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Is August really a bad time to visit France?

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We are trying mightily to get to France this year with our girls, ages 9 & 11. The oldest wants to do a musical that ends the last week in July, so the only time we could go would be August. My husband says that everything will be closed and if that's the only time we can go then we shouldn't go at all. Is this still true? We are interested in shopping (girls are very eager to purchase French fashions) and the usual tourist things. Would be spending 10 days in Paris and then 10 days or so exploring the countryside/ south of France.

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