What to do with Teenagers in Paris – An Interview
Whatever your know-it-all teens say, they’ll kick themselves as adults if you don’t make them start with la Dame de Fer. “Walking up to the first level of the Eiffel Tower can be a fun family challenge,” says Paris-based family travel blog MamaLovesParis.com.
After that, mix it up. “If your teenagers aren’t squeamish, suggest the Catacombs. The underground tunnels are said to be the largest grave in the world, but they’re also weirdly popular.” Or you could appeal to their cultural side. “Palais du Tokyo is one of the city’s most creative art spaces – and it’s next to the Museum of Modern Art.”
But what about those sporty teens who are more into soccer than Cézanne? “It’s possible to get tickets for [local team] Paris Saint-Germain. Others might also want to take part in Friday night’s citywide rollerblading escapade [pari-roller.com],” says MLP who also has some general trip-planning advice.
“Find out their top three desires for the trip and get those done. Also, buy a transit pass for two weeks for all of you – it will be cheaper. And if you’re here on the first Sunday of the month, remember that most Paris museums are free.”
Once they know their Montmartre from their Arc de Triomphe, you’ll find a city stuffed with trip-of-a-lifetime teen experiences – if you know where to look.
“Try a Fat Tire bike tour [paris.fattirebiketours.com]. It’s a great way to introduce them to Paris.” “For foodie teens, a cooking class with La Cuisine [lacuisineparis.com] or Cook’n With Class [cooknwithclass.com] can help them perfect their macaron and baguette recipes. Or they could design a Parisian tote bag with Kasia Dietz [kasiadietzworkshops.com] or have a makeover from makeup artist Sanni Sorma [sannisorma.com].” Budding Toulouse-Lautrec’s are also well-served. “Try an Underground Paris street art tour [undergroundparis.org/booking] or take them to well-known artist squat 59 Rivoli [59rivoli-eng.org].”
If your kid has a journal full of angst-ridden poetry what about an inspiring Shakespeare and Company bookstore visit – perfect for finding their own life-long Camus copies. More fired-up by politics? Or a Revolutionary Paris walking tour, one of several intellectual strolls offered by Context (contexttravel.com). Alternatively, Localers (localers.com) provides some enticingly Parisian experiences. “They could learn to play pétanque, row on Lac Daumesnil or explore the Bagatelle gardens,” “Teens deeply immersed in the Doors should also visit Jim Morrison’s Père Lachaise grave”. Since no one wants to drag their eye-rolling offspring around the Louvre, there are several esoteric museums worth considering. The wax-figured Musée Grevin (grevin-paris.com); fashion-focused Palais Galliera (palaisgalliera.paris.fr); and Deyrolle’s near-legendary museum-like taxidermy shop (www.deyrolle.com). But while the Cité des Sciences museum (cite-sciences.fr) also has wide appeal, shop-a-holic teens might prefer detouring to the huge Saint-Ouen flea market (marcheauxpuces-saintouen.com) to blow their euros on music, art and books.
A photo posted by La REcyclerie (@larecyclerie) on
Picky eaters, of course, may be harder to please. Cool dining tips should include venues from La Recyclerie [larecyclerie.com] to Holybell [holybel.ly] –all of which can sway the least adventurous. Encourage teens to try French food at a friendly spot like Le Bon Georges [lebongeorges.com]. Dine with the locals after 8 p.m. and let your teens have a wine or beer with their meal as is the custom.”
The bottom line is, Paris is a special opportunity for teenagers to explore a new place and culture. “Put them in charge of planning an activity, navigating the city, translating menus or – if age-appropriate – give them a day to wander on their own.”
This blog post is an extract from an interview with Mama Loves Paris and other Paris bloggers. Hopefully there will be some great ideas in there for you.
Special Thanks to Erica Berman from HipParis and John Lee, Travel Writer
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Thank you for reading and enjoying the blog. Mama Loves Paris – Offering Escapism for Mum and the Kids in Paris