Beauty Everywhere: Enjoying Paris with Kids
Paris is other-worldly. There’s no place where you can experience better art, architecture, food, and culture—and there’s no need to leave your kids at home. From tasty cafes to world class museums, we’ve rounded up our favorite kid-friendly experiences in Paris.
Smell the flowers at Jardin du Luxembourg. This huge park has a beautiful lake, gardens and art museum. It’s just €1 to run and jump at the expansive playground at Jardin du Luxembourg. With zip lines, seesaws and climbing structures, playgrounds in Europe are different from ones in the United States, as they often challenge kids to get out of their comfort zone and have fun. Plus, our kids had adorable opportunities to interact with kids from another culture who often spoke a different language. The nearby old-fashioned carousel at the park also can not be missed. Grab lunch at the window of the cafe in the park. The hot dogs and ham sandwiches hit the spot near the playground, keeping our family happy and fed.
See Mona Lisa’s smile at the Louvre. The lines are long, but the Louvre is full of amazing art. Consider visiting in the evening to beat the crowds, as the museum is often open until 10 p.m.
See the greats at Museum de Orsay. This huge building, once a railway station, has walls filled with Monet, Van Gogh and more.
Take in the incredible sight lines of Paris at the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is fun to walk up (or you can take an elevator) –make sure you book a ticket at the bottom if you want to go to the very top of the tower. By the river, cruise tours and carousels light up at night.
Explore the underground at the Catacombs. Older kids will be spooked and amazed by this unique experience. Book in advance to skip the lines and enter at a specific time.
See the Gargoyles at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Note that a fire has impacted Notre Dame in April 2019. Reconstruction after the fire may impact visiting hours; please contact local authorities for updates. Visit one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. The long line in front of the church moves quickly. It is free to enter. You can pay for an audio guide upon entering or learn about the history of the church through the displays in the church. To see the gargoyles up close, book a separate ticket in advance. Enjoy the play area and garden on the back side of the church as well.
Visit a Patissiere to pick out a delicious pastry treat. Don’t leave Paris without eating lots of delicious desserts. A great one to try is Liberté, well-known for their pastries and croissants.
Pick a cafe, any cafe. Enjoy the slowed-down life of Paris and rest your legs at the countless cafes throughout Paris. A quick check to Yelp on whether the cafe was kid-friendly worked great for us. We loved having pizza at a local Italian bar and restaurant and the french fare at a corner cafe near the Louvre.
Where to Stay
The Asotel chain of hotels are a great option for families in Paris. We stayed at the Hotel Malte, located in the Opera district and within walking distance to the Louvre. Perks include family rooms, a kid’s corner with toys, free drinks in the mini fridge in the room and free snacks, coffee, and sodas starting at 1 p.m in the lobby. These snacks were one of the highlights of our visit to Paris. It’s awesome to come home from a long day of sightseeing and grab a quick drink, cake, and delicious bread. You can also visit any other Asotel hotel in the area for afternoon snacks.