Sorry for the wait…but the continuation is here with the second day:
(If you have not yet read Suzie’s amazing first day, please do that before you scroll below. Click here.)
Two Perfect Days Visiting Paris (kids in tow and engaged!)—by Suzie Cornell
Le Deuxième Jour (Day #2):
Le Matin– Once again, please set a wake up call. Start your day on the right bank at Café Angelina for breakfast (1st Arr). The kid-friendly tearoom is the perfect setting for a leisurely petit déjeuner. Located on the Rue de Rivoli, this all-day café (also a good early dinner spot for kids) serves up a delicious breakfast menu and their infamous hot chocolate. Even if it’s summer, their hot chocolate can NOT be missed! It’s pure melted chocolate, a true indulgence and Paris tradition (so you have to do it!) If the café line is long, which it likely will be, go through the door on the right and head to the take-out counter for your brioche and hot chocolate to go.
Photo Courtesy of: Google Images
Eli & Piper Cornell in front of Café Angelina
Morning on the right bank—On one side of Angelina is a quaint bookstore with a great children’s section in both English/French. On the opposite side is the hotel Le Meurice. Now designated a “Palace,” the Philippe Starck-designed exquisite lobby is worth a quick stop for a look-around and for the kids to write their names on the huge ice wall.
Le Meurice Lobby
Eli and Piper at the Ice Wall.
The opulent Le Meurice lobby.
Candle and mirror display in the lobby.
Tea time at Le Meurice.
Exit the hotel and walk a block to the Rue Saint-Honoré. Three blocks down is Colette, the Fred Segal of Paris. Any fashion director or celebrity will tell you it’s a must-see three floors of fashion and fun.
Newest ‘Chaussures’ at Collette:
Repetto x Mary Katrantzou
Repetto x Mary Katrantzou
Now it’s time for the kids—Walk back up two blocks and across the street from Le Meurice to the Jardin des Tuileries. Highlights my children have loved include the in-ground trampolines, carousel, horse-back riding and the play structure. There is also a large pond to rent mini-sailboats and chairs abound to sit and enjoy views of la tour Eiffel.
Eli makes the most of the trampoline at the Tuileries Garden.
The old-world charm of the carousel is enchanting.
Beautiful statues and colonnades of tress.
Lions grace the entrance to the park.
A hidden gem and an absolute MUST, is the Mussée de l’Orangerie in the Tuileries. Enjoy the plethora of Monets in a beautiful setting that is less crowded than other Paris museums. The museum is small and just manageable with children. The Monets are sweepingly large and so accessible to children.
Monet up close from Musée L’Orangerie.
The rooms hold sweeping circular spectacular canvases.
If you want to hit the mother of all museums though, walk through the garden to the opposite end and you will be at the Louvre. My kids are young and we did the Louvre two years ago in about all of 15 minutes. (It’s massive and crowded and we have yet to go back). My #1 tip is to avoid the ticket lines and buy your tickets from your concierge. Even better is the Paris Museum Pass that you can only buy in the U.S. It lets you into almost all the museums and you can avoid ticket lines completely.
Midi—Take a taxi to the Arc de Triumph at the end of the Champs Élysées. My kids love to walk up to the top for the view. Be aware, it is hundreds of steps so you may end up carrying the little ones. About ¾ of the way up there is a rest area and bathrooms.
View from the top.
Now is your chance to enjoy a meal at a fine restaurant with the kids. It sounds crazy but next to the Arc is Publicis Drugstore. It may be the most luxe drugstore in the world, serving Petrossian caviar and selling Baby Dior. In the basement is L’Atelier de Jöel Robuchon Etoile. Go early for walk-in or make a reservation. We sat at the open round kitchen and enjoyed a prix-fixe lunch while the kids dined on mini-burgers topped with fois gras. It was a long lunch but that mini iPad is a lifesaver.
Atelier Joie Mini Burger with Fois Gross
After lunch walk down the Champs Élysées and stop at Petit Bateau. The top floor is dedicated to their adorable kids clothes. The kids can draw at the children’s table while you stack up on their adorable PJ’s (which they don’t sell here in the states because they don’t fit our fire hazard standards—reason being is they are loose, the comfort factor my kids love). They have stores all over Paris so if you plan to stock up, I suggest signing up for their loyalty card but warning, it’s not valid at their U.S. stores.
Le Soir— If your kids (or you) aren’t fearful of heights, head to the Eiffel Tower and the Champs de Mars (7th Arr.). The kids can run around the large green space of the Champs de Mars before heading up the tower. If you want to get to the top, get your tickets in advance at your hotel. If you prefer to only head halfway up for a semi-private view, have drinks at the Jules Verne, now helmed by chef Alaine Ducasse. With its own private elevator, you can head to the restaurant and take in the views while having a quick kir royale, with the kids. There is also a public outside balcony one floor above the restaurant (make sure to ask how to check it out, it is not obvious).
Elevator going up the tower.
Plates at Jules Verne match the aesthetic of the Tower.
Le Diner— Since dinner does not begin until 7 pm, you have plenty of time to taxi anywhere around Paris to a restaurant of your choice.
For an old world Paris feel, head to Chez Julien. Situated next to the Seine, it’s delicious French food with a cozy vibe and you feel like you are dining in someone’s home three hundred years ago.
Ferdi is a super tiny and trendy restaurant (pregnant Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were a few tables away from us) in the 1st Arr. where a reservation is hard to come by but the tapas style food will appease even your youngest (the mac and cheese is better than anything I have had in the U.S.).
L’Ami Louis is a small, old school restaurant known for their “un poulet roti legendaire.” It’s a huge chicken with fries and salad that can feed a family of four.
Also in the 1st is the modern bistro L’Absinthe, helmed by Caroline Rostang, daughter of famous French chef Michel Rostang. The three-course prix-fixe menu makes a meal there very reasonable for a family. It is cramped quarters downstairs so request to sit in the larger room upstairs. It is also next to a Fanprix, the smaller version of their large grocery chain, Monoprix.
La Nuit—Keep the kids up late to see the lights of the Eiffel Tower. Every hour starting at 9pm (remember it gets dark late there), the tower performs a light show for 10 minutes. Our favorite place to watch is the Place de la Concorde in the 1st, however it can be viewed from anywhere in the city you can see the tower.
The Tower lit up is always a crowd-pleaser.
Last Words on Paris from Madame Cornell….
We all know two days in Paris is not enough. I could write post after post of what to do with kids in Paris and its environs. We walk for hours upon hours and get lost in the different arrondissements (Editor’s Note: Please write a post about this Suzie!). These are just a few of the main attractions and favorites for our kids but there is so much more. And don’t be scared, we have traveled there the past three years with no troubles all. If you can get through the flight, the rest will be fantastique!