Pre-teens in Paris in March

Jan 15th, 2001, 08:38 AM
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Pre-teens in Paris in March

We are taking our 10 and 13 year old children to Paris in March. I am looking for suggestions on things to do with them - both things we ALL will enjoy as well as things to reward them with after they've indulged their parents in visits to those boring museums and oh, those dreadful shopping trips! The weather in March also is a consideration.
Jan 15th, 2001, 12:43 PM
Posts: n/a
Hi I have a file on Paris that includes some suggestions for kids; if you'd like to see it, email me.
Two books recommended by readers at (Dec 2000)are
Paris for Families and Take the Kids: Paris and Disneyland Paris.
Some websites:
http://travelwith in French, click on enfants click on kids' section can help on activities, bookstores, toy stores, etc in French. click on Marionettes for puppet shows, EnfantsCirque for circuses,
patinoires for roller blading, etc
Also, general websites with clicks for kids:
Wednesday is a good day to have your children meet other children in the parks, because Paris schools are closed on Wednesdays.

Jan 15th, 2001, 04:06 PM
Posts: n/a
We took two girls (10 and 11.5 yrs) at the end of January a couple of years ago. They loved renting model boats in Luxembourg gardens (weekends and Wednesday afternoons, I think) and pushing them across the fountain with a long stick.
They are both children of the suburbs, so navigating the metro and buses in itself was exciting, eating crepes and waffles and baguettes from sidewalk stands, seeing a lock of Marie Antoinette's hair at Carnevalet (sp?). The Picasso Museum was a special request from the 10 year old. It's in a wonderful restored mansion and was small enough that they could wander on their own and meet us at the gift shop (this was off season). They also liked the small shops in the Marais as we walked to Picasso. Eating dinner in a brasserie with our neighbor feeding his dog under the table. Bateaux Mouche at night (again, almost deserted on a cold evening, but the boats are heated) Eiffel Tower of course and artists at Montmartre. Shops and restaurants under the Louvre plaza. Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, jewels at the Louvre. We all had a ball - we rented a small apt and did not try to fill every moment. It was great to have some takeout meals and to take a break there for afternoon tea.
Have fun
Jan 15th, 2001, 07:19 PM
Ben Haines
Posts: n/a

Parc Asterix amusement park. This is Disney style yes but with a French twist.
It is a big thumbs up for any children under 12 or so. Very little English or Americanization in evidence (and yet still user-friendly).

In June the jardin du Luxembourg had all kinds of great
Children's activities - pony rides, puppet shows, a carnival with
rides, sail boats in the ponds with sticks for $2.00
and hours of fun with children their own age. Metro Luxembourg.

Champ-de-Mars. Metro Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel

The Jardin des Tuileries has play areas (with lots of pickup soccer games). On Sundays in summer there are pony rides and model boat rentals to sail in the fountains. Children love it as do the picnicing parents. There is a ferris wheel on the Place de la Concorde side of Tuileries. Metro Tuileries.

The best zoo in Paris is said to be in the Bois de Vincennes, which also has a boating lake, and a Parc Floral with such playground facilities as a great slide. Phone 01
40 79 30 00.

A paradise for little ones is the Bois de Boulogne, a park to the west of Paris proper.
The Jardin d'Acclimatation (open 10-6 daily) on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne (phone 01 40 67 90 82). has donkey rides, a children's zoo, and miniature trains to ride. The train operates from Porte Maillot every afternoon in July and August, and Wed, Sat, & Sun afternoons in the other months (check the schedule for currency). Metro Porte Maillot. Also

The small Jardin des Enfants aux Halles on the right bank near the Forum des
Halles, phone 01 45 08 07 18 has tunnels, mountains, and slides to climb on. It is closed in bad weather. Metro Halles.

Garden of the Musee Rodin. Metro Varennes., then click English, Garden, and Practical

All around the city are small parks and green areas just right
for a five-year old to let loose (and for grown-ups to relax and
enjoy the open spaces). Ask the concierge or someone at the front desk of your hotel. It is needless to go all the way to the Luxembourg or Bois de Boulogne
if there's one two blocks over from the hotel

Wednesday would be a good time to find children and activities in parks, as there is no school on Wednesdays.

ENTERTAINMENTS. The "Pariscope" site is in French

Puppet shows in many of the parks on Wednesday and weekend afternoons.
Include Champ-de-Mars and Jardin du Luxembourg.



Opera de Paris Bastille, 33K18 Metro Bastille
Opera Comique, 19F13 Metro Richelieu Drouot
Opera Garnier, 18F12 Metro Opera

Roller-blading on Friday nights.

In winter you can ice skate free on the Hotel de Ville plaza: you can rent skates
Jan 15th, 2001, 07:20 PM
Ben Haines
Posts: n/a

Hotels that have been specifically recommended on this forum for families, which you should be able to find through a web searcher, are Grand Hotel St. Michel (has two-bedroom suites),
Palais Bourbon. Métro: Varenne.,
and Hotel des Bains


One can rent an apartment and have a ball. The kitchen gives a chance to bring in pastry for breakfast, have some fresh fruit, stop back for tea in the afternoon and even pick up "take out" (but what takeout!) from wonderful shops nearby.

Cafes and bistros serve well, for sitting with hot chocolate and a croissaint. Children are happier outdoors due to smoke and cooking smells in some of the cafes.

Crepes and sandwiches bought on street corners.

Ice cream stands




Going to the American movies for sugared popcorn

Cafe le Bosquet near Metro Ecole Militaire
Cafe le Bosquet, 46 Avenue Bosquet

At 8 rue Coquilliere is the restaurant Chicago Meatpackers which is child-oriented in both food and entertainment. Metro Les Halles.

Lunch at the Cafe Flo in the Printemps. Metro Havre Caumartin. RER Auber.

Hot chocolate and pastry at Angelina's at 226 Rue de Rivoli. Metro Tuileries.

Lunch at the Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower. Metro Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel.


Kitchenware shop

Looking for Beanie Babies.

Shopping: 45 minutes or so in a boutique

It was also fun to go to the toy section at Bon Marche

the 9th floor of the Samarataine department store for the view.

In residential neighborhoods, there are charming 'toy shops' stocked full of gorgeous handmade childrens' toys and clothing. The 4th and 5th arrondissements have many such shops.

Galleries Lafayette Toy Department. 40 Boulevard Haussman, Metro Chausse d'Antin. http://


The magazines Le Pariscope and L'Officiel des Spectacles have information in English on activities for children. They come out on Wednesdays.

For such activities also call the CIDJ at 01 44 49 12 00


web sites in English:
then click on Children, then children's section.

web site in French

LOCATIONS. Places lie thus.

West and North near the former outer walls: Bois de Boulogne, Musical Museum, Montmatre, Natural History Museum, Parc de la Villette

Right Bank, from west to east.
Bateaux mouches
Galleries Lafayette
Opera Garnier
Opera Comique
Jardin des Enfants aux Halles
Chicago Meatpackers
Centre Pompidou
Picasso Museum
Opera de Paris Bastille

Left Bank, from west to east
Eiffel Tower
Champ de Mars
Jardin du Luxembourg
Church of Notre Dame
The Catacombs
Musee des Arts D'Afrique et d'Oceanie
Bois de Vincennes

Jan 15th, 2001, 07:25 PM
Ben Haines
Posts: n/a
I have this note on disk. Much of the gardens material mis too young for your people. Please write if I can help further.

Ben Haines


Notes from Fodors forum from October 2000 to January 2001.


Summer is the most expensive. It is better to go in Spring

(Listed in French under expositions on
Also in English in and /
Map and pictures of museums and monuments are on )

The Louvre: one child was attentive because she had 3 things she wanted to see (the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Egyptian display). Picnic in the gardens next to the Louvre. Metro Palais Royal - Musee du Louvre.

Hotel de Cluny and Musee Nationale du Moyen Age - especially the Unicorn tapestries. Metro Cluny la Sorbonne.

Picasso museum. Metro St Sebastien Froissart.

The Centre Pompidou. Metro Rambuteau., then Pompidou Centre

Canal ride up to LaVillette. La Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie, otherwise known as La Villette, is a museum complex with different offerings for various ages. There is a Techno Cite for the older children, as well as a planetarium and a real submarine to walk around in. Phone 01 40 05 72 23, or for recorded information 01 36 68 29 30. Also

Bug (entomology) museum. This may be the Natural History Museum, Metro Gare d'Austerlitz. Site in French

Musical instrument museum. Metro Porte de Pantin.

Palais de la Decouverte, hands-on science museum for chilodren in the Grand Palais'

Explora science museum (a huge complex)

Eiffel Tower. Metro Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel.

The Musee de l'armee, for suits of armour. A father adds that the models of fortifications are just the sort of thing that children would like. Metro Invalides.

Musee des Arts D'Afrique et d'Oceanie-- Carved masks, totem poles, crocodile pits, aquariua with exotic fish. Across the street is Bois de Vincennes, where you can rent canoes and paddle around two islands. 293 av Daumesnil, 12th. Metro Porte Doree. Open Wed-Mon 9:45-noon and 1:30 -5:30.

Jan 15th, 2001, 07:26 PM
Ben Haines
Posts: n/a
The Catacombs: stacks of human skulls and bones in an underground creepy setting. 1 Place Denfert-Rochereau, 14th, metro Denfert-Rochereau. Tel 01 43 22 47 63 Open
Tues-Fri 2-4, Sat , Sun 9-11 and 2-4.

Aquaboulevard has water slides and a wave machine. Indoor and outdoor pools, an artificial beach. 4 Louis Armand in the 15th. Tel 01 40 60 10 00. Metro Ballard.

Versailles. To enjoy this a child needs European history background. You may want to talk at home about the Kings of France if you are going there. There are large grassy areas at Versailles.
Also, then click on Parks

Climbing to the top of the Church of Notre Dame, which children know from the Disney "Hunchback" movie. Metro St Michel-Notre Dame.


Bateau mouche on the Seine. From Port des Champs Elysees. Metro Aerogare des Invalides

The "Batobus" It is a commuter boat that runs between Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tour (makes 7 or 9 stops) and combines sightseeing and transportation. You can buy single tickets or a day pass.

Monmartre: get a portrait of children done there. Metro Chateau Rouge

The climbing places - Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame Cathedral.

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