Shows for all the family

Plays, puppet shows, music, magic and circus acts: Paris show venues offer captivating entertainment for children

Theatre shows for children in Paris 

In Paris, many theatres put on special children’s shows. Ranging from classic plays to more modern productions, these shows with absorbing storylines are also suitable for very young children: a great way to keep them entertained. Classic plays are performed in many Paris theatres, and many of them are family-friendly.

The Comédie Française stages works by the great French playwrights: an opportunity to introduce kids to theatre classics.

The Théâtre Astral at the Parc Floral de Paris and the Théâtre La Cachette have a year-long programme of shows for children aged 2+.

The Théâtre du Châtelet (closed until september 2019) stages original plays on various themes, and also hosts choral singing workshops for the little ones.

The Opéra-Bastille stages ballets suitable for children. And for fans of music and dance, every year the Palais Garnier welcomes the Ballet School for their annual show, which brings the Petits Rats to the Opera House stage.

Théâtre Guignol Anatole, public devant le théâtre, Petits Bouffons de Paris © OTCP - DR

Puppet shows are a perennial favourite among children, and Paris has a good selection of places to enjoy one. The Théâtre de Guignol des Champs-Elysées is a Paris institution. But the smaller Théâtre de Marionnettes in Parc Montsouris is an equally pleasant puppet theatre where families can spend an enjoyable moment. 

For a contemporary puppet show, head for Le Mouffetard, Théâtre des arts de la marionnette. This centrally located theatre, the first venue to be devoted exclusively to the art of puppetry, puts on special shows for children.

Paris also has some wonderful magic shows for children. The café-theatre Double-fond puts on more than 15 live magic shows, with plenty of amusing, original tricks and sleight of hand that the whole family will enjoy.

Child-friendly concerts

Paris is a fantastic place for music lovers. The city’s many fine venues for both classical and popular music often host family-friendly events: a good way to give your child an ear for music.

The Collège des Bernardins hosts ‘Les concerts du mercredi’. Held every Wednesday, these concerts tell the story of how pieces of music came to be created, and their historical context, in a way that is entertaining and appealing for children. Every week, young audiences learn about a different musical era and its most famous composers.

Philharmonie de Paris, atelier en famille, Paris © W. Beaucardet

Maison de la Radio, the home of France’s public service broadcaster, organizes top-quality music events suitable for children, including regular concerts by musicians from the prestigious Orchestre National de France, as well as workshops at which children learn how radio programmes are made.

The Théâtre du Châtelet (closed until september 2019) organizes an hour-long music event for family audiences every Sunday. These events, called ‘Concertôt-Concertea’, are specially designed for children – fun and accessible concerts, often involving professional musicians and actors who explain how the musical instruments work.

Finally, the  Philharmonie de Paris  puts on participatory concerts all year round. Children are both spectators and players, taking part in the show alongside the musicians on stage and making sure each concert is a success. Some of the concerts by symphony orchestras at the Philharmonie de Paris are surprisingly family-friendly.

Finally each summer, from June to September, the Parc Floral de Paris will come alive with Pestacles, the children’s music festival. On the programme: lively shows, world music concerts, songs, workshops, and entertainment.

At the circus

A trip to the circus remains one of the top things to do with kids. Paris has many popular circuses, from Cirque Bouglione to Cirque Fratellini, staging amazing shows that children will love. They feature trapeze artists, jugglers, clowns and a host of other enthralling acts to be enjoyed all year round.

The best-known circus in Paris, Cirque d'hiver Bouglione, is also the oldest one in the world. Each year, from October to March, the Cirque Bouglione troupe puts on a new show that is full of comedic, burlesque, and acrobatic numbers.

Salle du Cirque d'Hiver Bouglione, Paris © DR

Every winter, the Cirque Pinder sets up its big top in the Pelouse de Reuilly for a few weeks. The highlight of this fabulous show: the amazing lion tamer Frédéric Edelstein and his 12 white lions. Children will be captivated.

From October to March, the Cirque Alexis Gruss takes up its quarters at Porte de Passy. Each year it presents a wonderful new show combining equestrian acts and traditional circus skills to enchant children and adults alike. At the end of the year, the poetic Cirque Arlette Gruss is stopping by Paris to bring pleasure to young and old.

The Cirque Bormann Moreno is the only year-round circus in Paris. It stages the full range of traditional circus acts in a beautiful belle époque decor. For circus with a more contemporary twist, head for the Espace Chapiteaux (big top arena) at Parc de la Villette.

Little Villette has a year-long programme of shows for younger audiences: circus arts, magic, puppet shows, film festival, jazz festival, etc.

Children can sign up for a circus arts workshop at the Académie Fratellini, the Zèbre de Belleville or the Cirque Micheletty, which organizes Une Journée au Cirque (A Day at the Circus).

 More info on the circus in Paris

Movies for kids

Paris cinemas don’t overlook young audiences. The MK2 cinemas, for example, regularly screen children’s movies. The Forum des Images has a “Cinékids” programme: film screenings for kids from 18 months to 7 years old, followed by a snack and a discussion about the film.

Twice a week, the Cinémathèque française shows films for children: an entertaining way to spend an afternoon. 

Another enjoyable afternoon outing is to the Grand Rex, the biggest cinema in Europe. The ‘Rex Studios’ interactive backstage tour is very popular with children. Armed with an audio guide, you set off on an amusing and informative journey into the world of movie making, including archive footage and special effects.

Salle Panoramique du Grand Rex, Paris © DR

Le Nouvel Odéon cinema in the heart of Paris screens short, medium and feature-length films specially made for children as part of its Kid Odéon programme. It also regularly organizes screenings that are preceded by a storytelling session to do with the theme of the film.

Nature-loving kids will enjoy a visit to Cinéaqua at the Aquarium de Paris, which screens a host of educational, inspiring documentaries and movies about marine life for children.

The iconic arthouse cinema Studio des Ursulines went through a renovation some years ago, and has revamped its programming to include challenging viewing for children, like works by Miyazaki and children’s film festival award winners.

Another arthouse cinema, Le Lucernaire, has three screening rooms bearing the ‘recherche et découverte’ (Research and Discovery) label. They show foreign films in the original language, many of them suitable for children. It’s the ideal hangout for film buffs with a taste for excellent indie films.

Cinema festivals for children

In Paris, children have their very own film festivals. At Mon Premier Festival and L’Enfance de l’Art, the programme comprises multicultural films dealing with themes like the environment and consideration for others: absorbing viewing for all the family. In a similar vein, the Ciné Junior festival, the Jules Verne festival at the Grand Rex and the Tout-Petits event at the Forum des Images have great films for young cinema enthusiasts.

Showtime in Paris

Philharmonie de Paris

Concert hall
221 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, 75019

The Philharmonie de Paris is the new musical heart of the capital. The new building was designed by architect Jean Nouvel. Beside......

Maison de la Radio

Concert hall
116 avenue du Président Kennedy, Paris, 75016

An iconic venue since the 1960s, the Maison de la Radio is a highly famous building with a strong image. Located on the edge of......

Cirque Bormann

5 rue Lucien Bossoutrot, Paris, 75015

In the ring with the Bormann Circus The Bormann Circus has been offering the public entertainment with jugglers, clowns,......

Aquarium de Paris

Zoo & aquarium
5 avenue Albert de Mun - Jardins du Trocadéro, Paris, 75016

Situated in the heart of Paris, the Aquarium de Paris offers an unforgettable experience for children and adults alike, with......

Le Grand Rex

1 boulevard Poissonnière, Paris, 75002

2hr visits to the Grand Rex, the largest cinema in Europe from 1932, listed as a historical monument: - Visit to the Grand Rex......

Rex Studios

Guided tours
  • Opéra - Grands Boulevards

An interactive and cultural tour of the largest cinema in Europe! Conceived as an imaginary journey behind the scenes of the......

Théâtre du Châtelet

Concert hall
1 place du Châtelet, Paris, 75001

It is to the architect Gabriel Davioud (Saint-Michel fountain, Monceau Park gates ...) that we owe the Théâtre du Châtelet, just......

Péniche Antipode

Concert hall
55 quai de la Seine, Paris, 75019

Managed by the Abricadabra company, the Péniche Antipode is a multicultural place featuring a theatre, shows for children,......

Marionnettes du Parc Montsouris

Concert hall
Avenue Reille - Rue Gazan, Paris, 75014

Created in 1930, the puppet theatre is situated in the Parc Montsouris, in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. Spectators are given......

Théâtre Guignol Anatole

Concert hall
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Paris, 75019

This theatre presents up-to-date shows by Guignol, mixing traditions from Lyon and Paris. If you go onto the official website,......

Théâtre Astral

Concert hall
Parc Floral de Paris - Bois de Vincennes, Paris, 75012

From February to November. If your children love mimes, puppets, and songs, take them to the Théatre Astral! This delightful......

La Cachette

Concert hall
124 avenue d'Italie, Paris, 75013

Did you know that the 13th arrondissement was home to a small theatre for children? It is called La Cachette. The Compagnie des......

Une journée au cirque

Leisure park
115 boulevard Charles de Gaulle, Villeneuve-la-Garenne, 92390

The Micheletty Circus Village offers a Circus Day in the heart of the Parc des Chanteraines, in Villeneuve-la-Garenne. On the......

Cirque d'Hiver Bouglione

Concert hall
110 rue Amelot, Paris, 75011

Built in 1852, the Cirque d'Hiver is one of the oldest constructed circuses in Europe. Every winter, the Bouglione family present......

L'Académie Fratellini

1-9 rue des Cheminots, La Plaine Saint-Denis, 93210

The Académie Fratellini is the first academy of circus arts to open in France. Minutes away from the Stade de France de......

Guignol Saint-Lambert

Concert hall
Square Saint-Lambert, Paris, 75015

The Guignol Saint-Lambert is a puppet theatre located in the heart of the Saint-Lambert public garden, in the 15th......

Théâtre de Guignol du Parc Floral

Concert hall
Parc Floral de Paris - Esplanade du château de Vincennes, Paris, 75012

'Guignol' is the main character at the puppet theatre in the Parc Floral, where puppet shows are held all year round. Several of......

Akteon Théâtre

Concert hall
11 rue du Général Blaise, Paris, 75011

The Akteon Théâtre is known as 'the biggest small theatre' in Paris. Their contemporary pieces and classics are ideal for......

Le Zèbre de Belleville

Concert hall
63 boulevard de Belleville, Paris, 75011

The Zèbre de Belleville is a former local cinema that has been transformed into an auditorium for concerts, circuses, etc. In the......

Théâtre Atelier de la Bonne Graine

Concert hall
16 passage de la Bonne Graine, Paris, 75011

The Atelier de la Bonne Graine has hosted contemporary puppet shows for children since 1999. The programme includes children's......

Cinémathèque française

51 rue de Bercy, Paris, 75012

Enjoy the fabulous and exciting history of this rare and unique collection, entirely devoted to cinema. This wonderful venue......

MK2 Bastille

4 boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris, 75011

The MK2 Bastille cinema, a few steps from the square, has four auditoriums and 468 seats in total.

MK2 Beaubourg

50 rue Rambuteau, Paris, 75003

The MK2 Beaubourg cinema is located opposite the Pompidou Centre. It offers a large choice of films, almost always as the......

MK2 Bibliothèque

128-162 avenue de France, Paris, 75013

The MK2 Bibliothèque cinema has 14 screens, two restaurants and a confectionery counter. It also boasts ‘Le Store’, a shop......

MK2 Quai de Seine

14 quai de la Seine, Paris, 75019

The MK2 Quai de Seine cinema offers 6 screens equipped with the latest cinema technologies, a cafe and a shop that sells DVDs and......

MK2 Quai de Loire

7 quai de la Loire, Paris, 75019

MK2 Cinemas, founded by the famous producer Marin Karmitz, have thought of everything for lovebirds. The theatres of certain......

Ciné Junior

Festival | Show - miscellaneous
February 2020
Val-de-Marne - Département du Val-de-Marne, Val-de-Marne

‘Ciné Junior’, an international cinema festival for children seeks to introduce kids and teens to cinema

Mon Premier Festival - 12th edition

Festival | Show - miscellaneous
from 21 October 2020 to 27 October 2020
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

Mon Premier Festival gives children – from 2 years – the opportunity to discover cinema and the diversity of films for young audie...

Comédie-Française - Salle Richelieu

Concert hall
Place Colette, Paris, 75001

Since its opening in 1680, more than 1,000 authors and 2,600 pieces have been added to the repertoire at the Comédie-Française.......

Collège des Bernardins

20 rue de Poissy, Paris, 75005

An exceptional 13th-century Cistercian building, brought back to life at the initiative of the Catholic church of Paris. Today,......

Cirque Pinder

Show - circus
from 27 November 2020 to 10 January 2021
Pelouse de Reuilly - Bois de Vincennes, Paris

The legendary Cirque Pinder is back with an all-new circus show

Cirque Arlette Gruss

Show - circus
Pelouse de Reuilly - Bois de Vincennes, Paris

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the famous Arlette Gruss circus offers us an amazing show

Cirque Bouglione - Dingue

Show - circus
from 17 October 2020 to 03 January 2021
Cirque d'Hiver Bouglione - 110 rue Amelot, Paris

The new show from the Cirque Bouglione, packed with magic, laughter and surprises

Cinéma Le Nouvel Odéon

6 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, Paris, 75006

Classic animated films, musicals and feature films for families are all on the programme at the Nouvel Odéon cinema. Kid Odéon: a......

Double Fond, le café-théâtre de la magie

Cabaret / Show
1 place du marché Sainte-Catherine, Paris, 75004

Le Double Fond, a cafe-theatre for magic shows. Located right in the heart of the Marais district, this delightful venue has a......

Studio des Ursulines

10 rue des Ursulines, Paris, 75005

At the Studio des Ursulines, the films shown are almost entirely devoted to young audiences. Art house films are regularly......

Forum des images

Forum des Halles - Porte St Eustache, Paris, 75001

The Forum des images, located at the heart of the Forum des Halles, offers the audience a wide and varied programme (films,......