45 things to do with kids in Paris

Prep for family fun in the French capital, with the best indoor and outdoor things to do with kids in Paris
© Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
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Paris is often billed as a city for lovers, but scratch the surface and you’ll find it’s the perfect destination to explore with kids. Children will love strolling (or toddling) along the idyllic, wide-pavemented boulevards, marvelling at the Seine and playing in the verdant Paris parks. But there’s also plenty to do if the weather doesn’t play ball – namely capitalising on the opportunity to eat chocolate and crepes at every possible opportunity (even for breakfast!).

If you’re travelling on a budget, aim to walk as much as possible, scout out the free museums and picnic like kings on fine French produce that will delight les enfants. Be warned: after a fun-packed weekend exploring the city of light, you might struggle to get the little ones to leave. Plan the perfect itinerary with our selection of the best family activities.

RECOMMENDED: The ultimate guide to Paris

Best things to do with kids in Paris

1
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

icon-location-pin Buttes-Chaumont

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is basically one giant playground, with streams to play in and a gazebo atop the hill. Children will love the alcove (complete with raging waterfall) or the view from the suspension bridge over the water. The hilly park makes for some treacherous hikes, but that just means there’s fantastic tumbling down the grassy knolls. Down around the central pond, donkey rides and carnival games are a great way to round out the experience.

Free

2
Jardin d'Acclimatation

Jardin d'Acclimatation

icon-location-pin 16e arrondissement

The Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne is a stonking success with French and foreign kids alike. Pony rides, puppet shows, an enchanted river ride, acrobatic obstacle courses, a farm with livestock from the plains of Normandy and even an aviary with over 200 birds. Jardin Plage is ideal during the summer, allowing kids to cool off with water-themed activities. There are enough workshops, nature-based attractions, physical activities, and rides to keep you busy for days.

Free entry, €2.90 per ride

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3
Zoo de Vincennes Paris lémurien propithèque
Attractions, Zoos and aquariums

Parc Zoologique

icon-location-pin Bel-Air

After five long years of renovation work, the Parc Zoologique (known colloquially as the Zoo de Vincennes) is back in business. The 65m Grand Rocher centrepiece is complemented by spots of woodland, a greenhouse, an aviary and five 'biozones'. Efforts have been made to grant the animals more living space and promote the protection of endangered species, and it's a refreshing break from the bustle of the city. A wonder to behold and a joy to explore.

Adults €20, kids €15

4
Attractions, Theme parks

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is just as fun as its American counterparts, with added European exoticism (Mickey speaks French fluently). It’s a short train ride from the city, but worth the trek, because the two parks can be tackled in one day. Fans can meet and greet everyone from Goofy to Captain Hook. In the autumn, Disneyland hosts celebrations for both Hallowe'en and Christmas, turning the park into each holiday’s respective wonderlands. Consider the Fast-Pass to avoid enormous queues.

Tickets from €48

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5
Num
Things to do, Walks and tours

Les Catacombes

icon-location-pin Denfert-Rochereau

Disneyland Paris is just as fun as its American counterparts, with added European exoticism (Mickey speaks French fluently). It’s a short train ride from the city, but worth the trek, because the two parks can be tackled in one day. Fans can meet and greet everyone from Goofy to Captain Hook. In the autumn, Disneyland hosts celebrations for both Hallowe'en and Christmas, turning the park into each holiday’s respective wonderlands. Consider the Fast-Pass to avoid enormous queues.

Tickets from €48

6
Jardin du Luxembourg
(c) Olivia Rutherford
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Jardin du Luxembourg

icon-location-pin Odéon

Puppet shows and pony rides are just the beginning at the Luxembourg gardens. The famous carousel, the city’s oldest, was designed by the same architect behind the Opéra Garnier. The nearby playground is the standout here, with plenty of things to climb and jump on, though there is a small cost to enter. The entire playground is fenced in, so mother hens need not worry about their little chicks running off too far.

Free

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7
Musée de la Chasse (Karen Knorr)
© Karen Knorr
Museums, Natural history

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

icon-location-pin Le Marais

The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature brings together the prizes from various noblemen’s quests to Africa and beyond, and is one of many kid-friendly visits in the historic Marais district. The old mansion and its taxidermy displays will capture their attention, as will the rooms packed with all sorts of rifles, crossbows, and other hunting devices. Look out for the rearing (stuffed) polar bear in one of the rooms.

Adults €18, U18s free

8
Château de Versailles
Shutterstock
Attractions, Historic buildings and sites

Château de Versailles

icon-location-pin Paris et sa banlieue

As stunning as Chateau de Versailles may be, it can get very crowded, very quickly, especially in the summer. Head out first thing in the morning to explore the Palace or stick to the gardens and grounds, which are free. Grab a picnic from the local market (close to the station) and find a nice patch of grass in the the park or along the Grand Canal. You could even hire a rowing boat (from €13 for 30min) for a gentle paddle.

Free entry to gardens, €20 for adult entry to the Chateau, U18s free

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9
Jardin des Plantes
@ Megan Carnegie
Attractions, Zoos and aquariums

MĂ©nagerie du Jardin des Plantes

icon-location-pin 5e arrondissement

The Ménagerie at the Jardin des Plantes has big cats, red pandas, and a primate house to go ape over. While not the biggest, it’s the easiest zoo to get to and is extremely child-friendly. Look out for special visits and encounters on their website. Fun fact: Parisians raided this zoo in 1870 during the Prussian siege, when sources of fresh protein were scarce. Explain how to prepare kangaroo ceviche while exploring the quaint but entertaining array of beasts.

Adults €13, kids €10, U3s free

10
Sébastien Chabal au Musée Grévin, 75009 Paris.
Museums

Musée Grévin

icon-location-pin Grands Boulevards

The Grévin wax museum predates Madame Tussaud’s, but the idea is the same. Located next to the covered passages, the museum is a goofy but worthwhile way to get a dose of French culture. Wax models of everyone from Napoléon to Céline Dion offer the chance to play 'who’s who', and there's a weekend workshop that takes children through French history via their many wax mannequins. Prep the selfie stick for your celebrity spotting album.

Adults from €17.50, children from €14.10

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Looking for more cool activities while you’re in Paris?

Things to do

101 things to do in Paris

Whether you'’re here for a weekend or a week, choosing how to spend time in Paris can seem overwhelming. But fear not, a browse through our bible of things to do in Paris should fill you with inspiration.

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