• Bonvoyage Family Travels

Reims Day Trip with Champagne Tour and fun for kids!


When we traveled to Paris, we wanted to take a day trip somewhere that involved a wine tour and fun for our kids too. Reims, part of the Champagne region, was the perfect option for us. Reims lies approximately 140 km northeast of Paris. After a quick 45-minute train ride, we arrived in Reims.


Reims is rich in history. Most kings of France were consecrated in Reims. In fact, in 1429, Joan of Arc witnessed the consecration of Charles VII in Reims. During both WWI and WWII, Reims was devastated, and much of the city was destroyed. Thankfully the Cathedral survived. Finally, in May of 1945, Germany signed its act of Capitulation in Reims.


Sample Strawberries in Halles Boulingrin Market Though we did not initially plan to visit the Halles Boulingrin market in Reims, it was one of the first things we saw when we left the train station, and I am glad we did. Visiting markets has quickly become one of my favorite activities when we travel. I love to see what other parts of the world source locally and bring them back home as a reminder of our trip.

The market in Reims had produce, cheese, soap from Marseilles, honey, pastries, and much more. I believe we purchased some of all the items mentioned above. Our boys enjoyed sampling sweet French strawberries and small champagne grapes. I still have three fragrant bars of soap from Marseilles that are lovely reminders of our time in France. The Halles Boulingrin market was built in 1920 in Art Deco style. When you visit, be sure to enjoy the architecture as well as the market itself. The market is open on Fridays 7 AM-1 PM, 4 PM-8 PM, Saturdays 6 AM-2 PM, and Wednesdays 7 AM-1 PM.

Cool off in Reims Cathedral When in Reims, be sure to visit the Reims Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Reims. The magnificent structure was built during the 13th century in the Gothic Style. Our kids have become used to touring churches in Europe and come to enjoy the paintings, sculptures, and architecture. Don't be afraid to walk thru with your kids and point out the luminescent glass windows, and other living art inside cathedrals in Europe.


Talk with your kids about what is happening in the paintings and what the symbols represent. It is an excellent cultural-historical exercise for kids! Walk around the outside as well and look for the gargoyles, designed to ward off evil spirits, with your kids. You will notice that they are all different. On another note, when it is hot during the summer, stepping into the church is a great way to cool down and enjoy its beauty. The stone construction keeps the interior very comfortable. There are bathrooms attached to the church, but they cost a couple of euros to access.


Gargoyles at Reims Cathedral

{A quick note on restrooms in Europe- It is always a good idea to keep loose euros in coins in Europe for bathrooms. Otherwise, you can go to a bar and buy a couple of drinks and use their lavatory. Free public restrooms are not as readily available as in the U.S.}

The tour consisted of a walk through the Champagne cave 18 meters below ground and explained the history and Champagne making process. The cellars began as chalk quarries in the 4th century and then in the thirteenth century became the cellar of the Saint-Nicaise Abbey for Benedictine Monks. During the French Revolution, the abbey was destroyed, but the cellars remained intact and are now part of Tattinger. We were delighted by how kind and accomodating the staff at Tattinger were. They provided us with blankets for the tour. The cellars are quite chilly underground, but the perfect environment for producing superb Champagne. Our boys enjoyed seeing the old cave, and I believe they benefit significantly from listening and learning what they can during tours like the Tattinger tour. The tour finished with a tasting upstairs.


After the tour was over, we rode the bus back to the city center, where we found a merry-go-round and some pastries for our boys, which they very much deserved after being quiet and patient during the champagne tour! Finally, we headed back to Paris after our day in Reims. I would love to go back one day and check out more Champagne caves!


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