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2 1/2 days in Paris w/ kids

We'll (DW, myself, and kids 6 and 9) be arriving in Paris from Munich arround 12:30 in the afternoon and then spending the rest of that day and 2 more full days in Paris before moving on to Disneyland for a few days. We'll be there in mid-August. We've identified a few things that we definitely want to do during our stay: Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Walking tour that includes Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle, go to a market and picnic, and visit the funfair at Jardin de Tuilleries. What other sites and/or activities would you suggest for us that would give us a feel for Paris and also be of interest for kids that age?

Posted by
56 posts

Our kids were 8 and 10 when we spent 4 days in Paris. That was before disneyland. They are now in their 30's with kids of their own. We did the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, Jardin de Tuilleries. Their favorite was the picnic in the park, where they fed "Crip" the crippled pigeon with pieces of bread. They also liked Napoleon's tomb and the museum that showed the napoleonic campaigns. It is near the Eiffel tower. Lots of war stuff. We also picnicked along the Seine which was fun, across the river from Notre Dame. The best part of that European trip was the Swiss Alps, however, where we stayed in Lauterbrunnen and hiked everywhere. The Jungfrauhoch glacier... and I read Heidi to them at night. Enjoy!

Posted by
2349 posts

In the Tuileries there are trampolines to jump on. Don't tell them until you get there and they see the kids jumping up and down.

Posted by
8804 posts

The Luxembourg Gardens has a really fun playground, and comfortable chairs you can sit in and relax while they play. It gives them the opportunity to play with other French kids and kids from all over the world. They also have marionette shows, a carousel, donkey rides, cafes, crepe stands, bathrooms...

Posted by
1986 posts

Tuileries gardens has a small carousel, also the model boat pond (Pace Du carrousel?). The funicular at Montmartre steps. Climbing to the garqoylews at Notre dame (maybe only for the 9 year old?). There are also carousels sprinkled around Paris- usually one at /near the Eiffel Tower

Posted by
228 posts

As an adult, the things I remember vividly as a child have to do with seeing objects from different perspectives, including associating two senses at the same time. Notre Dame is a perfect example of these multiple, different perspectives. Outside you can walk right next to the north wall looking up at the Gargoyles, from behind it you have this fantastic view of the buttresses as you cross the bridge between the islands. On the south side of the Seine you can walk down to the water and look up at the cathedral, and pull on the huge metal O- rings in the walls and hear the Metro roll by (multiple sensory= improved memory). Inside you can have your kiddos light a candle in the darkened alter area. So as you go about Paris, think about how to get your kiddos to remember Paris for Paris, and perhaps not just a series of playgrounds. Have them eat a hot crepe as they look up at the Eiffel Tower at sunset, and see what Paris is through their eyes!

Posted by
675 posts

They might like the riverboat tour of the Seine. Get to the ET early, you'll still stand in line but hopefully not as long, by early I mean before opening time. ND will probably be more fun outside than inside, St-C is great inside but go on a sunny day.

Posted by
3031 posts

I think the Jardin Du Luxembourg would be a big hit. If you do Saint Chappelle/Notre Dame (assuming you climb to the top, if your kids are up for it) be sure and do it early. Lines get long and kids don't do well in lines. Also if you haven't yet, show them Disney's "Hunchback of Notre Dame" before you go. It shows the Palais de Justice and while ficitonal (and Disnefied from the original, obviously) will probably serve to get them a lot more excited about the cathedral than they would be otherwise.