The City of Lights is not just a place to visit if you are loved up, or waiting to ask that special someone a rather important question. It is the perfect introduction for children to art, culture and architecture. Visit during Spring or Autumn to miss the harshest weather and enjoy what the outdoors has to offer! All prices are in Euros € (approx 1USD to 0.8 Euros).
The French capital is bursting at the seams with museums, workshops and monuments.
1. The Louvre Museum
There is no better place to learn about history, art and culture than at the infamous Louvre Museum. Now, we know - it' huge, the queues are horrendous and it all adds up to a nightmare of a day with children needing to spend a lot of time waiting and not seeing much. But, The Louvre is an institution, it IS Paris and a visit to Paris without a pop in to this museum would be criminal. Admission is free for under 18s and tickets cost €15 per adult. For added fun check out THATMuse, a service that creates a personalised treasure hunt for children at various museums, including The Louvre.
2. Cité Des Sciences Et De L'industrie
This Science Museum is enormous and well worth a visit and you can easily spend an entire afternoon here. It has fantastic permanent exhibitions that delve into the brain, the science behind light, transport and energy as well as a whole museum within a museum for children. The Cité des Enfants is a space dedicated to kids learning all about themselves - they can learn how fast they run, and learning about science in a friendly interactive way. Admission starts at €12 per person.
3. Musée Gourmet Du Chocolat
Obviously, this museum is the most boring of them all and perhaps you really should leave the kids elsewhere while you visit this one! Jokes aside, the Chocolate Museum goes back in time to Mayan and Aztec origins to look at the timeline of chocolate until the present day. There are over 1000 artifacts in this museum that is entirely dedicated to the sweet stuff. Tickets start at €8 per child (6 - 12 years old) and €11 per adult. Check out their workshops too!
You cannot go wrong with food and drink in Paris! Depending on the season, cuddle up to sweet and creamy hot chocolate and much on apple pastries or just stuff your face with macarons, because, well, you can.
4. Tea Lichou
This hidden away cafe is an Aladdin's cave for kids! You wouldn't come across it unless you knew exactly where it is and as such is still fairly unknown. The cafe has swings, hopscotch on the floor and the ceiling is plastered with comic book pages. Hot cookies are constantly being served which makes spending a few hours here easy.
L'Improbable is another cafe that makes feeding kids in public less stressful!! It almost feels like it's been made by parents for parents! There is a personalised children's area, for little people only, with sofas, chairs, picture books, colouring pencil pots and even a decked out campervan, bringing that great outdoor feel indoors. Great menu and just around the corner there is a great playground too!
This amazing place is a cafe and a play area and hosts classes and workshops for kids and is completely kitted out for parents with younger children (great changing rooms!). The cafe is adjacent to the play area and makes it easy to keep an eye on the little ones. The menu changes regularly and the list of activities at their atelier is varied!
Paris has loads to do outside for the more adventurous families!
7. Cycle through Paris
Cycling is a great way to see Paris and there are 652km of cycle lanes around the city. There are many bicycle tour groups but Paris also has Velib and withover 170 stations to drop off and pick up a bike, cycling has never been so easy!
Paris has lots to offer families that enjoy going to parks and being outside. The Jardin du Luxembourg has an array of attractions for kids like puppet shows, pony rides and sandpits. For an educational outdoor park experience head to the Jardin Des Plantes, the city's botanical garden, containing over 10,000 different plant species. For a city centre immediate escape head to Jardin des Tuileries, just behind the Arc de Triomphe or for a more woodlands experience head west of the city to a 125 hectare forested Bois de Bologne.
9. Centre Pompidou
The Centre Pompidou has a kid's gallery inside but extends to a very fun outdoors area, with funky fountains and lively street entertainers. Inside, the Centre Pompidou often hosts family workshops and value families spending time together, so many of their events are geared towards this. Prices start at €11 for a child and €14 for an adult but on the first Sunday of every month admission is free.
10. The Eiffel Tower
Saving the best (or most famous) until last, the Eiffel Tower is a sight to behold and a must see. However, it is not a must climb with kids. The park surrounding the Eiffel Tower is the perfect setting for a Parisienne picnic with perfect views of the tower. There is a merry-go-round nearby and it will result in a pleasurable and stress free evening. Adding the climb, adds wait time, which means needing to practice the virtue of patience. And mindfulness (for the parents). Skip the climb for now and enjoy the view from down below. It is worth it!
And there you have it! Top 10 for families in Paris, not including Disneyland!