Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Paris Diaries, Part 1:Luxembourg Gardens, the Louvre...and Little Boys

Now, that I'm back in the U.S.A. -- I really wish I could go back to Paris with all that I've learned. Paris is particularly welcoming to children. So, if you or someone you know is headed there, below are my tips for going as a family. 

Jardin du Luxembourg:
The best place to let you children run free and shake off some jet lag. We met my friend, Heather, there with 2 of her boys....the boys played on the playground and pushed sailboats in the pond.
Louvre:
One of the best tips we got was to reserve a private tour with a guide from Paris Muse. The benefits were many:

♥ We skipped the long lines
♥ Our guide led the boys on a "treasure hunt"...so they were completely engaged for the entire 2 hours
♥ We didn't just wander or get overwhelmed....and this museum is HUGE. They say that if you spent only 3 seconds in front of each piece in the Louvre, it would still take you 33 years to see it all.


Cafe Marly:
Although I had heard of Cafe Marly...I was shocked that it was so close. When you exit the pyramid, the restaurant is directly to your right. So, throughout our al fresco lunch, the pyramid was right behind us. Very cool!
Jardin des Tuileries:
After lunch, we walked through the Tuileries, which is the beautiful garden that links the Louvre to the plaze de la Concorde (the site of the guillotine during the French Revolution). The boys loved the in-ground trampolines and the carousel.
Angelina's:
Famous for their hot chocolate, Angelina's is near the end of the Jardin des Tuileries, on the Right Bank --- and was a fun reward for the boys, after all that walking.


Notre-Dame:
Having been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the boys loved having a gargoyle's view of it from the top of Notre-Dame. What a magnificent architectural achievement!
Berthillon:
After touring Notre-Dame, we walked over to the small Ile de St. Louis for the famous Berthillon ice cream. Balancing a morning of history with an afternoon of fun, kept the boys engaged.
Musee Rodin:
The sculpture garden at the Rodin Museum is a must! It is gorgeous and enjoyable for adults and children. This was my favorite museum visit after the Louvre and the Musee L'Orangerie, where Monet's Water Lilies are displayed the way he originally intended.

Tulip Tip:
No matter what you're planning on seeing, save yourself from waiting in long lines (and trust me, there were some long lines at the Louvre, Musee D'Orsay & Musee de L'Orangerie) by getting a Museum Pass. It covers your museum entry fee (children are usually free) at almost every major site in Paris, but what you will most enjoy is a special, shorter que.

If you had a day in Paris, where would you go and what would you do?
xo, Elizabeth

ps: Paris Diaries, Part 2 - shopping, dining & evenings without children later this week.

15 comments:

Hamptontoes said...

Your photos are fabulous! Love them and now I'm itching to book a Paris trip! BTW, went to the event in Rye the other day...so nice! Thanks for sharing!

Bentley Waters said...

looks like a wonderful trip! the boys are so cute. welcome home. xo

pretty pink tulips said...

Hamptontoes - it was so doable. I'll be posting about a great place to stay soon! So glad you and your little fairy could join the fun.

Bentley- thanks! It was a wonderful experience. Now, we're going to spend the summer hanging out!

xo, Elizabeth

The Zhush said...

Welcome Home Elizabeth! Your photos are beautiful and amazing...and your boys are flat out adorable!

pretty pink tulips said...

Thanks, Zhush! They were great little travelers!

The Buzz said...

I would definitely bribe my boys with a stop at Angelina and Berthillon - two of my favorite places to eat! Now that I have your insider's tips, I'm going to convince my husband that next year is the year we introduce the boys to my second "hometown". Glad to have you back!

pretty pink tulips said...

Bribery definitely worked with the boys. I'll save the rest of my notes for you. I'm going to post soon about a great place to stay - we rented an apt -- gave us more room and flexibility. Stay tuned!

Stitchfork said...

Great pictures! We did this with our three sons and this brought back fun memories as we went to the same places!

Style Attic said...

My boys would be all about a treasure hunt! Welcome home and I'm so impressed you have all your photos so organized already :) Parisian flare is so mesmerizing!!

Stitchfork said...

I'm also still thinking of those great monogrammed plates from La Plate you highlighted a bit ago. The new issue of Southern Living magazine shows them in their "Best of the South" section.

Marija said...

How gorgeous are your pics? And how adorable are your little guys?! This sounds like a spectacular trip. What an exhilarating way to start the summer! And so chic! Museum Pass is a must ... in whatever town you travel but especially Paris! Love the "Tulip Tip"!!

xo Marija

pretty pink tulips said...

Style Attic - the treasure hunt was just as fun for us! Love technology...I was able to upload my pictures in Paris - free wifi at our apt!

Stitchfork - aren't they the best? I'll have to check that out!

Marija - I'm so glad to know they have the Pass in other cities. Now that we know the boys can travel well...we're planning our next jaunt! London? Rome?
xo, Elizabeth

My Notting Hill said...

Looks like an wonderful trip! I feel the same as you do - that Paris is a very friendly city for children. When we there 2 years ago, I had my then 14 year old son recreate the pose from a picture at Jardin de Luxembourg taken 10 years before when he was 4. I don't think he was quite as taken with the idea as I was. Our last trip was our first for our daughter and she loved the cafes! Thanks for sharing all the photos - its a nice virtual get away.

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