Paris is truly a city that offers it all: comprehensive museums, beautiful architecture, and delicious food. These features make it an obvious choice for adult visitors, but with further investigation one finds that Paris is an incredibly family-friendly city. Read on to learn about five activities that can be enjoyed with kids.
1. Take in a show at Cirque d’Hiver (Winter Circus)
Lions and tigers, oh my! Yes, it’s a little known fact, but Paris hosts an incredibly beautiful circus. The shows are truly works of art, complete with dancing elephants, graceful trapeze artists, and ridiculously silly clowns. There is also a live orchestra to add an upbeat tone to the show. Shows are scheduled on weekends between October and March. Kids between the ages of three and 98 will have the time of their lives at this fast-paced event.
2. Make time for a sweet visit to Le Musée Gourmand du Chocolat (Chocolate Museum)
Not only does this museum feature over 1,000 chocolate-related artifacts that detail the history of chocolate production, but it also features chocolate-making demonstrations, and most importantly, chocolate tastings! The museum’s mascot Choclala presents easy-to-read descriptions of the exhibits to help keep the little ones entertained. There are also Playmobil versions of the display cases to help kids learn about the history of chocolate through a familiar medium. Finally, the museum furnishes activity sheets for kids to keep small hands busy. Because of the fragile artifacts, this museum is recommended for children ages four and older.
3. Spend the day at Jardin d’Acclimatation (Garden of Acclimatization)
This theme park features a myriad of activities for kids including animal rides (ponies, donkeys, and camels), puppet shows, ropes courses. Find also traditional carnival attractions like a merry-go-round and a hall of mirrors. In the summer there’s even a “beach” with fake sand and water features so the kids can calm down during the brutally hot Parisian summers. A small train connects all of the activities if the little ones get tired of walking. Finally, there are seven kid-friendly restaurants serving up crepes, burgers, and ice cream. There are attractions adapted for kids of all ages, so this is truly an outing that the entire family will enjoy.
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4. Be spooked at Les Catacombs (The Catacombs)
Beneath the streets of Paris lie 200 miles of caves, tunnels, and quarries. The extensive underground system was constructed in the late 18th century as a result of overcrowding in the city’s cemeteries. There are an estimated six million skeletons buried here. The bones come from everyday citizens, as well as plague victims, and French revolutionaries. They are arranged in a variety designs like hearts and crosses. This is a great activity to help kids learn about Paris’ history in a fascinating and spooky context. Due to the somewhat scary nature of the catacombs, this activity is recommended for children ages seven and older.
5. Relax at the Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Garden)
The Jardin du Luxembourg is a great choice for families for several reasons. First is the playground. Featuring a zip line, a sandbox, and a climbing structure in the form of the Eiffel Tower, kids of all ages will stay occupied for hours. Just outside the playground, find an old-fashioned merry-go-round complete with wood-carved animals. Children also have the possibility to rent a sailboat to play with the octagonal-shaped pool in the center of the garden. Finally, there are puppet shows three times a day so the kids absorb a little bit of French during their stay. Due to the variety of activities, this outing is a good choice for children of all ages.
Follow this guide for a drama-free stay in Paris
If you’re planning a trip to Paris with kids, have this guide on hand. You and your family will have plenty to keep the little ones busy. What’s more, all of these activities are budget-friendly and can be enjoyed year-round.
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