Infinite possibilities - Paris
November 27, 2012 6:12 AM   Subscribe

Any special must sees for a whistle stop 48 hour tour of Paris with a 5 year old and 3 year old?

I am taking my kids to Paris this weekend as consider travel is good for them at this age. Other than the obvious (Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame etcetera) are there any good places to take them? I am a little worried about the weather at the moment. Also unsure of eating out with them and art galleries? Any child-friendly recomendations? We are staying near Place d'Italie. Finally, my daughter is a huge Madeline fan and although I have found a DIY walking tour suggestion - if anyone knows of any shops that sell merchandise I would be forever in your debt.
posted by numberstation to Travel & Transportation around Paris, France (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
There is the worlds best hot chocolate across the street from the louvre: Cafe Angelina.
posted by shothotbot at 6:35 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

wow. so many options. you might consider having lunch at the Musée d'Orsay. If I recall correctly, the backside of the big clock is near the cafeteria area.

When I travel with my kids I try to vist things that will create memories. I think that clock might be memorable for little ones.

have fun.

edit window FTW!
posted by bricksNmortar at 6:38 AM on November 27, 2012

The bateaux mouche are always fun. Bonus points at night -- the lights on the Eiffel Tower right next door to the docks are sparkling and a lot of the city along the Seine is lit up.

Also, we went last December (between christmas and new year's) and the mayor of Paris had set up an array of free merry-go-rounds, ranging from giant to tiny & toddler friendly, all around the town. You might google around and see if that's started up yet. If yes, I do remember that the one in front of St. Sulpice was particularly tiny and would be well-suited for small kids.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:24 AM on November 27, 2012

The refurbished Tuilleries (sp?) are really great, and there are places to walk/run as well as playground/amusement park aspects. Not sure how the weather affects this, but if it's even half decent there are often outdoor vendors too.

If you walk along the Champ Elisees, you can probably stop for hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant somewhere with views of both the Arc d' Triumph and the crazy modern echo of same. Might be enough to impress the 5-year-old, at least.

Good luck! Tough to make anything stick at that age. My daughter's strongest recollection of a visit to Switzerland was riding places on the train, so you might find they thrill to a Metro ride as much as anything. Come out someplace new -- magic! :)
posted by acm at 7:35 AM on November 27, 2012

Kids love boats! Would the kids be able to handle a boat cruise on the Seine? You could do something like Batobus where you can do short hops on the boat and get to some sights. There are longer cruises (like 45 min to an hour) but that might be too long for them.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:03 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Off of Champs Elysee: 11 Rue de Bari, is "Dragons Elysee" a competent Chinese Restaurant with an! aquarium! floor! Carp and turtles swimming around under your feet! Go for lunch (not as crowded), our kids really dug it.

With the kids to get around we took the bus because it's easy and you can still gawk out the windows.

Centre Pompidou and the street buskers outside. The rest of the street scene there can be kind of a mess but the museum is comfortable, there's also a cool video art corner which is chill. Seek out William Wegman videos.

Musee du Que Branly is also supposed to be terrific but I have to confess we never got there.

From this and other trips with the kids to 'Big Cities' we've found do maybe one thing in the morning, one in the afternoon at most. Go easy, look to have one cool experience (whatever it is, either the ferris wheel at Pl. de la Concorde or feeding pigeons or whatever) per day. Getting around with kids is a lot, for all parties concerned.

I'm afraid I don't know any specific 'Madeline' oriented stores.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:09 AM on November 27, 2012

Your children are pretty young but exactly the right age, on a nice day, for the Luxembourg Gardens. There you'll find pony rides, a hand-cranked merry-go-round, a place where you can rent colorful sailboats to sail on the small ponds. There's are two lovely little buildings where you can get your hot chocolate. Best of all, on Saturday there are performances at the marionette theater--right near the playground, carousel, and one of the little indoor cafés. To me visiting "les Jardins" with a child is like stepping into a magical children's book.
posted by Elsie at 9:15 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

We always enjoyed the Pompidou Center
posted by bq at 9:38 AM on November 27, 2012

From our trip with kids at similar ages a few years ago I would echo From Bklyn about not doing too much, perhaps particularly on a short trip. Also, we found it pretty unpredictable what would catch their attention, and it was typically not the big things that impress adults, so in a way I wouldn't worry too much about specifically what you see. Just do a few fun things.

I would second the Batobus though - you can do a good trip through the centre from say the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame and see lots of cool sights.
posted by crocomancer at 1:52 PM on November 27, 2012

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