So my kids wanted to go to Paris. Not to sound spoiled, but I’ve been there many times (being a Brit), and didn’t feel the need to visit. Non-the-less, we decided visit Paris with kids during our annual trip to the UK. After settling into our hotel a couple of blocks from the Arc du Triomphe, we were ready to see some sights.
When you visit Paris you simply must explore the Eiffel Tower. This Piece de Resistance does not disappoint. We’ve seen it in pictures and on TV, but our first glimpse of this huge, glimmering, steel structure, was pretty breathtaking.
You can see it from almost any vantage point in Paris and the panoramic views of the city from the top are breathtaking. However, I strongly recommend you pre-purchase tickets online. (Unless of course, your idea of a good time is waiting for three hours in a line that snakes from the Eiffel Tower, all the way down the left bank!)
Important to note when visiting Paris with kids, they seem to be a magnet for street vendors. There are packs and packs of them in Paris, selling everything from miniature Eiffel Towers, fake Prada purses, to bongs in the shape of rather large penises (which were a huge hit with the circus!) As with most countries, it’s best to avoid engaging, unless you plan to make a purchase.
We decided to walk down the left bank to the Notre Dame Cathedral, passing by the Musee d’Orsay, Jardin des Tuileries and the Ile de la Cite!
When we arrived at the Notre Dame, with red faces from the cold, the French Gothic architecture felt almost whimsical. Naturally the boys were intent on locating the hunchback and discovering where he might have been hidden all of these years. After admiring the stained glass windows, listening to our echoes in the grand cathedral, dodging the street vendors and avoiding the pigeon poop outside, we all felt quite hungry.
Obviously France is known for it’s delicious cuisine, however we’ve found it’often practical (and equally delicious) when traveling with the circus to visit a trusty street vendor. Seriously, we’ve had some of the best meals from street vendors on our travels, although you obviously have to choose very carefully! We sat on the bank of the River Seine and feasted on jamon and fromage baguette, chocolate croissants, vin rouge (because you can drink on the streets in Europe), and large nutella crepes, for the most delicious meal.
I didn’t realize how many boobies and penises were actually located in this museum, until I visited with my kids. After checking out Venus de Milo, we headed to the Mona Lisa. “Mom, I think she’s thinking about Pokemon’s” – Julian age 6, “No Julian, I bet she’s thinking about soccer!” – Sebastian age 9.
Dinner that evening was an animated conversation of why artists didn’t cover up their subjects and what does champagne taste like? I didn’t have a great answer for the first question, but I had the best answer for the second question. “Taste it sweetie!” That’s right, I confess. Call me a bad mom, but I let my 6 and 9 year olds taste champagne for the first time. What better place to taste champagne for the first time with the woman who will love them for ever. “Yum, Mom, I can see why you drink that stuff… it tastes great” – Sebastian – age 9. I was secretly thrilled that my boys had great taste.
So to conclude, Paris with kids is magical. The sights of the Sacre Coeur, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Seine, Notre Dame, Champs Elysees and Pantheon, are all fun, doable, and exciting when traveling with the circus… as long as you stop for ample Nutella Crepes and Vin Rouge along the way!
Au Revoir, a bientôt mon ami – and I hope you visit Paris with kids to experience champagne in ‘the city of love’ some time soon!
I’m a travel and health writer, digital and brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two active boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising teenage boys, family life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.