We all know of Paris as the city of love and romance, and many of us are also well aware of its more raunchy side, with cabaret shows, an erotic museum, and a sex supermarket! But there’s a lot more to Paris than that. Paris truly is a city with something for everyone, and whether you’re a teenager with raging hormones, a geriatric who just wants some peace and tranquility, or a toddler looking for the myriad activities that kids can find fun, you can be sure it’s waiting to be found in Paris!At first glance, Paris may not appear to be the most family-friendly city. Everything appears to have been designed for couples and for those who appreciate high culture. The metro tunnels and stairs, the numerous historical sites and art museums are all a bit intimidating for kids, especially younger children. Nevertheless, if you dig deeper you’ll find that there’s plenty to do in Paris as a family, and you simply need to plan your Parisian stay accordingly.
To an adult, the idea of visiting a McDonalds for your first meal in Italy or Germany may seem pointless, but to kids, something familiar is always appreciated. If your kids love Disneyland back home, odds are they’ll begin to feel right at home in Paris with a trip to Disneyland. It may not be the ideal way to spend time in Paris for you, but it is pretty laid back and should help the family settle in before you actually begin exploring other aspects of the city.
We’ve all seen and read so much about the Eiffel Tower that it’s a little hard to feel excited about actually visiting it. Despite your understandable lack of enthusiasm, do make it a point to visit the tower, and you won’t be disappointed. There’s something mesmerizing about the structure, which was the tallest in the world when it opened for the 1889 Exposition Universelle. You can appreciate the architecture of the tower itself and treat yourself to panoramic views of Paris from the top. There’s also a luxury restaurant and champagne bar at the top!
This is a colossal aquarium in Paris, very near to the Eiffel Tower. The state-of-the-art aquarium boasts more than 9,000 varieties of fish, and it even has 26 sharks! The aquarium also houses the largest tank in France and holds around 4 million liters of water! As if the exhibits themselves weren’t enough, there are also live shows, projection rooms, workshops and other activities at the aquarium. This may well be one of the most entertaining and informative experiences you could have, and it will certainly keep the kids enthralled.
Parks and gardens
Parisian parks and gardens are famed for their impeccably manicured lawns, beautiful flora and neatly laid out lanes and paths. They are also delightful to kids, with plenty to explore and discover. Different gardens have their own quaint attractions and old world charm, with toy boat sailing being a popular pastime at the Luxembourg Gardens, while activities like riding ponies and puppet shows are to be found at others.
Natural History Museum
The Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle truly is a celebration of the diversity of nature and the evolution of life. It’s a place that every kid should visit and it’s just as fascinating and enchanting if you’re an adult. The museum itself is a sort of time capsule, housed in a beautiful old building and planned without any of the frills that are so typical to most modern museums. The Grande Galerie de l’Évolution is particularly breathtaking, and there are creative and fascinating exhibits that depict not just evolution but man’s effect on the ecosystem. The Salle des Espèces Menacées et des Espèces Disparues (Hall of Threatened and Extinct Species) houses rare specimens of extinct and endangered species and is awe inspiring. There is also a child-friendly interactive area in the Salle de Découverte or Room of Discovery, and you could even check out the Galerie des Enfants, which, as the name suggests, is a kid-themed museum.
We’ve just brushed the surface with these places of interest, but there are plenty more worth visiting if you are in Paris with your family. Some of the other places worth a mention are Cite des Sciences, Cite des Enfants, La Musée de la Préfecture de Police and Pompidou Centre.