Family Trip to Paris Featured

Paris, France is known for its romantic atmosphere, fine dining experiences, and world-famous landmarks. Much to my surprise, I discovered an abundance of activities tailored for young children on our Family Trip to Paris.  With plenty of parks, museums, and attractions suitable for all ages, Paris can be an adventure for the whole family.

In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the best family-friendly attractions in Paris and provide tips for enjoying them with your kids.

Kid Friendly Activities for a Family Trip to Paris

Eiffel Tower 

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, shall we?

The Eiffel Tower is Paris’ most iconic landmark so a photo op here is unmissable for your family. Climb the stairs to the second level and have a taste of French baguette with cheese and sausages before ascending to the top. 

Insider Tip: There are 3 playgrounds on the grounds of the Champ de Mars.  

At night, the Eiffel Tower comes alive with a sparkling light show that lasts around 5 minutes every hour after dark. This dazzling display is beloved by children and adults alike.  We were here in August when sunset was right at 9pm, however the first sparkle wasn’t until 10pm.   The kids were tired silly by this point, but we were all glad we stuck it out. 

Insider Tip: Pack a late night snack and a bottle of wine and head to the Champs de Mars to view the lights. 

Ride a Carousel 

Paris is famous for its ornate carousels that can be found throughout the city in large public parks.  Children will love riding the horses and other animals while parents will enjoy the romantic atmosphere of Paris and the chance to catch your breath. 

Insider Tip: There’s a beautiful one on the river next to the Eiffel Tower which makes for wonderful photos, but expect to pay twice what the others charge.

Family Trip to Paris Carrousel

Luxembourg Gardens

We spent a half day in Luxembourg Gardens and still felt there was more we could’ve done. I highly recommend prioritizing this park on your family trip to Paris.

Here are 5 of the top things to do with kids at Luxembourg Gardens and one we carefully averted our children’s eyes from. 

Family Trip to Paris Luxembourg Gardens

Puppet Show 

Luxembourg Gardens is the perfect park for picnics and exploring. But did you know that the park also hosts puppet shows? 

One of the most famous marionette theaters in Paris is the Théâtre des Marionnettes du Jardin du Luxembourg. This charming little theater has been entertaining audiences since 1933.  The shows are held throughout the year (except for a break during the month of August) and offer a fun and entertaining experience for children. 

While the shows are in French, the visual art is multilingual and they are often acting out well known fairy tales so don’t let the language dissuade you from including this attraction during your family trip to Paris. 

Sailboats: A Timeless Tradition

For 6€ per 30 minutes, kids are given a model sailboat and a long stick to “sail” their boat in the fountain.  My 5 year old was thoroughly entertained for every minute he chased his boat around the border of the fountain until it was within arms reach of his stick. It held my 3 year old’s interest for about 7 minutes.  

This charming activity is a quintessential part of Parisian childhood and a delightful spectacle for visitors. The tradition dates back to 1927 when a French man named Clément Paudeau began crafting these exquisite toy boats.  These aren’t just any toy boats, but carefully crafted wooden models that have been passed down and maintained through generations.  

The ritual is simple yet captivating. You place your boat on the water and give it a gentle push, then watch as it sails across the basin, powered by the wind. Children gleefully chase after their boats, waiting for them to reach the edge of the fountain before nudging them back into the open water with a long stick.

Imagine the backdrop of a royal palace or the iconic Medici Fountain as you engage in this age-old pastime.  The tiny sailboats against these grand monuments adds a magical touch to the experience. This tradition is a wonderful way to slow down and enjoy the simpler pleasures of life.  

Family Trip to Paris Sail Boat

Playground & Carousel

There are children’s playgrounds inside the Luxembourg Garden that, to my surprise, charged an admission!  I suppose this keeps the crowds more manageable. Next to the largest of the play spaces, is the carousel. 


A big hit for my kids was the large sandboxes located in front of Luxembourg Garden’s Marionette theater. 

Insider Tip: Bypass the pony rides. These are a sticking point with many locals and tourists alike, as the animals are not well cared for. 

Enjoy downtime in the 4th Arrondissement 

The true magic of Paris lies not just in its grand monuments, but also in its quieter, more intimate spaces. An afternoon in the 4th Arrondissement allowed us to catch our breath as we escaped the crowds.  Here are two spots not to miss. 

Rue des Rosiers

A pedestrian street where we could let the kids take the lead without a tight grip on their hand in fear of traffic or crowds. Lots of restaurants and chic boutiques line the street. 

Place des Vosges

Tucked away in the heart of the 4th Arrondissement, this public square offers a tranquil escape from the city’s bustling streets. It’s a place where kids can run free under the watchful eye of centuries-old mansions.

The charm of the Place des Vosges is hard to resist. There’s an air of tranquility that invites you to slow down, to savor the moment. Watch as your kids delight in the simple joy of chasing pigeons across the manicured lawns, their laughter echoing through the historic arcade. 

Then there are the sudden bursts of excitement as they discover the sandbox hidden among the trees, or the thrill of dipping their hands into the cool waters of the fountains.   Local kids brought sand toys and buckets and invited my own children to run back and forth to the fountains to refill the water supply and construct sandcastles.

It was this laid back afternoon that is one of my fondest Parisian memories.  So be sure to make room on your Family Trip to Paris to slow down. 

Family Trip to Paris Vosges

Jardin des Tuileries

Firstly, the garden’s location is simply unbeatable. Nestled between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, it offers breathtaking views of some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. 

The garden itself is a masterpiece of landscape architecture, with meticulously manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and rows of statues that lend an air of historical grandeur.

This sprawling oasis in the heart of Paris is indeed a treasure for your family trip to Paris. As you step into its lush expanse, you’re immediately transported away from the bustling city streets.  It’s a place where children can play and explore. There are several playgrounds scattered throughout the garden, as well as sailboats to float in the fountain and a summer carnival that’s sure to delight the little ones. 

Family Trip to Paris Tuileries Garden

The Jardin des Tuileries is also a perfect spot for a family picnic. Grab some sandwiches and pastries from a nearby boulangerie, find a shady spot under the trees. Or better yet, grab macaroons from the adjacent Ladurée and enjoy a sweet treat among the gardens. 

Family Trip to Paris Laduree

Musee d’Orsay 

For families with children 8+ or littles who are used to gallery type museums, a visit to the Musee d’Orsay is a joy.  

The museum is home to an impressive collection of French art, including works by Monet, Renoir, and van Gogh. It is built inside a former railway station Gare d’Orsay so the architecture is as enjoyable as the exhibits.  They have a super engaging scavenger hunt for the kids too. 

Insider Tip: Pay an extra 2-3€ to purchase a timed ticket and skip the line on your family trip to Paris. 

Family Trip to Paris Musee d'Orsay

Cruise on the Seine River

One of the most relaxing ways to take in the city is by boat, especially with kids. It allows you to sit back and relax instead of navigating crowds, dismissing peddlers, and watching traffic.  

Take a cruise on the Seine River to get a different perspective of Paris from the water. Children will love seeing the city’s landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral from a new angle.  Even more, they’ll love the sounds of cars passing overhead as you cruise under the Seine’s historic bridges. 

A river cruise was included with our Hop On Hop Off bus pass, so it made this experience highly affordable. 

Insider Tip: Bring snacks and games to keep kids entertained during the cruise. (Check your cruise line’s policy regarding snacks.)

Jardin d’Acclimatation Amusement Park

This family-friendly amusement park has something for everyone. With dozens of rides, a petting zoo, and playgrounds for all ages, Jardin d’Acclimatation is a must-visit attraction for families with young children

Insider Tip: Visit on weekdays to avoid crowds and book your day 8 days in advance or more to save money!  Families with 5 or more people will save money with a family bundle. 


The Louvre is one of the most famous museums in the world and can be overwhelming for children. Make the visit more fun and interactive by investing in a tour guide that specializes in family tours and treasure hunts

Family Trip to Paris Louvre

Notre Dame Cathedral

The Notre Dame Cathedral is set to reopen in late 2024! 

While younger children may not appreciate the architecture and history, the cathedral’s towers offer breathtaking views of the city. 

Family Trip to Paris Notre Dame

Cité des Sciences et de L’Industrie

Located in the Parc de la Villette, Cité des Sciences et de L’Industrie is the largest science museum in Europe. The museum offers an exclusive section for kids 5-12 years old that focuses on movement and sensory play.

Insider Tip: Arrive early in the day to avoid long lines.  If you’re doing 2-3 of the participating museums, consider a 48 hour Paris Museum Pass. 

Extending your Family Trip to Paris

Versailles Day Trip 

Take a day trip to the Palace of Versailles to experience French history and extravagant architecture. By day trip I mean give yourself the ENTIRE day to soak in the palace, gardens and expansive grounds.  

Visit the Hall of Mirrors and explore the palace’s gardens which hosts the most magnificent fountains and kids will love the row boats.

We did A LOT of things wrong when we visited on a whim, finding we had time to spare in Paris. 

Family Trip to Paris Versaille 2

Here are 8 tips based on mistakes we made on our spontaneous visit:

  1. Book your date well in advance if you hope to see inside the palace.

    You do not need an advanced ticket to access the gardens.
  2. Don’t bring your large luggage.  Small hand luggage can be stowed for free in the ticket office.
  3. Arrive early and b-line to the golf cart rental.  People wait in line 1+ hours after 10am to wait for one of the carts to return.  An alternate way to cover a lot of the grounds is on the Train, but the lines to ride it were often so backed up, you could’ve walked the distance by the time you loaded onto the train. 
  4. Be sure to pack a picnic to enjoy in the gardens.
  5. Don’t try to see it all.  But DO prioritize the Queen’s Palace and grounds.
  6. If you see a bathroom, use it. They are few and far between.
  7. You’ll want your stroller to move about the gardens.
  8. Consider doing the palace tour without young children.  They won’t be as enamored as you by the furnishings and paintings and the rooms get quite crowded.  My children were tripped over multiple times because people are looking up and didn’t notice them behind/in front of them.  In hindsight it would’ve been better to take turns with my husband.
  9. Download the “Palace of Versailles” mobile app in advance in the App Store or on Google Play.

Insider Tip:  Don’t have a ticket for the palace and they’re sold out?  The Paris Museum Pass is your IN, no additional ticket or timed entry is required!   (This is what we had to do and it was more costly, especially because it was our last day in Paris and we couldn’t reuse the pass elsewhere.)

Strasbourg Day Trip

Take a day trip to Strasbourg, a charming town located on the border of France and Germany. The town’s winding streets and half-timbered houses will transport you back in time. Don’t miss the canals of Petite France where there are wonderful play areas for the kids.

Insider Tip: Pop inside the St. Paul’s Church of Strasbourg where you’ll be stunned to find laid back family activities like a coloring station, play area, and café. 

Disney Paris

For families with Disney fans, a trip to Disney Paris is a must-do. While we opted to skip it this visit, the trains make reaching the park easy from central Paris. 

With all of the magic of Disney, but with a French twist, your family’s visit will be unforgettable. 

Family Trip to Paris Disney


Historically, Montmartre was a small village outside the city limits of Paris. It became a hub for artists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, attracting luminaries like Picasso, Van Gogh, and Renoir who were drawn to the area’s vibrant atmosphere and stunning views over Paris.

One of Montmartre’s most famous landmarks is the stunning Basilica of Sacré-Coeur. Perched at the very top of the hill, this basilica not only offers stunning architecture but also breathtaking panoramic views over Paris.

The area is also known for its picturesque streets and squares. Take a stroll down Rue de l’Abreuvoir to admire some of Montmartre’s most beautiful houses, including the famous “La Maison Rose,” a pink-painted bistro that has become an Instagram favorite.

Family Trip to Paris Montmarte

Getting Around on Your Family Trip to Paris

Hop On Hop Off 

If you’re determined to hit all the grand attractions, then your family may enjoy a hop on hop off option.  There are two front-runners when it comes to hop on hop off buses in Paris: Big Bus and TootBus.  We opted for TootBus because of their kid-oriented audio guide and it was slightly cheaper to combine with a Seine cruise. 

There are just two cities where Hop On Hop Off buses truly justify the expense, in my opinion – Paris and London. Not only do they provide respite from the crowds and offer a chance to rest your feet, but they also allow you to delve into history while listening to informative audio guides. Plus, with an open-air top deck, you can bask in the sunshine while your family naps.

Insider Tips: Bring your own headphones with an audio jack.  Try to get a seat in the front row on the top deck for your kids. They’ll feel like they’re in the driver seat.

Uber and Freenow Ride Share Apps

By far the easiest if you have to get clear across the city and are traveling with your luggage.  We paid about 50€ to get from Gare de l’Est to CDG Airport.  It was also 50€ each way to Versailles from the city. 


The metro is ½ price for kids ages 4-9 and free under 4. You can buy an unlimited 48 hour, 72 hour, etc ticket and easily move throughout the city. 

Where to Eat in Paris

Order a “Large Diet Coke” at Café le Petit Pont 

A trip to Paris is not complete without indulging in French cuisine. But for children who may not appreciate foie gras and escargot, order a “large diet coke” at Café le Petit Pont. The menu option is a secret code for a special delivery.  You’ll get a similar effect if you order a “large beer.” 


Ladurée is a must-visit destination for anyone with a sweet tooth in Paris. Founded in 1862 by Louis-Ernest Ladurée, it has expanded to locations all over the city.

Ladurée is perhaps best known for its macarons, which are considered among the finest in Paris, if not the world. Beyond macarons, Ladurée is also a tea salon, restaurant, and chocolatier. Check out the most famous, Champs-Elysées location.

They warmly welcomed the wide eyes of my 3 year old son and rewarded him with a free macaron after he used bonjour and si vous plait ever so sweetly.

Family Trip to Paris Laduree

Riverfront Food Stalls

To the east of the Eiffel Tower, along the riverfront, you’ll find a stretch of food vendors operating out of tents. Here, you’ll also find a countdown clock to the 2024 Paris Olympics!

We loved grabbing a bite here as we could each select exactly what we were craving and having just arrived in Paris, it was nice to keep the Iron Lady in our view.

Family Trip to Paris Eateries

Bouillon Chartier Montparnasse

Known for its authenticity, beauty, and cuisine, it is considered one of the best “bouillons” or traditional French restaurants in the city.

The restaurant retains its gorgeous Art Nouveau décor, providing an atmosphere that harks back to the Belle Époque era with its high ceilings, mirrored walls, and vintage fixtures.

The menu offers a variety of classic French dishes at affordable prices. The concept originated from Pierre Louis Duval, a clever butcher who started offering a single dish of meat and bouillon (soup/stock) to workers in 1855. This tradition of providing a decent meal at a modest price continues today, making it a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.

We enjoyed trying the snails and the steak was delicious. Meanwhile, our boys devoured the closest thing to a “hot dog” they could find.

Family Trip to Paris Lunch


We found ourselves grabbing quick pick me ups as we were exploring rather than a full sit down meal more often than not.

Where to Stay in Paris 

This is a nearly impossible question to answer as it very much depends on budget, personal preference, desired itinerary, and family size.  At the tourist center, you’ll have a hard time finding hotels that will accommodate 4+ people without booking multiple rooms.   

We are budget conscious travelers, so we stayed on the south end of the city and rode the subway into the center about 15 minutes each morning.  We saved about 200€ per night doing so and my kids loved their “kid tower” in the loft of our hotel room at B&B HOTEL Paris Malakoff Parc des Expositions. 

I will, however, recommend a great airport if you need to spend a night near CDG for an early morning flight. We had a wonderful experience at Moxy (by Marriott).  We were each given a free welcome drink and spun a wheel for a free prize. The lobby was filled with activities to entertain my little ones on a dreary evening; giant Jenga, foosball, coloring, and board games.  The complimentary breakfast was phenomenal as well. 

Family Trip to Paris Moxy

Closing Thoughts about a Family Trip to Paris 

Paris is a city that offers a wealth of attractions that are perfect for children. From the world-famous landmarks to hidden gems, there is something to suit all ages and interests.  

Just make sure you leave plenty of unstructured time to let Paris surprise you. 

Pin for later!

Family trip to paris Pinterest

Leave a Reply