Quelle Surprise! 5 Unconventional Ideas on How to Successfully Do Paris with Kids

Paris is a city that has a reputation for attracting thousands of international flights teeming with couples looking for the perfect romantic getaway; BUT, it can also be an excellent destination for people traveling with kids – c’est vrai! In addition to doing the regular tourist activities – like the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, the Louvre, and Notre Dame – there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path activities to keep adventurous kids captivated and entertained. Here are five unconventional suggestions on how you can plan a successful trip to Paris with kids.

Paris Plages

"Parisian beach" on banks of the River Seine in Paris, France

If you’re in Paris in the summer months, be sure to take the kids to Paris Plages. These pop-up beaches (yes, the city of Paris hauls in sand each year to create them) along the Seine offer many kid-friendly activities. Rent a small boat and travel the Canal de l’Ourcq for an hour, zip-line across the Seine, take a dip in the chlorinated swimming area, play beach games, or grab a cold Orangina and simply enjoy the vacation ambiance.

Street Art in Belleville

The process of creating street art on the sidewalk. The artist paint an ornament using stencils, paint brushes and aerosol.

Belleville is a historically working-class area that’s home to a variety of immigrant populations. An eclectic neighborhood, it isn’t typically visited by tourists. Their loss, because it’s home to some of the most vibrant and innovative street art in all of Paris. Younger kids will be enthralled by the colorful murals, and older kids will love taking selfies in front of them. You can even book a guided street art tour for more insight into the neighborhood and its unique art.

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Jardins des Tuileries

Tuileries Garden - Paris, France

While most tourists simply pass through les Jardins des Tuileries (located between the Louvre and La Place de la Concorde), travelers with kids know this is a haven – a place where the kids can run free. Grab a decadent ice cream cone at Amorino and let the kids explore the historic 17th century gardens. Finish off your visit with a ride on the Roue de Paris (ferris wheel) located near La Place de la Concorde. If you happen to visit in August, there’s an annual fun fair with rides, cotton candy, and games located off to the side of the Tuileries.

Pastry and Chocolate Walking tour of Saint-Germain-des-Prés

French pastries on display a confectionery shop in France

Young foodies will absolutely love this decadent pastry and chocolate walking tour in one of the city’s oldest (and chicest) neighborhoods, Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Take in the stunning scenery (including the Église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés church that has been there since medieval times) while indulging in the finest sweets Paris has to offer.

Château de Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau palace (Chateau de Fontainebleau) near Paris, France

If you want to experience a château near Paris, but don’t want to deal with the lines and tourists at Versailles, consider a day trip to Fontainebleau. It’s an easy 45-minute train ride from Gare du Nord (tickets are approximately 10 euros and can be purchased at the station). One of the largest castles in France, Fontainebleau was the main home of French monarchs from Louis VII to Napoleon III. Depending on the age and interest level of your young travelers, you can tour the château relatively quickly while still basking in its opulence. The grounds are a perfect place for kids to burn off some energy before you head into the town of Fontainebleau (just steps from the castle) for lunch or dinner at one of several excellent eateries.

Have you traveled to Paris with kids? What are your suggestions for fun, off-the-beaten-path activities? Let us know in the comments section.

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Quelle Surprise! 5 Unconventional Ideas on How to Successfully Do Paris with Kids