Paris is for everyone, including your children!
Some of you may be feeling intimidated or nervous to bring your children on an European adventure with you, I get that! But, I’m here to tell you that Paris is actually a really kid-friendly city. There are plenty of activities to do, sites to see, and memories to make. Visiting Paris as a family has the potential to be a really special and meaningful vacation!
Still hesitating? Never fear, Sight Seeker’s Delight is here! Keep reading for my best tips on keeping your little ones entertained in Paris.
Paris is teeming with green spaces, parks and playgrounds to entertain your children and help them burn off any excess energy. If you’ve done any major traveling across time zones with your little ones before, you know how difficult it can be to get them back on schedule. What a better way than to take them to a unique playground and let them play to their little hearts’ desire?
There are two playgrounds in particular that come to mind when I think of where to take children in Paris:
Jardin Nelson Mandela
This playground is located just outside of the massive metro station Châtelet – Les Halles, smack dab in the center of Paris. This is an excellent place for your kids to burn off some steam, especially if you’ve just spent some time in the nearby Louvre or Musée d’Orsay.
There are two sections just for kids in the Jardin Nelson Mandela. The first is for children aged 2-6 years old, and the other is for 7-11 years old.
For the smaller ones, there are interesting structures to explore and climb on, a rainbow colored bridge to run across and in the summer, special sprinklers to cool down with!
For the older children, there includes a trampoline, trees to climb, a spring bridge and a section dedicated to dinosaurs. Recently, a soccer field, basketball courts and ping-pong tables were also added to the play area.
The garden itself is also decorated with sculptures and other artwork that the adults can appreciate as well!
Jardin Nelson Mandela
Address: 1 Rue Pierre Lescot, 75001 Paris
Opening hours: The garden is open 24/7.
Entry fee: free
Metro: Les Halles / Châtelet
The city of Paris has been striving to revamp areas of the city that have seen better days for years now. The reconstruction and remodel of La Villette, the former site of a massive slaughterhouse in the 19th arrondissement, began in the 1980s, and has continued to improve throughout the 1990s and today.
There are 2 playgrounds that you can’t miss at La Villette. The Dragon Garden and the Jardin des vents et des dunes or “The Winds and Dunes Garden” in English. The Dragon Garden features a massive slide that will take your child through over 80 feet of twists and turns downwards until they eventually end up at the bottom of the slide.
The Winds and Dunes Garden is bigger, and is separated by age group. There is something for every child, with sections for children aged 0-2 years, 3-5 years, 6-8 years, and 9-12 years. There are climbing gyms, balancing boards, tunnels and a windmill that is powered by a pedal machine that your children can operate themselves.
The Cité des Sciences is also located in La Villette, which is a bonus activity that you can do with your children! I was a nanny for years before I started working here at Sight Seeker’s, and I swear I’ve been to this museum over 10 times with various children I took care of. The consensus? They all LOVED it!
Address: 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris
Opening hours: Every day 6am-1am.
Entry fee: The playgrounds at La Villette are free, however there is a fee to enter the Cité des Sciences. Click here to learn more.
Metro: Porte de la Villette
Luxembourg and Tuileries Gardens
The Luxembourg and Tuileries gardens are the perfect place to spend an afternoon with your kiddies. First of all, both gardens feature long and wide paths, perfect for running and playing. Then, there are of course other activities just for kids!
At both places, you can rent small sailboats to play with in the fountains. This is an awesome activity to do with children in Paris, as they get to operate their own miniature boats through the open seas that are the ancient fountains scattered throughout the gardens. Aye aye captain! Sorry, I couldn’t resist 😉
At the Luxembourg Garden in particular, there are some other kid-centric things to do. There is a puppet show (in the summer, there are daily shows at 2:30pm, 3:30pm, and 4:30pm), several fenced in playgrounds and even ponies to ride! There is also an old fashioned carousel that was designed by the same man that is responsible for the Opéra Garnier – Charles Garnier!
Both of the gardens are beautiful, making them a great place for parents as well as children. Don’t miss the flowers, fountains and sculptures throughout, and if you head to the Tuileries, keep your eye out for the giant trampoline as well!
Address: 73-77 Boulevard Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris
Opening hours: Open every day, times depend on the season. Summer: 7:30am-dusk. Winter 8am-dusk.
Entry fee: Free
Address: Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris
Opening hours: Open every day, times depending on the season. April-May 7am-9pm, June-August 7am-11pm, September-March 7:30am-7:30pm.
Entry fee: Free
Metro: Concorde / Tuileries
Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is located just steps away from the banks of the Seine River and the Gare d’Austerlitz. You could definitely spend an entire afternoon here, exploring and learning with your children!
There is the main section of the park, where you’ll find various flowers and trees to wander through. Then, there is the Natural History Museum, the Evolution Gallery, a small zoo and some indoor botanical gardens. If you and your family love animals, nature and dinosaurs, you’re going to love this place!
My favorite part is the Evolution Gallery, where you can see fossils, models and large skeletons of various animals and even some prehistoric artefacts! Don’t miss the Gallery of Mineralogy and Geology if you’re interested in that kind of thing, too.
Jardin des Plantes
Address: 57 Rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris
Opening hours: Wednesday-Monday 10am-6pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Entry fee: Entry to the Jardin des Plantes is free, but to enter the other buildings on the grounds you’ll need to pay. Click here for more information.
Metro: Gare d’Austerlitz / Quai de la Rapée
The Jardin d’Acclimatation
The Jardin d’Acclimatation is nestled away in the Bois de Boulogne on the western side of Paris. There are rides, animals and other activities that your children will love! The park boasts 49 activities in all.
Their newest project? A little something called Wildlife Immersion. Through the use of virtual reality helmets, you can learn about animals from all around the world. Their website says:
“Have you always dreamt of travelling around the world? Thanks to Wild Immersion, it’s now possible while limiting your carbon footprint. Take a deep breath and dive deep below the surface of the great blue ocean: a school of multicoloured tropical fish, a sea turtle, a manta ray, a whale shark, the unending coral reef–a truly breathtaking journey. With this film, you will cross the 5 oceans on a discovery tour of the endemic fauna and flora to see the animals as you have never before seen them.”
There is also the option to go to the metro and bus station Porte Maillot and take a train through the Bois de Boulogne straight to the entrance of the park! I’ve done this once before and it was a really nice way to see the forest and it’s really fun for kids.
Address: Bois de Boulogne, Route de la Porte Dauphine à la Porte des Sablons, 75116 Paris
Opening hours: Open every day 10am-8pm.
Entry fee: 16-32 euros.
Metro: Les Sablons / Porte Maillot (to take the small train through the Bois de Boulogne to the entrance of the park)
Sight Seeker’s Delight walking tour
We love kids here at SSD, and we love touring with them. So much so, that we’ve created a special tour for children: Louvre: Game on! This kid-focused tour is all about giving you a break, and giving your kids the most enthralling interactive learning experience they won’t forget (…until the next Pixar Animals/Disney Princess/Pirates movie comes out). This Louvre Game gives many chances to discover, learn, laugh, win prizes, and see the world’s most visited museum as never before. The tour also features a game pack for each child to use on this interactive tour!
As a special thanks for reading this blog, use the discount code KIDS when booking your next tour and receive 5 euros off per person! Click here to learn more about the Louvre: Game On! tour, and click here to view all of our touring options 🙂
If you’re coming to Paris with your family, get ready to have a blast together! That is, if you follow my advice 😉
I hope I was able to give you some ideas of what to do with your children while you’re in the city. Did I miss anything? Do you have any stories to tell about what I’ve mentioned above? As always, I love hearing from you!