Ballon de Paris
Parc André Citroën, 15th
Head to the modern Parc André Citroën and you'll find a moored hot air balloon, which can lift 30 adults (or 60 kids) up above the skyline, offering tremendous views of Paris. This is a prime picnic spot in the summer when the kids can play in the fountains and the modern serial gardens (each is aligned with a different color) are in full bloom. Horticulturists shouldn't miss the two greenhouse pavilions, which are lined with exotic plants.
31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 4th
Operating out of a little window stand on the Isle St. Louis, the ice creams and sorbets here justify the sometimes long lines. After all, it’s arguably the best in Paris. Enough said.
Place Georges-Pompidou, 4th
This postmodern building revolutionized the world of architecture—and turned the rarified concept of a museum into something that could be unintimidating and fun. Designed by Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, and Gianfrancho Franchini, the Centre Pompidou is marked by an exterior lined with colorful tubes that hold the center's plumbing, electric, and circulation systems—inside, it's just as interactive. Home to a public library, a center for music and acoustic research, and the Musee National d’Art Moderne, since its inception in 1977 some of the most important modern art in the world has graced its walls, including pieces from Dali, Pollock, Warhol, and Picasso.
23 Rue Bayard, 8th
Situated right off the Avenue Montaigne, this tiny bistro is laid out like an old-school dining car with cozy booths, vintage luggage racks, and mirrored walls in lieu of windows. As for the rest of the decor, expect to see lots of original Art Deco elements (stained glass, frieze ceiling) left over from a time when Savy was a Jazz Age hotspot. The cuisine is traditional French (foie gras, lentil soup, andouillette sausage) and the portions are generous.
Eggs and Co.
11 Rue Bernard Palissy, 6th
Paris is not a brunch place, which means that this cheery, wood-beam lined spot is aggressively slammed on weekends. Go during the week: While they offer every conceivable iteration of egg dish, we like the Coco Meurette best. It features poached eggs submerged in a dreamy red wine and mushroom sauce.
Bois de Boulogne, 16th
Located on the northern edge of the Bois de Boulogne, this kids amusement park features a small farm (it was founded as a zoo), the Exploradôme museum (science), plus a full menu of other attractions, like a mini golf course, trampolines, and a house of mirrors.
Jardin Du Luxembourg
15 Rue de Vaugirard, 6th
Sure, this is home to some serious business (the French Senate occupies the adjacent Luxembourg Palace and the formal gardens are some of the city's prettiest), but this giant park really shines when it comes to occupying little kids. Children can expend copious amounts of energy here, whether it's by sailing model boats in the fountains, watching shows at the puppet theatre, riding donkeys on the vintage carousel, or working the jungle gym at the large enclosed playground.
La Cité des Sciences
30 Avenue Corentin Cariou, 19th
A planetarium, an aquarium, a submarine, an IMAX theatre? Check and check. The museum covers everything from microbiology to outer space, and kids ages 3-12 and 12-15 each get their own ‘Cité’ where learning is interactive. Plan to spend the whole day here, as it's huge (and fascinating), but avoid the weekends which get annoyingly crowded.
La Maison des Contes et des Histoires
7 Rue Pecquay, 4th
Tucked away in the Marais, this little art gallery is dedicated to illustrations (both antique and contemporary) along with storytelling for babies and kids up to 13. The exhibitions change every three months, and they pepper the offerings with workshops and outings.
19 Quai de la Tournelle, 5th
It’s casual and cozy here, which is the perfect backdrop for the rural French food on offer. We come for the delicious roast chicken on Sundays; since most restaurants are closed, it can get quite busy, but in a low-key convivial way. Ask for a table by the window overlooking the Seine.
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