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My four year old (not so) mini traveler and I are heading for our first trip to Paris in the very near future, and while we have an idea of some things we want to do, I’d love to hear if I am missing anything major and get a few extra pointers from other traveling families who have been before! We will have four nights in Paris and are staying at a combo of the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome and the Radisson Blu Champs-Elysées (all on points, of course).
I am getting around much better than a couple weeks ago, but my walking (and especially stair climbing) will still be somewhat limited due to my ski slopes knee injury (ended up being a Grade 2 ACL injury for those who were following that story – hopefully no surgery, just have to wear big brace and keep it from getting worse for a while). Essentially I can walk pretty well, but won’t be able to go all day without my knee getting pretty tired. I’m betting this will increase our reliance on all modes of transportation other than walking, especially as the day wears on.
Here are a few kid friendly things we already have on our radar for Paris:
- Eiffel Tower/Seine River Cruise: This is already booked and will allow us to “skip the line” at the Eiffel Tower and then do a cruise on the Seine. My mom and aunt will also be joining on this event.
- Jardin du Luxembourg: This is very much somewhere I want to visit as the descriptions of the trees, picnic spots, puppet shows, model boats, slides, pony rides, and more sound perfect for us.
- Cité des enfants is supposed to be a very good Children’s Museum, but for now it is on our list of things to do if the weather is crummy outside.
- Jardin d’Acclimatation looks like another amazing spot for children with a “petit train” ride, boat ride, trampolines, spray park, camel rides, a small zoo/farm, and more.
- Disneyland Paris is our calendar for one day since we are so close and we both love Disney Parks. We will do this the day my mom and aunt are doing museums that would be a bit “slow” for my kiddo.
- Walk around and enjoy being in Paris. Of course, I also want to just see some of the sites of Paris and peek in the high end shops!
- Since she is just 4 years old, and I’m hoping/assuming this won’t be our one and only visit to Paris, I plan to shelve some otherwise awesome things to do like a visit to the Louvre. I have heard great things about the family tours of the Louvre and other attractions around Paris, but they are quite pricey, and I think my kiddo will get more out of it in a couple of years. That said, I’m open to input on this, especially if someone has done one of their building tours for kids with a 4 or 5 year old kiddo.
- Eat. I love food of almost all varieties, and am hoping for a couple enjoyable meals on this trip. Fancy meals won’t really fit the bill with a four year old, but otherwise we are pretty open. My mom especially loves desserts and sweet treats, so that will be on the list of “must dos”. I know I will want a couple options close to our hotels, and this post on View From the Wing was a great starting point.
My personal style of travel is to experience cities by doing a few of the “touristy” things, but mostly just pretend you live in the city for a few days. Enjoy the parks, eat in small shops, walk around, not over-schedule, and just soak it all in. I don’t need to hit every big attraction, but do want to end the trip feeling like I was in Paris, and ensure my four year old has a great experience.
I’d love to hear what family friendly “must visits” are missing from our list, or if we have anything on our list that sounds like a total bust!