fun things to do with kids in versailles  france   Travel for Kids
france
  | paris
     
   

Chateau de Versailles

Versailles
The Palace of Versailles started out as a modest "hunting lodge," but Louis XIV really spiffed it up, adding tons of gilded rooms decorated with sparkling chandeliers and paintings, plus major landscaping – acres of formal gardens, fountains and a Grand Canal that took thirteen years to make. In 1682, Versailles became the official residence of the king and his court. Later, Marie Antoinette added her own style.
Tip: No waiting in ticket lines, with the Paris Pass.
Versailles
  The Chateau – You can walk through the State Apartments of the King and Queen at your own pace, and there's an audio tour of the King's Chamber. The Hall of Mirrors is impressive, just think of courtiers milling around every day or the masked balls in full splendor. Especially lovely is the floral canopy and hangings in the Queen's Bedchamber. (Our kids were totally blasé about the lavish décor in the State Apartments).
Versailles
  Head for the gardens, just a glorious place to explore – massive gilded fountains with mythical creatures, lines of statues, and gardens that go on and on. Don't miss the splashy Neptune Fountain, Dragon Fountain with a truly writhing dragon, and the Apollo Fountain, the god Apollo in his chariot, driving four horses, surrounded by spouting sea creatures. (April-October, fountain displays with music.)
    Take the mini-train that circles the park, stopping at the Petit Trianon, for a complete tour of the extensive grounds, or ride in a horse-drawn carriage.
    Rent bikes – Near the Grand Canal, rent bikes, perfect way to get around the extensive gardens or over to the Petit Trianon (leave your bikes outside the Estate).
  Marie Antoinette's Estate – The Petit Trianon and Hamlet are best in summer, when the gardens are in bloom, and you can imagine parties with lighted lanterns for Marie Antoinette and her friends. Kids can stroll around the first floor of the Petit Trianon at their own pace.
    At the Hamlet, Marie Antoinette's toy village, check out the water mill, Queen's house, dairy, and ramble around on the paths. In summer, look for cows and sheep grazing, and great to escape the crowds.
    On our blog read "Marie Antoinette: Vienna and Versailles."
    Grand Canal – Louis XIV and the nobles boated on the Grand Canal in row boats, gondolas, or small size ships! In the summer, you can hire row boats on the Grand Canal and imagine the spectacle of the Sun King and his entourage.
  Tip: There are cafes at Versailles, but come prepared with a picnic lunch, if the weather is nice. Both the Chateau and Marie Antoinette's Estate are closed on Mondays, Estate opens at noon.
family tours versailles
 

At Versailles, take a family walking tour to discover the secrets of the gardens and gilded fountains with mythical creatures and symbols of the sun king:

Versailles for Families
kids books versailles france
     
The Palace of Versailles kids books history  
The Palace of Versailles
Christian Heinrich

Spend the day with Louis XIV in his grand palace of Versailles – look for emblems of the Sun King, find where the king sleeps, receives visitors, and holds fancy dress balls, then explore the gardens decorated with topiary and fountains. (Picture book)

 

     
Who Was Marie Antoinette?
Dana Meachen Rau

Illustrated biography of Marie Antoinette, from her childhood in Austria, to queen of France at nineteen, life at court (pouf hairstyles and diamonds), relaxing time at the Petit Trianon, then, the French Revolution, attempted escape and the guillontine. (Chapter book)

For older kids, read The Bad Queen.

 

 
who was marie antoinette
     
marie antoinette kids books austria  

Fictional diary of 13 year old Marie Antoinette, begins in Vienna where she is living with her family at the Habsburg court. After she marries and moves to Versailles, Marie Antoinette launches into a whirlwind of parties and helps Louis get rid of his acne. (Chapter book)

 

     
The Lacemaker and the Princess
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Isabelle is a young lacemaker, but she also plays at Versailles with the daughter of Marie Antoinette, princess Therese. The life of luxury in the palace is quite different from Isabelle’s, lavish meals, fine clothes, pony riding and playing in the gardens, but change is coming to France. A super novel of life at Versailles. (Chapter book)

 

 
versailles kids historical fiction marie antoinette The Lacemaker and the Princess
     
versailles adventure kids books The Man in the Iron Mask  
The Man in the Iron Mask
Alexandre Dumas, Oliver Ho

In a sequel to The Three Musketeers, young King Louis XIV has a twin brother Philippe – who should be the rightful king of France? This an abridged version of the classic Dumas novel. (Chapter book)

 

(More children's books on other France pages)
travel for kids | france | paris | chateau de versailles
twitter