Last August, we went to Paris and Lourdes to celebrate my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary. We were a group of 18 which meant that every day was jampacked with activities, eating and of course, group photo-taking (evidence below)!
The kids were so excited to go to Paris for the first time and so we made sure we had at least one kid-friendly activity every day.
Sailing toy boats at Jardin du Luxembourg
The boats arrive at 11am every day in summer and Wednesdays and weekends for the rest of the year. Renting a boat costs EUR3.50 for 30 minutes and you can choose boats with different national flags so kids can find theirs in the pond once they’ve started sailing. Boats are pushed with long sticks and until they reach the edge of the pond, where kids wait to push them back out across the water. You can only imagine how occupied the kids are while doing this, allowing parents a moment of rest on the famous green Luxembourg Park chairs.
The Parc De Jeux playground at Jardin du Luxembourg
You need to pay to get in but it’s worth the EUR2.50 per child (and EUR1.50 per adult)! My kids could have spent a whole day here. There's a toddlers’ area with a huge sandpit (bring sand toys to avoid borrowing from other parents) while bigger kids get gigantic climbing frames and nets, tunnels slides and an impressing flying fox zipline ride.
The playground’s opening hours are season and weather dependent (the staff change the sign daily).
Right outside the fenced playground is a Children’s Theatre, Marionnettes du Luxembourg Theatre, which hold 40-minute long performances on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and school holidays.
The Jardin du Luxembourg gardens gates allow entry and are open between 7.30am and 8.15am, and closes between 4.30pm and 9.30pm according to the season. (Shorter hours November through March. Longer hours from April through October)
Paris bike tour by Fat Tire Bike Tours
The 3-hour bike tour took us around the city and featured virtually all the major sights in Paris. They had bikes for children so my kids were able to enjoy the tour without any problems, while our youngest who was 2 years old sat on a baby seat fitted on the rear rack of an adult bike which my husband used. They also have toddler trailers and kids’ tandems that you hitch behind an adult bike. Our tour guide was friendly, funny and helpful and we all learned a lot more about Paris from the tour. It’s a great way to see the city while having fun and being active together.
Seine river cruise
For a relatively relaxed activity, we went on a cruise of the Seine via Vedettes du Pont Neuf which offers affordable prices (from EUR10) for hour-long cruises. Since we had 3 restless children with us, it felt like the most manageable and inexpensive way to experience the river cruise without having to hold the kids hostage on a boat for hours on end. At the halfway point of each evening cruise, the boat stops right in front of the Eiffel Tower as it lights up. My favourite part is watching people dance Tango under the street lights along the river, surrounded by an audience sat on steps in mini-amphitheatres.
My kids also loved:
- Climbing the Arc de Triomphe
- Visiting the Louvre
- Eating as many croissants as they wanted every day
What are your favourite things to do with kids in Paris?