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  • Writer's pictureRachel Ogilby

Kid Approved: The Best Places to Take Your Babies and Toddlers in Paris

A few years ago, we moved to Paris while pregnant – now, we have a one-year-old and two-and-a-half-year-old. We live in a small, typical Parisian apartment, which has pushed me to go explore the city as much as possible, babies in tow. In tight spaces with babies, it’s essential to get out an about whenever possible!

Let’s get right into it.

There are lots of places to take babies in Paris – after all, there are plenty of families living here – and the following are a few of my go-to places to take the kids. Whether you are visiting Paris for a few days or are a mom living here looking for places to take the children, these are all excellent options!

A Sweet Café Meant for Families

Petite Foret (“Little Forest” Café): This is a café in the 17th, relatively close to a lot of the top spots in Paris to visit (just 15 minutes from the Arc de Triomphe, and 13 minutes from Parc Monceau). It’s owned by two moms and offers a great indoor play space for kids. There’s highchairs and baby friendly food, and delicious lattes.

This would be a great spot for a rainy day or if you just need to let the kids run off some steam in-between sight seeing. I’ve seen children enjoying the space from newborns to six or seven years old. It has excellent child-friendly bathrooms, a changing space for babies and space for your stroller (not to mention the café is filled with other parents who will also be breastfeeding and chasing after littles).

An Interactive Museum

Musee de l’Homme (Museum of Man): This museum is located at the famous Trocadero (awesome spot to see the Eiffel tower, especially at night) and is super child-friendly, as many exhibits are meant to be interacted with. There’s an elevator/lift which is great for a stroller/pram, and lots of stuffed animals, which make adults squirm but seem to delight little ones. This is a museum we've visited repeatedly. They have free lockers but no storage for the stroller, so you’ll have to roll it along with you. Good bathrooms and a changing table.

A Free Museum with an Awesome Courtyard and Bathrooms

Petit Palace: This is another one of my absolute favorite places to go with babies when I’m looking for a place to enjoy some culture while getting out of the house. Though looking at art never seems to be that toddler friendly, there are plenty of pieces which have animals and vegetables for him to point out! This museum even has free “baby classes” once a month, so they are used to little ones.

The real highlight for our toddler is the courtyard inside, which is also free to visit and full of gravel to play with (hey…whatever works). You can even grab a glass of wine or cup of coffee at the café located in the courtyard. Entree is free, there’s a changing station in the bathroom, and elevators (albeit, slow ones) for strollers. Enter at the ground level with a stroller (just around the right side of the normal entrance).

A Park with a Playground, Carousel and Ponies

Parc Monceau: A core memory burned into my brain and heart forever will be taking our little ones to Parc Monceau on Sundays to play in the playground, grab a crepe and watch the carousel go around. The cool thing about this park is that it’s full of monuments such as the “false Egyptian pyramid” and there’s often miniature horses waiting to be rode by children. No changing table but there are free public restrooms at the Rotunda (entrance on blvd de Courcelles) and you can enjoy a picnic on the grass if you’d like. Make sure you do a full lap around the park to see everything!

A Huge Family Friendly Park

Luxembourg Gardens: This is a huge, 60 acre park which includes playgrounds, grass to picnic on, a pond with remote controlled miniature boats, and plenty of space to run around. Sometimes there’s even a band playing. Make sure you see the beautiful Medici Fountain, and we like to stop by the miniature Statue of Liberty.

More favorites

These places are also incredible places for children. However, if you only have a few days in Paris, I would stick to the above list. If you have more time to explore, the following places are wonderful!

Atelier des Luminieres (“Workshop of Lights”): This is an incredible way to experience art that is SUPER child friendly. Located very close to Pere Lachaise cemetery, this is a unique art center which combines classic pieces with immersive music. There’s space for the children to walk around the entire time, though our toddler was so captivated he stayed put for nearly the entire 90-minute presentation (also clapping and repeatedly saying “bravo!” and “More?!”). Buy tickets in advance if you can. The café across the street has good food, and the square (park) just nearby has a good playground as well.

Paris Zoological Park: Not all families want to go to the zoo while they’re visiting a new city, but if you do, this zoo is awesome. We’ve been seven times in the last year and have never grown tired of it. It’s just outside of the city, but you can get there from nearly anywhere in Paris via the metro (we live on the opposite side of the city and get there in about 40 minutes with the metro).

The animals are active, it’s stroller friendly, there’s plenty of changing tables and bathrooms, an area to picnic, lots of spaces for children to run around, and the food is both reasonably priced and yummy. While not necessarily cheap (about 20 euros a visit), it’s free for kids under 3. You could also consider buying an annual pass (65 euros) depending on how long you’re around, as the pass also include the Jardin des Plantes, Musee de l’Homme, and more. Ask for the pass at the ticket entrance (or buy online).

Jardin des Plantes: This entire area is worth a half day of exploring, as it includes a greenhouse, the Gallery of Evolution (a museum FILLED with animals and sea creatures, sure to wow children of all ages), La Menagerie (small zoo which I found only worth a visit if you’re already there), the Galerie of Paleontology (incredible collection of animals skeletons including dinosaurs which our toddler adores), and more. You must buy a ticket, and depending on the day, lines to the Gallery of Evolution can be very long. However, it’s free to walk through the gardens and there is a little café for outdoor eating at the entrance if you need a little snack. Changing tables aren't easy to come by, but there are multiple public bathrooms in the gardens.

Children’s Science Center: Wow! If you are in the area (it's not necessarily near other popular landmarks but close-ish to Parc Champs-Butte, Pere Lachaise cemetery), this is a wonderful place for children ages 2 to 7. Buy a timed ticket in advance and get there on time, as you’ll have 90 minutes to play. Great bathrooms and changing tables. Check out the playground on the grounds nearby.

Ikea: Haha, hear me out. Ikea might not be a place to put on your list, but it IS worth mentioning here. Why? In a city where it’s difficult to find public bathrooms and a changing table, Ikea has both. Plus, the kids can walk around without you worrying about them touching priceless art.

We’ve stopped here to eat a quick meal of vegan hot dogs and ice cream (notably, not vegan), and our toddler has enjoyed playing with the miniature kitchenette and other floor items which are out for play. It’s an excellent place to stop if you’re in the area and need a break from the heat, an excuse to sit down, or a place to breastfeed (I’ve done this on their chairs and sofas). It can get busy around lunch time.

Jardin d’Acclimation: This is a park combined with an amusement park which is great to visit if you have extended time in Paris. It’s located near the lovely Bois de Bologne (amazing and HUGE park for which you could spend an entire weekend) though it’s not necessarily located close to other popular sights. You pay to enter (7 euros per person, kids under 2 years free) and pay more if you want to go on rides. If you happen to be visiting the Louis Vuitton Foundation (art museum) it is located directly next to it. We’ve enjoyed the petting zoo here and simply walking around to view different rides and fountains. On super hot days, this is an excellent place to go as there’s lots of water play spots and fountains for kids to jump in!

Paris also has plenty of playgrounds tucked into seemingly every patch of grass. Simply look up “aire de jeux” to find the playground closest to you. We have many favorites, but they’re all great. If you happen to be in a museum or café, you can also ask your waiter if he’d be willing to recommend a park or playground close to you.

Enjoy Paris with your babies!

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