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David asked

Paris with kids

I’ve talked my wife into an impromptu trip to Paris with our three little girls—all under seven years old. Our deal is that I have to make all the arrangements, so I’m scrambling for hotels, activities, food, everything--any suggestions?

Paris (France)

7 Answers
answered by
Tiffany from Corvallis

I traveled to Paris with my daughters when they were 2, 4, 5, and 11, and had a wonderful time. 

We stayed in an apartment that we found through HomeAway near a Metro station and got Metro passes for the time we were there, so we could hop on and off when the kids got tired of walking.  It's easy.  Just make sure you know the end points of the lines you are taking so that you can easily find the signs to the correct platform.

Monoprix is a great grocery store common all over Paris, so I went there every morning to get juices, then stopped at the local bakery for fresh breads and pastries.  It saved money on breakfast and gave us a nicer breakfast than restaurant dining.

Even with young children, we were able to do all the tourist things.  My kids loved going to to top of the Eiffel Tower.  There's a post office there so you can mail a postcard home and a tiny cafeteria where you can stop for a snack at the middle of the tower. 

The Museum Pass will save you money and time standing in lines, so that definitely helps.  Most of the Paris' national monuments and museums are free for children under 18, so you won't need passes for your kids. 

We did the The Louvre and  Monet's Waterlily Orangerie in the same day, taking a leisurely walk through the gardens, stopping and telling stories about the statues.  Near the Orangerie, there's a ferris wheel, a small stand selling waffles and crepes, and a large pond with ducks - all fun for children.

My kids did well at the Notre Dame View and Versailles as well.  We found that as long as we took breaks and kept them fed, they were perfectly happy.  I asked them to find their favorite piece of art at museums and tell a story about it.  They loved the train to Versailles and the impromtu music often found on the Metro.

The Champs-Élysées is so busy that my kids enjoyed the walk and window shopping even at those young ages.  Do ask for the elevator at the Arc de Triomphe.  The walk up can be exhausting, but my kids did ok on the walk down.

I did the Rue Mouffetard market without my girls and think it was probably too crowded and narrow for me to feel comfortable with all three, but it is a fun market for foodies and there are great fondue restaurants there. 

In restaurants, the croque monsieur is very kid friendly and usually comes with french fries, but ask the waiters.  They are generally friendly and know what tourist children eat, so they'll be able to recommend something.

Most of Paris is very kid friendly.  They'll love the tram to the top of Montmartre where you can see the Sacre Coeur and watch the painters on the sidewalks.  There's a nice tourist train there as well that's fun and saves on the walking when the kids get tired.

We also like the Bato Bus that stops at several places along the La Seine with hop-on/hop-off service.  It makes seeing many of the big attactions easier and is a beautiful ride at night when the city is lit up.

Anyway, make your wish list and go.  Your kids will enjoy it.  There's certainly enough to keep them curious and entertained and really, even museums can be fun if you make it fun.  Mocking silly statues was a highlight for my kids and a wonderful memory among the beauty and elegance of Paris.

Comments (2)

Great suggestions, especially rue Mouffetard. It is very, very crowded but a lot of fun for kids.

Thanks, Courtney. I loved the rue Mouffetard too. It was my moment without the kids though which made it more fun... so much food. The cramped streets are sometimes better then you're not counting children. :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  2. The Louvre (attraction)
  3. Monet's Waterlily Orangerie (attraction)
  4. Notre Dame View (attraction)
  5. Versailles (city)
  6. Champs-Élysées (attraction)
  7. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  8. Rue Mouffetard (attraction)
  9. Montmartre (attraction)
  10. Sacre Coeur (attraction)
  11. La Seine (attraction)
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answered first by

Le Marche des Enfants Rouges Marche Enfants Rouges is perfect for you. It is the most old food market in Paris with many places for different foods. Some things which you could take back to your hotel room to eat and also some mini-restaurants for eating in the Marche. Very wonderful place to eat. 

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Marche Enfants Rouges (attraction)
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answered by
isa from France

1. La Cité des Enfants (

Nice place where you can also Watch a 3D movie, walk in the park...

2. Palais de la Découverte ( ): scientific experiences for kids. Free under 6.

Métro : Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau - RER : Invalides    

3. Paris beaches: on the river bank (in summer)+ workshops for kids

4. Map fountains ( it can be fun to discover old Fountains and fill your bottle...

5. If you read french you can catch ideas, music worshops, dance... on:

6. Cité Nationale de l'Histoire de l'Immigration (

7. The Evolution exhibit at Muséum national d'histoire naturelleis great! (

8. George Pompidou: besides the contemporary exhibition (free for kids and often "playful"), you'll have a perfect view on all the main buildings of Paris.

- try to stay in the center of Paris, so you can easyly walk around or catch a metro

You can offer them a delicious ice cream : Berthillon on the ile de la cité, where you can also admire Notre-Dame de Paris.


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answered by
Kamel from Paris

Hello, I think also it could be great to be close to this wonderful park called Luxembourg GardenThere is a nice hotel closed to this park called Hotel Luxembourg Parc Paris 

Otherwise i would recommand you an appart hôtel so you can organize dinner and save money. One front of the Seine Citadines Saint Germain Des Pres

Enjoy your stay in Paris ! 

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top answer by
Courtney from Los Angeles

How fun!!!  You’re going to have such a great time!!! I would definitely recommend Résidence et SPA Le Prince Régent in the Latin Quarter. It’s where my family and I always stay when we’re in town—like you, we have a big family and it’s very VERY hard to find a place that will accommodate us. The Regent is like a little apartment—you’ll have your own kitchen (great for saving money!!!), and there’s a great supermarket right down the street.

For food—I would say to check out a store called   Picard Surgelés . It’s literally only frozen food but believe it or not, their stuff is fabulous and we’re serious foodies. Whenever we’re in town we stock up on food from Picard the first day we’re there. The other thing you’ll want to do is check out the food stores on Boulevard St Germain (you’ll want to head east on that street) and pick up cheese, ham, etc. to have in the house. There’s a cheese store on that block that makes the most incredible pistachio cheese you’ve ever had in your life. A lot of those places also carry their own brands of pesto sauces, and things like that. These particular food stores (along with a few on Rue Mouffetard ) are among the best in the city.

The activities for kids are endless, so don’t worry about that. I’d start with renting a toy boat in the Luxembourg Garden . For just a few euro you can rent a toy boat and sail it around the pond in the gardens. It’s something all Parisian kids do at one point or another in their lives and it’ll be nice for your kids to be able to say they’ve done it, too. Make sure your littlest ones head for the part of the park that’s reserved for children under five. There’s nothing to it, really—it’s just a special plot of land that only they are allowed to explore but it always made my children feel special.

Whatever you do, do not miss the   Muséum national d'histoire naturelle . The building was re-done a few years ago and the animal displays there are just amazing, plus there’s enough there to keep you interested as well. While you’re there, check out the Jardin des Plantes  in the same complex—it’s a gorgeous garden and also has a zoo they’ll love, although you do pay a separate fee for that. There's also a stunning carousel there called the Dodo Manège there that is a lot of fun. Really interesting animals like apes and ostriches and the like. There's a place called  104 - Le Centquatre that also has a fabulous carousel and some great exhibits for kids.  

I'm not sure when you'll be there but if you're there in the summer, try the  Paris plage Bassin de la Villette. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of this event because I think it kind of gives the banks of the Seine a water park sort of feel but I'm in the minority. Essentially they bring in everything from sand to deck chairs to public pools to make the Seine feel like it's an ocean and not a river. If you're there in the summer you should check it out as there are some concerts and things that are kind of cool but take note--it's a lot of kids and families so if that's not your thing this is not for you.

If they're good, you might want to take them to the famous candy store,  La Mere de la Famille - Although they have boutiques and kiosks all over the city, don't miss seeing their storefront at this location. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not this is one of THE classic buildings in Paris and something everyone should see.

The  Passage Jouffroy is another great thing to take them to--there's a great toy called La Boîte à Joujoux a store that kind of specializes in Tintin stuff if they're into that--as well as a store that sells miniatures for dollhouses that I could spend hours in. It's called  Pain D'epices and it's a bit legendary. 

There's also a great store in the Palais Royal called Boutique du Palais Royal that sells exclusively music boxes. There's another store in the area called Les Drapeaux de France that sells antique toy soldiers but if I'm remembering correctly, they also have some more girl-oriented figurines, too.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Résidence et SPA Le Prince Régent (hotel)
  2. Latin Quarter (attraction)
  3. Picard Surgelés (attraction)
  4. Picard Surgelés (attraction)
  5. Boulevard St Germain (attraction)
  6. Rue Mouffetard (attraction)
  7. Rue Mouffetard (attraction)
  8. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  9. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  10. Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (attraction)
  11. Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (attraction)
  12. Jardin des Plantes (attraction)
  13. Jardin des Plantes (attraction)
  14. Dodo Manège (attraction)
  15. 104 - Le Centquatre (attraction)
  16. Paris plage Bassin de la Villette (attraction)
  17. La Mere de la Famille (restaurant)
  18. Passage Jouffroy (attraction)
  19. La Boîte à Joujoux (restaurant)
  20. Pain D'epices (restaurant)
  21. Boutique du Palais Royal (attraction)
  22. Les Drapeaux de France (attraction)
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answered by
Rachel from Los Angeles

I always stay by the Tuileries since you can walk to the gardens with strollers. Hôtel Ritz is heaven.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tuileries (attraction)
  2. Hôtel Ritz (hotel)
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answered by
Abigail from Paris

Hi David,

If you’re traveling with children I would highly recommend a trip to the Jardin d'Acclimatation If the weather is nice, it makes for a great family day out.  Aquaboulevard de Paris (an indoor/outdoor water park) is another possibility should you tire of the usual Parisian sites. Your girls may also enjoy a visit to the Fragonard Perfume Museum. It’s small, interactive and entry is free. Have a great trip!

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