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Paris: Activities for Children
Paris may not be a childrens' paradise, but there's plenty to keep the kids amused as well as the adults in the "City of Light"! Here are a few suggestions to get you going, and some general info websites for further reading:
Disneyland Resort Paris official site
Unofficial Disneyland Paris Guide: Plan your visit to the Disneyland Resort Paris (EuroDisney) with this comprehensive, free guide.
Very Unofficial Disneyland Paris Online Guide (no advertising!): This is the site to check out if you're really serious about going to the Disneyland Resorts. It's a little amateurish in presentation but solid gold information from a visitor's perspective. It's been going 15 years and these guys have been visiting the park with kids since 1992!
Combined transport and admission to Disney Park(s):
RATP/Disneyland® Resort Paris combined tickets
- No more exchanges of pass-out tickets at the Pluto Booth.
- No queuing either at RATP sales points or at the Disney® Parks.
- If you enter Walt Disney Studios® Park first, you can also go to Disneyland® Park any time after 5 pm.
- Transport combined with admission. Very fast journey time, only 35 minutes from Paris to the Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy station.
You can also get more information and buy a ticket ahead of your trip here:
Disneyland® Resort Paris: click here to buy your tickets and packages!
Getting there: 35km north of Paris, near the airport. By Métro/RER, take the B3 line, from Châtelet or Gare du Nord stations. Get off at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle 1 station.
Open: 9.30AM - 7PM in the summer season (starts from April 8th 2006).
Prices: €32 per adult, €23 per child (3 - 11 years).
Based on the adventures of the famous Astérix the Gaul cartoon character. Seven adventure areas, 27 attractions and 6 shows. "Tonnerre de Zeus" is the biggest wooden roller coaster in Europe. "With a stunning crash, Zeus lifts you up to the peak of Mount Olympus, at a height of 30 metres, and propels you at a speed of 80 kph along a giddy 1.2 km course for 90 seconds of thunder!'
Parc Asterix website
Book a day tour from Paris online here
- Goes every Wednesday at 8:45am, lasts about ten hours.
- Includes entrance ticket.
- Roundtrip transportation by luxury, air-conditioned coach.
Tour starts at the Paris Vision Office, located at 214 rue de Rivoli. The closest metro station is TUILERIES. You can exit onto Rue de Rivoli (along the Tuileries Gardens). Simply cross the road (only one pedestrian crossing so you can't get lost) to get to the Paris Vision Office.
Or book just your tickets here (full travel details)
Foire du Trône (funfair)
PELOUSE DE REUILLY
Bois de Vincennes 75012 PARIS
Getting there: Metro: Line 8, Porte Dorée or Liberté, a shuttle bus will take you to the fair.
Open from April 1 to June 1, 2013
Noon - Midnight, Noon - 1 a.m on Saturdays
Ferris wheels, roller coasters, bumper cars and even arcade games at this traditional Parisian fair. Oh, and 5 million visitors... It really started in 1131, but its origins are claimed to go back to year 957 when King Lothaire decided to create a fair to authorize the saint Antoine abbey to sell a specific kind gingerbread during Holy Week. Hence the fair’s nickname of “gingerbread fair”. It got so big that it was shifted to the Pelouse Reuilly in 1965, where it's been held ever since.
Provins World Heritage Town
Getting there: Drive. 1 hour SE from the centre of Paris, off the N19.
Prices: Family passport available for €26 allowing entrance to the 4 major monuments. This also gives reduced prices for the shows.
Check the Provins website or Tourist Office: 0(1) 64 60 26 26.
One of the best preserved mediaeval towns in France, it's a real showcase of mediaeval architecture – military, religious, civil – with 58 protected historical monuments. Take the "Provins World Heritage" tour organised by the local tourist office for an overview.
Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie
30, avenue Corentin-Cariou
F-75930 Paris cedex 19
Getting there: Metro: Line 7, station: "Porte de la Villette"
Buses: 75, 139, 150, 152, PC1 and PC2, stop: "Porte de la Villette"
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 10AM till 6PM, Sundays from 10AM to 7PM, closed Mondays.
Prices: €7.50 for adults, €5.50 for children, under 7s free.
Check the English version of their website, good information and the latest attractions, even games.
Among the attractions are the planetarium, a 360 degree cinema, Geode, Argonaute submarine, aquarium, and interactive displays on many aspects of modern technology.
For the children: Special "Children's Cité" where timed tickets (€5 each) are required. Get them as soon as you arrive as you may have to wait before you can enter. For younger family members there is a great playground just outside.
Champ-de-Mars, close to the Seine.
Open: 9am – midnight.
Prices: (27 March 2010 to 31 March 2011)
|| 4-11 years
|1st & 2nd floors
|1st & 2nd floors
Children under 4 years visit the Eiffel Tower free. Accompanying adults are charged the individual adult rate.
* Reduced rate applies to persons accompanying disabled people.
Official website (English version): http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/
Gustav Eiffel's 300m high iron tower was built to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. Visit any of the three floors; the first is at 57 m, the second at 115 m, and the third at 276 m; the first two levels can be accessed by lift or stairs, the top level is only accessible by lift. There are long queues in peak seasons but they do move quite quickly.
Elancourt: France in miniature
25, route du Mesnil - 78990 Elancourt (Yvelines).
Tel: (33-1) 30 16 16 30. Reservations : (33-1) 30 16 16 40.
Car: A13 towards Rouen, then A 12 towards Dreux, follow signs for Elancourt-France miniature.
Train: Montparnasse or La Défense station, leave the train at La Verrière and take bus 411.
Open: Basically, from March to halfway through November, but with various working weeks closed in several months. So you need to check their calendar on the site (this is still 2012).
Late opening 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. with firework display every Saturday in July and August.
Prices: Adults (15+): €20.50. Children four to fourteen years: €14.50.
A reconstruction of more than 140 historic places and monuments in France covering 12 acres. These 1/30 scale models reproduce places as diverse as the Château de Chambord, the Stade de France, Mont St Michel, a Breton port and an Alpine village. The site has two restaurants and a number of picnic areas and some funfair rides. In the Palais de la Miniature, artist Dan Ohlmann has reconstructed fifty interiors including Maxim’s, the famous restaurant, and the twelve Christmases of Europe. These fantastic dolls’ houses represent fifteen years’ work!
Thoiry: African reserve and zoo
Château de Thoiry
Tel: (33-1) 34 87 52 25. Reservations: (33-1) 34 87 53 76
Getting there: Car essential. 43 km (27 miles) west of Paris.
From Paris: at Pont de Saint-Cloud take the A 13 autoroute towards Versailles, then the A 12 towards Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Exit at the Bois-d’Arcy slip road, towards Dreux, to join the N 12 as far as Pontchartrain. At the Pontchartrain exit, turn right on to the D 11, towards Thoiry.
Open: Thoiry is open throughout the year, except for a few days over Christmas and New Year.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 1st to Easter.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Easter to September 30.
The zoo and botanical gardens open at 11 a.m.
Prices: African reserve and safari park: Adults: 107 francs and Children: 80 francs (aged three to twelve years).
Attractions: African Reserve (to be visited by car), the Maze and the Historical, Botanical and Zoological Gardens. Start with a drive round the African reserve where lions, elephants, rhinoceroses etc roam free. Then visit the grounds of the 16th century château to find rare plant species and hundred-year-old trees, with monkeys, lynx and wolves, "carefully kept separate from visitors" - a good idea!
More Paris for Children links