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Free Things to Do in Paris with Kids (That They Will Actually Enjoy)

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There are plenty of free things to do with kids all over Paris, but figuring out which ones they will actually enjoy can be a gamble. Many attractions claim to be child-friendly while in reality, they will leave your kids bored out of their minds. 

I remember the first time I visited Paris. I was 12 years old and travelling with my parents. My favourite things to do were touring the sights, wandering the streets and indulging in local delicacies.  One of my most distinct memories is of my Dad standing in front of stained glass windows or intricate stone carvings, spending what felt like hours reading guidebooks and learning all there was to know about everything. While this type of travel appealed to him, I often found myself antsy to leave and explore elsewhere. Luckily, my Mum would also reach a point where she was ready to go. We would leave to do some shopping or go to a cafe and would arrange to meet up as a family later. I always appreciated this, which is why now, as a Mum, I aim to incorporate some child-friendly activities into my own family travels. 

Let’s face it, when our kids are miserable, we‘re miserable too. Don’t go to Paris with your kids before studying up on these fantastic free things to do that they will actually enjoy!


Free Museums in Paris for Kids

If you are planning to take your kids to visit a museum in Paris, there are several free options. Firstly, the museums run by the city of Paris, such as the Musée de la Vie Romantique and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, offer free admission every day. Second, the most well-known museums in Paris offer free admission (not just for kids) on the first Sunday of every month and lastly, museums such as the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay and the Conciergerie, are always free for people under age 26 who live in the European Economic Area. For non-residents, these museums often have discounted rates or free admission for children and youth. 


Musée d’Orsay

Musee d'Orsay
Musee d’Orsay by Bert Kaufmann on Flickr

1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur, Paris, 75007

On the first Sunday of each month, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris offers several free things to do for kids, including interactive workshops and live concerts or shows. They also provide kid-friendly maps which are helpful when navigating their renowned collection of Impressionist art.

Free admission is offered on the first Sunday of each month. 


Musée Gourmand du Chocolat – Choco-Story Paris

28 boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle, Paris, 75010

Learn all there is to know about chocolate on a tour of Choco-Story Paris. Kids will love their chocolate-making demonstrations and never-ending samples. 

Kids under 6 are free when they are accompanied by an adult.


Grande Galerie de l’Evolution – Museum national d’Histoire Naturelle 

La Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, a museum in Paris which is free each Sunday
La Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, a museum in Paris which is free each Sunday, by Lynn D. Rosentrater on Flickr

36 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Paris, 75005

Kids will love marvelling at the life-like animals which appear to be stampeding through the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution. Part of the Museum national d’Histoire Naturelle, this permanent exhibition is also equipped with interactive kiosks and terminals which help make learning fun. 

Free admission is offered on the first Sunday of each month. 


Musée des Arts et Métiers

60 rue Réaumur, Paris, 75003

If you are looking to visit a fantastic museum that the whole family will enjoy, head to the Musée des Arts et Métiers. Displaying more than 2400 one-of-a-kind inventions, it is sure to impress those of all ages.   

Free admission is offered on the first Sunday of each month and on Thursday evenings from 6 pm to 9:30 pm.


Grévin Paris 

Grévin Paris, one of the museums with free entry for kids
Grevin Paris, one of the museums with free entry for kids, by Luis Irisarri on Flickr

10 boulevard Montmartre, Paris, 75009

Snap a selfie with your favourite celebrity at the Grévin Paris Wax Museum. If pop culture isn’t your thing, you can always shake hands with some famous historical French figures and appreciate the impressive scene depicting the French Revolution

Admission is free for children under age 5.


Palais de la Découverte 

The Palais de la Decouverte in Paris has many free things to do for kids
The Palais de la Decouverte in Paris has many free things to do for kids. Image by Samuel Mann on Flickr

Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt, Paris, 75008

A combination of temporary and permanent exhibitions makeup The Palais de la Découverte, an interactive science museum appealing to children of all ages. One of the most impressive parts of this museum is the planetarium. Here, 9,000 stars, five planets, the Sun and the Moon shines brightly. 

Admission is free for children under age 6.


Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

Cite des Enfants
Cite des Enfants by Olivier Duquesne on Flickr

30 avenue Corentin Cariou, Paris, 75019

Inside the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is the Cité des Enfants. Divided into two areas catering to ages 2-7 and ages 5-12, this permanent exhibit is a fantastic attraction for kids. The younger children will depart on a journey of self-discovery where they can test their physical, cognitive and spatial abilities. There are are many hands-on experiments and even the opportunity to work in a group to build a house. Older children learn all about the body, gardens, factories, methods of communication, and even tv-studios by taking part in exciting games, activities and experiments. 

Admission is free for children under age 2.


Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie -The Aquarium

Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie, a great free attraction in Paris for kids
Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie, a great free attraction in Paris for kids, by MacDara Conroy on Flickr

30 avenue Corentin Cariou, Paris, 75019

The permanent aquarium exhibit within the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is sure to please both adults and children alike. Split into three pools, visitors get a glimpse of colourful corals, small marine animals, and deep water predatory fish. 

Admission is free for everyone.


Le Centquatre

Le Centquatre, where admission is free for kids when accompanied by an adult
Le Centquatre, where admission is free for kids when accompanied by an adult, by Samyra Serin on Flickr

5 rue Curial, Paris, 75019

The recently established artistic and cultural venue, Le Centquatre, is an ideal place for young children. Ages 5 and under can explore and learn through play in the expertly designed “Maison des Petits”, and older kids will enjoy taking part in an array of organized sports and dance activities. 

Admission is free for children under age 6 when accompanied by at least one adult.


Musée du Jeu de Paume

Musee Jeu de Paume
Musee Jeu de Paume by Jean Pierre Dalbera on Flickr

1 place de la Concorde, Paris, 75008

On the last Saturday of each month, the Jeu de Paume Paris welcomes children ages 7 – 11 to a program called “Les Enfants d’Abord!” where they can tour their collection of photos, videos and art house film collections. Participants are also invited to experiment, compose and edit their own images in order to create a digital portfolio. Limited to 12 children per session, booking is required by emailing [email protected] or by phoning 01 47 03 04 95

Admission is free for children and subscribers. 


Free Parks, Gardens and Outdoor Attractions for Kids in Paris

The best places to go for some family fun in Paris are undoubtedly the city’s parks and gardens. Many of them offer children’s play areas equipped with the traditional swings, slides and sandpits, but that’s not all. You’ll find other free attractions that are well worth a visit, such as the huge slide in the Dragon Garden at the Parc de La Villette, the hot air balloon in the Parc André-Citroën, the adventure playground in the Jardin Nelson-Mandela and the climbing wall in the Parc de Belleville.

Eiffel Tower Light Show

Eiffel Tower at night
The nightly Eiffel Tower light show is one of the best free things to do with kids in Paris

2 Allée Adrienne Lecouvreur, Paris, 75007

Watching the Eiffel Tower twinkle from the Champ de Mars is one of the most memorable free things you can do in Paris with kids. Every hour on the hour from sunset to 1 am, twenty thousand twinkling lights dance on the Eiffel Tower in an unforgettable show.

There is no charge for the Eiffel Tower light show.

Parc André Citroën

Balloon Generali at Parc André Citroën
Balloon Generali at Parc André Citroën by CpaKmoi on Flickr

2 rue Cauchy, Paris, 75015

The Parc André Citroën is a great place to visit with kids. The park is best known for one of Paris’s most unique attractions, Ballon Generali, a tethered air balloon that offers rides 150m above the French capital. There are also lots of free activities for kids including a ball-games area, ping-pong tables, and ride-on toys.  Other attractions include computerized fountains, waterfalls, greenhouses and rare, exotic plants.

Admission to the park is free.


Parc Rives de Seine 

On the left bank from Pont d’Alma to the Pont Royal and on the right bank from Pont Neuf to the Pont du Sully

Kids will love spending the day at Parc Rives de Seine, a park spanning a total of 7km along both sides of the Seine. Here, there are many free children’s activities that dot the riverbank including a maze, a climbing wall, hopscotch, football pitch, and other dedicated play areas.

Admission to the park is free.


Parc Floral de Paris 

Parc Floral de Paris, which is a great free destination to visit with kids
Parc Floral de Paris, which is a great free destination to visit with kids by Aldric van Gaver on Flickr

Esplanade du château de Vincennes, Paris, 75012

Part of the Paris Botanical Gardens, the Parc Floral de Paris is a thirty-hectare site popular with plan and nature lovers. Both the outdoor gardens and indoor pavilions are home to important collections of regional plants, Jurassic plants, medicinal plants, and more. The park contains several designated play areas, and it even has an impressive 18-hole mini-golf course which is perfect for the kids.

Admission is free between October 1st and March 31st.


Parc de la Villette

Parc de la Villette
Parc de la Villette by Fred Romero on Flickr

211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris, France

Parc de la Villette is the third-largest park in Paris and a great place to visit with kids! Not only do the pavilions double as massive climbing structures, but there is an impressive giant metal dragon who’s tongue forms a long slide! New at Parc de la Villette is Little Villette, a family activity zone with a wide variety of toys, games, books. There is even a 60,000 piece collection of Lego where kids can build the creations of their dreams. During the evenings in summertime, the park hosts a free open-air cinema which is ideal for the whole family.

Admission to the park is free.


Jardin Nelson Mandela

Jardin Nelson Mandela
Jardin Nelson Mandela by Joan on Flickr

32 rue Berger, Paris, 75001

Located at the heart of les Halles, the Jardin Nelson Mandela is a brand new park which your kids will be begging to visit time and time again. There are two gated playgrounds, one for children ages 6 and under, and another for children ages 7 to 11. Highlights include a trampoline, a spring bridge, a football field, basketball courts, ping-pong tables, climbing structures, and splash pads. Please note that the playground for children ages 7-11 is only open to children and is supervised by play leaders. Parents are not permitted. 

Admission to the garden is free. 


Parc de Belleville

Parc de Belleville
Parc de Belleville by Stéphane DAUGUET on Flickr

47 rue des Couronnes, Paris, 75020

Built back in 1988, the Parc de Belleville offers panoramic views of the French capital. A great place to visit with kids, the park features a unique wooden playground with tower staircases, sloped climbing walls, portholes, and the longest slide in Paris.

Admission to the park is free.


Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg
Jardin du Luxembourg by Ernest McGray Jr. on Flickr

Rue de Médicis – Rue de Vaugirard, Paris, 75006

Originally opened in 1612, the Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the most popular parks in the center of Paris. Within the park, there are many great attractions for kids including remote control boats, puppet shows, a merry-go-round, pony rides, and a large playground. 

Admission to the garden is free; however, a small fee is required to access the playground.


Jardin des Plantes

The carousel at the Jardin des Plantes, one of the free parks in Paris
The carousel at the Jardin des Plantes, one of the free parks in Paris by method.cosmo on Flickr

57 Rue Cuvier, Paris, 75005

The Jardin des Plantes is a 400-year-old botanical garden located at the heart of Paris. Perfect for the whole family, attractions within the park include walking paths, playgrounds, ice-cream vendors, tropical greenhouses and even a small zoo! The park is also home to the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (National Museum of Natural History) where you can tour the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution, the Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie comparée and the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie.

Admission to the garden is free, however, there is a small entrance fee to access the zoo and museums. 


Paris Plages

Paris Plages, one of the free attractions ideal for kids in the summertime
Paris Plages, one of the free attractions ideal for kids in the summertime by plb06 on Flickr

3 main locations: the Parc Rives de Seine, the La Villette canal basin and the Voie Georges Pompidou.

Every summer since 2002, the banks of the Seine are transformed into a bustling beachfront resort which is extremely popular with children. These temporary beaches offer a relaxing change from the typical Parisian attractions. Activities for kids include swimming, paddle boating, pétanque, volleyball and water sports at La Villette canal basin, as well as foosball, mini-golf and lending libraries containing books, comics, and board games at the Parc Rives de Seine.

Access is free for everyone


Arènes de Lutèce

Arènes de Lutèce by ctj71081 on Flickr

49 rue Monge, Paris, 75005

Tucked away in the 5th arrondissement, the Arènes de Lutèce is a great place for the kids to burn off some extra energy. Dating back to the 1st century AD, this former Roman amphitheatre is now an open space surrounded by stadium seating. There is also a playground adjacent to the northern side of the amphitheatre. 

Access is free for everyone.


Looking for free things to do in Paris that aren’t specifically for kids? Check out the following series of posts

Free Things to do in Paris Part 1: Parks, Gardens & Outdoors, Part 2: Churches & Cemeteries, Part 3: Culture & History, Part 4: Museums and Part 5: Markets & Shopping.


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