paris with children

berthillon-paris

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about Paris lately (nothing new)…but traveling there with children especially. After much research and debate, we have decided to wait until Henry + Marie are older (4+ ?) to introduce them to it. As someone who is very familiar with the city (I know it better than Philly or NYC), I will be more focused on their experience. I want them to have developed a basic understanding of the globe and travel in general, and hopefully their francophilia will have started to develop (they are MY children after all). I know this may be wishful thinking, but their book of choice currently happens to be “Everybody Bonjours…just saying. When we do finally arrive with “les jumeaux”, we will surely be lingering around Berthillon if we find ourselves there in warmer temps! Best. Ice cream. Ever.

While there are many child friendly places, Paris is intimidating to travelers with young children. There are countless pros and cons to be weighed when contemplating such a challenging adventure, and obviously what works for some may not for others. For instance, with twins, we live and die by our schedule. Add jetlag and an unfamiliar environment and it could spell disaster for us. On the other hand, as my friend Anne recently mentioned, the constraints of Paris could possibly work in our favor. My friends with one child do not seem as concerned with keeping a tight schedule (which I often envy), and they (and their children) might have a much easier time adapting when traveling. My personal opinion is that traveling there with a toddler (ages 0-3) is very ambitious. However, in the event you are considering traveling to Paris with children, I wanted to share what I’ve read, as it has played a major role in our decision making process. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject, and any tips or advice you may have! Bon weekend tout le monde!!

paris travelogue…hither + thither

kid friendly paris…haven in paris

city terrible for ‘les enfants’ article

paris with kids…classic play

what to do (and not) in paris with children

“paris with children” book + interview

travel guide: paris for kids via ny times

 

Notes

  1. Nothing comparable of course, but my parents took me to Disney World at 6, and I have very vibrant memories. Seems smart to wait, like you said, when their appreciation and memory has developed more. I’m sure the waiting will be harder for you and mr. Fleurishing : )

    • We are planning to take the kids to Disneyland while young, Disneyworld when older, can’t wait! Waiting to take them abroad will be tough for us (especially me), you’ve got that right!

  2. Thanks for including Jillian’s piece in your post!

    We took our kids to Belgium when they were 4 and 1/2 and almost 2. The kids and I tagged along while my husband filmed a documentary. I figured it was one of the only chances I was going to get to see Europe, so I dove in head first.

    It was one of the most beautiful, adventurous, and stressful trips I’ve experienced. My 4 1/2 year old was AWESOME! She walked everywhere, took it all in, and dreams of one day returning. My son was just too young. Talk about a shock to his system. Eek.

    So I wanted to say that I agree with you: traveling with under 3s across multiple time zones is ambitious. <–Great word for it.

    • My pleasure Jen, thanks for taking the time to comment!

      It’s good to hear about your experience…and it confirms my beliefs. Thank you for your honesty! Sounds like 4+ is a great age…that being said, obviously your ambitions paid off in that you have such beautiful memories as a family.

      Again, thanks for sharing! I’ve never been to Belgium + it’s high on my list.

  3. Traveling with children, nonetheless twins, can be daunting and stressful. I understand you would like to wait travel with Henry and Marie, they sure will appreciate Paris more at an older age.

    With all of my family in Europe, I can’t wait to take my twins to Europe. I know it will be tough, but even tougher for me to wait. I know the flight will be long and exhausting, but nothing will be more exciting for me to have my girls step foot (crawl) on Danish soil for the first time!

    • I can certainly understand wanting to go sooner than later with family there…I do have my brother + family in France (in the Loire Valley), but since we cannot get there often we’ll wait until they’ll remember meeting. How lucky you are to have a such a lovely, familiar place to travel to…thank you for your thoughts Louise!

  4. As a mom of twins…I get it! It’s all about the schedule. We have traveled the world with our kids and it’s true what Jen says above about it being much easier when they’re 4+. We attempted a few trips before that ( with three kids under 3 years old) and it was pretty disastrous ( but memorable!). Oh the stories I have ! Great post!

  5. My first trip to Paris was my junior year in high school. It was also my first trip abroad (traveled extensively in the U.S. before then with my family – think my parents thought it was important I understood my home country first). I turned out ok ;)

  6. We took our two kids to Paris in May … they are 6 & 8 and we planned this trip as a gift to ourselves for our 10th anniversary (that was my excuse, anyway).
    The kids loved all of it, even though it rained every day and we had a hard time finding vegetarian food at first. We had planned on picnicking a lot but the rain forced us into restaurants. We bought umbrellas and embraced it, the kids didn’t mind. They were less jet-lagged than us and they walked more than I ever believed they could. We threw out our routine and went with the flow and the kids were awesome!
    Already planning to go back, of course. Summer 2014!

    • A great age to take the kids Rhonda! Happy to hear you embraced the hiccups and enjoyed it all.

  7. Our children are now 17 and 14, we’ve travelled with them in our home country since they were born, and last year ventured to Europe with them. They have great memories of all their trips, travelling with children of any age is rewarding and challenging (from crying as babies to complaining as teenagers) I think the key is being organised with a schedule, which includes alternatives in place when the plan does go awry.

  8. We took our kids, at the time ages 8 and 11, to Paris. The best advice I can give to anyone is be flexible when traveling to Europe with kids. We let them sleep late, didn’t push it with the number of things we did each day, and just tried to be spontaneous, with a list in the back of our heads of what we wanted to see and do. It was the best trip we’ve ever taken. Paris is so incredibly child-friendly. You may not eat in the bet restaurants, but you don’t need to when there are baguettes, and sandwiches, and patisseries and plenty of casual bistros. The parks are phenomenal, and the boats at Luxembourg Gardens are so magical, we went twice. We also went to the Museum of Natural History, the Louvre for about an hour or so, and walked everywhere, with no complaining. The trampolines in the Tuileries were a favorite, too. I highly recommend Paris for kids. The best things there are free.

    • Sounds lovely Wendy, and I 100% agree…Paris is very kid-friendly for older children. I can’t wait until they can enjoy the museums, parks, carousels, and treats!

  9. Hey Susan. So pleased to “meet you” via Joanna. I’m just looking through your blog now during my three year old’s nap time. We took her to Brazil for my brother’s wedding when she was about 18 months old. Looking back I would probably agree that you’re better off taking an expensive trip like that when your children are at least 4. The only reason we survived was because my entire extended family was around to help, and my husband’s parents came too. We stayed at 4 or 5 different places during our time there, and it was really rough on Eva. We did see a lot of amazingly beautiful things and were able to go out a bit thanks to all the grandparents, but it was still just really hard to travel with such a young one. I think if give the choice, I’d wait until she was old enough to remember it and get a little more out of the experience. Do you have the book “Henri’s walk to paris” for your kids? It’s one of our absolute favorites, and so beautifully illustrated!

    • Hi Sarah, happy to “meet” you! Thank you for your travel thoughts-you’re lucky to have had the help of family. What a beautiful destination! “Henri’s walk to Paris” was one of the first books in their collection…love it. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Pingback: paris je t’aime | Fleurishing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *