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  • Writer's pictureJuliana Pinté

Planning a visit to Paris with Kids during School Holidays

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

Drafting a vacation around school holidays may seem challenging but, very beneficial for my kids development. So, here is how I do it and why !

First of all, as most people in the U.S. typically spend time with their families during school holidays, you'll find that a Paris trip with your family generally means fewer crowds and more restaurant availability.

Of course, this depends on the season you're planning a family trip to Paris.

Below, you'll find a guide on some USA school holidays to help you plan your trip as a family visiting Paris. The guide includes what to do with kids in Paris, what to pack, and what to expect.

family tour in Paris walking in the Paris Louvre tuilleries Royal Gardens
Paris Louvre tuilleries Royal Gardens

1 - Labor Day -September 4

Labor Day is one of the first holidays which occurs during the school year in the USA annually. This holiday lasts one day, though it always falls on a Monday, leaving you with a 3-day weekend. While on the shorter side, this holiday will allow you to see some of the top attractions in Paris for a quick getaway.

What to Expect:

September in Paris tends to be the busiest month. Although not as many people from the U.S. will be visiting over Labor Day weekend, you can still expect larger crowds due to fashion shows and other local events. Because of the many happenings in Paris in September, ensure you book accommodations and tickets for events as early as possible. Otherwise, you may be left with less-than-ideal entry times or perhaps not be able to secure entry.

What to Pack:

Before heading to Paris with kids, it's essential to pack the correct clothing for them. Paris' summers are generally milder, especially in September, as it's one of the drier months in the city. Pack simple outfits with shorts, blouses, dresses, and comfortable walking shoes. Plan on packing one nicer outfit which can be worn to a fancy outing or dinner.

What to do with kids in Paris:

As this is a shorter holiday, you'll want to decide what to do before heading off on your Paris family vacation. You'll find many exciting activities available, including many outdoor options. Biking, walking, and various guided tours are available in the summertime. If you decide to extend your trip a few extra days, you can also spend your time in Paris taking day trips to nearby villages.

The Palace of Versailles guided tour

Phone: +33 1 30 83 78 00

Address: Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles, France

A favorite tour for many is a trip to the Versailles Palace, which includes exploring the castle's gardens and interior.

If you're not too tired after a long flight, you can book this activity for the day you arrive at the Charles de Gaulle Airport.

We advise that you consider hiring a safe personal driver with a car adapted for families in Paris, for your airport transfer and other transportation needs.

2 - Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day - October 9

Each year, Columbus Day (recently referred to as Indigenous People’s Day) is celebrated with a day off school. Like Labor Day, Indigenous People’s Day always falls on a Monday, leaving students and parents with a 3-day weekend. During the fall time, Paris offers incredible views of changing leaf colors.

What to Expect:

Visiting Paris at the beginning of October ensures fewer crowds, though the weather is more variable. During the days, you can expect warmer weather. In the evenings, the weather turns chilly, especially if you extend your visit into the later part of the month. While October is generally the driest month in Paris, it does rain occasionally, so expect some wetter days during a visit.

What to Pack:

Pack lighter layers during a family trip to Paris in October. You'll want to bring jeans, t-shirts, blouses, thicker dresses, jackets, and sweaters. Additionally, if you have a smaller umbrella or two, you'll want to bring it along for rainy days. Or, you can bring a rain jacket for each family member. Warm shoes that are water-resistant and comfortable are ideal for an October trip.

What to Do with Kids in Paris:

October is ideal for strolling around Paris and enjoying the autumn colors. During this time, you can focus on the museums during rainy days with a Paris museum pass and spend time at outdoor attractions, such as the Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg), during sunny days. Below are some additional activity options.

The Eiffel Tower

Phone: +33(0)1 44 11 23 46

Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Av. Anatole 75007 Paris, France

Viewing the sunset from the Eiffel Tower is an exquisite experience, especially with the surrounding trees featuring shades of yellow and red leaves. This option is ideal for warmer days with drier weather.

Phone: +33 1 40 20 50 50

Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

If you encounter a rainy day, the Louvre is a fantastic way to spend the day. This famous art museum holds many of the most well-known art pieces in the world.

With a knowledgeable kid-friendly tour guide, this treasure hunt tour is the best available way to explore this museum nestled in a building that was once a fortress and then transformed into a Royal palace.

3 - Thanksgiving - November 23

Thanksgiving occurs on the fourth Thursday annually each November. It's followed by a Friday with no school (also called Black Friday). So, this holiday break ends up lasting four days each year. The date of Thanksgiving changes each year, so it's best to remember it as the fourth Thursday of the month.

What to Expect:

November is a fantastic time to visit Paris, as the city has considerably fewer crowds. Fewer crowds mean you won't need to wait as long for attractions, food, etc. With less demand, the prices for transportation and accommodation are also much lower in November. There are many benefits to a Paris trip with family in November, though it's worth noting the temperatures are chillier and daylight hours are shorter during this time.

What to Pack:

With the colder temperatures, you'll want to ensure you pack additional layers for yourself and your kids. Pack sweaters, thicker pants, heavier dresses (made from wool), tights, jackets, and a scarf. Additionally, a pair of comfortable shoes that are water resistant are ideal, as Paris tends to be rainy during this month.

What to Do with Kids in Paris:

November is also jam-packed with activities and events. For example, during this month there is a photography show you can attend. It's also a great time to enjoy more relaxing activities, such as viewing a movie. Below, you'll find additional details on November activities to do with kids in Paris.

El Champo

Phone: +33 1 43 29 79 04

Address: 51 Rue des Écoles, 75005 Paris, France

This arthouse cinema is one of the most famous venues for catching a movie or two. By taking your kids to El Champo, you'll be immersing them in Parisian culture. It's an ideal setting for older kids/older teens, as the movies are geared toward adults.

The Caféothèque of Paris

Phone: +33 1 53 01 83 84

Address: 52 Rue de l'Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris, France

During chilly days, trying new restaurants and cafes is a great way to escape the cold. The Caféothèque of Paris is one of the coziest Parisian cafes available. Here, you’ll find warm drinks and pastries.

4 - Christmas -December 24-25

Each year, Christmas lands on the 24th and 25th of December. During this time, most children have two weeks off from school, which generally begins the Friday before Christmas and ends after New Years' Eve. It's the perfect amount of time to visit Paris, as the beginning of the break will offer fewer crowds.

What to Expect:

Christmastime in Paris is magical, with many festive activities and things to do. Even without being at home, your kids will not feel as if they are missing out on celebrating the holiday. While December is generally less crowded, expect there to be more people attending events on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. During this month, the temperatures are quite chilly and can also get quite rainy.

What to Pack:

Pack the winter essentials when traveling with kids in Paris in December. Winter essentials include heavy jackets, thick pants and jeans, lined tights, thick dresses, warm hats, scarves, and boots. Ensure you bring an umbrella or water-resistant layers to avoid catching a chill on rainy days.

What to Do with Kids in Paris:

When visiting in December, you'll want to attend the festive events with your kids. Below, you'll find some available holiday activities you can pursue.

Christmas Lights

Spread throughout the capital's avenues, many people head downtown to enjoy the Christmas lights strung along the streets, from glittering arches to flames.

Exploring the streets of Paris and viewing the Christmas lights are a must when visiting in wintertime. These lights are set up from the end of November to the beginning of January each year. You can find them on avenue des Champs-Elysées and avenue Montaigne, among other streets.

Christmas Markets

Another popular activity in December is visiting the Christmas markets spread throughout Paris.

These markets feature items such as Christmas tree decorations, presents, and hot chocolate, crepes and more.

Christmas Village at La Défense, or the one at the gardens of the Tuilleries next to the Louvre, or even better but smaller : the Hotel de Ville, BHV chic and bourgeois!

These are one of the most impressive market options, though there are many to explore throughout the city.

During your trip to Paris with kids, you’ll need a plan and a nice place to stay between activities and attractions. That's where we can help !

Book a session with us today so we can start planning your trip with the kids.


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