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Paris with Kids ~ Tips for Exploring the City of Lights as a Family

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I fell in love with France the first time I visited Paris as a young teen. This inspired me to spend a month with a French family in Cherbourg, Normandy as a foreign exchange student the summer after high school graduation. Then I studied for a year during college in Montpellier in Southern France. Now, finally, the time has come for me to share my love of France with my children in the place where it all began: la belle Paris. Do you want to visit Paris with kids? Here are my kid-friendly tips for planning a family vacation to Paris.

Eiffel Tower and carousel in Paris with kids

A spin on a carousel near makes an Eiffel Tower visit even more fun for kids (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

At age 15, my family stood untangling a web of Metro subway lines, the sound of a string trio playing Vivaldi wafted through the underground train station. The beauty echoed against the tiled walls. After a few days of devouring tangy lemon tarts and flakey croissants, listening to the mellifluous French language, and being charmed by curlicue French architecture, this was la cerise sur le gâteau (the cherry on the cake, as the French would say). I announced right then to my parents, “Someday I will live in France.” I made good on that promise, and I’m so glad I did. I hope your family falls in love with France during your Paris vacation, too!

Big kids can climb the stairs to Montmartre, but families with young children may be better off taking the funicular

Climbing the many stairs to Montmartre (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

1. Take kids to Montmartre.

During the cab ride with my two kids from the airport to Central Paris, I pointed out Sacre Coeur Basilica perched on the hill of Montmartre above the city. I explained that many artists live in that area, where you can even pay an artist to draw a portrait of you there. That was it — my children insisted on a visit to Montmartre during our time in Paris!

Located in the 18th Arrondissement, you can easily reach Montmartre by Metro or Uber. Once there, choose to march up, up, up the steps to the top, or pay a small fee to take the funicular.

Sacre Coeur Basilica is beautiful inside and out

Sacre Coeur Basilica (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

2. Go inside the Sacre Coeur Basilica.

As with all French churches, entry is free at the Sacre Coeur Basilica. The interior tiled mosaic ceiling is a beauty to behold. Outside, sweeping views of the city will wow your family.

My daughter getting her portrait drawn in Montmartre

My daughter posing for her portrait in Montmartre (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

3. Get your portraits drawn at Place du Tertre.

To view artists creating portraits, head to Place du Tertre. This city square is lined by cafes and is located just a few blocks from the Sacre Coeur. If you’re interested in purchasing a portrait, then take your time wandering around to watch the artists at work before making your selection. Caricatures take less time and are more affordable. Meanwhile, realistic renderings made with pencil, charcoal, pastels or paint are more expensive. Typically, the better the artist, the higher the price.

Parc de la Turlure in Montmartre, Paris with kids

Parc de la Turlure in Montmartre with kids (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

4. Play at plentiful parks in Paris.

Take time out from sightseeing to play in the plentiful parks in Paris. Kids make friends easily when playing, despite language barriers. Meanwhile, parents will enjoy wandering through the flower-filled paths, admiring the statues and fountains, and maybe even sitting down to relaaaax.

Kids slide down this faux grass hill at Parc de la Turlure atop piece of cardboard or on their feet

My kids sliding down a faux grass hill at Parc de la Turlure (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Parc de la Turlure

My kids’ favorite part of visiting Montmartre was not getting their portraits sketched. It was scooting down a faux-grass-covered hill in Parc de la Turlure. Situated just behind Sacre Coeur, this beautiful little park offers a playground for children and photo ops aplenty.

Kids can ride ponies at Jardin du Luxembourg

Kids riding ponies at Jardin du Luxembourg (Photo credit: elenathewise, Depositphotos.com)

Jardin du Luxumbourg

The largest park in all of Paris, Jardin du Luxumbourg was redesigned especially for children by order of Napoleon himself. It’s also home to Paris’s oldest carousel. In summer, rent toy boats for kids to pilot from the shores of a pond that sits in front of Luxembourg Palace. Other family activities at this park include a puppet theater, pony rides, and a massive playground (with entrance fee).

Jardin des Tuileries with the Roue de Paris Ferris wheel in the distance

Jardin des Tuileries with the Roue de Paris Ferris wheel in the distance (Photo credit: Neirfys, Depositphotos.com)

Jardin des Tuileries

Centrally located between the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay, Jardin des Tuileries provides a grand place for a picnic with kids. It was once the property of kings and queens. Today it’s open to the public for play and relaxation. A carousel, playground and donkey/pony rides will appeal to children. Afterwards, take a spin on the Roue de Paris (also know as the Big Wheel), a 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde.

Old and new art collide at the Louvre in Paris

Old and new art collide at the Louvre in Paris (Photo credit: Elnur_, Depositphotos.com)

5. Book a guided tour of Paris with kids.

There is so much to see and do in Paris, it can feel overwhelming. Even as someone who has visited France’s capital numerous times, I felt intimidated coming up with an itinerary for exploring Paris with kids. That’s why I booked an all-day tour of Paris via TripAdvisor with PARISCityVISION. It was a great way to squeeze the highlights of Paris into one day without worrying about lines or logistics. After our trip, I asked my kids what was their favorite thing we did in Paris. I was a tad surprised when they both enthusiastically said, “The tour!” At ages 10 and 13, they now have the patience and interest in a guided all-day tour. For younger children or a more customized itinerary, check out Paris Tours with Kids instead.

Venus de Milo, also known as Aphrodite of Milos, at the Louvre in Paris

Venus de Milo, also known as Aphrodite of Milos, at the Louvre (Photo credit: Phototraveller, Depositphotos.com)

6. Admire art at the Louvre.

Our Paris tour started at the Louvre art museum in the 1st Arrondissement. Skipping the enormous lines at the Louvre is one benefit of booking a tour. We breezed past the crowds and straight into the museum. First, our friendly and knowledgeable Parisian guide explained the history of the museum. Then, she led our group to view some of the most iconic pieces of art in the vast collection. Highlights include the Venus de Milo and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris

The Eiffel Tower in Paris (Photo credit: domencolja, Depositphotos.com)

7. Go up the Eiffel Tower.

Visiting the iconic Eiffel Tower is a must during any visit to Paris. We were given a lot of free time at the Eiffel Tower during our one-day Paris tour to enjoy a leisurely lunch and wander the grounds. Keep in mind that with some tours (like ours), tickets to the top of the tower are not included. We could have queued up for tickets at the bottom of the tower, but we were afraid there wouldn’t be enough time to reach the summit. Instead, my kids and I took in the magnificent views from the second-level landing. Then we descended and made our way over to a carousel for a spin.

View of Paris, including Montmartre, from the second level of the Eiffel Tower in Paris with kids

View of Paris, including Montmartre, from the second level of the Eiffel Tower (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Honestly, I have been to the top of the Eiffel Tower a few times before and the views are better from the second level anyway. But, if reaching the top is on your bucket list, I recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Alternatively, plan to arrive early before ticket lines get too long or book a tour that includes ascent to the top.

Lunch at 58 Tour Eiffel inside the Eiffel Tower in Paris with kids

Lunch at 58 Tour Eiffel inside the Eiffel Tower (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Included in our tour was a multi-course lunch at 58 Tour Eiffel inside the tower. For lunch, choose from a two-course prix fixe menu for adults (ages 13+) and a three-course menu for children. Although I was disappointed by my fish served with lentils (too dry!), my picky eater son raved about his roasted chicken and pasta. In any case, it was a thrill to eat inside the Eiffel Tower while taking in the views of Paris from the restaurant’s huge windows. If you’d like to eat here without booking a tour, it’s best to make reservations in advance.

One floor above is Jules Verne, the pricey, fancy-schmancy restaurant. You will also find the casual quick service Buffet Tour Eiffel and Macaroon Bar.

Your tour of Paris with kids may include a ride on the Seine River

The Seine River (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

If you’re lucky, you will take a Seine River cruise to reach the tower on this tour. Unfortunately, the water was too high on the day we visited so we took a bus instead. Next time I come to Paris, I’m booking a Seine dinner river cruise!

Learn about the history and architecture of Notre-Dame Cathedral during a tour of Paris with kids

Notre-Dame Cathedral before the 2019 fire (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

8. Visit Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Our tour ended with a visit to Notre-Dame de Paris. Our guide explained the feats of architecture it took to build such an impressive church and its renowned stained glass rose (round) windows. Located in the 4th Arrondissement, this church is the most famous Gothic cathedral built in the Middle Ages. It is also one of the first buildings ever built using flying buttresses, which support the sky-reaching nave.

Sadly, Notre-Dame Cathedral caught on fire in April 2019 and sustained significant damage on the structure. Thankfully the three circular rose windows survived. Restoration will take at least five years to complete and visitors are not currently able to enter the church for safety reasons. For now, Notre-Dame’s beauty must be appreciated from afar.

One of Notre-Dame Cathedral's famous rose windows

One of Notre-Dame Cathedral’s famous rose windows (Photo credit: scaliger, Depositphotos.com)

The plaza in front of the cathedral should open to the public sometime in 2020. Located in this square, visitors will find Paris Point Zero. All distances in the city are measured from this geographical marker in the ground. Of course, once the square is accessible, you’ll want to stop here and snap a photo to mark standing in the center of all of Paris.

Point Zero: the center of Paris with kids

Point Zero: the center of Paris! (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

9. Taste Berthillon ice cream.

Notre-Dame Cathedral is not far from the original Berthillon ice cream shop. After visiting this famous church, I recommend treating kids to a scoop or two of this incredibly flavorful ice cream or sorbets. This ice cream parlor became famous in 1961 when a French restaurant guide, Gault et Millau, wrote about, “this astonishing ice cream shop hidden in a bistro on the Ile Saint-Louis.”

Berthillon ice cream is a must during a visit to Paris with kids

Berthillon ice cream sundaes (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

10. Take a side trip to Disneyland Paris.

With so much to see and do in Paris with kids, you might be tempted to forgo a trip to Disneyland Paris. That would be such a shame, though. In fact, some of my family’s most beloved memories of our recent trip to France were made at this theme park. Located about 40 minutes outside the city, Disneyland Paris provides a joy-filled day trip or multi-day experience. Made up of two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park — it’s interesting to experience Disney with a French accent. Disney Village entertainment and shopping district plus seven themed Disney hotels add to the fun. Read more about our experience and my tips for visiting Disneyland Paris with kids.

Disneyland Paris with kids

Disneyland Paris with kids (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

11. Enjoy French cuisine with kids.

During our trip to France, my son kept exclaiming, “So this is what food is supposed to taste like!” Indeed, eating is one of the true joys of visiting Paris with kids. Bread, pastries, cheese, crepes and even sandwiches seem to taste better in France. Keep in mind that tipping on meals in France is not required but you should feel free to leave a few Euros for good service.

Breakfast in Paris with kids

Our breakfast of butter cookies, fruits, yogurt and juice in our rental apartment in Paris (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Breakfast in Paris

Many boutique hotels include a simple breakfast of bakery items with jam and butter plus hot beverage. Bigger hotels may offer a wider variety of breakfast items like cold cuts and cheeses or even a buffet with eggs and more.

If staying in a rental property, stop by a grocery store to pick up a few croissants and peruse the splendiferous array of French yogurts. (I love visiting grocery stores in foreign countries!) You may also want to pick up some fresh fruits from a market, like those found on Rue Cler, the most famous market street in Paris.

Rue cler market

Rue Cler market (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Of course, it’s always fun to pop into a boulangerie or patisserie for a croissant, pain au chocolat (chocolate-filled croissant) or pain au raisin (pastry filled with cream and raisins). Wash your goodies down with a café crème (similar to a latte) or chocolat chaud (hot chocolate).

The best sandwich of this kid's life in Paris

The best sandwich of this kid’s life! (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Lunch in Paris

For lunches, grab baguette sandwiches à emporter (to go) for a delicious and affordable meal in a park. Note, however, that eating on the street is seen as quite gauche in France.

Crepes are a must when dining in Paris with kids

Crepes are a must when dining in Paris with kids (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Dinner in Paris

When visiting Paris with kids, my advice for dinner is to stick primarily to creperies and brasseries instead of dining in fancier restaurants. Creperies serve crepes filled with all sorts of savory fare like chicken and mushroom sauce or ham topped with egg. Save room for dessert crepes stuffed with goodies like Nutella, fruit, ice cream or chantilly (whipped cream).

Brasseries serve casual French comfort food. Expect items like steak haché frites (hamburger sans bun, served with fries), French onion soup, delicious salads, roasted chicken, and mussels with wine, butter and shallots.

A heart-shaped Parisian pizza

A heart-shaped Parisian pizza (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

International cuisine is widely available in Paris as well. Families enjoy dining at pizzerias in Paris, often owned by Italians who serve traditional Italian pizza. Heads up: typically pizza is served individually and eaten with knife and fork in France.

Take a peek at the best restaurants for families in Paris via TripAdvisor.

View of the Eiffel Tower from our HomeAway rental apartment in the 7th Arrondissement

Peek-a-boo view of the Eiffel Tower from the entrance to our HomeAway rental apartment in the 7th Arrondissement (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

12. Choose family-friendly accommodations in Paris.

Staying in a central location in Paris essential. Although the Metro is efficient, you don’t want to spend all your time getting to and from what you want to see. That’s difficult and tiring with children in tow, not to mention expensive. There are 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods) from which to choose in Paris.

Two-bedroom vacation rental apartment in Paris

Our two-bedroom vacation rental apartment in Paris (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Best neighborhoods in Paris

After visiting Paris many times, I will say that my favorite neighborhood is the 7th Arrondissement in the heart of the city. It’s home to the Eiffel Tower, several museums, good shopping, and delicious restaurants. Rick Steves recommends the Rue Cler Neighborhood (7th Arrondissement), Marais Neighborhood (3rd and 4th Arrondissements), Ile St. Louis near Notre-Dame (4th Arrondissement), the Luxumbourg Garden neighborhood (6th Arrondissement), and the more affordable and less central Montmartre neighborhood (18th Arrondissement).

Renting an apartment in Paris

For the same price as a tiny hotel room, my family rented an affordable two-bedroom, one-bath apartment from HomeAway, very near the Eiffel Tower. We were able to save money on breakfasts, too, by dining in our petite kitchen. Plus, renting a place made us feel like we were living like true Parisians, if only for a few nights. Take a look at rental apartments in Paris via VRBO and HomeAway now.

La Terrasse du Sorbonne is just one of the dreamy-looking apartments for families available from Cobblestone Paris

La Terrasse du Sorbonne, available for rent through Cobblestone Paris Rentals (Photo credit: Cobblestone Paris Rentals)

If you want to rent a vetted, luxurious studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom apartment, check out Cobblestone Paris Rentals. Run by an American couple with discerning tastes, you can be assured what you see is what you get with Cobblestone.

Hotel Pullman Roissy-CDG Airport accommodations and indoor pool

Hotel Pullman Roissy-CDG Airport accommodations and indoor pool (Photo credit of pool: Colleen Lanin. Photo credit of hotel rooms: Pullman Hotels)

Staying near the airport

For vacationers arriving late or flying out early from Charles de Gaulle Airport, I highly recommend booking a room at Hotel Pullman Roissy-CDG Airport. There’s no need to hire a taxi to get to the airport, either. Just walk to the nearby train for a free trip to CDG. (Be sure to determine your airline’s terminal before you board the train!)

Book a suite with a pull-out sofa for the kids in the living room, plus a private bedroom with king bed. Connecting rooms are also available with a king bed for the parents and two twins for children. For more sleep options, hotel staff will even deliver a rollaway bed at no extra charge.

Charcuterie and drinks with kids in the lobby bar; Culinaire Bazaar; Children's desserts at the restaurant at Pullman Charles de Gaulle with kids

Hotel Pullman Roissy-CDG Airport dining options (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin and Pullman Hotels)

What a delight it was to stay at this hip and luxurious hotel. The swanky hotel lobby bar welcomes well-behaved children and the on-site restaurant, Culinaire Bazaar, offers a children’s menu. Worried that you’ve put on some pastry weight during your Paris family vacation? In-room exercise equipment and an on-site gym will fix that! Best of all was the hotel’s indoor pool, which made for a memorable and splashy final night in Paris. Read Pullman Paris Roissy CDG reviews now.

Charles de Gaulle Airport

Most likely, you’ll arrive in Paris at Charles de Gaulle Airport (Photo credit: bellena, Depositphotos.com)

13. Decide how to reach Paris.

There are two primary airports in Paris. Charles de Gaulle is the largest airport in France and second largest in Europe. Paris Orly is the other option. From CDG, it should take you about 50 minutes to reach Central Paris by car. Meanwhile, it only takes about 30 minutes to reach the city from Orly. Want to save money on your Paris vacation? Take a look at special flight fares offered by Air France.

You might also reach Paris via train from elsewhere in France or Europe. The SCNCF train system in France is efficient, when it’s not on strike. France’s TGV train holds the world record for the fastest train speed ever recorded, making it a zippy way to reach other destinations in France.

Traveling by train in France is speedy and comfortable

Traveling by train in France (Photo credit: STYLEPICS, Depositphotos.com)

14. Know how to get around Paris with kids.

If arriving in Paris by plane, after you depart your plane and pass through customs, you will likely be approached by an onslaught of men offering taxi rides. Beware that these may not be official taxi drivers. For your safety, follow the signs for taxis and wait in the outdoor queue for a registered taxi. Unlike in most American cities, you cannot just hail a cab from any ol’ spot in Paris. You must find a taxi stand instead. A 10 percent tip is appreciated by drivers. Leave more if your driver assists with lots of baggage.

Paris’s Metro is easy to use and ranks among the best subway systems in the world. You can purchase tickets from machines or booths in train stations.

Uber is available in Paris as well. Just download the app before you arrive and you can easily request an Uber to pick you up wherever you please.

One of the easiest and most pleasant ways to explore Paris is by foot. When the weather is nice, skip public transportation and walk through this gorgeous city, taking in the sites along the way.

View of Paris from the second level of the Eiffel Tower in Paris with kids

View of Paris from the second level of the Eiffel Tower (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

15. Explore more in and near Paris.

I have been to Paris multiple times and still haven’t seen everything on my wish list. Art lovers should definitely take a peek at these three amazing museums in Paris for kids! You may also want to book day trip tours from Paris with kids. A tour of nearby Chartres and its famous cathedral will please architecture fans. If traveling April through October, art and nature lovers will love a trip to Giverny, the gardens where Claude Monet once lived and painted many of his famous paintings. You can even book a Normandy tour to give kids a lesson in World War II history and sacrifice. Of course, the decadence of the Palace of Versailles is sure to wow all ages.

France family travel planning

For some hand-on assistance and expert advice in planning your family’s vacation in France, I recommend booking with our partner travel agency, Ciao Bambino. Get started by filling out this online form now!

If you’d like to explore France beyond Paris (and you should!), then take a look at the best destinations in France for families, according to family travel experts.

Paris Travel Guide for Families

Save these tips for planning a trip to Paris with kids!

For future reference, be sure to keep this Paris travel guide for families. Simply pin the image above to Pinterest. I hope you’ll follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

Dreaming of a trip to Paris with kids? Tell us why in the comments below!

Notes from The Travel Mama: My family received a media discount on the PARISCityVISION tour that we booked through TripAdvisor. Many thanks to Hotel Pullman Roissy-CDG Airport for hosting us as well. My kids and I also received complimentary Disneyland Park Hopper tickets. I paid for all other activities and meals out-of-pocket. All opinions are mine, as always. 

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments
  1. Nicole Feliciano says

    What a great list. We’ve taken our girls to paris twice and think it is very family friendly.

  2. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

    I absolutely love Paris! I have visited several times but I have never been with my kids. I hope we can make the trip someday soon. When we do, we’ll be sure to follow Nancy’s tips!

  3. Earnestine Stevens says

    France has to be my greatest vacation destination. Each time I visit I discover new things that I fall in love with.

  4. I’ll be heading to Paris for 5 weeks this summer, and I now have a baby in tow. I can’t wait to experience it with her, but the challenge is intimidating. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Selene Cutler, FamilyTripFinder says

    I lived two years in Paris with my husband and kids and we loved it! There was a lot to explore and children have fond memories.

  6. Flyingkids says

    These are fun family activities in Paris!

  7. Codrut Turcanu says

    hey guys, it looks like you’ve had so much fun, congrats! that ice-cream blinked on me 😉

  8. I LOVE this post! We recently took a trip to Paris, and I remember thinking that is was far more kid-friendly than I would have believed. There’s so much for the entire family to enjoy there.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Thank you, Stacie! There’s so much to enjoy in Paris with kids that we can’t wait to go back!

  9. Bill Sweeney says

    These are some great tips! I may kick around the idea with the wife to take the kids to Paris. We’ve traveled abroad with the kids before and it was fun.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Bill – I hope your wife agrees to a family trip to Paris. You will all love it, I bet!

  10. Danielle Smith says

    Traveling with kids, whether it be in the U.S., or abroad, can be a great experience. Your tips on going to Paris and what sites to see will come in handy for those who are deciding on a trip there.

  11. Wonderful tips! I’d never think to take my kiddos to Paris if we were ever to go! I know we’d all have a blast so it’s somgthing to consider!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Kids love Paris and the food is really appealing to them. I hope you’ll visit as a family someday!

  12. These are such helpful tips for traveling in Paris with kids. I have been there before, but haven’t taken my daughter yet. I love traveling with her, and think that she would really appreciate the cuisine and culture there.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      My son is pining for the food in France! I bet you and your daughter would have an incredible time in Paris. Hope you can do a mom-daughter trip!

  13. This is one of the places I have been in Europe that the kids have not. My second oldest is going with his girlfriend next month. It would bee nice to go as a family someday. It gets harder to coordinate when the kids are grown. 🙂

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      I know how that goes. My family is trying to coordinate a multigenerational trip with 14 people…hard to pick a spot everyone would like. It’d be hard not to enjoy Paris, though!

  14. We are taking our girls in July and I can’t wait! I just added the market to our list of stops. I also love to visit the supermarket when I am in other countries. Great tips about the center of Paris. We will for sure check that out too!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Rue Cler is such a cute and quaint market street! Also, I love Monoprix in France. It’s like Target – sometime just a grocery store and sometimes there are clothes and household goods, too.

  15. This is such a great post and super informative! I am planning on taking my daughter to Paris this year and I am loving all of your ideas and tips!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Glad you like our Paris tips, Brianne! Have so much fun in France with your daughter!

  16. Carol Cassara says

    Paris will always be a favorite of mine. I just love how kid-friendly the whole city is and that there’s so many activities for the kids to enjoy! Definitely a must to go there!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      It was always a dream for my kids to go to Paris and I was so happy to fulfill that wish for them!

  17. Your kids are living the life. I think it is beautiful you took your children to Paris to give them the experience you enjoyed when you first visited the country as a teen!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      I don’t think my kids realize just how lucky they are…I keep trying to remind them, though! I think when they start paying for their own travels, they’ll get it. 😉

  18. Toni | Boulder Locavore says

    What an amazing experience for you and the kids! It’s great that there are a lot of fun activities for kids, too!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      I only wish we’d had more time in Paris together. Gotta plan another trip!

  19. Claudia Krusch says

    I haven’t been to Paris in 20 years! You’ve made me want to go back! Loved your pictures!

  20. Natasha Dillinger says

    Great tips! We just got back from 2 weeks in Europe with our toddler, which included 4 days in Paris. My husband and I got engaged there almost a decade ago, so it was so much fun showing her our favorite places, and exploring new ones together as a family. We especially loved a cruise up the Canal St. Martin, followed by a visit to the Parc de la Vidette and the Parc des Buttes Chaumonts.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      What a wonderful trip to share with your husband and little one! I am already dreaming of a return trip with my kids!

  21. Ellen Lanin says

    This post was very helpful in planning our upcoming trip to France. Getting excited!

  22. Flyingkids says

    Paris is a lovely city with lots of fun activities for the young and old to enjoy.

  23. Hi. what is the name of the apartment where you stayed in 7th Arrondissement? We are planning to go in December. Thanks.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      I tried to link to the property where we stayed but it looks like they are no longer renting out their apartment. Best to do a search for properties in the 7th arrondissement within your budget and with your requirements and narrow it down from there. Have a wonderful time in Paris!

  24. Thanks for the tips. We will be traveling to Paris in January with our two boys (age 7 and 9). Do you have any winter-specific recommendations? Can you still have your portrait done at the Place du Tertre in the winter, or do the artists typically only work in the high season?

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Hi Sara –

      How exciting that you will be traveling to Paris with your boys this winter!

      I have not visited Place du Tertre in winter personally, but in doing a web search it looks like artists do still congregate in the square, but not nearly in the numbers that you will find in more temperate weather. It’s probably best to go on a day when the weather is most mild during your January Paris trip.

      The average high temperature in Paris in January is 45 F and the average low temp is 37 F. So, with that in mind, I would plan to spend most of your time enjoying indoor activities in Paris. Thankfully, there are plenty of museums and indoor shopping areas to explore. Also, I would be sure to check hours before visiting any attractions in case there are limited hours. Having said that, there are lots of advantages to visiting Paris in January! There will definitely be less crowds from tourists, making it easier to book accommodations at affordable prices and easier to explore attractions without fighting huge crowds. Have a wonderful time in the City of Lights!

  25. This is such a fantastic helpful post. We are going to Paris soon with our 8 and 11 year old kids. Thank you!!

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Bethany – So glad you find these tips for Paris with kids helpful! Have a wonderful time in the City of Lights!

  26. I LOOOOVE Paris, and you shared so many great tips. Very informative and entertaining article!

  27. Jillinda Janeway says

    I’ve dreamed of visiting Paris nearly all my life. I really would like to go and to take my 3 kids. Neither my husband or myself speak the language and honestly this is the BIGGEST thing holding us back. How do we do an international trip where we don’t speak the same language?

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Jillinda –

      I hope you won’t let the language barrier keep you from fulfilling this lifelong dream! Almost everyone speaks at least some English in Paris and other big cities in France. It is imperative that you learn a few key phrases when traveling to a foreign country and this is particularly true when visiting France, where they are quite proud of their native language. Hello (bonjour during the day and bon soir in the evenings), how are you (comment ça va?), thank you (merci or merci beaucoup), goodbye (au revoir) and where are the toilets (où sont les toilettes?) will get you far. Be sure to always say hello and how are you before launching into what you want at a store or restaurant — this is a big faux pas that many North Americans do not understand and probably why Paris has the unfair reputation for being rude. It is we who are being rude!

      If you’d like to feel even more comfortable with the language before your trip, I highly recommend Rosetta Stone. I used it to brush up on my French before this trip to France, and have used it to work on my Spanish before traveling to Mexico, Argentina and other Spanish-speaking countries. It’s super easy and fun to use, I swear! If you want to check it out, here’s my affiliate link to Rosetta Stone French (for which I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you): https://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/5724902/type/dlg/https://www.rosettastone.com/learn-french/

      Have a wonderful time in belle Paris!

  28. Great list. Too bad I missed that Berthillon ice cream shop last time! It’s been too long, the last time we were in Paris for some reason we decided to lug around a bunch of books to entertain the kids. Maybe we’ll plan for 2021, after all this pandemic madness is over.

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Ha! That was probably pre-Kindle?! Enjoy a scoop of Berthillon ice cream for me when you return sans heavy books!

  29. Love love love Paris! I went the first time many years ago and again more recently and is always such a special place. One of our favourite spots is the jardin des plantes and its quirky carousel! Thanks for sharing accommodation ideas for families, indeed, it is not the easiest city for family hotels!

  30. Jody A Robbins says

    I was scheduled to go to Paris with my daughter this month. Sniff. Not sure when exactly we’ll reschedule, but at least now I know we have to taste some Berthillon ice cream!

    • Colleen Lanin says

      I’m sorry to hear that, Jody. But Paris isn’t going anywhere. Have a wonderful time in Paris with your daughter and enjoy that delicious Berthillon ice cream!

  31. My dream is to explore Paris through the eyes of Julia Child! But since I will have kids in tow, this will be a great resource! Thank you!

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Love that idea! I loved Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in France, and the movie/book, Julie & Julia. What a great way to explore Paris!

  32. Paris has been high on my bucket list and I’ve visited surrounding countries but haven’t made it to the City of Lights…yet. Planning a multigenerational family travel vacation with my daughter & granddaughter…but that’s still 3 years away. Saving this tips!

  33. Excellent suggestions! We love exploring Paris and Jardin du Luxembourg is a family favourite. Saving these tips for our next trip!

  34. I don’t have kids, but I’d be all about all of these activities anyway!

  35. Elizabeth Rose says

    We lived in Germany when my son was 6. On a long weekend I took him along on a mostly adult tour. He loved the Louvre and dining on chicken and pommes frites in the Eiffel Tower!

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Kids surprise us with their bigger-than-expected attention spans all the time, don’t they?! This is especially true when traveling. So glad you and your son had a good time in Paris!

  36. Lucid It Training says

    This is such a great post and super informative! I am planning on taking my daughter to Paris this year and I am loving all of your ideas and tips!

    • Colleen Lanin says

      I hope it will be safe to travel this year to Paris after this health crisis passes so you and your daughter can enjoy the City of Lights!

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