It’s the month of L’amour and we thought it was the perfect time to escape to the City of Love and Romance, however we are taking the kids too!
Well-known to be one of the most expensive city’s in the world, I intrepidly checked my bank account prior to the trip and was suddenly overwhelmed by a fear that I would run out of money. Now I am not a usual fan of credit and for this reason do not even have a credit card. A quick search for best payday loans brought up a host of results and I quickly skimmed them over as I looked forward to our family vacation to the ‘city of love.’ Having restored my heart-beat to a normal rate it slowly dawned on me that I hate credit so quickly shut down the computer. Panic over about money I carried on packing. Let’s call it a little financial wobble.
My love affair with Paris
Onto Paris. I first went to Paris when I was at University. A friend wanted to cheer me up and so suggested we take a trip to the city. I instantly fell in love. The fact that there was a subway station on every corner I just loved, also the vibe and feel of the city was so familiar to where I come from, London, but yet so different. It would be hard for me to name another city I like as much as Paris.
So here is my Guide to Paris – With kids.
The Eiffel Tower
If it’s a first time trip to Paris, it’s not complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower. When you are visiting with children make sure you book beforehand online, the queues without a pre-booking can be horrendous particularly at weekends and in the holidays. You will also find a downloadable guide for kids which is great for keeping them interested and saving you from getting bombarded with questions you have no idea of the answers to! You can make a day of it and enjoy a meal at the 58 tour Eiffel which is the restaurant on the first level. They have a good children’s menu both for lunch and dinner, again do remember to book. An alternative would be to buy a pizza and sit in the park opposite – your children will never tire of looking at this imposing structure and every time they see the Eiffel tower in the future whether on television or in a magazine they will exclaim that they have sat at the foot of it and eaten pizza!
Parc de Villette
We have heard people complain about the location of this futuristic park but to be honest it is worth the trek and you won’t be disappointed. There is too much here for me to begin to tell you about – I would need a whole website! However I can tell you that the whole day will be taken up in the exciting 55 acres of entertainment. This is a child’s paradise. With several themed gardens and parks including one themed around a giant dragon and another filled with mirrors.
Within the Parc de Villete is the Cite des Enfants, one of the best children’s museums in the world and always a favourite. It’s especially great for younger kids and toddlers. Lots of science related toys to play with. A really well designed children’s museum. It is advisable to purchase your tickets online to reserve your session. If you can’t avoid holidays and weekends then try to get an early morning slot – as it does get super busy here! For the youngest members of the family there are free pushchairs provided (and wheelchairs) and change tables in the restrooms.
Top Tip: You really can’t see everything in one visit at the Cite des Enfants so select a couple of themes to concentrate on and we promise you will be pleased to have the excuse to visit again.
Seine Boat Tour
This is a great option for the whole family. Pick up a boat at Ile St. Louis for an hour long cruise through the centre of Paris at sunset. The kids love the boats and it’s a great way to enjoy all that Paris can offer. With it’s bridges and islands the river offers children an exciting escapade.
In some of the parks of Paris (Jardin de Luxembourg is our favourite) there are adorable toy boat rentals. Your child can choose their boat and then they can guide it with a long stick, although sometimes a gust of wind will take the boat of in a totally unpredictable direction, which will be met with squeals of delight from your youngsters. It’s simple and perfect; you won’t ever forget this experience and the photographs will always bring back that warm feeling. Inexpensive and original, your children will love the toy sail boats of Paris.
This whole area is captivating if a little commercialised (well, actually quite a lot!) Place du Tetre (Artists Square) is a place that your children will love and remember for always. At some point during your visit in Montmartre, you should wander here and watch the painters. Perhaps you could get a family portrait? But don’t have high expectations!. I still have a fun caricature drawn here from my own childhood! You can then move on to the breathtaking Sacre Coeur and that wonderful view of Paris!
This is just a tiny selection of what do with the children in Paris. We would love to hear about your favourite child-friendly places and activities in Paris