When we started the “week in” section of our site, it was an attempt to not be so Berkeley-focused. If you’re not our neighbors, there are still a ton of great options that are better than wiping someone’s tushy, right?
We’re so happy to share another one in Europe — where neither of us has (yet) been with our children — Emilie from BabyCCINO shares with us her favorite activities in Paris! Emilie has one young daughter, Coco, and is expecting a second baby this month.
As soon as I can get my passport together, I’ve got to get on a plane and meet these fun women.
Take a walk in the Tuileries Gardens. They have trampolines (for kids over 2), and a merry-go-round situated in the middle of the gardens. Try to go before 4pm as this is the time school finishes and the parks get packed. Go for a hot chocolate at Angelina’s (226 rue de Rivoli). Rumour has it, that this is the best hot chocolate in the Northern Hemisphere….
Treat yourself to a spot of shopping on one of the shopping hotspots of Paris, rue des Franc Bourgeois and rue Veille du Temple in the Marais. Around these streets are numerous little parks (place des Vosges and parc Royale) so you can let the kids have a quick play in-between shops! Go for lunch at Le loir dans la Théière also in the Marais (3 rue des rosiers 75004 Paris Tél. : 01.42.72.90.61).
Ironically all the antique highchairs there are purely for decoration, but it is a really kid-friendly place with big leather sofas. Nobody rushes you, even if there is a huge queue in front of the door (and the lemon tarte is something to behold– its meringue topping must be at least 15 cm high)!
Head over to the Jardin des Plantes the botanical gardens in Paris. La Menagerie is a little old-fashioned Zoo inside the park. It is very cute and has all the animals kids could possibly want to see. The café inside is decent and very good with kids. In true French style you can order anything… from a croque monsieur to escargot! If it is raining, the Natural History Museum is also in the same park. It is maybe not the most impressive stuffed-animal museum of all times, but definitely worth a look.
Go to a local market like the Bastille market on boulevard Richard Lenoir in the morning. If you can’t get there in time, find one of the many other morning markets throughout the city on another day. Market times are posted here.
One of my favourite markets is the marche d’Aligre in the 12th, which has beautiful flower and fruit and vegetable stalls. It is surrounded by cafes, if you feel like you need a break. It is also a great place to take kids as there is always a kind market stall guy who wants to give away a cherry tomato, a Clementine or even a ballon.
If you need to stock up on clothes for the kids, some of the best kids clothing and toy stores in Paris are concentrated on the rue Vavin and the rue Brea in the 6th, just south of the Luxembourg gardens. Petit Bateau have a lovely shop there as do DPAM and Jacadi, and there are lots of individual children boutiques. After that you can go to the playground in the Luxembourg Gardens, which is one of the best playgrounds in Paris. There are swings for bigger kids, and the highlight for all the kids are the sailboats you can rent at the fountain, which you push around with sticks.
Make your way over to the bois de Vincennes. It is a beautiful park/woods on the outside of Paris but in easy reach by metro (line 1). You can rent little boats to row around the lake and there is a little city farm, which is worth visiting especially in the spring when all the animals have just had their babies. The playground in the Parc Floral is huge and great for all ages.
One More thing you can always do is take your kids to Disney Paris