The first friend Walden made at his new school was a boy who recently returned from a trip to Paris. Not that they talked about their experiences in Paris while playing pretend blasters, but having been to Paris was cool enough for the teachers to share that tidbit with me.
Visiting Paris with two small children was far from romantic in the traditional sense (as in, there was no eating lobster with champagne and creme brulee at midnight), but it was a great time. Paris is a lovely city, full of remarkable architecture and charm at nearly every turn.
Our time in Paris in May was fairly child-oriented. Having already toured the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay on our honeymoon, we chose to structure our days to make the visit fun for them. We planned walks around areas we wanted to see during times when they needed to rest. It was exhausting but nice.
1. Luxembourg Gardens
This beautiful park is a classic. We didn’t sail boats or inspect all of the statues, but we did very thoroughly explore its magnificent play ground. There is a (small, worthy) fee to enter. Totally worth it.
2. Ice Cream Under the Eiffel Tower
Truth be told, we visited Paris mostly to show Walden the Eiffel Tower. He learned of it in a Justin Time episode and thought it would be SO COOL to go there. Then he got a giant chocolate ice cream cone and it really was the best.
3. La Cite des Enfants
It’s a bit of a train ride to the city’s Science & Industry Museum, but if you’re looking for something super-exciting for the kids, it’s worthwhile. Cité des Enfants is a turbo-charged, concentrated children’s museum-style play area inside the Science Museum. Tickets are available for 90-minute time slots. While having a set ending time might be good for some families’ extraction plans, we had to drag (DRAAAAG) a screaming Walden away when the time was up. Water play, role play, construction play; play with gravity and sound and light; there was so much to do and it was all SO FUN.
4. Lock Bridge
Talk about good timing (for us, at least). For years lovebirds from around the world have inscribed their names onto padlocks and attached them to the Pont des Arts footbridge before throwing the key into the Seine. Sadly, SO MANY locks have been placed on the bridge that the weight caused the railing to collapse in June. Now the city will remove grills from bridges that are adorned with these “love locks” to prevent a fatal accident from a future collapse (though they aren’t banning the act of placing them there in the first place). It was quite the sight when we had the chance, and Walden enjoyed finding the quirky locks in the collection.
5. Nutella Crepes
I mean come on. You’re in Paris. Why not? We found fast and friendly-enough service at Les Deux Palais, not far from Notre Dame, for our afternoon pick-me-up. What a treat!
Have you been to Paris with small children? What did you love to do?