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Best activities to do in Paris with kids
Paris is a cultural heaven, from centuries-old monuments and museums exhibiting world-renowned paintings to exquisite gastronomy and thrilling history, Paris has it all. But for children, it can be quite overwhelming. A visit to Paris involves a lot of walking and standing up in line; museums can be seen as boring or simply not accessible to kids. It doesn’t have to be so, there are actually tons of activities to do in Paris that can be fun and educational for both, kids and parents. Here is a list of activities for children and teens that will make your trip memorable.
Musée Gourmand du Chocolat
This chocolate museum is a dream come true, kids generally love it. They organize a lot of activities for children, and all are available in English. They have put together an educational visit with a booklet and a treasure hunt through the museum. They also have workshops where you can learn to make your own chocolate (and leave with it!), for children over 6 and adults too. The treasure hunt can be done at any time, but you’ll need to book your spot on the workshop in advance.
28 Bd de Bonne Nouvelle,
+33 01 42 29 68 60
Musée des Arts et Métiers
The Museum of Arts and Crafts is home to hundreds of machines and instruments retracing the history of science and technology. The museum is organized through seven thematics (scientifical devices, construction materials, communication, mechanic, energy, and transport). Children are usually in awe with all the machines and instruments.
The museum organizes a lot of activities for children, unfortunately only in French. You can still visit on your own, the audioguide is in English, and they often do demonstrations on how the machines/instruments work.
60 Rue Réaumur, 75003 Paris
01 53 01 82 63
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie
The Cité des Sciences is the biggest science museum in Europe, and they have a part dedicated to children. There are two exhibits for kids actually, one for children from 2 to 7 years old and one from 5 to 12 years old. They’re both great because the kids can do tons of experiments, try and touch things, there, everything has been turned into a game.
30 Avenue Corentin Cariou, 75019 Paris
+33 1 85 53 99 74
Palais de la DécouverteGreat for older kids and teens, this museum focuses on science. It has several permanent exhibits on astrophysics, chemistry, geology, mathematics, biology, physics, and informatics.
It also has a great planetarium (children under 6 are not allowed), they have a session dedicated to children (but only in French), check the schedule first.
Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt
+33 (0)1 56 43 20 20
A modern and contemporary art museum, the Pompidou Center organizes a lot of activities to initiate children to art in a fun way. A part of the museum is dedicated to children from 3 to 10 years old, they change the exhibit twice a year. They also organize workshops and circuits several times a week. Check out their schedule first.
Don’t miss the nearby fountain featuring Nicky de Saint Phalle’s sculptures. You can have lunch there (I recommend Dame Tartine), it’s a good location as you can watch the kids play around the fountain while you eat.
+33 (0)1 44 78 12 33
La Conciergerie is a Gothic palace and is one of Paris’ oldest monuments. For centuries, it served as a royal palace and was later turned into a prison and a tribunal. It’s where Marie-Antoinette was imprisoned after the revolution.
Today, part of the castle is still used as a court and part of it can be visited, especially the jail cells and the chapel that used to be Marie-Antoinette cell. It’s a great place to learn more about the French revolution and discover what a gothic castle looks like.
2 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris
+33 1 53 40 60 80
The catacombs of Paris are underground tunnels where millions of human remains have been stored since the 18th century. Cadavers were actually moved there from overcorwded Parisian cemeteries for public health reasons. You can now visit part of it, Paris’ underground is huge, and only a small portion is open to the public. It’s a great place for children over 10. Every Thursday, they organize thematic guided tours.
1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy
Marché aux Fleurs et OiseauxEvery Sundays, the Place Louis Lépine comes alive with the sounds of thousands of birds. The flower and bird market is a great place for a stroll with children. It’s colorful, exotic and exciting. They also sell rabits, guinea pigs and such, and you can pet them.
Place Louis Lépine – Quai de la Corse, 75004 Paris
La Maison des Petits at Le Centquatre
Le Centquatre (104) is an art and cultural hub in Paris, they organize a lot of events, exhibits, and activities for every public. They also recently opened a space dedicated to young children (from birth until 5 years old) where they can develop their creativity through recreational activities. There’s no need to book in advance, but they can only take in 30 kids at once.
104 Rue d’Aubervilliers, 75019 Paris
The Parc FloralThe Parc Floral is a paradise for children, part botanical garden, part playground, it’s a great place to stroll around and let the children have some fun. During summer, they organize several shows for children that can be fun even without speaking French. There are different playgrounds according to age ranges, a ropes course, and a mini-golf. It’s also a great place for a picnic.
Route de la Pyramide, 75012 Paris
The Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is a paradise for children of all ages, there are tons of activities to do there. It’s a botanical garden, but it’s also a zoo and a museum.
There, you should visit the Grande Gallerie de l’Evolution, where you’ll find thousands of different species of animals (skeletons and reproductions). This museum has been thought around children, there’s a lot of activities and games to discover the evolution of life on earth. For children above 12 years old (and adult too), there’s a virtual reality room on the third floor where you can either experience evolution or discover extinct giant animals.
There’s also the Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie comparée you can visit with children above 6 years old. This museum is home to 650 skeletons from both extinct and current species and retraces the story of evolution.
You can also have a look at the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie. The exhibit is about minerals and crystals and has an educational aim. It explains what minerals are, where do they come from, how do they grow and such. It’s advised for children above 6.
The zoo (Ménagerie) is home to 1200 animals and 180 species, a lot of which are endangered. The zoo aims at educating people about endangered species and the crucial role of biodiversity.
Guest Author: Julie has been traveling full time since 2016 and is always on the lookout for great destinations and travel hacks. She shares her best travel experiences on her blog Julie Around the Globe and aims to inspire others to travel more and to places less known.
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This makes me wish I was a kid again. Although, had I known about it that chocolate museum would have topped my Paris list, along with the catacombs and the floral garden.
I so have to get back to Paris! So much to see with the kids!