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Suggestions for destinations with young children

Suggestions for destinations with young children

Old Mar 15th, 2009, 10:57 PM
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Suggestions for destinations with young children

We're planning on celebrating our son's first birthday by travelling to Europe for 10 days in early June. We'll be spending half the time with family in Glasgow, but are looking for another 'easy' destination to explore in Europe.

Florence? Brussels? Granada? Switzerland?

Looking for an easy but beautiful destination to explore with our 1 year old and 5 year old.
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 01:45 AM
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If it were me I'd head to Paris. Lots of parks and fun things for kids to do. Just aboutevery little square has children's play equipment. Some of the museums have interactive displays for kids to fool with . The French are child friendly and you'd have no problems at feeding times in cafes and bistrots.
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 09:18 AM
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Well I wouldn't go to southern Spain - it will ber VERY hot and you're likely to have 2 really cranky kids. Paris would be good (and easy to get to). Siwtzerland could be fun too - but I would definitely look for a place you can get an apartment rather than a hotel room. Much easier to deal with kids' meals, snacks and sleeping hours is you have more thna one room and some sort of kitchen.
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 11:23 AM
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I second Avalon's Paris idea; it's so easy to travel with small children there. It's a compact walking city with lots of green space -- check out the parks that aren't mentioned in the tour guides, and there are many small playgrounds to be found.

I could tell you some wonderful trail dust stories about our experiences with traveling with our kiddos there, from men in business suits interrupting their lunch meeting to get up and move an urn closer to where they were sitting at a sidewalk restaurant so that I could push our double stroller up the sidewalk. We had two gentlemen leave a weekly family picnic to help us when they noticed us about to take our two sleeping children (then newly 4 and 1) up what seemed to be 50 steps in the double stroller at Versailles. Our kids didn't even flinch and these gentlemen didn't hesitate. We ran into the family again later in the afternoon and the entire clan was so pleasant to us.

Of course, negative experiences may happen, but knock on wood...

Moreover, the kids love going to the markets to request their fromage or yaourt and fruits. We have usually stayed in apartments and they have been great for us. Key to your trip, and your kiddo is young enough to be flexible for your interests, is giving kids enough time to do the things they enjoy. If your son naps in the afternoon, pick up a picnic lunch at the market or a local bakery, and then plan on taking him to a park or some other activity he enjoys (or doesn't mind) and see if he will nap in the stroller in the afternoon. Schedule your museum viewings at those times when he naps. Our kids are older now but when they were younger, this type of schedule worked for us.

Really, Parisians are genuinely pleasant toward children and helpful to parents in our experiences there. We have found that traveling with our children there opened avenues of communication that weren't there when it was just us.

Food for thought (no pun intended!) -- a macaron cake to mark a first birthday would be a genuine treat!! Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about that... we promised my daughter a macaron birthday cake in Paris when she turns 8!

Happy 1st to your son, and on your first year of parenting!
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 04:08 PM
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Wow, so Paris is the clear front-runner! Yeah wherever we end up going, we definitely will rent an apartment. We've been doing that on our travels for the last 4 years with our daughter. This will our son's maiden voyage! Any votes for Brussels/Bruges?
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 04:13 PM
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Bruges is my all time favorite city
I don't think the country does a good job of promoting it

The kids would love to see the swans and take a boat ride

The Belgian Waffles would be a sure Hit!!

Brussels is a very typical big city
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 04:20 PM
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We had a great time in Paris with our two year old. I can't speak to the other destinations but there are a lot of amenities for families children in Paris and it is very easy to deal with food there (what child doesn't like crepes, pastries, sandwiches?). If you click under my name I wrote a pretty long trip report with some details. If you do pick Paris, I recommend the apartment we stayed in for your family. It was pretty spacious, nothing breakable, two real bedrooms with a queen bed in each and a washer/dryer in the apartment.
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