is a great blog. And now the people behind it have let Been there into a little secret: you don't have to be a couple in love or a trendy fashionista to enjoy the French capital. All you need is a couple of kids and an open mind. Here are their gems of Parisien knowledge:
Got the kids in tow, but looking to do something that’ll you’ll enjoy too? Tired of all the obvious stuff? Check out our list of fun, alternative picks for the whole family! Grande Galerie de L’Evolution
The Grande Galerie de l'Évolution displays thousands of animal specimens. Walking through the displays feels like taking a trip around the world. Kids can get right up-close and almost touch the various beasts. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen your 5 year-old nose to nose with a stuffed Hyena. Adults will admire the quality of the displays and the hall’s extraordinary architecture. Housed in a grandiose, recently renovated building on the grounds of the Jardins Des Plantes, it’s an experience not to be missed. Jardins Des Plantes 36, rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire 75005 Paris
. Galeries de Paléontologie et d'Anatomie Comparée
Kids a little older? Do they like creepy crawlies? Enter the world of skeletons, organs and shells at the Galeries de Paléontologie et d'Anatomie Comparée . A spectacular way of discovering the organisation of living beings and delving into the world of animals of the past. Not for the faint of the heart or very young kids (there are a few creepy things preserved in formaldehyde that might disturb the littlest ones.) The hall feels completely untouched by time and it’s like wandering through the set of an Indiana Jones movie. Really cool.Jardins Des Plantes 36, rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire 75005 Paris.
Picnic on the Banks of The Canal St. Martin
This charming canal is off the beaten path and a great spot for kids as it’s located in a fun neighborhood full of young, artsy families. Picnics are a Summertime tradition for those who live on the Canal, so stop by Pink Flamingo Pizza on rue Bichat and partake! They do a clever take away service: You order your pizza and they give a pink balloon and you tell them roughly where you are going to go sit by the Canal. Tie the balloon to your wrist or your belt, sit down by the water and relax, the delivery guy will find you by spotting the balloon!! Kids can enjoy the balloons, the pizza, watching the boats go by and climbing the foot bridges and peering down at the huge locks that swish and pivot in order to move the boats along the different water levels on this lovely Canal. Pink Flamingo Pizza- 67 rue Bichat 75010 Paris.Arènes de Lutèce
Play Gladiator with your kids and soak up some of Paris’s most ancient history in the process. Built toward the end of the first century A.D. these Arènes located in the heart of the Latin Quarter were used as a theater, circus, and sporting arena. Though somewhat damaged over the years, one can still get a real feel for the place. Remants of the cages where animals were kept, as well as secret passageways and climbable bleachers, make for a truly transporting and unexpected Paris experience. It’s now a public park and kids can run around freely while slaying make-believe lions.Arènes de Lutèce 47, rue Monge, 75005 Paris.
Musèe des Egouts de Paris
While the famed catacombs are surely too scary and claustrophobic for kids, the Musèe des Egouts de Paris is a great alternative for an underground adventure. Kids will relish the idea of seeing Paris from the center of the earth and will also get a kick out being able to talk about poop for a few hours. There are fascinating displays about the history of the city’s vast and ancient sewer network and a few stuffed rats for added effect. One warning, it’s slightly stinky, but kids will like that too! The entrance to the Musée des égouts de Paris is between the Quai d'Orsay and the Seine. (Look for the blue-and-white booth east of the Pont de l'Alma on the Left Bank of the river, in the 7th arrondissement.) Musèe de la Magie
A sweet and old-fashioned jewel box of a museum located on a tiny street in the Village of St. Paul. Kids will love creeping down the narrow steps into a world of magic tricks and illusions. A charming place for children that still believe in the impossible and get a kick out of mystery and slight of hand. Leave the older ones at home with their PS3’s. Losers!Musèe de la Magie 11, rue Saint Paul 75004 Paris Musèe de la Poupèe
Another tiny, old-fashioned museum that will delight little girls and provide adult laughs. A charming, little building in the Marais, houses a vast collection of antique dolls arranged in kooky, unintentionally funny displays, your daughters will look wistfully at the treasures encased behind the glass, while you suppress laughs and pretend that David Lynch is about to round the corner.Musée de la Poupée - Impasse Berthaud 75003 Paris Musee de Arts Forains
This incredible Museum of Fairground Art located in the Pavillions de Bercy is a truly special place filled with antique carousels and vintage fair attractions. These Pavillons located on a warren of private streets constitute a mini-village unto themselves. Formerly, wine production warehouses, they have been renovated into a little wonderland which host this museum, as well as Le Theatre du Magnifique and the Salles Venitiennes. Well worth the trip, but call ahead they are sometimes closed for private events. Les Pavillions de Bercy 52 avenue des Terroirs de France, 75012
La Cantine du 10eme
If you’ve got really little ones and you feel like exploring the epicenter of BoBo (Bourgeois Bohemian) chic that is the Canal St. Martin area, stop by La Cantine du 10 for Sunday brunch. Way at the back of this trendy bistro, there’s a living room set up with comfy couches and armchairs, kids videos, and tons of toys. On Sunday afternoons, kids are giving free reign to color and play while their parents see and be seen at the tables nearby. A good way to tire them out before you gently place them in their stroller to nap, while you hit the neighboring hipster shops. La Cantine du 10e- 8 rue de Marseille, 75010 Paris.
L' Apparemment Café
Wandering around the Marais and need a kid friendly place to stop in? Try this cafè that serves a limited menu of large salads, but offers a wide selection of big armchairs, books and games. Older kids can keep entertained while you enjoy checking out the hipster patrons for fashion tips.L' Apparemment Café 18, rue des Coutures-Saint-Gervais - Paris 75003
IVY's Favorite Classics Hippodromes D’Auteuil & Longchamp
Older kids will enjoy a day at the races! Travellers often forget that Paris boasts two great horseracing tracks. They are easy to get to and provide fun, excitement and maybe even some extra cash for the whole family! Eiffel Tower
It’s an old stand-by that has it all. Kids will love peering up at it from the ground, riding up in the elevators and seeing the mind-boggling view from the top. Even the most jaded kid will hold his breath perched at the tippy-top, guaranteed you will too! Bateaux Mouches
Any of the River Seine boating companies will do. Nothing is more fun than being on a boat in the center of the city on a Sunny day. The wind in your hair and Paris rolling by on either side. Make a list of things for the kids to spot, like you do on car trips, it’ll keep them busy while you sit back and enjoy the ride.
Jardin de Luxembourg
This mythic Paris garden where kids can rent toy boats, watch puppet shows and take donkey rides is a must do for any Francophile. While the kids are playing, you can walk around and pretend that you’re Sartre and De Beauvoir ambling through on your way to Cafè Flore
There’s a carousel at the bottom and a giant frothy Cathedral at the top of the hill, that kids will love getting up to via the little cable car, and then on Place du Tertre kids can have their portraits done for a reasonable fee. Very touristy, but provides great views of Paris, and offers a rare look at vineyards and windmills…rarely seen magic in the center of the city.
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