It goes without saying that visiting Paris before we had children was wonderful. But traveling to the City of Light became even more amazing after we had kids. Over the last decade we had the usual ups and downs of any family traveling together -- sometimes it was even tiring and stressful. In spite of those challenging moments, we realized that our kids gave us a greater appreciation for Paris and the lifestyle and culture that surrounded the city. We savored the smell of the fresh baked baguette more deeply and felt the magic of a carousel in a way we never would have without them with us. We were able to "live the City" -- not just "travel the City".
People often ask me what to do in the City of Light. My first response is lose your map. Use the Eiffel Tower as your beacon, wander along the cobblestone streets and find your own adventure. But sometimes when you are traveling as a family, it is better to have a bit of plan as getting lost with cranky, jet-lagged kids is no fun for anyone. So I thought I would jot down a few of our favorite places. I started a list last year and it grew and grew, ultimately becoming A Bonjour's Family Guide to Paris. Use it as much or little as you like to guide your travels (and maybe even lose your map if you are feeling adventurous).
Bonne chance! -Monica