Going to Paris with kids? Great, since the Disneyland and the Parc Asterix aren’t the only places you can take them to. The French capital city has a number of extraordinary places and things to do with kids, both entertaining and educational. Some of them will take you away from Paris while most of them will keep you in the city. Therefore, depending on your available time, try to visit some of the suggested places and attend a tour or two at the very least.
1. Disneyland Paris
Being in Paris without visiting the Disneyland is like childhood without fairy tales, regardless of your age. The most visited theme park in Europe makes the children spellbound and the adults enthralled. The Disneyland has the Disneyland Park and the Walt Disney Studios fun parks, with the entertainment that comes close to the utmost amazement or horror at times. Thus, everyone is sure to find the type of the entertainment they look forward to.
If you can afford the entire day to visit the Disneyland, better head to the Disneyland Park. If a couple of hours are the most you can allocate, visit the Walt Disney Studios. Note that a single ticket allows you to visit only a single park. If you leave the park early, you need to purchase another ticket to re-enter or visit the other one.
In the Disneyland Park, you can enjoy a lot of diverse roller coaster rides, parades of Disney heroes, roam through legendary sites (such as the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Alice’s Wonderland, Captain Nemo’s Nautilus…) and more. Along the way, you can visit distant galaxies, travel through fairy tales’ lands and glimpse into the world of pirates among many other things.
In the Walt Disney Studios, you can shrink and extend in size, be horrified in the Tower of Terror (which is one of the scariest rides you will ever experience), get reminded of the all-times movie classics and more.
Finally, in the Disney Village, a shopping zone with the free access, you can take a balloon ride over the Disneyland and enjoy shopping and movie screenings in high-tech cinemas.
The Disneyland is around 40 kilometers away from Paris. The best way to reach the amusement park is via RER train, which travels around 40 minutes. Full price train ticket is 7.6 €, while the children pay half the price. The best season for a visit is the summer, when the weather is stable the most. If possible, schedule your visit to the Disneyland during the work days, when crowds are lesser. The details about the tickets you can find here. Opening times vary between the days and seasons, and you can check the details on this page.
2. Parc Asterix
The Parc Asterix is still another popular park in the vicinity of Paris that takes you through the adventures of the popular Gallic heroes. That journey will introduce to you ancient Greece, Egypt and the Roman Empire in a series of live shows, thrilling rides and dozens of related attractions.
People of all ages find ghost trains, water slides and roller coaster rides enthralling, and you can also enjoy various live performances (performed by humans, sea lions and dolphins) along the way. For example, you can observe a clash between the Galls and the Romans in the Arena Theater. Or be unaware whether your feet are below or above you as the Oziris inverted roller coaster turns you upside down. What you will be certain, though, is that the landing won’t come soon enough. Finally, if you don’t mind an intense ride with a great deal of vibrations and shakes, you shouldn’t miss the Tonnerre de Zeus (Thunder of Zeus) ride.
Those who would like to take an occasional break can take a look at the village of Asterix and Obelix and walk the world of the knights and various craftsmen in medieval Paris.
The Parc Asterix is 45 kilometers away from Paris. Take a RER train to get to the Charles de Gaulle Airport and catch the further shuttle connection there. Details and prices are available on this page. Approximate travelling times are slightly over an hour. Just like with the Disneyland, the summer is the best season and work days the best days for a visit. The Parc Asterix operates from April to November and the opening hours are from 10 am to 6 pm. For the admission fees and other prices, check this page.
3. Cirque d’Hiver
If you are in Paris anytime from October to March and would like to remain in the city, you can visit the Cirque d’Hiver (Winter Circus) and attend great performances. These involve human and animal performers, including elephants and horses. Each season features a new theme and wagonload of great entertainment is guaranteed for all ages, from the very small kids to the senior visitors.
During the Winter Circus’ shows, you will have an opportunity to enjoy the skills of dancing elephants, acrobats whose performances will leave you amazed, trapeze artists who will render you breathless and more. Just note that the show lasts over 2 hours, so make sure it isn’t too long for your children. And, don’t worry about the viewing perspective. Regardless of the seat, you will have a good view of the stage.
The Cirque d’Hiver is located in the vicinity of the Filles du Calvaire station of the metro line number 8, and can be accessed from the Paris city center within 10 minutes. Details about the prices and times are available on this page.
4. Bateaux Parisiens’ Seine Enchanted Cruise
The Seine River Cruise is among the top activities you can treat yourself and your children with in Paris, especially with the Enchanted Seine Cruise that is adapted to the little ones. The Seine River is lined with numerous Paris’ top attractions with interesting background stories, and Bateaux Parisiens’ elves convey these stories in an engaging manner. Besides, you will have a pleasure to enjoy the musical entertainment.
Lila and Philou the elves narrate the story on this 1-hour cruise through songs and anecdotes, which animate and entertain the children. In addition, you will get acquainted with some secret stories regarding Paris. The Enchanted Seine Cruise will take you by some iconic landmarks of the French capital city, including the Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Pont Neuf, the Pont Alexandre III and the Eiffel Tower. Just note that the narration is available only in French.
The Bateaux Parisiens are located next to the Eiffel Tower. The price of the Enchanted Seine Cruise is 15 €. Details about seasons and hours are available here. Thanks to the glass boats, each season is convenient for the cruise.
5. Berges de Seine
The left bank of the River Seine is the site of a multicultural and entertaining area since recently, stretching from the Musee d’Orsay to the Pont de l’Alma. The area is known as the Berges de Seine, and a relaxing walk along the river’s bank reveals a myriad of opportunities for the adults and the children to engage in entertaining and relaxing activities.
Let yourself and your little ones wander into a labyrinth, climb the walls and play ping pong among other activities. In the Espace Zen, practice Pilates, yoga or T’ai Chi; in the Zzz containers, get engaged in board games. Or simply examine the Jardins Flottants, the creation of Niki de Saint Phalle, recreating an archipelago consisting of a few connected green islets.
Finally, you can grab a drink or a snack at a number of places offering beautiful views of the River Seine and the right bank.
The nearest metro station to the Berges de Seine is the Assemblee Nationale (metro line 12). The popular playground and promenade can be visited for free any time of the day. However, the best season for the premium experience is the summer.
6. Jardin du Luxembourg
In the Luxembourg Gardens, which are commonly regarded as the most beautiful park in Paris, both the adults and the children have ample opportunities to enjoy. While the adults can appreciate the sculptures, floral paths and arrangements and lush greenery all over the place, the kids can sail boats in a pond, ride a Shetland pony, attend performances in the Puppet Theatre and ride the oldest carousel in Paris.
The Luxembourg Gardens are generally open shortly after the sunrise and close at sunset. You can also spot ducks and other tame wildlife now and then, which are perfectly comfortable around people. Additionally, you can either sunbathe on the bench in the French-style garden or find a shade under the trees of the English-style park. Finally, the Luxembourg Gardens are among the very best places where you can take your children to. Even spending an entire day in this oasis of tranquility might not be enough for either of you.
The Luxembourg Gardens are located within 15 minutes on foot from the city center. The nearest metro stations are Notre-Dame des Champs (metro line 12), Saint-Placide and Saint-Sulpice (metro line 4), up to 10 minutes by walk from the gardens. The Jardin du Luxembourg can be accessed for free. Opening hours vary depending on the season; opening times are between 7:30 and 8:15 am and closing times between 4:30 and 9:30 pm. Best times for a visit are from late spring until early fall.
7. Cite des Sciences
The Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie is a popular interactive museum where the children and the adults get in touch with the world of science in an entertaining and educative way. The museum’s exhibitions and activities are conceived to spark interest about the world that surrounds us in visitors of all ages. Among other things, you can perceive the advancement in technology, how the astronauts experience the sky beyond the earth’s atmosphere and examine the world of diverse sounds.
The largest Europe’s science museum also teaches us how to preserve our world for the future generations through economical consumption of the available energy. Finally, with everything put together, you will get in touch with some new things, use your knowledge to solve various brain teasers and find out more about the universe and other things you are familiarized with to some extent. At the end, take a walk in the park that surrounds the Cite des Sciences.
The Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie is located in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. The nearest metro station is Porte de la Villette (metro line 7), and with a bit of walking included, you can access the museum in around 30 minutes from the city center. Book the tickets online to avoid queuing and attempt the visit on a clear day; the museum is more crowded during rainy days, and you will have an opportunity to enjoy beautiful Parc de la Villette. The museum’s sections feature different operating hours and you can check the details here. Ticket prices are available on this page.
8. La Geode cinéma
The La Geode cinema will certainly strike you as a UFO once you lay eyes on it. Located within the Cite des Sciences’ complex, La Geode is where you can experience first-class screenings that reveal various secrets of the natural and scientific worlds to its visitors. Besides top-notch audio and visual effects, you will be enchanted by highly detailed display of one of the world’s largest screens.
La Geode’s projections are displayed on a huge hemispheric screen that covers almost the entire upper part of the cinema. Hence, while you sit in a half-lying position, you will be emerged deeply into the natural world and will experience it as if you fly, dive or float yourself. It isn’t everything, however. The accompanying effects will make you believe you can literally touch anything.
In La Geode, you can attend films about the science, nature, space and the universe that last around an hour.
9. Jardin d’Acclimatation
The Jardin d’Acclimatation is the amusement park at the outskirts of the Bois de Boulogne, next to the Fondation Louis Vuitton, an architectural gem of Paris. The Jardin d’Acclimatation is an expansive park where the adults can benefit of beautiful landscape while the children entertain themselves on various playgrounds. Besides people, you can even encounter tame wildlife that freely roams throughout the park.
The amusement park features roundabouts, slides, a puppet theatre, a lake with ducks and a small zoo among other interesting facilities. Besides, your children can participate in ‘forest adventures’, swing and mini roller coaster rides, laugh at themselves in the House of Mirrors and more. As you walk the park’s main promenade, you can be caught by surprise by a sudden cloud of sprayed droplets originating under your feet (hopefully, only in the summer).
Note that the admission fee to the Jardin d’Acclimatation is a few euros, which covers some playgrounds within the park. A number of other playgrounds and attractions are additionally charged.
The Jardin d’Acclimatation operates between 11 am and 6 pm on work days and between 10 am and 7 pm during off days. The entry ticket costs 3.5 € while the additional cost per attraction is 2.9 €. The nearest metro station is Les Sablons (metro line 1), which is less than 10 minutes away by walk. Shoulder (spring and fall) seasons and the summer are the best seasons for enjoying the amusement park. The crowds are lesser during work days.
10. Jardin des Tuileries
One of the largest parks in Paris is a place where you can do a lot of things – ride a Ferris wheel, get exhilarated on the roundabout, walk beautifully manicured and maintained paths and more. Although children are sure to remain restless until you get them to the fun park, you are sure to enjoy observing various displayed statues and sculptures throughout the Jardin des Tuileries that are inspired by mythology and history.
At the western end of the Jardin des Tuileries, you can see the Luxor obelisk, the oldest monument in Europe. At the opposite end of the garden, take a look at the small triumphal arch, adorned with the statues of the Napoleonic Army’s corps. When you finally allow yourself a little entertainment in the fun park, take a ride on the Ferris wheel. During the ride, some of the most extraordinary views of Paris will be spiced up with a touch of excitement.
The entrance to the Jardin des Tuileries is free and the park is open from 7:30 am until 7:30 pm from September to March and from 7 am until 9 pm the rest of the season. Metro stations Concorde (lines 1, 8 and 12) and Tuileries (line 1) are the nearest, and the park is located in the city center. The park is the most beautiful from late spring until early fall.
11. Grévin Museum
In some cases, the personal things of the famous personalities are displayed with their wax figures. Mozart’s figure, for instance, is accompanied by the composer’s harpsichord. Additionally, some celebrities have donated clothing to adorn their figures.
In the Hall of Mirrors, witness exchanging of different marvelous environments accompanied with premium sound technology. There, you will be transported from the Hindu Temple to an exotic jungle, ending finally in the palace of the ‘Thousand and One Nights’ fairy tale.
Finally, don’t miss the History section if your children aren’t too young. Various fateful and tragic historic events are on display, involving executions, discoveries and strange practices.
The Grevin Museum is located near the Grands Boulevards metro station (lines 8 and 9). It can be accessed within 15 minutes by the public transport and in less than 30 minutes on foot from the city center. Click here to check the price details and here for the opening hours. Note that discounts apply for booking of the dated tickets a couple of days in advance.
12. Private Louvre Museum Tour
Since you are already in Paris, you certainly wouldn’t miss a visit to one of the leading museums of the world. But, you are afraid that your children will get excessively bored, right? Thankfully, there is a convenient resolution to your issue. The family friendly private tour (available in English) will unlock the secrets of the leading masterpieces of the world’s most visited museum in an interesting manner.
Equipped with snacks, beverages, equipment for writing and a useful manual for parents, you will be escorted from one of the Louvre Museum’s masterpieces to another. The guide conveys related stories in an informative and interesting way, using learning cards and app games to keep the children’s attention. Some games are so conceived to induce the little ones to notice crucial details on the paintings, for example. If you happen to be ahead of the schedule, wandering off and seeing some bonus exhibits is always an option, as well.
The family friendly private tour lasts approximately 2:30 hours.
The Louvre is located in the center of Paris, next to the Palais Royale – Musee du Louvre metro station (lines 1 and 7). The price for a guided tour is 105 $. The best season for a self-guided tour is the winter, when the crowds in the Paris’ museums are significantly lesser compared to other seasons. Take a look at some interesting facts regarding the Louvre here.
13. Private Orsay Museum Tour
The private family friendly Orsay Museum’s guided tour is organized pretty much as the Louvre’s. Kids and parents are equipped with snacks and juices and taught about the amazing collection and interesting history of the one-time train station. The museum’s collection encompasses works of art belonging to a couple of art movements originated from mid-19th century to the beginning of the First World War (1914), mostly focusing on the French art.
The interactive tour will introduce to you the museum’s highlights, mostly consisting of paintings and sculptures. Along the way, you will see works of art by celebrated artists and discover about them way more than a brief glance reveals. The special attention is focused on the Impressionist movement, and the Impressionist painting techniques will be shared with you.
The private family friendly Orsay tour also lasts around 2:30 hours.
The nearest metro station to the Orsay Museum is the Assemblee Nationale (metro line 12). Just like regarding the Louvre, the best time for a self-guided tour is during the winter. The price of the private family friendly tour of the museum is 102 $. Take a look here to find out what you should expect of your visit to the Orsay Museum.
14. Private Centre Pompidou Tour
A family friendly guided tour of the Europe’s largest Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, which lasts around 2:30 hours, is tailor made for people interested in modern art and unusual architecture. The personalized experience is provided by an art historian, who elaborates the history of the building and the museum’s collection in an entertaining way. The children are familiarized with such an important art movement and some of the world’s most significant works of art through teaching cards.
Besides interesting exhibits, you will acquire knowledge about the artists’ whims that led to the creation of memorable works of art. Another certain thing is that you will enjoy the tour of various facilities that are housed in one of the architecturally strangest buildings in Paris. Among these are the public library, the Center for acoustics, a photo gallery and the atelier of Constantin Brancusi, a renowned modern art sculptor.
The Centre Pompidou is located in the center of Paris. The nearest metro station is Rambuteau, which serves the line 11. All related information about a self-guided visit, you can find on this page. The best season for a visit is the winter. The price of the family friendly guided tour is 105 $. To find out a bit more before your visit, take a look here.
15. Versailles Palace Family Tour
The most famous royal residence in the world is must-see for every traveler to Paris, including the young ones, too. The impressive palace and endlessly beautiful gardens will leave you in awe, more so after the assistance of a professional guide that will inform you about the most notable features of the Versailles Royal complex.
The family tour of the Versailles will allow you to skip the excessive waiting in the palace’s courtyard and take you on a journey through the rooms and apartments featuring unimaginable opulence. During your tour, you will realize that the symbolism and etiquette played an equally important part in the royal affairs. While touring the palace, the strange royal rituals, memorable parties and other interesting events that took place in the palace will be revealed to you.
After the tour of the palace, you will move to the expansive gardens that are as majestic as the palace is sumptuous. The guide takes you along the routes edged by perfectly aligned and trimmed trees and flower paths. Stories related to a large number of gorgeous fountains and works of art will truly amaze you as much as everything else. Eventually, you will be given time to enjoy the beauty of the Versailles Gardens on your own before returning to Paris.
The approximate duration of the tour is 3:30 hours.
The Versailles complex can be accessed within an hour from the center of Paris. Approximate distance is 30 kilometers. Take the RER C train at the Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame station (next to the Ile de la Cite) and catch the bus line 171 at the Porchefontaine station to take you near the chateau. Late spring, the summer and early fall are exceptionally beautiful seasons for a visit. The price for a standard family tour of the Versailles is 83 $.