Last week, I spent a few fast and furious days exploring Paris with my tween daughter. Three days, two gals, and about a thousand things to see. We barely made a dent, but our days were packed full of amazing adventures. Here are a few tips and favorite ideas for touring Paris with kids…
Eiffel Tower- With this world famous landmark being under construction the waiting times are insane. We waited for 3 hours before even getting on the lift. Waiting in line did indeed give us plenty of time to get really excited and prepared for the big lift ride, but it also sucked up a better part of the day. The weather went from chilly to hot, our legs were exhausted, and we even had front row viewing of some sort of a labor protest (quite the experience for my little suburbia living daughter). Over all, well worth the time. Hints: You can buy your tickets in advance for a specific date and time online. They sell out quickly, so this must be done weeks in advance. It appeared to almost be like a Disneyland Fastpass…would have save us almost 3 hours! Also, hydrate before you get up the tower. Drinks on the 2nd level were 5 Euros each (over $7 USD)!
Luxemborg Gardens- This park is unlike anything I have ever seen. It has a great playground, pony rides, cafe, and is an amazingly beautiful place to sit back and relax. Pack a lunch or hit the cafe and let the kiddos make new friends at the playground or take a pony ride.
Fat Tire Bike Tours- What a great way to safely visit some top attractions in Paris. The tour guide was English speaking, extremely knowledgeable, and had a great sense of humor. They have different bike options to accommodate children of all ages. There were several kids on our tour and I loved the fact that the entire group kept an eye out for the kids. This surely was an amazing way to spend an afternoon.
Let them eat cake- Paris is know for their beautiful and amazing pastries. There were so many great little pastry shops on every single street, I just couldn’t resist. It was also a great distraction when tired little legs were ready to take a break. Order a pastry to go, find some shade, and enjoy the great people watching of Paris.
Pantheon- Much to my surprise, this was a huge hit with my daughter. She was fascinated with the architecture and the crypt. The idea of a bunch of people laid to rest, above ground and in the basement of a massive building was so intriguing. I wish we would have done a little preparation research about some of the famous people who are interred in this famous building.
Art – Paris is known for housing some of the world’s most famous and well know pieces of art. While kids are not likely to want to leisurely stroll through a museum for hours on end, they will enjoy a visit though. Many of the most famous pieces of art studied by children in school are in Paris. It is truly an amazing experience for a child to see the “real thing”.
We chose the Musee d’Orsay. This was a winning situation for both of us. I got to enjoy this famous and amazing museum, while my little artist was thrilled to see some of her favorites. Next visit we’ll tackle the Louvre!
Notre Dame- This Cathedral is absolutely beautiful and is a Paris must see. As we walked through, I could see how this amazing building was catching the eye of my daughter. Lighting a candle was a highlight and a great moment of reflection for her (maybe it was more that she could play with fire, but she talked about the experience all afternoon). She also loved the statues, stained glass, and of course the gargoyles.
Dining- The food in Paris was absolutely incredible. Whether eating at a gourmet restaurant or grabbing a quick gelato, there is something to please everyone. Also, most restaurants offer a meal for children on the menu for around 10 Euros.
Overall, Paris was an amazing vacation . So many amazing sights and fun activities. Now to figure out how to make it to Paris again!
For more great thoughts about a Paris adventure with your kids check out TravelingBunch.com!