Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Worth taking young children to Paris? (

siobhain Jan 20th, 2007 03:21 PM

Worth taking young children to Paris?
I have a 2 yr and 4 yr old and in June I'd like to combine a beach week eg. Normany or west coast and week/few days in Paris. What is there for young children to do in Paris?

Suzanne2 Jan 20th, 2007 05:04 PM

Paris is a city full of parks and playgrounds. the french seem to really enjoy seeing children. While you might not want to visit the Louvre and I'd imagine the metro might be a bit problematic, especially during rush hour I would not hesitate to take young children to Paris. Do some research and you will find puppet shows, pony rides, sail boats, ferris wheels and merry go rounds all over the place.

I tend to miss my grand son (he's 4)when we go to Paris. Now that he has seen a photo of me and Papa in front to the Eiffel Tower he is insisting on coming along on our next trip.

There are books about taking kids to Paris.

The only thing I'm not sure about is dining out. Do they provide kid's menus?
If all else fails you are never far from McDonalds when you are in Paris.

I think Paris will be a whole new adventure with you children along.

sglass Jan 20th, 2007 05:30 PM

My kids were a little bit older when we went to Paris- I learned in spite of my "things to do with kids" guidebook (and- most "regular" guidebooks have sections that target families, too) some of the most fun was just being there together, even we experienced it on different levels. There will be something new and different to see every minute! My youngest daughter (about 6) absolutely loved sitting at outdoor cafes with her own bottle of water and some bread and thing I think would help for some mealtimes and snacks would be to find an apartment setting, so you can have a refrigerator and a place bigger than a hotel room to come back to if everyone needs a nap.

john127 Jan 20th, 2007 05:47 PM

I just posted on another thread about how I think Paris is a wonderfully child-friendly city! We visited last summer with our then 1 and 3 year old and had a great time. Everyone we encountered was terrific with our kids. The parks and playgrounds are beautiful, the city is very walkable, and at the major museums you will even be ushered in ahead of lines with a stroller! Also, a day at Disneyland is just a 45 minute train ride away.

Here's my trip report if you'd like more details:;tid=34836796

Hope this helps.

Vanessa1981 Feb 20th, 2008 04:52 AM

I cant completely agree. The metro is not at all child friendly. And most of the main parisian sights are geared towards adults (the musee louvre,and d'orsay. Eiffel tower and notredame.) As for montmatre a girl friend of mine was coaxed into trying on a freindship bracelet whilst visiting the sacre cour and the con man tied it to her wrist and tried to get her to pay 10 euros for it. She worked him down to 3 and escaped.

iowamom Feb 20th, 2008 06:10 AM

From other postings that I've made re Paris:

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 structures. 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 head - 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.

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. A lot of times, 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!

melissa19 Feb 20th, 2008 07:27 AM

when you take kids to paris, you don't always go to the main sites except those that are child friendly. such as the playgrounds beside the eiffel tower or louvre. you eat crepes in the jardin du luxembourg. seeing paris with our daughter has been an amazing experience.

plus, the bus is a lot easier than the metro and gets you to the same places.


Stef_DNA Feb 20th, 2008 08:05 AM

Plenty of things to do with kids in Paris!! The "Cite des sciences et de l'Industrie" ( ) have plenty of exhibitions taylored for children, and there is a huge park nearby.
You also have the Quai Branly museum ( ), that, I think, can be memorable for a kid of 4, as it is the museum of "primal arts" (sorry, dont know how to translate it correctly... Have a look on the website ;p)
You alsoi have the Jardin des Plantes, the Musee de l'homme,...

bozama Feb 20th, 2008 09:01 AM

" Worth taking young children to Paris?"

Worth it to who?? You, yes if you really want to go to Paris go, take the kids and do what you can.

Worth it to them, No, a two year old will be just as happy no matter where you go, anywhere there is a beach or park is great for tots.
As far as I recall I also had my two year old still napping, so that does cut into the day a bit. And the metro is not so fun with strollers, take the buses.

I think you week in Normandy is a grea idea though, more relaxing. If you really want Paris I would cut it down to 3 or 4 days and spend more time in countryside.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:43 PM.