No matter where you were raised in the world, Paris is a city that’s on your wish list. Whether it’s to view some of the planet’s most significant works of art, or to experience the wonders of gourmet French cuisine, or to just take in the ethos of the City of Love, tourists flock to Paris by the millions every year.
Paris however, can be intimidating to visit with children. Language is a barrier and Parisiens have a reputation (largely unfounded I think!) for being standoffish. You will be surprised though to learn that once you know where to go, Paris can play host to a great family trip.
When in the city, you’re bound to to visit the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs d’Elysees and Notre Dame, but here are some of our family-friendly haunts that may have not made your list:
Jardin du Luxembourg : Located in the trendy Saint-Germaine-des-Prés, the Jardin du Luxembourg may not be on a tourists’ radar, but it’s where local families kids spend their sunny days. You have to pay to enter the very elaborate playground here, but it’s worth it, as there’s something to entertain all ages of kids (including water play so make sure that it’s a sunny day because you know the kids won’t be able to resist it). Outside of the playground, little ones can play soccer, tennis, get pony rides (also at a price), and sail mini boats at the Grand Bassin. If you fancy a bit of kids’ shopping, check out Rue Vavin just outside the park for a whole street catering to the little ones!
The Musee d’Orsay: My favorite museum in Paris, the Musee d’Orsay is built in a former railway station. It’s wonderful to walk in and imagine what it must have been like before it was converted to the home of one of the most important collections of Western art. The Musée d’Orsay is well equipped with elevators and ramps for elders and those with strollers. A fun little surprise for the kids is the gigantic clock on the top level that offers one of best views of Paris. It also has a restaurant.
Cité des Enfants in the Cité des Science & de’Industrie: This is a whole complex dedicated to science and learning for children. The Cite des Enfants is a well thought out and implemented kids’ interactive museum. It is designed to help discover the world around them and that it does, from pretend play to physics to waterworks! The exhibits are split by age (2-7 years and 5-12 years) and are timed at 1.5 hours each. Best to buy your tickets online so you don’t have to wait for your session. Highly recommended!
Fondation Louis Vuitton:
This new museum is a wonderful addition to the already world-class Paris art scene. Housing contemporary artists and installations from around the world, this museum is smaller and easier to make your way around, and the building itself is an iconic modern structure. Ask at the information for an iPad for the kids, which is offered free of charge and is loaded up with interactive games relating to the museum. Have a coffee at the restaurant if you’ d like to prolong the experience.
Montmartre and the Basilica de Sacre Coeur: Montmartre is a hill in the 18th arondissement, in Paris’s northern part. The village of Montmartre is closest to what tourists imagine of Parisian streets: accordion players and beret-wearing artists in a pedestrian square. Highlights of the area are the Basilica de Sacre Coeur at the top of the hill with sprawling, panoramic views of the city. Kids will enjoy the Le Petit Train de Montmartre, a pleasant 6 euro ride (kids are free) that lasts about 30 minutes and takes you around the area. A much welcome break for weary parents!
Paris is a wonderful city to visit with the family. If you’re ready to go, let MomAboard get a local mom to plan the perfect the trip for you. Use code “EVE” to get 20% off your first itinerary.
MomAboard is a trip planning service that offers custom itineraries built by local moms for traveling parents. MomAboard’s founder Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan is a mother of two who realized that parents who are looking to plan a trip online are faced with information overload, with hundreds of recommendations thrown at them by Google, TripAdvisor, travel sites and blogs. She started MomAboard to connect traveling parents with the most reliable and relevant source of information: the local mom.
MomAboard was launched in 2015 and offers service to over 50 cities around the world. Ask us to help you plan your trip or your move.
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