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Fun family activities in Paris: cool things to do in Paris also for mum and dad

Paris is a kid-friendly city, with lots of activities designed especially for children. Instead of writing a-no-ther post with an endless list of things to do in Paris with kids, we decided to choose ONLY fun family activities in Paris, meaning those activities where mum & dad can have as much fun as the little ones. There is no need to say that the list immediately became shorter (we even killed Mickey Mouse in the process!) but we promise that all the family will have a blast. Because fun and play should not end with childhood . . .

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN PARIS

 

1- Walk along the Promenade Plantée. Also called Coulée Verte, this is a cool hike trail along elevated train tracks which includes lots of green, mysterious tunnels and quirky views of the roofs of Paris. Hire a scooter or roller skates for all the family to have more fun.

2- Be the captain of an electric boat and sail through the Parisian canals in your own way. Enjoy Canal de l’Ourcq and Canal Saint Martin in Paris on the self-drive electric boats by Marin d’Eau douce. Mum & Dad will enjoy driving this “toy for adults” (and probably the rosé on board).

3- Be the hunchback of Notre Dame for a day and watch Paris from the top surrounded by giant bells, mysterious gargoyles and other fantastic creatures. Adults will take great pictures of Paris from a unique point of view.

4- Enjoy Paris by bike and have fun with Velib Paris. Velib is the public bike share system in Paris, available 24h/7d and with more than 1.800 Velib Stations spaced every 300 metres across the capital. Since June 2016 le p’tit vélib (=little Velib Paris) is here, with 4 different bike sizes for children between the ages of 2 and 8 years. Find all the info to explore Paris by bike here.

5- Sail your mini vintage wooden boat on the duck pond of Luxembourg Gardens.  For a small fee, you can choose a boat with your favorite country flag and using a stick, must navigate the boat around the pond. We have seen parents more involved with the boats than the kids themselves, chasing other boats or crashing into their neighbors. “Sink the Aussie boatttt!” There is always lots of laughter and running around the pond.

6- Enjoy Paris most famous sights in an iconic Citroën 2CV ! More relaxed than exploring the streets of Paris by foot and definitely funnier than a hop on hop off bus. Your knowledgeable Citroën 2CV driver will provide facts and anecdotes of the main sights and will make sure this is the highlight of your trip.

7- Explore the backyards of Paris walking on the rails along la Petite Ceinture, Paris’ former chemin de fer. La Petite Ceinture de Paris is one of the quirkiest strolls in the city.  If you like off the beaten path sights and the romance of abandonment, la Petite Ceinture Paris is for you.

8- Get your top quality photos at numerous Paris iconic sites. Take a private photo shoot with a professional photographer and have fun being models for a day and posing like a super star.

9- Walk around Paris 13 and enjoy its amazing Street Art and huge mural walls. Download our DIY Street Art tour and turn it into a Street Art murals-hunting. This Paris neighborhood is so popular with street artists from around the world that you may even find some new additions on your way!

 

PARIS MUSEUMS

 

10- Enjoy an afternoon among exotic beasts at the fantastic Grande Galérie de l’Evolution with a collection of species from all the world. A very cool place with a fantastic iron architecture and endless (quirky) photo opportunities.

11- Le Musée des Egouts (Sewer System Museum) is another quirky museum and a great place for all ages to understand the whole water cycle while exploring this subterranean world.

12- Enjoy beautiful vintage carousels, fairground artifacts and other quirky curiosities in the magic world of Musée des Arts Forains. A place full of nostalgia for kids and not that kids.

13- Visit the Catacombs of Paris! Explore this underground cemetery 200 years old and full of skulls and other bones. Some kids may find Paris Catacombs scary; others may find Paris Catacombs a great place to explore. It also depends on the kids’ age. I think that parents will know if this is something their kids may like or not. Click here to check the best time slots to visit the Catacombs of Paris and avoid the longest lines. Alternatively, buy skip-the-line tickets (with audio guide included) for zero waiting time.

14- Explore the cool Musée de l’Homme where you can shake hands with a Neanderthal man, hear some of the 7.000 languages spoken around the world or smell different rice preparations from different countries. This anthropological museum is so well done that all the family will have a great time.

15- If you are a museum lover it will be difficult to skip Louvre Museum during your trip to Paris. In this case, we suggest to book a Louvre private tour especially designed for both adults and kids. During 2 hours, a special children’s guide will show your family a few highlights of the Louvre Museum starting out at the Mona Lisa. This tour comes with a skip the line Louvre ticket and your kids will be forever grateful for it.

 

PARIS SHOWS

 

16- Watch a Puppet Show! Enjoy gignols’ crazy stories at Jardin de Luxembourg or Park des Buttes Chaumont. We were not sure about including this point but if you speak zero French it must be weird to follow their stories and fairy tales (kids just don’t care . . .)

17- From June to September head to Parc Floral to enjoy its Pestacles, a festival for kids and their families. Concerts of all kinds, shows, dance, workshops and more in a beautiful and natural environment.

18- Head to your kids’ first rock festival, the Mini Rock en Seine. This is the mini version of the famous Rock en Seine music festival in Paris. During 3 days in August kids can enjoy a special program with concerts just for them. The event is totally free but space is limited so we recommend to book in advance.

Fun family activities in Paris. Gignols of Paris

 

SUMMER IN PARIS

 

19- Combat the Parisian summer under the water sprays or doing other water activities at Paris Plages. Meanwhile mum and dad can dance salsa, drink a cocktail laying on a chaise longue under the sun or admire the exhibitions along the Seine.

20- Park des Buttes Chaumont on a sunny day. Enjoy a picnic (and some rosé) while kids are playing on the grass or along the streams of water. After all those games (and rosé) all the family will be happy.

21- Sail your own rowboat at Bois de Vincennes. From March to end of November, rent a boat at Lac Minimes and enjoy this beautiful park from the water. Dad will be happy to work his biceps while mum will add 20 more selfies to her Paris collection.

22- Enjoy unique aerial views of Paris from a hot air balloon, at Parc André Citroën. This is a short (10 min) but cool ride which suits all pockets (12€ adults /6€ kids). Since rides are cancelled in windy conditions we don’t recommend to book in advance. Before heading to the park check the flight information by phone or on their website.

 

WINTER IN PARIS

 

23- Enjoy Christmas in Paris. Visit the Christmas Market along Champs Elysées, see Paris and its Christmas lights from above on the Tuileries Ferris wheel. Windows displays at the big department stores become veritable works of art, adorned with the most stunning festive decorations. Galeries Lafayette’s windows are our favorite ones but they get very crowded on weekend.

24- What about ice-skating on the Eiffel Tower? From mid December to mid February go ice-skating 57 meters above ground on the first level of Eiffel Tower. The entry is free for those who purchased tickets to visit the Eiffel Tower. Click here to check the best time slots to visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris and avoid the longest lines. Alternatively, buy skip-the-line tickets for zero waiting time.

 

YUMMY PARIS

 

25- Treat yourselves to some huge crêpes (or other Parisian sweets) in traditional crêperies or Parisian cafés. Nutella, lemon, sugar, strawberry jam . . . what else? Find our food suggestions on Yummy Paris.

 

24- Get a break from you kids /mum & dad while enjoying a nice meal or your favorite drink. Cafés like Poule Mouillette, Super Café, CaféZoide or Petit Pois are real stress-relief places for young and old. Kids get pampered with games, books and other activities. They are served healthy meals and funny fruit juices. Traveling with kids is great but here parents can have a more than deserved rest, enjoy an adult conversation or meet other parents.

 

Did you like our list of fun family activities in Paris? Which ones mum & dad would like to try? 

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Carmen Edelson
    09/29/2017 at 3:34 pm

    Ooooo, I’d love to see the street art! It’s one of my favorite things to see during my travels. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Damien McGuigan
    09/28/2017 at 1:04 pm

    I haven’t been to the Catacombs yet (the official one anyway). I did visit with a friend once and found it very interesting indeed but I would still like to see the official site some day too.

  • Reply
    Carol
    09/24/2017 at 3:37 pm

    My sister and I have always thought of doing a girls trip to Paris, with my daughter, but always hesitated because we thought my little girl would be bored. Paris has always been portrayed as a “grownup” chic place, I guess. Thanks for these tips! Now I know there are places for my daughter to be entertained!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/24/2017 at 7:51 pm

      Ooohh yeahhh, your daughter will have a nice souvenir of Paris! 😉

  • Reply
    Patricia - Ze Wandering Frogs
    09/24/2017 at 2:03 pm

    What a cool list! Plenty to do and visit while in Paris, and a good time to go when all the Parisians are away for their summer vacations! One thing I hear a lot is Paris Plage. Seems pretty awesome!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/24/2017 at 7:52 pm

      Paris Plages is a quirky thing to do in Paris but it only lasts one month and a half, from mid July to September 🙁

  • Reply
    Eric Gamble
    09/24/2017 at 11:38 am

    Sounds like Luxembourg Gardens is a great spot between the mini wooden boats and the puppet shows. Also I know darcee would love to see the vintage carousel at the musee de arts. Aren’t the catacombs a bit scary for kids? This was a great guide

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/24/2017 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks Eric for reading. Some kids may find Paris catacombs scary; Others a great place to explore. It also depends on the kids’ age. I think that parents will know if this is something their kids may like or not

  • Reply
    Red Nomad OZ (Marion Halliday)
    09/24/2017 at 4:47 am

    Haha, sinnk the Aussie boaaattt, huh??!! I don’t have kids, but a lot of these activities appeal to me as an adult because they sound like the kinds of things the locals would do, not so much of the tourist traps!! Reading about all the things to do in Paris can be overwhelming, but there are enough totally adult things on this list to give a good range of activities and really explore the city! (PS LOVE that you killed Mickey Mouse for this post!)

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/24/2017 at 7:56 pm

      Thanks Marion for reading! Ooops, I did not expect an Aussie reading this, hahah

  • Reply
    Agness of Fit Travelling
    09/23/2017 at 6:26 pm

    Paris is an outstanding travel destination and going there with family seems a must. I will definitely try to take my mum there!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      11/10/2017 at 12:52 pm

      I am sure you both will have a blast 🙂

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