Now, that I'm back in the U.S.A. -- I really wish I could go back to Paris with all that I've learned. Paris is particularly welcoming to children. So, if you or someone you know is headed there, below are my tips for going as a family.
Jardin du Luxembourg:
The best place to let you children run free and shake off some jet lag. We met my friend, Heather, there with 2 of her boys....the boys played on the playground and pushed sailboats in the pond.
One of the best tips we got was to reserve a private tour with a guide from Paris Muse. The benefits were many:
♥ We skipped the long lines
♥ Our guide led the boys on a "treasure hunt"...so they were completely engaged for the entire 2 hours
♥ We didn't just wander or get overwhelmed....and this museum is HUGE. They say that if you spent only 3 seconds in front of each piece in the Louvre, it would still take you 33 years to see it all.
Although I had heard of Cafe Marly...I was shocked that it was so close. When you exit the pyramid, the restaurant is directly to your right. So, throughout our al fresco lunch, the pyramid was right behind us. Very cool!
Jardin des Tuileries:
After lunch, we walked through the Tuileries, which is the beautiful garden that links the Louvre to the plaze de la Concorde (the site of the guillotine during the French Revolution). The boys loved the in-ground trampolines and the carousel.
Angelina's:Famous for their hot chocolate, Angelina's is near the end of the Jardin des Tuileries, on the Right Bank --- and was a fun reward for the boys, after all that walking.
Having been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the boys loved having a gargoyle's view of it from the top of Notre-Dame. What a magnificent architectural achievement!
After touring Notre-Dame, we walked over to the small Ile de St. Louis for the famous Berthillon ice cream. Balancing a morning of history with an afternoon of fun, kept the boys engaged.Musee Rodin:
The sculpture garden at the Rodin Museum is a must! It is gorgeous and enjoyable for adults and children. This was my favorite museum visit after the Louvre and the Musee L'Orangerie, where Monet's Water Lilies are displayed the way he originally intended.
No matter what you're planning on seeing, save yourself from waiting in long lines (and trust me, there were some long lines at the Louvre, Musee D'Orsay & Musee de L'Orangerie) by getting a Museum Pass. It covers your museum entry fee (children are usually free) at almost every major site in Paris, but what you will most enjoy is a special, shorter que.
If you had a day in Paris, where would you go and what would you do?
ps: Paris Diaries, Part 2 - shopping, dining & evenings without children later this week.