Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Toddling in Paris {Toddling Abroad}

The area around Paris was the next stop on our European adventure!  We did so much, but here's some tips and favs from Paris itself.
  • Meals are more formal and time consuming in France than the US.  Two or three hours at a restaurant is normal, and they are often open for lunch until 2 and closed until dinner at 6 or 7.  This is less of an issue in Paris, where there's always a little food stand or something but outside of the city you have to be a little time conscience or bring snacks.
  • As with Italy, ac and elevators are not standard.  Be aware when making accommodations.
  • Lots of museums seem to be closed on Tuesdays.  Good day to play in the park.
Our favorite spots:
  • Eiffel Tower and Champs de Mars park.  We came to the park, just to check it out and enjoy the day.  There was great playground equipment and lots of open space.  Tons of tourists spread out all over the grass close to the tower, but really it's a big park.  We found that swings for some reason aren't really playground equipment, but for a euro or two there are swings for hire that Chiquita thoroughly enjoyed.  Chiquita surprised us by being very excited to go up the "Meiffel Tower" even though she was very sleepy.  The line was long, but Chiquita managed to fall asleep while we were waiting and got a nap up to the mid-level.  We used the elevators and don't regret it at all.  Maybe if we were sans toddler and stroller it would have made sense, but the diagonal elevators are really pretty cool in and of themselves (Chiquita though so on the way down).  The view, of course, was magnificent!

  • Montmartre.  This little neighborhood in Paris that was once a gathering spot for artists like Van Gogh, Picasso and Dali was a gem!  We didn't make it here until our last day, which was a shame.  The area right around Sacré-Cœur (a cathedral at the top of the hill) was a great place to stroll, watch portrait artists and eat a delicious dinner.  This neighborhood also has the famous Moulin Rouge (not so much for kids) and tons of other less famous windmills.  We didn't get a chance to ride the petit train, but it looked like a great way to see the sights, though hiking up and down the hill is a great way to get high-energy kids moving.  There's also a carousel down the hill from Sacré-Cœur. 

  • Jardin d'AcclimatationThis amusement park hybrid is the perfect day spot for a day especially for the smaller kids.  You can (and should) ride into the park on the petit train, it's only a few euros extra and a lot of fun.  By the entrance there are swings and playground areas that Chiquita probably would have been happy to play at all day.  Farther in there are amusement park rides - I really appreciated that there were tons for the under 3 feet crowd, but they also had little roller coasters for bigger kids so the whole family has fun.  The rides aren't included in the entrance fee, so just make sure you budget for them.  We spent less here than at Parc Asterix (also fun) and much less than we would have at Disney Euro. Besides rides, there are pony and camel rides (so much fun!), a little zoo, and classes for kids (not during summer break).
We did tons of other things in and around Paris, but these were the things that adults and Chiquita enjoyed the most!

8 comments:

  1. How exciting to have vacationed in Paris, and to have Chiquita in the Eiffel Tower and Champs de Mars park! Memories to last a lifetime. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I agree with Frances, what a wonderful trip! And thanks for the tips! Hopefully one day we will need them ;)

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  3. These are some great site specific tips. Thanks for linking up, I'll pin this so more people can take a peek.

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  4. Good tips! I wouldn't know to plan for such long meals - I think Americans are used to getting everything as soon as they need it. :D

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  5. Great tour and tips, Paris is definitely a place for every age and interest....Hope you can come and link up with us today with your post for Travel Photo Mondays, the link is live, thanks

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  6. Great tips for Paris with children! Jess is right, us Americans like instant gratification unfortunately haha. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!

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  7. I first went to Paris when I was 14 and it left such an impression with me. I loved Montmartre as well - such a unique part of the city. Thanks for linking up with the #SundayTraveler

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