Paris, France is known as the city of love where couples can be seen kissing on park benches or strolling down boulevards hand in hand. So how do you navigate this romantic city when you have kids with you who cover their eyes when they see kissing on TV?
Luckily, there are a plethora of activities that are kid-friendly and tons of family fun. You’ll avoid tantrums by doing something they enjoy, while still getting to experience and get a sense of Paris. Tailor your itinerary to what your kids love doing and see parts of the city that many tourists never reach.
There is no shortage of history in Paris and if your kids enjoy history or looking at art, then you’ll have a full itinerary in the blink of an eye. The Musée d’Orsay offers a unique art experience. The old train station-turned-museum offers a wide open way to observe some of the most famous works of art in Paris and in the world. Musée de l’Armée Invalides shows you the military history of France and even a chance to see Napoleon’s personal belongings.
And the world-famous Louvre has enough art and history to satisfy anyone’s learning appetite and people can (and do!) spend multiple days wandering its halls looking on such famous works like the Mona Lisa and the statue of Nike. Keep in mind that museum admission fees can add up quickly, so look for student and child discounts as well as group packages for ticket pricing.
Just as there is an abundance of history in Paris, there is also a rich theatre background that permeates the city. If your kids can’t get enough of the stage and productions, let them pick their favourite Paris-based play or novel and visit the sites in person. For example, if The Hunchback of Notre Dame is on their list of favourites, take a trip to Notre Dame and relive Quasimodo’s troubles; then talk through the morals of the story as you gaze on the majestic building and spot gargoyles perched on the Cathedral’s edge. For little ones, the stories of Madeleine will give them a pictorial tour of Paris before they arrive.
If gadgets, equations, knowing how things work and other science-related things are more your kids’ speed, there are option galore for them to explore and learn from. Check out the Pasteur Museum (located in Pasteur’s own vast apartment!) for a trip through the life and work of Louis Pasteur. You will be able to make your way through a history of the scientific inventions he created. Or if your children prefer to look to the skies and get hands-on with science, plan a visit to Le planétarium du palais de la découverte where they can learn and interact with contemporary science in a dynamic way. There you can brush up on your astronomical knowledge and bond with your kid as you star-gaze in the planetarium.
Like most major cities, Paris has a number of small (and not-so-small) green spaces that are spread out around the city and can be found tucked away in unexpected corners. There are a few parks that are overrun with tourists and should be avoided, especially if you have small children and need to navigate a stroller, all while keeping an eye on your belongings for pickpockets. Instead there are a few great places to commune with nature—or just let your kid run off some energy.
One great example is the Tuilerie gardens. They’re right behind the Louvre and offer a traditional example of French formal garden style. There are two ponds on the premises and festivals located on the grounds in the summer. Or you can combine history, art and outdoors into one stop by heading to the Rodin museum and gardens. There you can look at the famous artwork of Rodin in the museum and then spend a lovely afternoon wandering through the rose gardens, the ornamental garden and an assortment of trellises that hide peeking statues and pieces of art located throughout the grounds.
As you navigate the city of love with your little ones by your side, be sure to protect your trip from unexpected occurrences. Compare travel insurance plans from Cover-More Australia today and find the plan that fits with your family.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Mark Juanita.