Free things to do with kids in Paris

Find out about all the free things to do with kids, from educational activities to sports workshops.

Nota Bene - Covid

Head for the museums!

Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle - Galerie des Enfants - Mezzanine Globe Terrestre - Paris - © MNHN M. Voyeux

Top 5 museums that are free for children

Some of the museums that kids love most don’t even charge to let them in! Fans of stuffed animals will be impressed with the Grande Galerie de l'évolution at the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (free for those aged under 26).Young gourmets won’t want to miss the Musée gourmand du chocolat, which is free for under-6s accompanied by an adult. 

For a great family outing, go and feast your eyes on the marvellous machines and life-size inventions at the Musée des Arts et Métiers (free for under-26s). Fancy rubbing shoulders with the great and good? Check out the waxworks at Grévin Paris (free for under-6s). Budding scientists will be fascinated by the hands-on Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie where they can conduct all kinds of experiments (Exhibitions are free for children under 2-years-old). It’s worth remembering that the aquarium in the Cité is free and open to everyone all year round!

Useful tip: Are you planning a family museum visit? The good news is that some of the major museums have child-friendly guides to help make it a fun adventure. The Louvre offers a playful downloadable kids’ route map/game on its website, the Musée d’Orsay dedicated website Les Petits M'O for 5-18 year olds, the game surveys or the Manip's at the house of the Musée des Arts et Métiers or the game booklets of the Musée de l'Homme. Other exhibition venues also have guides for children, ask for information.

Fun for kids at museums and cultural venues

A host of cultural venues have set up fun activities and workshops for children that are completely free:

  • At the 104, the Maison des Petits (House of Children) organizes workshops, events, reading sessions and games around a particular theme or artwork for children aged 0-5 years.
  • Every weekend the Fondation Louis Vuitton organises a 15-minute Micro-visit & Storytime for 4- to 8-year olds accompanied by an adult, with free entry and no booking required. Opening times may vary during French school holidays, so check in advance.
  • The Musée des Arts et Métiers holds a Discovery Quest for families with kids aged 7 to 12, taking them on a child-friendly trail around the museum’s permanent collections. No booking required and it’s free when you show your museum admission ticket. Remember under-26s enjoy free admission to the museum at all times.
  • On Wednesdays and Saturdays or fro Tuesday to Saturday (during zone C school holidays) at 3pm, the Institut du Monde Arabe holds a Story Hour, open to children from 4 upwards. Although it’s free, you must book in advance: call 01 40 51 38 14 between 10am and 5pm.
  • The MAC/VAL organises, for babies, children and teenagers, several free activities on reservation (reservation@macval.fr or on 01 43 91 64 23): Babies at the MAC VAL from 8 months old, All-Terrain Visits from 4 years old, Artist's Book Workshops from 5 years old, Contemporary Art Factories from 6 years old and many other events!
  • New at La Villette: Now there’s Little Villette, a 1,000-m² zone dedicated to children and families with all sorts of activities and workshops. Admission is free.
  • Many museums, monuments and cultural sites in Paris and the Ile-de-France region also offer free virtual tours for the whole family. Find all the information in our article Discover Paris on a virtual visit.

Sports and Leisure

Parc Rives de Seine - 23 © Jean-Baptise Gurliat / Mairie de Paris

There are plenty of free leisure activities for kids all over Paris

The best places to go for some family fun in Paris are undoubtedly the city’s parks and gardens. Many of them offer children’s play areas equipped with the traditional swings, slides and sandpits, but that’s not all. You’ll find other free attractions that are well worth a visit, such as the huge slide in the Dragon Garden at the parc de La Villette, the hot air balloon in the Parc André-Citroën, the adventure playground in the Jardin Nelson-Mandela and the climbing wall in the Parc de Belleville.

  • The Parc Rives de Seine also has lots of free activities for young kids: maze, snakes and ladders, slate drawing wall, hopscotch, climbing wall, via ferrata, football pitch, and more.

If your little ones still have energy to burn, why not sign them up to do some sports? The City of Paris offers free activities and lessons for children aged 7 to 17 years old as part of Paris Sport Vacances.

For full details, go to https://www.paris.fr/sport, section "Comment faire du sport

Free major events for kids

David Sire © A.W. Janville

All summer long, LaPlage de Glazart organizes lessons and activities for families and children, particularly on Sundays. Paris Plages also has children’s play areas with workshops for kids.

The summer festival Les Pestacles is held in the Parc Floral de Paris and its shows for children are free, although you need to pay for admission to the park.

Mini Rock en Seine is a free event for kiddie rockers aged 6 to 10, held annually at the end of August. The programme includes storytelling sessions, workshops, dressing up and parties while adults enjoy the concerts at the Rock en Seine festival in the Domaine de Saint Cloud.

And to end the year in style, the City of Paris allows free rides on its children’s merry-go-rounds from mid-December to the beginning of January.

More family outings in Paris

Cité des sciences et de l'industrie

Museum
30 avenue Corentin Cariou, Paris, 75019
Book

At the heart of the largest landscaped park in Paris, there is an original and spectacular place. You just have to step foot......

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Museum
Bois de Boulogne - 8 avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Paris, 75116
Book

The Fondation Louis Vuitton, situated in the Bois de Boulogne, a stone's throw from the Jardin d’Acclimatation, opened its doors......

Grévin Paris

Museum
10 boulevard Montmartre, Paris, 75009
Book

Meet over 200 celebrities in a breathtaking setting! Ever wanted to come face to face with Louis XIV of France, Mozart or Jean......

Institut du monde arabe

Museum
1 rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard, Paris, 75005
Book

A cultural bridge between France and the Arab world The Arab World Institute was founded in 1987 by France and the states of the......

Musée d'Orsay

Museum
1 rue de la Légion d'Honneur, Paris, 75007
Book

Internationally renowned for its rich collection of Impressionist art, the Musée d'Orsay also displays all Western artistic......

Musée du Louvre

Museum
Pyramide du Louvre, Paris, 75001
Book

Every trip to the capital deserves a visit to the Louvre to discover the wealth of treasures it contains. The museum houses......

Palais de la découverte

Museum
Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt, Paris, 75008
Book

The Palais de la découverte, part of Universcience, presents fundamental and contemporary science in a dynamic way in the form of......

Jardin Nelson Mandela

Park, garden, promenade
Passage de la Canopée - Rues Rambuteau et Coquillère - Rue de Viarmes - Rue Berger, Paris, 75001

The Jardin Nelson Mandela is at the heart of the new district of les Halles. It is completely open and offers stunning views of......

LaPlage de Glazart

Festival | Modern music
summer 2021
Glazart - 7-15 avenue de la Porte de la Villette, Paris

Glazart celebrates summer with music and fine sand.

Le Centquatre

Exhibition and Trade Show venue
5 rue Curial, Paris, 75019

The CENTQUATRE is a new Paris city council artistic establishment and a unique place devoted to production and innovation.......

Musée des Arts et Métiers

Museum
60 rue Réaumur, Paris, 75003

The Musée des Arts et Métiers, founded in 1794, is housed in the Abbaye de Saint-Martin-des-Champs. With a total surface are of......

Parc André Citroën

Park, garden, promenade
2 rue Cauchy, Paris, 75015

The Parc André Citroën is located on the site of the former Parisian Citroën factory. Opened in 1992, with a surface area of 14......

Parc de Belleville

Park, garden, promenade
47 rue des Couronnes, Paris, 75020

Until the 18th century Belleville was just a corner of the countryside with farms, windmills and open-air cafes. The former......

Parc de La Villette - Plein Air

Exhibition and Trade Show venue
211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, 75019

Built on the site of former abattoirs and designed by the architect Bernard Tschumi, the Parc de la Villette is the largest urban......

Parc Floral de Paris - Jardin botanique de Paris

Park, garden, promenade
Esplanade du château de Vincennes, Paris, 75012

Opened in 1969, the Parc Floral de Paris changes with the seasons, and is popular with plant and nature lovers. Along with the......

Parc Rives de Seine

Street, area of interest
Rive gauche : du pont d'Iéna au pont des Arts. Rive droite : du pont Neuf au port de l'Arsenal., Paris, 75

The Parc Rives de Seine, with a total length of 7 kilomtres, extends along both sides of the Seine and provides a place to walk......

Paris Plages

Celebration | Festival
from 10 July 2021 to 22 August 2021
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

Over the summer, Paris becomes a seaside resort with the Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) event.

Rock en Seine

Festival | Modern music
from 27 August 2021 to 29 August 2021
Domaine national de Saint-Cloud - Domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud

One of the most prestigious music festivals of Paris.