With its historical buildings, romantic boulevards, and world famous art, you might consider Paris a destination best enjoyed by adults. Well, think again, because the City of Lights is as fun for children as it is for grown-ups. Here are 6 fun things to do in Paris with kids:
1. Aquarium de Paris
Built in 1867, L’Aquarium de Paris is Europe’s oldest aquarium — but it’s far from outdated. Also known as the Cinéaqua, this underground aquarium is home to 10,000 fish from the far ends of the world. But there’s much more lurking beneath the surface.
For starters, the Aquarium de Paris has two cinemas screening educational animations, aquatic documentaries, and live feeding demonstrations. Next, kids can take part in the fun themselves with interactive shows and workshops. Take this opportunity as a family to discover all you’ve ever wanted to know about the ocean and its inhabitants. Finally, the all-time favorite: there’s an open tank for petting the fish.
2. The Louvre for kids
The Louvre Museum holds every record imaginable: it’s the world’s largest museum, has its biggest art collection, and gets the most visitors year after year.
With such a track record, you might consider leaving the Louvre untouched until the kids are a little older. Add the infinite queues in front of the museum, and you’ll probably avoid it altogether until the kids have flown the nest.
However, a little planning will turn a visit to the Louvre into a fun and educational day, if not the highlight of your family holiday!
First, get skip-the-line tickets to the Louvre for the adults (children under 18 and EU citizens under 26 enter for free). Next, get a Nintendo 3DS to guide you and the young’uns along the museum’s must-sees with an interactive map and audio guide. Dual-screen Nintendo in hand, the Louvre becomes a huge playground for both young and old!
3. Jardin du Luxembourg
With plenty of outdoor activities, Paris’ most popular jardin is easily the most fun park for visiting Paris with kids. You’ll find several playgrounds spread across the garden, Le Poussin Vert being the largest — and most fun! Slides, jungle gyms, see saws — you name it, they’ve got it.
At the park’s central pond, kids with a nautical spirit get to command their own sailboat. Watching these little captains steer their boats safely across the pond is actually pretty exhilarating — the large crowds gathering around the pond are a testimony to that.
Finally, the Jardin du Luxembourg wouldn’t be the most child-friendly park in Paris without its puppet theatre, pony rides, carousel, soccer fields, basketball courts, and snack stands. The hard part will be getting the kids out of there!
4. The Paris Zoological Park
You won’t find caged, singled-out animals in this zoo. Instead, the Parc Zoologique de Paris lets you explore five different biozones, where different animals roam side by side, just like they would in the wild.
From tropical rainforests to the scrublands of Europe, a visit to the Zoological Park makes for an adventurous day trip around the world’s natural kingdoms. And, with the park’s focus on the observation and conservation of wildlife, you’ll get to learn a thing or two about animal behavior and habitats.
5. Centre Pompidou for kids
To some, the Centre Pompidou is a beautiful design; to others, the contemporary art centre looks like a huge plumbing system. To kids, the Pompidou looks like the biggest playground around.
In fact, the art centre is a huge playground for children. For starters, at the interactive Kids Gallery, you are actually encouraged to touch some of the artwork. And paintings Chagall made for children’s books never fail to capture the imagination of young visitors. Finally, the junior cinema keeps kids on the edge of their seats whilst educating them (beat that, math teachers).
Added bonus: like the Louvre, the Pompidou is free for children under 18. And for parents that don’t like waiting in line, there are priority entrance tickets to the Centre Pompidou.
6. A day at Disney
Last, but not least, how about a trip to the happiest place on earth? Visiting Disneyland Paris makes happy childhood and parenthood memories alike. And, for one day, you get to be kid again too — because Mickey Mouse and Mickey Mouse brings out the child in all of us.
Highlights of your day at Disneyland will undoubtedly include flying through the Star Wars universe, dodging hordes of Caribbean pirates and blasting off into outer space in a rocket.
And, if that’s not enough, with a 2-park ticket you can also visit Walt Disney Studios Park (right next to Disneyland), where you’ll get a chance to have a peek behind the most magical scenes of Disney film history.