Paris with kids advise needed

Mar 2nd, 2009, 10:37 AM
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Paris with kids advise needed

We are headed to Paris for 3 nights while in Europe with our 3 kids (ages 9, 6 and 3) . It is a first trip to Europe for all of us. What district would you recommend staying in while in Paris. Hotel/flat recommendations. What are the definite things to not miss. Fun things for the kids as well as parents. We are heading to Amsterdam for a night or 2 also, so I'll take any suggestions I can get.
beachbum2 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 10:41 AM
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Are you traveling to Amsterdam as part of your Paris visit or will you be doing that over a separate night?

We have stayed with ParisPerfect in the 7th with our children and had wonderful experiences staying in their spacious, well-appointed and thoughtful apartments. The neighborhood is safe and there are plenty of green spaces and small parks nearby for the youngest kiddos to stretch their legs or to actively play after days at museums, shops, etc.
pisceantraveler is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 10:50 AM
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We start in Belgium, head to Amsterdam, back to Belgium, off to Paris, back to Belgium (friends are there), Germany for a day and home to the USA.
beachbum2 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 10:58 AM
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beachbum2, we just returned from a week in Paris two days ago (2 adults, 2 children ages 7 and 12). I'm putting the finishing touches on my travel report and hope to have it up soon. We rented an apartment two blocks from Place St. Michel along the Quai and it was a perfect location--the Metro/RER station was very close, and we could easily walk to sights like Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle, and into the 4th as well. I don't know that any of these are "must-do's", but our 7 year old daughter loved ordering her own crepes, pushing the sailboats in the ponds of Jardin des Tuileries, and ice skating at the Hotel de Ville. Favorite attractions included climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame; and her favorite museum was the natural history museum in the Jardin des Plantes. Our 12 year old son ranked climbing the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame pretty high, and also really liked the Sewer Tour. Our daughter used our point-and-shoot camera, and our son used the Flip video recorder he received for Christmas to document their trip, and I think that helped each of them remember the trip in their own way.

Hope that helps!
fourfortravel is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 11:14 AM
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I'm going to Paris with my 6 yr old granddaughter and her mom, and we have loosely planned to do the following:

Jardin d'Acclimatation in the Bois du Boulogne

Luxembourg Gardens, inc. the Guignol puppet show

Eiffel Tower

Arc de Triomphe

Notre Dame (perhaps rent the Disney movie before you go to provide some orientation, esp. for the younger 2 chidren)

1 hr. Seine boat ride on Vedettes du Pont Neuf some evening

crepes in a creperie on rue St. Andre des Arts or wherever we happen to be

afternoon tea at Angelina on rue du Rivoli (across from Louvre, which we shall visit briefly)

Ile St.-Louis, just browsing

snack at Deux Magots

carousels everywhere

might do a splurge meal at Le Train Bleu in the Gare de Lyon

We're renting an apartment in the 6th b/c we thought that would give us more flexibility and space than staying in a hotel. We rented through; our apartment sleeps up to 4 people, so it wouldn't work for you. I think the 6th is a good location: lots of activity, shops, sights, etc. w/in walking distance.

The following books might be fun to get for your younger children before you go:

A Spree in Paree

Adele & Simon

La La Rose (for the 3 yr old)


Eloise in Paris

Everybody Bonjours!

Have a wonderful trip; I hope you'll post a report when you return.
grandmere is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 12:34 PM
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The suggestions so far are excellent. I agree that staying in an apartment is a great way to go with kids. (or a suite in a hotel) We stayed on the Ile St. Louis in an apartment ten years ago with two girls, ages 9 and 12. It is a great location, very close to the marais and an easy walk to Notre Dame, etc.
We loved the zoo and the miniature golf course at a park whose name I don't remember , but if I find it I'll post it.)Hope it's still there.

The 9 year old LOVED the Musee Carnavalet.

Parc Villette was a highlight as well.

Another highlight was the playground in the Luxembourg Gardens.

Hanging out at Place des Vosges is another good option.

Give the older kids a point and shoot camera (disposable) of their own. Another thing we did was to tape record their remarks each evening. (Well, maybe not EVERY evening) It was a great souvenir.

If you go to a museum with them, I suggest giving them something to look for in the paintings. (flowers, horses, etc.)

Have an incredible time.
Grandot is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 12:47 PM
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Another thought--you seem to be doing a lot of backtracking. To Belgium, Amsterdam, back to Belgium, Paris, back to Belgium, Germany for a day. Is there some way to consolidate this? skip Germany, spend more time in Paris, or ???? I think the travel part is hard on kids.
Grandot is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 02:46 PM
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I'll come back and give some more specific thoughts later. I just want to say that I think you are doing waaayyy too much traveling for kids of that age. I hope, at the least, you are packing light ? Can the older one or two carry their own bag ?

I'll find my trip report - we loved it!
surfmom is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 03:18 PM
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A hint about kids and museums. We started traveling to Europe and beyond with our children 10 years ago when they were 10 and 5). They are not naturally drawn to art or history but we have had great success when the kids are prepared ahead of time. I tend to choose one or two artists and spend the weeks leading up to our trip reading every kids book we can find on that artist. The kids become familiar with odd details of the artist's life and particular works of art(with real or fictional stories attached). We chose Van Gogh when we went to Amsterdam. Any of the impressionists would do for Paris. Then we make a stop at the museum gift shop BEFORE going into the museum. The kids each buy 5 postcards of artwork in the museum. We then spend our time on a "treasure hunt" to find their chosen artwork. I also found Van Gogh coloring books on Amazon. The kids searched out their favorite painting and sat down on the floor in front of the painting and used colored pencils to try to "copy" the original.
Food is a great kid activitiy. Sampling your way across any city can enable kids to do "scientific studies" on the best bread ( pastry, hot chocolate, just about anything) in Paris, the best pancake in Amsterdam, the best gelatto in Rome, etc.
A specific food activity in Amsterdam that my kids still talk about is the Kinderkookkafe. It is a cooking school/ restaurant just for kids. The kids prepare the meal and later serve it to the parents. Language is not a problem. All of the instructors speak English and many of the local children did as well.
Have a wonderful trip! Don't expect it to be paced like an adult trip and you will discover amazing things that adult trips don't include. My kids are older now so we no longer search out playgrounds and amuzement parks (De Efteling outside of Amsterdam and Maaduradam outside of The Hague are GREAT!). I am so glad we had the excuse and opportunity to enjoy them. Have fun.
WLS is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 04:59 PM
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WLS, I like your idea about getting post cards at the museum and then finding the art works. My granddaughter's kindergarten class is doing a unit on Monet in March, so he would be an obvious choice for us in Paris. Thanks for the tip, and forgive my hijacking this thread.

I visited Madurodam in 1961 and always wonder "how it's doing" since I rarely hear anyone mention it here.
grandmere is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 06:44 PM
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Adults miss out on some great stuff when they never travel with kids, grandmere. We were at Madurodam in 2000 and it was just as fascinating to my kids as it had been to me as a child in 1970!
Like your grandaughter, my daughter also learned about Monet when she was in kindergarten and we went to a Monet exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute. Years later Monet remains a "favorite" of hers. Never underestimate the learning power of a motivated child.
WLS is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 05:57 PM
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What incredible ideas! Thank you all so much! I know the back and forth to Belgium will be alot for the kids, but it will also be a "home base" for them to spend off and on days with friends and relax in house. Our kids are very used to travel and 3 hour drives for a weekend at the beach. I wish I would have flown in or out of Paris to take away some of the travel...poor planning on my part and a $750 change...not worth it! I know we will return to Paris, so a touch of a few things is fine. I will print the thread to take these ideas with me. Thanks again.
beachbum2 is offline  
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