Visit Paris with a TWEEN

How to Travel with a Tween

So, traveling with a tween? Someone with one foot in the kid world and one foot in the grown up world? Unsure of what will be Ok and what will suddenly be called ‘babyish’ – While they give you that eye rolling ‘duh’ look as if you TOTALLY should have known that??


The tween ages are full of change and transition. Sometimes the tween doesn’t even know how he or she feels about something – Is it cool? Is it babyish? and communicating is tough because tweens have a hard time explaining these new feelings and emotions.  Just like the terrible twos, your tween is trying to become more independent and just like the terrible twos, tween years can be hard to negotiate BUT you can plan a trip that makes everyone happy!

You CAN travel happily with all ages. Planning is key.


Navigate the tween minefield when you travel:

**Asking for input from your tween is important. This will make them feel more grownup and will help you figure out what they are thinking! Unsure if an idea is right or not? Just ask. Be prepared for uncertainty or eye rolls.

**Listen to the input. Kids can have really interesting points behind their thoughts and nothing makes a kid feel better than feeling heard.

**Consider giving your tween some added responsibility on the trip. Can they use a map well? They can be navigator. A reader might want to read a piece of a wonderful book about your destination to younger siblings at bedtime. Movie buff? They can choose movies to get everyone started daydreaming about the trip. Natural bossy kid? Put them in charge of planning the activities to pass the time on the long plane or drive there.

Visit Paris with a TWEEN

Visit Paris with a Tween,


Top sights when you visit Paris with a TWEEN.

1) La Musee de Chocolat

Firstly, chocolate transcends all ages. I’m pretty sure I would be happy just to go to La Musee de Chocolat and smell. There aren’t any calories in just smelling, right?

Chocolate candies, Visit Paris with a Tween,

But, they have an interesting museum…..factory tour…. and hands on classes!! The museum is open daily except for New Year’s Day and Christmas so it easily fits into any busy travel schedule. Visit just the museum or reserve ahead for a workshop

2) Catacombs

Catacombs in Paris, Visit Paris in a Tween,

Is Paris too ‘fluffy’ for your tween? This sight should get them on board! Creepy bones? Be ready to hear, “AWESOME, MOM!”

This is actually an ossuary, which is the official term for a resting place for human skeletal remains, (Vocabulary is easy to squeeze in on vacation!)

A catacomb is a series of underground tunnels – when you fill them up with bones, they become an ossuary.  Find visiting information here.  Get all the creepy information on a guided tour if you don’t want to go it alone.

When the Cemetery of the Innocents in Paris became so full after ten centuries of burials the cemetery was closed. Bones had to be removed because the area became a source of infection for the local people. Then the quarries under the city were inspected, repaired (which also helped strengthen them to hold up the highways above them), and blessed by priests. So, cartloads of bones were delivered to the quarry and the catacombs were born.

3) See the city by cool transportation.

Your tween have extra energy? See the city by bicycle! There are tours by Fat Tire, Blue Bike Tours, and Paris Bike Tour.

bicycle, Visit Paris with a tween,

Or see it by segway. My kids couldn’t wait to get old enough for this type of fun. Find some tour information here.

Segway, Visit Paris with a tween,

All the usual suspects are fantastic, too! Read more here: Top 6 Things to See in Paris.

4) Rodin Museum

Not all museums are stuffy. The Rodin museum has exhibits outside like this one: The Gates of Hell.

Gates of Hell, Visit Paris with a tween,

Also here in a spot outside is The Thinker, one of the world’s most known works of art.

The Thinker, Visit Paris with a tween,


5) Deyrolle An unusual store/taxidermist shop

Hard to explain and full of interesting and creepy and silly animals who are all preserved by taxidermy or ‘stuffing’.  The website is in France, but the Facebook page is in English.  Once a serious place regarding the science of preserving animals, now it is a fun curiosity shop for curiosity seekers of all ages.

Paris is a wonderful destination for the whole family! Be sure to take your ebook with you!

6) Dans le NoirIn English it means ‘in the dark’

wine and cheese, Visit Paris with a Tween,

This really interesting restaurant experience is truly a one of a kind. Not cheap at 45 Euros each for a three course meal, you really aren’t paying for the food, instead you are paying for the experience!  (Be sure to ask about a discount for students and those under 21 in your party.) This restaurant is totally and 100% IN THE DARK. You enter a dimly lit front area and talk to the hostess where you will discuss the menu and get the details on how it all works. Next, leave your ‘stuff’ at the front and follow your escort behind a dark curtain to your table. The entire experience is in the complete darkness. The wait staff are all blind and very helpful as they guide you through this interesting experience. Choose your food from the hostess in the lobby or ask for the surprise menu so you can try to figure out the food using your senses without sight. Get all the information and FAQs here.  **** Minimum age is 6 years old.

7) Musee de la Contrefacon (Museum of Counterfeiting)

This interesting museum was opened in 1951 by a union of manufacturers (Unifab). See 350 exhibits of items which pair the real item right next to the counterfeit. There is a wide range of items such as toys, pens, clothes, and toiletries. Some fakes are easy to spot but others not so much so and most were donated by custom officials. Open daily EXCEPT Mondays but has very short hours 14:00 – 17:30 and an unusual holiday schedule. Best to call ahead.  This is just a quick trip and takes less than an hour to see. Perhaps you would like to do a little detective work, too? Ask about the new ‘murder party’ where guests solve a ‘murder’ of a guest.

Louis Vuitton bags? He was one of the original founders as he was President of the Union of Manufacturers at the time. No doubt having his own Louis Vuitton bags often copied gave him reason to get this museum started.

8) Don’t leave home without your travel guide from The Educational Tourist.

Adventures in France, Visit Paris with Tween,

9) Read before you go! 

Use literature to get your tweens excited about the trip. When they are engaged and on board you will all have more fun! Click here for a list of kids’ books set in Paris.

Bon Voyage and happy travels,

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

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20 Responses

  1. very helpful article , can i copy it to my blog ?

  2. Christine K says:

    You describe tweens perfectly! They’re really in transition so you need to get creative to keep them entertained. This is such a fun post filled with some interesting activities that everyone would enjoy. What tween wouldn’t like chocolate, biking, dead bones, and the gates of Hell! Really enjoyed this post.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Thanks for stopping by! Each phase of childhood requires a different prep for …well, anything right? LOL! But especially travel. It is fun to see their reactions and get their take on everything. Traveling builds fantastic memories.

  3. onlybyland says:

    I understand exactly what you mean by terrible two, my daughter is two and terrible! In the future I’ll learn about what a tween is really like! The restaurant in the dark sounds interesting, 3 courses in the dark, wow. I’m sure the tween enjoyed the chocolate museum, who doesn’t love chocolate, my terrible two would go crazy in there!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      LOL! Tweens and toddlers have their similarities for sure. 🙂 But…it is so wonderful to travel with both – it just takes planning! Thankfully, the ‘terrible twos’ only seem to last forever..but they don’t really!

  4. Neha Verma says:

    I travel with a toddler and think once they are out of the toddler age, we don’t need to bother about anything. But your post gave an interesting insight. You do have to consider things when traveling with a tween as well 🙂

  5. TravelingMel says:

    We are just entering the tween years AND we are going to Paris in May, so I will be sure to keep this handy. I don’t need my kids to visit La Musee de Chocolat, but I guess I would be willing to take them ;). Catacombs are always interesting and I could see both my boys are dying to try segways. The dark restaurant sounds very interesting!

  6. It must be so great to travel with your kids. I think Paris, as many other big cities, has activities for everyone, no matter the age. I’m sure they loved to see the Eiffel Tower in person too 🙂

  7. Haha the term tween cracks me up! I love that you shared these tips because a lot of parents out there find excuses not to travel, or not to bring their kids along. It is proof that you can always find ways to make things work out so you both have a good time, regardless if it is a toddler or a tween.

  8. Teens are tough! My boys are all grown up now but I remember those days!!!! Paris has something for everyone and I live toys suggestions. Dinner in the dark sounds sensational and the suprise menu is intriguing!

  9. This is a great post. I grew up in Paris but I always like seeing it from someone else’s perspective. And some of the places you listed reminded me of my own tween years. Some really good ideas here that should make the whole family enjoy the trip.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Oh, I’d love to hear of any other places you would suggest for a tween? Something unusual and off the beaten path? You are the voice of experience!

  10. When in Paris, it worth considering a 90 minute flight to Prague, a historical gem in the heart of Central Europe.
    If you visit Prague its worth exploring the local historical architecture.
    For me walking through the streets of historical Prague, is like walking through a gallery of all major European architectural styles, spanning a thousand years of architectural history in enchanting colors and shapes and, it is interesting to discover how these splendid buildings shaped the history of the Czech Republic and in contrast, how history shaped the designs of many of these buildings and what they came to symbolize in an historical context.

    In the historical center of Prague you can walk past the Municipal House, the Art Nouveau jewel of Prague, that is covered in floral motives, guilded wroth iron curved around beautifully shaded stain glass.

    And continue through the Gothic and neo-Gothic styled powder tower going to the Celetna street , covered with Baroque palaces with Gothic interiors and Renaissance courts yards. On the way you encounter the unique Cubist house at the Black Madonna with its straight angular lines, then continues on to the medieval Ungelt compound with its Renaissance palace , past the heavily Baroque St, James Church and into the Old town Square with its legendary Astronomical clock. Which is followed by the Art Nouveau Jewish Quarters with its ancient synagogues.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      I have visited Prague and found it to be so very beautiful and interesting but the children have not yet visited. These are great recommendations. The beauty of Europe is that it is so easy to get around. We live in Texas, in the United States, which is quite large. It often takes more than a 90 minute flight just to leave the state!

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