Paris at night with kids

Feb 3rd, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Paris at night with kids

Any ideas on things to do in the evening in Paris? I know my kids will be jetlagged and very awake and I don't want to spend hours in the hotel (Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais in the Marais, a small hotel). I have thought of going up the Eiffel Tower at night, a boat tour at night, the Rex show, a movie...
Does anyone know a theatre with English close to the Marais? How safe is it to come back to the hotel at night? I would think it is like New York City, where the streets and subways are always busy? Thanks!
eclair is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 05:50 AM
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Forgot to say my kids are 14, 12, and 10 and we will be in Paris for a week, February 20-27.
eclair is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 05:59 AM
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Certainly a night boat tour and a trip to the Eiffel Tower are good nighttimes activities for young and old. Just driving around Paris at night is a great experience. There's a reason why it's call the City of Lights!
As for movies, theaters that show English-language movies in their original language with French subtitles are noted with a certain symbol in the ads and at the theater. Unfortunately, I forget what that symbol is, but I'm sure someone out there can tell us!
HowardR is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 06:05 AM
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Yes, most first run movies are shown in the original language with subtitles. I don't know the Marais district, but I know the latest English/American movies are shown at the movie theatre along the Champs Elysee and on Boulevard Montparnasse in the 14th/6th Arrondisement.
Surfergirl is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 06:21 AM
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Hi eclair,

Take them for awalk along the Seine until they are worn out.

The major sights are lighted at night.

ira is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 06:32 AM
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Thanks for the quick replies - you guys are the best!
Ira, I love the walking along the Seine idea (especially the part about wearing them out!).
Have any of you done the bus tours, like the Paris Vision Night Illuminations tour or the Cars Rouges?
eclair is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 08:54 AM
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on our first visit to paris we did a two-hour night tour--a good way to get the feel for the different areas of the city.
Underhill is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 09:37 AM
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Keep them up until 10-midnight on a Friday; go the above site for the roller blader route for that Friday.
palette is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 10:22 AM
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Movies with VO in the ad are shown in the original language with French subtitles. New releases can typically be found in theaters on the Grandes Boulevards.

Also, you may look into film festivals if any of the kids are into the classics (we did Marx brothers double feature) which are also shown in original languages.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 12:21 PM
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Going to your hotel will be very safe at night - it's 3 blocks from the river and there is lots of foot traffic.

The subway in the central quartiers also has plenty of passengers at night(remember - it closes at midnight).

Ira's suggestion for a night walk along the river is perfect - go toward the Eiffel Tower and then cross the river for for the return trek.

A second choice for your kids would be a night boat tour.

A third would be a night bus tour.
bardo1 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 06:24 PM
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I don't know about being out real late with jetlagged kids in a movie, but there isn't a movie theater in the Marais.

There is one inside Les Halles shopping center which shows some English language films (has about 6 screens, I think) and that's not too far.

There are also a couple theaters that show English-language films near the Bastille metro stop in the 11th arr., which isn't far. The La Bastille at 5 rue du Fbg Saint Antoine and the MK2 Bastille at 4 bd Beaumarchais

Christina is online now  
Feb 4th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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Again, thank you all so much for your help and wonderful advice! I have so many tour guide books that I can't even look at them anymore, I bought too many... It's much more fun and helpful and up to date to get answers from all of you. Also, I am going alone on this trip with my kids because my husband is working (as usual), so I also have to plan the trip by myself. It makes me feel a lot better to have all of your help!
eclair is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 12:44 PM
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Don't count on your kids being that jetlagged. For the past 15 years mine have slept soundly all night on the plane and been very much more on-schedule upon arrival than I ever was!

Here's a good website with other ideas:
StCirq is online now  
Feb 4th, 2005, 04:50 PM
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A stay in the Caron de Beaumarchais, sacre bleu, lucky you! I agree that a trip up the Eiffel Tower could be fun; in fact, it's often better to do at night, with all the lights spread out below and fewer tourists are up there with you. Ideally paired with a walk, I agree.

The boat tours aren't bad and again, have a special allure at night, but if you do take one be sure to take the Vedettes du Pont Neuf instead of the Bateaux Mouches. The Bateaux Mouches have the name recognition and a dock near the Eiffel Tower, but steer clear! The booming recorded commentary in what seems like a dozen languages gets old fast. The Vedettes have live commentary in just French and English; they leave from the square du Vert-Galant, at the tip of the Ile de la Cite.

Once you get to Paris, you can pick up a copy of "Pariscope" to figure out the films and other activities like walking tours, theater, etc.

In the city center, you shouldn't have any trouble with the subways or sketchy streets (usual urban precautions taken, of course, especially since you'll be tired). Your hotel's on one of the main drags of the Marais, so there should be plenty of people about.

Bon voyage!
mesange is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 05:02 PM
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I agree that the Vedettes boat rides are preferable because the boats are smaller and the commentary IS live. There is one downside to live commentary as I discovered a couple of weeks ago--the quality of the narration depends on the narrator's English skills. Ours this time was pretty hard to understand, but among her English and French speech, and my map, I was able to tell my friend where we were and what we were looking at.
It was great to take the 5:30 cruise at this time of year, and arrive near the Eiffel Tower at 6pm in time to see the light display.
elaine is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 05:06 PM
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May I ask from where you would be flying that your kids would be awake?
Feb 4th, 2005, 05:14 PM
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Hi eclair.

My kids, 12 and 15, just came back in Jan from our third holiday trip to Paris. We always wind up on the Champs Elysee at night. Monoprix, Virgin Megastore, Cafe Madrigal, car dealers, whatever. They love the street, the people, the lights.

We take the Metro home about 10-11:00 PM to our hotel.

I truly feel safer in Paris than in NYC and I'm from NYC.

Have a great time and feed them lots of hot chocolate and crepes.

mendota98 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 06:42 PM
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Also took my daughter for a night time walk up the Champs. She shopped until she dropped. I don't know if there is a girl in your family, but the Sephora store on the Champs was a big hit.

In fact, an after dinner walk all the way up the Champs Elysee to the Arc de Triumphe is a really nice way to spend an evening.

We walked down the Seine on a few evenings.

I third the rec for the Vedettes Pont Neuf, preferring them to the Bateaux Mouches.

My daughter liked the visiting the Pont Alma and reading all the notes about Princess Diana at the memorial spot.

Do not miss taking them to the Trocadero at night. Infinetly amusing. Musicians, vendors, we watched skate boarders for awhile, too. And watching the lights twinkle on the Tour Eiffel from there is great.

Another fun evening walk for her was in that area that some people mistakenly call the Latin Quarter, but is that goofy little maze of streets on the south side of the Seine with all the Middle Eastern restaurants and there hawkers, tourist shops, and loads of people watching. Once was enough, but it was fun. Anyone know the real name of this area, or have street names?
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 08:16 PM
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tuscan, you're probably thinking of all those streets around St. Severin--Rue de la Harpe, Rue de la Huchette among the worst of them (or best, depending on your point of view!).
Feb 4th, 2005, 08:19 PM
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The Sephora stores are now worldwide and a chain, and can be seen in most in large city.

The carnival atmosphere around the Trocadero and the area you refer to as around the ST Germain area are real, real, real tourisita.
Why not take her on nighttime walks that elevate and educate and entertain?

Down the Seine, see Notre Dame, stop in at a café, have ice cream near the bridge to Ile St Louis, where there are musicians that will entertain.
Watch the rollers on Friday night go by, or if you are brave, join them.

Take her to the small shoe and clothing stores near Rue Dragon and other places.

In other words, avoid the hype, tourist junk places and show her the cherished nightime activities of Paris.

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