Discussed in this Episode
- Museum fatigue [9:24]
- Musée de l'Orangerie [10:41]
- Decorative Arts Museum (Musée des Arts Décoratifs) [12:05]
- Musée des Arts Forains [13:14]
- Petit Palais [24:32]
- Circus Bakery [25:52]
- Compagnie Française des Poivres et des Épices [29:09]
- Tuileries Festival [33:45]
Tips for a successful multi-generational trip to Paris
For this particular family what worked best is to meet at breakfast and/or dinner and do their own things most days. Each person also got to pick their one priority for the trip and that’s something that was not going to get passed over for any reason.
Best Way to Handle Museums in Paris
Maren and her husband are museum professionals, they love museums, but are really picky about what museum they go to. For instance they don’t want to feel pressured to go into all the museums everybody goes to and they never want to spend more than 2 hours in a museum.
Museum fatigue is real, you may start out loving a place and by the time hour 3 rolls by you are exhausted and cranky and you start hating it. In Paris there are plenty of museums that you can visit in an hour or two and that will be of interest to adults as well as children.
They chose not to go to the Louvre or the Orsay because they are too big and crowded. Instead they went to the Musée de l’Orangerie, the Museum of Decorative Arts where they concentrated on the jewelry area. Their favorite was the Musée des Arts Forains.
Paris Attractions for Families
Musée des Arts Forains
This museum is not right in the city center but rather at Bercy Village, but it’s easy to get to. It is a GREAT museum for both children and parents. It’s a guided tour experience so you have to reserve in advance. They only do English tours twice a week. But if you end up going on a French tour it’ll probably fine anyway because you’ll get a laminated guide in English and the venue speaks for itself.
The man who started this museum wanted to gathers objects having to do with fair culture of France and these objects are displayed in an outer-worldly atmosphere. There are lots of animatronics, there’s a people powered bicycle carousel, many games (some you can play with), all in a weird and enchanting atmosphere.
During the Christmas break for French schools they staff the museum fully where all the attractions are open and you can try everything. So that would be a fantastic time to go. But no matter when you can go, it’s totally worth taking the trouble to reserve in advance!
Bike Tour Around Versailles
One of the highlights for the couple without children was a bike tour around Versailles. In August the Chateau is packed and the grounds are beautiful, so they spend plenty of time enjoying the park, had a great picnic lunch and then enjoyed the chateau when it wasn’t quite to busy.
This couple also took a tuk-tuk to the Eiffel Tower, went to the Tiger Bar, loved the Treize au Jardin Bakery just outside of the Luxembourg Gardens.
After getting off the Batobus near the Champs Elysées they went into the Petit Palais. It’s a free venue so they went in mostly to use the bathroom and discovered a wonderful peaceful garden and a great place to have lunch. It’s difficult to believe how calm the Petit Palais is when you compare it to the Place de la Concorde nearby.
This was another happy find in the Latin Quarter, this is what Annie calls a one-hit-wonder bakery that makes fabulous cinnamon buns and get written-up in Vogue magazine. Not entirely the French experience, but delicious all the same!
Saint Germain des Prés Original Food Tour
Great 3-hour food tour around lots of places they would have never gone into including the Compagnie Française des Poivres et des Épices which was tucked away. Maren recommends it, very enjoyable!
General Advice for a Multi-Generational Vacation in Paris
It’s important to know what works and what doesn’t for every age group and find accommodations that will allow that. It’s important to take It easy. Grandparents probably won’t want to participate in every activity, they may want to take a nap. Young children may also need to take naps, how convenient 😉
Discuss expectations and be clear on some ground rules. Some members of your group won’t want to get up before 9 AM, others want to be back in the hotel by 5 PM. It’s OK to do different activities during the day and meet up again at night to discuss your daily adventures!