This post originally appeared on TravelwithMeraki.com
One of the very first “touristy” places we visited when we moved to Paris was the beautiful gardens of the Château de Versailles. It was August and the gardens were stunning. It was a wonderful way to introduce us to France. Since then, we’ve returned to the chateau many times and even got an annual pass.
When you think about a chateau, at first you might not think it’s a great place to visit with children. While the chateau itself is far from stroller friendly and can be crowded during high tourist season, the gardens and other smaller buildings on the grounds can be the perfect place to enjoy French culture while allowing your kids some space to run around (and not get lost among all the people).
Below are some of my favorite places and activities to take our two girls at Château de Versailles:
Gardens in le domaine de Marie-Antoinette
This is located all the way in the back of the properties, past the main gardens and is part of the Petit Trianon. While it can be a pleasant walk from the main palace, it can take about 20 minutes to get there. There’s also separate parking closer to the Petit Trianon if you’re only interested in visiting this area.
This is my all time favorite place in Versailles. There’s a chateau that you can tour that was Marie Antoinette’s personal domain, but the real treasure is the garden out back, along with her hamlet where she used to dress up as a peasant. It’s the perfect place for a picnic and for allowing children to run around. In the summer there are wild daisies and beautiful red poppies everywhere.
The hamlet itself almost appears to be a scene out of Disneyland with its thatched-roof buildings, watermill, and lake (complete with swans). The best part is the small, working farm with goats, sheep, rabbits, pigs, and more that families can come see. We’ve spent several afternoons admiring all the animals.
To read more about our favorite activities at the chateau, please click HERE to finish the post over at Travel with Meraki.