Jo Jacks Travel

Best of Paris for Kids – Cite des Enfants

The best experience we had in Paris for our children, was spending an entire day in the beautiful Parc de la Villette.  Specifically we loved visiting the Children’s Museum – or the Cite des Enfants.

The Cite des Enfants – Paris Children’s Museum

Cite des Enfants Paris Children's Museum

We had a fabulous visit to the Cite des Enfants (Children’s Museum). This is a very hands-on museum on the ground floor of the Cite de Sciences (Science Museum). We bought tickets ahead of time as it can be a popular attraction. The link for tickets is here. The Cite des Enfants Is divided into 2 sections – half for children 2-7 years old and another for 5-12 year olds. We did the 2-7 side.
This museum is awesome!!! Your ticket buys you 1.5 hours inside.  They had areas to explore the senses (sight, sound, smell etc.), emotions, ball play, balancing items, writing words, animals, water flow, and physical movement. Warning: your child might get a little wet. A handy hint – go to the back by the maze or water play area to start and then wind your way forward – that way you aren’t always in the most crowded section.  I cannot recommend this museum enough – the highlight of our Paris stay!

Cite des Enfants Cite des Enfants Cite des Enfants                                                              Cite des Enfants - Paris Children's Museum   Cite des Enfants - Paris Children Museum wood machine Cite des Enfants Cite des Enfants Cite des Enfants

Practical Info for the Cite des Enfants:

Open from Tuesday to Saturday, the Cité des enfants runs through sessions.
Sessions are 1hr30 mins long (1hr15 mins during the Autumn half-term and Christmas holidays).
Booking is strongly recommended during French Holidays.
Opening Times

From Monday to Friday: 10:00 – 11:45 – 13:30 – 15:15

Saturdays and Sundays : 10:30 – 12:30 – 14:30 – 16:30

Prices

Full Rate: €9
Reduced Rate: €7 (under 25 years; 65 and over; college students)
Internet booking fees: €2 per order

To buy Tickets online click here.

Recommend you check their website for most updated info.

How to Get There:

The museum is located in Parc de la Villette in the 19th arr. The closest metro stop is Porte de la Villette – line 5 and Corentin Cariou – line 7.

The Cite des Sciences – Paris Science Museum

Then, we spent the entire rest of the day exploring the park and the surrounding canal area. A part of the Cite des Enfants was being worked on, so as a compensation our tickets allowed us access to the first floor of exhibits in the broader Science museum.

Cite des Enfants Cite des Sciences
We liked the mathematics section (even if the lessons were over their heads my children enjoyed the hands-on activities, and especially liked the science of sounds area. The whisper cones were fun to try out – the kids thought it was hilarious to whisper “poop” to each other.  The kids also loved the piano and drum rooms.

Cite des Enfants

“Pssst. Did you hear me say poop?”

And then, I got to see the Solar Impulse exhibit! Yes! Cite des Enfants solar impulse 1This was hugely exciting for my family. We have been fans and following the round-the-world on solar power travel of Solar Impulse II ever since it took off from Abu Dhabi last year.  To see something that made history up close – it flew across America on nothing more than solar power – was exhilarating. What if all planes will run off renewable energy by the time my children are adults? I hope so!

There was so much to do and see in the museum.  We had a little snack at Burger King – which is ready for a surge of kids after each Cite des Enfants session ends.  We enjoyed the little aquarium next to the burger king too.  And had some nice downtime in the children’s section of the library.  The attached Geode building holds a humongous IMAX theater – perfect for  rainy day in Paris.

The Park – Playgrounds and Merry-go-Rounds

Cite des Enfants

The whole family went down this slide many times.

Outside in the park are the best playground in Paris. Seriously – these are some world class playgrounds. Just look at this dragon slide! Then there are nice walking/biking paths, picnic areas, ball fields, and the canal with small boats going up and down.  There are also circus/performance areas, a symphony hall, and a music museum within the park.  For a list of events check out their website : Parc de la Villette 

We adored the Merry-go-round here, which we declared the finest of Paris (based on our extensive research of 2 others). It has a cool steam punk vibe with features on sci-fi writers like  Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea).

Cite des Enfants Parc de la Villette

Cite des Enfants Parc de la Villette

My Little Princes

Cite des Enfants Parc de la Villette Cite des Enfants Parc de la Villette

After a long day in the park, you can walk down the canals a bit to explore the neighborhood. There are may fine restaurants and cafes along the canal, when you can spot boaters and men playing boules ball games.

Have you been to the Cite de Enfants or Parc de Villette?  What did you think? Any other must-see parks or child-friendly museums in Paris?  Let me know in the comments!

Looking for more information on Paris with Kids?  Check out these reports from Jo Jacks:
Visit Paris Our Way – Fun for Young Children
An American Family’s Experience at Disney Paris

As Featured On: My Favorite Trip Linky

6 thoughts on “Best of Paris for Kids – Cite des Enfants

    1. Jo Jacks Post author

      Thanks Merlinda! I hope you get there with your son one day! I think all kids would love this place!

  1. Su {Ethan & Evelyn}

    This is so interesting. Paris Science Museum looks great like a lot of fun. I love the giant piano – reminds me of the Tom Hank film – BIG. Parc de la Villette also looks amazing! You are all very brave to be going down that tunnel! Yikes! Thank you for sharing with us. I will be pinning this in the hope that one day I will be taking my kids to visit Paris too. 🙂 #MyFavouriteTrip

    1. Jo Jacks Post author

      Thanks Su! Yes, I will admit I may have jumped on the keyboard to play “chopsticks!”

  2. Our Seaside Baby

    What a great place for kids! We went to Paris when my little boy was just six months but I’d love to take him back one day. The children’s museum looks fantastic, reminds me of the Science Museum in London. That slide looks like a lot of fun!
    Thanks for joining in with #MyFavouriteTrip Polly

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