Well known as a very family-friendly destination, Paris offers hundreds of things for families to enjoy on holiday. However, the family activities listed in the guidebooks might not make your kid’s list of favorite things to do. My son definitely has preferences for things he likes to see and do in the places we vacation, and some of them are always lesser known tourist attractions.
Visiting these off the beaten travel path places has saved us time and money avoiding long lines and expensive tourist traps–a real win/win because they were so much fun to experience. Here are six ways to have family fun in Paris; some are popular tourist attractions and others are lesser-known things to enjoy. Rest assured, some won’t be on any other top 10 list, but they are all totally kid-approved.
Here’s your Paris with kids itinerary!
Some attractions that will surprise and delight the whole family
Jardin de Acclimatation– Paris boasts many beautiful parks but some offer more for kids to enjoy than others. Jardin de Acclimatation is a park that has it all–water park, zoo, lots of play equipment for kids of all ages, and a boardwalk featuring carnival rides and tasty confections.
The Museum of Natural History– Kids love this Museum! It has four levels of galleries devoted to animals past and present. Dinosaur fans will love the Paleontology Building; it features dozens of dinosaur skeletons and replicas of the giant tyrants. The biggest hit in the museum is in The Gallery of Evolution. The highlight is a parade of enormous stuffed animals from around the world that stretches across the first level.
Musee de la Magie– Tucked away in an underground cellar, The Magic Museum features artifacts from the world of illusion and over 100 mechanical figurines that will confuse and bewilder the most iPad savvy youngster.
The Deyrolle Menagerie– Definitely lesser known, Deyrolle is not a museum it’s a taxidermy shop! It is a wondrous little place, jammed full of many exotic animals, birds, beetles, and a variety of butterflies. Kids love the chance to get close to huge bugs and wild beasts!
The Catacombs- The underground cemetery is a favorite of kids who enjoy the unexpected! A trip to this mineshaft turned mass grave features the bones of millions of citizens artistically laid to rest. Kids wander the tunnels mesmerized by the chilling bone displays in the various subterranean galleries.
The Eiffel Tower – One of the world’s most famous landmarks, The Eiffel Tower is visible from vistas all over Paris. Nothing would deter my son from wanting to get to the top! Opt to take the stairs–the line is shorter and the climb isn’t difficult or crowded. You will enjoy great views of the tower’s construction as you climb. The stairs only go to the first level then you take the elevator the rest of the way to the top.
The best way to visit Paris with kids and save some time and money
This list is a sampling of kid favorites; Paris has hundreds of family friendly activities to enjoy! Make sure you get a Paris Pass to save money on entry fees to popular museums and tourist attractions. If your aim is to see and do a lot getting a Paris Pass is the best way to do that affordably.
Three of the biggest benefits are:
- Free admission for over 60 top Paris tours and attractions (including the big ones like the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles).
- Free unlimited trips on the metro, Rapid Transit rail line (RER), and buses. Paris has one of the best and easiest metro systems to navigate in the world. Families shouldn’t hesitate to use it to get around the city.
- Preferred entree to museums and top attractions in Paris. This will save a bit of time waiting in the queue with the kids!
A tip on family friendly places to stay in Paris
You’re going to Paris with kids where to stay you ask? As you’d expect, there is a huge choice of accommodations in Paris.
The HappyCulture Collection of hotels in Paris makes traveling with little ones more convenient and enjoyable. They offer a good selection of hotels to suit a variety of preferences and budgets. They have properties throughout Paris. The biggest benefits for travelers that stay at their hotels is if you’re a guest in one you’re welcomed as a guest at all of their hotels!
If you book with them download their app to locate all of the locations around Paris. When you’re out and about with the kids you can pop into any of the HappyCulture Collection hotels. Staying in one their collective hotels you can feel free to charge a device at one of their docking stations, drop off shopping for a while to lighten your load, or visit the washroom (which can be a challenge in Paris). Very convenient when little ones need a pee break in a pinch!
Complimentary refreshments are also offered. It is truly a unique accomadation experience staying in a HappyCulture Collection hotel in Paris. You’re a valued guest at all of their locations when you stay with them. Great for any traveler, in our opinion but especially so when you visit Paris with kids in tow.