While traveling as a family, it is not always easy to find activities that will please the little ones as well as the adults. It is true that Paris is packed with various museums, historical museums and possible walks that could well fill one's entire life (and a busy one, that is). But at the intensive pace of a week of tourism, you will often find that the little feet of children get tired along the many staircases of Montmartre, and that their attention starts to fail at some point in one of the Louvre rooms. Remember... So, in order to enjoy your family trip to the French capital, here are a few ideas for fun yet instructive activities among which you will certainly find something your kids (and perhaps even you) will enjoy !
Museums that speak to kids
The Natural History Museum
Located in the charming Jardin des Plantes, the Natural History Museum of Paris is spread over several buildings. It will allow you to get a wide view on hundreds on animals, minerals, dinosaurs, not to forget mankind ! Between the great gallery of evolution, the mineralogy gallery and the children gallery, you will not have time to get bored. The Museum is currently hosting an exhibition on big apes, that will teach your kids plenty about their ancestors and cousins. And to complete your visit, do not forget to go take a look at the impressive vivarium next to the main museum (noly if you are not afraid of reptiles!), as well as the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes.
Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Jardin des Plantes
Access : Gare d'Austerlitz metro station (lines 5 et 10)
Timetable : open everyday except Tuesday from 10 a.m to 6 p.m
The Grevin Museum
How would you like to have your picture taken next to Michael Jackson, Madonna or Barack Obama … or perhaps only to see them up close ? If the answer is « yes, very much », then it is time for you to book your ticket to Musée Grévin. The famous museum and its wax mannequins continue to please thousands of visitors, big and small, year after year. So much so that it has even developped visits and animations especially for children ! After having been thrilled to encounter famous characters from all around the world, they could for instance learn more about the very interesting process of making these famous (and so convincing!) life sized dolls.
Musée Grévin, 10 bd Montmartre (Paris 9°)
Access : Grands Boulevards metro station (line 9)
Timetable varies according to seasons, check their website : http://www.grevin-paris.com/fr/paris/horaires
A trip to the aquarium ?
Out of ideas to please the kids on a rainy afternoon ? How about a nice walk in a beautiful aquarium to discover the most colorful and strangest creatures of the sea ? The city of Paris has two different aquariums that will ravish the little ones !
The first and most famous is the one in the Trocadéro gardens : the « Cineaqua ». It is open everyday from 10 a.m to 7 p.m and offers – on top of the regular visits – a good amount of shows, workshops and fun activities for children. You can check their programme on their website : www.cineaqua.com
Adult : 20€
Child between 13 and 17 : 16€
Child between 3 and 12 : 13€
Child below 3 : Free
Metro : Trocadéro station (lines 6 and 9)
RER : Champ de Mars station (line C)
The second is the Tropical Aquarium of Porte Dorée. Cheaper and less crowded, this one promises a quieter visit. Located in the Palais de la Porte Dorée that also hosts the Immigration History Museum, it offers paired tickets at very agreeable prices. The Palais is open from tuesday to friday from 10 a.m to 5.30 p.m and on saturdays and sundays from 10 a.m to 7 p.m.
Adult (26 and over) : 5,00 €
Child below 4 : Free
Youngsters between 4 and 25 ans : 3,50 €
1 adult + 1 child (-18) : 7,00 €
2 adults + 2 children (-18) : 11,00 €
Aquarium + Museum
With no temporary exhibition : 8,00 €
With one temporary exhibition : 9,00 €
With two temporary exhibitions : 10,00 €
With no temporary exhibition : 17,00 €
With one temporary exhibition : 20,00 €
With two temporary exhibitions : 22,00 €
Metro : Porte Dorée station (line 8)
Tramway : Porte Dorée station (line T3A)