European Travel with Kids: Paris, France

By Kate |

The past couple weeks have been a major whirlwind for our family. It’s gone a little something like this: week in London, family visiting from the States, travel to Bruges and Keukenhof and girls family trip to Paris. Phew, I’m tired just typing about it. I hope to share photos from each of our adventures, but today I’m excited to share my favorite pictures from our trip to Paris.

My mom, sister, niece, daughter and I hopped on the high-speed train from Germany to Paris. It zooms through the countryside at 200 miles per hour, making the trip a short two and a half hours. After dropping our bags at our hotel our first stop was the Eiffel Tower. My five year old has been talking about seeing the Eiffel Tower for years and she was so excited to see it in person.

Eiffel Tower

We spent hours just hanging around the base of the tower, playing in the flowers, riding the carousel and picnicking in the grass.

Flower Petals at the Eiffel TowerFlowers at the Eiffel TowerKate and Ellie at Eiffel TowerFamily at TowerCrawling at Eiffel Tower

Afterwards, we walked to Rue Cler to shop and get a snack. It’s such a neat area, and actually where I stayed when I visited Paris last year. We people watched while drinking champagne (the big girls) and eating macarons (all the girls).

Macarons in Paris

We got back to our hotel late and anxiously waited for the top of the hour to watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle.

Twinkling Eiffel Tower

I took a little video of the twinkling lights.

On our second day, we made our way to Notre Dame Cathedral and the Love Lock Bridge. But only after I took a sweet picture of my daughter in French braids hanging from our hotel window with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Because, Paris.

Hotel Window with Eiffel Tower

The idea of the Love Lock Bridge, or Pont de l’Archeveche, is if you write your and your significant others’ names or initials on the lock and attach it to the bridge you’ll be in love forever. Or something like that. We bought a little lock and my daughter attached it to the giant groups of locks because we wanted to join the fun.

Love Lock Bridge with Notre Dame Cathedral in the background Love Lock Bridge Paris France

We walked to Jardin de Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) to explore and let the little girls play at the playground. It was an amazing, amazing playground. There was a small entry fee for children and adults, but it was money well spent. The adults drank coffee while the kids played. If it was warmer, we easily could have spent the entire afternoon there.

Luxembourg Gardens Playground Luxemburg Gardens Playground

The Gardens are huge and really beautiful. The trees were full of green leaves and the flowers were in bloom. It was truly lovely. And cold. We weren’t prepared for how totally cold it was so we did some shopping to grab an extra sweater (or two).

Luxemburg Gardens

And, finally, that evening we went to the Louvre Museum. For some reason my daughter was really interested in seeing the Mona Lisa, so we obliged. The museum was surprisingly crowded for a Friday evening and we had a stroller with us, making it really difficult to navigate around the complicated buildings.

While we’re talking strollers, I have to say that Paris is really NOT stroller friendly. I mentioned it last time I went, and it remained true on this trip. The metros are simply not equipped for strollers so you have to carry them up and down stairs to get on and off the trains. The bus is a great metro alternative, but it can be more difficult to navigate as metro maps are everywhere, but bus maps? Not so much.

On our last morning in Paris we walked over to the Champs Élysées for breakfast. We had hot chocolate and croissants in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe. It was the perfect way to end our little trip!

Champs Elysees

***

Love Lock Bridge Paris

Kate

Kate

Kate started The Shopping Mama™ in January 2009 when, after graduating law school, she traded in online legal research and writing for locating the best products for children. She shops for three kids ages 7, 5 and 2 from their home in Japan. Her military family is making the most of back-to-back overseas assignments by traveling every chance they get.

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  1. 1.

    These are some great photos, Kate! You have a beautiful girl model for you :)

    • .
      KateKate

      Thank you so much, Nadia! I agree – she’s pretty cute. :)

  2. 2.

    Looks like you enjoyed some of the highlights of Paris! I love the picture of your daughter’s hand reaching into the box of macarons!

    I sympathize with you on the strollers! I have a 20-month-old son and a baby due any day now and it’s SO HARD to get around town. The stairs of the metro make it impossible with a stroller but I get car sick every time I ride a bus, and they’re always crowded and despite living here for 9 years I still can’t ever figure them out. The metro is so easy but for some reasons buses elude me. It’s tough getting around so we tend to stay in our neighborhood or only go places we can walk, at least if our son is with us. Le sigh.

    • .
      KateKate

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Vicki. We had such a lovely visit!

      When we visited last year my friend who lived in Paris helped us get around on the bus, but I agree the metro is far easier to navigate! It’s a shame it’s so difficult to manage with a stroller. Good luck growing your family to include two little ones to tote around the city.

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