If you’re planning a trip to Paris with kids, I recently returned from a week-long adventure with my children (mid-February), ages 1.5, 4.5, and 7.5 . As a seasoned traveler who has been to Paris three times before, I was still a bit overwhelmed when I started planning this family trip. In the end, I love the itinerary I put together. I’m excited to share exactly what we did in Paris with you in the hopes that this guide will be helpful as you plan your own family adventure in the legendary City of Lights.
About My Kids
- We live in NYC and my kids are fairly used to spending long weekend days on the go and visiting museums.
- Our children are typical, high energy kids and they were their usual selves while we were traveling. Despite some of the challenges (and there certainly were some!), it was fun exploring a new city together as a family.
A Few Planning Tips
- We purchased Paris Museum Passes for the two adults, and children were usually free. We were able to make reserved time slots for several of the museums through the Paris Pass Website and other times we just needed to show the pass and were able to walk right in.
- We had a Babyzen Yoyo stroller that proved super handy throughout Paris, although it struggled on Montmartre’s hills. I alternated between using the stroller and a baby carrier for my one-year-old. Whenever my middle child rode in the stroller, I would carry the baby in the carrier, giving me both options. We briefly considered bringing or renting scooters, as we knew they were popular on the streets of Paris. Ultimately, though, we decided against it, as they would have been a hassle to carry around.
- Keep in mind while planning that a many of the museums are closed on Monday or Tuesday.
- I organized our itinerary to minimize major travel – we would go to a neighborhood for the day and then make our way back to where our Hotel was towards dinner time.
- By far the most challenging part of our trip was meals in restaurants because we don’t go out to eat very often — certainly not twice a day. Generally speaking, we took the kids for dinner at a brasserie and had an adult beverage, and then we ordered a more formal dinner for ourselves after they went to bed (using UberEats and Deliveroo).
Where we Stayed in Le Marais, Paris
We stayed in the heart of the Marais at Hotel le Presbytere in their top floor suite. It is a four-floor walk up, so lots of stairs! Thankfully, the hotel staff was incredibly accommodating, helping us carry our bags up and allowing us to leave our stroller in the lobby to avoid the hassle of carrying it up each time.
I highly recommend this elegant and charming hotel for its excellent customer service and unbeatable location in the center of the 4th district. This neighborhood, also known as Le Marais is steeped in history and brimming with life, making it a fantastic place to stay in Paris. Plus, the hotel is reasonably priced.
Our Museum-Packed One-Week Itinerary in Paris
We landed at noon (overnight flight from NYC), and arrived at our hotel by 2 pm. We were picked up from the airport by the Hotel Shuttle service.
Side but Important Note on the Car Seat Situation:
We brought a Cosco Scenera next car seat for our 1.5 year old and used car seat vests for the older two.
An Outdoor Afternoon to Fight Off Jet Lag
We immediately spent the afternoon outside – walking to Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) to check it out. We grabbed croissants and coffee, watched the toy boats on the pond, and just went out in the fresh air.
This was the best advice I received to help my kids regulate the time difference.
Spend that half day outside in natural light and keep expectations low!
We stopped for nutella crepes in the early evening and got everyone to bed as close to our normal timing as possible!
Full Day 1 (Sunday)
Morning at le Jardin des Plantes and its Nearby Museums
We began the day by strolling over to the Jardin des Plantes. Afterward, we headed over to the nearby Evolution Museum (about 1.25 hours), followed by the Gem Museum (about 30 minutes), the Paleontology museum (about an hour), and even took a ride on the carousel.
Fortunately, we had pre-purchased timed tickets to each of these museums separately. I’m grateful we did this, because the lines were fairly long, and we were able to skip the crowds.
These museums were perfect for kids and the garden, Le Jardin des Plantes, was lovely for them to run around. There were a lot of local families since it was a weekend.
My Tips for Visiting La Tour Eiffel and doing the Seine River Cruise with Kids
We then took an Uber to the Eiffel Tower. I had booked a 2:45 pm ticket through City Wonder for Summit access and a river cruise. This was critical because It helped get through the lines and took a lot of guesswork out of it.
Note that despite our best efforts, there were still crowds. We didn’t actually enter the tower until around 3:30 PM, and once inside, we still had to contend with long lines for the elevators.
It wasn’t until 5:30 PM that we were back on the ground. Fortunately, this timing ended up working out perfectly for us as we had a river cruise booked for 6 PM, just as the sun was beginning to set. The one-hour cruise provided stunning views of the city at sunset and was a great way to cap off our day.
Day 2 (Monday)
Visiting Le Louvre with Kids
We booked a 10:15 am Kids Tour of the Louvre through Paris Muse. This took about 3 hours and was very engaging for my older two. We hit many of the of the highlights and the tour guide had some tricks up her sleeve. It helped make the Louvre feel a little more manageable and was VERY helpful with the lines.
Picnic and Play at le Jardin des Tuileries
We got sandwiches and ate in the Jardin de Tuileries and the trampoline park Is a MUST DO. My kids asked to go back every day (we didn’t). Plus, there is a small carousel there too.
Taking the Kids to Musée de l’Orangerie
Then we went to the Musee de l’Orangerie – pre-reserved timed tickets were very helpful In skipping the line here (Paris Museum pass). We spent a little over an hour and the kids had a blast making their own sketches in front of Monet’s huge water lilies.
Day 3 (Tuesday)
The Kids Tour at Le Musée d’Orsay
We booked a 10 am Kids Tour of the Musee D’Orsay with Paris Muse – another great way to engage the kids, and totally different from the Louvre tour, also really helpful In getting past the line. We spent about 3 hours there too.
The Gardens at the Rodin Museum with Kids
We got lunch In the neighborhood and found a small playground before we went to the Rodin Museum (Paris Museum Pass), and we stayed in the gardens because It was a gorgeous day. The kids loved running around and we loved seeing the statues.
Then we walked over to Les Invalides and went up to the Musee des Plans Reliefs (Paris Museum Pass) which the kids liked but didn’t feel essential. They loved playing In the courtyard with the cannons.
Day 4 (Wednesday)
Le Musée des Arts Forains — a BLAST for the Kids
We had tickets for 11 am at Musee des Arts Forains – Bercy Pavilion – Museum of Fairgrounds Arts (tours must be pre-booked and run twice a week). The tour was all in French. I picked up a little, and it did not seem to matter to my kids.
It’s a SUPER fun museum with three or four different carousels and so much to look at. A little kitschy, but different and fun – a highlight for the kids!
Lunch with the Kids at Jardin des Pates, by Jardin des Plantes
We went back to Jardin des Plantes for lunch at Jardin des Pates (all homemade pasta, reservation required or you’re unlikely to get in!), and then to La Menagerie, a zoo in the Jardin des Plantes, and we spent about 2 hours there.
Day 5 (Thursday)
The Kids Were Wowed by Sainte-Chappelle
We started the day with 9:30 am pre-reserved tickets through the Paris Museum pass. This was key. Tourists who had not pre booked were turning away folks who didn’t have a reservation. There was still a fairly long wait to get in. But the moment we walked into the chapel, both kids said, “WOW!” and we spent about a half hour there.
La Conciergerie with the Kids
Our pre booked tickets were combined tickets with La Conciergerie, where we went next. It’s a small museum, where they supply you with iPads, which show you what it was like when it was in use. They have a treasure map game, which was a highlight for my 7.5 year old.
Le Musée du Moyen Age with Kids
We had lunch nearby and then checked out the Red Balloon bookstore – a French/English children’s bookstore a few minutes away, and then headed to the Cluny Museum/Musée du Moyen Age (Paris Museum pass, do not need to reserve In advance). The kids actually really enjoyed It! They were engaged for about 90 minutes.
Day 6 (Friday, our last day)
Family Walking Tour at Montmartre
We booked a 9:30 am Family Walking Tour of Montmartre booked through Context travel. We stayed over three hours. It was a fantastic way to see the neighborhood and the splendid Sacré Coeur.
Our knowledgeable guide, Gil Soltz, knew just how to keep the kids engaged. She made a pit stop at a playground, another one at a café, and even had an art project ready for the kids.
Le Musée du Chocolat
We had lunch at the bottom of Montmartre and then went to the Chocolate Museum. It was a bit pricey but it was a fun stop for the kids.
Hands-On Exhibit at le Centre Pompidou
Then we went to the Centre Pompidou (Paris Museum pass – no pre-reserved tickets). They have an exhibit right now that was probably the highlight of the trip for my kids. It’s a hands-on, jump around kids exhibit. I believe the exhibit is open through December 2023. I only wish we had gone there earlier in the week. We caught the sunset from the 5th floor. We then spent about an hour in their art collection. The kids loved the tubes!
We left early on Day 7!
Last tip — we bought this Paris map puzzle as a souvenir which ended up being so great. The next day, our first day home, we put the puzzle together and talked about all the places we visited. It was a fabulous trip!
Are you heading to Paris?
Bébé Voyage’s Itinerary for Paris includes 5 city walks for traveling with a baby. With these itineraries you can:
- Gain insider knowledge about different places and activities.
- Easily find locations, as they are all mapped out with turn by turn directions.
- Know exactly what you need to bring with you on each itinerary.
Our 2022 Paris travel guide has beaucoup de community sourced recommendations for:
- trustworthy babysitters for a date night out,
- charming hotels with rooms that are bigger than a shoe box,
- vacation rentals in case you want your own cuisine and salon,
- pediatric clinics and local baby meds, just in case.
All these items are pinned on an interactive map that you can download for off-line use. Updated post-pandemic with latest information.