Best Things To Do On New Year’s Day In Paris With Kids (2018)
Just like many other countries in the world, France celebrates New Year’s on January 1st. Since it is a national holiday, many places in Paris are closed for the day. In addition, New Years day falls on a Tuesday in 2019, and several popular museums in Paris are closed on Tuesdays. This leaves many people wondering, “what can I do on New Year’s Day in Paris with kids”?
It’s never a great feeling to plan a few activities when on holiday with your family, and realize that you won’t be able to enjoy those activities simply because everything is closed!
Luckily, we are here to help. On January 1st in Paris, you won’t be able to enjoy our Treasure Hunt at the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa, but rest assured, not everything is closed!
Here is a list of some the best things to do or visit on New Year’s Day in Paris with kids.
Kid-friendly museums open on New Year’s Day in Paris
Quite a lot of museums close on New Year’s Day (January 1st), but luckily for all the visitors coming to Paris, not all of them do. On that day, there are still many beautiful family-friendly museums to visit, including some of the iconic museums of Paris.
Here are some of the family-friendly museums open on New Year’s Day in Paris:
Musée d’Orsay: This ancient railway station turned museum holds the world’s biggest collection of Impressionist paintings. To make it extra special for children, Family Twist has designed a fun and educative tour of the museum’s highlights: the Scavenger Hunt at Musée d’Orsay tour. A perfect activity for both parents and children on New Year’s Day. 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007, Metro Orsay (RER C), Open from 9:30AM to 6PM.
Musée Grévin: This world famous wax museum will take you and your children to places related to the history and the culture of France. You and your children will also meet face to face with some great French and International historical figures in beautiful decors. A great way to entertain your children (and yourself) on New Year’s Day in Paris. 10 Boulevard Montmartre, 75009 Paris, Metro Grands Boulevards, open from 9:00AM to 7PM.
Montmartre Museum: This small museum was once the workshop of famous French impressionist painter Renoir. It’s a great place to discover the fascinating history of Montmartre, one of Paris’ most famous neighborhoods. To make the most of your visit to the museum and the area, book Family Twist’s “Le Village de Montmartre” tour, specially designed for families with kids.
Other open museums include the Espace Dali, and the Musée Jacquemart-André.
Zoos & aquariums
There are technically 3 zoos and 3 aquariums in Paris. But on January 1st, 2019, only 2 zoos and 1 aquarium will be welcoming guests.
Jardin d’Acclimatation: This place is a fascinating place for young children. Although it is more of an amusement park, it also has a small zoo, with deer, bears and other animals. Bois de Boulogne, 75016, Metro Les Sablons (line 1), Price: 5€ for adults and kids and free for kids under 3 years old.
La Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes: this small zoo belongs to Paris’ Museum of Natural History and happens to be the second oldest zoo in the world: it opened in 1794! Located in the Jardin des Plantes in the South East of Paris, it shelters around 1,800 animals of which one third are sadly endangered species. 57 Rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, Metro Gare d’Austerlitz, Open from 9AM to 6PM, price: €13 for adults, €10 for under 25
Aquarium de Paris: Located under the Trocadéro, the big monument facing the Eiffel Tower on the opposite side of the Seine River, it is the biggest aquarium of Paris. It is your chance to see a state-of-the-art aquarium with thousands of different types of fish and other sea creatures… 5 Avenue Albert de Mun, 75016 Paris, Metro Trocadéro (lines 6 & 9), Open from 10AM to 7PM daily, price: €20 for adults, €16 for children of 17 and under, €13 for children under 11.
Monuments open on New Year’s Day in Paris
Here too, many of the iconic monuments are closed on New Year’s Eve, but not all of them.
Here are some of the interesting places to go see on January 1st:
The Eiffel Tower: Does this Parisian landmark really need an introduction? All you need to know if you have to go up there if you have never done it before! The Eiffel Tower is open from 9AM to midnight every day. For an exciting an original discovery of the neighborhood, book Family Twist’s “Let’s Ride Around the Eiffel Tower” along with your Eiffel Tower skip the line tickets.
Notre Dame Cathedral: This world famous cathedral recently celebrated its 850th birthday! Made famous by Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, the cathedral is the most visited monument in Paris (it is free). The cathedral is open every day from 8AM – 6:45PM and until 7:45 on weekends. Book Family Twist’s “Paris’ Knights and Damsels” medieval tour here for an exciting and fun-filled visit of the Cathedral and other medieval areas in Paris.
La Tour Montparnasse: If you want to have the best view of the Eiffel Tower, as well as a 360° degrees view of Paris and its iconic monuments, than head out to the Tour Montparnasse. And going there for the sunset is one of the best experience.
Sacré Coeur Basilica: Dominating Paris on top of Montmartre hill, this white basilica looks more like a monument you would have seen in ancient Constantinople. From the top of the dome, you will have a great view on Paris, including the Eiffel Tower. But be aware that the climb can be tiring as there are many stairs! Book “Le Village de Montmartre” tour here to make this visit (and the visit of the area of Montmartre) a moment you will remember forever.
Ice skating rinks on New Year’s Day in Paris with Kids
There’s nothing better than going ice skating to start the New Year! And on January 1st, there are quite a lot of outdoor pop-up ice skating rinks in Paris where you and your children can have a lot of fun. And the best part is, they are located next to iconic monuments or places, which makes it all the more interesting for adults!
Although this is not an outdoor ice skating rink, Le Grand Palais des Glaces is an event that should not be missed. It is the biggest indoor ice skating rink in France, and installed under the glass roof of the Grand Palais. But if you think the beautiful glass roof is a sight to see, wait until you see the ice skating rink turn into a sort of nightclub after 10PM every night. Open until 2AM.
Trocadéro: At the bottom of the staircases of the imposing Trocadéro building is where you will find the small Christmas market, and the charming ice skating rink. Obviously, this is where you will have the best view of the Eiffel Tower since the Iron Lady is only a stone’s throw away, on the other side of the Seine River. Open from 11AM to 8PM. The entrance is free, and skate rental is €6.00 per person.
Eiffel Tower: You’ll have to reach the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, but once you do, this special ice skating rink is truly a delight! Never mind its relatively small size, your children will love it, and so will you! Open from 10:30 AM to 10:30 PM. Access is free, but you’ll have to buy a ticket to go up the Eiffel Tower!
Other attractions on New Year’s Day in Paris with kids
If you want to take a break from the cold temperatures of Paris in winter, what about going to a fun-filled water park in Paris? Put on your bathing suits and head out to Aquaboulevard, the largest water park in Paris, with activates of all sorts for children, including a wave pool water slides, a surf simulator and many more!
Another way to entertain your children and still take in what Paris has to offer is the Jardin d’Acclimatation. As mentioned previously, this outdoor amusement park is also a zoo. You’ll have to wear warm clothes as most of the attractions are outdoors.
If you feel like taking a walk in the streets of Paris and have young kids in tow, you might want to consider stopping at a merry-go-round. There are quite a few of them in Paris, but here are the ones that are worth visiting: the Trocadéro, the Eiffel Tower, the Luxembourg Garden, the Sacré Coeur and Hôtel de Ville.
Please note that all of Family Twist’s cultural tours are available on New Year’s Day, but there might be slight modifications in the program. So if you feel like going on a comfortable sightseeing tour of Paris with your children, or if you want to discover the fascinating areas of Saint Germain des Prés or Montmartre, please contact us. We will be glad to help you plan your New Year’s Day!