My kids could climb up the Duomo steps faster then I could. They had an easier time with the Jet lag. Besides physically handing things very well, their enthusiasm to see the Notre Dame cathedral was catching. I believe the answer to the question “should I take my children to Europe?” is one that only parents can answer themselves. If your children are generally well behaved and good travel companions in America then they will be good companions in Europe. Your experience with your children will be more expensive but no less magical. Therefore, taking your kids to Europe should be done case by case. (Of course, we always recommend it.)
If you google things to do with kids in any major city in Europe the first things that pops up is often amusement parks or petting zoos and dumbed-down children’s activities. However, the majority of things in Europe can be done with kids! We have always visited countless churches and museums on our two trips to Europe, and our children really enjoy them. We had prepared them with lots of study about flying buttresses, columns, naves. We studied all the necessary art with an emphasis on the Renaissance. Seeing Michelangelo’s “Pieta” was inspiring for them because they knew the story behind it. By preparing your family ahead of time they will enjoy the churches and the museums. They will learn about other cultures and people. Their understanding of geography and languages grows. They will try food from other countries, and see other ways of life.
In addition to the museums, I would say that occasionally visiting the playgrounds of Europe is not such a bad thing. On our recent trip to Europe, we hiked up in the Alps on a rainy June day. In our raincoats we stumbled upon a local wood that had a cute little playground. It was so different from the metal concrete ones we were used to. We played for a few minutes and continued our hike. It was a good way to get wiggles out and have some fun while taking in the beauty of the Alps.
These types of experience we had while visiting Europe now make up part of our families culture. They are part of our family story. The time our family spent camping in Europe was magical and I would recommend to anyone. So, if you can, take your kids. You will be glad you did.