Paris advice with kids

Old May 25th, 2017, 01:32 AM
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Paris advice with kids


I will be visiting Paris for the first time this July with my family of 5 (3 kids ages 6,8 and 10). Does anyone have suggestions for the following :
1. Should we do a kids tour of the Louvre? Are there any specific companies you would recommend?
2. We are planning to take them to the Eiffel Tour but I want to do the trip to the top AS well as see it at night with the lights on? Should we book our tickets to the top ahead of time to skip the lines?
3. We also want to do the cruise down the River. There seem to be so many companies - should we just show up and perhaps on a nice night go and book? Or do they sell out and we have to book ahead of time.
4, Any other suggestions for the kids ? We were thinking of doing Versailles, Musee d'Orsay and Jardin du Luxembourg, Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur.

Thanks for any advice. Sorry for the long post.and many questions.
nadak is offline  
Old May 25th, 2017, 02:01 AM
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We did a "Muse Clues" tour of the Louvre when our son was 12. It was pricey but in my opinion well worth it.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 04:40 AM
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Get tickets ahead, online and then pick the day and time when you want to go; we always use: 10€ adults and 5€ for kids

Not sure if you are too late to get tickets to go to top of Eiffel Tower but no worries, I think this is a better plan:

Think about seeing the Eiffel Tower at night lit up [see it best from Trocadero metro stop at night] -- only cost is metro ticket or walking there from hotel.

Get a good view of the Eiffel Tower during day from the top on Montparness Tower:

Take them over to see the Canal St. Martin locks and watch the boats raise or lower to move on. Last Sunday, it was a beautiful spring day, the banks of the canal were full of folks hanging out and people were even sailing little powerized sail boats [like on ponds at Luxembourg Gardents.

Personally, I thinking taking kids that age to wait on what can be huge crowds and long lines at Versaille, I'd pass.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 04:59 AM
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We've always used the Vedettes du Pont Neuf as well.

I would also pass on Versailles. The kids won't see much other than the backs of the hordes in front of them. If you must go, maybe stick to Marie Antoinette's hameau and the gardens.

You might visit the Jardin d'Acclimatation.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 05:28 AM
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Fir Eiffel I recommend climbing to first floor - easy and no queue then elevator to top.

Jardin des plantes and zoo de Vincennes and musée de l'armée.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 08:00 AM
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Everyone travels differently. It might help to know how long you will be in Paris, and perhaps the interests of you and your children. Why did you choose the activities you did? And so forth.

Our children have visited Paris three times, across the ages of 2-18, in the heat and crowds of summer and the grey of winter. From the first visit to the third, we had no idea that there would be subsequent visits to Paris, but we've never felt like we have to see everything.

Across these holidays their unwavering favorite activities are eating crepes, pushing sailboats in the Jardin de Tuileries, and climbing the stairs to the top of Notre Dame. And playing frisbee in any park they can. On the first visit we selectively toured the Louvre, viewing only those collections that interested everyone. The second visit, in winter, was a little more museum-heavy, but they were still involved in the itinerary. Their favorites on this holiday were the Natural History Museum and the Musee de Quai Branly. Versailles, not so much. "It's just a bunch of gold rooms." is their memory.

We let them fly solo for the third visit (ages 18 and 13), and even then there were selfies from atop Notre Dame...
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Old May 25th, 2017, 09:48 AM
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In July, it gets dark around 10 PM.

If your kids are excited about seeing the Paris city lights - instead of the lights coming directly from the Eiffel Tower - I'd maybe pass on this and let them stand on the Champs de Mars when the lights go on and the Eiffel Tower "twinkles" for 5 minutes every hour after dark.

It might be better to go in the daytime, when they can actually see something they can identify.

If your kids can stay awake until around 9:30 PM. you could take a cruise from Pont Neuf and probably make it to see the Eiffel Tower twinkle by 10 PM.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 09:49 AM
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I would do everything on #4, with the exception of Versailles.
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Old Jun 25th, 2017, 12:13 PM
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We went to France when our boys were 6, 12, & 13 in 2011. These were our experiences:

1. We went to the louvre but did not do a tour of it. We did get the museum pass (don't know if this is still available but if so definitely get it) which put us in a separate (read FASTER) line to enter. The pass was good at all the museums that we went to and saved a lot of waiting time.

2. We also went to the Eiffel Tower and the wait was quite long. Luckily it was a nice day and my boys could run around while one of us waited in the line. I imagine that the line is even longer now due to increased security concerns. If you can pre purchase that ticket, I would recommend that.

There are many places to see the Eiffel Tower at night, some of which are suggested above.

3. We did not purchase our tickets ahead of time for the river cruise and it was not a problem. There are lots of boats and easy to get on one of them.

4. We did everything in #4. Notre Dame was particularly nice as the boys fed the pigeons outside which they loved and then we walked up to the tower in the church and got a wonderful view of the city (and the boys exerted some energy too). My boys could take or leave Versailles. If you have girls, they may enjoy it a bit more. We also went to the Rodin Museum which was wonderful and I highly recommend it. (and we went to Invalides as well which the boys liked. It is located very close to the Rodin Museum). Finally we went to the Pompidou Museum-- it was a bit too "cutting edge" for my children but still interesting (just preview the rooms before they go in to make sure the content isn't too disturbing )

Other suggestions:
* we did a bike tour of Paris which gave the boys a good overview of the city
* we also took a bike ride by ourselves-- rented the bikes on the street.
* we spent a couple of days in Loire Valley which was great. We went canoeing on the river and also biking along the river.
*there was a fair going on in Paris that we went to and the boys loved
* we did a ton of walking
*besides Paris and Loire Valley we went to Normandy. My boys LOVED Normandy. Loved learning about WW2 and loved the sites.

You don't mention the gender of your children. We have traveled the world with our three boys and have found that keeping them physically active is best for them, for us and for all those around them! We always mix up our days with one or two physical activities along with a museum. I have found that this helps them to focus and to appreciate the quieter activities and to behave appropriately at restaurants, etc..

When our boys were your children's ages we also always would buy a ball of some sort (soccer in Italy, rugby in South Africa, etc) upon arrival at our destination. It gave our boys another activity to do and they met a ton of local kids as well! Upon leaving, the boys would sign and date the ball and give it to a family that had just arrived that had young boys. Paying it forward.
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Old Jun 25th, 2017, 01:02 PM
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Magnifique suggestions from jeanned - really sweet.

In Luxembourg Gardens and Tuileries there are ponds where kids love to remote control tiny sail boats -my once your kids ages son loved it - you sit in a chair and soak up the action and gardens:

The Luxembourg Gardens' guignol (marionettes) puppet show for kids may be in French but in transcends all languages -

Very very famous tradition in many parks in France.
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Old Jun 25th, 2017, 01:40 PM
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Your children are the perfect age for the sailing boats at le Jardin du Luxembourg:

I would also consider the Jadin d´Acclimatation:
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