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Paris might be renowned as the city of romantic night-time adventure, but throughout the day it is a true haven for families with children. While lovers may whisper endearments beneath the Eiffel Tower, there will never be a dull moment for children either in this delightful city. With plenty to see and do, not to mention an abundance of French desserts to enjoy, the younger members of your family are guaranteed an eventful time in the French capital.
When planning your Parisian family holiday, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how many things there are to do with your kids in Paris. The following list highlights the top 10 family-friendly activities. The hardest part will be narrowing down your choices and cramming everything into each day!
1/ Give the kids a workout and climb the Eiffel Tower
If your kids are full of energy (or perhaps dessert) and need something to do to burn it all off, climbing the 704 steps of the Eiffel Tower is the way to do it! If you feel it’s too much, or the kids need a break, there are lifts at different levels along the way. Once you make it to the top, however, your children will be sure to appreciate the magnificent panoramic views of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
2/ Enjoy a French-style picnic
(source: francetoday.com )
The Champ de Mars is a stunning location, and not just because of the Eiffel Tower. There are beautiful green parks surrounding the iconic symbol of Paris. The spacious grassy lawns, paved pathways, and stunning views make the perfect destination for a French picnic. Head to a supermarket and grab some bread, cheese, some Speculoos spread (from Belgium) and a Pitch snack or Milka chocolate to get a real taste of France for the kids. After a tasty picnic, the kids will be amused for hours on the carousel or playgrounds around the Champ de Mars.
3/ Play by the flowers at The Jardins
(source: familinparis.fr )
You and your children will be glad to get in touch with nature at the beautiful Jardins of Paris. There are many wonderful gardens around Paris, a particular favourite being the Jardin du Luxembourg, where the kids can not only take advantage of the innovative playground equipment, but also ride a sailboat around the fountains.
4/ Learn while having fun at the Cité des Sciences
(source: visitparisregion.com )
If the weather isn’t in your favour in Paris, this is a perfect indoor activity to do with the kids. The Cite des Science has a section called the Cité des Enfants offering a range of activities for kids aged 2-12. The exhibits in this section are educational and interactive with all types of fun things for kids to do. Tickets can be purchased either online or at the door for a 1 hour 45 minute session, and there is a free Aquarium on the ground floor to keep you amused while you wait.
5/ Interact with history at The Grand Galerie de l’Evolution
Discover the beginnings and development of life on our wondrous planet in this fascinating museum. With displays on everything from butterflies to elephants, the kids will learn plenty of new information while being intrigued by the life-like exhibitions. There is also a small zoo in the Jardin de Plantes that requires an extra ticket to be purchased, but is well worth the additional expense.
6/ Learn about the underground history at the Catacombs
This is an activity particularly great if you have teenagers. This virtual and interactive history lesson teaches kids about the victims of the plague, the French Revolution and the guillotine. The spine-tinglingly macabre history lesson will prove engrossing for older youngsters.
7 / Enjoy the views from Galeries Lafayette
If you want to do a spot of shopping but are worried the kids will get bored, take them to the Galeries Lafayette and they’re guaranteed not to complain. The escalators go right to the top of the building, leading you to a famed observation deck. The kids will be awed by the aerial views of Paris and parents will have the chance to buy what they need.
8 / Quench their thirst with a diabolo menthe
Sitting at a café on a warm day in Paris sounds like heaven to busy parents, yes? To give the kids a real Parisian treat while you rest your feet, order them a diablo menthe. This alien-green coloured drink will bring a smile to the kids’ faces and the combination of mint syrup and lemonade will leave them refreshed and satisfied.
9/ Have a laugh at a puppet show
(source: jedessine.com )
During summer afternoons at the Luxembourg Gardens, there are puppet plays and performances put on for kids. This is an activity best enjoyed by those with some understanding of French, but even without understanding the language the children will still be amused by the puppeteers and fascinating characters they bring to life.
10/ Fill their bellies with some quintessential Parisian foods
(source: hipparis.com )
As a parent, you know that your children need plenty of food to fuel their seemingly endless energy. So, make the most of the French experience and indulge their taste buds with some authentic Parisian cuisine. A hot chocolate or milkshake near the Jardin des Tuileries is ideal for morning tea, followed by some pralines that can be found at many sweet shops in Paris. Buy some delicious cheese from a market near Bastille or the iconic one called "Le marché des enfants rouges", and get some fresh bread and strawberries accompany it. The kids will be begging you for an ice-cream at some point, so don’t pass up the chance to enjoy one at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower.
With so much to see and do around Paris, every day will be an absolute highlight for your whole family. By the end of your trip to this magnificent city in France, it will be hard to tell who is more worn out and exhausted from having so much fun: you or the kids!