We just got back a week ago from spending a week in Paris and a week in London. It was my wife and I, our two 8 year olds, and my 60+ year old parents.
*Tour of D-Day Beaches with Dale Booth - this was absolutely fantastic. Dale was a wonderful guide and even kept the kids engaged. My son said it was his favorite thing in the Paris leg of our trip. We went to Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, St. Mere Eglise, St. Marie du Mont, Omaha Beach, and the American Cemetery. The whole family was mesmerized from start to finish. We did it as a day trip from Paris and had no problems. Sure, it was a long day, but the train rides allowed time to get some rest. We went from St. Lazare to Carentan. Dale deepened the adults' interest in D-Day/WWII and awoke an interest in the kids, esp. my son. Couldn't have been happier.
*Musee d'Louvre - we booked a kids tour with Paris Muse. Our guide was Inge. She was fabulous. My daughter loved her and was basically her shadow the whole tour. Consequently, the Louvre was my daughter's favorite thing in Paris. This tour was a good choice for us because of the kids and also because my parents are casual, at best, art fans. We were able to hit the highlights and move on. My wife and I were in Paris alone back in 2000 and did a pretty thorough tour of it, so we weren't concerned about just skimming the surface this time.
*Ile St Louis and the Left Bank - simply walking around these areas and popping in and out of shops was an absolute joy. Even browsing the supermarkets, picking out things we can't get in the States, was fun for the kids.
*Top of the Eiffel Tower - it's cliche and the line was long, but it was worth it. The view was a little hazy, but still spectacular. Probably wouldn't do it again, but SO glad we did it once.
*Chocolate shop walk along rue St. Honore - I'd gotten the route from chocoparis.com and, being Easter week, thought it would be fun to check out the chocolate shop windows and the various Easter creations. This was not a disappointment. The favorite was Jean-Paul Hevin. We all picked out something decadent and then went upstairs and enjoyed hot chocolate. The kids loved it.
*Versailles - it was packed, but we all really enjoyed it. We paid for the gardens/fountain show, so that gave an added spark to the visit. We could've spent all day there, but we were all sort of tired, so we cut the visit a bit short to save sanity.
*Le Caveau de la Huchette - jazz club in the Latin Quarter. Took my wife there after a mom-and-dad-only romantic dinner and had a blast. The entertainment was a blues/jazz pianist from Kansas City, and he was fantastic. The dancing by the "regulars" was really something to behold. Still, the wife and I managed to hit the floor a couple of times on the slower songs. Cover charge was steep, but it was worth it for a unique experience in Paris.
*Galeries Lafayette - essentially a big department store, but the building was beautiful, and going out on the rooftop terrace to watch the sunset was sublime. A very unexpected highlight.
*Taxis G7 - there is a lot of talk on this forum about airport transfers and the like. We used G7 for our transport from CDG to Paris and from our apartment to Gare du Nord, and were very pleased both times. The taxis were clean and modern, and the drivers were prompt and courteous. Not the cheapest option, but very easy, especially for a large group.
*Musee d'Orsay - very similar to our National Gallery experience in London. My wife and I LOVED it and could've spent days there. My parents and the kids, on the other hand, could not have cared less. They basically sat on benches while we toured on our own. In hindsight, a tour probably would've been a good idea. They did enjoy the building, and several pieces of artwork, but overall they were pretty ambivalent about the whole thing.
*Sainte Chapelle - the whole left side of the chapel was covered with scaffolding, so the effect was completely lost. It was still neat to see the rest of the stained glass, and my parents were really into the subjects of the different panes, but the wow factor was diminished by the scaffolding and dust.
*Notre Dame - surprisingly, this got mixed reviews. We visitied on Easter Sunday, so I assumed everyone would really enjoy it. I think everyone did, but it wasn't really the "hit" that I thought it would be. We attended the organ recital, which my wife and I and the kids loved, but my parents thought it was too somber and heavy. They didn't care for it. On top of that, my mom is a pretty ardent Protestant, so the services didn't do a lot for her. My wife and I have a good feel for the architecture and history of the cathedral, so we were in bliss, but I think a lot of that was lost on my parents. They enjoyed walking around and touring, but overall I think they were pretty "blah" on it. To each his own.
*Les Invalides - my father really wanted to see Napolean's tomb (for some reason), so we headed over to Les Invalides. The arms museum was fine I guess, but it ended up not doing anything for us. Even Napolean's tomb was a letdown. Walking over and seeing the building was nice, but the museum and tomb were disappointing.
*Eiffel Tower souvenir guys - good God they were annoying. I was already for the string around the wrist and lost ring tricks - neither of which we encountered - but I wasn't ready for this. It's not that they were trying to scam us, it's just that they were so persistent. God forbid you make eye contact with them. Same with the petition girls. Terribly annoying. Granted, a firm "Non merci" was sufficient to get them to leave you alone, but it was still frustrating.
*Champs Elysees - my parents wanted to go because they'd heard about it and seen the famous view looking up the Champs Elysees at the Arc de Triomphe. So we started at the Arc and worked our way down. Meh. Could just as easily be Michigan Ave. in Chicago. It really does NOTHING for me, and didn't for the kids either. We went into the Disney Store, but it was the same stuff we could get here. By the time we got down to the FDR metro stop, we were done. We snapped a couple of pics and were out of there.
**Things We Planned To Do, or Should've Done, But Didn't:
*Park(s) - I'd really wanted to check out the Luxembourg Gardens and a couple of other parks with the kids, but we just ran out of time. Plus, the weather was COLD. We didn't get any rain, which was nice, but it certainly didn't feel like park weather.
*Catacombs - I've heard they're a bit of a tourist trap, and reviews are mixed, but I think the kids would've really gotten a kick out of it. Their principal happened to be in Paris at the same time and they went and really enjoyed it.
*l'Orangerie - my wife and I really wanted to see this museum, but no one else really cared, so it just sort of dropped off our priority list. We WILL visit it someday.
There you have it. It was a great trip enjoyed by all, from 8 years old to 66 years old. One more thing, though. There's always a lot of discussion about Parisians being rude. In my two trips, I've yet to be treated what I would call "rudely." I've received much worse in Boston and Baltimore and NYC. I think Parisians simply go about their business. At worst, I think they tend to be aloof. But, it doesn't take much to break through that barrier. One anecdote I'll share that I thought was really neat. At the end of the Paris Muse tour, the kids had a "treasure" they'd been trying to find. It turned out to be at the coat check. So the kids had to go up and ask for their things, but in French. So the guide gave them a quick tutorial on what and how to say it in French, and sent them on their way. I'd been watching the associate at the coat check, and he didn't seem particularly friendly. He was very rigid in his duty and was courteous, but not overly bright and sunny. So I was a little nervous for the kids. We all stood back and watched. When the kids got up to the counter and began asking for their package in French, the guy's face absolutely lit up. It's like he was a different person. When they were done, he applauded and gave them a big "tres bien!" Then he told his co-worker to come over and had the kids do it again for him! :-) Smiles all around, and you've never seen two prouder kids. They still talk about that and how "cool" the guys at the Louvre coat check were.