Things to do in Paris


The summer holidays are coming up, trips are being booked and some of you might be visiting this lovely city of mine. I thought it would be fun to do a write-up of my favourite things to do in Paris with kids this summer.

  • The Pompidou Centre has a relatively new area dedicated to kids — a great way to introduce children to modern art.
  • Do look out for the merry-go-rounds that are spread all round the city; you will find anything from flamboyant 2-story constructions looking like a rococco folie to retro seventies space capsules held together with tape.
  • Check out the Anish Kapoor exhibit at the Grand Palais. A) because it is a cool building, built for the universal exhibition in 1900 and never taken down. B) because the exhibit is fascinating for children and parents alike.
  • The Jardin des Plantes is a sure hit with all children. If it is raining the Galerie de l’Evolution is a great natural history museum. It is not as big as in other cities but it is very well laid out and entertaining. If the sun is shining the Menagerie is a lovely, old-fashioned city zoo.
  • If you are looking for some nature, Paris has two woods accessible by metro, otherwise known as the lungs of Paris. The bois de Vincennes is on the eastern side of the city and the bois de Boulogne on the western side of Paris. The Bois de Boulogne plays host to the Jardin d’Acclimatation, a place I drag every single one of my visitors to.
  • A bit off the beaten track, but worth visiting, is the huge metal merry-go-round in the 104, an arts centre in the north-east of Paris (Paris is, by the way, relatively small, so do not compare the distances to London or New York). It is a massive welded structure and looks amazing. It is also really fun for kids to have a ride on.
  • Buses are frequent and easy to get on with pushchairs (there is a dedicated push chair area in the centre of the bus). It is possibly the easiest way to get around, if you are travelling with small kids.
  • Do try the crazy syrups that French kids drink in cafés. One favourite is Grenadine (pomegranate) which makes the drink blood red and the other is Menthe (mint) which makes it taste like sweet toothpaste — kids love it over here.

Voila, just a couple of ideas. Hope you enjoy your visit if you are planning to come…

4 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. MaryMaple | June 9, 2011 | Reply

My 11 year old daughter and I arrive on the 17th all the way from South Africa (via Holland). We can’t wait!! Thanks for the tips.

2. Jessica | June 9, 2011 | Reply

Oh, thanks for this! We’re there the end of the month with 2 under 22 months ! We may be crazy, I know. It will be my 3rd trip, but first with children! Had just been looking through your Paris city guide the other night, gathering recommendations. Such a great source. I think we might be staying near your home turf – north Marais?? We’ve got an apt and with the babies, will be in during the evenings. Was wondering if you had any suggestions for take away or food delivery in the area. Any thoughts appreciated. I’m a long time fan of the blog and loving the new boutique shopping feature!! Jessica X

3. Deborah Northcutt | June 10, 2011 | Reply

Springtime in Paris is synonymous with love the world round. One sighs just thinking about it. Ahhhhh, yes… It’s time to put the top down, get a haircut, hold the stomach in, bleach your teeth. The hormones are working overtime and anything seems possible – seductions of epic dimensions, successful conquests right out of the Greek myths, peak experiences to rival the Alps. Mating behavior – with its stern accompaniment of catcalls and racy one-liners – is the central rite of the Parisian spring. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post.. It prompted my head to have a great vacation and enjoy life.. :)

4. Christine | June 14, 2011 | Reply

Going to Paris in 2 days and can’t wait to use your guide. This time round I am so looking forward to taking my 2 year old son to play with the boats in the Jardin du Luxembourg now that he is old enough! Thanks so much for all your insider tips.

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