Travelling to Europe with two kids under 5, might seem like more work than it’s worth, but after this first family trip there, I would do it again and again.
I had asked one experienced traveler for tips and advice and they simply said, “honestly, Europe is boring for kids.” I immediately thought, how so!? My kids enjoy any place we take them – everything is an adventure for them. Surely they would also enjoy Europe!?
France was anything but boring for them or us! As a family we found things to satisfy all our tastes. That said, I want to reassure any parents contemplating a family trip to France, that it is well worth it for everyone. We didn’t have enough time to do all the things we wanted with the girls, but we managed to hit most things on our list and they enjoyed every second (as did we). I think that speaks volumes.
That said there is a lot for kids to do in Paris outside of Disney. Sharing a short list of places we enjoyed with Elle ( 4 years old) Ivy (2 years old). All exuded the culture of Paris!
Jardin du Luxembourg was a huge hit with both Elle & Ivy and we enjoyed immensely watching them enjoy it so much. Highly recommend if you travel with children to check it out. They have a carousel, playground, pony rides, toy sailboats and puppet shows. It’s also just really beautiful and there is a lot of history for the adults to enjoy too! Entry is free of charge, with a small fee to play in the park (3 euros), ride the ponies (10 euros), etc.
Tuileries Gardens is a fun fair during the summer months. It’s right next to the Louvre museum, will the 60 or so attractions. Everything from vintage rides, to trampolines and everything between. There is lots of treats ( cotton candy, Italian ice cream, crepes, doughnuts, toffee apples, hot sandwiches, etc.). So whether you want to visit with family or friends, relax and stroll along the main thoroughfare with some fairground treats, this is a great spot to kill a few hours in the heart of Paris. Entry to the funfair is free of charge but there is a charge for rides and attractions.
Roue de Paris, which happens to be next to the Tuileries gardens, so you can do both of these activities together. This is one of the best views of Paris! Elle and Ivy really enjoyed this! We did this during the day with the girls and in the night when Andrew hosted on the past ourselves. It’s beautiful in its own way day or night. Daytime let’s you see things a bit better and night allows for the view of the Eiffel while it sparkles!
Haussmann Galeries Lafayette was another spot the girls loved — well, the Children’s department! It had Lots of cool toys and beautiful clothing, at all different price points. Also a little play area near the kids shoe department, which was helpful for Andrew to entertain the girls while I shopped the department store! Great time to hit it up (or any department store up) during end of season sales! Stock up on quality classic pieces for less and wear them season after season! (little image consultant tip there – need help deciphering what these pieces are and getting the right ones for your body type and style personality, check out my offerings at Requisite Consulting).
The Eiffel Tower is last but certainly not least! Our girls were so hyped to do this and we were so hyped to share the experience with them! We stayed near by, so our room had a view and we drove or walked by it everyday, building the anticipation for the big adventure up to the top, which we saved for the last day! It was so magical to take them to the very spot we were engaged, but regardless of that special moment for us, they loved it and still talk about it today! I know they will cherish it even more in the years to come. Also, there is a carousel rude across the street! So quintessential Paris and always a magical time for both kids and kids at heart.
Andrew and I had been to paris several times. It’s defiantly romantic and wonderful destination for couples, but it’s certainly also for families too! In fact, we all can’t wait to go back already.I have to say, it warmed my heart to see a 2 & 4 year old soak up culture and have good old fashioned fun, enjoying the natural and historical beauty and all the surprises, while exploring one of my favourite cities. Xx