Most kids quickly tire of walking, so make it more interesting with a stroll along Les Berges de Seine, a scenic stretch of river starting from the Musée D’Orsay. Climbing frames, painted floor mazes, hopscotch, board games and seasonal, pop-up play apparatus are just a few of the things that will keep children entertained.
Alternatively, a family-friendly bike tour of the city is a good way to see some of the sights. FatTireTours provides informative morning tours in English, passing by the Eiffel Tower and through the Tuilieries Gardens. Riding options include tandems and bike seats (adult €34, kids €32, under 3s free).
Head off the beaten track to Parc de Belleville near Couronnes Metro station in the 20th arrondissement, set on a slope and home to a waterfall. The wooden play structure is a winner with kids and on a clear day there are great views of the city. We like family-friendly Le Lapin Blanc (84 rue de Menilmontant), 10 minutes away, for a light lunch .
My kids love the Pompidou Centre in the Marais district. It’s free for under-18s accompanied by an adult with a €14 museum and exhibitions ticket; the Galerie des Enfants has interactive playful exhibits for kids aged 3-10. The “Pompi” has special sessions for teenagers, too. Book its art workshops online – although parents can get involved, we leave the kids to it and two hours later they reappear clutching a work of art. Despite the language barrier at times, the creative process is understood by all – for just €10 each, they can unleash their inner Picasso. It’s worth noting that “workshop” tickets means “priority queue” at the entrance.
If you have little kids in tow, avoid the Louvre – unless you invest in a kid-friendly tour such as the ThatLou treasure hunt in English (€15).