Because we live in New York City, we tend to avoid city vacations as a family. We want to spend as much of our free time in nature as possible. However, there are some cities we can’t resist and Paris is one of them. This city has a tremendous amount of beautiful outdoor venues for children. We also found the Parisians to be very friendly to our little ones, which was also a surprise.
We have two favorite carousels in Paris. One is at the bottom of the hill at Sacre Coeur in Montmartre where the street performers are fun to watch. The other is at the Luxembourg Gardens where there is a water basin for children to sail boats and plenty of space to run around. Additionally, there are puppet shows at Wednesdays and Saturdays at 4p and on Sundays at 11a and 4p.
Upon a friend’s recommendation we watched Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame before our trip and on the plane; this was a great way to introduce our toddler to this famous Paris landmark. She loved seeing Notre Dame in person after seeing it in the movies.
Exploring the Louvre Museum is daunting with young children. To make our visit as a family more fun, I designed a treasure hunt through the museum ahead of time; I marked up an online map with a “treasure” to find in each area we would explore. At the end of the hunt, I brought a little wrapped gift as a reward and placed it under a bench while she wasn’t looking for her to discover.
Musee de la Poupee
Our museum excursion went so well that we decided to give the doll museum, Musee de la Poupee, a try. It has 300 French dolls dating as far back as 1850 displayed in beautiful French scenery. They offer fun educational tours, as well as a look at the doll workshop. Our daughter and her friends loved this place!
French Pastries and Breads
Although there are many restaurants that are not kid-friendly in Paris, eating out is still a fun experience with children. Our kids love all the French pastries and breads and it was fun to explore all the different, delicious options throughout the city.
Once we arrived home, my husband and I agreed that nature trips can be overrated compared to this!