“Did You Take Your Kids?”
When talking to others about my recent trip to Paris, one of the first questions I get is: “Did you take your kids?” Many assume that Paris isn’t kid friendly, and they are dead wrong. I have been fortunate to visit Paris several times in my life: both with just my husband and with my young daughters. Traveling with our daughters actually made for a richer and more memorable trip--we saw the city through their eyes and slowed down enough to actually experience Paris rather than hopping into every museum in sight and cramming too much into a single day.
A Mix of Culture and Fun
The city is simply beautiful- the architecture, the food, the gardens, and the people. It has beautiful monuments and museums and there’s a quiet park or playground in every neighborhood, often right behind a famous landmark. We watched our children play under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, and a medieval castle.
Our daily strategy was to pick a neighborhood of Paris, visit a site (maybe two) and explore that area, then blow off steam at a playground while mom and dad sat on a park bench snacking on baguettes and cheese while basking in the surrounding beauty.
We also picked activities that didn’t consume an entire day- we opted for the Musee D’Orsay rather than the massive and crowded Louvre. We visited a beautiful medieval castle on the eastern edge of Paris where my children could explore at will rather than getting lost in the crowds and tour buses of Versailles. With good planning and the right strategy, the trade-offs were minimal and the experiences enhanced.
“Did Your Kids Eat the Food?”
The second most common question I get from others: “Did your kids eat the food there?” French dining can be expensive and the dinner hours are late, especially for families on U.S. eastern standard time. That being said, we feel we have not compromised on food quality and food experiences by mostly foregoing the restaurants.
The market streets, the creperie stands, cheese shops, and boulangeries have captivated and exceeded our every culinary need. We ate amazing breads (baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat), delicious cheese, tartines, crepes with Nutella, quiches, wonderful rotisserie chicken, fresh fruit from the market street, and sandwiches (jambon fromage-”ham and cheese”) from the boulangerie. A sandwich here is not comparable to a sandwich in the United States. Trust me. We are absolutely delighted with this arrangement and it saves us money and hassle.
Find Your Favorite Moments
And finally, we just had fun. We rode trains (the metro), cruised the Seine River on a boat, climbed up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower, pretended to shoot arrows through the slots of a castle, enjoyed a scavenger hunt for various impressionist paintings, took photos, delighted in selecting beautiful pastries for dessert, and so much more. We even saw a man walking his donkey down a city street on a Saturday morning in Paris (which made my girl’s list of “My Favorite Moments in Paris”.) So, in closing, don’t hesitate on taking a trip to Paris with your kids- you’ll be amazed by the moments-both the expected and unexpected.
All You Need To Know For Your Family Vacation to Paris
Follow this proven Paris trip itinerary for a wonderful family vacation. This travel guide will save you countless hours of research by identifying the best places to stay, where to eat, and activities that were fun and worthwhile for both kids and adults.
This personally experienced 7 day trip itinerary will detail where to stay in Paris including vetted airbnb and VRBO listings, local food recommendations, activities that were fun for both kids AND adults, labeled maps, walking distances, and any helpful trip tips discovered along the way--all organized into detailed, day-by-day plans.