Traveling in Paris with a 3 yo, help!

Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 05:20 AM
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L4C
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Traveling in Paris with a 3 yo, help!

Hello -

We are going to Paris in January with my 3 yo daughter. We are planning on BluVan from & back to the airport, does anyone know if they charge the full rate for a 3 yo? I can't find it on their site. Also - what is the age minimum for the other transport (metro, bus, etc)? And does anyone have any suggestions for what to do with a 3 yo in Paris?

TIA,
L.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 07:25 AM
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There's no age minimum for public transport. Children under 4 ride the Métro, bus and RER for free, as long as they don't occupy a seat (i.e., they sit on your lap or stand), although it's unlikely you'd be cited for letting your child sit if there is room to do so.

There are lots of playgrounds in Paris in the major parks, such as the Luxembourg gardens. Around New Year's there's a fair in the Tuileries gardens with some rides for young children. the Jardin d'Acclimatation is popular with children, on the northwest edge of Paris. There's the Cité des Enfants at the La Villette science museum, puppet shows near the Rond-Point des Champs and in the Luxembourg gardens, a zoo and miniature farm in the Bois de Vincennes, a museum of natural history in the Jardin des Plantes, the Grévin wax museum, and so on.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 09:58 AM
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Thanks for the info - I guess I meant how old does a kid have to be to pay the child fare. So we don't have to buy a Paris Visite for a 3 yo? Just 4 yo and up?
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 10:19 AM
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Luxembourg gardens, the place where people sail little boats around the pond is fun.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 06:11 PM
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I've also been doing some research. I'm taking a 2 1/2 and a 6 1/2 yr old to Paris. Here are some websites that I've found useful.

http://paris.angloinfo.com/af/281/pa...-for-kids.html

http://en.parisinfo.com/

If you do a search here, they don't really recommend the paris visite. The carte orange is preferred. My husband and I used the latter last year and it worked out fine for us. With the kids this year, I'm leaning towards the combined batobus and hop-on hop off for 2 days of seeing the major sights. I'd rather use the metro but I remember stairs after stairs and long walks through a series of tunnels in some stations last year. With two kids in tow and probably a backpack with all their stuff (change of clothes, toys, sweets), IMO it might be hard to manage even with an umbrella stroller.

Also, I've bought the following books: Cadogan Paris with Kids and Open Road's Paris with Kids. They're really quite helpful especially with the listing of several kid-friendly restaurants/cafes in various neighborhoods.

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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 06:48 PM
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When I asked my now 5 year old daughter, what she liked best about our trip to Paris a year ago, she said Disneyland Paris!

I bought Take the Kids: Paris & Disneyland Resort and Open Road's Paris with Kids and found them both very useful on our trip.

The Cite des Enfants was perfect for her age but the rest of the museum was obviously over her head. The Jardin du Luxembourg has a great playground - I think you have to pay for it but it is well worth it. Lots of great play sructures. She also had fun pushing the boats and having a pony ride there. The Menagerie (zoo) was wonderful - could get very close to a lot of animals. Also, she is really into carousels so we made a point of finding a good number of them.

The Palais de le Decouverte is a science museum and was way over her heard - and had very little information in english. We went to an aquarium that I can't recall the name of but it was pretty basic and needed some TLC. And the other zoo (Vincennes / Parc Zoologique) was undergoing major rework when we were there so we had to skip it.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 07:13 PM
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A word about strollers and the Metro - we took our stroller everywhere but it was a pain for getting around the Metro - tons of stairs. It was usually just my daughter and me sightseeing so I was trying to negotiate her stroller by myself - I made her keep getting out of the stroller to go up and down the stairs... and one time a nice young Frenchman even helped me carry the stroller down several flights of stairs with her sound asleep in it. But with all of the walking we did, I would never suggest going without one!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 07:24 PM
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Thanks again.

Here's another question: we have two strollers - one is a $15 umbrella that weighs next to nothing, and the other is a Maclaren Quest that weighs a bit more but is very sturdy and has been around the world and back and has a plastic rain cover and reclines and...I think I'm answering my question. We should bring the Quest, right? Are Paris streets too hard on a cheapy umbrella stroller?

TIA,
L.

PS - thank for all the book/park/playground recos. I really appreciate it.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 08:41 PM
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re: strollers, even if it's a little heavier, reclining seat and rain cover would make the decision for me! I can just see it now, kid's asleep, it's just starting to sprinkle, you find a sidewalk cafe and watch the rain--bliss.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 10:00 PM
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My daughter used a Maclaren Triumph when she was your daughter's age. We are bringing it this time for my son. He has the Techno XT which fully reclines but is not as lightweight as the Triumph. I wouldn't recommend a cheap umbrella stroller. I don't think it's sturdy enough for some of the streets in Paris. In Paris last year, I saw the French pushing around the teeniest three-wheleed strollers all over the place. Sadly, my son's a giant so I have no plans of buying it there. I remember seeing it at Galleries Lafayette and I think it cost a fortune too
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Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 10:16 PM
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Can I just say that we LOVE our Maclaren Quest stroller? With the Cobblestone streets in Europe - DO NOT risk a wheel breaking! And the rain cover is priceless.

I also LOVE our Ergo Baby Carrier. These two items are our staples when traveling
with our toddler.

We found these products and stuff for the plane at www.JetWithKids.com

Have fun!

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Old Sep 3rd, 2007, 10:18 AM
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You don't have to pay for the Métro for a child under 4 at all.

Yes, you have to pay a small admission fee for the playground in the Luxembourg gardens (2 euro, I think).

There's a brand-new aquarium across from the Eiffel Tower (on the site of a much older aquarium that was derelict for years), but it's cripplingly expensive, more than twice the admission cost of the Eiffel Tower. There's also a nice aquarium at the La Vallée shopping center near Disneyland Paris; it's not expensive and you can get within touching distince of some of the fish.
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