Family-Friendly Activities You Can Do For Free In Paris
Paris is a beautiful city and one that you should never miss out on – but what if you’re on a budget and you have kids? Here’s our guide for several attractions to visit in this fabulous capital city that won’t cost you a fortune.
Luckily, Paris is full of things you can do for free with the little ones, from exploring the cobbled streets and finding hidden gems, to setting up a picnic in the park, you can feel confident taking them to the city and knowing they’ll be kept entertained – just don’t mention the Disney word! So pack your bags, renew your family’s EHIC cards, and get ready to jet off on your next break – here are a few family-friendly activities you can do for free in Paris!
The Eiffel Tower
There’s no way you can visit Paris without at least passing the Eiffel Tower, so why not make an afternoon of it? Take a walk down along the Seine and set up a picnic in the grassy area behind the tower – unfortunately you can’t sit underneath it without passing through security and the lawn area is closed off for much of the year to let the grass grow back – but in the nice weather it can be a great way to keep the kids entertained for an hour or two. Better yet, arm them with disposable or kid-friendly cameras, and let them capture some amazing shots that you can make a feature of later on!
Visit A Museum
There are plenty of museums in Paris to enjoy and kids go free into pretty much all of them. While some will require you paying a fee if you’re over 26, the Paris Modern Art Museum (Or Musee D’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris) and the Musee Carnavalet: Museum of Paris History are both completely free. If you’re willing to pay the entry fee for the adults, you can take a trip to the Louvre or the Musee d’Orsay to keep them entertained! Plan your trip carefully, however, as both museums are huge and small children could get bored before too long. Work out what you want to see before you go so you know where you’re going to avoid getting lost!
Go To The Park
Paris is filled with some amazing parks, but the Parc Rives de Seine is probably the best for keeping kids entertained. In this park, you’ll find plenty of free things to do for the kids including mazes, snakes and ladders, a drawing wall, a climbing wall, hopscotch, a football pitch and so much more. The Parc de La Villette has a huge slide within the Dragon Garden for brave children, or you could see the hot air balloon at the Parc Andre-Citroen. Pack up a picnic and a football and enjoy your lunch – or tea! – in one of these amazing escapes.
Go During An Event
If you’re flexible with your visiting dates, you could always aim to travel during one of Paris’ free events! The Paris Music Festival, for example, is held every June and celebrates music in every form. Street performers and free concerts can keep kids enthralled for hours! If you’re still looking for a summer holiday, the Open-Air Paris Cinema at La Villette is free to enjoy, and you could see classics or recent hits, so take a look in advance to see what’s going on! Christmas, meanwhile, is magical in Paris and you’ll certainly be spoiled for choice on what to do here! With countless Christmas markets around the city for you to explore, to ice rinks (though most carry a small fee), there’s no shortage of incredible, magical festivities to enjoy!
Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris
If your kids are Disney fans, not being able to afford a trip to Disney or wanting a way to keep them occupied on the days when you’re not travelling the park can seem like a struggle. However, Notre Dame could give you and the kids an hour or so of entertainment in and outside of the cathedral. While you won’t be able to climb the tower without paying a free, the main part of the cathedral is completely free for visitors to look around, and once you get outside you can play a game of ‘spot the gargoyle!’ There are some reasonably priced cafes alongside Notre Dame too, so you can treat the kids to a crepe or waffles that won’t break the bank.
Visit The Bercy Village Shopping Centre
Heading to a shopping centre might seem like a ridiculous choice when you’re supposed to be not spending anything, but the Bercy Village centre holds a special event on one Wednesday every month. This event, called Le Mercredi Tout est Permis takes place in March, April, May, June, and then September and October and is open for kids with games and activities to keep them occupied for a while! Hopefully that’ll be enough to keep their eyes away from the array of stunning shops to explore.
Go On A Boat Trip!
While most river cruises will cost you a pretty penny in Paris, Le Millénaire shopping centre has started up a free boat trip service to transport shoppers from the Corentin-Carious metro station to the shopping centre! Of course, this does mean there’s shopping at the end of the line, but this short trip across the canal could add a little something special to a window shopping opportunity. There’s well-known brands like H&M and Toys’R’Us to name just two, as well as a host of lesser known but equally as fun to explore shops. There are restaurants too, so you could even stop for a bite to eat.
Paris may be known as a city of love, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t family-friendly. In fact, there’s plenty you can do with the kids, and hopefully our list has given you a good place to start. From organising your holiday to fall during an event, to taking advantage of free entry to some of Paris’ best sights, why not plan your trip around some of our suggestions for a budget-friendly trip to France’s capital city?
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