Sojourner Tours

A boutique tour company specialized in gastronomic sojourns in France. Go beyond the typical tourist trip: immerse yourself in French culture and discover authentic places loved by the French.




Groups are kept to eight guests so you can visit authentic places, stay in charming boutique hotels and eat in the real restaurants where locals dine.



2017  *PRICE $4760 for a couple composed of one adult and one child (pay by check and save $238)

one additional adult *$1135 (pay by check and save $56)

one additional child *$1035 (pay by check and save $51)

*Prices are based on a single shared room: larger families will need to contact us for prices as rooms only accommodate up to four people. Price does not include airfare or transportation to the hotel, three dinners or "add-ons" noted in the itinerary below.

Paris Family Tour: Museum of Modern Art

At Sojourner Tours we believe Paris is better with kids. We design each family tour to enable you to effortlessly discover (or rediscover) this extraordinary city as a family. Unlike the majority of misleadingly titled “family” tours that claim to be for travelers “with” children but then focus mainly on the children, Sojourner Tours addresses the dual needs of you, the adult, and your children. Sojourner Tours owner, Lisa understands that a good family trip involves a simple balance of strategically condensed adult pleasures interspersed with child-centered activities.

Paris Family Tour: Jardin Luxembourg

Each day contains kid-tested activities enhanced with information drawn from the owners' educational, professional and Franco-American backgrounds to make your vacation the rich, meaningful exploration of the local culture and history for you and your children.  Sojourner Tours' goal when designing family itineraries is that even frequent visitors to the city will leave feeling that being with children deeply improved their trip.

Family tours are also designed with economy in mind and includes the opportunities to splurge. You'll notice that there are several "add on" options over the course of the week and there are three dinners when you choose exactly where and when you want to eat and if you want to splurge.




Family Paris Tour: the Eiffel Tower
  • A Fancy meal atop the Eiffel Tower
  • A Dinner Cruise on the Seine to see the city alight at night
  • A visit to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa
  • Rooftops views of Paris from atop Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur.
  • Parks, playgrounds and unusual museums with interactive features



 Lisa Gustavson (the owner, founder and CEO of Sojourner Tours who is also a part-time professor of French at Southwestern University) and Francis Mathieu  (co-owner of Sojourner Tours and tenured French professor at Southwestern University). Lisa and Francis are the parents of two Franco-American boys born in 2005 and 2008.

CLICK HERE to read more about how your guides met and decided to start Sojourner Tours.

After a decade of summers in Paris with my children, I firmly believe that Paris is the most child-friendly city in the world (along with Tokyo). However, the first summer I spent in Paris with a toddler was a nightmare... I didn’t know parks were hidden behind walls and hedges: I thought they simply didn’t exist! And, I had even less clue how to navigate the public transportation system with a stroller! That is why I personally design each family sojourn itinerary: I love the rhythm of exploring the city with children and I want to share that magic with you.
— Lisa (Sojourner Tours Founder, Owner & Guide)



Arrive in Paris, "The Center of the Universe"

Family Paris Tour



AFTERNOON:  Upon arrival, you can settle into your room in the centrally located hotel where you'll be staying with the other tour participants. While other guests are still arriving, you can start to explore Paris on your own or relax at the hotel.

RECEPTION & DINNER: Join us in the hotel dining room to celebrate the beginning of your tour French-style with a typical apéritif with playful activities to get the children excited about the upcoming Parisian adventures and a laid-back tapas-style meal with lots of fun finger food to try.



 Physical challenge: 2-3 miles of city walking

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual”

Family Paris Tour

9:00 am Meet in the Hotel Salon, located between the reception hall and the dining area.

MORNING: When the children are at their freshest and most engaged, we’ll head to the Louvre where we’ll break into groups for a themed scavenger hunt that will keep the children engaged and excited to explore the museum and find particular works of art. They’ll catch sight of the gigantic Ferris Wheel where you’ll end today’s stroll.

Following the museum, we’ll stroll through the Royal Palace courtyard so the children can have a chance to run around and stretch their legs climbing on the contemporary art columns, les Colonnes de Buren, while you stroll around the courtyard or window-shop in the luxury stores.

LUNCH: You’ll have lunch in a typical French bistro in an atypical location. We’ll reserve a table on the terrace of a charming 19th century covered pedestrian shopping passage so that the children have the freedom to play safely in the mosaic corridor near the table while you have a leisurely lunch.

EARLY AFTERNOON: Following lunch, you’ll stroll past the former French Stock Exchange Building and through a small network of little known covered passages to the Grands Boulevards, Napoleon III’s legacy to the city.  The children will go with one guide to a covered passage we might call “the kingdom of toys” because of its plethora of children’s specialty shops where your children will get a souvenir and then head to a video arcade to play while they wait for the rest of the adults to return. You’ll have three options:

1.      Accompany the children.

2.      Continue your guided tour of covered passages and Grands Boulevards with your other guide. The covered passages were predecessor to the department store.

3.      Explore the Grand Boulevards at your own pace.

Paris Family Tour Printemps
Family Paris Tour The Louvre: Mona Lisa

MIDAFTERNOON: Your group will head toward the spectacular Opèra Garnier together where you’ll have two options:

1.      Join the children who are headed to the Fragonard perfume shop where they can learn a bit about the history of perfumery in two Napoleonic Town Houses and have an ice cream at a shop where each flavor your child chooses will be a petal of their ice-cream flower.

2.     Take a guided tour of the Opèra Garnier, which is referred to as the “French Palace” (ADD-ON : €14/ adult, 11,5 €/child)

LATE AFTERNOON The group will meet back up on the roof top of one of two of the world’s first department stores for views of the city and a refreshing drink. Or you can opt for one of Angelina’s famous hot chocolates on the first floor of the store before joining the group on the roof. You’ll have an hour to explore the shop with your family. Then you’ll stroll with the group down to the Madeleine Church where we’ll stop to buy some things for a picnic dinner in luxury shops like Fauchon and Harrods, where the children will enjoy sampling honey from various different plants in a specialty shop and buying a ball at a sports shop while you have a little time to browse on your own or peek in the Madeleine church. Your group will stroll back through the Tuilleries garden toward the Ferris Wheel stopping at a playground where the children can play and use their new ball so you can enjoy one of these options:

1.      Visit the Place Vendome

2.       Browse in an English bookstore.

Then, it’s the moment the children have been waiting for: you’ll ride the Giant Ferris Wheel and see out over Paris.

EARLY DINNER We’ll try to find a spot near the large fountain to picnic where your children can enjoy a traditional French game of pushing wooden boats.

Family Paris Tour Palais Royale



Physical challenge: 2-3 miles of city walking

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual”

9:00am Meet in the Hotel Salon.

MORNING: You’ll arrive at the Sacré Coeur Basilica before the big crowds and head up to the roof where your children can get an up-close view of the gargoyles and sweeping views of the city. Next you’ll have a choice:

1.      Ride the Petit Train with the children to take a narrated visit of Montmartre while the kids enjoy the fun ride

2.      Head out with the other guide for a walking tour of Monmartre and pick up some pastries for the group at one of France’s best pastry chef’s boutique.

Both groups will meet back up in a small neighborhood playground well –hidden behind a stone wall just behind Sacré Coeur.

LUNCH: While Place du Tertre draws throngs of people to its tourist-trap bistros, you’ll be slipping away from the crowds to the little known residential area behind the hill where you’ll eat in a neighborhood bistro that is popular with Parisian families.

Paris Family Tour Montmartre
Paris Family Tour

AFTERNOON: Your family will have two options this afternoon:

1.      Stay in Monmartre. First you’ll stroll over to a large neighborhood park with one of your guides to eat the pastries and have some serious time to play. Then you’ll have free time to explore the area on your own.

2.    Hop in the Metro with your other guide to take the children to the hands-on Museum of Science. You’ll enjoy the Pastries on the lawn of the Villette Park right outside the museum. (ADD-ON : €12/ adult, 7 €/child) 

DINNER: You will be free to select your own restaurant for dinner (your guide will be happy to make recommendations).

Paris Family Tour Sacre Coeur



Very light physical challenge: 2-3 miles of city walking

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual”

10:00am Meet in the Hotel Salon

MORNING: You’ll begin the day in Paris’ History Museum. The History Museum is housed in a mansion with a splendid inner courtyard. You’ll have a few options:

1.      Take a guided highlights tour of the museum with one of your guides,

2.      Explore the museum at your own pace with your family,

3.      Skip the museum to explore this shopping district neighborhood at your own pace with your family.

LUNCH: Today you’ll have street food for lunch. You are spending the day where the aristocracy lived in the 17th century; part of which is now one of Paris’ Jewish neighborhoods, so naturally you’ll want to try the city’s best falafels or a kabab! You’ll take your sandwich over to a playground to eat so the children can play once they’ve finished eating.

Family Paris Tour the Marais
Paris Family Tour Notre Dame
Family Paris Tour The Marais

AFTERNOON:  After lunch, you’ll pop in one of the 17th century manors to see how the aristocrats lived on your way to the Place des Vosges where the children will play in a small playground while you have the option of visiting Victor Hugo’s house museum or popping in the boutiques around the square.

Next, your guide will take you on an insider’s stroll through a hidden passage a little known square for an afternoon snack where the children will have space to run around. Then you’ll go to a somewhat secret antique village where you’ll have the choice of browsing on your own or accompanying the children to the interactive museum of automatons and magic.

LATE AFTERNOON: You’ll walk past medieval timber-frame houses through another secluded city square and over the bridges to the islands which were the initial settlements that eventually grew into Paris. The Ile St Louis is home to Paris’ most renowned ice cream maker so you’ll have the surprise of a mini scoop with maximum flavor to enjoy as you stroll over to Notre Dame. Right behind the Cathedral, we’ll take a break for the children to run around in the garden. Then we’ll head to the front of the Cathedral to find the central point of the entire country of France from whence all distances are measured.  Finally we’ll ascend to the top of the towers for sweeping views of Paris.

The rest of the afternoon is free time so you’ll have time to visit the inside of the Cathedral with your family at your own pace or wander around the Latin Quarter where lots of restaurants and street vendors are located.

DINNER: You will be free to select your own restaurant for dinner (your guide will be happy to make recommendations).



 Very light physical challenge: 2-3 miles of city walking.

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual”

10:00am Meet in the Hotel Salon

MORNING: Starting at the Arts & Métiers Museum, you’ll pop in the chapel to see the Foucault pendulum and the flying machines suspended from the chapel ceiling. 

LUNCH: You’ll stroll over to the Marché des Enfants Rouges for an early lunch, stopping briefly to play at a playground on the way. This market is positively bustling with locals at lunch time so we’ll be sure to arrive before the crowds.

EARLY AFTERNOON: The group will stroll over to the surprisingly fun and child-friendly Museum of Hunting and Nature. You can choose to:

1.      Join the children to wander through the artistically designed interactive museum where they can pull open drawers.

2.      Spend a bit of time exploring the newly restored manor that houses the Picasso museum with your other guide. (ADD-ON : €12,5/ adult, free child)

3.      Explore the neighborhood on your own.

Take a quick peek in the mansion that houses the National Archives as you stroll over to the park near the doll museum where you’ll meet back up with the children.

Family Paris Tour The Pompidou Center
Paris Family Tour the Marais
Family Paris Sojourn The Marais

LATE AFTERNOON: It’s time for ice cream! Choose as many flavors as you want in an Italian gelato shop that will transform each scoop into the petal of an ice cream flower atop your cone. We’ll enjoy it sitting on the side of the playful Stravinsky fountain. 

FREE TIME: You’ll have family time to visit the Pompidou Art Museum (ADD-ON : €14/ adult, free child), explore the neighborhood, or stroll over to the Chatelet park and shopping district.

DINNER: You will be free to select your own restaurant for dinner (your guide will be happy to make recommendations).



Very light physical challenge: 2-3 miles of city walking

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual”

MORNING: Free time until 11:00.

11:00am Meet in the Hotel Salon

Arrive at a permanent market street which you’ll stroll down on your way to the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was designed as part of the World Fair and today your family will see the sights around the tower in the spirit of the fair for which it was built. First, you’ll stop at a playground near the tower so the kids can get the wiggles out before their fabulous sit down lunch.

LUNCH: This is the big moment! You'll go in the restaurant's private elevator (skipping the lines!) to the very top of the tower for a three course meal in the fancy Jules Vernes Restaurant !

Paris Family Tour Eiffel Tower
Family Paris Tour Eiffel Tower
Family Paris Tour Eiffel Tower

AFTERNOON: After lunch on your way down the tower, your family can stop  on the second and first platform to explore  and enjoy the views at your own pace.  You’ll meet back up with the group at the carousel near the Seine River. The group will have a drink together in a little known museum café with the best views overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Then the group will split up, your family can choose to:

1.      Visit the Museum of Architecture

2.      Visit the Maritime Museum

3.      Visit the Aquarium (ADD-ON : €27/ adult, 16 €/child)

You’ll meet back up with the group in a small playground. From there, the group will stroll down to the beautiful garden of the Fashion Museum where the children can run a bit. Then your group will take a pedestrian bridge over to Paris’ new and greatly adored Quai Branly Museum of Tribal Artifacts. Visit the museum at your own pace with your family or join the guides who have prepared a treasure hunt to engross the tired children in the displays of this marvelous museum.

FAREWELL DINNER: For the final evening in Paris, a special treat is awaiting the children, they’ll stay up late for an evening dinner cruise on the Seine River to see the city of lights one last time from the water: you’ll cruise back past the Louvre and Notre Dame while also discovering new sights.



Family Paris Tour

Breakfast at the hotel.

Departure.   “Bon Voyage!”