France for the Family

Most travellers have a travel bucket list and travel to France must surely be on the top of the list of European destinations. The broad perception of France is of a scenic country with ancient towns and cities, world class museums, grand cathedrals, glorious monuments, endless vineyards and of course wine tasting and fine cuisine even in the littlest bistro off the beaten track.  

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Old hotels set in cobbled lanes have a distinctive charm and there is always a vibrant market nearby. Sipping rose' wine on a shady terrace watching the passing parade is a great way to give your feet a rest.  

France is also a romantic country and is often portrayed as the ideal place for young lovers to wander the streets of Paris, Montpellier or Nice, hand in hand. Little is said about families travelling to France. There are, however, many reasons why France is a great destination for families.  

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Here are a number of tips to make your Paris family vacation a success.  
  • Your family trip to Paris on a budget should include the hop-on-hop-off bus with lofty views from open top deck. Get off when you want to explore, or stay on board if the kids are tired and need a break. 
  • Disneyland Paris is a must see destination for all families. This fun experience is just a short train or coach ride from Paris with a range of family accommodation, and of course all the exciting daily events. What could be more fun than a Minnie Mouse with a French accent? 
  • French cities are full of wide boulevards, pedestrian lanes, cobblestone lanes and parks where it is safe for children. Pick up a few snacks at a local patisserie and have lunch and a rest in a shady corner.  

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  • Pre-book your journey up the Eiffel Tour to avoid tiresome queues. 
  • Take a relaxed bateaux cruise on the River Seine with expansive views of the city. 
  • Many museums are child friendly and even engage with younger visitors. Highly recommended is the Cite’ de Sciences with exciting displays, a real submarine, a geodesic dome that houses a 3D cinema and the adjacent Park de la Villette with an amusement park and fun fair. Another great family destination is the Natural History Museum and Zoo in the Jardin des Plantes. The Musee Grevin is a wax museum filled with wonderful displays. The Louvre has special programs for children on weekends and the Musee des Arts et Metiers is an old world museum of fascinating displays dedicated to the history of science, tech and industry. The Centre Pompidou (the amazing inside-out building) is a fantastical and outrageously colourful building in the center of Paris and houses a variety of exhibitions throughout the year. Kids will love the escalators which run in glass tubes on the outside of the building. 

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  • A day excursion to Versailles, close to Paris, invites you into the palace and extensive gardens.   
  • Toulouse also has an excellent science museum – Cite de L’Espace. 
  • In Normandy, kids will love the walk to Mont St Michel at low tide when the Abbey on an island temporarily joins the mainland. 

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  • Family holidays in the south of France will bring you closer to an extraordinary dinosaur park near Montpellier which is located close to where real dinosaur eggs were discovered in 1996. Life size models of our extinct wildlife make this an all-day event.  
  • A canal boat trip is also a great way to share family fun while cruising through ancient villages and active farmlands. 

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Needless to say there is much more to do in France but the first step is to call Thompsons Holidays to plan your family trip to France. One of our friendly consultants will also advise you on excursions that will save you time in long queues. A happy family vacation in France awaits you! 

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