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Paris: The 5 Best with Kids Under 5

The best activities for families, including places to visit, dine and play in Paris with babies, toddlers and young children.

 – Contributed by Camille Spaanjard* of Baby’Tems baby gear rental in Paris

Paris is full of great places and activities for kids. Many of them are referenced in travel guides, including parks and public gardens such as Jardin du Luxembourg, Jardin des Plantes, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, or Parc Monceau. For restaurants, Chez Clement or Leon de Bruxelles are great places highly frequented by Parisians as well (included on map below).

As a mother of two young children living in Paris for more than 10 years, I’d like to also share with you my “5 Best” addresses from an insider. Simply enjoy!

1. Best Children’s Museum – La Cité des Enfants (see map)

The Cité des Sciences has dedicated a part of the museum to children from 2 to 7. Kids can access a hundred activities for a 75- or 90-minute session.

The Museum is divided in five areas: 1) I discover myself, 2) I can do, 3) I locate myself, 4) All together, and 5) I experiment.

Cité des enfants recommends to focus on 1 or 2 areas only as time is limited. It should also be noted that most activities are accessible to impaired / disabled children.

Note that it’s mandatory to book your session in advance, especially if you’re visiting during French holiday periods. Follow this link to read more about La cité des enfants in English

2. Best Baby-Friendly Cafe – Les 400 Coups (see map)

Les 400 Coups, located on top of Butte Chaumont, is the perfect place for a break after running and climbing in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont.

This kid-friendly Paris cafe and restaurant offer homemade organic food (with a children’s menu), wifi, newspapers for parents, and a reading corner for children. Workshops are also offered in French throughout the year.

The cafe is open Wednesday to Sunday, and the staff speaks English. More information at their website (French only).

3. Best (hidden) Public Garden – Square de la Roquette (see map)

Besides 15 large parks, Paris offers more than 400 public gardens that Parisian parents love to visit with their children.

Square de la Roquette in Rue de la Roquette, on the way between Bastille and Cimetière du Père-Lachaise (the Pere Lachaise Cemetery), is an 18,000 square meter garden. With its gate, its sinuous paths leading to a fountain and its children’s playgrounds (one for young children from 2 to 6 and another for older children), the Square de la Roquette is our favorite on the east part of Paris.

Quick recommendation: in summer, don’t forget sun hats for everyone as there are few shadows, especially on the playgrounds.

 

4. Best Indoor Playground – La Maison des Petits (see map)

In Le 104 (Centquatre), this is an artistic place that welcomes children under 6 years, accompanied by an adult. The House for Children is a place for “listening, speaking, meeting, using art and play,” as described on the 104 website.

The place is designed by Matali Crasset, with unique shapes, colors, materials, and light. La Maison des Petits is open from Tuesdays through Fridays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Entrance is free and no booking is not necessary, but there are a limited number of places available.

5. Best Shopping for Young Children – Home Sweet Môme (see map)

Besides the large chain stores (Bonpoint, Bonton, etc.), one of our favorite addresses is the shop of Petitappetit brand: Home Sweet Môme.

In Rue Lepic, at the bottom of Montmartre, this small purple shop is full of colorful accessories for children, including cutlery, bibs, aprons, clothing, etc., and all is fun.

And if you like old-fashioned children’s pedal cars, it’s mandatory that you have a look at this store.

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  • * About our contributor: Camille Spanjaard

Camille founded baby’tems in 2009, a baby equipment rental company located in Paris and serving clients throughout all of France. After traveling in several countries and discovering this useful service abroad, she found out it was almost non-existent in France, the most visited country in the world.

baby’tems rents all types of  baby gear, from strollers to travel cots, from bottle warmers to toys, all delivered to your doorstep anywhere in France. Products are all recognized brands and are new or in excellent condition. baby’tems also sells nappies/diapers, baby food, and baby accessories.

baby’tems also publishes a blog with a list of baby-friendly addresses in Paris, all to help simplify travel to Paris and France with babies and toddlers. *Photo credit: Nadine Court Photography.