This post was supposed to be posted earlier, but here it is anyway!
A trip to Paris, as all big cities, especially with kids, requires good planning - but if you do a little research before you can have great pleasure and do a lot even if it's just a short trip.
If you bring a stroller - bring a small one but with the ability to lay down - the children will get tired and it's nice being out at evenings too, but you need a stroller that is easy to fold and light to carry up and down all stairs and through doors at the metro - easier on the bus but it takes longer and it's also harder to find your way around.
We bought a 3-day card wich was valid both on metro and the bus so we used both. If you have to kids in stroller, bring on where they sit behind eachother - the ones where they sit next to each other simply won't fit at the sidewalks and you'll have a hard time getting through at a lot of places. Do keep in mind that Paris is one of the word's cities where ther
e are the most pickpockets - and they're good at what they do! Don't put valueables under the stroller and look after your purse, even if there are nice people too who just want to help you with your stroller. :)
Anyway, to the fun part about what to see!
The Eiffel Tower was of course the first thing my kids stared talking about and wanting to see when we planned the trip, we arrived late afternoon and went there the first evening, shoukd absolutely been seen in dark while lightened up, but getting in line and pay to get up, day or night, didn't seem worth it with small kids. Could be exciting for bigger ones if they're not afraid of heights, but if you want to get the most of your time in this exciting city, don't waist it on standing in line.
Surprisingly, my ten-year-old was determind to go to the Louvre to see Mona-Lisa/Jaconde and the buildings the museum is in. So we did ;)
Unlike many other museums this is open on mondays, so we went a monday afternoon, as 2-3 hours is maximum for a visit with children I think, and don't count on seeing it all! There's a great family guide on their website, we chosed 3 of 4 in their "Family spot guide tour".
In the afternoon the lines aren't that long, and also, if you have a pram/pushchair, you just pass the line :) If you don't know french, buy an audioguide to go wit your 3DS or read a lot about what you'll see before because all signs and´information about the items and paintings are in french, and in french only :p I recomend getting in from "Le carousel du Louvre" to which you get from the metro station or the parc outside, "Jardin du tueliers". Then you can START with a visit to the souvenirshop where you can find books in both english and french about different things at the museum. For example there is a great book with short fairytales about a few chosen paintings, great for small kids. Or if you're going back or want to talk with older children afterwards, there's a great guide called "how to talk about the Louvre with kids". And don't forget to buy the map of ten central and big playgrounds in Paris, so you know how to activate the kids the next day when they (and you!) need a break!
If the weather is good, treat your kids with a visit to Jardin du tueliers just outside and enjoy its beautiful surroundings while the kids go on the merry-go-round, having an ice-cream or playing at the playground (we met lots of american kids there so the kids really got to tr
y the few english words they know!)
Having been in the city a lot, it's nice with a break from the hectic citylife even for my kids who live at the countryside ;) In Parc de La Vilette you can just enjoy the exciting environment with a picknick at the lawn or go to the museum "Cite de sciences" (closed on mondays)
We went there a beautiful early morning (watch out for the lawnmowers if you do too, they arrive around 9 am in high speed!), had breakfast in the park and then took a walk in the childrens pace, watching chinese and japanese tourits doing qi-gong in the meditational garden, looking at all the weird red buildings called "folies" and look what a funny sculpture we found!
Another great park is "Bois de Vincennes", a huge park of 995 acres! We spent a whole day in Parc Floral where we found about ten differnet playgrounds with different themes, for different ages. They're also famous for their puppetshow which my youngest loved even though he doesn't know french.
Further away in the park, a few stops with the bus or metro, you find a buddhist temple. Outside of it, a big asian foodmarket is held each sunday. A great start for a picknick!
That's all about Paris for today, I'll write more this week and about a few more destinations etc!
Hope you'd like to follow this blog growing up!