Here are details on the attractions mentioned in the accompanying stories.
· Batobus (011-33-8-25-05-0101, http://www.batobus.com/ ) is a hybrid of transportation and tourist attraction: You can use the boat to get to any one of the eight stops -- Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Musee d'Orsay and Louvre among them -- or you can simply sit back and enjoy the passing view as you glide along the Seine. You can buy a ticket at any of the stops, and it's good for an entire day for $14 ($6.40 for kids under 16); for two consecutive days, it's $16.60 ($7.65 for kids); for five consecutive days, $20.45 ($8.95 for kids).
· The Eiffel Tower (Champ de Mars, seventh arrondissement, 011-33-1-44-11-2323, http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/ ) is one of those icons, like the Washington Monument or the Empire State Building, that needs no description. It looms over the Parisian landscape by day, and when it's illuminated at night it only becomes more spectacular. The higher you go, the more you pay: The first floor costs $5.35 for adults and kids 12 and up, $2.95 for kids 3 to 11; the second floor is $9.85 for adults, $5.35 for kids; and the summit is $14 for adults, $7.65 for kids. Metro: Bir-Hakeim, Trocadero or Ecole Militaire.
· Grevin wax museum (10 Blvd. Montmartre, ninth arrondissement, 011-33-1-47-70-8505, http://www.grevin.com/ ) has 300 notables of history and culture, from Joan of Arc (burning at the stake) to Jimi Hendrix and Spider-Man. Admission is $22.25 for adults, $13.35 for ages 6 to 14. Exhibits are bilingual in French and English. Metro: Grands Boulevards.
· The Jardin d'Acclimatation (011-33-1-40-67-9082, http://www.jardindacclimatation.fr/ ) is an old-fashioned amusement park within the Bois de Boulogne. Attractions are a little careworn but utterly charming, such as pony rides and a leisurely river ride, with all the standard carnival games and rides in between. The Jardin also includes two museums, a resident circus, a puppet theater and a golf school. You could easily spend an entire day here, and that's not taking into account the rest of the Bois, with its boats and bikes for rent, picnic areas and walking trails. Admission to the Jardin is $3.45, and a book of 15 ride tickets is $38.50. The little train that takes you from the Bois entrance to the Jardin itself is $6.65 round trip. Metro: Les Sablons.
· The Jardin des Plantes (011-33-1-40-79-3000, http://www.v1.paris.fr/en/Visiting/gardens/jardin_plantes.asp ) is a free botanic garden at the eastern edge of Paris's fifth arrondissment. Inside is France's museum of natural history and its Grande Galerie de l'Evolution (011-33-1-40-79-5479, http://www.mnhn.fr/ ) and a small but nice zoo. Admission is $10.15 for adults, $7.60 for children ages 4 to 13. Museum panels are almost all in French; however, a catalogue (about $13) provides explanations in English. Metro: Gare d'Austerlitz, Jussieu or Place Monge.
· The Luxembourg Gardens (Rue de Vaugirard and Boulevard St. Michel, 011-33-1-43-26-4647, http://www.v1.paris.fr/en/Visiting/gardens/jardin_luxembourg.asp ), although open to the public, is run by the French Senate, whose imposing building sits at one end of the park. Here you can rent a model boat, take in an art exhibition, go for a pony ride, play tennis or basketball, or have a snack. In a city where nearly every major park has its own puppet theater, the Marionnettes du Luxembourg is considered one of the best. During the school year, there are usually shows on Wednesday afternoons (when French kids have no classes) and both weekend days; summertime shows are likely to be more frequent. Metro: Luxembourg, Odeon or Vavin.
· The Musee des Egouts, or Sewer Museum (Quai d'Orsay near the Alma Bridge, seventh arrondissement, 011-33-1-53- 68-2781, http://www.paris.org/Musees/Egouts/info.html ) takes the subterranean route through history, exploring sewers since the Middle Ages, particularly in Paris, and the lives of those who keep them running. Admission is $4.80 for adults, $3.90 for children ages 5 to 16. Self-guided English-language visits; English tours in summer, included with admission. Metro: Alma-Marceau.
· Paris Canal (011-33-1-42-40-9697, http://www.pariscanal.com/ ) offers 2 3/4 -hour canal boat cruises from the Musee d'Orsay up the picturesque Canal St. Martin to Parc de la Villette daily at 9:30 a.m. Cost is $20 for adults, $11.50 for children ages 4 to 11. Return cruises leave la Villette at 2:30 p.m. Metro: Solferino (museum side); Porte de Pantin (park side). Another company, Canauxrama, (011-33-1-42-39-1500, http://www.canauxrama.com/ ) operates a barge on the St. Martin Canal that leaves from the Port de Paris-Arsenal near the Bastille.
· Parc de la Villette (19th arrondissement, 011-33-1-40-03- 7575, http://www.villette.com/ ) is the largest green space in Paris, with 86 acres of gardens of various themes (mirrors, dunes, dragon, shadows), playgrounds, museums and theaters. Admission to playgrounds and gardens is free.
Within the park, the Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie (011-33-1-40-05-8000, http://www.cite-sciences.fr/ ) charges $9.50 ($7 for ages under 25, free for kids under 7) for admission to the Explora, including exhibitions (except "Star Wars l'Expo") and a 3-D cinema; $13.50 for the expo ($11 under 25, free under 7); $6.50 for the children's museum; $11.50 for the Geode cinema ($9 most times for those under 25) or $14.50 for double feature; and $7 for the Cinaxe cinema ($6 under 25). Most exhibits are in French and English; free headphones are available at the Geode to view films in English.
You can rent bikes nearby on the canal at Cyclo-Pouce (38 bis Quai de la Marne, 011-33-1-42-41-7698) for $5 per hour. Metro: Porte de Pantin.
· Parc Monceau (Boulevard de Courcelles, eighth arrondissement, 011-33-1-42-27-39-56 or 011-33-1-42-27-08-64, http://www.v1.paris.fr/en/Visiting/gardens/parc_monceau.asp ), is a quiet, sedate park, beautifully landscaped and set in one of Paris's most elegant residential neighborhoods. There's a small playground for kids and an adjoining bathroom with pint-size fixtures, but no snack bar or other facilities. Free admission. Metro: Monceau.
WHERE TO EAT: Paris is no longer the land only of crepes and croques monsieurs , but an international city where Vietnamese spring rolls ( nems ) and North African couscous flourish, and Japanese, Mexican, American and junk foods can easily be found. If your kids are skeptical about trying new foods, order a Nutella-filled crepe and all doubts will be vanquished. Keep an eye out for nems on any busy street (near Metro stops and on market streets are good places to look).
For more refined fare, try a picnic. Boulangepicier (73 Blvd. de Courcelles, 011-33-1-46-22-2020, http://www.boulangepicier.com/ ) has stellar breads and great soups, as well as sandwiches and prepared foods, but it's not cheap; a simple picnic lunch for two could easily start at $40. Laduree (16 Rue Royale and three other locations, 011-33-1-42-60-2179, http://www.laduree.fr/ ) is a Paris tradition; you can stay and have hot chocolate or tea, but for a picnic, just run in and get a box of its famous macaroons to go, available in regular size or a mini version. Fauchon (24 Place de la Madeleine, 011-33-1-70-39-3800, http://www.fauchon.fr/ ) offers anything imaginable for a cosmopolitan picnic, from cold meats to sushi. A picnic for two could reach $65 easily.
For a theme restaurant with an unusual twist, try Dragons Elysees (11 Rue de Berri, off the Champs-Elysees, 011-33-1-42-89-8510), a Chinese-Thai restaurant that's "underwater" -- built on a series of ponds and a giant floor aquarium stocked with large koi. Prix-fixe menus (heavy on the seafood) are $17 to $50.
For an automotive dining experience, try the pub at Atelier Renault (53 Ave. des Champs-Elysees, 011-33-1-49-53-7070), where you can lunch on "world food" (about $15 per person) at tables hanging over changing automotive exhibits.
INFORMATION: Paris Town Council , http://www.paris.fr/ . Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau , http://www.parisinfo.com/ .
-- Robert V. Camuto and Anne Glusker