10 FREE Things to Do in Paris with Kids

Sharon Tighe

February 14, 2015


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Fall in love with this iconic city capital while enjoying these superb 10 Free Things to do in Paris with Kids! Who could resist the charm of this beautiful city, packed with famous landmarks and activities to delight the kids!

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#1. Photos at the Eiffel Tower, Champ-de-Mars

How could we make a great list of free things to do and not include this stunning landmark? There is a fee to climb the Tour Eiffel but you don’t have to pay anything to stand back, admire the view and take beautiful family photos! There’s a small playground with a carousel at the south end of the Champ-de-Mars.

#2. Stroll La Promenade Plantée

Situated in east Paris, La Promenade Plantée is a super way to explore the city with kids. The tree-lined trail is 4.5km long and it takes you across viaducts, above the streets on an old railway line.

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#3. Visit the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

There’s a good reason why Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most popular attractions in Paris so don’t miss it! The building itself is truly impressive with magnificent stained glass windows and beautiful art work. The kids are sure to love spotting all the hideous gargoyles (see if you can spot the gargoyle with a hat, round the side of the Cathedral!) After your visit, take time to enjoy the squares and bridges around it which are always teaming with live music and street performers.   

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#4. Play-time at Parc André Citroën

This fun, futuristic park is a great open green space and the only Parisian park that opens on to the River Seine. Split into three themed sections, Parc André Citroën features computerised fountains, waterfalls, glasshouses and rare, exotic plants.  Kids will love the:

  • ball-games area.
  • ping-pong tables.
  • spring-based toys.
  • tethered air balloon offering a 150m high ride.

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#5. Explore Jardin du Luxembourg

free-things-to-do-in-paris-with-kids-jardin-du-luxembourg-jpgThese breath-taking gardens were created in 1612 and are split into French gardens and English gardens. In between the two you will find a forest and a large pond where you can steer remote control boats.

The kids can learn about bee-keeping in the apiary or view the stunning orchids in the greenhouses. There are lots of famous statues dotted throughout Jardin du Luxembourg including the monumental Medici fountain. A small fee is required for the great playground and there are regular puppet shows and live concerts in the bandstand.

#6. Sacré-Coeur

There are incredible views from outside the Sacré-Coeur so make sure you have your camera before you climb the steps to the top of Montmartre hill. Inside this gleaming white iconic building, the beautiful ceiling is covered with the largest mosaic in France. Another busy part of Paris, the streets around the Basilica have plenty of charming shops and restaurants.

#7. Free Open-Air Cinema at Parc de la Villette

Parc de la Villette is a great place to visit with kids! Designed by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, the park has a number of red pavilions, or folies, that double as fantastic giant climbing frames. Kids can also shoot down a Chinese dragon slide. For summer evenings, a free open-air cinema runs during July and August.

#8. ‘All You Need is Love’

Maybe it’s because I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day but the Love Wall in Montmartre makes a lovely free thing to do with the kids. Situated close to the Sacré-Coeur, this mural features I Love You written in hundreds of different languages. Have fun trying to express your affection in the various languages and take a sweet family snap.

#9. Free Visits at the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay

free-things-to-do-in-paris-with-kids-louvre-jpgSee some of the greatest art works in Paris for free by availing of special offers like Free First Sundays.  Musée d’Art Moderne, the fabulous kid-friendly- Pompidou Centre, and the Musée d’Orsay all offer free first Sunday visits.

It’s also worth knowing that museums, like the Louvre, the Conciergerie and the Sainte Chapelle, are free all of the time for people under 26. There is also a number of places, like the Musée de la Vie Romantique and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, which offer free entry every day, all year round so if you get a chance you should check them out!

#10. Jardin des Plantes

The main botanical garden in France, the Jardin des Plantes makes a great free family visit. The area is simply beautiful and features:

  • playgrounds.
  • ice-cream stalls.
  • tropical greenhouses.
  • a labyrinth.

The garden is also home to a Ménagerie (a small zoo, which specialises in conserving endangered species) and the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. Both of these venues require a small entrance fee. The museum is particularly good value as it features lots of brilliant interactive panels for kids. With so much to see you will easily spend 3 to 4 hours here alone, exploring the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution and the wide variety of animal life on display.

Can you recommend some more free things to do in Paris with kids? We’d love to hear your feedback, so please let us know below.

If you’re travelling with kids to other city destinations, check out Free Things to do in London or Fun Things to do in Berlin.


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