However, if you take a closer look or when you know where to find the inside info, you’ll come across all kinds of events, activities and places to go, for kids from Paris and elsewhere to have great fun together all year round: games, shows, tours, exhibitions, workshops, fairs and parties... make no mistake, the City of Light is very much a city for kids!
Cafézoïde is the only café in Paris, in the whole of France in fact, which is reserved exclusively for children from 0 to 16 years old (accompanied by a parent)! Every day, this unusual venue – cigarette- and alcohol-free – hosts games, shows, exhibitions, encounters, chats, outdoor games and parties... The tiniest tots have their own baby space, as Cafézoïde aims to be an activity centre for all children, as much as for local kids as for those from elsewhere. Visitors heading back from the Parc de la Villette on foot are delighted to come across this surprising spot with its warm welcome. The idea? To encourage exchanges and solidarity from a young age. Open 10 am to 7 pm, from Wednesday to Sunday, on public holidays, and all through the summer. 2.50 $0.00 annual subscription, 1.50$0.00 for a drink or a snack.
92 bis Quai de Loire, 75019 Paris. Metro Crimée or Laumière
La Péniche Antipode / Abricadabra Theatre
On this barge moored in the Bassin de la Villette from September to June, there’s always something happening to suit all ages and all weathers. For the little ones, there’s entertainment and theatre on Wednesdays, Sundays and throughout school holidays (except Monday and in January). The varied schedule is aimed at children aged 1 year and upwards.
The venue is designed to be friendly and welcoming with a specially-converted space and exhibitions for kids.
For the older ones: theatre and improvisations on Tuesdays, “floating” concerts, unusual evenings on Thursdays known as “Jeudis de la Ziq” and from October, « comic theatre acts » every first Wednesday of the month. For snack attacks, there is free trade produce available (open on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 5pm onwards and Saturday from 2pm), and when it’s sunny, it can be enjoyed on deck! All that and affordable too: from 5 to 15$0.00 depending on the show.
Péniche Antipode Opposite 69 quai de Seine, 75019 Paris. Metro: Riquet
La Guinguette Pirate
Parisian parents are familiar with the magnificent wooden junk known as the Guinguette Pirate. Moored on the Seine, it hosts daytime entertainment for children from 3 and upwards: theatre, storytelling, music and dance. Shows are adapted especially for their age and the team does everything to make the little ones feel quite at home.
In the evening, the Guinguette Pirate is transformed into a concert venue. For the Mums and Dads, of course!
Quai François Mauriac, 75013 Paris. Metro Quai de la Gare or Bibliothèque F.Mitterand
Les Trois Arts
Children are now warmly welcome at this very friendly neighbourhood cafe with its fine vaulted wine cellar, for a regular programme of storytelling. The sessions take place afternoons and evenings for children from 6yrs upwards, 10yrs upwards and 13yrs upwards, with a snack or light meal according to their age and the time of the story session. Contribution to costs: 8-10$0.00
21 rue des Rigoles, 75020 Paris. Metro: Jourdain or bus 26
Museums and Monuments
Here’s an appealing and wonderful place to explore for any little girl – or little boy – the Musée de la Poupée, a magical spot at the end of a flowery lane, right in the heart of Paris...
Dear visitors, step into the den of magic, the universe of the unreal! From card tricks to white rabbits, from magic trunks to vanishing tricks, everything you see here emanates as much from your own imagination as from reality...
Show me a butterfly fish! What does a clown fish eat? Have you ever seen a sea urchin? To have all the answers to your kids’ questions about marine life, why not take the whole family on a trip to the Centre de la Mer?
Are your kids fascinated by science and discoveries in the fields of astronomy, chemistry and biology? In order to provide answers to those endless questions on such vast subjects, why not take them along for a fun trip to the Palais de la Découverte?
If you’ve always wanted to see Madonna, Pablo Picasso, Spiderman, French pop star Lorie, Louis Armstrong, Albert Einstein or Louis XIV, go along to the Musée Grévin and say hello to their waxworks...
Ever seen a couagga zebra, a Jackson’s hartebeest or a Sumatran tiger? No? Then it’s time you visited the Grande Galerie de l ‘Evolution at the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle...
A chance to explore the world of French puppet theatre. Why not ask your kids to take you along to see this unique French cultural experience with its traditional characters such as Guignol, Gnafron, Madelon or Gendarme?
Did you know that impish Polichinelle with his two-colour costume and his strong temper regularly appears at the Parc Georges-Brassens, in the 15th arrondissement ?..
Shows and Theatre
Stunningly beautiful geographical locations, spectacular natural phenomena, thrills and chills: for over 20 years the extraordinary Géode cinema has offered both children and adults a wide selection of large-format films on a giant 1000 sq. m hemispheric screen...
The name Bartabas conjures up a tradition of superb shows in which equestrian skills combine with modern arts. Bartabas is also associated with the Théâtre Equestre Zingaro in Aubervilliers, which he founded and has expertly managed for many years...
Once upon a time there was a fairy-tale castle in the heart of the Chevreuse valley… and this one really does exist. The gardens and outbuildings of the Château de Breteuil host seven animated playlets featuring the wonderful characters of Charles Perrault’s tales...
Climb aboard the biggest hot-air balloon in the world and get a bird’s-eye view of Paris from an altitude of 150 metres. Installed in the grounds of the André Citroën Park, this tethered balloon can carry up to 30 adults or 60 children...
In 1992 the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie opened the Cité des Enfants, a place meant especially for children, as its name indicates. The site is divided into two different areas...
The Grand Rex, the biggest cinema in Europe, invites you to step behind the scenes and plunge into its starstruck past.