visiting paris with children
This page is a work in progress, but I'm collecting here a variety of resources on visiting Paris with children, which I've done numerous times, and which my daughters wish I would do numerous more times, with them. The advice starts beneath the photo.
How (why, and whether) to visit Paris with kids
- First, absolutely go. If you can, go. If you avoid going in summer--and you should--airfares can be surprisingly affordable, and so, too, lodging. Don't wait until the kids are "old enough," in part because they will quickly become too old.
- Set reasonable expectations--for yourself. You are not going to go inside every museum. Or even most museums. You may fail to enter a single one. Be patient with yourselves, with your kids. Just walking around the city is an adventure.
- Pick up a copy of Paris with Children. It's compact but comprehensive and full of smart, affectionate advice.
- Stay in an apartment. Unless you have designs on the Ritz, Paris hotel rooms are small, often too small to accommodate additional rollaway beds. A short-stay apartment gives you a place to unwind, regroup--and cook simple meals, and (ideally) do laundry.
- Read up! There's no better way to prepare for Paris than with a good book -- I'm clearly a fan of Bemelmans and Lamorisse, but those are just two of many authors to immerse yourself in. Adam Gopnik's massive anthology Americans in Paris is a great way to survey the literary terrain before you travel.
- [Again, I'll be steadily adding to this page; there's more to come.]