Paris - 5 days with a 5 yrold


Jun 4th, 2016, 10:07 PM
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Paris - 5 days with a 5 yrold

Hi all,

So I'm landing in paris on a Saturday mid-morning in Paris with my 5 yr old kid, and I have chalked out a few basic plans for the trip. My son walks and walks a lot and is used to a 10 hour of sight seeing travel plans (we both a re travel junkies) however I have tried keep our plan as breezy as possible, I would absolutely welcome your suggestion based on the fact that it's just the two of us and safety being the top-most priority when travelling:

Day 1(Saturday): Rest it out in the hotel (staying in XI arrondisement) till 3 pm and head to eiffel in the evening (have already booked tickets for 6:00 pm) and head back to the hotel

Day 2(Sunday): Head to NotreDame in the morning, walk down the main street of St. Louis en Ile to Amorino for gelato and lunch. Squeeze in catacomb if possible. Take the Latin Quarter tour at 2:30 pm and spend the evening at Luxembourg garden before returning to the hotel.

Day 3(Monday): Disneyland and river Seine cruise in the evening

Day 4(Tuesday): A day trip to Versailles (also on Tuesday we can watch the musical fountain) and take one of the hop on hop-off tours by bus in the evening.

Day 5 (Wednesday): Louvre (probable do the Da vince Tour) , walk through Jardin de Tuilleries to Champ Elysees & Arc de triomph

Day 6 (Thursday): Jardin des Plantes and Montmartre tour before leaving to Fontainebleau to meet my family.

(Rest in Fontainebleau for a couple of days before visiting Brussels, Normandy and Bordeaux with rest of the family) but for now I'd appreciate if you can suggest any other place that I should not miss out or if you think I can go easy on a particular day

Much appreciate your responses. Thanks in advance
Sowmyapp is offline  
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Jun 4th, 2016, 10:29 PM
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Sounds good, actually.
I wouldn't do the catacaombs with a kid that age.
I'd do something for him - maybe simply sacré coeur, as there is a carrousel for children at the bottom.
Also check on Disney what they do in the evening. Last I was there they were doing a show at 9 PM (was winter) that was absolutely great. So I'd stay and do the Seine the next day.

Kids of 5 travel for half price in the metro (and do take it, kids love it).

No prob of safety in Paris - just be 'streetwise'. Might be pickpockets, so pay atention, that's all.

In Bruxelles, mini-europe is great for children (close to Atomium).
Whathello is offline  
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Jun 5th, 2016, 02:17 AM
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Thanks whathello for your response. I was also a bit split in terms of deciding on Catcacombs, thnks for calrifying that one. Also I have booked my accommodation for 5 nights in Paris and the last shuttle from Disney back to Paris is at 8pm so I sort of chose for this. I'd be glad to stay back if there is transportation later int he hour
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Jun 5th, 2016, 02:42 AM
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If possible I prefer to stay awake until a relatively normal bed time. If you have had a long journey an afternoon nap can throw your sleep patterns out of whack.

Your plans sound good although maybe a little ambitious where you've planned for the evening as well as the day. I would make sure you see the most important things early so you don't miss out on them.

Also the Cite Des Sciences can be fun for curious kids.

Have fun!
dreamon is online now  
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Jun 6th, 2016, 06:43 AM
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There are also some excellent suggestions here:
SemiMike is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2016, 07:01 AM
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They closed the Catacombs last week due to the flooding. Check to see when or if it will reopen.
Edward2005 is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2016, 07:32 AM
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I have absolutely taken the train back from Disney to Paris later than 8, I think the last train back to Paris was at midnight. What sort of shuttle do you mean? The train is very easy and quick. I agree with Whathello, if you have to g to Disney, the nighttime show is great.
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Jun 6th, 2016, 07:35 AM
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What shuttle ?
RER A is the easiest way to go to Disneyland - the exit is 2 min walk from entrance, really.

It runs until the early morning. I made a simulation for a trip back at 23 56. To Gare de Lyon, just put the station closest to your hotel - or combine RER and metro.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 01:51 PM
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The catacombs are an ossuary, I don't know why you would take a young child there whether it is open or not. It is dead people's remains and it is only of historical interest in terms of history and urban planning, it isn't for fun or like a theme park attraction.

I think a lot of these things don't sound that appealing to a 5 yr old (except the Seine cruise maybe), but when you go to Montmartre, you might want to take the Montmartrobus around for fun and convenience. They used to have pony rides in the nice park you go through to get to the Marmottan museum, and it has a nice playground there, also. It also has a marrionnette show.
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Jun 8th, 2016, 12:59 AM
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Given that he'll only remember snatches of his Paris experience later in life, I'd say give him a comfortable and "doable" experience. Those don't have to be sights: he'll have forgotten seeing them later in life. But just simple and pleasurable experiences that are close at hand. Such as:

Boules at Paris Plages of you're there while it's on
Sailing boats in the pond at Jardins de Luxembourg
Going up in the tethered balloon at Parc Andre Citroen
A cycle tour in Bois de Boulogne (by day), with a picknick
Going out "late" at night and having a drink together on the "terrace", his is non-alcoholic of course.

I used to take my son to Paris from an early age. He's forgotten about most of it, but he still talks about how he loved going out at night to a "bar with funny toilets"
I would never have been able to force 10+ hours of sightseeing on my son. There's loads to do for children, so check pariscope on the newsstands as well.

For instance: I'd change that evening at Luxembourg to an afternoon. The sailboat hire is only there during the day, and that might well be the main attraction for him. The tour I'd skip altogether.

Your Versailles trip might well concentrate on the gardens and about the Petit Hameau: much more interesting than the Palais, that has loads of crowds and long waiting. He may be a walker, but long waits in line kill every enjoyment.

After Disney even my - then and now very energetic - son would have called it a day, or fallen asleep on the Seine cruise.

Day 5 would have been a rubbish day for my 5 year old. Louvre I would skip by any means.

Maybe dial down the "travel junkie" mentality a bit for him? There doesn't seem to be much for him in your schedule.
menachem is offline  
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Jun 8th, 2016, 02:54 AM
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I agree strongly with menachem on all points.

Versailles? I think not for a five year old.

Luxembourg during the day? Absolutely! Sailing boats, playgrounds, carrousel, Punch and Judy, boules, pony rides. Take a picnic.

Museums mostly of things, not pictures: fire engines, ship models, armour and weapons, puppets, toy soldiers. I would suggest the Carnavalet, but I think I read that it is closing for renovations.

Bateau Mouche Seine cruise at dusk/night is a good idea. Ice cream and gelatos are a good idea.
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Jun 8th, 2016, 06:42 AM
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I was in Paris last summer with my 19 month old. She's also a good traveler and walker also.

I would like to suggest a trip to Giverney to see Monet's house and gardens. It's an easy and lovely trip. I hired a driver with a car seat from my hotel. She still talks about the water lillies. It's sort of like an outdoor museum so it's a lot easier for children to appreciate.

We skipped Disney. I debated going but the reviews say it's nothing like Disney World in the US. There is a carnival every summer in the Jardin de Tuileries. We stopped there a few times and it was enough for my daughter.

I'm not sure if you considered the time change and jet lag. I kept my daughter on her schedule at home. So we were going to bed close to midnight which was perfect because it stays bright until about 10 pm in the summer.

Hope this helps. I would love to hear about other places you've traveled to with your child. I'm a single mom planning to take my daughter around the world.
littlebella777 is offline  
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Jun 8th, 2016, 08:11 AM
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Another vote for switching Luxembourg Gardens to the day for the will be a real treat for a five-year-old.

Ditto about skipping Versailles which may prove to be utterly boring to him, without the historical context that most five-year-olds won't have.

He might like the Museum of Music. (part of Cité de la musique

Also, the Museum of Decorative Arts (Les Arts Décoratifs has a toy section with some hands-on things.

Both are easily accessible by Metro.

ssander is offline  
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Jun 8th, 2016, 11:35 AM
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One summer we've done Paris as a beach destination, which meant:

Staying in a nice hotel at Rue des Ecoles, and walking down each morning to Paris Plages, playing some boules, going for a swim in the little swimming pool, playing with the "fog showers", me relaxing in a hammock, him busy building things from sand, an ice cream, a drink and some lunch, then back to the hotel for downtime. Then we'd go somewhere like Luxembourg to sail the boats or just hang out and have a go at the playground. Then to a cafe nearby for a drink and a snack. Fairly late dinner, then a bar visit or some night shooting (photographer's holiday). And repeat. Perfectly doable, for me too, because nothing is worse than having a bored, tired and flustered 5 year old in tow. Also remarkably different from when he was 19 months.

We've been able to have holidays we both still remember with joy, but I realized I had to let go of my own expectations and desires while traveling. We still like going on vacation to somewhere, the two of us, even though he now is 19 and at university and all.

The coolest thing is that children are very much loved in Paris. The waiters would serve my son's Orangina with that special "shake the bottle first" flourish and present him with his own glass of the stuff, treating him as if he was "all grown up". Excellent stuff. Paris is magical that way too.
menachem is offline  
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Jun 8th, 2016, 05:50 PM
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I was in Paris in mid-April with my 5 year old daughter (and 9 yo and husband). I think your itinerary looks pretty good with the edits suggested above. Obviously tastes depend on the child but this is what my daughter really enjoyed:

Jardins des Acclimations in the Bois de Boulogne - an old fashioned amusement park. Probably her favorite day in Paris. Lots of rides for little kids, pony rides, camel rides (at 5 they may be too short), trampolines, etc. it is very near the Musee des Marmottan with the amazing Monet waterlily paintings.

Luxembourg Gardens - she loved the playground there and you can take a pony ride. Also marionette show on I think Wed and Sun. We were there over our school vacation week which was also the Paris vacation week so they had shows every day.

Musee D'Orsay - my daughter really like this museum. Before the trip I showed her some art books about "old style" (classicism) and the "new style" (impressionism) and some how that really resonated with her and she enjoyed pointing out the differences. While obviously much smaller than the Louvre your could still easily spend several days there so decide what you want to see when you arrive and pick maybe two areas and do only that. My daughter loved sitting in the very fancy restaurant for lunch (which, fortunately, is not actually very fancy in price, food or manner, just in a beautiful room).

Tuileries Garden - fun for running around, another nice playground and a HUGE hit were the trampolines next to the playground. Playground and trampolines are on the left side if you are looking toward the Louvre. There is a big ferris wheel right there too that we all enjoyed.

We did go to the Louvre because my husband and I wanted to go. She was interested for about half an hour then bored. We brought an iPad, parked her on a bench and let her play games while we enjoyed the art, moved her to the next section, repeat. She like the Napoleon apartments as she is very into princesses and kings etc.

My daughter enjoyed seeing the Eiffel Tower from different spots around town but actually got scared when we were going to go up so we skipped going up.

There are carousels every where. We went on a lot of carousels ;-)

My older daughter enjoyed a boat ride along the Seine when she was 5 and we were in Paris although we didn't do it again this trip.

We flew from the East Coast of the US and both kids were exhausted at first. Missing a night sleep is much harder on kids then adults although I think the time change itself is easier on kids (going west). Like one of the other commenters said, the jet lag actually worked out okay because kids were up late so we could enjoy the long days of sunshine and we were fine letting the kids sleep in each morning as we got ourselves organized, did laundry, etc.

you will have a great time. tons of stuff for kids in paris.
Sally30 is offline  
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Jun 10th, 2016, 10:29 AM
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Strollers are forbidden inside the palace of Versailles, and you aren't allowed to carry children on your shoulders, so all your child will see are kneecaps.

What do you remember most when you were 5 years old?
Bright colors, nice smells, something that tastes good, being outdoors...
Just remember to keep things interesting at the "kneecap" level.
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