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Paris with kids
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Paris with kids

Where to go with the children is one of the top five questions I am always being asked. To answer this question, I chose to ask children themselves about what they preferred during their stay. Action!


Disneyland Paris

Mickey is without a doubt the winner of the category and this, I must confess, makes me a bit sad…am I already rigid at the age of 40? Anyway, the big mouse has a very detailed Internet site www.disneylandparis.fr where you can get information on opening hours (they change all the time!) and the works agenda of the rides.
Additional information:
- do you need to go to Disneyland and/or Walt Disney Studios? Without hesitation, a day in Disneyland is more than enough. The crazy guys who went to the Studios said they were disappointed. Why is that? "Because Disneyland rocks". Kids…
  - what’s the damage? A full day ticket will cost 64 EUR per adult, 58 EUR for a child (between 3 and 11). If you buy online, at least 5 days before and for a specific date, you will get a unique price of 46 € (adult/child). It’s good value. There are other tariffs but they are either too expensive or not valid on weekends.
- how to get to Disney? The easiest way is to take RER trains (RER A) and get off at "Marne la Vallée-Chessy". The trip will take about 1 hour and it will cost you 14,60 EUR (return). During school holidays, there is less traffic and you can try to drive there: it should be a bit quicker, a lot friendlier, but the car-park costs 15 EUR.
- one last detail I have read on their Internet site : "It is not allowed to bring any food or drinks in Disney Parcs.". Surely their sandwiches are better than yours…

La Tour Eiffel

Don’t think about leaving the Eiffel Tower out of your schedule. This amazing building really deserves a climb... so join the 6 million annual visitors! A word of advice:
- shall we stop on the second floor or go up to the third floor? I don’t want to put pressure on you but the view from the 3rd floor, (276 m high) is a lot more impressive than the one you get from the 2nd floor (115 m high).
I recommend you use the stairs to come down from the 2nd floor. It is the only way to understand and experience Eiffel’s genius…
- how much is it? Adult: 15 EUR, 12/24 years’ old : 13,50 EUR, 4/11 years’ old: 10,50 EUR. Online booking available. If the official website is fully booked and if you are rich some sites like www.ceetiz.fr or www.getyourguide.fr resell full price tickets from 39 EUR.
  - when should you go ? No need to say it’s better when it’s nice and warm. What really matters is the timing: without online booking people wait 30 minutes on the ground floor, and then an extra 30 minutes to go from 2nd to 3rd floor. You can shorten this waiting time at around 8 pm when everybody is having dinner. And if you get lucky, you can enjoy a beautiful sunset!
Eiffel Tower wait times forecast for 2014
- one last tip ? Oh yes... You can go up to the second floor with the stairs. You’ll queue less and it’s cheaper : Adult: 5 EUR, 12/24 years’ old : 4 EUR, 4/11 years’ old: 3 EUR. Allow 15 minutes from the ground floor to the first floor and 20 minutes from the first floor to the second floor.
More info : www.tour-eiffel.fr

Les Bâteaux Mouches

Paris is one the most beautiful city in the world, and what about enjoying its beauty from the deck of a boat? Kids definitely have good tastes... Several companies offer cruises on the river Seine and the best offer is to be found on www.vedettesdupontneuf.com   If you book online (a one-hour cruise), it will cost you 10 EUR for an adult and 4 EUR for a child (Winter 2013/2014 promotion). Remember that the boats sail off until 10pm. The lights coming from the boats are just fantastic.

Le Musée Grévin

I am always stunned by the success of this museum. While the Playstation is today’s Star and wooden toys are on the wane, wax statues are loved by all! You will find practical information on   www.grevin.com and find out that tariffs are rather costly : 23,50 EUR for an adult, 20,50 EUR for students and 16,50 EUR for children between the age of 6 and 14 (13,50 EUR for discount card holder).

Jardin du Luxembourg et Jardin des Tuileries

The younger ones love these gardens. Situated at the heart of the capital city, they can safely ride poneys (in a cart or on the animal’s   back), go on the rides, do trampolining, go on the swings, eat a crêpe, and will even ask for more.

This is the type of day-out children do not think about but just love once they have been convinced…

La Villette

The Parc de la Villette and its cultural infrastructures are definitely a success. Adults love le Zénith, the Grande Halle’s programme planning and the other events. They like to play and walk in the huge park. Children love the dedicated fun and educational areas. To name but a few activities : the Cité des Enfants (2/7 and 5/12),   Explora, the planetarium and the Géode, a cinema shaped like a ball. The Villette is a smart world that every member of the family will enjoy even the hard to please young ones. Needless to say tI suggest you check out the website on www.cite-sciences.fr and leave the Palais de la Découverte out for good.

Le Jardin des Plantes

Everyone knows that children love plants and animals. Like the Villette, the Jardin des Plantes will work wonders with children thanks to the variety of its collections and its clear museography.   The living world is highlighted by the quality of the various sites: Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Ménagerie, Galerie de Minéralogie etc. To find out more, check out their website www.mnhn.fr

Le Louvre

Is taking the children to the Louvre a challenge? It depends on the tour you are planning for them…What they like best is usually the ancient Egypt period. The museum is great for this: mummies, sarcophaguses, sculptures etc. Egyptians were the fathers of design: even big bad wolves look like cute doggies… Some tips:
- there are a dozen of entries to access the Louvre besides the
  Pyramide’s. So don’t waste 20 minutes of your time in the main courtyard and opt for the other entries as indicated on www.louvre.fr
- the museum is free for under 18s and EC nationals between the age of 18 and 25. It is free every 1st Sunday of each month and on July 14th.

Le Palais de Tokyo

To conclude, a good suggestion that I got from a family from Normandy. Their kids were delighted to go there so I am just forwarding this idea...
“The Palais de Tokyo is an emerging venue for contemporary art, striving to build up activities for the young visitors. Part of an original and fun approach to contemporary art, the Tok-Tok activities have
  been designed to place the children at the very core of current creation. There they can develop their observation, creativity and independent skills.” blablabla … "Through originality, humour and innovation, the activities offered attract both parents and children."
I suggest you have a look at their website www.palaisdetokyo.com as you need to enroll!