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Dressed up in its finery of sparkling baubles and fairy lights, Paris is a dreamy winter destination for the whole family. From Christmas markets to roasted chestnuts – there’s so much in the city to get you in the festive spirit. An outing to see the impressive animatronic displays at the grands magasins on boulevard Haussmann is a family must.

The sweet-toothed are in for a treat, too: candied chestnuts, bûches de Noël (yule logs) and festive galettes all make an appearance this time of year. Warm up with a chocolat chaud, or make a beeline for a bouillon, where classic French fare is dished up at wallet-friendly prices. Need more inspiration? Here’s what to see, eat and do with kids in Paris this winter.

City or station
City or station

Explore Paris with kids this winter

    • Try a galette des rois

      This January favourite is always a hit with children: find the charm hidden in the frangipane pastry and you’ll become king or queen for the day. The tradition ignites culinary passions every year, with the city’s top pastry chefs competing for the tastiest twist on the puff-pastry classic. Look out for Pierre Hermé’s couture creations, or Yann Brys’s fruit-laced frangipane tart.

    • Lunch at Bouillon Pigalle

      Parisians of all ages queue up in hip Pigalle for affordable, old-school French favourites. Sausages and mash and beef bourguignon are served by frantic yet chipper waiters in proper black-and-white livery. The handsome dining room squeezes in 300 covers – a bustling, relaxed setting for a meal en famille. There’s no need to book: it’s open seven days a week, from noon until midnight.

    • Catch a show

      The Bouglione Circus’ roots go back to the Second Empire, when daredevil Jules Léotard awed audiences with the very first flying trapeze act. This winter’s entertainment for the whole family is just as gravity-defying, and will tickle funny-bones as well. Expect aerial silks, clever horses and contortionists from the Cirque d’Hiver’s new show Defi.

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Image credits: © Rrrainbow via Shutterstock; © Rrrainbow via Shutterstock; © Brasserie Réjane; © Benoît Linero; © Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione; © Getty; © Getty; © Shutterstock