Friday, September 24, 2010

Things to see and do with the kids in Paris

Kids in Paris

Most museums and galleries are free entry for children under 18, if you are between 18 and 26 and can prove that you are a student in your country you are also free. This is fantastic for parents, because most of the time it is only you who wants to see the museums and art and you really don’t want to waste money on children who are not interested in it. So bravo to Paris for having free entry for kids, Parents love this.

Tips for kids in Paris:

There are many large parks in Paris for the children to play in:

Bois de Boulogne for example has many playgrounds and lakes. You can hire bicycles for the whole family for 10euros each per day, best to do this in the morning to take advantage of the price and time. Please do not expect to get a top of the line bicycle here, you get one that has been used a bit, when hiring them take a bike for a little test run and check the gears and brakes before going any further. The pick up/ drop off bikes for the centre of Paris are free for the first half hour but then they sting you after this (you can not pick one up and drop it somewhere in half an hour and pick up another for free, you have to use a credit card to start so it knows if you have used your first half hour). While walking or cycling in Bois de Boulogne, keep an eye out for the animals wandering the forest: ducks, rabbits, squirrels, birds, lizards and horses on the horse paths (with rider of course). Try to stick to the main wide paths for cycling, it gets a bit narrow close to the lakes and very bumpy and dangerous when there are walkers and other cycles on the path.

There is Jardin di acclimation, this is in Bois de Boulogne and is a park with rides and water that you pay for (great for hotter months).

*To get to Bois de Boulogne take the Nation/Porte Dauphine Metro line all the way to the end to Porte Dauphine then follow the signs to Bois de Boulogne (hint: look for masses of trees, this is what I did).

Jardin de Plantes is on the other side of the city to Bois de Boulogne, in this park there is a Natural History Museum with dinosaur bones and there is the Menagerie (zoo) which is great for children of all ages. It was less than 30euros for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children under 12). There is a large range of animals from all over the world including wallabies from Australia, snakes from South America and Red Pandas from Asia. In the zoo you can purchase coffee and tea and food at reasonable prices. If you have the whole day to spend in Jardin de Plantes I recommend the Jardin museum pass to see everything there. Well worth it for the kids.

* To get to Jardin de Plantes take the(will fill in)Metro line and get off at Gare du Austerlitz. The park is across the road and runs along the River Seine.

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