When you think of Paris you think of a city for lovers, culture seekers, foodies and the fashion forward. But think again. Paris has tons of things to do with children and is a wonderful trip for families. There are so many things to do and expose children of all ages to that you won’t cover it in one trip.
First and foremost, Paris’ number one icon the Eiffel tower is a must see. Of course, the line may be quite long but if you are brave enough to weather the queue, the Eiffel Tower won’t disappoint. You can view it from the bottom up or take the elevators to the top, either way pictures are great. The view from the bottom is free but the elevator ride is 10 Euro for ages 4-11 and 13 Euro for 12-24.
A fabulous time to visit is after dark when the tower lights up each hour on the hour all decked out with 20,000 bulbs for a five minute display.
Another icon the Arc de Triomphe is completely free for anyone under 18 and sits at the convergence of 12 avenues, one of them being the Champs Elysees as the city is laid out in the shape of a star.
Paris above ground is obvious but not so known is the Paris underground. Lesser known but oh so interesting are Les Catacombes. Miles and miles of underground caves housing the clammy and dank piles of bones when local cemetaries ran out of room. Les Egouts, the Paris sewers is a unique and very odor filled experience but explains the many water-filled subways under Paris as portrayed in Les Miserables.
If you are interested in Museums but have budget constraints, check out the Musee Carnavalet. The Pair of historic Mansions tells the civic story and houses Neolithic canoes, model guillotines, royal toys and Napoleans cradle.
But for the best art in the world, one must check out these art museums. The Musee D’orsay housed in a Belle Epoque train station is full of the famous impressionists.
Van Gogh, Cezanne, Renoir and more are all represented in bold beautiful color, a sensual treat for every child. The Centre Georges Pompidou is the modern art museum with Chagall, Matisee and Picasso. There is even a childrens galerie called les Galeries des enfants. The show outside the Pompidou is a free ticket. Amongst the modern fountains and statues are the entertainers, the mimes, fire-eaters and musicians.
The piece de resistance of all museums Le Louvre houses the famed Mona Lisa.
The museum is enormous but the lovely Jardin de Tuileries offers lots of room for picnic lunches and time to relax. Even though the signs say “pelouse interdite” there are plenty of benches, and play equipment, even a few carousels for the kids enjoyment. They can even sail toy boats in the many ponds in this beautiful garden.
Another fabulous garden the Jardin de Luxembourg just across the Seine river is another restful place to take a break, relax after all the sight seeing. It is popular place for French families on Wednesday afternoons and weekends. There is a puppet show Les Marionettes du Theatre du Luxembourg which brings in the locals.
One last stop, two lesser known Chateaux, the Chateau de Vincennes and Le Chateau de Fontainebleu are worth the trip favorites of Francois 1 and Napolean. All free to children under 18.
The grande dame of all the Chateau de Versailles home to Marie Antoinette, won’t disappoint. If for some reason your kids are missing home just a bit, you can always take them to a more familiar castle. The Belle au Bois Dormant or sleeping beauty castle at Disney-Paris is only 24 miles outside of Paris.
Let them enjoy Paris and take tons of pictures. It’s so fun to make scrapbooks after visiting all of those cool places you’ve been to. Sure, scrapbooking takes time but is such a good family activity. Or just order some nice travel themed photobooks. My favorite place for everything photo is Shutterfly. I just used code SPRINGONIT to get a Free Photo book. If not, check our Paris photo gallery with some of our Paris pics.