Traveling with a young boy to Paris!

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Mar 18th, 2006, 01:30 PM
  #1
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Traveling with a young boy to Paris!

We're planning to take our son [he's 9] to Paris at the end of April for a surprise trip. [He actually ASKED to go after doing a school report on France!]

Any ideas for where to take him that would be interesting, other than the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre?

Thanx,
Debi
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Mar 18th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Palais de la Découverte
Cité des Sciences
Argonaute
Géode
Jardin d'acclimatation
Disneyland Paris
Luxembourg Gardens
Catacombs
Sewers
Père-Lachaise
Anywhere in the Métro
Excursion boats
Notre-Dame
Parc des Buttes Chaumont

There are endless other places. It depends to a large extent on his personality.
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Mar 18th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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I took my younger son last year when he was 11, and he always mentions how glad he is that we did the 2 day ticket on the Open Tour double decker bus. If you do all the routes, you see all the sights in each and every part of the city. Gives a great overview, and I always do it when traveling with someone who is seeing Paris for the first time.

He was entranced by the Louvre as was my older son when he made his first trip at 13. They both were also awestruck by Versailles, especially since both had recently studied it in school.

I'll ask them to remind me of some other things they liked, and I'll post them later.
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Mar 18th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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I think your son will love Versailles. While not technically Paris, it is an easy day trip from Paris (I've done it by car and by train and train is definitely the way to go). The history is fascinating, the buildings are impressive, the grounds are amazing, sure to spark anybody's imagination, let alone a 9 year old who is already impressed by France's history. There is a tram that circles the extensive grounds, which I totally recommend. DO NOT miss stopping at the Petit Trianon, where Marie Antoinette's full-size toy village help filled her (lazy) days. Have fun and make great memories!!
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Mar 18th, 2006, 04:01 PM
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My sons were a little older when we went to Paris and they loved everything about the city. They didn't rave about Disneyland Paris though and I would skip it. Compared to the sights in Paris, it just doesn't hold up although we all loved Disney World in Florida. For meals they loved the Left Bank and the restaurants there. And they still talk about the Catacombs where there are many many bones and skulls - perfectly gothic and scary for boys! (and their mom!).
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Mar 18th, 2006, 04:13 PM
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Don't forget the Musée de l'Armées. It's really amazing (even I thought so, and I didn't think I would). Once section has lots of knights-in-armor stuff and beautifully decorated swords. It's definitely fun. Also, make sure you go in Notre Dame. St. Chapelle is also really beautiful. My 10-year-old son LOVED the Louvre. I second the suggestion for the Luxembourg Gardens -- there's a really fun play area there, too. Hope you have a great time!
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Mar 18th, 2006, 04:18 PM
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Unusual store in the 6th. Deyrolle. Here are some pictures.
http://www.pbase.com/al309/paris1

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Mar 18th, 2006, 04:22 PM
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Theres another littel shop with unique toys (marionettes, rocking horses, finger puppets) in the 5th. Its called
Les Deux Tisserins, 36 Rue Des Bernadins between Rue Monge and Blvd. St. Germain.
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Mar 18th, 2006, 04:32 PM
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Anthony,

Awhile ago, I saw a picture of what I think was the Natural History Museum in Paris?? It has a hall of animals and looked really interesting...what do you know of this museum?? I see very little written about it.....
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Mar 18th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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We took our 10-year-old son to Paris last fall, and while New York and London are still his favorite cities, Paris is 3rd!

As preparation for the trip, we checked out some kid-oriented books about Paris from the library; on the lines of "if you lived in Revolutionary Paris." I thought they were great books; he wasn't that interested. What he really loved, and still loves, are the Asterix comic books (you can get them in English).

Our first night in Paris, we took a ride on the bateaux mouche, so (intentionally) his first view of the Eiffel Tower would be of it all lit up at night - it was magical! We of course visited it during the day, and went to the top.

I also read to him (nightly bedtime reading) the high-school version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It made our visit to Notre Dame all the more special. He thought the gargoyles were great.

He liked the Louvre; we did a "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" tour of our own. He also liked the Musee d'Orsay. I was surprised that he did not like the Rodin Museum; he hated it, in fact!

We did a lot of walking around, which he seemed to enjoy. We made a quest to sample macarons; Laduree are his (and mine) favorite; I think he liked the lemon flavor the best. We ate breakfast at a cafe every morning (croissants, coffee and hot chocolate), then afterward, would pick a different local bakery and share something new.

He enjoyed the bird market. He didn't enjoy the market on Rue Mouffetard, though I didn't expect him to - that was my thing! He loved the Pantheon, but I think that's because a lot of his heroes are buried there - the Curies and Victor Hugo, as I recall.

He enjoyed the food - crepes from crepe stands; croque monsieur, frogs legs, etc. We also went out to a Michelin one-star restaurant, which was a special occasion for all of us. I wouldn't recommend that for every 10-year-old kid, but he wanted to go and appreciated the opportunity. (Can you tell we're real foodies?)

He didn't much like the playground in the Tuileries; compared to U.S. playgrounds, there's not much there, and it's kind of for younger kids. We went to Angelina's - I was surprised to discover that the hot chocolate was too rich even for him!

Have a wonderful trip!
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Mar 18th, 2006, 05:54 PM
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OMG!!!
You guys are AWESOME!!! Thanx so much. We are really getting excited and we have to wait a whole month yet! I hope I can manage to keep this a secret that long!

Thanx again!

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Mar 18th, 2006, 07:14 PM
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There is a park just north of town built totally on an Asterix theme.

http://www.parcasterix.fr
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Mar 18th, 2006, 07:21 PM
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Our 11 year old's Paris favorite was sailing the model sailboats in the round pond at the Luxemborg Gardens. Simple, but really fun and what a beautiful setting! I loved it too!
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Mar 18th, 2006, 07:24 PM
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Musée de l'Armées was a hit with both my 14 yr old son and I a couple of summers ago. Our other favorite in Paris was the little zoo at the Jardin des Plantes. There are also other museums on the grounds that will interest boys- archeology, anthropology type stuff.
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Mar 19th, 2006, 11:13 AM
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Having taken care of that boyish age group more than once in Paris, the top of your list should be:

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution (Museum of Natural History)
Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie
Palais de la Découverte
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Mar 19th, 2006, 11:35 AM
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kerouac,

The Natural History Museum is the one I asked Anthony about...what can you tell me about it? Where is it located? Is it considered quite a good one??
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Mar 19th, 2006, 10:24 PM
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Yes, that's the place. It is in the Jardin des Plantes, next to the Austerlitz train station. Children find all of the naturalized animals absolutely fantastic, and some of them are the only remaining example in the world for extinct species.
The glass ceiling over the Grande Galerie also goes through a dawn-sunny day-thunderstorm cycle as you walk through the dinosaur bones, elephants and great blue whale.
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Mar 20th, 2006, 03:17 AM
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kerouac,

Thank you! I never read anything about this museum in travel info...saw a picture of the Grande Galerie in a National Geographic and have wanted to see it ever since..it WILL be on my evergrowing list for fall trip...
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Mar 20th, 2006, 04:02 AM
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DrDebi- Are you sure you don't want to let your son in on the trip before you go?

He would have a ball doing some research before you leave so he is in on the decision-making process. I know that the anicipation of travel is one of the best parts for both myself and my kids.

Take him out to a French restaurant and before dinner give him a little wrapped box with a copy of your airline tickets and a Paris travel book. SURPRISE! Then you can share youre excitement with him.
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Mar 20th, 2006, 05:01 AM
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http://www.parisdigest.com/withchildren/museum.htm

Info on the Natural History Museum and the Grand Gallery. You can also use the site to check out other attractions that might interest your son.
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