travel france with children

Traveling to France with Children

With close to 90 million visitors per year, France is the most popular tourist destination in the world. France is the perfect country to visit for families and it offers numerous sights and activities for children of all ages. Most hotels, restaurants, and attractions also have children-friendly facilities.

Visiting Museums in France with Children

France has more than a thousand museums and it is easy to find something for every taste. Many museums offer guided tours and creative workshops for children aged 7 to 14 years. Most larger museums provide children’s activity sheets and audio guides as well.
Museums and sights are usually free for under-fives and have reduced admission rates for children under the age of 18. Some museums offer money-saving family tickets for families with three or more children.

Theme Parks and Entertainment in France

France has countless theme parks that will appeal to families. Some of the highest-rated theme parks are:

  • Cité de l’Espace, Toulouse
  • Disneyland, Paris
  • Terra Botanica, Angers
  • Parc Astérix, Plailly
  • Futuroscope, Poitiers
  • Vulcania, Saint-Ours-Les-Roches
  • Puy Du Fou, Les Epesses
  • Musée Parc des Dinosaures et de la Préhistoire, Mèze

Many places in France also offer an extensive choice of entertainment for children, such as puppet shows, children’s theatres, films (particularly on Wednesdays and weekends), and music festivals.

Recommended Destinations for Families

Child-Friendly Activities in Paris

Paris has something for everyone, from history to art, famous landmarks and museums. Visiting the city’s famous parks and taking a cruise on the Seine are also among the activities recommended for families.

Things to Do in Nice for Families

The main hub on the French Riviera, Nice is a large city and at the same time it is very walkable. It has beautiful Belle Époque architecture, a long Mediterranean beach, and it is a perfect base for exploring the surrounding area, including Monaco.

Visiting Dordogne With Children

Dordogne, a region in central France, offers a huge variety of things to do and see for families. It has some of the oldest cave paintings in Europe, medieval castles, idyllic villages, and adventure parks.

Bordeaux: A Family-Friendly Destination

Bordeaux, located 480 km/ 300 miles southwest of Paris, is another good option for families. The city center is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bordeaux is ideal for day trips to the beach or the countryside. In addition, several wineries in the area are specifically geared toward families.

Traveling to Normandy with Children

Normandy is an excellent place for teaching history to children. The Caen Memorial Museum is well worth a visit, as well as the American Cemetery of Saint-Laurent, the final resting place of 10,000 soldiers who died in this region during the war.

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Best Time to Go to France

France is an excellent choice for family travel during every season. Families with younger children may prefer the dry, pleasant spring and early summer weather, best for outdoor activities. In summer, France offers endless possibilities for beach holidays on the French Riviera, in Corsica, Normandy or Brittany. Winter is a good time to visit France for Christmas markets and many winter sports opportunities in some of the most famous ski areas in the world.

Family Accommodation Options in France

France has plenty of accommodation options for families with one child and/or a baby. Most hotels are happy to provide a baby cot or an extra child’s bed for a minimal extra cost.

Hotels with family rooms, however, can be difficult to find. It is usually necessary to book 2 rooms, and interconnecting rooms are sometimes available. Chain hotels on the city outskirts occasionally have family rooms. These hotels are convenient for overnight stops when driving to France from continental Europe.

In Paris and larger cities, holiday rentals or serviced apartments with a kitchen and a washing machine may be the best alternative for families with younger children. In rural areas, family-friendly B&Bs and farm stays are the best value. Camping is also a popular way to spend vacations in France.

Dining Out with Children in France

French restaurants welcome families as long as children are well-behaved. It is worth keeping in mind that most restaurants usually open for dinner after 7.30 pm. Brasseries and cafes are open from 8 am until midnight and are better suited for families with younger children. For a light lunch or mid-day snack, there are crepe stands, cafes and bakeries.

Dedicated children’s menus are common in restaurants across France. Alternatively, it is sometimes possible to order a half-portion of a regular-sized meal. Some restaurants provide high chairs as well as crayons and paper for children to keep them busy while waiting for the meal.

For families with babies in tow, the choice of infant formula, diapers and baby food jars, including organic options, is similar to any other Western country. They are sold in supermarkets and pharmacies, although opening hours may be limited in smaller cities.