I mentioned a while back that after running the Paris marathon we stayed in Paris for 4 days and did some sightseeing with the kids. It was the first time we’d taken the kids with us to Paris so it was a totally different experience this time.
Many people have asked me what we got up to and how Paris is to visit with kids, so here’s a little summary of our time there.
We mostly walked around a lot and continuously pointed out things to the boys. Half of the time they got into the sightseeing, half of the time they asked questions like “What are we doing??”, “Where are we going?”, “What do you mean we’re just walking?!?!”
We stopped often and just let them goof around. The above photo was taken in front of the Notre Dame. I was worried that after these antics they would not be able to be silent inside the church but they both were quiet as mice once we got inside. The little one even asked me in a whisper “Can I talk now?” once we were out again.
Little boys love the gargoyles of Notre Dame and there’s a little playground right behind the church.
Looking at the back of Notre Dame, the playground is on the right (under those trees there).
On one of the days we went up to the Monmatre. The church on top of the hill did not impress the kids but they loved walking up the stairs to it (pretending to be climbing a mountain).
We had a picnic lunch on top of the hill and the kids ran around in a little park there, chasing pigeons or each other. There was a huge multistory pigeon house there that provided much entertainment.
I took this photo near the amphitheatre that was used to hold gladiatorial combats, Arènes de Lutèce. There is actually a large plaground just to the left of the scene but for some reason I didn’t take a photo of it, I must have found the buildings more exciting :). The playground is very large and great fun for the kids, the gladiators’ arena is also fascinating for little boys.
From there we wondered on to the Jardin des Plantes, found some giant acorns, a great maze and beautiful big gardens to run around in.
The Eiffel Tower fascinated them both and they loved to look around from wherever we were in the city to see if they could spot it in the distance. My 5-year old was too scared to go up, but the older one went half way (the stairs is the way to go, the lift queue is way too long).
On the last day we went to the Catacombs under Paris. That was not something I personally enjoyed (and I don’t want to put photos of bones on my blog) but unfortunately little boys are into creepy stuff and found the hour long walk under the city of Paris very fascinating.
In general we spent about half of every day sightseeing and half of it at a playground and/or eating ice cream. The playgrounds were initially not easy to find as Paris does not seem to have many parks and playgrounds in the suburbs.
Here are the playgrounds that we did find:
- In Jardin Villemin, near Chateu d’Eau & Gare de l’Est metro stations
– A bit boring for my 9 year old but the 5-year old had a lot of fun.
- In Jardin des Halles, near Les Halles metro station
– This one has separate playgrounds for under 7s and then for 7-11s but note that the 7-11s one is only for kids, parents are not allowed in (we didn’t dare to drop our oldest off on his own so we skipped this one).
- In Parc du Champ-de-Mars, near the Eiffel tower
– Nice one for kids of all age.
- In Jardin des Tuileries, near the Louvre
– Small playground but has a great net climbing tunnel that keeps the kids happy for a long time and has nice reclining ‘beach’ chairs for the parents to chill out in the meanwhile.
Also, since my oldest son is gluten intolerant were very happy when we found a little gluten free shop near the apartment where we were staying. We stocked up on bagels and bread a couple of times, the bagels were the best gluten free bagels I’ve every tried. The shop is called La Maison du sans gluten (12, rue d’Hauteville – 75010 Paris).
After four days in Paris, we spent 2 days in Disneyland. Space Mountain was NOT as much fun as I remember it being when I first/last tried it in 1994! 😐 Should I do a photo report / review of Eurodisney or would that be too boring?? Let me know 🙂