Please sign in to post.

France with large family

We are in the early planning stages of an summer (beginning/middle of June 2014) trip to France. We have four children, ages 15, 12, 8, and 4. Two years ago we went to Italy and stayed four days in Rome, then seven in a villa in Tuscany. We made day trips from there. Since this worked so well for us, we are thinking about constructing our itinerary for France in a similar way. Four days in Paris, then a week somewhere in the country. Suggestions for regions to visit are much appreciated, as we have no idea where to start once we get out of Paris. Our kids are used to being on the go, and are very adaptable. They are very interested in France. One is obsessed with all things Paris, another is a budding artist and knows all about Monet, and a third loves DaVinci (she was in her glory in Italy). Obviously, we want to keep our museum time to a minimum but we do plan to visit the Louvre. We rented a car in Italy and would be comfortable doing that again in France. We don't want to bite off too much, preferring to see just a few things in-depth. I am looking for itinerary suggestions, and if anyone knows of family-friendly accommodations in Paris I would love to hear about those as well (we prefer to stay together, not in separate rooms, as that could quickly deplete our budget). We rented an apartment in Rome through VRBO and had great luck with that. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
11507 posts

Well megan its never to early to look into booking an apartment in Paris for June.. I would start now! And yes, an apartment is by far best bet for a family your size.
You can look at VRBO again, but there are a few other reputable agencies people like too.. VIP( Vacations in Paris ) is one I hear alot about , but there are more.

Posted by
967 posts

Megan,
Since you're early in the planning stages, consider taking your little Monet lover to the l'Orangerie to see Monet's enormous waterlillies and to the Musee d'Orsay instead of the Louvre. I'm an artist and an art museum junkie, and the Louvre has never captivated me like these other two museums. When you need some outdoor time, buy a picnic at an outdoor market and go to the circular pond in the park where you can rent a toy sailboat and a stick to push it off from shore. Tons of Parisian children to mingle with.

Posted by
9420 posts

A few thoughts.. 4 days isn't long for Paris, especially with the many wonderful day trip options. One would be Giverny to see Monet's house and gardens, another is Vaux-le-Vicomte, an amazing castle your kids might enjoy (it's the castle featured in the Leonardo di Caprio movie "Man in the Iron Mask". A good movie worth watching before your trip). You may also be interested in going to the Loire valley to see chateaux but especially to go to Amboise (a charming village) to see Clos Luce, a house where de Vinci lived. It has extensive gardens with many of his inventions which kids love. In Paris, don't miss spending some time in the Luxembourg Gardens.. they have a wonderful playground that your younger kids will love, plus a carousel, donkey rides, marionette shows.. and the LG has 2 cafes if you get hungry. A bike tour in Paris with Fat Tires is a fun option. They may have trailers for your 4 yr old. Renting an apartment is definitely the way to go. We used Paris Attitude to rent two apts. Google for more agencies.

Posted by
6485 posts

Susan has a good idea but maybe you don't need to go all the way to Giverny for the Monet fix when you have the Orangerie and Orsay right in Paris. Also in Paris is the Musee Marmottan, full of Monets. The Loire and Clos Luce would be a good choice for the "country" part of your trip. Besides the well-known chateaux it has the walled city of Loches for boys with castle fantasies, and a renowned zoo at Beauval near St-Aignan. You could rent a car at Orly or take a train to Chartres or Tours and rent the car there. We've rented apartments from homeaway.com, same ownership as vrbo. Also consider "Gites de France," http://en.gites-de-france.com/, to rent small houses or apartments in mainly rural locations. I haven't used them but friends love them. Your kids are lucky to have trips like these, they'll thank you later in life.

Posted by
9420 posts

"you don't need to go all the way to Giverny for the Monet fix when you have the Orangerie and Orsay right in Paris" I love Monet's paintings, but seeing them in a museum is nothing compared to actually being in his home and in his famous gardens yourself, seeing what he saw and seeing what he painted in real life for yourself. It was a highlight for me, which surprised me. Giverny is very easy to get to and very worth the time.. especially since you said one of your kids likes Monet. Fat Tires also does a group bike tour to Giverny (a charming little town) which I've heard is very fun.