Fodor's Around Paris with Kids Paperback – Mar 1 2011
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First of all, it should be organized by arrondissement (neighborhood), because that's the reality of Paris. No sane family is going to bounce from the Bastille to the Bois du Boulogne on the same day. Instead the book is organized alphabetically, which is not helpful, and in fact problematic because the formal French names are not necessarily how things are identified. For example the "Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou" is referred to by Parisians as the "Beaubourg" - if you ask by the real name, they will probably stare at you blankly. It should be "Ok, today we're in the 6th, what else is around here?"
Yes there is some value - citing food resources at each site is a great idea, and I didn't know there was a "trampoline park" in the Tuileries - and you can get a kid-friendly brochure at Sainte-Chapelle - but it is generally so overwritten and unedited (only the strangest kid will want to see "Proust's bedroom"). Unless you have unlimited time and the patience to sort through the 6 point type (and if they had edited it the type could have been bigger) don't waste your money. There are not even little maps showing the metro and cross streets at each site.
Supposedly Fodor's are expert in travel books, and supposedly the writers live in Paris, so shame on them. I think Fodor's are just trading on their brand, and eroding it rapidly.
I think the key to successful travel with children is to keep things casual and varied. We generally have one major destination -- sometimes a museum, sometimes something entirely kid oriented for the day with with a lot of walking, treats, discovery and parks surrounding the destination. This guide is perfect for setting up this kind of outing. For example, combine the Louvre with jumping on trampolines in the Tuilleries gardens outside. Or spend an entire day at a massive indoor swimming pool with discovery of a new arrondisement.
The book also combines all of the well known destinations with a few lesser known options.