Paris with Kids: Mom, What Does Champagne Taste Like?

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. Nonetheless, we decided to visit Paris with kids after our annual trip to the UK, and flew in directly from London. After settling into our hotel a couple of blocks from the Arc du Triomphe, we were ready to see some sights.

Family in Paris under the Eiffel Tower

Paris with Kids: Eiffel Tower

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!)

view from top of eiffel tower paris

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, and 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.

Paris with Kids: Notre Dame

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!

family travel to paris - notre dame cathedral

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.
kids in paris
Obviously, France is known for its 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.

musee du louvre with kids
Another huge hit with the circus was the Musee du Louvre.

Paris with Kids: Musee du Louvre

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 Pokemons” – 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 forever. “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.

champagne in paris with view of eiffel tower

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! Enjoy the best that travel to Europe has to offer for families.

Paris with kids is magical.

Paris with Kids: Hidden Gems and Insider Secrets

Planning a trip to Paris with kids, my family and I had a million questions running through our minds. We wanted to soak in every bit of Parisian culture and make memories to last a lifetime. Here are 10 questions we had that you might find useful too:

What’s the best area to stay in Paris with kids?

We found that anywhere in the 1st or 2nd arrondissement is central to everything. The 3rd arrondissement is the Marais district and that area is perfect for families. It’s central, full of cafes and parks, and close to the Seine for easy walks. Plus, it’s bustling with local life, so you can really immerse yourself in Parisian culture.

How do Parisians feel about kids in restaurants?

Parisians love families (for the most part). We discovered that kids are welcomed in most restaurants. Just make sure to go earlier in the evening as Parisians tend to dine later. Some places even offered special kids’ menus, which was a pleasant surprise.

What are some kid-friendly French phrases we should know?

Teaching my kids simple phrases like “Bonjour” (Hello), “Merci” (Thank you), and “S’il vous plaît” (Please) was not only fun but helped them interact with locals, who appreciated their efforts to speak French.

Are there any cultural tips to ensure we’re good tourists?

We learned quickly to greet shopkeepers when entering and leaving a store; it’s a sign of respect. Also, speaking softly and not being overly loud in public places helped us blend in more with the local etiquette.

What’s the best way to navigate Paris with kids?

The Paris Metro system is fantastic and very very easy to use. I’ve heard that the Batobus, a hop-on, hop-off riverboat that stops at several major attractions along the Seine, is also a scenic way to get from place to place.

What other Parisian attractions we should see?

The Paris Catacombs are unexpectedly eerie, but fascinating. This underground maze holds the bones of millions of people, making it a spooky but fascinating place to see. You’ll learn about old Paris when the city ran out of space for its dead.

The Luxembourg Gardens offered a great place for the kids to play, and are expansive, beautiful and free. A great place for a picnic lunch.

The Montmartre district, with its artists and unique vibe, was a cool area to explore. Walking on cobbled streets, you can feel the creativity in the air. It’s home to the famous Sacré-Cœur Basilica too, sitting on a hill and watching over the city. Both of these places show the happier, lively side of Paris, away from the 1st arrondissement.

Is it easy to find restrooms in Paris?

Public restrooms are available, and are fine in a pinch. Keep some Euro change handy. We found that large department stores, museums, and some parks have clean facilities.

Any tips for visiting Paris with kids during the winter?

Dressing in layers is key, as the weather can be unpredictable. Exploring the covered passages — historic shopping arcades — is a great activity for cold or wet days. As is getting lost in the Louvre.

Visiting Paris with kids was an adventure we’ll never forget. We learned so much, experienced the beauty and culture of Paris, and most importantly, we did it all together as a family.

Au Revoir, a bientôt mon ami – and I hope you visit Paris with kids to experience champagne in ‘the city of love’ sometime soon!

What is your favorite thing to do in Paris with kids?

Let me know in the comments below and join me on Instagram and X (Twitter)!

About The Author

Samantha

I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active 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.

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