Oh, Paris. What can I say about you? Gelato. Cafes. Croissants. Loud and busy. Amazing fruit. Espressos. Mid-day wine. Parks. History. Architecture. Art. You have it all. If you ask Grayson what “big city” was his favorite he will tell you Paris because of the Louvre and all the art. If you ask Olivia what she remembers about Paris her first answer will probably be gelato every day and then the Eiffel Tower. I will remember all the parks. We made it our mission to go to a park every day that we were there and I am pretty sure we accomplished it.
This playground was very cool. It was the Jardin de Nelson-Mandela near the Chatelet- Les Halles. We got into our AirBnB, took a look around at the place and had to get back outside. It was our first bad experience renting an apt through AirBnB. Let’s just say it was not as advertised. It was really, really gross and we immediately started to look for other accommodations. We eventually found something early the next morning and were out of there and stayed at an amazing place, with the nicest hosts, and everyone was comfortable. But it just goes to show that no trip is ever going to go completely smooth. There are things that are going to happen that you are just going to have to make the most of the situation.
But before we moved out of the less than stellar apartment we enjoyed this playground.
Everyone was happy to move on to the new apartment and it worked out perfectly because it was right around the corner from my parent’s hotel and right down the street from Tuileries Garden where we found another playground that we walked to any day that we weren’t at another playground. Do you see a common theme with Paris?
The kids had no problem making friends at the playgrounds. We met several other homeschooling families from the States and they played with some local children who didn’t speak a lick of English but understood the game of tag and laughter.
I wanted to come here in the morning and run the beautiful grounds but didn’t get the chance. Next time for sure. We were busy in Paris and we knew we would be. There is just way too much to see and we were there for 7 nights. We didn’t see half of what we wanted to but we checked some big ones off our list and made the most of our time there. We were hesitant to do too many tours because let’s be honest, who really wants to spend their entire time in a city with a tour guide? Maybe it’s for some people, but it’s not for us, so we tried to pick our tours wisely. One tour that I highly recommend and will tell everyone I know that is going to Paris with kids to do is the Louvre Scavenger Hunt through Paris Muse Tours and if Emma is available, schedule with her.
I knew the Louvre was big but I didn’t realize just how big it was. Massive. There is no way we could have seen all that we did and learned as much as we did if we had not done the tour.
My parents were joining us in Paris but they flew in and drove to Normandy where my Dad fulfilled one of his bucketlist items. They said it was surreal and were so happy they got to experience Normandy. While we waited for them to arrive we saw the Eiffel Tower, ate gelato under said Tower and played at Champ de Mars Parc (by the Eiffel Tower).
We did do the Eiffel Tower Tour and had tickets to go to the very top but the line was long, it was warm and we were ready to run and play, so we skipped the top and did the walk down all the stairs to burn some energy and then found some food!
Another tour we chose to do was Versailles. The palace is like nothing I have ever seen before. The art collection alone is awe inspiring. Gold, so much gold. Gold leaf for everything. Louis XIV sure did love his gold and was not afraid to show his extravagance. Walking the same halls of a palace that was first a hunting lodge and then this opulent place that held balls and was the main residence to the French Court for a period of time was a little surreal. It was also very crowded. It’s definitely a touristy thing to do but we had to see it and I’m glad we did.
The palace itself was incredible but the gardens and grounds were by far my favorite part. They are breathtaking. The lines, the circles, the different species of trees and flowers. It’s amazing.
Games of tag in the Gardens and the Park were the highlight of this day for them. Running through the mazes, all I could think about was it was like something from the Secret Garden.
I have so much more to share about Paris because we did so much while we were there. I’ll put the second half of our time there in another post. If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email or leave a comment!