How to Holiday With Kids in Paris
Explore gardens, museums and other attractions with the whole family in the City of Light.
France’s City of Light has plenty to delight and amaze children. Here are our top tips for a family-friendly Parisian vacation:
1. Visit any time of the year. Paris is especially nice in late spring, summer and early autumn, when the weather is typically mild. But visiting Paris during the holiday season is also magical, with all of the beautiful light displays and a festive market along the Champs-Élysées. Avoid major events, such as the French Open and Fashion Week.
2. Stay at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris. It should be a vacation for the parents as well as the kids, n’est-ce pas?
What you’ll love
- A family recreation manager, at your service
- Stunning, romantic flower arrangements, the work of floral superstar Jeff Leatham
- Bulgari Green Tea bath amenities
- Exquisite Michelin-star cuisine at Le Cinq
- Pampering in the serene Spa
What your kids will love
- Treasure hunts. They get to play detective, hunting for answers within the Hotel’s magnificent art collection.
- The swimming pool and Jacuzzi—a rarity among Paris city-centre hotels
- Baking. Kids will love making madeleines with the Hotel’s pastry chef.
- A behind-the-scenes tour. They can discover the Hotel’s secret doors and elevators.
3. Visit the Luxembourg Gardens. One of Paris’ most beautiful public gardens with its manicured flower beds and romantic fountains, le Jardin du Luxembourg is also great to visit with kids. After sailing a toy boat in the pond, be sure to visit Le Poussin Vert. It costs a few Euros, and this playground is worth it: Rope bridges, spiral slides, tunnels and even a zip line for older kids will entertain for hours.
4. Let the kids loose at Jardin des Enfants aux Halles. A new and very imaginative play space for 7 to 11 year olds, Jardin des Enfants aux Halles boasts tunnels, slides, climbing walls, a maze and even a World of Sounds area where kids can try to identify various strange noises. Note that a session is limited to one hour and it’s advisable to call a few in advance to reserve a visiting time.
5. Take a beach vacation at Paris Plages. If you’re in Paris between late July and mid-August, chances are Paris Plages is open along the Seine, with sandy areas for kids to build sand castles, complimentary beach toys, play areas, cafés, and ice cream vendors.
6. See Paris at night on a City Tour. Older kids and teens will love exploring the city in the evening. Most Fridays at 8:30 pm, Chris leads an engaging walking tour that takes in the magic of the City of Lights from the Seine. You’ll see Pont Neuf, the Louvre, Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, Pont des Arts and more beautifully illuminated attractions. Reservations are required.
7. Enjoy a family meal at Le Cinq. A decadent lunch at the Hotel’s Le Cinq is an experience not to be missed. Kids can keep busy with the whimsical Les Triples de George V colouring book while waiting for their food to arrive.
8. Treat the kids to ice cream at Berthillon. The legendary Berthillon shop on Ile Saint Louis usually has a long line, but it moves quickly and for good reason—the artisanal ice creams and sorbets are regarded as the best in Paris. Try the salted butter caramel, dark chocolate or pistachio ice cream, and the peche de vigne (heirloom peach) sorbet.
9. Take a weekend trip to Provins. Let the Hotel’s concierge team book an experience where you’ll learn about the ancient medieval town of Provins. Visit during the annual harvest festival in the summer and explore the underground tunnels (les souterrains), ride the vintage carousel, try French folk dances and watch the amazing parade of floats pulled by tractors. Don’t miss falconry and the equestrian performance, “The Legend of the Knights” with costumed knights jousting on horseback.