An hour in Strasbourg with kids?

What can you do with kids in Strasbourg, France? We have a chance to see Strasbourg today for an hour or two, max. It’s an unplanned stop and we have two young kids. Should we skip it? After all, we were in Luxembourg city for a family fun day trip yesterday. After clearing our camp site today, we spent a couple of hours in Schengen–the birthplace of a Europe without borders, inwardly that is. Next stop: Freiburg, Germany. Strasbourg is literally on the way. But is it a family-friendly stop?

Two young kids stand at a "Europe a Coeur"monument at the entrance of a steel-and-glass building with flags in the background.

Text on photo reads www.FreeElectrons.Family
“Europe a Coeur” at the entrance of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

Sure it is an important and interesting city. . . for adults, maybe. Along with Brussels and Luxembourg, Strasbourg is one of the capital cities of the European Union. Why? It is home to the European Parliament.

We hardly do this–have two sightseeing/touristy stops on the way from one camping site to the next. We are a slow-flow/go-slow family, or at least try to be, for the sake of all our sanity. Sleeping in one small tent for 2.5 people–all four of us, 2 adults + 2 kids–is challenging enough. Do it for a total 6 weeks and you’ll have to come up with ways to make it stress-less. So, on this summer’s camping road trip, we usually have no more than one stop per 4-hour travel leg.

However, today (the 26th day of our family fun camping road trip this summer) we decided to have a bit of geopolitical history education on the road for our kids (ages 7 and 3) and stopped by Schengen. Ok, ok. . . it was not all that heavy-duty into politics; just enough for them to get a sense of the EU, where it all began, and have fun doing it. It was supposed to be a quick stop and we ended up staying for at least 2 hours!

A far view of the steel-and-glass building with flags of the European Parliament.

Text reads: one thing to do . . . in Strasbourg with kids.

Other text on photo reads www.FreeElectrons.Family
Visit the European Parliament… even if you only had an hour.

We were running out of time because we have a reunion with an old time friend in Freiburg. Strasbourg was on the way. So, why not stop, right?! Even just to see the building. That was the plan. Have a picture in front of the building and Tata (Six) will make up stories to fill the kids’ imagination later on.

So, zoom, zoom… ZOOM! Vámonos!!

We managed to get to Strasbourg about an hour before it closed at 5 pm. Once there, we entered and got “lured” by the excellent interns into coming in for a whirlwind tour–all less than an hour, they promised!

"Welcome to the European Parliament" in 4 languages on a display board with caricature of families and children.

Other text on photo reads www.FreeElectrons.Family
A fun day at the family-friendly European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

Glad we did! As we all (the boys) enjoyed running around the almost-empty halls; listening to the self-guided tours through the EU-issued audio guides (for FREE), hunting for vending machine snacks and immersion into the works of the European Parliament in the cool audio-visual auditorium.

Here are the highlights of what kid-friendly things to do (in pictures) at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France–a highly recommended stop, even if you only have an hour or so.

The inner courtyard of a steel-and-glass building with an abstract sculpture of a world at its center.

Text on photo reads www.FreeElectrons.Family
In the inner courtyard of the European Parliament; the ball-like monument in the center was a gift from the city of Wroclaw, Poland.
Two young children pose on stage with all the flags of the European Union in the background.

Text on photo reads www.FreeElectrons.Family
Learning a bit about the European Union in the exhibit hall of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
A young boy stands in the plenary hall (in the auditorium) of the European Parliament, with the circular members's section in the background.

Text on photo reads www.FreeElectrons.Family
At the plenary hall, listening to a “meeting of the minds” in the plenary hall.
A mother and two young children engaged in the audio-visual presentation about the processes of the European Parliament.

Text on photo reads www.FreeElectrons.Family
Learning a little bit about the European Parliament through the audio-visual presentation at the conference room.
Hands of a child on the informational and interactive display about the processes of the European Parliament.

Text on photo reads www.FreeElectrons.Family
Parents and kids enjoy the informational and interactive displays.

TIPS for Visiting the European Parliament.

Where to park? We found FREE side-street parking on Allée du Printemps, less than 2 minutes walk from the entrance to the European Parliament.

Can you take pictures? You may take as many pictures inside and outside of the building; just DO NOT take pictures of security personnel or places.

Need food? If you get hungry there’s a cafeteria. But if it’s closed, there are vending machines that ONLY TAKES DEBIT CARD (cashless).

Where’s the playground? It’s always good to know where playgrounds are as back-ups when visiting places. There is an indoor playground located at the western end of Allée du Printemps, a walking distance from the European Parliament. We did not get a chance to use but it was good to know.

"Europe a Coeur" monument, 2 abstract people hugging--symbol of the European Union, at the entrance of a steel-and-glass building with flags in the background.

Text on photo reads www.FreeElectrons.Family
“Europe a Coeur”, symbol of the European Union.

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