.
The SeineParc des Rives de Seine, 75004
The capital’s photogenic river has plenty of appeal for kids, though not due to its quaint vintage book stalls, nor its soppy love locks. Come summer, the Seine transforms into a beachy playground with sand pits, sun-loungers and cooling water sprays to run through. Head to the Bassin de la Villette to burn off excess energy: the giant waterborne hamster ball is a firm favourite.
MontmartreFuniculaire de Montmartre, gare basse, 75018
Rollercoasters aren’t always all that. Slow and steady, Montmartre’s funicular, which ferries visitors up and down the rather steep hill, got our little experts’ votes. It may have something to do with its space-shuttle looks, or the sweeping view of Paris you’re rewarded with on reaching the top. Bring some coins so urban explorers can have a go on the steampunk telescopes.
Paris Zoological ParkAvenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris
Even on a rainy day, the zoo is sure to keep little monkeys happy. There’s plenty to do indoors if the weather’s not playing ball. Visit the vivarium’s snappy and slippery residents, or explore the greenhouse to get up close and personal with free-roaming sloths, bats and lemurs. For a special occasion, you can even book breakfast with the giraffes.
Grande Galerie de l’Évolution36, rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 75005
Entire afternoons can be whiled away at this Victorian glass-and-steel hall, the soaring centerpiece of the city’s natural history museum. Its menagerie of specimens occupies four floors, from cases of jewel-hued butterflies to vast whale skeletons. Most magical of all is the parade of animals that marches across the first floor: hippos, giraffes and other Jungle Book beasts, led by an immense elephant.
Musée d’Orsay1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007
The riverside museum’s train-station past is fascinating for budding engineers, and its collection of 19th and 20th-century art is equally engrossing. Our little art critics’ favourite work? An imposing, almost cartoon-like polar bear, sculpted by Rodin’s assistant François Pompon, who took inspiration from the menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes.
Centre PompidouPlace Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris
The Galerie des enfants (Kids Gallery) will keep the kids occupied for hours with workshops and exhibitions. The activities, devised to get kids to explore modern art will appeal to children 2 and up.
Teenagers will love Studio 13/16, a social place with workshops carried out by artists and free events. There is even opportunity to meet up with artists and experiment with artistic set-ups.
Le Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione110, rue Amelot, 75011 Paris
For more than 92 years the Bouglione family has kept Paris in its thrall with its spectacular circus acts, which have included performers such as Robin Valençia, a female human cannon ball.
Le Grand Rex1, boulevard Poissonnière, 75002 Paris
This stunning Art Deco cinema holds a behind-the-scenes ‘Studio Tour’. Over-5s can explore the projection room, play with special effects and become the stars of their own take-home film.
Disneyland® ParisBd de Parc, 77700 Coupvray, France
A trip to Disneyland® Paris is an unmissable experience for families. The magic kingdom is only 30 minutes from Paris, so it makes the perfect day trip. Book a special Disneyland® Paris deal through our partner Magic Breaks.
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