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Brilliant city breaks

Gorge on the best gelato in Rome, go on a gargoyle hunt in Paris... these city break ideas will throughly entertain your children

Posted: 17 August 2011
by Junior

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We’ll always have Paris

If the song is anything to go by, you’ll love Paris in the springtime. When it comes to sightseeing, the Notre Dame is stunning, and whilst this stark Gothic icon may not be an obvious choice for children, a gargoyle hunt made it a firm favourite during our family visit. Time your trip to coincide with an organ recital, and children will be awestruck by the dramatic combination of the huge sound within such a stunning church. If you visit on a Sunday, drop in afterwards to see the Market of Flowers and Birds, which is a short walk away in Place Louis-Lépine. 

Of course, you couldn’t possibly go to Paris and not spend an idle afternoon in Le Jardin de Tuileries, where children can run around while you sit back at one of the cafés and watch life go by. There is a large pond for sailing boats, a traditional merry-go-round and donkey rides. It is a favourite with petit Parisians, as is Le Spectacle de Guignol – the French puppet theatre. At the Jardin du Luxembourg, puppets re-enact plots set in Gothic castles and oriental palaces (shows are at 11am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays and 4pm on Wednesdays), or visit the Theatre Anatole at the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. 

Head to the wonderful children’s amusement park located in the Bois de Boulogne, Le Jardin d’Acclimatation, if you have a spare day. It has a menagerie, the Exploradôme museum, miniature golf, pony rides and educational workshops. 

For a grand hotel that is only a stone’s throw from Le Jardin de Tuileries, book in to Le Meurice; the Happy Meurice Package costs €580 per night for a family suite and includes a VIP Children's Welcome Bag (including treasure hunt, puzzle and passport), a Nabaztag Rabbit for each child, breakfast and the Goûter Teatime Menu – a special selection of pastries for children. 

Alternatively, stay at Hotel Jules – perfectly located for Parisian shopping forays. This classic Haussmannian building is on Rue La Fayette – close to both swish department stores quirky antiques shops. Two adjoining superior rooms cost a total of €650 per night in March.

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