Paris with Two Kids

If you have been reading for a while, you know how much we love Paris. We have gone many times over the years and our affection for this amazing city knows no bounds. Last month we returned with 2 littles in tow and had a wonderful time just as Paris was transforming itself into a fall wonderland. Here are some of my favorite moments from our few days there.





As with other trips, we went out of our way to find an apartment to stay in. With kids having a washer/dryer allows us to pack lighter (1 suitcase for all four of us) and having 2 bedrooms means everyone sleeps much sounder. Not to mention that having a kitchen allows us to hit local food markets and enjoy a few meals in. Sometimes it's worth the trade off of not having a concierge or other amenities you find at a hotel to have all of those extras.  I almost always find these apartments or apartment style hotels using Booking.com. Don't ask me why other hotel sites don't do as good of a job at finding these accommodations but it's my go to source.


This time we tried someplace new - The Residence Charles Floquet.  It was located in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and had the most amazing view of the light show every night. It also happened to have a gorgeous sitting and dining room complete with French doors and chevron floors which were pretty sweet. The apartment wasn't perfect - there were issues with the heat and we had a hard time getting a reply to our questions from the staff - but we loved our stay nonetheless.  It was a splurge but I don't think we will forget our evenings with the doors flung open anytime soon.




It always shocks me when someone says Paris isn't child friendly because our experiences are just the opposite.  Paris is chock full of child friendly activities that are integrated perfectly with everyday life.  Unlike in the US where doing something family friendly generally means trekking to a specific activity that can be adult torture, Paris will have little surprise activities that are perfect for small kid attention spans.  Like the pop up "race track" in Champ de Mars that had rental push and pedal cars that could be rented for a few euros and the kids could race around a impromptu track. We stumbled upon this quite by accident (despite having been to that park many times over the years) and the kids love it.  Or more permanent fixtures like the wooden boat rentals and puppet theater in the Luxembourg Gardens or the trampoline park in the Tuileries.  That says nothing for the carousels and excellent playgrounds that are spread all over the city. 



Of course going to Paris is not complete without strolling at their street markets.  We try to hit different ones each time we go and always find a new treat to enjoy. For the most part we walk everywhere rather than dragging a stroller up and down the metro steps. Paris is large but very walkable.  Because we are on foot, we have a lot of opportunities to enjoy the view.  We walk and eat our way through the streets each time.



The Jardin d' Acclimation had been recommended to us several times before but we never had made it out there before this trip. We are so glad we finally took the suggestion. It's the most adorable theme park for little kids. We spent the whole day there and could have easily spent more time. There are lovely gardens, great little rides that won't scare even the smallest children, a charming cafĂ© and a wonderful natural playground that the kids went crazy for. There is also an aviary (I'm sharing this super unflattering photo of myself so you can be warned that those birds WILL land on your head! I had no idea. Be prepared.)










Of course we had to make it back to our favorite guilty pleasure restaurant: Relais de l’EntrecĂ´te.  A restaurant that has just one thing on the menu - steak frites cooked in some kind of mystery buttery green sauce that is a favorite for the whole family.  We got there early and waited on line before they opened so we could be seated in the first round. Despite a rather crowded dining room, they allowed us to bring sleeping Oscar into the restaurant in the stroller which was an absolute life saver.  It allowed the 3 of us to have a nice meal before he awoke and then he had his dinner.  Once again, Paris surprises me with their kindness to little kids.




A trip to Paris isn't complete without some colorful macarons.  We stopped by Angelina (whether they top Laduree is still in question for us) to have the kids pick out a couple and then let Oscar enjoy his very first macaron not far from where Aggie did the same a few years ago. 









To end the trip we had some family portraits done by our favorite expat family photographer, Katie Donnelly. I'll share those at another time.



We had such a fabulous trip - we can't wait to return!  We have quite a few family trips planned next year and this experience makes me even more excited about it. Hope this post is helpful for those planning their own trips to Paris. If you have questions, feel free to drop a comment below.

5 comments:

  1. Once again, I'm sending this to my husband to show him that we.can.take.the.kids.to.europe.!! :-) It's exciting to hear you will all be traveling more often! I miss babies, but getting out of the infant stage with all the STUFF is nice too - I'm going to go ahead and assume this is why there are more trips coming up!

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    1. Yes you definitely can! They slept everyday til 10am because of the jet lag. That alone was worth it.

      Can’t say I miss the little babies much. I kinda like when they are little people. Ha!

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    2. Funnily enough, the idea of toddlers sleeping until 10am might actually be the thing that makes my husband agree! I like having little people around too - which is why I want to travel with them!

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  2. I’m traveling to Paris with 2 friends (we're in our 60’s) in early March. I’m very interested in the place where you stayed and I’ve read your trip advisor review. In spite of the problems you had with heat, you would stay there again? It was clean, well appointed, obviously a great location, etc? We would need a 3 bedroom but would LOVE that view!

    Thanks so much. LOVE your blog!
    Kathy

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    1. Yes it was all of those things so I would have no problem recommending a stay there. As long as you know the service isn’t stellar, you will not be disappointed otherwise. Make sure you pay for a superior apartment on the high floors to ensure the view.

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