Paris with a toddler {part un}

Monday, June 30, 2014

Last month we took a great trip to Paris.  We've been a few times before (check out my posts recapping trips in 2007 and 2012) so there was no pressure to run around all over the place checking off a punch list.  We enjoyed Paris the way its probably best to be enjoyed - by strolling all over the city, browsing markets, eating amazing food and just having a great time.

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Obviously traveling with a toddler does come with a slightly heavier suitcase (yes, we share one suitcase for all three of us) and a lot less flexibility but it was wonderful to see one of my favorite places in a whole new way.  We spent a lot of time in the endless parks that dot Paris and had a lot more picnics.  No fancy dinners of course but we found the Parisians to be very family friendly.

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So enough blabbing...on to the photos with a few of our favorite stops on this trip.

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The parks!  We hit them hard. The Tulleries which not only has beautiful gardens and a playground but also a trampoline park and carousel was right near our hotel so we were in there almost everyday. We also happened into the Jardin de Luxembourg several times as we walked past it on our travels.  And who can forget the Champ de Mars which spreads out right in front of the Eiffel tower.  Of course the tower is mobbed by tourists but the park never feels full. We caught several free open air concerts in the parks near Notre Dame as well. Even lovelier than these very well known parks were the surprise parks and playgrounds that we ran into at almost every turn.  Each had beautifully manicured trees, blooming flowers, plenty of place to run and benches to rest.  Total cost for all of this was absolutely zero dollars and zero cents (except for the carousels which were a few euros but well worth it!).  That kind of deal is pretty hard to come by in Paris!

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The markets! We skipped the puces this year in favor of closer local food markets. Yes, they are crowded but not so bad we couldn't maneuver our stroller. This time we hit Marche Bastille, Marche Moufftard and Monge.  We feasted on fresh strawberries and bread, Agatha enjoyed taking in the new sites and smells and we all had a generally great time.

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Viva la prix! Last but not least, I spent at least 3% of our trip shopping at Monoprix and Franprix.  Monoprix is a chain of stores that sell pretty much everything but food including housewares, toiletries, and most importantly some of the most adorable baby clothing you are going to find at a reasonable price in Paris. I love that place. Franprix is the main chain of small supermarkets where you can stock up on all your favorite snacks as well as score some great souvenirs at a great price.

This post is quite long enough already so I'll be back tomorrow with a few more photos (including our family portraits!) and travel suggestions.  Any questions, just ask.

15 comments:

  1. lovely pictures! that sounds like a fun way to see Paris--through the eyes of a child! My friend is traveling with her 2nd grader this summer, so I shared this with her. I imagine she'll add in some museums/galleries.

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    1. Once you get to that age, its a totally different ball game. There are even more things to enjoy together like book stores and child friendly walking tours as well. Around that age seems like the perfect age for travel actually.

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  2. Do you know Lauren from Aspiring Kennedy blog? She posted something similar today, and I think you'd like her blog quite a lot.

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    1. Yes, I love her. She would be a much better expert since she is actually living abroad but I didn't bring a high chair and didn't miss it so I'd disagree on that point but the rest of her tips are great.

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  3. Not running around to check off punch list is the best type of trip to a city like Paris! Love all the photos you took!

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  4. Great photos! I love the one of you and Agatha on the carousel with the tower. Looks like a lovely little trip.

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  5. What a wonderful trip for all of you!

    This is random, but has Monoprix changed in recent years? I swear we used to get groceries there when I studied in Cannes. That was in 1997, so my memory may be wrong.

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    1. Maybe the Monoprix outside of Paris have food as well? Or maybe I just totally missed the area with the food in all of my pitstops? I was pretty focused on the kids clothing. I got the impression Franprix and Monoprix were two parts of the same company but I could be wrong about that.

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    2. All Monoprix have a food department. There are very few Monoprix stores outside cities, they really are down-town type stores. Franprix are really cheaper food wise and are also mostly find in the heart of cities. I don't think they belong to the same company though. I'm French and ex-Parisian, I really enjoy your posts about Paris by the way, you really get the spirit of the city !

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  6. How wonderful that you're getting photos of Agatha with all the big landmarks! She's going to have one fantastic show and tell some day.

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  7. Would love to see a post on how two adults and one baby travel with only one suitcase! I think my greatest fear of traveling with a little one is hauling all the gear people tell you you need, plus a healthy suitcase for yourself!

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    1. If you were to open our suitcase it would be pretty messy so not sure if its something too many people would want to see but we just limit ourselves to a few outfits that mix and match (and then do laundry if needed) Since our bag is at least 20% diapers, there is plenty of room as those get depleted to pack souvenirs.

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  8. Loved Paris alone and with the babies and EVEN when their ages were 13,15 and 17. All different and all wonderful :)
    mickey

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  9. Lovely photos! Sounds like a wonderful trip :) Love Paris - now and forever!
    Upholstery cleaners Chelsea

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  10. The Monoprix in the Marais (Rue de Rivoli) has a nice grocery section downstairs in the basement. Their clothing and sundries section is on the first floor. (This is a response to Jeannine's question).

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