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Family Activities in Paris
Family Activities in Paris
Paris is largely known as the Western European beacon for all things chic, from fashion and art to wine and food. But even impossibly chic Parisians have children to entertain, and the city is virtually overflowing with options to keep your world-traveling children entertained. Whether your children are outdoor adventurers, amusement park fanatics, budding scholars, or art enthusiasts, the city has something to offer even the youngest visitors to the City of Light.
Paris is hotbed of culture and history, and there are venues that offer insight into this rich cultural heritage in a child friendly form. The Musee Grevin, or Wax Museum, near the Opera District is a great opportunity to introduce your children to some of the most iconic French historical figures. Here, they can come face to face with famous French footballers, notoriously corrupt kings, and modern day French pop stars. In the museum's 19th century theater, actors bring many of these figures to life, and the café downstairs boasts waiters who serve your table in character, giving children a fun glimpse into the culture of 19th century Paris.
History buffs will love the Musee Grevin, but budding scientists will be entertained for hours at the Cite des Enfants children’s exhibition at the sprawling Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie, the largest science museum in Europe. Exhibitions are broken down into two age categories and give children the opportunity to explore their world through a variety of interactive activities that explore concepts of space, time, body, and movement.
If your children love to make artwork for you, it’s worth checking the websites of some of the smaller galleries in the Marais for occasional children’s events. La Maison Rouge is particularly good at including the children, and they host monthly story circles at the gallery that introduce children to art trends and concepts.
If your children are all about the outdoors, the Jardin d’Acclimatation is the best one-stop location for a variety of activities that will entertain all ages. River boat rides, petting zoos, child-sized gardens and playhouses, and amusement park rides make this park a haven for touring families and Parisian families alike.
For a mellow adventure in the outdoors, a visit to the Parc de la Villette which neighbors the Cite des Enfants museum will keep kids entertained while parents rest their feet. Modern, deconstructionist playground equipment and large open spaces are great places for kids to run off some steam. If you’re visiting during the warmer months, keep a lookout for frequent events in the park like carnivals and film-festivals.
For an amusement park experience surrounded by flowers and open space, the amusement park at the Jardin d’Acclimatation is a popular option. Le Village des Maneges is a small but entertaining group of amusement park rides for children to choose from, and cheap activity tickets purchased upon your entrance to the park can be used to access the rides.
A visit to Disneyland Paris will make a lasting impression on your children, and is one of the most impressive amusement parks in Europe. It includes two sprawling parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park and provides a variety of on-site hotel options for die hard Disney fans. It is located about 30 km outside the center of Paris in the suburb of Chessy, making it a small side trip for a family. But with a little planning, it can easily be made into a day-trip if you’re still hoping to stay closer to the art and culture of the City of Light.