Top 12 Family-Friendly Activities in Paris

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Top 12 Family-Friendly Activities in Paris

With its energetic environment, rich culture, and abundance of family-friendly activities, Paris is an ideal location for a family vacation. Visitors of all ages can take advantage of the city’s many attractions, including youth-focused museums, entertaining street performers, playgrounds, and famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. Not to mention the excellent amusement parks in the region. Read on for 12 of the best family-friendly activities in Paris which are just as entertaining for the adults as they are for the kids. Oh, and Paris has been the backdrop for several classic children’s films, including Madeleine, The Aristocats, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, so make sure to watch one before your trip!

Child chasing bubbles near the Eiffel Tower. Photo credit: alina gnerre /Flickr

1. Disneyland Paris  

Disneyland Paris, the largest and most famous theme park in Europe, has welcomed over 375 million visitors since its grand opening in 1992. Encompassing an expansive 4,800 acres, the fairytale park boasts iconic attractions such as the Tower of Terror and Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain. Visitors can interact with beloved characters, enjoy captivating shows and parades, and explore different worlds. Disney’s attention to detail contributes to the magical atmosphere, and special events and seasonal celebrations add an extra layer of magic.  

 

Disneyland Paris, Photo Credit: Pascal/Flickr

2. Parc Asterix 

Named after the iconic French comic, Parc Asterix embodies the jovial spirit of Asterix and Obelix. As the second most visited theme park in Paris, it attracts millions of visitors annually. In the past year, Parc Asterix achieved a record-breaking milestone, welcoming 2.8 million visitors and confirming its immense popularity. The park offers a journey through different historical periods, from the Romans to Ancient Greece, with 50 attractions and shows.

3. The Jardin des Plantes 

There are many fascinating things to do in the Jardin des Plantes. In the zoo called the Ménagerie, there are 1200 occupants, including red pandas, snow leopards, lions, and flamingos. The Grande Galerie de l’Évolution displays impressive, life-size models of legendary animals. The Children’s Gallery is a space for those aged between 6 and 12 to learn more about biodiversity with stuffed animals and interactive games. The Grandes Serres (The Green Houses) are five metal greenhouses constructed in the 1800s that replicate five different ecosystems. Only four are open to the public: the tropics, the desert, New Caledonia, and the final tracing the evolution of plants.  

Jardin des Plantes. Photo credit: Celine Harrand/ Wikimedia Commons

4. Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, in the Parc de la Villette 

The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is a dynamic destination in Paris’s 19th arrondissement that offers a wide range of experiences for all the family. Its permanent exhibitions, such as Space Mission, Climate Emergency, and Robots, present 12 captivating displays that both entertain and educate. Furthermore, the Children’s City caters specifically to ages 2 to 12, providing interactive activities that engage all of the senses, promising to spark the imaginations of young visitors. 

5. Flashing Invader Street Art 

Franck Slama, a French street artist and mosaicist, has installed unique works on street corners in over 70 cities worldwide. Initially inspired by the 1980s arcade game, these mosaics, known as “space invaders,” now represent a wide range of characters, fictional, cartoon, and real. The artwork is a unique form of street art, with the location of the artwork not necessarily relating to the theme. A free mobile app called FlashInvaders allows users to scan the mosaics and earn points based on their location and difficulty. Check out our in-depth article on Invader here. 

Invader street art in Paris. Photo credit: Martha Sessums

6. Climbing the Eiffel Tower 

Climbing the Eiffel Tower is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Paris. This day out offers a variety of activities for families, including a fun and educational tour for kids, a museographic path, and a large boutique in the Pavillon Ferrié. The stairs are a less expensive alternative to the elevators with their long queues, and they provide a more scenic and thrilling climb. The 1st and 2nd floors also feature buffets with stunning views of Paris, making them perfect for a memorable refreshment stop during your visit. 

Eiffel Tower. Photo credit: William O’Such

7. A Seine River Cruise 

Take a family-friendly Seine River cruise in Paris to get a unique perspective of the city’s famous sites. From the water, you can admire the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, the beautiful bridges, and more. Some cruises are narrated by knowledgeable guides, offering entertaining and informative facts while you and your children marvel at the picturesque grandeur of Paris. There are a variety of options, from Bateaux Mouches sightseeing boats to the smaller, privatized pontoon boats operated by Green River Cruises. 

courtesy of the Compagnie des Bateaux Mouches

8. Les Berges de Seine (Banks of the Seine) 

What once was a busy road, Les Berges de Seine is now a popular pedestrianized path along the Left Bank, between the Orsay and the Eiffel Tower. Here you will find plenty of activities for the whole family, from climbing walls and hopscotch to board games and giant chalkboards. While the children are busy, parents can take some time to relax on the wooden lounge chairs, watch live music performances, or visit art exhibitions.  

One of the floating “islands” of the Promenade des Berges de la Seine between the Pont de l’Alma and Musee d’Orsay. Photo Credit: SiefkinDR/Wikimedia Commons

9. Flyview 360 

FlyView360 is a virtual reality experience that allows users to experience the beauty of Paris from the sky. Equipped with a virtual reality headset, users are fitted with a “jetpack”, as they soar above the city’s most famous landmarks. The experience includes a visit to the Eiffel Tower, the Concorde, the Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame. Be prepared for a surge in adrenaline, as the technology convinces you that you are indeed flying. The option to explore more of the world, including the Great Wall of China and the Victoria Falls, is offered at the end. 

10. L’Atelier des Lumières 

Families should not miss a visit to L’Atelier des Lumières, where they can enjoy an immersive experience with digital art. Renowned artworks are included in the enthralling light and sound displays, which create a captivating ambiance that inspires creativity and curiosity. From the 9th of February, three brand new exhibitions will take center stage: Egyptian Pharaohs, The Orientalists, and Foreign Nature. 

11. Musée en Herbe 

The Musée en Herbe, located in the 1st arrondissement, has been presenting art exhibitions for generations since 1975. The museum, known for its play and humor-based approach, attracts over 130,000 visitors annually. The intergenerational space is a hub for contemporary artists and offers guided tours, events, and workshops for all ages. Along the way, children will fill out quiz sheets in order to win a small prize at the end of their visit. The museum is dedicated to making art accessible to all. 

12. Jardin d’Acclimatation 

Jardin d’Acclimatation, Paris’s first amusement park, offers 42 attractions in the stunning Bois de Boulogne. Opened by Emperor Napoleon III in 1860, today it hosts major annual events, parades, shows, and exhibitions, and offers 15 restaurants or food stalls for snacks and family lunches. As well as the 42 rides, the park also features a variety of animals, including 450 birds, dwarf goats, alpacas, and sheep. Children can enjoy cooking workshops, magic shows, and English classes, creating extraordinary memories in an enchanting setting. 

 

Le jardin d’acclimatation in 1860, engraving by d’A. Provost. Public Domain

Lead photo credit : Carrousel on the terrace below Sacré-Coeur, Montmartre. Photo credit: Carl Campbell / Flickr

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Inspired by the rich culture that France has to offer, Poppy Pearce moved to Paris as an au pair in August 2022. Having gained a degree in Theology and Religion with Arabic from the University of Exeter, Poppy has a passion for languages and experiencing new cultures. When she’s not working, Poppy loves to explore everything that Paris has to offer, from exhibitions and museums, to restaurants and second-hand clothing stores.