Want to keep the children entertained in Paris? Well there’s plenty of activities to choose from. As well as the more mainstream attractions, we’ve thrown in a few weird and wonderful places that we hope will be a fun experience for the whole family.

Take a look at our top picks for things to do in Paris with kids…

Cite des Sciences

Get interactive. This large museum has several exhibits dedicated to making science comprehensible for everyone. The Cite des Enfants has two distinct exhibitions for 2-7 years and 5-12 years, offering many activities, games and experiments in a hands-on learning environment. The museum can get very busy, so book in advance or arrive early to avoid the queues.

Musée du Chocolat

Although a trip to the chocolate factory didn’t end well for the majority of the kids visiting Willy Wonka, we have it on good authority that the only thing your little ones are in danger of at Choco-Story, a chocolate museum in Paris, is ruining their appetite for dinner.

Fun for the whole family, learn all about the history of chocolate and sample some tasty treats along the way. For those who don’t mind getting a bit sticky, the museum also offers 45-minute classes where you can learn how to make your own edible creations.

Blue Tour Route, Stop: Gare du Nord

Jardin d’Acclimatation

Situated in the beautiful park of Bois de Boulogne, this is ideal for small children. You could easily spend the whole day here as there’s plenty on offer, including a small zoo, a waterpark, pony rides, numerous play areas, a little train, plus zip lining and rope climbing opportunities.

Feeling peckish? If you’ve brought your own food, there’s a picnic area and places to sit throughout the garden. If you haven't, there are various places to eat that will suit your budget. The spectacular building of the Louis Vuitton foundation, an arts museum and cultural centre, is a great place for the adults (if you get the time) and one of the best Paris tourist attractions.

Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle

Explore a museum full of impressive animal skeletons from prehistoric times to the present. In the palaeontology building you will be surrounded by dinosaurs. The Gallery of Evolution has a former royal collection of stuffed animals from around the world, which is fascinating for children. There are four levels of animal displays including huge whales suspended from the ceiling, plus creatures from all over the world. Check out the Children's Gallery for a special treasure hunt exhibition for 6 -12 year olds – parents can come too of course.

Red Tour Route, Stop: Notre Dame
Museum Pass Tickets

Les Catacombes

Explore Paris’s eerie underground cemetery. Walk through the city’s old quarry, lined with skulls and bones of millions of citizens who were very artfully laid to rest here. Descend 20m (65 feet) down 130 narrow, spiral steps and walk 1.25 miles (2km) through dark passages to reach the ossuary. This is a great adventure for older children, but not for anyone who is claustrophobic or easily frightened. The air is only 14° Celsius (57˚Farenheit) and the surface is uneven and can be slippery, so wear suitable footwear and clothing. The queue gets pretty long, so arrive early or try your luck after lunch.

Musée de la Magie

If like us you’re still not over never receiving your acceptance letter to Hogwarts, the Museum of Magic offers a nice alternative for adults and children alike. Encounter artefacts from the world of illusion that will entertain, or at least bewilder the little ones. Tucked away in the Marais in a vaulted cellar, the museum features a collection of over 100 automates and old moving mechanical figurines. Although the magic show is in French, the performance is very visual, so you can still understand what’s going on.

Red Tour Route, Stop: Notre Dame

La Chine Massena

This is a great restaurant to go to with kids of all ages without having to worry about disturbing other customers. Around the edge of the main dining room, there are big fish tanks full of carp and lobsters that will intrigue young children. There is also live music on the weekends. They are open on Sundays too, great news when many other restaurants are closed.

Palais de la Découverte

The Palais de la Découverte - a science museum located in the Grand Palais - is where you can explore chemistry, astronomy, physics and other natural phenomena. There are plenty of demonstrations and experiments, plus a planetarium (at an extra fee) where you can gaze at the stars and listen to a lecture. Nearly everything is in French, but non-French speakers can still enjoy all of the highly visual and interactive displays. There is a lot to see and it can get very busy, so arrive early to make the most of the day.

Red Tour Route, Stop: Grand Palais

Shakespeare and Company Bookstore

A bookstore may not be the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about things to do with kids in Paris. But, it’s a wonderful and enchanting shop. There are children’s readings mixed among the regular stream of literary events, which are free to attend. It’s a real book lover’s paradise - crammed full of works by many famous authors. This quirky shop can get crowded, so if you want to peruse the books, be sure to arrive early.

Red Tour Route, Stop: Notre Dame

Marie-Antoinette's Estate

Visit Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet inside the Château de Versailles, featuring thatched cottages, a vibrant fishpond, flower and veg gardens and a farm. This little haven was the Queen’s escape from the pomp of Versailles – somewhere she could create a space that was entirely hers. Peer back in time and experience a snapshot of history, then afterwards let the kids eat cake!

Musee de l'Armee

The Army Museum is great for all kids, especially those with big imaginations and a sense of adventure. Explore rows upon rows of medieval swords, maces, crossbows, shields, knights' armour, and even the tomb of Napoleon I is here. There are several giant cannons lining the small moat as you approach Les Invalides - a spectacle in itself.

Red Tour Route: Stop: Musée d'Orsay
Museum Pass Tickets

Café des Chats

Something a bit different that will delight children and adults. Visit the Cat Café, where you can enjoy a coffee, tea, dessert or a salad while having a cuddle with cute cats. They have been rescued and given a home here, where they roam freely. They operate a strict policy to ensure the welfare of the cats, so you will have to refrain from stroking a sleeping cat or feeding them. However, with a dozen cats there should be one around to have a play with. Reservations are no longer required but are recommended.

Deyrolle Menagerie

A taxidermy shop may sound like a pretty random place to visit with kids, but if you’re wanting to do something a little different and to fascinate the kids at the same time, then this could be it. Go upstairs to discover a huge variety of butterflies, birds, mammals, reptiles and beetles - some the size of your hand. There is also a stuffed baby elephant, bear and mummified human skulls. A place to open up curious little minds.

Red Tour Route, Stop: Louvre-Pont des Arts

104 Le CentQuatre

This vast communal space and community centre (104 Arts Center and Performance Space) is a welcome addition to the Parisian arts and culture scene. It’s home to a collection of performance areas, shops and studios where you can see artists at work. The large building also hosts contemporary exhibits, has a restaurant and café, a bookstore, a natural clothing boutique, a second-hand shop and a play area for children. The outdoor space is a great place to relax and have coal-baked pizza for lunch - plus it’s free to enter. Win.

There you have it, an itinerary so full of fun and informative activities, it’s bound to keep even the most active of kids entertained abroad. And once you’ve put the kids to bed why not choose from our list of the most Romantic Things to do in Paris. It is the city of love after all…