For William’s spring break this year we decided to take an extra week and take a trip to London. We were also hoping to spend a few days in Paris as long as France reopened, which it did. It was the kids’ first trip to Paris and everyone was so excited. The boys have been taking French lessons and they couldn’t wait to start using what they’ve learned in Paris!
Because we were already in London, we decided to take the Eurostar train to Paris. It’s such an easy trip on the Eurostar. Just over two hours and the boys were all so excited to be traveling in a tunnel under water in the English Channel. The train is such an easy and relaxing way to travel to around Europe. When we arrived in Paris, our hotel had a car waiting at the train station to whisk us away… it was a lovely way to start our trip!
We explored as much of the city as we could in four days, and walked almost everywhere! There is so much to see and do in Paris, that we are already talking about going back for an adults’ trip.
Where to Stay
We stayed at Hotel de Berri in the 8th arrondissement and it was a perfect spot to stay with kids. Just a short walk to the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe, it was a great location for getting around. Completely renovated in 2018, Hotel de Berri is like a brand new property! The rooms were large (even by American standards) and so comfortable! Heated marble floors in the bathroom, two huge TVs hidden in the mirrors and so much closet space! The decor was gorgeous. We had a suite with a pullout sofa where the boys all slept together. After seeing so many wonderful things and walking/ running all day, there was no problem getting them to sleep. My parents had the suite next door, and the boys always ran straight to their room first thing in the morning. The staff could not have been more kind and welcoming to all seven of us!
Tip: Hotel de Berri is a Marriott property in The Luxury Collection, if you like staying at Marriott properties!
What to Do
- Top of the Eiffel Tower: This was literally our very first stop after checking into the hotel. William has been wanting to see the Eiffel Tower since he was three years old, and since taking French lessons and learning more about Paris, Henry was also very excited to see it. Going all the way to the top was the only option as far as they were concerned! Once we arrived at the top, some of us felt a little uneasy with the height- it’s so high! But the views over Paris are spectacular and we had such a beautiful clear evening to see everything. So glad we did it! Tip: You can get a glass of Champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower (the perfect way to start a trip!)
- Scavenger Hunt at the Louvre: Of course we wanted to go to the Louvre and take the boys along, but we wanted it to be fun for them- unlike the first time I went with my family and my Dad tried to make us see the entire museum in one day (impossible!). So we booked a tour with Meet the Locals for Families. It was the perfect way to introduce the boys to the museum and some of the most important works of art that are housed there. Our guide was magical. She spoke perfect English and French which the boys loved and had great stories about the art to capture their attention and engage them. She also knew about secret bathroom stops and shortcuts to get around. It was so great for all of us! Tip: When booking a private tour, you also get “skip the line” tickets which saved so much time (and boredom for the boys).
- Puppet show at Luxembourg Garden: This was so much fun for the boys. We saw the Three Little Pigs and they were completely engrossed. They even made friends with a little French boy who sat with them. Tip: The whole show is in French, but that didn’t seem to bother the boys!
- Sail toy boats at Luxembourg Garden: This was another new adventure, and so fun and easy. You rent the toy boats at the park and push them around with a bamboo stick. The wind then carries them from side to side of the large pond. The boys had the best time! Tip: You can spend a whole day at Luxembourg Gardens. They have great playgrounds and pony riding, too!
- Ice Cream at Berthillion: The boys especially wanted to do this after learning about it from their French teacher. It was just so good and there were so many flavors to choose from!
- Sewer Museum: My Dad and Caleb took the boys to this museum to give my Mom and me a chance to do a little shopping on our own. They loved it and so did we!
Restaurants to Try
- For breakfast and lunch, we kept it pretty casual/easy. For breakfast, we would grab coffee and croissants, and lunch was never planned. We would find a charming café near where we were at lunch time. It’s hard to go wrong in Paris! For dinner, we had the hotel recommend and make our reservations for us and we were so happy with their choices.
- Chez André: A charming and traditional French café, it was the perfect spot for our first night’s dinner. Our hotel made our reservation and it was a great recommendation. We found having a children’s menu was a big plus, with great options for the boys. Henry tried escargot here! We were so proud of him. Actually the boys were all interested in trying a bite of most new things!
- Les 110 de Taillevent: This was our nicest meal of the trip. We were celebrating my husband’s birthday and it was perfect for a celebration. We had a private room, which made it enjoyable for everyone. The wine menu is all “by the glass” and there are 110 options for each appetizer, entree and dessert. Everyone enjoyed this very special evening! Tip: The kids meal is the same price as the adult menu.
- Brasserie Cézanne: Everyone said this was their favorite meal. Not so traditional, not so fancy, just the perfect mix. The restaurant is traditional meets South of France and the vibe was just that. Great friendly service and wonderful food. Highly recommend!
Tip: After visiting Paris before, we were wondering how we would all eat together (the restaurants are small and have small tables). We were pleasantly surprised that we had private rooms and great setups for dinners. Our hotel concierge booked our meals.
- Ave. Montaigne: Our favorite shopping street. So charming and beautiful and has every store you could hope for! The new Dior store is a must visit – we shopped and had coffee in the cafe!
- Saint Germain: A completely different vibe than Montaigne or Champs-Élysée, smaller more boutique type shopping with so many wonderful choices
- Champs-Élysées: Home to the Louis Vuitton flagship store (gorgeous!) and many other famous French brands, luxury brands and ready-to-wear. It was a 2 minute walk to shop here from our hotel.