A few weeks ago, our family went to Paris. Traveling with a toddler can be…interesting, but this trip was actually wonderful! Sonya handled the six hour flight to Paris and eight hour flight home like a trooper. Here were some highlights of our trip!
To prepare for our trip, we read lots of books about Paris so that Sonya would have some understanding of the city. Her favorite book was Eloise in Paris. It’s long, but it does cover a lot of ground.
We rented an apartment in the sixth arrondissement through Paris For Rent. This was a great alternative to Airbnb as the apartments are actively managed and a team of travel advisors were available as soon as we arrived. From picking us up at the airport to settling us into the apartment to ensuring everything was clean and working. We loved our apartment. Our windows overlooked Rue Bonaparte, just blocks away from where I spent a semester abroad in college.
Every morning, I woke up early to get fresh croissants from a local boulangerie (which I had also frequented more than 15 years ago in college!) It’s amazing how stores and restaurants in Paris seem to weather the passage of time. Unlike New York, where the moment you discover a place you love, a For Rent sign is soon plastered to the door.
Sonya had voiced concerns about the food she would eat before we arrived. She is a picky eater (yes, I know I am not supposed to use that term…but) sticking to fresh berries, cheese, challah (from Zabars, of course) and pasta with ricotta, honey and cinnamon. She was delighted to learn that all of these foods (brioche is a good challah substitute!) were readily available for her in Paris. We purchased our groceries at Marche St. Germain, just minutes from our apartment.
Given the cold weather upon arrival, we took advantage of the many museums. An important note. If you bring a stroller to any museum in Paris, you skip the line! I felt so powerful! We bought the six-day museum pass, which was also a way out of ticket lines. Sonya loved Musee d’Orsay, as well as Le Musee Rodin, and Le Louvre, where we fought crowds to see the Mona Lisa.
Sonya loved this image of Minerva (also the name of one of her school friends!):
Ultimately (and unsurprisingly) Sonya was most impressed with the gift shop. We bought an art book, which is great. We also gave in to Sonya’s demands and bought her a stuffed pony she named Giddy-Up. My philosophy is when you are traveling with a toddler, it’s ok to give into tantrums 78 percent of the time to avoid a scene. It’s also hard to argue with this face.
Le Jardin des Plantes was another great spot. But our favorite “museum” turned out to be a store! Deyrolle Taxidermy is a great place to visit with kids. Exotic taxidermy, entomology, and natural history specimens are displayed in antique wooden cases and glass bell jars. Sonya loved seeing the animals up close.
And our favorite food?: Aux Merveilleux de Fred in The Marais (or if you live in NYC, there is a location in the West Village!! who knew?!?) Eat the white chocolate meringue.
Toward the end of our stay, Spring arrived, and we were lucky to spend a day with some friends who showed us the roof of their amazing apartment in the sixth.
We spent that day in Luxembourg Gardens, my favorite place in Paris. Sonya rode the Carousel and tried to capture the brass rings on her sword. It is the oldest carousel in Paris, dating back to 1879. I could seriously watch the below video all day…
Throughout our stay, Sonya colored and did activities in Go! (Red): My Adventure Journal. Truly a fantastic travel companion!
All in all, it was a wonderful trip. Also – no hearing-related incidents! (Though Sonya did develop an ear infection upon our return..more on that later). The best part is we are planning to return this summer!
Paris, je t’aime. xoxo.
Do you have any go-to spots in Paris we shouldn’t miss when we return?