My husband and I recently went on vacation to Paris, sans kids. It was an amazing trip, but we missed our children tremendously. I had never thought of Paris as a kid-friendly city, but it seemed as if everywhere we turned there were parks and other public spaces designed with kids in mind. We were especially amazed by the carousels. Every major monument or neighborhood seemed to have its own double-decker carousel. We didn't visit all of them (and I think one could spend an entire vacation just visiting the carousels of Paris) but we did hit quite a few. For anyone considering a Paris trip with the kids, I highly recommend adding the following stops to your itinerary:
No visit to Paris would be complete without a stop at the Louvre. A major museum might seem daunting with young children, but the nearby Jardin des Tuileries offers a nice break from the crowds and confined spaces. In fact, the Tuileries carousel is neighbored by a large playground - perfect for getting some energy out before or after a museum stroll.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is tourist central, but despite the crowds going up the elevators for an amazing view of the city, the carousel remained nearly empty. We visited at dusk (nearly 10pm in Paris), so perhaps most young children were already in bed. But if your children (and you) can handle a late night, I highly recommend visiting just after sundown. Each night, the Eiffel Tower features a show of lights sparkling up and down the tower. The carousel also looks pretty beautiful illuminated at night.
Just across the river from the Eiffel Tower is Trocadero, which has its own carousel. At a slightly higher elevation, this area has one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower and offers a large open area for kids to run around.
If you can make it past the peddlers selling jewelry at the base of Sacre-Coeur, you will find one of the loveliest carousels in Paris. In fact, this is the carousel that was featured in the movie, Amelie. It’s definitely a nice stop before walking up the 200+ stairway to Sacre-Coeur.
The carousel at the metro stop Abbesses is not the most picturesque. In fact, it looks more like the coin-operated amusement rides found outside some U.S. grocery stores. I recommend a visit, however, for the chance to stop at the wonderful shops lining the nearby streets. I especially recommend Ets Lion, a tiny general store featuring culinary treats and kitchen accessories.
Post by Julee : Warm Hot Chocolate