Paris is perhaps the world capital for all tourists – what with thousands of places to visit and things to do in this city of 40 square miles. This French capital is full of classy restaurants, fantastic museums, and out-of-the-world experiences, which can keep your family and children, busy for a long time.
However, there is a lot of excitement for family and children outside of Paris too. Hence, this list of family weekend getaways from Paris was created keeping in mind both the Paris resident and Paris tourist for you never know who may want a weekend break.
This list of weekend getaways doesn’t just apply to families and children but also to couples so the romantics needn’t search for a separate list.
Weekend Getaway # 1: Château Vaux Le Vicomte
This chateau just out of Paris cost the guy who built it his life. Nicolas Fouquet (1615-1680) brought together the best of France’s painter Charles Lebrun, architect Louis Le Vau and landscape gardener André Le Nôtre to build his home – Château Vaux Le Vicomte. If your family loves history and culture this can be a great weekend getaway – for this destination also inspired Louis XiV to build Versailles.
Address of Château Vaux Le Vicomte: Domaine de Vaux Le Vicomte, Maincy, 77950.
Opening Hours: Daily 10 am to 6 pm
Cost per family member: €14-16 Approx
Weekend Getaway # 2: Château de Versailles (or Palace of Versailles)
This is the place where Treaty of Versailles, one of the treaties, which ended World War 1, was signed in 1919. We think this in itself is a good enough reason for your family and kids to visit this extravagant palace. The other reasons such as series of fountains, Hall of Mirrors (with 357 mirrors), the gardens, Grand Trianon etc are extras. Your kids will also love the queen’s farm and dairy which today seems like how the farms in fairy tales would have been. If you are going with a tour operator do check with them on the timing for the horseback theatrics that is also a regular feature loved by families.
Address of Château de Versailles: Place d’Armes, Versailles, 78000
Opening Hours: The Château is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 9 am to 6.30 pm. Your family can enjoy the gardens daily from 8 am to 8.30 pm
Cost per family member: €18-€25 Approx
Weekend Getaway # 3: Château de Fontainebleau
Château de Fontainebleau is the best Italian architectural marvel in the whole of France. This hunting lodge was converted into a fine palace using Italian artists hence the style. This palace is noted for its grotesqueries, contorted figures and crazy fireplaces – which will be a revelation. A lot of money has been spent on decorating this palace and all of this adds to the allure of the place, thus making it an interesting weekend getaway for the family and children from Paris.
Address of Château de Fontainebleau: Place du Général de Gaulle, Fontainebleau, 77300.
Opening Hours: It is open from Wednesday to Monday between 9.30 am to 5 pm
Cost per family member: €8-€10 Approx
Weekend Getaway # 4: Giverny (slice of Claude Monet’s life)
In the year 1883, Claude Monet, the father of impressionism moved his mistress and their eight children into a pink house in Giverny. If he hadn’t we wouldn’t be recommending a family weekend getaway from Paris to this small little place called Giverny. He lived for 40 years in this house and hence there are two things you and your family can enjoy on this weekend getaway that lies around an hour from Paris:
1) Fondation Claude Monet, Giverny
Painter Claude Monet was an excellent gardener, and there are a luxurious gardens surrounding the artist’s pink house in Giverny. Your and your family just can’t miss this. Thousands of tourists visit his house every day – some for his art and some for his garden. Sometimes the queue can be long so be prepared for some waiting.
Address of Fondation Claude Monet: 84 rue Claude Monet, Giverny, 27620.
Opening Hours: It is open daily from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm (from 1 Apr to 1st Nov)
Cost per family member: €9 Approx
2) Musée des Impressionnismes, Giverny (Museum of Impressionnists)
Just near Fondation Claude Monet is Musée des Impressionnismes, a destination for the serious art lovers. This weekend getaway also has a excellent garden which just can’t miss – so if you are making a trip to Giverny, do bring your family and kids here too.
Address of Musée des Impressionnismes: 99 rue Claude Monet, Giverny, 27620
Opening Hours: This is open from 1st April to 31 October daily from 10 am to 6 pm
Cost per family member: €6.50 Approx
Weekend Getaway # 5: Auvers-sur-Oise
Situated 30 kms northwest of Paris, Auvers-sur-Oise is an ideal rural weekend retreat just right for your family. This is where Van Gogh spent his last few weeks and the works which he completed here are now displayed on illustrated panels around the village – the beauty of these display is that it allows you to compare the paintings to today’s location. You can also visit Auberge Ravoux, the place where he stayed. Your family will also love the 17th-century Château d’Auvers, which is actually one of the main attractions of the place. If you love your liquor, you may also find the Absinthe Museum (yes, it was the most favored alcoholic drink of the 19th century) interesting.
Address of Auvers-sur-Oise: Auvers-sur-Oise, 95430.
Opening Hours: Not available
Cost per family member: Not available
Weekend Getaway # 6: Parc Astérix (Asterix Park)
You will love this family weekend getaway from Paris if you have read Astérix and Obélix. At Parc Astérix theme park you interact with Astérix and Obélix and enjoy various activities, rides, and experiences. The whole Parc Asterix is divided into different zones called Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, Land of the Vikings, Egypt and the Gaulish Village – so your family gets a unique experience in every zone. This weekend getaway also hosts Europe’s largest roller coaster known as Goudurix. Kids can also indulge in a lot of water splashing.
Address of Parc Astérix: Plailly, 60128
Opening Hours: Times vary, see website
Cost per family member: Kids under three get in free. For others the tickets range from €27 to €39. All day parking may set you back by €8
Weekend Getaway # 7: Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace (Aerospace Museum)
If flying or space every interested the kids in your family they are going to love this weekend getaway from Paris. Located in the former passenger terminal at Le Bourget airport, this is a collection of the best pieces from air history. You will be able to see the cockpit (back then it was called the command cabin) of a Zeppelin airship as well. You will also be able to see airplanes such as the Mirage fighters, Thunderchief and Ariane launchers.
Address of Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace: Aéroport de Paris-Le Bourget, Le Bourget, 93352.
Opening Hours: This Aerospace Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 am to 6 pm. From October to March alone it closes one hour early – at 5 pm.
Cost per family member: Free
Weekend Getaway # 8: Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris is a great weekend getaway for your family but it will take you a few trips to experience everything that Disneyland Paris has to offer. That’s because Disneyland Paris has two parks – the Parc Disneyland and Parc Walt Disney Studios (the one on special effects). If you have young children (lets say below 10 years of age) do prioritize a trip to the Fantasyland and Discovery land. If you have slightly older children (10 years and above) we recommend Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and the Rock’n’Roller Coaster. If you are interested in family rides which all can sit together and enjoy we suggest Pirates of the Caribbean in Parc Disneyland’s Adventure land. Also worth mentioning here is the Star Tours, a Star Wars adventure.
Address of Disneyland Paris: Marne-la-Vallée, 77700
Opening Hours: Opening times change without notice so we suggest for this weekend getaway you try out their website a few days before you are visiting
Cost per family member: Kids under three enter the parks free. The ticket cost varies from €53 to €118 – depending on what you want
Weekend Getaway # 9: Parc de Thoiry (a Safari & Zoo)
If your family loves animals, they will love you for choosing this weekend getaway from Paris. Just an hour East of Paris, this 370-acre park is Europe’s best animal reserves. There is a safari park trail which your kids should definitely experience because they will be able to see monkeys, zebras, bears and more. At the zoo, the variety of animals to be seen is huge. When it gets hot, you can always stroll through the gardens to the château, where period rooms are filled with 400 to 500 year old furniture.
Address of Parc de Thoiry: Rue du Pavillon de Montreuil, Thoiry, 78770
Opening Hours: Times vary often. We suggest you check the website for latest details
Cost per family member: Kids under three years of age enter for free. For others tickets range between €20 to €30
Weekend Getaway # 10: Copenhagen, Denmark
We didn’t add Copenhagen to this list to make it sound like a top ten weekend breaks from Paris. Copenhagen really enters this list basis the merit – from Paris it can be reached in two hours by air and yet offers a of a different & unique culture. The Nordic cuisine is also unique in its own. All you will have to do is start early on a Friday and catch a late evening flight so you spend the full weekend away from Paris. Just in case you didn’t knowAi – rFrance, EasyJet and SAS offer nonstop service between Paris’ Charles De Gaulle Aiport and Copenhagen.