A long weekend with kids
Paris and its region are a terrific territory for adventure and discovery for all ages. Museums offer tailored activities for younger audiences, while the city's parks and gardens provide fun ways to learn about its geography and history. Here's a quick guide for a 3-day trip, with suggestions for accessible and fun outings and activities.
Day one in Paris
Start your day at the Jardin des Plantes. The Great Evolution Gallery at the National Museum of Natural History will teach your children about the incredible diversity of the living world with a fascinating collection of taxidermic animals… The famous animal procession in the central nave is filled with impressive wildlife, from the massive elephant and giraffe to the smallest birds of the African savannah! Allow around 1.5 hours for the visit. You can have lunch at Les Belles Plantes restaurant, whose lovely terrace is just a short step from the museum.
Next, head to the urban cultural park La Villette for a stimulating afternoon, just 25 minutes away by Metro (take Line 5 from Gare d'Austerlitz). Visit the science and technology museum the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie and its permanent hands-on exhibition spaces for children, the Cité des Enfants comprising two different areas dedicated to ages 2-7 and 5-12. Here, children are encouraged to touch and engage with everything!
Afterwards, the Parc de la Villette provides a perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon snack on the grass, beside the canal. The children will enjoy letting off steam in the park's play areas, from the enormous dragon slide to the massive climbing frames. You can finish up the day in the free play area the Jardin des Dunes et des Vents, with its bouncy air mattresses!
The animals and knights of Vincennes
For your second day, head to Vincennes in the morning – an easily accessible journey from central Paris by Metro or RER train. The Parc Zoologique de Paris zoo in the Bois de Vincennes, is home to around 125 species and offers a fascinating, four kilometre safari-like trail. Adults and children alike won't be able to resist the adorable b, otters, giraffes and lemurs. At lunch time, head for the Daumesnil lake to enjoy a picnic, in the shade of the trees, followed by an excursion in one of the pretty rowing boats.
Devote your afternoon to the Château de Vincennes, a fortified medieval castle, complete with a moat and a keep – the tallest in Europe.
Try a guided tour to get a real sense of the history of France.
The Icing on the cake: Disneyland® Paris
For your last day, head to Disneyland® Paris, in Marne-la-Vallée. You can take your pick of the transport from central Paris: from the special Disneyland Paris Express shuttle bus, to the regular RER train.
Once there, devote your morning to theme park where such treats as the Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Phantom Manor, and many other attractions for all ages await you. The Star Wars™ rides will appeal to old and young, little ones will adore the Dumbo The Flying Elephant merry-go-round, while teenagers won't want to get off the Indiana Jones™ rollercoaster.
After lunch at the Café des Cascadeurs American diner, head to the second Walt Disney Studios® park, using your 2 -park access ticket. Dedicated to Disney films, a sensational afternoon is guaranteed here! From the Ratatouille chase, to the Rock'n'Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith or the terrifying lift in the Tower of Terror: the theme park guarantees a last day that will delight all the family!
And if you are taking a return flight home that evening, catch the Magical Shuttle bus, which takes visitors directly from the park to the Paris airports.
- Copyright image: Maisant / Hemis / CRT Paris Ile-de-France