fun things to do with kids in paris france - family travel   Travel for Kids


child at the Eiffel Tower, Paris

It seems that Paris has more museums and monuments per square kilometer than anywhere else and they are fabulous, but don’t explode trying to see them all when you visit Paris with kids. Paris is a great walking city, especially all those wide boulevards, and tucked away in every neighborhood are charming little parks, open to everyone. Wherever you go, breathe in the delicious smells of pastries from the nearest patisserie or boulangerie, and stop in to sample the sweetness of Paris.

Editor's note: Kids' Paris is a different experience, even if parents are familiar with the city. When we took our boys to Paris for the first time, they discovered things we wouldn't have noticed, like playing in the tip of the Louvre pyramid or eating bread shaped like the Eiffel Tower.

Paris Photo Album
Notre Dame - Ile-de-la-Cite
The Louvre - Tuileries
Eiffel Tower - Invalides
Left Bank
Marais & Bastille
Chateau de Vincennes
Bois de Boulogne
Greater Paris
Paris day trips

"Tips for Paris" before you go and while you're there – riding the Metro and how to get out of maze-like stations, museums and monuments, laundromats, restrooms, and more.

paris carousels
  Ride the carousels – Paris has numbers of charming carousels, especially popular for younger kids. Give it a whirl whenever you happen to stumble onto one. Carousels can be found in the Parc Monceau, Tuileries, Champ de Mars (Eiffel Tower), Trocadero, at the bottom of the hill at Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, Jardin des Plantes, and Luxembourg Gardens.

Take the Metro – Riding the Metro (subway) is fun, not just because you can hop on and off anywhere in Paris, but there’s all those long tunnels. While meandering up and down, you come upon unexpected delights, such as a chamber orchestra playing Baroque music, a lone violinist, playing for coins, a jazz combo. For unlimited rides on the Metro, buses, regional express trains, Travelcard included in the Paris Pass.

    Batobus – Take the "batobus," a water taxi, to ride up and down the Seine, stopping off at "must-see" sightseeing spots, such as the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower. With a day pass, you can get on and off as much as you like. The Batobus runs year round, 10:00am - 9:30pm in the summer months.

Read our blog post "Paris Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" to see how many places kids can spot Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite – on buildings, murals, statues, coins, souvenirs.

Pont Neuf  

Bridges – There are 36 different bridges across the Seine, and they're all different. Some are wooden, metal or stone, some are plain and functional, other like the Pont Alexandre III are decorated with gilded statues and cherubs. The Pont Neuf (where Madeline fell into the river) is four hundred years old, the newest is the Simone de Beauvoir footbridge. Some bridges are just for pedestrians, others are for the metro. At the Pont de l'Alma, look for the statue, a soldier at the base of the bridge – when the Seine rises too high, the statue is covered with water. Kids can have fun choosing their favorite bridge, and if they like to draw, bring pads of paper to sketch the bridges.


Fun food

Making crepes in Paris

As you’d expect, Paris has fun food, and cafes on every corner. When your feet are about to fall off, sink into a café and order up hot chocolate or cold drinks, baguettes with butter and jam, desserts or pastries. Paris is the place to enjoy eclairs and anything chocolate or fruit tartes. Creperies are a big hit – try different flavors of crepes. Candies and cookies, like nothing you've seen before, are a "must try."




Prices in Paris are no bargain, but shopping is fun. For an overall approach, hit the Le Bon Marche ("le magasin de la famille"), Printemps or Galeries Lafayette department stores, floors filled with things that you won’t find in department stores in your home country.


If you have infants, toddlers, or kids under 10, Paris has some of the most appealing clothes you can imagine, for boys and girls. The Left Bank has wonderful kids' clothes shops, also rue de Courcelles in the 17th arrondissement.

family hotels paris
Travel for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in Paris, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels in Paris, all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods that are comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore:

    Paris family hotels
    Charles de Gaulle airport family hotels

Apartment rental has lots of advantages for families – full kitchen and dining area, so you don't need to eat meals in restaurants, room to spread out all your stuff, and cost savings for families.

    Paris family apartment rentals
family tours paris

The Louvre has so many masterpieces, how make great art come alive for kids? On this 2+ hour family tour, kids will discover mythical heroes, Egyptian pharaohs, Greek beauties, French kings and queens in Louvre artworks.

Louvre Tour for Kids

Gargoyles and stained glass: Explore Ile de la Cite, gargoyles of Notre Dame, and stained glass of Sainte-Chapelle, on a private family walking tour:

Ile de la Cite Tour for Kids: Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle
family travel tools paris
Make life easy with a Paris Pass, an all-one-card for the Louvre, Notre Dame cathedral, Sainte Chapelle, Versailles, Musee d'Orsay, Orangerie, and more, plus Seine boat cruise, and unlimited rides on the metro. Savings for the whole family, fast track entry to the Louvre, and no waiting in ticket lines:
The Paris Pass
kids books paris
Adele & Simon paris childrens books
Adèle & Simon
Barbara McClintock

Take a walk with Adele and her little brother Simon on their way home from school, stopping at a street market, the Jardin du Luxembourg, a patisserie, the Louvre, and everywhere, Simon forgets something – his books, scarf, knapsack, books, and crayons. Flavored with watercolor illustrations of Paris a century ago, this is an absolutely delightful tour around the city (which you can follow today). (Picture book)


This is Paris
M. Sasek

Triomphes, the oldest church and oldest bridge in Paris, 1,665 steps to climb the Eiffel tower, pleasure boats on the Seine, Notre Dame Cathedral, bistros and cafés, Street of the Fishing Cat, and more. Whimsical illustrations, fun facts, this is a classic. (Picture book)


This is Paris kids
Babar's guide to Paris  
Babar's Guide to Paris
Laurent de Brunhoff

Babar takes his daughter Celeste on a tour of Paris. "First, he says, you must go to a cafe." Order an ice cream or citron presse (fresh lemonade), have dinner at a brasserie (you can bring your dog), admire the Eiffel Tower from every angle, enter the Louvre through the glass pyramid, walk everywhere, there will always be a surprise on every block! (Picture book)


The Mona Lisa Caper
Rick Jacobson, Laura Fernandez

"Hanging on the wall year after year isn't as easy you might think." Totally captivating story of the Mona Lisa theft, told by the painting herself. She understands why Vincenzo Perugia thought the Mona Lisa should go back to Italy, and how he lifted the painting from the Louvre. Based on true events, this story is a gem, beautifully illustrated. (Picture book)


paris kids books The Mona Lisa Caper theft true story
Monet and the Impressionists for Kids france  

Pictorial history of the Impressionists, artists Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cassatt, Cezanne, Seurat, Gaugin, plus 21 activities – paint the sky like Monet, cut out paper water lilies, bake cookies with sprinkles like Seurat, and learn how to spot each artist's work. Filled with lots of Impressionist paintings, good for older kids. (Chapter book, with illustrations)


Chasing Degas
Eva Montanari

A ballerina goes around Paris in search of Degas, finding more painters along the way, Monet, Caillebotte, Renoir, and Mary Cassatt. Each stop is inspired by a different Impressionist painting. Luminous illustrations. (Picture book)


paris impressionists arts kids Chasing Degas picture book
adventure fantasy kids paris City of Wind  
City of Wind
Pierdomenico Baccalario, Leah D. Janeczko

In the third book of an exciting fantasy adventure, four kids search for an ancient artifact, hidden in Paris. The kids follow a maze of clues around the city, finally reaching the oldest church, the abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. An original story and wonderful local color. (Chapter book)



Mira time travels to 19th century Paris, where she meets artists Mary Cassatt and Degas. There's new and exciting art, but also prejudice and intolerance in the city. Mira must find the writer Emile Zola, to speak for the rights of an innocent man accused of treason. Sights and scenes of Paris, interwoven in an adventure of art and life. (Illustrated chapter book)


Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris artists kids paris historical fiction
Night of the New Magicians (Magic Tree House)
Mary Pope Osborne

It's the 1889 World's Fair. Jack and Annie go on an airy bike ride over the Paris rooftops to meet Gustave Eiffel, the "Magician of Iron," and engineer of the Eiffel Tower. (Easy reader)

Also, chapter book Where is the Eiffel Tower?


Along Came Coco
Eva Byrne

Coco Chanel changed the way women dressed and looked forever – swimsuits, blue and white striped shirts, comfortable little black dress, short hair. Eye catching, exuberant illustrations will take you to Paris! (Picture book)


Coco Chanel
Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Ana Albero

Coco Chanel, the most famous French designer, was different growing up – while other girls played, she sewed. In Paris, Coco set up her own shops and created new things – hats, gowns, dresses, suits, perfume. (Picture book)


Jackie Clark Mancuso

In Paris, people take their dogs everywhere, shopping, to cafes and restaurants, so when Hudson moves to Paris, he can't wait to meet Parisian dogs. But all the dogs speak French, so Hudson finds a teacher, and soon he knows about chien, chat, oiseau, and has lots of friends. Delightful! (Picture book)

And here's Hudson's next adventure in Paris: Hudson and the Puppy


dodsworth in paris  

Adventures of Dodsworth and his traveling companion, the duck, in Paris for the first time. The duck make paper airplanes to fly from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Only the paper airplanes are euros, and now their money is gone. They get a job delivering baguettes, but end up in the Tour de France bike race. After seeing the Louvre, Dodsworth paints a picture, but only the duck can turn it into a masterpiece. (Picture book)


Eve Titus, Paul Galdone

Anatole was the most contented mouse, until he discovered Parisians didn't like mice in their homes. But Anatole had a brilliant idea – mice are the best judges of cheese, so he becomes the secret taster at the Duval Cheese Factory. This is a family favorite! (Picture book)


childrens books paris Anatole cat cheese
a lion in paris  
A Lion in Paris
Beatrice Alemagna

A humorous, delightful story inspired by a statue in Paris. A lion takes the train to Paris, but no one notices when he rides the metro and roars loudly. When he visits the Louvre, the girl in a painting follows him with her eyes. The lion climbs to the top of the Eiffel Tower – he loves the view, and finds a spot made for him, in the Place Denfert Rochereau. Irresistible illustrations! (Oversize picture book)


Everybody Bonjours!
Leslie Kimmelman, Sarah McMenemy

"When in Paris ... everybody bonjours." Charming story in pictures and rhymes around Paris, delightfully illustrated. Fun for little kids. (Picture book)


Everbody Bonjours toddlers picture book paris
Come With Me To Paris
Gloria Fowler, Min Heo

A trip around Paris in pictures and rhymes – stop into a boulangerie for a breakfast croissant, see Mona Lisa at the Louvre and stained glass windows at Sainte Chappelle, climb to the top of Arc de Triomphe, visit Notre Dame, then have an ice cream at Berthillon, and at night, watch the lights of the city at from the Eiffel Tower. (Picture book)

Also: Paris Coloring Book


WiKIDly Awesome Travels Paris
Miranda McPhee, Suzanne Lifson

Bring this travel journal on your visit to Paris – learn French phrases to order ice cream and sweets, draw favorite landmarks, write about paintings in the Louvre, plus history and quizzes about famous Paris sights. (Activity book)


paris city trails  
Paris City Trails
Lonely Planet Kids

Nineteen different themed trails through Paris – under the streets, mysteries and legends, surprising food, city shapes, smells of Paris, magicians and alchemists, unexpected sights, French Revolution "off with their heads," chic fashion, ghostly tales, lights after dark, and more. (Illustrated chapter book)


(More children's books on France pages)
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