Saturday, August 24, 2013

Paris with Children (Kim Horton Levesque): a great guide to help plan a visit

Not long back from a week’s holiday in Paris, I recommend the pocket-sized book Paris with Children as a source of child-friendly tips and trips for folk visiting France’s capital city en famille. (I also recommend comfortable shoes, and picking up an up-to-date RER/Metro/Bus map on arrival!)

Covering the topics of Play, Eat, Shop and Stay, neighbouring attractions are grouped together to make it possible to pick out a set of complementary activities for a day that won’t involve haring across the Paris on a fourteen stop two interchange adventure in-between.

So a visit to see the impressionist paintings (and the stunning clocks) in Musée d'Orsay can be followed by a very worthwhile trip to Musée des Égouts de Paris (the Paris Sewers) and a chance to buy a soft and cuddly toy rat at the gift shop!

Opening times, website details and indicative prices at the time of printing are included along with the background to Parisian customs and culture. Worth remembering that smaller less-tourist-oriented shops will be closed for a week or two in August when the staff go on holiday.

Our copy of Kim Horton Levesque’s guide – produced along with her three research assistants (aged 2, 4 and 6) – is littered with post-it notes marking those attractions that caught the attention of different family members in the run up to our departure.

And while we didn’t stick rigidly to the plan we drew up beforehand, it was a great way to wake up each morning and not have to spend too long negotiating the day’s itinerary.

As time permits, I’ll blog a little about some of the places we enjoyed visiting and my experience of not bringing a proper camera and relying instead on an iPod Touch. In the meantime Paris with Children retails for £12.99 (currently reduced to £9 on Amazon).

If you're visiting with kids, bring this book ... and read it beforehand!

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