Paris with kids in any season can be challenging. Depending on the weather you are limited on options just like in any city. This Spring, my sister brought Emma to Paris for her first visit and I absolutely loved having her there. She was almost three at the time so we had to be creative between nap schedules, meals, and entertainment. It was a bit easier as we had a few really nice days and could picnic in the park. If you are visiting Paris this Christmas here are 5 things you can do with your kids to stay busy!
1. The Carousels/Merry Go Rounds – You can find them all over Paris and some of them are even free during the holiday season. We took Emma on the Hôtel de Ville one and she kept begging to go on more rides. I believe is it was 2.50 per ride but you can buy them in sets which makes it a little cheaper.
There is a whole great list on the Paris Tourism website here for a list of carousels that are free and where they are located in Paris.
2. Chocolate Chaud/Hot Chocolate – While you keep warm at a café over vin chaud/hot wine your kids can get a cup of hot chocolate. You can head to Angelina’s or just find any café in Paris and you will find hot chocolate on the menu. It should keep the kids busy for a little while enough to warm up and for you to squeeze in some people watching.
3. Experience the Christmas decorations at the Department Stores – the stores are so festive during Christmas season inside and out. The windows are dressed up with the most adorable Christmas scenes. Depending on where you are staying you can visit Galleries Lafayette, Printemps, Le Bon Marché or BHV.
4. The Ferris Wheel at Place de la Concorde – This was still up in April during Emma’s visit so we had a quick wait in line to bring her up. It goes around twice and you can point out all the major monuments to the kids. You overlook the Louvre and the Tuileries on one side and the Eiffel tower on the other. You can go up at sunset or see the Christmas lights from up above.
5. Ice Skating – If the kids are old enough I highly recommend ice skating in Paris. I have such fond memories of skating outside hôtel de ville. The price is reasonable at 5 euros to rent skates. If you bring your own skates it is free. There is even a smaller rink for the little kids so you don’t have to worry about the risk of getting them knocked down by older kids. You must have gloves to skate in this rink. There is a cute vending machine inside that sells them or BHV is just across the street. They also have skating rinks at the Grand Palais for a limited time and Montparnase.