Paris is an amazing city to visit whatever your age. There’s plenty to see and do, whatever the weather. Obvious landmarks aside, we’ve rounded up 3 of the more unusual attractions in Paris, which we think your little ones will love.
#1 Balloon de Paris
I’ve been working for Canvas for over 10 years (including a summer based in the Paris region) and I have never heard of this amazing attraction before – a ride in an actual hot air balloon.
The balloon is tethered to the ground, so you’re not going to float for miles, but at €12 for an adult and €6 for a child, it is a relatively affordable way to see Paris from the sky. There’s an educational aspect too – in recent years it has been used to measure Parisian air quality, and changes colour depending on pollutants.
Based in the Parc André Citroën (which is worth a visit in itself) the views of the Eiffel Tower at sunset are said to be spectacular.
One word of note though. ‘Flights’ are weather dependant, so it’s best to check the website (in French, but flight info is in English) or call ahead before you visit.
I know where I’m going on my next visit to Paris!
#2 Bois de Boulogne
The former royal hunting grounds are now a vast public park with lakes, nature trails and botanical gardens. It’s a great option if you’re visiting the city with children as there is plenty to keep them occupied.
More active holidaymakers can take advantage of the long tree-lined avenues. Plus there are horse-riding trails and cycle paths. Fishing and canoeing are also available within the park.
The real attraction for children however is the Jardin d’Acclimatation. It’s a mini-amusement park, complete with zoo and botanical gardens. The amusements here have been entertaining Parisian children for hundreds of years, and include a boat ride along the enchanted river, puppet shows and pony rides. Entrance is payable – you can find out more information here.
#3 Notre-Dame bird market
Notre-Dame cathedral alone is worth the trip to Ile de la Cité. But just round the corner is the famous flower market which has been held here since 1908. What many visitors don’t know however is on a Sunday, flowers become birds (and other small animals).
Exit the metro at Cité, and you’ll hear the chirp of birds in the distance. Kids will enjoy looking at canaries, parrots and cute bunnies amongst others. And best of all, it’s free. Unless you buy a pigeon, which we don’t really advise!