So, you’re fortunate enough to be in Paris with the kids – but you have only 24 brief hours in which to enjoy it. Luckily for you, there are plenty of neat things that can be squeezed into a single day in the City of Light. A little advanced planning and a willingness to splurge here and there can help you make the most out of your time in this unforgettable city. Below, a rough itinerary to enjoy the quintessential Parisian holiday crammed into a day.
A Morning in Paris
To guarantee that everyone is sufficiently fueled for the day, stop by one of the many creperies that dot the city of Paris. There, you and the kids will be able to partake in some delectable French crepes. These tasty treats are served in a number of different ways, from simple dustings of powdered sugar to strawberry and cream fillings. If you require something a little heartier, try crepes with cheese, eggs, ham or even mushrooms. Even the finickiest eater will find a crepe that they’ll love – and everyone will go away happy!
Next up, treat the kids to a phenomenal view of Paris with a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower. This is best done early in the day, when people are still fresh and when lines tend to be shortest. Even if you encounter long lines, try to make the trip; there is truly no better way to take in the city than with a view from the top of this world-renowned landmark. Even the tiniest tots will have a blast.
During your visit to the Eiffel Tower, make sure to point out major landmarks like the Seine, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees. Head over to the Champs-Elysees to stroll for a while. Be sure to stop by the Arc de Triomphe; its sheer size and splendor are sure to capture the attention of even the most jaded teenager. Since you’ve already enjoyed the view from the Eiffel Tower, you might want to hold off on the viewing terrace here.
By now, morning should be well behind you. After all of that walking, you and the gang will probably be ready to eat. Although it is a little pricey, Le Café Marly is a topnotch choice for lunch with the kids in Paris. Situated in the plaza of the Louvre, this café offers exceptional views from its outdoor terrace. An eclectic menu that includes hamburgers, sandwiches and many tasty snacks ensures that everyone can find something they’ll enjoy.
After taking in the Louvre from the outside during lunch, head on over to explore it within. One of the most time-consuming parts of visiting the Louvre is waiting in line to get in; order your tickets in advance and save yourself a lot of time. Prior to visiting, go online and map out your visit so that you hit all of the best exhibits. Stick to your planned route, and you should be able to be in and out of the Louvre in a few hours – and the kids will have taken in a broad range of amazing works of art.
Touring the Louvre can be exhausting, especially for kids. The mid-afternoon is the perfect time to take a brief break in a park. Paris is studded with delightful parks; consider stopping by the Jardin du Luxembourg, which is an ideal place for young children. Although a small admission is charged, the charming puppet theater and play area make it more than worth it. Allow the kids to do their own thing for an hour or so, while still immersing yourselves in Parisian culture.
Paris in the Evening
Once the afternoon has wound down – and if people aren’t too exhausted – consider using the city’s topnotch Velibe bike rental system and pedal around the city for a spell. Late afternoon or early evening are great times to do so – just don’t do it after dark. The Velibe system is wonderfully convenient, allowing you to pick up bikes from one kiosk and drop them off at another one. On your way to dinner, swing by Paris’s Montmartre district to check out the street artists. Have a portrait done of the whole family if you have the time, money and inclination – it makes for a wonderful souvenir.
Finally, wrap up your whirlwind day in Paris at the Dragons Elysees. Located approximately where your day began, on the Champs-Elysees, this marvelous restaurant boasts an aquarium floor – the kids will thrill at walking over a dizzying array of sea life. While enjoying a nice dinner, you all can reminisce about the exciting day that you’ve just had – and make plans for what you’d like to see next time!