Things to Do in Paris With Kids - Al Fresco Holidays
Oh La La! Wonderful Things to do in Paris with the Kids
Admittedly, Paris doesn’t seem initially like the most child-friendly of locations. Generally, when thinking about France’s capital, images that spring to mind tend to involve risqué can-can dancing, romantic strolls through the Montmartre and hours spent admiring the art in the Louvre.
However, Paris is surprisingly well suited to children. In fact, it has an abundance of activities, child-friendly museums and lively locations guaranteed to please even the most demanding of tots, and there is quite simply something for everyone regardless of their age. Energetic toddlers and teens alike will find something in this famous city, and all tastes are catered for, with quirky museums, fun parks and adventurous activities galore.
The Best Child-Friendly Activities in Paris:
Children at the Pompidou
The Pompidou Centre is in itself is a great place to take the kids. The vast, open-plan art gallery contains fabulously colourful modern art, likely to appeal to even the most anti-art child out there, and children always love the enormous escalators that roll endlessly from the ground floor to the top. However, where the Pompidou really comes into its own is with its children’s gallery. With a firm focus on learning about art in an interactive, hands-on fashion, it makes a refreshing change to simply observing art from a distance.
If you are looking to really spoil the kids on holiday with an experience they’ll never forget, then a visit to Disneyland Paris is an absolute necessity. Let them shake hands with all their favourite Disney characters and explore the magical park, with its multitude of rides and shows for all ages. If you’re searching for somewhere to stay, which offers great public transport links to both Disneyland and the city itself, then check out Camping Paris Est, which is also remarkably child friendly.
Sip a devilishly Parisian drink
Head to a typically Parisian café, preferably one in a location where you can watch the world go by, and order your little people a Diabolo Menthe. With its lurid, not to mention slightly alarming green colouring, Diabolo Menthe is the preferred beverage of many Parisian children, thanks largely to its sweet flavourings of lemonade and mint syrup. If the neon brightness of the drink proves a bit too much to handle, many cafes also offer rather more muted, fruity alternatives, using syrups such as peach and strawberry.
Climb the tower of the Sacré Coeur
If you’re experiencing one of those days where you’re actively seeking something to tire out the tots, then head over to the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. Not only are the labyrinthine cobbled streets a joy to explore, but the 300 stair climb to the top of the tower in the Sacré Coeur is absolutely guaranteed to wear your children out, whilst providing you all with some fantastic views of the city.
Have you got a child with a serious obsession for all things Harry Potter? Then the Museum of Magic (Museé de la Magie) is sure to be a big hit. Children will be enraptured by the live magic performances and there is also an extensive collection of over 100 antique automatons, which are sure to captivate.
Visit the Louvre
Yes, you did read that correctly! The Louvre is often unfairly rated as a relatively child-unfriendly place to visit, and it’s a common misconception that kids will be bored to tears by the endless rooms and galleries of art. However, the Louvre is surprisingly good when it comes to catering for its younger audience, and in particular, the Louvre scavenger hunt is great fun.
Get cupcake making
Paris is, of course, celebrated for its excellent patisseries, and no trip to the capital would be complete without enjoying a cake (or two). Indulge your child’s sweet tooth with a visit to the Sugar Daze cupcake boutique, a fabulously child-friendly establishment that runs regular workshops, showing kids how to decorate cakes and of course, how to eat them.
Escape the bustle
If the busy streets of Paris start to feel a little overwhelming, then make like a local and head to the Jardin du Luxemburg. The pretty park is a great place to relax and enjoy the fresh air, and there is also an excellent playground for the kids to burn off some excess energy. There are also puppet shows and pony rides, and an antique working carousel.
If the prospect of staying in a city for the entire duration of your stay feels a little bit daunting, then of course there is also the option to camp close by and enjoy the proximity of the city, without the frenetic activity. If this option appeals, then head to La Croix du Vieux Pont Campsite, nestled deep within the rolling French countryside, but remaining only a short drive from the outskirts of Paris.