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6 Unique Paris Activities Kids Will Love

Paris is a city built on a a grand scale, but kids like things on the smaller side, built on a scale they can relate to. Here are six small things 6YO Tiny Traveler liked in this big city. If you’re taking a Paris vacation with kids, be sure to check them out. (Visitng Paris? Read about its Top Parks and What To Pack).

6 Fun Things To Do On A Paris Family Vacation

1. Visit a Quirky Museum

The Museum De Carnavalet offers a bit of a hodge-podge of Paris history, with paintings, antique furniture and even a small guillotine. But her favorite room, on the ground floor, had miniatures of Paris’ neighborhoods at various points in history. She poured over all the details and asked tons of questions and began making up her own stories about what was going on inside these scaled-down villages. The same room also featured old store signs, which were amusing. For example, an antique copper mermaid advertising a fish store.

a miniature of Paris at the Musee de Carnavalet

2. Step Inside a Kaleidoscope Chapel

Walking into the Church of St. Chappelle on a sunny day is like stepping inside of a kaleidoscope. Even our cathedral-weary child looked up, stopped in her tracks and said, “whoh!” More than 1,1000 stained glass images surround you in the upper chapel of this intimate church. And unlike in the big cathedrals where the windows are hundreds of feet over your head, these are close enough to see in all their mind-boggling detail.

the windows of St. chappelle in Paris

3. Roam Marie Antoinette’s Play Village

After you’ve toured Versailles and it’s gardens, venture over to the petite Norman hamlet where Marie Antoinette would pretend to be a peasant amid idyllic cottages, a stream, a water mill and tunnels of trellised grape vines. Tiny Traveler would have been happy to play alongside her and who wouldn’t? It’s charming and a sensory relief after the overload of Versaille. Walk from the hamlet back to the formal Petite Trianon and you’ll find a series of “secret” stone paths criss-crossing through the woods. They’re the kind of discovery kids love and we could easily have spent an hour or two exploring all of them.

maire antoinette's hamlet at Versaille, outside of Paris

NOTE: Wear sturdy walking shoes. The grounds are rougher going than you would expect.

4. Eat the Perfect Little Snack

a lemon macaron from laduree in Paris4.Tiny Traveler made several new discoveries on the pastry front during her two weeks in Paris, but it’s the macarons she kept coming back to. Small enough to eat in a few bites and always displayed in a rainbow of colors and flavors, they quickly became her go-to afternoon treat. You can buy one of every color and decide on your favorite (she favored raspberry and lemon, I liked pistachio and coffee). At least once, splurge on the fancy ones at Laduree, an upscale patisserie with several locations. Their macarons and eclairs (which are almost too good to feed to children) are unforgettabl. No family vacation in Paris is complete without a few macarons.

Allergy Alert: Macarons frequently have hazel nuts and almonds.

5. Find a hidden playground

5. After you are awed by Notre Dame and your child has asked for the third time, “Can we leave now?” walk around to the gated Square Jean XXIII, directly behind the cathedral. There is a small but good quality playground crawling with kids from all over the world. Tiny Traveler romped with a girl from Italy while we ate sandwiches on a nearby bench. She had enough fun that she was even willing to hit more churches and museums afterward.

square jean XXIII near notre dame in Paris

6. Small-scale theater

Guignol is a little guy in a black coat and is the hero of the hand-puppet shows staged all over Paris. You’ll find him in the Jardin Acclimitation, the Jardin Luxembourg and several local parks as well. These shows are essential French kids’ fun.

kids helping the king during a guignol puppet show in Paris

It helps to know French but isn’t essential; all the stories are the same and end with Guignol bonking the bad guy with a bat. There is plenty of physical humor that translates well. The Parisian kids love it and audience participation is part of the fun.

Planning a trip?
Check reviews and rates for lodging and attractions on Trip Advisor.
Rent an apartment with HomeAway.
Fodor’s Around Paris With Kids gave us some good ideas.

Pin it for later!

Planning a family vacation to Paris? here are 5 fun things to do and 1 essential thing to eat that kids will love and parents will enjoy, too. #paris #france #kids #vacation #thingstodo

This blog was part of Weekend Travel Inspiration. Visit our partners:

• AlbomAdventures
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• ContentedTraveller 
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  1. May 25, 2015 at 3:15 am — Reply

    Eileen, I’ve never heard of the Museum of Carnavalet, but it sounds like something even us big kids would love to go to. Making up stories is one of my favorite things!

    Go Team Weekend Travel Inspiration!

    • FG Editor
      May 25, 2015 at 10:28 pm — Reply

      It was in/near the Marais. Not far from the square where Victor Hugo’s house is. We liked that area a lot. it had a lot of interesting little corners to explore.

  2. May 24, 2015 at 11:32 am — Reply

    That St Chappelle shot is a winner, I can picture your child say ‘whoh’! I know the kids enjoyed the hand puppet shows.

    • FG Editor
      May 25, 2015 at 10:26 pm — Reply

      I wish I could say that that photo was mine. Alas….

  3. May 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm — Reply

    I heartily agree with your suggestions. St. Chappelle was indeed breathtakingly amazing but on a scale that little ones can appreciate. Versaille’s “backyard” was incredible. I think we enjoyed it more than the palace. Macarons are yummy, but people with nut allergies should be aware that they’re typically made with ground almonds.

    • May 24, 2015 at 8:21 am — Reply

      I didn’t know that about macarons. That’s good information!

  4. May 23, 2015 at 3:04 am — Reply

    We didn’t do Paris right. We didn’t even enjoy it enough to stay a week, and moved up our flights to leave early. We missed theChurch of St. Chappelle. I would have to agree with your girl, it is a “wow”.

    • May 24, 2015 at 8:23 am — Reply

      Hopefully you’ll get a chance to go back and have a do-over. As the singer Jonathan Richmond says, “Give Paris once more chance.” 🙂

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