Wednesday, September 12, 2012

les Petits | things to do with kids in Paris

Paris is a great city for kids. We could have planned our entire vacation around activities for Ezra, but that would have been a bit much. Instead, each day we did something for us (the Louvre, for example) and then something that we knew Ezra would enjoy. Here are a few of our favorites...

- la Grande Galerie de l'√Čvolution - within the Jardin des Plantes, this museum has loads of animals to look at. I liked it even better than a zoo because you can get super close to the (fake) animals, but they're very lifelike.
- Centre Pompidou - Paris's modern art museum. After walking through the main exhibit areas we spent some time in the children's section. The current exhibit was about the funny words kids say before they can pronounce the actual word (for example, Ezra says "mout" but he means "milk"). You could go into a booth with your family and talk about the words your kid says (or your child could recall something they used to say) that are funny and then be added to the exhibit.
- Le 104 - on the outskirts of Paris but worth getting to. It's a cool exhibition space that has a (free!) play space for children called La Maison des Petits, which was like a combination of a children's museum and the child development center where I worked when I was in college. One of the current exhibits there was a giant cardboard labyrinth that we walked through, and there were also breakdancers practicing everywhere. Unexpected and definitely not an official part of Le 104, but fun to watch for a while.
- Deyrolle - amazing taxidermy store that is more like a museum than a shop. Picture yourself standing right next to a giant stuffed polar bear and you have the general idea.
In addition to the larger gardens around Paris like the Tuileries and the Luxembourg, there are little parks everywhere. We stopped almost every time we found one to give Ezra a chance to run around and ourselves a chance to sit down. Square Paul Langevin was a particularly nice one (located on the corner of rue des Ecoles and rue Monge) where we spent the better part of an afternoon one day. Also, metro rides function as transportation of course, but they're also great entertainment for a toddler. Ezra loved putting the ticket in the machine, counting down the stops, and sitting in the fold down seats or hanging onto the pole while we rode. If you're headed to Paris with children, be sure to check out this book, as it lists places to go along with nearby family friendly restaurant recommendations. If you're questioning going to Paris (or any foreign city) with your child, just do it! It was definitely worth it and I'm so glad we went. One more post coming next week on the typical tourist things we did while we were there...


  1. They fly free under two years old. That's a minor perk.

  2. That first picture of Ezra is just adorable!


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