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Books and travel resources for kids

We are planning a trip to Paris and London with my 9 year old. I noticed that there are a few travel books specially for kids and I wondered if anyone has had any experience with them. I'm looking at:

City Trails London/Paris from Lonely Planet- This looks like a walking tour. Is that the case?

Mission London/ Paris: A Savanger Hunt Adventure This looks like it could be fun, but is it repetitive? I was thinking about putting one together myself, but it would be great if there was one with one details or things I wouldn't know, having not been there.

Fodor's Around London/Paris For Kids This looks like a review of places.

Are there other good resources for kids that I am missing? Such as ones from the museums or sites themselves. Many times museums have their own kids friendly scavenger hunts or self-guided tours. For example, I found one from the boats rides on the Seine, it's only in French, but I can manage the translation. I am focusing on self-guided tours, instead tour guides. Unless tour guides are very kid oriented and in a small group, they generally don't work for us.

Posted by
3992 posts

We've taken our granddaughters to Paris and London recently for one week in each city. The youngest was your child's age last summer when we went and the older one is 2 years older. We had some kid friendly guidebooks that we looked at but didn't take with us just so they would see a little bit about these cities before hand. They both read some fiction with settings in these cities.

The books that we used the most once we were there were the Mission Paris and London scavenger hunt books. We modified them for our daily outings, adding our own things we wanted them to find/notice. We also assigned rewards to our cumulative points. X number of points would earn you a crepe for example. We used the back blank pages to tally points and add our own special things to look for. They had the most fun with the Paris book although they were surprised to spend a week in the city and not once spot a French poodle, one of the challenges in the last chapter. We didn't use the London scavenger hunt as much because they were busier with other things in that city. We really appreciated that these two books were slim volumes that fit easily into a purse or backpack for the day.

We previously used free activity guides, usually scavenger hunts, in many attractions in London when we took the older granddaughter when she was 8 years old. Always ask at the information desk, there were some surprisingly good finds like Westminster Abbey but tedious ones were handed out too at some places so adjust accordingly.

Posted by
16862 posts

I gave the London scavenger hunt book to friends with twin girls, 11 years old, and they loved it.

Posted by
3 posts

I just came across your question while searching for suggestions for Italy books for kids. We went to Paris with our 6 year old two years ago .

We found this book to be the most helpful for planning the attractions and inbetween attractions to keep the trip going smoothly (kids can only take so much museum time!):

The Little Bookroom Guide to Paris with Children: Play, Eat, Shop, Stay Paperback – April 16, 2013
by Kim Horton Levesque (Author)

It was well organized and easy to navigate and had a lot of specific things that would be helpful on a trip with kids that really made the trip more memorable for our son (play ground tips for instance, like about the sunken trampolines in the Tuileries gardens which you really have to look for to find and the pony rides in Luxembourg gardens). It also had enough pictures to help us entice our son and to discuss options visually.

The Lonely Planet was fun to look at before the trip to get our son excited, but we did not use it during the trip. The Fodors book was well organized with lots of useful information like kid friendly restaurants near the different attractions, so for us it was helpful. The scavenger hunt book was ok...I am thinking it might be better for your older kiddo. Probably depends on the kid. It didn't hold our sons attention for very long, but we are going to try it again in Rome.

Hope that helps!