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why go to Paris


Why go?

The picture says it all. Breathtakingly beautiful architecture, interspersed with space for les enfants. Despite being renown for being the city of romance, when you look a little closer, you will find that Paris is actually very kid friendly (well, guess what happens after all that romancing…).

It seems like everywhere you go in Paris, you are never more than a 10 minute walk from a park or playground. We found that Parisian playgrounds more exciting because they were always so thoughtfully planned out and always had a little something for the grown-ups to enjoy – be it a fountain, funky seats or a lovely café steps away.

Aside from that, the whole of Paris is like a giant playground for kids and grown ups alike. There is so much to do and see, both indoors and out – from the tourist hot spots like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, to the local markets and chocolatiers, you will never get bored.


  • Night at the Louvre
  • Eiffel
  • Place du Tertre, Monmartre
  • Belleville (wooden playground)
  • Jardin du Luxumbourg
  • Marais (for shopping)
  • Place des Vosages (especially on a Sunday)

Little eats

At first glance, Paris doesn’t seem to be very child friendly. Where are the colourful high chairs in restaurants? Where are the obviously child friendly restaurants like Pizza Express, Wagamama or Giraffe (in the UK)? We found out that most Parisian restaurants and brasseries are family oriented and very friendly for kids in their won understated way (bar the top end fine dining restaurants, which we would avoid even at home). The joy of eating in Paris is that you are not “sectioned off” to eat in restaurants that are heaving with other kids and their grown-ups. Eating is a family experience and most restaurants will not blink an eye if you show up with your brood.

* Menu Enfants

Many restaurants offer Menu Enfants which vary from mini steak-frites, to sausage, nuggets and chips. If you manage to avoid the tourist hot spots, the food for kids tend to be surprisingly fresh and tasty (we ordered what we thought were fish and chips off the Menu Enfants “poisson et pomme de terre” and were surprised with a tasty steamed cod with creamy dauphinois potatoes – our 4 year old loved it!).

* Ordering off menu

We also tried ordering off menu with varying success. Majority of our requests for a “omelette avec jambon et fromage” (ham and cheese omelette) were met with an enthusiastic “bien sur”. You will need to use your judgment on this one – an obviously busy restaurant may be more reluctant to accommodate you.

* little suggestions

Paris is an international city with cuisine to match, and you can pretty much find most foods to suit your little one’s palate (from sushi to pizza), but if you want to include a French flavour, read on:

  • Creperies – you are never far from one and most kids enjoy a “chocolate and banana pancake” or “ham and cheese pancake”.
  • Rotisserie chicken – a must if you have self catering facilities (or for a picnic in the park with a crusty baguette). There are many shops offering rotisserie chicken, the best are the ones which sell rotisserie chicken and nothing else.
  • Traiteurs – all kinds of tasty pre-cooked food can be bought at these wonderful places, from home cooked lasagne, quiches to freshly sliced salami.
  • Boulangerie – this almost goes without saying. A real kid (and adult!) pleaser – filled with all kinds of exciting looking pastries, and there’s always the usual croissants and pain au chocolat.
  • Cuisse de canard – although initially met with a “yuck” from the little one when informed what was on their plate, that soon turned into “mmm yummy” when they finally decided to give it a try. Must be the salt content (but let’s not think about that whilst on holiday).
  • Gelato – ok this is cheating a little as it’s more Italian than French (and not really a “meal”), but not to be missed. There are some fantastic gelato places in Paris which will tantalise your little one’s tastebuds.

 * my little holiday loved:

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La chaise au plafond

10 rue de tresor4th arrondisement,MaraisParis 75004Tel: 01-42-76-03-22 More about La chaise au plafond


* Square du Temple - on the corner of rue de la Bretagne and rue Eugene Spuller, 3rd arrondissement in the Marais.

This used to be the headquarters of the Knights Templar, now a garden oasis complete with pond and children’s playground. You can contemplate the history of the Knights Templar whilst your little ones frolic on their ancient playground.

* Place des Vosges – 3rd arrondissement in the Marais.

We fully recommend that you make trip to this wonderful place on a Sunday. The arcades buzz with the sound of jazz bands busking heartily, the boutiques will provide some shopping relief, and of course, there is the park and playground which makes up the centre of the square. The playgrounds are situated along the sides of the gardens, and are so well blended in, you may have to look hard for them, but they are there. There is something to keep everyone happy, and at the end of it all, there is no shortage of cafes to provide some gateau and café crème. Wonderful.

* Place de Thorigny – on rue vieille du temple and rue de la perle, 3rd arrondissement, Marais

Situated behind the Picasso Museum, yet another place to feast your eyes whilst your little ones let off some steam. Lots of shady trees, table tennis, benches and grounds to lounge on. C’est parfait!

* Parc – on the corner of rue pavee and rue du parc royal

See top photo.

Where to stay

mylittleholiday loves the Marais (if you haven’t already figured that out). It has a lovely village feel to it, home to the oldest market (le marche enfants rouge), has lots of good restaurants and cafés, is bursting with playgrounds and museums within walking distance. You could stay there for a week without leaving and not be bored. However if you do want to venture further a field, it is within walking distance of the louvre (about 30 minutes) and lots of other major attractions. It is also easily accessible by Metro.

Self catering

Self catering is the way to go we think – as this gives you the best flexibility (especially with meals) and ability to take advantage of the wondrous fresh food markets you will come across. Why not live like a Parisian for a week?

Getting around


The best way to get around is still the Metro, unless you have a buggy. The Metro is definitely one of the most child-unfriendly part of Paris. Stairs abound with no elevators in sight. So our advice is to bring the lightest, foldable buggy possible; or use a baby carrier if baby is light enough (although more often than not you will be channelling the hunchback of notre dame by the end of a long day of sightseeing!). Otherwise, it’s a game of up and down the stairs with the buggy and kids. Once actually on the metro train, they are spacious and airy and will take buggies quite easily. Older ones tend to enjoy the experience of being on a “French train” and repeating the French destination announcements.


We didn’t find any taxis with child seats.

Hire Car

Drive at your own peril (especially around the infamously laneless Arc de Triomphe). Parking in Paris is also a hassle. Most Parisians I know do not drive in Paris, so I would take the cue from the locals. If you do decide to drive, you will be required to have the age appropriate car seats. Most car rental companies will be able to provide you with the right car seats, for an additional fee.

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