Paris is a city on the top of many people’s bucket lists. It is known for romance and seduction, where people get engaged in front of the Eiffel Tower or spend their honeymoon strolling through beautiful gardens. It is not however often thought of as a place for kids or a great family vacation destination. In reality though, Paris is filled with children, both locals and visitors, and has plenty of child-friendly attractions. There are enough interesting places to see and activities to do for any family to easily fill a whole vacation.
A Compact City
One great thing about Paris when it comes to children is that the city’s top sites are all pretty close to each other. Everything your family might want to see is easily reached by a fast, efficient metro. Once off the metro, the city is very walkable with nice wide sidewalks and safe streets. You’ll never have to walk far to get where you want to go so no tired feet and hopefully no grumpy kids.
If there is a Disney fan in the family, a visit to the Disneyland Paris Resort should definitely be on the schedule. The resort actually has two parks, Disneyland and Disney Studios which both have great rides and attractions for children of all ages. This is not just your same-old Disneyland experience though. The park has a definite European feel and yes, Mickey and characters speak fluent French. The park is a quick 20-30 minute train ride from Paris and makes a great day trip for families visiting the city. You can check out Disneyland Paris Ticket prices here and buy online before you visit the park.
Lots of Parks and Playgrounds
For families in Paris, especially families with young children, often the highlight of a trip is just an afternoon in the park. Paris has amazing parks filled with playgrounds and other child-friendly activities. These are great places for your children to interact with local kids and even with a language barrier, most kids don’t have any problems making friends. Some parks, like the Luxembourg Gardens, have special children-zones with weekly puppet shows, pony rides, and toy sailboat races on the lake.
Plenty of Museum Options
For many kids, a museum is often the last place they want to wind up. Thankfully, when it comes to museums, Paris has something that should appeal to every child. Your best bet is to select smaller museums that can be seen in an hour or so, which will appeal to children with short attention spans. There are museums on history, modern and classical art, technology, and even a few museums especially for kids. The Cité des Enfants (City of Children) museum is one of the city’s best with exhibits for children 2-12.
The Major Sites
You can’t come to Paris and not see sites like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, or the Sacre Coeur. Thankfully all these major sites can easily be enjoyed with kids. Across from the Eiffel Tower, kids will love to hop on the bright carousel or grab a sweet crepe from one of the street vendors. At the Sacre Coeur kids love seeing all the artists and having a caricature done of your kids here can make for a great souvenir. Older kids who love a good scary story will no doubt be fascinated by the city’s Catacombs and if you are at Notre Dame cathedral on a Sunday morning, don’t miss the bird market in the near by Louis-Lepine square.
Don’t let the over-romanticized image of Paris fool you. This is a city that kids will love and with the right planning, it will make for a great family vacation destination.photo credit: TaylorMiles via photopin cc