City tripping and kids go together perfectly! On Sunday we suddenly came up with the idea to spend a long weekend in Paris with the kids starting Thursday. The weather forecast looked good, it’s just a 6 hour drive and it feels as if you’re there for a week, so why not we thought! Want to know what it takes to go on a weekend trip to Paris with young kids? Read all about it right here. I’ll tell you all about things to do in Paris with kids, the most child friendly hotels and the costs of the subway, very handy!
A weekend trip to Paris with young kids: Preparation
I won’t beat around the bush here, there hardly was any! It was a rather impulsive decision. The only preparation we took was checking to see if there would be any rain, because spending 2 days in this beautiful city while getting drenched wasn’t exactly our idea of having a good time.
A weekend trip to Paris with young kids: the car trip
We drove to Paris once before, when Lotte was only 1 year old and Floris two. That was, how should I put it, pretty much hell on earth! To sum it up the journey looked a bit like this: stopping five times in total to let the kids pee, stopping one time because Lotte (including chair) was covered in poo, catching Lotte’s foot between the car door and taking about eight hours in total to get there in a bunch of snow. In conclusion, it wasn’t a lot of fun.
Nevertheless, we start our journey to Paris full of good courage. When I get home from work on Wednesday Kev has everything set. The kids have showered and they’re ready to sit in the car in their relax-outfits. Kev told them that we were going for a drink at the beach (the luxury of living in Zandvoort) and when we drive off in the other direction they act slightly surprised. We make a quick stop at the supermarket for some well needed energy drink and when we get back in the car Kev finds two stowaways under the front car seat… It’s Mickey and Minnie!! They tell Floris and Lotte they jumped in the car because they’re going back home, to Disneyland Paris, and Lotte and Floris are welcome to join.
Floris starts screaming in delight and Lotte casually says “I don’t believe it”. When we tell them we’re really heading to Paris for two days and we’re to spend one day in Disneyland they’re both absolutely thrilled! We drive out of Zandvoort with two very happy campers indeed.
Apparently the news did cost a lot of energy because they’re both fast asleep in five minutes.
The journey could not have gone any better!! In exactly 5 hours and 45 minutes we park the car in front of our hotel in Marne-la-Vallée, near Disneyland Paris.
A weekend trip to Paris with young kids: child friendly hotels
We spent 2 nights in Vienna House Magic Circus, a partner hotel of Disneyland Paris. It’s a hotel in circus style, as you may have guessed by the name. We are greeted heartily by the cheerful man at the reception and as it’s close to midnight already we quickly head on to our room. When we open the door we’re gladly surprised! It’s a cozy room with a couch, a small table, a TV, a lovely double bed and a “little bedroom” for the kids. Separated by a curtain they get to sleep in a wonderful bunk bed, with a built-in bed lamp, ideal!
The room is nice and spacious, so there’s enough room to lay your suitcases down and because the bunk beds are behind the curtain you still have a bit of privacy. We take a nice shower and the four of us fall fast asleep straight away afterwards. Are you looking for a child friendly hotel in Paris? The Vienna House Magic Circus is highly recommended!
Top 5 child friendly hotels in Paris
1# Vienna House Magic Circus, location: Magny Le Hongre (Disneyland)
2# Vienna House Dream Castle, location: Magny Le Hongre (Disneyland)
3# Four Seasons Hotel George V, location: 8th Arrondissement Paris
4# Le Bristol, location: 8th Arrondissement Paris
5# Les Jardins de la Villa, location: 17th Arrondissement Paris
A weekend trip to Paris with young kids: day 1!
We wake up no sooner than 09:00 o’clock; wonderful! Today we’re off to the Eiffel tower. Flo and Lotte have seen loads of pictures of the famous structure and today will be the first day they get to see it in real life. But first… breakfast!!
There’s lots to choose from. Nothing like an English breakfast to fill your stomach, or perhaps you prefer a lighter breakfast such as yoghurt, fruit and raw vegetables. Or you can just have a croissant, a baguette and some cheese! The kids are big croissant fans so the choice for them is easily made. After breakfast we take the shuttle bus heading to Disneyland. Not to go to Disneyland yet, but to get to the station next to it: Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy.
Arc de Triomphe
From here we take the subway to Paris; RER A to station Charles De Gaulle. It’s €22,80 for a one way ticket that takes us to the heart of Paris in 40 minutes. The kids just love the ride on the subway, especially the part above the ground. When you get off at Charles De Gaulle station you come out right in front of the Arc the Triomphe on the Champs-Élysees. Always an impressive sight!
La Tour Eiffel
From the Arc the Triomphe we walk onwards towards the Eiffel tower. It takes us about 30 minutes to get there and we pass all the beautiful French streets with the well-known little French balconies on the way. We also walk past the Seine. I realize again what a beautiful city this is!! Lotte switches back and forth between sitting in the buggy and walking and Flo keeps up a firm step. As we walk past the river bank of the Seine we see the famous tower. Lotte enthusiastically calls out “Mam, it’s THE tower!” Next to the Eiffel tower along the water is an old carrousel. Naturally, we have to let the kids take a ride.
After we’ve studied the Eiffel tower vigorously we head on back into the city. The fun thing about Google maps is you can determine your own path. We head on through quiet streets back to the station, but not before we enjoy a nice belated lunch at the authentic French McDonalds!
Eating at the Rainforest Cafe
Our favorite child friendly restaurant when we visit Disneyland Paris: the Rainforest Café! Eating in the Jungle, who doesn’t want that! Your table is set in the middle of a jungle: plants everywhere, trees, green bushes, trumpeting elephants, gorillas, toucans, snakes and even a big thunderstorm now and again, with lightning and all. You won’t easily find a more spectacular way to dine. Floris and Lotte are amazed the whole time and they have the best child’s menus, varying between pasta, pizza, chicken nuggets and fries.
After dinner we take a dip in the pool of the hotel and then it’s the end of this long, busy but lovely day!
Do you only have one day in Paris? This is your perfect itinerary.
A weekend trip to Paris with young kids: day 2!
We had a great night’s sleep again when we wake up the next morning and we pack our suitcases before we leave the room. Then, after a lovely breakfast we take the shuttle bus in front of the hotel to…
Of course we need to pay a visit to Disneyland Paris with our two big Disney fans when we’re in Paris. It turns out we’ve chosen a rather busy but beautiful day. It’s lovely to be able to walk through the park without our coats on and enjoy the sun (the last time we visited Disneyland Paris it was -5 degrees), but the queues are a bit longer than last time.
It’s Disneyland Paris’ 25th anniversary and it’s largely celebrated! They have the Pirate and Princess festival until the 31st of May. You can visit all kinds of shows and attractions, have your face painted (for a fee) and you can dress up! You can also see Princesses and Pirates during the well-known parades. All the favorite princesses are there: Cinderella, Belle, Rapunzel but Vaiana too. Pirate fans can meet Captain Hook and Peter Pan for instance and Mickey and Minnie are dressed in their most beautiful pirate outfits too.
And there’s more! In light of the 25th anniversary the summer is all super hero themed: “Marvel Superhero Summer” from the 10th of June until the 30th of September. Spider-Man, Black Panther Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow and the Guardians of the Galaxy are all there with multiple shows and experiences that promise to be epic!
We start our day in Disney studio’s with my favorite ride, Ratatouille. If you’ve never been it’s a certain must do, I’m not going to say any more. We stay for a while in Studio’s and go on a spectacular tram ride with special effects in the Studio Tram Tour. Lots of fun, especially the part with lots of water. Younger kids may get startled a bit by the loud noises and fire but luckily Floris and Lotte could really appreciate it. The last ride in Studio’s is Floris’ favorite: the Flying carpet.
Seeing as we’re only there for a day we go the Disneyland park. We’ve been to a couple of Disney Parks now and when it’s your first time, two days is surely recommended. Floris has but one goal this day: having his picture taken with Mickey. You can do this at Meet Mickey Mouse. The queue is rather long and we need to wait for more than 60 minutes but luckily there are old fashioned Mickey cartoons shown while waiting so time flies by. But then the kids need to go to the toilet while we’re right in the middle of the queue… Luckily this goes well: I stay put while Kev takes Flo and Lotte to the toilet and everyone is back in their spot within 10 minutes.
When it’s finally our turn I see a huge smile appear on Flo’s face. First a big hug, a high five and afterwards looooot’s pictures! Flo’s mission is accomplished!
We notice the kids are getting a little tired. Perhaps this is a good moment to relax in the playground of Pocahontas Indian Village. We sit ourselves down in the sun and the kids are just loving this playground. After half an hour of climbing around it’s already 18:00 o’clock. Seeing as we’ll be driving home this evening we need to get to the exit, but not before we score a souvenir! Flo chooses a Pluto pillow and Lotte chooses a bear with a lovely strawberry scent.
A weekend trip to Paris with young kids: the ride back
Around 19:30hours we’re in the car and at 19:35 we have two kids that are fast asleep in the backseat. They sleep for almost the entire ride home. Just after 5:30 we park in front of our home. We lift the kids from the backseat and slide them straight into bed. What a magnificent weekend! We loved traveling in the evening and the combination of visiting the city of Paris and Disneyland Paris is just the best when you’re with young kids! Do you have a little more time to spend in this beautiful city? Check out this 4 days in Paris itinerary.
We will surely be doing this again some time!
Do you want to take your kids to Paris? Reading books about this beautiful city will definitely get them excited. Check out the best children’s books for a trip to Paris and don’t forget to check out everything you need to know about Paris before you go.