Five Musts for Visiting Paris with Kids

1 August 2014

“He’s already discovered a love for pain au chocolat and is itching for more!” my father beamed upon arriving at his Paris rental apartment earlier this month. He was referring to my 6-year old brother who was about to embark on his first trip abroad and had evidently adjusted to local tastes quite nicely, straight off the plane. Everyone had a mission on this trip – my father and step-mother were intent on spending time in museums and cathedrals, my little brother was keen on eating, seeing the Eiffel Tower and meeting my cat, and I was ambitiously hoping to take them to some of my favorite haunts, from coffee shops and restaurants to parks and passages. I wanted them to get a sense of how we live, abstract as it may still be for non-urbanites. Everyone had some concerns about how the little one would fare with the jet lag and robust activity but much to our surprise, he soldiered through each day with energy to spare most evenings (thank god for snacks!). On the downside, we were pummeled by rain on eight of the nine days of their trip and while the cooler temperatures were a welcome respite […]…

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Preparing for Paris

19 June 2014

My in-laws may have grown up in the Paris region but since their home base is in the suburbs, a good 50 minutes away by train, their trips into the city are infrequent. When we finally convince them to come (as if it should require convincing!), we know we’re in for a rigorous day of eating and exploring. Most recently, we spent a sun-soaked day with my mother-in-law to celebrate Mother’s Day – lunch at Fish La Boissonnerie, dessert at La Maison du Chou and a long, leisurely stroll along the Berges de Seine, making mental notes to return to each spot in July when our next round of visitors arrive. This afternoon was effectively a miniature test run of an itinerary we are likely to revisit when my dad, step-mom and little brother come to Paris- 2 weeks to go! The last time my dad visited was nearly six years ago for my wedding so this is a trip I’ve been eagerly anticipating for years (much like the feelings I had around my mom’s epic first-ever visit in December!). The big difference: my 6 year old brother will be joining, his first trip abroad. And while I have author […]…

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Franco File Friday: Kim Horton Levesque, author of ‘Paris with Children’

19 April 2013

The countdown to les grands vacances has begun. Soon, children will be on an extended holiday but before that can happen, their parents must scramble to find a place that is both kid-friendly and relatively entertaining for themselves. While Paris ranks high among travel destinations, its many paws-off pristine parks, bustling avenues and more adult dining options make it a less obvious choice. But author Kim Horton Levesque says it shouldn’t be overlooked. Beneath the landmarks, museums and well-worn boulevards is an entirely different city, teeming with activities appropriate for kids. Kim culls her personal favorites and recommendations into an astute guide called “Paris with Children”, just released this week. Almost all of the spots Kim recommends to eat, sleep and play are also well-suited for visits without children, making this book an incredibly useful resource for all travelers (and let’s be honest, we all have friends with children who would love to receive a little gift from one of Paris’s beautiful kid’s clothing and toy stores so the shop references are invaluable!). Below, she offers a few tips for traveling to Paris as a family. Describe what you love about France in three words. History, Food, Artisanship  #1 tip for visiting Paris […]…

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