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Seeing Paris with Kids

Last updated: May 1, 2018

Ah, Paris! The city of light, love, and . . . children? Yes, for all its sophistication and refinement, Paris is actually a fantastic city for kids with no end of things that will interest them. From open spaces to zoos to theme parks, Paris has just as many kid-friendly attractions as just about any major American city and the great thing is that most of these places will appeal to grown-ups as well. As one of our members points out:

“As far as having children in Paris, you will love it. Parisians and the French in general love children and will give them all kinds of attention.”

So here are some ideas about what to do with kids in Paris as well as some ideas about where to stay and what to eat!

What to do in Paris with Kids

It doesn’t matter whether they’re in their home town or thousands of miles away, animal, clowns and fairy tales always seem to be big favorites with kids who travel and luckily, Paris is full of them. And if you get really stuck about what to do in Paris with your kids, we have an idea!

“I would like to reinforce the following activities which my 3 year old daughter really enjoyed:
  1. La cité des enfants - they have a special place for kids that age
  2. La gallerie de l'évolution - she enjoyed seeing the big animals
  3. Jardin de luxembourg - she loved the playground, very different from those in Brazil
  4. Cirque diana moreno - she enjoyed a lot the show, specially the first part with the 10 tigers. She also enjoyed going on the carrousel near the Notre dame and seeing the Louvre pyramid.”
“I think they would like the Notre dame, (from the fairy tail) and champ elysee, the huge shopping mall. Of course Disneyland Paris is great for the kids also in the neighborhood is Park asterix, based on asterix and obelisk”
“there is also a couple of zoos you can go to but we found the old zoo near notre dame was the best. there is the official website for paris tourists (sorry i forget what its called) that has a childrens section with what to do. we were there for a month and never ran out of things to do and see.”

Keep in mind, though, that just because something seems like a “grown up” attraction, doesn’t mean the kids won’t love it. Here are some ideas for tackling those places in Paris which, on the surface, may not seem like kid-friendly attractions:

“The challenge of the steps leading up to Sacre Coeur and the view from the top.”
“The Louvre.”
“Museums can be overwhelming so when I travel with kids, I go to the gift shop and pick out 2 or 3 postcards of things the kids want to see then find those things. When you are done, leave. The guards are great with kids if they show them a postcard and ask where the item is. Scavenger hunt at the Louvre. there are also a number of merry-go-rounds in Paris- try to find them (8 or 9- several are double decker).”
“There's also a lot of carousels in Paris, and I think we rode on 3 of them!”
“For something a bit out of the way, you might visit the Museum of Science and the Museum of Music out in Parc de la Villette in the 19th district.”
“Long time since we visited the Museum of Science & Industry but it wasn't stuffy and absolutely amazing and so educational - 15 years on our boys still talk about it”
“I'd strongly recommend the Cité de Sciences et de l'Industrie. It is great fun for all ages and the park around it has lots of sculpture the kids can climb on and enjoy as kids, not just look at it. The Cité De La Musique is also fun and your kids are old enough to enjoy it. You go through with interactive headphones that start up as you enter an exhibit. It follows you so there is no particular order and you can't get lost. You can start it over by walking back into the room or approaching that exhibit. It's one of the neatest audio guides we've used. The Cluny Museum (Musée de Moyen Age) is small and interesting. Right outside is a very nice garden with a play area for kids. Dad can run across the street and buy lunch from a street vendor, bring it back and you can have a picnic in the Cluny Museum garden and let the kids run around and play for an hour.”
“If they like castles, the Chateau de Vincennes is at the end of Metro line 3 and you can get there with one Metro ticket. It has the highest medieval castle keep in Europe and is quite spectacular. So easy to get there . . . Take line 1 to the end, walk up the stairs and the castle is right on your left. You just have to walk in. Another great kid favorite is the Place Igor Stravinsky by the Pompidou Center. The fountains have colorful water sculptures. I've also seen people climbing in them in the summer but expect that is discouraged.”
“There is also the "Musee de la Magie" but I find it's a trifle expensive. In the middle of an area with lots of history though.”

And sometimes, with kids, it’s the littlest things that make them happy:

“A 4-year-old should also enjoy going on the subway and taking a river cruise.”
“My grand-son loved to ride on the bus last year.”

And of course, if you get really desperate, there is that old standby, Paris Disneyland:

“ . . .for a four year olds, most impressive would probably be Paris Disneyland! We just took the train and had a great time exploring Disney and meeting the French version of Mickey! They still remember Mickey and the Eiffel Tower. But they have forgotten about Sacre Cours, Notre Dame and Chartres Cathedrals...”

Outdoor Attractions in Paris for Kids

Even though Paris is an urban metropolis, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of wide-open spaces for them to run amok in! With dozens of parks and tons of garden space, there’s no reason for them to feel hemmed in!

“Jardin du Luxembourg. During the summer months, there is more activity for kids...and they even have puppet shows!”
“I'm sure you'll find many such places, all great fun. Your 7-year-old may enjoy brief visits to the many playgrounds hidden all over Paris and the older ones will surely find something of interest in the Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens.”
“we travelled there in may with our TWO year old son and found that paris is VERy child friendly :) I lived there for a year (years ago) and didnt realise just how much there is to do!! the luxembourg gardens playground was where we went everyday. it cost a small amont to get in but has toilets etc. there is an area for under 7years and a huge area for 7+years just amazing!!”
“the park Bois de vincennes is a park with an zoo and a castle.”
“The Tuileries Gardens (my personal favorite place in Paris) has little sail boats the kids can rent. There is also a fun fair or carnival there in the summer with rides, cotton candy, games, etc. It's perfect for kids, especially if they've just left the Louvre and need a break. There is also a permanent playground with all sorts of climbing apparatus farther back in the Tuileries near the Jeu de Palm. There are gardens and playgrounds all over Paris. It's a great place for kids. Any time they need a break, just ask for the nearest garden and you'll be fine. There is one between Notre Dame and the Seine, just across the Seine with great views of the church if you take photos, by Invalides, near the Eiffel Tower and most museums. You'll notice them as you walk around and you'll see plenty of Parisian children enjoying them. Join the party . . .”

Eating in Paris with Kids

While Paris certainly doesn’t have the plethora of children’s restaurants that America does (don’t look for Chuck E. Cheese anywhere), there are still plenty of places to take the kids out for dinner! Just make sure you do some planning first so your kids feel comfortable going out to eat in a place where the customs might not be exactly the same as they are back home. And remember, dining in Paris doesn’t always have to be in a formal restaurant as you’ll see from these answers:

“Try Au Chien Qui Fume in Les Halles. It may be tough to squeeze 6 people in at some of the sidewalk bistros. There is a decent food court underneath by the Louvre. Our kids were able to point at what they wanted and all seemed to enjoy their choices.”
“For hi-end eats with kids I recommend "Fouchets" (spelling may be off) on the main Mega Blvd. It has a lunch side overlooking the street. Also recommend the "Pied de cochon" (worlds best onion soup) Also recommend the "Metropole" Its great Seafood. Also lunch at the Eiffel Tower then walk to Napoleons Tomb and other near-by Museums.”
“Restaurant seating shouldn't be a problem as they can just pull tables together. Three tables for two gives you a table for six. We've also eaten at places with large round tables for families. You can also ask at your hotel for suggestions. We've found some of our favorite restaurants that way.

Favorites are: breakfast at Paul's Boulangerie on rue de Buci with larger tables; other meals at (1) La Bastide d'Opio can combine seats, (2) Au Clocher de Montmartre has large tables and (3) La Corniche is Tunisian and has a local clientele of large families. They are great with kids.”
“For meals- try to let the kids choose lunch then you choose dinner. French restaurants can be welcoming for kids and they get to practice their Company manners.”
“Eating doesn't have to be stuffy at all. As mentioned many of the museums have good cafes, and you will be there at a time of the year when it'll be very nice to nosh outdoors. There are some fun cafes - with lots of seating - in the Tuilleries that could easily accommodate 6. You might stand a better chance at some other places by eating earlier rather than later in the evening. Same for lunch - go at an off hour.”
“One of the more fun things to do it to have some street food - inexpensive, very good, and can be eaten on the go for lunch. For instance, ham and cheese, and Nutella and banana crepes are delicious, filling, fun, and won't break the bank. You can also picnic.”
“Do be cautious of the kids ordering soft drinks!!! Unlike the US, where soda is cheap and they often refill the glass for free, Coke and other soft drinks can be very expensive in French cafes. I'd encourage them to have water with meals, and pick up sodas at the markets for a treat during some R&R time.”

When eating with kids in Paris it’s good to know the local schedule, especially with American kids who might be used to an earlier dinner time:

“One of the greatest problems is with the evening meal. French restaurants open a 7:30 pm (you might find an occasional 7:00) which is really too late to eat for most young children. Cafés and Brasseries are open all day which will possibly make dining a bit easier if not simpler. I am sure you already have a good supply of crayons, paper, and silent entertainment or activities to occupy your child at the dinner table which can make an evening meal go much smoother.”

General Tips for Seeing Paris with Kids

And, if you’ve never been there before, these Trippy members offers some general advice for bringing your kids around Paris and they have one word for you: Stroller!

“Make sure you bring a stroller as you probably will do a lot of walking as well.”
“The strollers were lifesavers for us --- but you should use the lightweight one like the Umbrella stroller. It is so much more easier to carry around the subways and around Paris itself...”
“an umbrella-stroller is great. Very light and easily folded.”

Where to Stay in Paris with Kids: Hotel vs. Apartment

And as for places to stay, the general consensus is apartments over hotels, especially for big families. In addition to the money you’ll save, it makes eating in Paris a lot easier and gives the kids a sense of having a base in a strange city. Just make sure you choose the right Parisian neighborhood so both you and your children feel safe.

“I would try and do an apartment. There are many good sites. They are a little on the upscale side, but still way less than a hotel. There are hotels, many 3*, that have triples, but finding two triples may be tough.”
“You should look into renting an apartment instead. Try homeaway.com, vrbo.com. They would give you a kitchen and great base of operations. I rent and have never had a problem. The Metro is fast and fun. Look in the 5th or 7th for reasonable rates.”
“I too would suggest the apartment route, which is what we did last March. In our case we stayed in the downtown area and walked to just about everything (Notre Dame, Ste Chapelle, the Pompideau Centre and the Louvre were all within 10 minutes walking distance). Two bakeries within 90 seconds walk of the front door, etc. The only thing I would caution you of is that location is important. Most people tend to stay in the Marais area (which is we were) or near Montmartre, which I would be cautious of (climbing the hill after a day of touring is not something I would want to do).”
“There are a few things you need to check out if you are doing an apartment. e.g., is there construction in the building or outside as you generally can not get a different room. You usually will not be too far from a metro stop. The closer to Isle St. Louis the better. I would avoid the 9th (red light area) arrondissement and, as mentioned, the area around Mont Martre/Sacre Coeur (not convenient to get to and from). I would also avoid places that are close to Gare du Nord or Gare St. Lazarre, not bad areas but they are working neighborhoods and noisy. If you are using VRBO, make sure you do some double checking with people who have used the apartment as you are dealing direct with the owner of the property.”
“I'd definitely look into an apartment - for cost as well as space. You will be there during high season and 2-3 rooms would be very, very expensive (although you don't mention budget as an issue).”
“To be 'en famille' you could also consider to stay in a flat'hotel for instance, have a look at citadines.com/uapa/apafrpar0... the "Paris Louvre" could be a suitable solution”
“My cousin and husband are seriously considering visiting Paris next spring with their soon to be 2 yr. old son, my godchild. To be practical they are considering booking an apartment for the week they'll be there and Citadines is one they're researching. There's a location at St. Germain so it'll be highly convenient. I think if you've got small kids an apartment is wiser to stay than in a cramped hotel room. The apartment actually is cheaper than a hotel room too in many instances.”

Related Links



Here's the original discussion:



a VirtualTourist member from Tongeren asked on Jan 13, 2017

Paris

Paris with kids

Hello Paris experts ;-)

We'll be attending the U2 show in Paris on July 25 and want to add a couple of extra days in and around the city.
I don't yet know where we'll be staying.

Our boys - who will be 9 and 11 by then - will be joining us. In fact it was their idea go along to a show and then our oldest one decided he wanted to see the Eiffeltower ... And what's a mum to do then but to buy tickets for the Stade de France then ... anything to keep the young ones happy (and now I can 'blame' them for the trip ;-) ).

We'll likely arrive there around noon on friday 21st and leave for home again on wednesday 26th.

Do any of you have a suggestion as on what kids might enjoy doing. The Eiffeltower is a must. Besides that: they don't mind a museum (as long as it doesn't take an entire day), they like history and they're not fussy about walking.
I've read something about the sewers tour ... do you think that's worth doing with kids?

As always: thanks for your input!



8 Answers


answered on 1/13/17 by
a VT member from London

I have not been to Paros since 1974 when I was little younger than your youngsters but I find it immensely heartening that you still come to VT for travel advice after all that has happened. It would be very interesting to see how many responses to travellers questions have been posted here. Many, many millions, I do not doubt.




answered on 1/13/17 by
a VT member from La Gouesnière

Hi Jessika, I'm still in the middle of saving all my stuff but will get back to you over the weekend.




answered on 1/13/17 by
a VT member from Frankfurt am Main

I'm sure Paul will have some good suggestions, but in the meantime you might want to take a look at a couple of beausoleil's tips:
[original VT link]
[original VT link]
(not exactly the same ages, but still)

As for the sewers, I have three tips about them. I wasn't there with kids, though, just by myself.
[original VT link]
[original VT link]
[original VT link]




answered on 1/13/17 by
a VT member from Tongeren

Well Fergy, why wouldn't I ask? As long as it's operational VT is still the best source of information and I'm trying to make the most of it. ;-)

Thanks Paul, backing up your stuff is indeed number 1 priority now, make sure you get your data before it's poured down the drain.

Don, thanks for the links, much appreciated!




answered on 1/13/17 by
a VT member from San Diego

Jessika take a look at Don's and Paul's Paris page! They've built beautiful pages and offer lots of interesting things to do and see. I was Tip Grouping Paris until the closure was announced, so I stopped to save my own pages.




answered on 1/13/17 by
a VT member from Sacramento

Nemorino gave you my tip links. The first one has links to the venue web sites that might be useful for hours and cost. If your kids are at all interested in science (or even if they aren't), I'd strongly recommend the Cité de Sciences et de l'Industrie. It is great fun for all ages and the park around it has lots of sculpture the kids can climb on and enjoy as kids, not just look at it. The Cité De La Musique is also fun and your kids are old enough to enjoy it. You go through with interactive headphones that start up as you enter an exhibit. It follows you so there is no particular order and you can't get lost. You can start it over by walking back into the room or approaching that exhibit. It's one of the neatest audio guides we've used.

It is July and it could get very hot so plan museums for afternoons when it is hottest. You can do outdoor things in the mornings when it's cooler. Of course, it can be cool in July; we've needed jackets then so don't count on it being hot. The Cluny Museum (Musée de Moyen Age) is small and interesting. Right outside is a very nice garden with a play area for kids. Dad can run across the street and buy lunch from a street vendor, bring it back and you can have a picnic in the Cluny Museum garden and let the kids run around and play for an hour. [original VT link]

If they like castles, the Chateau de Vincennes is at the end of Metro line 3 and you can get there with one Metro ticket. It has the highest medieval castle keep in Europe and is quite spectacular. So easy to get there . . . Take line 1 to the end, walk up the stairs and the castle is right on your left. You just have to walk in. [original VT link]

Another great kid favorite is the Place Igor Stravinsky by the Pompidou Center. The fountains have colorful water sculptures. I've also seen people climbing in them in the summer but expect that is discouraged. [original VT link]

The Tuileries Gardens (my personal favorite place in Paris) has little sail boats the kids can rent. There is also a fun fair or carnival there in the summer with rides, cotton candy, games, etc. It's perfect for kids, especially if they've just left the Louvre and need a break. There is also a permanent playground with all sorts of climbing apparatus farther back in the Tuileries near the Jeu de Palm. [original VT link]

There are gardens and playgrounds all over Paris. It's a great place for kids. Any time they need a break, just ask for the nearest garden and you'll be fine. There is one between Notre Dame and the Seine, just across the Seine with great views of the church if you take photos, by Invalides, near the Eiffel Tower and most museums. You'll notice them as you walk around and you'll see plenty of Parisian children enjoying them. Join the party . . .

Enjoy your trip.




answered on 1/14/17 by
a VT member

Long time since we visited the Museum of Science & Industry but it wasn't stuffy and absolutely amazing and so educational - 15 years on our boys still talk about it




answered on 1/16/17 by
a VT member from La Gouesnière

Jessika, I don't know if it will change anything for you but the Sunday 23rd is the arrival of the Tour de France in Paris, so the area around the Champs Elysees will be difficult to negotiate. Of course that may interest your kids to see the race. Best place to be is along the rue de Rivoli just after the statue of Jeanne d'arc as the riders come up out of the tunnel under the Tuileries.
Another good one for kids (and adults) is the Arts and Metiers museum. They have some hands-on stuff for kids. 8€ for adults kids are free 3 metro stops within 200 metres.

http://www.arts-et-metiers.net/

There is also the "Musee de la Magie" but I find it's a trifle expensive. In the middle of an area with lots of history though.

museedelamagie.com/accueil1....

I would also go along with the suggestion of Chateau de Vincennes, plenty of history as well as the tallest keep in Europe. Kids under 18 are free.

[original VT link]

Here's some suggestions by Time-Out for rainy days and sunny days

timeout.com/paris/en/kids-ac...

timeout.com/paris/en/kids-ac...
timeout.com/paris/en/kids-ac...






Here's a related discussion:



a VirtualTourist member from Alpharetta asked on Oct 15, 2004

Paris

Places to Stay in Paris with Kids

We are going to paris in April with our 2 children and my in-laws. I would like a hotel that is welcoming to children where we can get a chambre en famille and be in a central location for my husband's parents. We usually stay at Hotel Des Grandes Ecoles. Any other reccomendations?



3 Answers


answered on 10/15/04 by
a VT member

Look in the top left hand corner of your VT page There is a search window Type 'Paris check that it is set for 'places click 'go when the page opens there are lots of highlighted blue sections click 'accomodation' or 'places to stay' A second possibility is just to look back through old questions - believe it or not, your question is asked about 5 times every week A third possibility is to do a check for people who Live in Paris and look at their pages and see what accomodation they know and recommend A fourth possibility is to enrol on an course on research skills using the internet




answered on 10/16/04 by
a VT member from Paris

Hi, To be 'en famille' you could also consider to stay in a flat'hotel for instance, have a look at citadines.com/uapa/apafrpar0... the "Paris Louvre" could be a suitable solution M




answered on 10/16/04 by
a VT member from California

My cousin and husband are seriously considering visiting Paris next spring with their soon to be 2 yr. old son, my godchild. To be practical they are considering booking an apartment for the week they'll be there and Citadines is one they're researching. There's a location at St. Germain so it'll be highly convenient. I think if you've got small kids an apartment is wiser to stay than in a cramped hotel room. The apartment actually is cheaper than a hotel room too in many instances.






Here's a related discussion:



a VirtualTourist member asked on Sep 28, 2006

Paris

Paris With Kids?

My wife and I are taking our sons, aged 7 and 9, to Paris at the end of October. Although I have been to Paris many times, I have never travelled there with the children. What are some of the attractions and/or activities that you think two boys would enjoy (other than the Eiffel Tower)?

Thanks in advance.



5 Answers


answered on 9/28/06 by
a VT member

Hee There!

the tourist center of paris is in the périphérique. I think they would like the Notre dame, (from the fairy tail) and champ elysee, the huge schoppingmall. ofcourse disney land paris is great for the kids also in the neigborghoud is Park asterix, based on asterix and obeliks

the park Bois de vincennes is a park with an zoo and a castle.

More information on www.paris.org. have a nace Vacation!




answered on 9/28/06 by
a VT member from Michigan

The Louvre.




answered on 9/28/06 by
a VT member from New York City

The challenge of the steps leading up to Sacre Coeur and the view from the top.




answered on 9/28/06 by
a VT member from Newcastle upon Tyne

Parisians: isn't there a place nearby (a town outside the city, I think?) where the boys can sail or row their own boats? I remember another VTer mentioning it some time ago but can't recall the details.




answered on 10/2/06 by
a VT member from New Zealand

hi!
we travelled there in may with our TWO year old son and found that paris is VERy child friendly :)
I lived there for a year (years ago) and didnt realise just how much there is to do!! the luxembourg gardens playground was where we went everyday. it cost a small amont to get in but has toilets etc. there is an area for under 7years and a huge area for 7+years just amazing!! there is also a couple of zoos oyu can go to but we found the old zoo near notre dame was the best. there is the offical website for paris tourists (sorry i forget what its called) that has a childrens section with what to do. we were there for a month and never ran out of things to do and see. if you want to know anything else just let me know






Here's a related discussion:



a VirtualTourist member from Rio de Janeiro asked on Apr 14, 2009

Paris

Paris with kids

Any tips for a week in Paris with a 4 years old? Thank you all in advance!



8 Answers


answered on 4/14/09 by
a VT member from Phoenix

Yes, we did enjoy bringing our 3-year old twins to jardin de luxembourg (as pedmar has mentioned, gardens are awesome in Paris)- but it was February when we went so it was bit chilly. During the summer months, there is more activity for kids...and they even have puppet shows!

But for a four year olds, most impressive would probably be Paris Disneyland! We just took the train and had a great time exploring Disney and meeting the French version of Mickey! They still remember Mickey and the Eiffel Tower. But they have forgotten about Sacre Cours, Notre Dame and Chartres Cathedrals...

There's also a lot of carousels in Paris, and I think we rode on 3 of them! Have fun, Norman :)




answered on 4/14/09 by
a VT member from California

A 4 year old should also enjoy going on the subway and taking a river cruise.

Make sure your bring a stroller as you probably will do a lot of walking as well.
Jeannette




answered on 4/14/09 by
a VT member from Phoenix

That's very true Jeannette! The strollers were lifesavers for us --- but you should use the lightweight one like the Umbrella stroller. It is so much more easier to carry around the subways and around Paris itself...




answered on 4/14/09 by
a VT member from California

Yes, Norman, an umbrella-stroller is great. Very light and easily folded.
My grand-son loved to ride on the bus last year.
KJ




answered on 4/14/09 by
a VT member from Rio de Janeiro

Thanks everybody! You were great... and fast!




answered on 4/14/09 by
a VT member from Poughkeepsie

Some of these site are duplicates of those already suggested by others but I list my recommendations in whole for easy reference:

http://www.bateauxparisiens.com/
http://www.aquarium-portedoree.fr/
http://www.cirque-diana-moreno.com/
http://www.ambafrance-us.org/kids/
cite-sciences.fr/francais/in...
paris-junior.com/Gb/Teens_co...
infoparks.com/flashfr/r_parc...
http://www.provins.net/
http://www.jardindacclimatation.fr/
http://www.museedelapoupeeparis.com/
parismomes.fr/mag/mag_parisw...
http://www.playmobil.com/index.html

One of the greatest problems is with the evening meal. French restaurants open a 7:30 pm (you might find an occasional 7:00) which is really too late to eat for most young children. Cafés and Brasseries are open all day which will possibly make dinning a bit easier if not simpler. I am sure you already have a good supply of crayons, paper, and silent entertainment or activities to occupy your child at the dinner table which can make an evening meal go much smoother.




answered on 5/14/09 by
a VT member from Rio de Janeiro

I would like to thank everyone for all the tips you gave me of what to do with kids in Paris. We had a great time there.
Specifically I would like to reinforce the following activities which my 3 year old daughter really enjoyed:

1) La cité des enfants - they have a special place for kids that age
2) La gallerie de l'évolution - she enjoyed seeing the big animals
3) Jardin de luxembourg - she loved the playground, very different from those in Brazil
4) Cirque diana moreno - she enjoyed a lot the show, specially the first part with the 10 tigers

She also enjoyed going on the carrousel near the Notre dame and seeing the Louvre pyramid.

I really recommend the hotel we stayed: Hotel du Levant http://www.hoteldulevant.com/ (near St Michel and St Germain). Really nice quarter, close to many restaurants which helped find food quickly for our kids!
Thanks everybody!!!




answered on 5/14/09 by
a VT member from Phoenix

That's great Ana! Glad you had a lot of fun! Greetings from Arizona, Norman :)






Here's a related discussion:



a VirtualTourist member asked on Jan 11, 2011

Paris

Paris with Kids

I need some help. We would like to go to Paris in July 2011 with our 4 kids. Ages 7, 10, 12, 15. We have never been to Europe and its overwhelming trying to figure this trip out. First I want to know if anyone knows of any hotels that have rooms for 6 people. I thought about renting an apt., but I'm not sure. Whenever we travel we always have to book 2 rooms, so I was trying to avoid that. Also, are there alot of restaurants that allow children, like many of the finer places. My kids are used to traveling and like to eat well. I just don't want to feel that Paris is too stuffy a place to take my kids. We were thinking about going to London also for a few days. Then we thought about a European cruise. But we'd rather stay somewhere for a few days so we can get a feel for the place. On a cruise you don't get alot of time in each place. Am I crazy for thinking all of us could go on a trip like this? Any advice would be great. Thank You.



8 Answers


answered on 1/11/11 by
a VT member from Calabasas

I would try and do an apartment. There are many good sites. One that I use is welcome2france.com They are a little on the upscale side, but still way less than a hotel. There are hotels, many 3*, that have triples, but finding two triples may be tough. On our family trips to Paris, we found most restaurants very welcoming to our family of 5. Try Au Chien Qui Fume in Les Halles. It may be tough to squeeze 6 people in at some of the sidewalk bistros. There is a decent food court underneath by the Louvre. Our kids were able to point at what they wanted and all seemed to enjoy their choices. Karl




answered on 1/11/11 by
a VT member

Thanks for your reply. I'm going to check the apt. site out now. I'm also going to see if I could look up Au Chien Qui Fume. Thanks again.




answered on 1/11/11 by
a VT member from Tijuana

Travel is great for Kids. It gives them another perspective of the world. For hi-end eats with kids I recomend "Fouchets" (spelling may be off) on the main Mega Blvd. It has a lunch side overlooking the street. Also recomend the "Pied de cochon" (worlds best onion soup) Also recomend the "Metropole" Its great Seafood. Also lunch at the Eiffle Tower then walk to Napoleons Tomb and other near-by Museums.




answered on 1/11/11 by
a VT member

You should look into renting an apartment instead. Try www.homeaway.com, vrbo.com. They would give you a kitchen and great base of operations. I rent and have never had a problem. The Metro is fast and fun. Look in the 5th or 7th for reasonable rates. Museums can be overwhelming so when I travel with kids, I go to the gift shop and pick out 2 or 3 postcards of things the kids want to see then find those things. When you are done, leave. The guards are great with kids if they show them a postcard and ask where the item is. Scavenger hunt at the Louvre. there are also a number of merry-go-rounds in Paris- try to find them (8 or 9- several are double decker). For meals- try to let the kids choose lunch then you choose dinner. French restaurants can be welcoming for kids and they get to practice their Company manners. My grandson loved Longleat House and Stonehenge in the Southwest of England. The Safari Park and Breeding center at Longeleat House is FABULOUS!!!!




answered on 1/11/11 by
a VT member from Province of Ontario

I too would suggest the apartment route, which is what we did last March.

In our case we stayed in the downtown area and walked to just about everything (Notre Dame, Ste Chapelle, the Pompideau Centre and the Louvre were all within 10 minutes walking distance). Two bakeries within 90 seconds walk of the front door, etc. The only thing I would caution you of is that location is important. Most people tend to stay in the Marais area (which is we were) or near Montmartre, which I would be cautious of (climbing the hill after a day of touring is not something I would want to do).

We found our apartment through Yellowstay;

apartments-rental.yellowstay...

That being said, there are lots of other rental sights you can check out on the internet. We never ran into any issues with the kids and restaurants.




answered on 1/11/11 by
a VT member from Calabasas

There are a few things you need to check out if you are doing an apartment. e.g., is there construction in the building or outside as you generally can not get a different room. You usually will not be too far from a metro stop. The closer to Isle St. Louis the better. I would avoid the 9th (red light area) arrondissement and, as mentioned, the area around Mont Martre/Sacre Coeur (not convenient to get to and from). I would also avoid places that are close to Gare du Nord or Gare St. Lazarre, not bad areas but they are working neighborhoods and noisy. If you are using VRBO, make sure you do some double checking with people who have used the apartment as you are dealing direct with the owner of the property. Karl




answered on 1/11/11 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

I'd definitely look into an apartment - for cost as well as space. You will be there during high season and 2-3 rooms would be very, very expensive (although you don't mention budget as an issue).

Eating doesn't have to be stuffy at all. As mentioned many of the museums have good cafes, and you will be there at a time of the year when it'll be very nice to nosh outdoors. There are some fun cafes - with lots of seating - in the Tuilleries that could easily accommodate 6. You might stand a better chance at some other places by eating earlier rather than later in the evening. Same for lunch - go at an off hour.

One of the more fun things to do it to have some street food - inexpensive, very good, and can be eaten on the go for lunch. For instance, ham and cheese, and Nutella and banana crepes are delicious, filling, fun, and won't break the bank. You can also picnic.

Do be cautious of the kids ordering soft drinks!!! Unlike the US, where soda is cheap and they often refill the glass for free, Coke and other soft drinks can be very expensive in French cafes. I'd encourage them to have water with meals, and pick up sodas at the markets for a treat during some R&R time.




answered on 1/11/11 by
a VT member from Sacramento

The apartment idea is great. We've done that with our daughters because it was less expensive and we had more room. We used Paris Attitude Apartments and they were great. This place could accomodate 6 if the kids didn't mind sharing a bed. It's 3 bedrooms with double beds in each room. You can also check other apartments. parisattitude.com/apartment....

As far as having children in Paris, you will love it. Parisians and the French in general love children and will give them all kinds of attention.

There are many things for children of all ages to do in Paris. Check Tips at [original VT link] and also Free Things to Do in Paris at [original VT link]

BTW, most of the city museums are free so take advantage.

Restaurant seating shouldn't be a problem as they can just pull tables together. Three tables for two gives you a table for six. We've also eaten at places with large round tables for families. You can also ask at your hotel for suggestions. We've found some of our favorite restaurants that way.

Favorites are: breakfast at Paul's Boulangerie on rue de Buci with larger tables; other meals at (1) La Bastide d'Opio can combine seats bistrot-opio.com/index_en.ht..., (2) Au Clocher de Montmartre has large tables http://www.auclocherdemontmartre.com and (3) La Corniche is Tunisian and has a local clientele of large families. They are great with kids. harissa.com/D_bouffe/lacorni...

I'm sure you'll find many such places, all great fun. Your 7-year-old may enjoy brief visits to the many playgrounds hidden all over Paris and the older ones will surely find something of interest in the Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens. For something a bit out of the way, you might visit the Museum of Science and the Museum of Music out in Parc de la Villette in the 19th district.

You'll have a grand time and so will the kids. Enjoy.






Here's a related discussion:



a VirtualTourist member from Norway asked on Mar 29, 2016

Paris

What to do in Paris with two kids?

I have two kids, 7 & 10 years, well travelled and behaved, patient and interested - what can I offer them in Paris? I only know the city from occasional job travels and cancellations and mishaps at CDG transits, I do not speak French and I have 5 days to spare. Time: mid-May. Hotel: 15 minutes' walk from the Notre-Dame. Food: everything. I am at the beginning of my research, so happy for quite general advice, too!



9 Answers


answered on 3/29/16 by
a VT member from La Gouesnière

Have a look at the tips and hints that are here on VT in the travel guide and written by members such as I. Paris is just too full of things to do to list them all here




answered on 3/29/16 by
a VT member from Multan

the eiffel tower tour

paris by mouth food tours

fat tire bike tours

jardin des plantes and natural history museum

paris catacombs

notre dame cathedral

you don't worry .
in france english speakers is.




answered on 3/29/16 by
a VT member from Frankfurt am Main

VirtualTourist member beausoliel has written some tips about things to do with children in Paris, for instance:
[original VT link]




answered on 3/29/16 by
a VT member from Paris

Most children absolutely adore the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution at the Jardin des Plantes.

Here is what I saw there: anyportinastorm.proboards.co...

Another favorite is the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie at Porte de la Villette.




answered on 3/29/16 by
a VT member from Sacramento

Paris was made for children. For starters, there are all kinds of things for kids in the Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens, carousels, climbing apparatus, in season a fun fair with Ferris wheel, etc. There are pony rides in the Luxembourg Garden and puppet shows on Sundays in season. The Jardin des Plantes has a natural history museum and a menagerie or small zoo. There is a very nice small playground in the medieval garden outside the Cluny Museum and the museum is one of our favorites. We see lots of kids inside and they seem to be having fun. When you go to a museum, ask if they have an activity sheet for children because most do and it's a lot more fun for the kids when they have things to look for or mysteries to solve. Be sure you have pencils for them.

Here is a list of things to do with children in Paris. [original VT link]

Here is a list of free things to do in Paris and many are kid-friendly. [original VT link]

Place Igor Stravinsky by the Pompidou Center is always fun. Kids absolutely love all the crazy fountains there. [original VT link]

When they get tired of sightseeing, stop at one of the many playgrounds and turn them loose. You can relax and they can meet some new French friends. Language is never a problem for kids. [original VT link]

Don gave you one of my listings for children above, but I also did a tip for 13-14 year olds, and some of those things might be of interest to your older child. [original VT link]

Also, keep in mind that the French love children so you'll get a lot more attention and help when you have your kids with you. Enjoy the extra attention and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. If your children can learn to say s'il vous plaît and merci, that will make them doubly charming.

Enjoy Paris.




answered on 3/30/16 by
a VT member from Paris

As Beausoleil and Gwened have made obvious, there is no problem at all at finding things to do with children in Paris.




answered on 4/4/16 by
a VT member from Paris

If by any chance your children are girls, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in the Louvre building is having a Barbie exhibition through mid-September.

http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/en/




answered on 4/5/16 by
a VT member from Norway

Thanks, everybody, for all the tips re Paris for children. We are spending 6 days in all in Mid May, and looking forward to it all. Thanks to you all for tips and suggestions. This has been a very good start for a newcomer (in holiday mood) to Paris! Now we are digging into details from your tips, browsing VT and a couple of guidebooks, and setting up a not-too-rigorous plan. I have understood that booking tickets in advance is a must ot travel smart. The kids pick one special thing each, the rest we (adults) command. We learnt in Venice (see my pages) that giving the kids one day to fully decide on all meals was not good; they had pizza and ice cream for every meal. This time it will be ratatouille, unless we stay in power - we saw the animation movie in prep for this trip. If I can be at service, similarly, do not hesitate to contact me via VT! Again, thanks a lot! Olav




answered on 4/5/16 by
a VT member from Sacramento

Have a wonderful time. Sounds like you've done your homework. Pizza and I've cream sounds pretty good, but maybe not every day. ;^)





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