Paris is a bucket list family travel destination for sure. Exploring this magical city with your children is sure to provide memories (and photos!) you’ll cherish forever.
While there are plenty of museums, historical sites and even amusement parks to explore, it’s often the little moments and experiences that families remember most when traveling. If you’re looking for something offbeat and non-touristy for your family trip to France, here are just a few of the unique experiences I organize for my clients in Paris.
Instagram-worthy Picnic in a Park
There is perhaps nothing better than spreading a blanket and enjoying a delicious picnic of French cheeses, fresh bread and fruit under the shadow of an iconic Parisian monument.
While there are several lovely areas to picnic along the Siene, some have no fences or barriers and are not a safe option for families with very young children.
To picnic near the Eiffel Tower and Bateaux Parisiens, walk further up the Seine, on the Left Bank to the level of the bridge Pont de L’Alma and the American Church. There is a wonderful park on a barge on the river with play areas for kids. It’s called Jardin de l’Archipel des Berges, created by the artist Niki de Saint Phalle.
The Berges de Seine (formerly a main road through the city for cars) have now all been made completely pedestrian. Here you’ll find small parks, cafés, restaurants, and this area is completely secure with barriers and fences by the river.
One of the most unique things to do with kids in Paris is to head to the Right Bank and between the bridges Pont Neuf and Pont de Sully you’ll find Ile de la Cite/Vedettes Parisiens, a great picnic location.
When traveling with kids in big cities, it can be difficult to find a safe space where kids can just run around. Particularly for families who are used to telling the kids to “go play outside I’ll let you know when it’s time to eat” – this can be a bit of an unanticipated source of stress.
Both the Tuileries Gardens and the Luxembourg gardens have awesome play areas for kids, also with carousels. You have to pay for the play areas at the Luxembourg Gardens (around 3,50€) but it is SO worth it just for the free access to little kids toilets! The Tuileries has a trampoline area that is always great fun for kids as well.
… and Cafés!
Particularly when traveling to Paris with kids, leaving plenty of time to wander and explore Paris on foot is important. The city is extremely walkable and a big part of Paris’ charm is best discovered through cafes.
If you visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, be sure to cross the bridge to the Left Bank for a coffee and some cake in a very kid-friendly café with a view of the Notre Dame (at A. Lacroix Patissier on Quai Montebello). Then nearby is also the very old, and very famous, Shakespeare & Co bookstore.
Explore Paris by Boat
A boat ride on the Seine is always a highlight for families and splurging on a private boating experience is a fabulous way to begin your time in Paris and orienting yourself with the city. There are several operators of boat tours on the Seine River and they are all pretty similar, so be sure to choose one that starts and finishes at a location where you can do something else.
I love starting at the tip of Ile de la Cité (by Pont Neuf/Place Dauphine) and ending at Vedettes de Paris. The Bateaux Parisiens location is also popular since those boats leave from the Eiffel tower, so a very easy combination there.
If you are looking for unique things to do in Paris with kids, be sure to have a look at my favorite places to stay, and contact me now to get started planning your family’s Parisian adventure!
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