When my eldest turned 10-years-old we decided to adopt a tradition started by some friends of ours; Alfie would enjoy a weekend away just him and his dad.
Nick and Alfie discussed destinations and eventually Alfie decided upon Paris. The two of them had a wonderful time discovering the best of Paris for kids together and, when they returned, Alfie agreed to write about his experience.
Here he shares how to spend an amazing weekend in Paris with a 10 year old.
Guest post By: Alfie, aged 10. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate and commercial links. For more information see our disclosure policy. Alfie and my husband were given a complimentary tour with Fat Tire Paris but they truly loved it and, as my 10-year-old said to me, “it was the best!”.
Paris with a 10 year old
For my 10th birthday my dad said I could go somewhere with him for the weekend. My parents have friends who, when their eldest turned 10, went on a trip with the dad. My dad thought this was a good idea; he works hard and travels a lot and we don’t get that much time together.
When we were still living in Mexico I wanted to go to New York but then we moved to England and my dad told me to choose somewhere closer.
So, I looked through the The Cities Book by Lonely Planet and I came up with Paris.
My dad thought Paris sounded like a good idea and he told me that I needed to decide what are the best things to do in Paris with a 10 year old. On my actual birthday my parents gave me two books on Paris, City Trails – Paris and Not for Parents: Paris and I started planning – it turns out that there are a lot of things to do in Paris with kids!
If you’re looking to explore other destinations after Paris, take a look at this post on the 25 best places in France for families.
Things to do in Paris – Day 1
During my October half-term from school we got on the Eurostar early on a Thursday morning from St Pancras station in London and two hours later we arrived in Paris. Paris is so close you can easily reach it on a day trip from London by train.
When we arrived we went straight to our hotel to drop our bags and then we went to the Natural History Museum.
The Natural History Museum was really cool; the glass ceiling is filled with lights that replicate the weather. During our visit we had sunshine, nighttime with lots of stars, a rainbow filled with colours and a thunderstorm that was so realistic that I thought it was actually raining outside.
On the ground floor is an area with lots of African animals like giraffes and rhinos that make sounds. We also saw the rocks and minerals display.
After the museum we went to have lunch. We went to the area of Notre Dame to try and get what they call Paris’ best ice cream but it was closed! So then we went to another very good ice cream place. Ice cream finished, we went to an old school candy store to get some mints and chocolates.
Things to do in Paris – Day 2
On Friday we woke up early (because I always wake up early!) and we went for breakfast where I had two croissants.
While we were having breakfast, my dad told me we were going on a bike tour of Paris with Fat Tire Tours. This sounded awesome and so after breakfast we headed to our meeting point and found our guide, Nick. He took us to the shop and we got our bikes and helmets and we set off.
I can’t remember how long our Paris Day Bike Tour took but this was one of my favourite things to do in Paris – it’s a great activity for kids!
We saw a lot of historical sights such as the Eiffel Tower (obviously!), lots of cathedrals – one of them had nearly all of its dome covered in gold – and the Louvre which was much bigger than I expected. I liked cycling everywhere and seeing the Eiffel Tower was really cool and it was much bigger than I expected. There were a few other kids on the tour and we were split into two groups; one only grown ups and the other, families.
After the bike tour my dad and I went to an old school circus, Cirque d’Hiver. The Circus was held in a theatre with fold out seats. This is what my dad said circuses used to be like.
We saw a lady being shot out of a canon, a clown who performed tricks on a trampoline and a man with rats, which was gross! There was also the wheel of death – a figure of eight contraption with a person in the circle at each end. The people did tricks while the wheel spun around.
Things to do in Paris – Day 3
After breakfast on our third day in Paris, we went to Pompidou Centre and it was great. This is really a fun thing to do on a family weekend in Paris. I loved all the art and the building itself. Apparently, when it was first built, some people didn’t like the design but I thought it was brilliant. When you are at the top of the building you can see all of Paris and the Eiffel tower, it was awesome!
We decided not to go the Louvre because it’s enormous and my dad doesn’t love art museums! Plus, we hadn’t bought tickets in advance so we would have had to wait in a long line.
Instead, we decided to go to the Magic Museum. The museum had lots of different magicians and tricks on display as well as old posters and magician props. We saw a magic show and I got to take part in the rope trick but I couldn’t work out how the magician did it!
Things to do in Paris – Day 4
Our fourth day in Paris was also our last day. After breakfast, we headed to the original High Line called the Promenade Plantée or Coulée Verte. This elevated walkway was built upon an old railway line in the 12th arrondissement of Paris. We started walking along but then it began to rain hard and we had to go back to our hotel.
We then caught our train home after our long weekend in Paris!
The thing I loved most about my trip was to spend quality time with my dad and to talk about things like school, friends and the world. Paris is great fun and I can’t wait to go back again. Next time I want to go to the Catacombs!