5 Lesser Known Fun Family Attractions in Paris, France

Paris, France is a marquis destination among the romantics of the world.  As a cultural hub with rich history, modern day commerce and business capital setting, there are almost too many attractions for the average holiday goer to experience.

Arc de Triomphe (wiki)
I spent some time there pre-children and although I enjoyed the sights and the food, I remember thinking that it was not exactly the most friendly city I had been to.  And where busy people are unfriendly, it lead me to ask if Paris is child friendly at all.  It's a question I need to ask with 3 boys and plans to head to Paris next year.

From what I have read and what I remember, it is a city that may not enjoy unruly children screaming in 5-star restaurant, but it is a city of great learning and many opportunities for fun.  I don't think a child, or adult for that matter, could manage boredom in Paris.

Through all the typical tourist attraction like the Louvre, Notre Dame, The Catacombs, Natural History Museum, Versailles, and the Eiffel Tower, children will learn so much.  General knowledge, a sense of culture and wonder at the things they have previously just seen on TV are just the start of all they will gain while in the capital city of France.  But apart from all of that, there are also ways for kids to just have fun.

I know my kids need a dose of running to offset walking through museums after museum.  So here are the top 5 "fun" attractions I'm looking forward to in Paris with the kids:

Euro Disney (not exactly "lesser know" but the fun part made me include it anyway)

wiki image
Disney of any sort is not exactly my type of vacation stop but I have learned that in all the artwork and temples kids need a peppering of some serious fun.  Disney can and will deliver!

It is located within a suburb of Paris so travel should be easy, but Disneyland Paris tickets will set you back over 50 Euro per adult tickets (under 3 gets in free and under 12 will see a discount) not to mention food and drinks and all the extras.  This will be an expensive day trip but one the kids will surely remember forever.  And it may just buy you some extra museum time in the following week!

Le Cite des Enfants Children's museum

Listed as one of Paris' finest children museums on several sites, I believe of all the children's museums this is the one to head to.  There are many so if you have time to fit in more, then do it.  But if I have to pick one, this is it!  A great hands-on museum that will entertain children of any age. And when you are done inside just outside is the Parc de la Villete which can provide even more fun with its futuristic design of mazes and rides.   This is also a great choice on a rainy day as most exhibits are housed indoors.

Sewers of Paris tour (Les Egouts de Paris)
Down you go! (wiki image)
Possibly not the most pleasant excursion, but if I can motivate my 3 boys to do something, certainly a museum of poop will at the very least peak their curiosity.

The sewers below Paris have been functioning since the early 13th century and they are known as one of the world's most extensive networks covering over 1300 miles.  After seeing Les Miserables, this is a spot I have wanted to tour for decades. Guided tours are available and free, tickets are a bargain at just under 5 Euro per adult and even less for children. You can expect children to have a new found respect for all things sewage after a smelly afternoon here.  Nose plugs may be advised for certain segments of the tour!

Jardin d'Acclimatation

A local's amusement park, Acclimatation has it all.  A mini zoo, train ride to the entrance, water park, rides area, and extensive playground equipment.  A day at this park or even just a half of a day will help rejuvenate any youngster for a day of sightseeing to come.

A quick stop at their website will give you a glimpse of what they offer, restaurants, classes for children, community gardens, and summer concerts are just the start.  The attractions are priced by individual tickets and they aren't inexpensive by any means.  With 3 children I think the cost of this trip may end up equaling that of Disney, but with a more Parisian and oftentimes more cultural feel.


If you happen to be in Paris during the summer and the heat has reached its climax for you and the kids, then head to Aquaboulevard Water park.  As the largest water park in Europe, they boast a wave pool, indoor pools, slides, playgrounds, golf, tennis, and bowling!  All of this located right inside the city for ease of access.

Additionally, they offer outdoor pools, restaurants to suit every need, and even a movie theater.  This park will also cost you a bit, around 25 euro per adult, but a fun day out will make it all worth it.  No children under 3 allowed and those under 12 must have an adult with them!

These are some lesser known ideas.  But Paris is just bursting with amazing museums, parks, and attractions so bring your walking shoes and enjoy as much as you can!

Have you been to Paris with your kids?  What were your favorites?  What were theirs?

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