One Day in Paris with kids

Old Jan 21st, 2018, 09:29 AM
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One Day in Paris with kids

Kids (6 and 10) got a trip to Disneyland Paris as their Christmas present. We'll be spending 2 days there at the end of February. And we've got one day in Paris beforehand.

kids have been let loose with guidebooks to select what they want to see. (I'm usually the planner, but husband and I have been to Paris together and separately over the years so decided we would let them pick).

they have (so far, this may change!) picked the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, the Catacombs, the Louvre (pretty sure it's just because they want to look at the glass pyramid!) and a wobbly bridge somewhere that I am still trying to locate! I'm hoping they might add Notre Dame to their list, and my husband is hoping Les Invalides might make it.

They are pretty good at the whole sightseeing/museum thing - we did Kyoto/Nara/Hiroshima/Tokyo 3 years ago and saw an amazing amount of stuff. So we don't need to worry too much about taking down time in playgrounds/parks etc.

I would be usually of the "use public transport" school of thought, but given how much we want to cover (and I'm sure they will add a few more options in the next few weeks), would we be better off with a hop-on-hop-off bus?

we arrive at CDG around 9.30, will probably need somewhere to store luggage, and were thinking of having an early-ish dinner (about 6 or so) and then taking the RER to our hotel out near Disney to arrive around 8.30 or 9pm

any thoughts on the best way/order to do all this?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 21st, 2018, 01:49 PM
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Why do they want to see Sacré Couer? It's a bore even for adults.

The HO HO bus in Paris will slow you down to a crawl. You might want the Batobus, but even that is slower than just hoofing it and useing the métro and buses.

In all likelihood you wont' get to Paris and get moving until at least 11 am, so you'll have to choose wisely to get any sightseeing in before 6 pm.
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Old Jan 21st, 2018, 03:39 PM
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Try the Musée des Arts et Métiers (http://onesmallwindow.com/the-life/t...ts-et-metiers/). The kids will love it (as will the adults), and you could easily spend part or all of a day there.
It's not like any other museum in Paris.
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Old Jan 21st, 2018, 04:44 PM
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Jet-lagged kids in Paris in late February ... plan accordingly. The weather likely won’t permit time to play in a park.

In addition to guide books, have them plan with an open map. I’ve always found the Eiffel Tower underwhelming, but start there. Then head to the east along the Seine. Use the metro or taxis to maximize your time seeing things. Head to the Place de la Concorde. From there, they can at least see Les Invalides; Napoleon’s tomb is impressive, if you want to visit. Keep walking west along the Seine and/or through the Tuileries... see the Musee d’Orsay from the outside. At the end of the Tuileries, you’ll come to the Louvre and its pyramid. If you want to see something, the Napoleonic bedrooms are quite interesting. Keep going west to the Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame.

Of course, you’ll stop for lunch along the way. I suggest someplace on Ile St Louis where they can Berthillon ice cream for dessert.

I think this itinerary will will give them a sense of the geography of Paris ... and they’ll remember it far longer than EuroDisney.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2018, 12:02 AM
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Thanks all.

Thankfully no jet lag to manage - we're only coming from Dublin. Although the effects of a very early start probably will need to be managed.

sacre Coeur is on the list as we recently watched the film "A Monster in Paris" and between liking the look of it and noticing the funicular and lots of steps (family tradition involves making me climb as many steps as possible in one go, so I can pretend to complain... ) they decided they want to go there. We may have to put it down for the next time though. In my head I thought we might be able have dinner nearby, see the outside, ride the funicular and head back to.collect our bags. But I may have underestimated the travel time.

Eldest daughter added the doll museum and the zoo to the list last night! I've convinced her we definitely don't need to go to the zoo, but I think we will have to talk about not.being able to fit EVERYTHING in to one day!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2018, 07:53 AM
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I enjoyed the magic museum on Rue Saint-Paul. And the museum of Natural History (with dinosaurs!)
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Old Jan 23rd, 2018, 06:50 AM
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Oh the museum of magic looks like fun. I might put it on the list as an extra in case of truly miserable weather or finding we have extra time to play with.

I think we may have to accept that the Catacombs and Sacre Coeur will have to be left for our next trip, and just focus on central Paris and a few key places. (And plenty of stops for crepes/pastries/hot chocolate to ensure they want to come back!)
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Old Jan 23rd, 2018, 06:52 AM
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Oh the museum of magic looks like fun. I might put it on the list as an extra in case of truly miserable weather or finding we have extra time to play with.

I think we may have to accept that the Catacombs and Sacre Coeur will have to be left for our next trip, and just focus on central Paris and a few key places. (And plenty of stops for crepes/pastries/hot chocolate to ensure they want to come back!)
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 08:31 AM
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I don't think Sacre Coeur is a bore at all, and they have a carousel up there, also. It's good views, and the Montrobus run by the city is a fun way to go up there and around the area.
h_montmartrobus.pdf

I've impressed kids that age are looking at guidebooks and picking out htings to do -- well, at least the 6 year old.

I can't imagine why children would be interested in Les Invalides, that's the one I think would be a total bore for kids. I really like it because I am very interested in military history, that's what it is good for.

The zoo is way too far out.

Perhaps this isn't in the guidebooks you gave them, but I would think they'd enjoy one of those Seine cruises.

The HOHO buses slow you down, don't speed you up. I think they are only good for exactly the opposite situation, you have plenty of time and just want a pleasant excursion.
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 11:15 AM
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Husband and I are both military history geeks, so I'm guessing they may have caught some of the bug - although it's entirely possible that one of them saw a nice picture of something there and decided they would like to see it!

10 year old is doing most of the reading (it is a kids guidebook), 6 year old is looking at the pictures and demanding her sister fill her in.

current plan is now looking like: RER from airport to Gare du Nord. Leave bags at left luggage there. Metro the Eiffel tower. I should probably book tickets. then on to Les Invalides (Or skip it for a walk along the Seine), Musee d'Orsay (if we aren't going into the Louvre), then on to the Louvre. Look at the pyramid and decide if we are going in. The shop where we bought my engagement ring & both wedding rings is nearby, so we may make a brief detour... Then to Notre Dame and (if we have time/energy) Sainte Chapelle.

(there will be, because I made the mistake of doing it before and he kids loved it, some sort of scavenger hunt "can you find a xxxx" for the kids while we go)

Then, if we have time, up to Montmatre, have dinner up there. Back to Gare du Nord to pick up bags. RER to hotel near Disney.

does that seem workable. We probably have about 8 hours of time actually IN Paris.
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 11:50 AM
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They have a room with a lot of old armor and stuff like that at Les Invalides, I suppose some kids might like that stuff. yikes, I didn't realize you only had one day, or forgot that. I think your itinerary is do-able in theory. It would be too much for me, versus some down time just relaxing at lunch or walking around (versus scheduled attractions). You must buy tickets to the Eiffel Tower in advance unless you don't want to go up in it and just look at it. I probably wouldn't do any art museums at all, meaning no Musee d'Orsay. If they just want to look at the pyramid at the Louvre, okay, since it's in that general area as ND and Ste Chapelle. I would think the kids might be wowed by Ste Chapelle. If you really want to go to an art gallery, I'd suggest l'Orangerie which is right near the Louvre and small and has those wonderful Monet water colors in it.

Musée de l'Orangerie |
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 01:24 PM
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IMHO I think the Lovre on a 1 day trip is probably too much. (Likely too much to hold kids interest) The Musee D'Orsay and l'Orangerie and a quick walk in the Tuilleries would be combinable. I think something like a bateaux ride like Vedettes du Pont Neuf would be quite enjoyable, weather permitting, and you would see a lot in an hour long cruise. Vedettes du Pont Neuf is not too far from Sainte-Chapelle. I did a whirlwind trip to Paris once and one of the most memorable parts was seeing the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero, It's a fabulous view from their (If you choose not to go up) Being February the weather may be a concern for any of your plans. Hoping you and your family have a memorable trip.

Bateaux Vedettes du Pont Neuf | Seine river cruise with Paris boats
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Old Jan 26th, 2018, 02:37 AM
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Bateaux ride like Vedettes du Pont Neuf is a great recommendation for first-time kids with only a day. You can get tix in advance online.

Here's a weird suggestion: Pere Lachaise Cemetary. The kids won't really know any of the names, but it's a cool place to walk.

ssander
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Old Jan 26th, 2018, 03:09 PM
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We took our kids to Paris at a similar age and I think you will be exhausted and possibly not even make it half way through the day you have planned. I would also skip all of the art galleries. I would also skip going UP the Eiffel Tower and just go and walk around it. I think it's much more beautiful from the ground! Les Invalides would be good afterward. Take a cruise on the Seine for sure. Our kids also loved climbing up all of the stairs to the top of Sacre Coeur for a great view of Paris. That would cover your cathedral for the day! Don't forget to just take some time to wander and soak in Paris. Kids love the food and all of the amazing little pastry and chocolate shops along the way. Jardin du Luxemburg was a major hit with our kids. They rented the wooden boats to sail on the pond - but the weather may not cooperate.
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Old Jan 26th, 2018, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jviola View Post
Husband and I are both military history geeks, so I'm guessing they may have caught some of the bug - although it's entirely possible that one of them saw a nice picture of something there and decided they would like to see it!

10 year old is doing most of the reading (it is a kids guidebook), 6 year old is looking at the pictures and demanding her sister fill her in.

current plan is now looking like: RER from airport to Gare du Nord. Leave bags at left luggage there. Metro the Eiffel tower. I should probably book tickets. then on to Les Invalides (Or skip it for a walk along the Seine), Musee d'Orsay (if we aren't going into the Louvre), then on to the Louvre. Look at the pyramid and decide if we are going in. The shop where we bought my engagement ring & both wedding rings is nearby, so we may make a brief detour... Then to Notre Dame and (if we have time/energy) Sainte Chapelle.

(there will be, because I made the mistake of doing it before and he kids loved it, some sort of scavenger hunt "can you find a xxxx" for the kids while we go)

Then, if we have time, up to Montmatre, have dinner up there. Back to Gare du Nord to pick up bags. RER to hotel near Disney.

does that seem workable. We probably have about 8 hours of time actually IN Paris.
There is one very cool thing in Invalides: military maquettes!

https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museu...-des-Invalides

I think you'll all be worn out, without having seen much.
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Old Jan 27th, 2018, 06:38 AM
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I too doubt you'll manage half of this stuff in 8 hours' time, but I'll also add that my kids absolutely adored Les Invalides, not the tombs but the exhibitions in the underground floor.
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Old Jan 31st, 2018, 04:43 AM
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I think you may all be right about us trying to fit too much in. That, and the Eiffel tower tickets selling out for the morning very fast, has led to a change in plan.

we'll still get the RER to Gare du Nord and leave our bags there. Then we'll go to see Notre Dame and have a wander around there (depending on time/mood etc we may or may not add Sainte Chapelle). Then we will go across to the Eiffel Tower, we have tickets for 1.30. We'll have lunch before or after depending on the mood.

Then we will either do a boat tour (if they are running again) or go walking.

Montmatre around dinner time is still a possibility.

hopefully that will give them enough of a taste of Paris to want to come back again (and then we can show them all the other places they wanted to see...!)
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Old Jan 31st, 2018, 09:35 AM
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I definitely second Les's idea of the Arts and Metier museum-it is a very cool place for kids in that age range I think. It has seven collections: Scientific instruments, Materials, Energy, Mechanics, Construction, Communication and Transport. Also, it isn't far from the Doll Museum, so that would be easy to visit there as well and across from the Beaubourg-Centre Pompidou which I think the kids would like toss because the architecture is so cool.

Also, if you find yourself at the doll museum near dinner, there is a restaurant there that is pretty good and easy and quiet called Le Hanger. I used to live in that neighborhood and it was one of my go-to restaurants in the neighborhood:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...de_France.html
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 06:53 PM
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I think you should consider making a clement weather plan and an inclement weather plan.

The first could include strolling around the Eiffel Tower, Champs de Mars, and Trocadero, followed by a river cruise, then strolling the area around Notre Dame, finishing on the Boulevard St. Michel and the Jardin du Luxembourg. They will have seen a lot of monuments, gotten a sense of the esthetic of the city, but not be completely wasted or overwhelmed.

The second might just be a museum, or maybe a series of smaller museums (depending on their interest level), such as the Rodin (very close to Les Invalides, so win-win). My kids (7 and 10) preferred the Orsay to the Louvre WITHOUT QUESTION.
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