Scandiborn Travel Series: What to Pack for a City Break with Kids 

Scandiborn Travel Series: What to Pack for a City Break with Kids 

7 min read

A city break.  With tiny travellers on board? Oui, it can be done. Our Head of Content, Caroline Brooks, takes us on a journey to Paris and proves that taking the kids along for the ride can make for a thoroughly enjoyable adventure to remember.  Plus, tick off all those travel essentials with our handy packing list. 

Get on Board 

After a two year holiday drought, given the recent global pandemic, we decided to renew our suppressed wanderlust and sojourn to Paris, on a 4 day family escape over the Easter holiday break. 

We chose to travel by Eurostar, which we found to be a wonderfully stress free and enjoyable experience. With very little queuing, a comfortable passenger lounge and just over 2 (very relaxing) hours of travel, we found ourselves in the heart of the ‘City of Love’ with our two kids in tow.  

We were booked in at the Novotel Paris Belleville 20. Recently opened with clean, modern, and surprisingly spacious family rooms (a rarity in this city), it provided the perfect base for us to begin our holiday. Ideally located right across from the metro station, it’s a little way out of the centre, so if you do have younger kids then I would probably recommend booking somewhere more central, so you can come and go more easily.

Paris Highlights 

Paris has to be one of the best cities in the world for sightseeing, as there are just so many famous landmarks to discover. So, with romance firmly on the back burner, we set about making a list of everything we wanted to see.

For smaller kids and tiny tots who tire easily, the sightseeing bus tours provide a perfect option to hop on and off and visit all the trop attractions. Plus which kids don't love an open top bus ride. 

Let’s start with the most obvious - The Eiffel Tower. Thankfully the lifts are both pram and pushchair friendly, so even the smallest of babes can travel to the very top and check out those stunning views (or maybe just take a nap).

Not for the faint hearted, those with vertigo may get their sea legs even from the first floor. I would recommend taking the lift over the stairs, especially with small ones, as they are open and quite precarious. It’s advisable to book tickets in advance too. We booked ours online direct. Early mornings tend to be less busy, plus if you happen to be up at the break of dawn with youngsters, then watching a sunrise over the Eiffel Tower is quite a sight to behold. 

Art galleries (while definitely not my son's favourite) are a good option to while away a few hours on a rainy day or if caught in a sudden downpour.

The Mona Lisa is a no-brainer (be prepared to queue to get a close up view) and little culture vultures will wonder and marvel at the sheer size and grandeur of the Louvre. Book your tickets direct online in advance as they operate a really effective system where you enter at your given time slot, thus avoiding long queues and preventing any fallout from bored kids. Plus, entry is free for all under 18’s - bonus. Mornings are often quieter and the renowned Louvre Café makes for the perfect spot to fuel up on delicious breakfasts in a grandoise setting.

Our favourite gallery has to be the Musee D’Orsay. With thousands of famous works of art at every turn, we were utterly bewitched and blown away by the Monet’s, Van Goghs and Rembrandts on display. The building itself is also completely stunning - housed in an old railway station and sympathetically restored.  Top tip: The café on the top floor is not to be missed, with its impressive clock tower window, complete with gorgeous city views and delicious cakes and pastries to tempt tiny taste buds, over a well deserved rest. 

Walk This Way

Paris is a wonderful walking city, with plenty of parks and green space on offer. Perhaps the most famous is the Jardin du Luxembourg, dotted with water features, statues and those instagrammable green chairs. Pack a picnic, take a pew and embrace the French culture by introducing the kids to a game of boules. 

Take a Seine-side stroll and discover climbing frames, balance bars and stepping stones to keep little ones entertained. We took the river path (pushchair friendly) from the Louvre, all the way to Notre Dam and the islands. Full of pretty Parisian side streets made for wandering and window shopping and home to the world famous ice cream shop Berthillon. The oldest in Paris, it is a must visit, with a vast selection of unique flavours on offer. A good bribe, erm I mean reward, after all that walking. Budding captains will love to hop on board a boat cruise as you venture back up river. 

For people watching and cafe culture, an afternoon in the picturesque neighbourhood of Montmartre is hard to beat.  Take the funicular railway to the top of the Sacre Coeur, an impressive church residing high above on the hillside, with a beautiful bird's eye view of the city scape. There are plenty of companies offering child friendly walking tours, taking in the artists quarter, windmills and vineyard, whilst sharing interesting stories and entertaining the kids with various activities along the way.  

Food, Glorious Food

As the gastronomic centre of the universe, my kids  were most excited about trying out the various cuisines on offer (though perhaps not quite as enthusiastic at the prospect of snails and frog legs).  You will find creperie stands dotted all over the city, with tempting fillings such as Nutella, sugar or savoury ham and cheese. A quick and cheap snack to fill those hungry little tummies whilst on the go. 

Little sweet tooths (and grown ups too) should visit Laduree to sample the finest macaroons you will ever taste. This Parisian institution offers all the wow factor with its iconic, flamboyant surroundings and sumptuous décor. There are several dotted across Paris, with the flagship store located on the infamous Champs Elysees. 

Paris is very welcoming of kids when dining out. We found several super child friendly eateries during our stay. Frame Brasserie is definitely a special occasion place. With stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, this glass built eatery specialises in local flavours, with much of the produce grown in the restaurant's very own on site organic vegetable garden. 

La Boite aux Lettres is located in pretty Montematre and is a real germ of a place. Bustling with locals, this non-touristy haven gave us the entire lower floor all to ourselves, Housed in a quirky setting within their wine cellar, complete with an 'old skool' Nintendo games console to keep the kids busy whilst we savoured a bottle of French white from their extensive menu. There was no set kids menu as such, but they were very accommodating and happy to provide smaller plates for younger diners. 

City Break Travel Essentials - What to Pack

  • Pushchair - The revolutionary Doona is a compact, lightweight 2 in 1 stroller and car seat - the answer to all your travel woes. 
  • Baby Sling - Check out all of our favourite baby carriers  for on the go travel with your little bundle.. 
  • Snack Boxes - Shop our packable mealtime faves from Danish brand Liewood.
  • Activities - From crayons to puzzles, pack up these boredom busters for fuss free travel. 
  • Water Bottle - Stylish and sustainable thirst quenchers this way.
  • Mac/Waterproof Jacket - For unpredictable weather, these versatile, lightweight coats from Toastie Kids are just the ticket. 
  • Kids Backpacks - take a peek at our extensive range of stylish bags for little nomads .
  • Soft Toy  - The perfect travel companion for all their mini adventures.
  • Sun Hat - Keep them protected from harmful rays  with our extensive collection of headwear.
  • Travel Bags - The Kaos Weekend Bag is a serious space saver with its clever design for practical, hands free travel. 
  • Change Bag - Our curation of the best carryalls, as road tested by real parents.
  • Toiletries - These eco friendly staples from Wild & Stone are just the ticket for family travels.
  • Travel Blanket - Snuggle up with the softest cover ups in natural materials and sweet prints. 
  • Portable Change Mat - Travel light with these pocket sized, portable gems. 
  • Night Light - These sweet light up pals are perfectly portable for guaranteed sweet dreams whatever your destination. 
  • Muslin Cloths - Don’t leave home without these versatile, must have baby essentials.
  • Swimwear - If your hotel has a pool then don’t forget to pack your swimmers for a refreshing swim or splash about after a long day of sightseeing.

That’s all for now. We hope you enjoyed this little read and wish you well on all your travels.

Shop the full range of products for baby, parenting, home and lifestyle over at Scandiborn

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