As part of our Christmas market tour through Germany, we took a side trip to Paris for four days. I have always dreamed of going to Paris…who doesn’t? My husband has lived in Paris, several family members have travelled to Paris, but I had yet to see the romantic city for myself. I figured this was the perfect time…Paris during Christmas. Even though our stay lasted only four days, a lot was packed into it without feeling overwhelmed or wearing out the kids. Visiting Paris in four days with kids is totally possible.
Paris with Kids Itinerary: Day 1
We woke up early in Cologne, Germany and traveled from Germany, through Belgium to France!
Today, we saw the Palace of Justice, Conciergerie where Marie Antoinette was held before beheading, Notre Dame (didn’t go in due to the overwhelmingly long line but still basked in its glory), took a walk along the Seine, took the metro to Tuileries where we saw THE Ferris Wheel (and where beheadings were commonly performed), walked by the Eiffel Tower and strolled in the gardens outside the Louvre while catching some photos in front of the famous glass pyramid (again, we didn’t go in the Louvre, but I will look forward to it someday when my children are older). After some refreshments of margarita pizza and drinks, we walked to Galleries Lafayette to see the Christmas windows and then headed back to our flat in Mont Martre, where I caught glimpses of the Moulin Rouge and Sacré Coeur. Joie de vivre!
Paris with Kids Itinerary: Day 2
Today we hit the ground running! We left early to make it into the beginning of the line for the Eiffel Tower, and it worked! What an amazing experience, from bottom to top and back down again. It was even more special to see the image comparing buildings around the world, seeing our Burj Khalifa as one of them. We took a short walk across the road and river to Trocadero, where we, in the spur of the moment, decided to go ice skating! What more could we ask for…a BEAUTIFUL blue skyed, warm winter day in Paris. Trocadero also had a lovely Christmas market (number 10 for us in our tour).
We started the end to our amazing day in Paris by viewing Napoleon’s tomb at Invalides, taking photos outside Moulin Rouges, walking to Mont Martre where we enjoyed a tiny Christmas market (#11) with kiddie rides, and then rode on the funicular up the mountain to Sacré Coeur. Perhaps another highlight of our trip that I cannot put into words, nor do justice. Truly an amazing experience to see it in person. Finally, we sat down to Christmas Eve dinner, with what I had been waiting for the entire time, Boeuf Bourguignon and Creme Brûlée.
Paris with Kids Itinerary: Day 3
Santa found us all the way in Paris and brought the kids tickets to Disneyland! We woke up early, set out on yet another wonderful train ride, and arrived at the Happiest Place on Earth! I expected Christmas Day to be utter chaos, but was pleasantly surprised to see that it was like any other day at Disneyland. The only difference? It was COLD! That didn’t stop my kids from having the time of their lives. Something about the magic of Disney brings smiles to faces…permagrin. We lucked out several times, getting to be first in line to many of the rides. It was also a time of “firsts”, where our four-year-old got to ride her first real roller coaster…Big Thunder Mountain, and we got our eight-year-old back on Space Mountain after years of being terrified by the memory of Disneyland California’s Halloween themed Space Mountain.
After a very long day of walking, smiling, laughing and enjoying all things Disney, we had three very sleepy children. We set back on the last train of the evening and headed for home.
Paris with Kids Itinerary: Day 4
Our last day in Paris! We met a friend and started with the Arc de Triomphe. We then walked the famous Champs-Élysées (found the nicest Starbucks and McDonalds ever), stopped at Christmas market 12 right on the Champs-Élysées where I had a delicious warm bowl of French onion soup! The family rode the Ferris Wheel — something my kids had been begging to do since arriving in Paris and seeing it in the distance.
On my “must see” list was visiting the Pere Lachaise cemetery (GORGEOUS) where Jim Morrison, Chopin, Wilde, Marceau and many others are laid to rest. It’s quite a hike in parts of the cemetery, causing the kids to get a little winded and tired, but they managed well. The grave sites were beautiful and you couldn’t help but imagine all the history and stories throughout. I was a bit saddened at the state of Jim Morrison’s site, and a little underwhelmed after anticipating the visit for so long. But, we sang a little song, took our photo and enjoyed the opportunity to say hello. Later that evening we ate our dinner at a side street vendor, went to Christmas market number 13 at Saint-Lazare and then headed home. Whew!
See? Visiting Paris in four days with kids is completely doable!