“So, what can we do with the children in Paris” ask my friends who are planning to go to Disneyland (been there, done that and do NOT recommend it at all by the way) and want to plug in a few more adult days in Paris.
Being French, I don’t always think you have to do specific activities for them and my best advice is to take them along to visit various places and explain why it’s fun.
That being said, there are times where you realise that you really need to find that activity that is specific to them and will bring back smiles and laughs. So here are some ideas.
Mademoiselle really liked going to see the Eiffel tower when she was 5 for instance and she loved taking some mini Eiffel keyrings back to her school friends. There is also a merry go round at the bottom and always some food stalls with sweets to buy.
Jardin du Luxembourg
Playground accessible via the entrance on the rue Fleurus / rue Guynemer
A closed and paying playground with big games, especially climbing frames. Parents pay more than children so one of you can just sit peacefully outside watching the other one help the little one inside !
This beautiful park (next to the Senate)also has miniature sailing boats that children can push on the mini lake, swings, mini karts and you can purchase waffles for a snack (I love waffles !).
Jardin des Tuileries
Entrance via either the rue de Rivoli, la place de la Concorde or avenue du général Lemonnier.
Perfect to wander around after a visit to the Louvres. There are cafés towards the Concorde end and always a few amusements around.
Le Jardin d’acclimatation
In the Bois de Boulogne
You can go via a little train from Porte Maillot or the tube station (Les Sablons).
Now, that’s what a proper amusement park is, traditional, simple, charming, authentic. Kids can ride on a miniature train, try the rides in an amusement park, tour an old-time French farm, see puppet shows, visit an aviary and a zoo, go for a pony ride, and play on numerous fun and creative playgrounds, designed for children of different ages. And of course there are also a couple of carousels.
Le Jardin des Plantes
39 rue Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire Paris 5è
You can visit the Galery of evolution, which is a super museum and then the “ménagerie”. There is also a carousel (yes again). At the end of your visit, just outside, make sure to stop to drink a mint tea at the Paris mosque, you will feel like you’ve just travelled to Morocco.
Cité des enfants
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie 30, avenue Corentin-Cariou 75019 Paris
As per their site “Split into two distinct exhibitions (2-7 years and 5-12 years), Cité des Enfants is an adventure playground designed to awaken children’s curiosity, letting them explore a variety of rich and diverse situations. There are lots of activities centred around games, actions and experiments, helping children to happily prepare for further learning”.
If you read French, check this site as you can do a search for activities and things to see with children based on their age: http://paris.lamuse.fr/
I hope the above gave you some good ideas. Remember that the French are very used to kids so there is no issue with having them in restaurants, in shops etc… Enjoy!