Paris may be typically associated with writers, lovers and vagabonds, but did you know it is also a great place to take your family on holiday? Despite the enduring stereotype that it is a place for cultured adult travelers (and trust us, there still is plenty to do for those that fall in the former categories!), there are a multitude of attractions waiting to capture the imagination of your children in the City of Light.
Below, we profile three excellent destinations within the vicinity of Paris that will make your family holidays here an event that you’ll brag about endlessly to the in-laws!
Shuddering at the thought of a long trans-Atlantic flight, and having to endure a man-handling from the TSA upon arrival, all to bring your kids to the land of Mickey Mouse? Fear not, as the Disney Empire has expanded across the world, planting one of their trademark theme parks near Paris.
Indeed, Disneyland Paris has most of the attractions and rides that its Anaheim predecessor has, meaning that you could simply take the Chunnel train to France in the morning, and have time to take in a few attractions that afternoon, rather than lose a full day to travel by heading to America. To avoid lineups though, we recommend acquiring disneyland tickets with all the extras on the internet first to avoid frustrating lineups that we all dread on vacation.
Once you are inside the gates, take your kids on Space Mountain if they’re big enough, or a spin on the teacups will suffice if your munchkins are still too wee to be exposed to such excitement!
Cité des Enfants
After the thrills of a theme park, take your kids to Cité des Enfants, a place where they run the show! This museum allows them to learn and pantomime adult roles in society, with settings ranging from the TV studio, to the boulangerie and even a factory.
As part of the larger Cite des Sciences, there are also opportunities for them to learn about science behind everyday life, making it an educational and entertaining afternoon if the weather outside isn’t cooperating.
Jardin du Luxembourg
If the weather is cooperating, an excellent place to go to allow your little charges to run wild and free is the Jardin de Luxembourg. Being the second largest public park in Paris, there is plenty of opportunity for the parental units to do some people-watching while the kids tire themselves out in the numerous slides and swings present in the park’s southwest corner.
There is also an opulent carousel, the city’s oldest, that was designed by the same architect that came up with the look for the Opera Garnier. Your older kids can play a game with an attendant that involves catching rings on a wooden stick whilst on the moving ride, making for an engaging way to add a new wrinkle to a classic attraction.
Paris, France holds much in store for the family on holiday, so if you never had the chance to see one of Europe’s most romanticized cities, or you long to show this sophisticated city to your children, make 2014 the year your family does Paris!