You may be filled with excitement at the thought of showing the vibrant city of Paris to your children and seeing the wonder light up in their little faces as they soak up all the amazing sights and sounds of the city, but what if there is a different way to enjoy Paris with your kids? How about if you try and regain a sense of child-like awe and try to see the sights through their eyes instead?
Of course you’ll wait some sort of itinerary to make sure that you don’t miss the city highlights, but make sure that you allow enough time to simply wander and look. Let your kids pause at the places that really capture their attention and don’t hurry them along if they are totally absorbed in something.
You might be tempted to try and avoid the busier parts of town, the places that attract the main hubbub of tourists, and seek out hidden jewels instead. But remember why places become popular tourist attractions – they are usually the best sights in a city! As long as you keep a close eye and a tight hold on your kids, crowded places can be just as exciting your young eyes, with a throng of people and a hive of activity all around.
Let your kids, at least in part, be your guide to Paris!
Help your kids to guide you with the fantastic Kids’ Travel Guide – Paris. The colourful pages are brimming with interesting information, broken down into easy bite-sized chunks that are appealing to children, fun facts about the city, top tips, puzzles, games, journal entries, and fun quizzes. Kids are taken on a journey around Paris by Leonardo, their helpful and friendly guide. They can then lead you around the City of Light, and, you never know, they might just tell you something fascinating that you didn’t already know!
There are so many attractions that are child-friendly, and luckily many of these are within easy walking distance from each other. There’s always the metro too for easily and conveniently getting to places that are just a little bit too far to want to walk. There are plentiful cafes where you can make quick toilet stops and rest a while with delicious French refreshments. Make the most of your stops and let your children see the people of Paris rushing past as they take it all in from the comfort of their seat. Pavement cafes are brilliant for spotting the smaller details of the city.
Grab food from street sellers, drizzle chocolate sauce over fresh crepes, inhale the tantalising aromas in the bakeries, pause and watch the artists and street performers, wander through the little back streets, pop into the local shops, and let your children open your eyes afresh to all the magic of Paris!
Flexibility is key, and you may well find that your kids’ explorations take you far away from your carefully planned out route. Let them! It will let you all see a different side to Paris and make the days a lot more fun for children. Indulge them a little and you’ll quickly discover what makes Paris so enchanting for a child.
When you visit Montmartre you can enjoy the sweeping city views, admire the striking Sacre Coeur Basilica, climb up to the dome and journey down into the crypt, call into one of the cute street cafes, see the nearby largeWall of Love, which is sure to interest kids with its many translations of the simple yet powerful phrase “I Love You”, and stroll through the beautiful Place Emile Goudeau, which was home to several great painters of the past. Your children can also watch some painters at work at the lovely Place du Tertre and there are several play areas in the vicinity.
There are numerous ways to enjoy the iconic Eiffel Tower – gaze at it from afar, stare upwards from the bottom, and take a trip up to the viewing platform. You can easily incorporate each into your trip, but try not to be disappointed if your little ones really don’t want to go up the tower – the thought of going so high can be quite scary for little folk! You can also relax and enjoy views of the tower in the Champ-de-Mars park. There are numerous things for kids to enjoy in the park, such as a well-equipped play area, an old fashioned carousel, and pedal carts.
Talking about parks, Paris boasts some excellent green spaces, perfect for letting kids blow off a little steam. The Jardin du Luxembourg is often a hit, with its sweeping stretches of grass, pretty flowers, grand old mansion, sparkling lake, ornate fountains, and interesting statues … not to mention the fabulous children’s corner. With one of the city’s best play areas, small sailing boats, and pony rides and puppet shows in the summer, it is easy to spend lots of time in this delightful city park. Buttes-Chaumont Park is another favourite, with grassy areas where kids can run and play, a lake that is spanned by two adventurous bridges, lovely trees and flowers, superb play areas, and shows throughout the summer months.
Notre Dame is also cool for kids – point out the gargoyles peering down at visitors from above and let your kids enjoy the many details of this splendid piece of architecture.
There are several museums that are ideal for kids too. You could try the Pompidou Centre, with its swathes of interactive things to do, the interesting Musee d’Orsay, or the world-famous Louvre. If you do visit the Louvre, be selective with the displays you want to see – it’s huge! Make museums more appealing for children with the Kids’ Travel Guide – Paris Museums. It gives kids an overview of what they can expect in each museum as well as helping them to see why they actually want to go there. There are then cool tasks to do related to the museums, helping to keep them engaged and interested throughout their visit. You could even let the kids have a flick through the book and decide themselves which ones to visit!