Help! How to enjoy Paris with children

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Paris may not be the first place that springs to mind when planning a holiday with young children. Yet with frequent, short flights from the UK and plenty of child-friendly activities, here are my top tips for enjoying a short break in Paris with young children. Let me know yours in the comments below.

1. Not your average play parks

Les Jardins de Tuileries

The gardens at the Louvre are popular with Parisians and tourists alike. During the warmer months and school holidays there are fun activities for young children to enjoy, such as a carousel, trampolines and little sailing boats to hire.

Carousel in Paris with children having fun
Children playing with sail boats on the lake in Tuilleries gardens, Paris

Le Parc des Buttes Chaumont 

Another good option for children, although a little further out of the center, is the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. In the warmer months and school holidays there are pony rides, playgrounds, puppet shows, and sandboxes – always a hit with young kids.

Children playing hook a duck in Paris park

2. Dinos and Dioramas

Paris’ natural history museum, Le jardin des plantes, is a great place to visit with children all year round. If the weather is bad then head indoors to the natural history museum where you’ll find plenty to entertain little ones, including dinosaur skeletons and wildlife dioramas.

There’s also a zoo and a botanical garden. The museum holds special exhibitions and events all year round too, including an outdoor light trail over the Christmas holidays.

Diorama of animals in Paris' natural history museum

3. A view with no queue!

If you like the idea of the Eiffel tower but don’t want to wait in a long queue, then I can highly recommend the Tour Montparnasse, the only skyscraper in central Paris. Take the lift to the 59th floor for fantastic views of Paris, including the Eiffel tower itself. Cheaper and faster, what’s not to like!

Eiffel tower with the Tour Montparnasse in the background in Paris

4. Street Art

These small mosaics Space invaders by the artist Franck Slama are found all over Paris and are great fun for kids to spot whilst sightseeing. There is also an app that older children will enjoy too.

Orange cat Space invaders mural by Franck Slama in Paris

5. Getting around with kids

Finally, if walking is not an option, and the idea of the metro with a pram fills you with fear then the Batobus is a good option or you.

The river boat offers 1 and 2 day passes which allow you to hop on and hop off as you wish.  Although it is not the fastest mode of transport, the batobus  allows you to get around the city and have  a sightseeing tour at the same time. They have an open deck but also covered and heated areas for if the weather is not good. All boats have a toilet and snack vending machines – essentials for small children!

Batobus public transport bus with tourists on the river Seine in Paris

I hope you find these tips useful and they perhaps encourage you to give Paris a try with young children. Let me know in the comments below if you try out any of these tips, or if you have any others of your own. What cities do you recommend for young children?

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