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Navigating Paris with a buggy: child-friendly travel tips

Born and raised in Paris, Juliana de la Bretèche is someone who knows the French capital with great familiarity. Feasting on the delicious foods of the city, she grew up in a family of gastronomes. As a kid, Juliana remembers her parents travelling to Hong Kong for dim sum, or Bangkok for street foods. Exploring new cities, new cultures and new food scenes are activities that run in Juliana’s blood.
This well-travelled woman speaks six languages and has lived in Paris, Shanghai, Taipei and, now, Dallas. Newly based in Dallas, Juliana is launching a new project called Modern Eaters aimed at gathering tips from food enthusiasts around the world for big eaters and little munchers. Now a mother of a one-year-old soon-to-be foodie, a new world has opened up to her, and she looks forward to passing her knowledge and love of travel and food on to her daughter. She’s also learnt to navigate travel with a little one in tow.
Here, Juliana shares her tips for exploring Paris with a buggy:

Paris isn’t the most kid-friendly city. Most restaurants and cafes don’t offer high chairs for babies, nor boosters for toddlers; that is why there is a new trend called ‘Café-Poussette’ (literally translating to ‘Cafe-Stroller’). These are child-friendly cafes that usually have a boutique corner, a coffee area and workshops.

There are a number of kid-friendly cafe options around the city, but theses are my favourites:

Some restaurants are happy to add little humans as customers. These include:

  • For ice-cream, head to Bertillon on l’île-Saint-Louis; younger and older patrons will be happy with the treat!
  • Craving chirashi or a healthy meal? It’s Nanashi time! This one has a cute corner for kids to sit and draw too!
  • La mangerie
  • Wanna try some Mediterranean cuisine and play pétanque [a form of boules]? Les Niçois is the place!
  • Colette Water Bar always welcome kids and they sometimes have cool workshops for little monster;, but you have to keep your eyes open!
  • Café Madeleine is a touristy café, there is nothing very special about it. But, I stopped there for a coffee with my baby after a long-shopping session at the Galeries Lafayette, and was very surprised by the super friendly staff and the cutest high chair made by Maison Gatti (the classic Parisian chairs that you will find in any typical cafés).
  • Le Grand Restaurant (awarded two Michelin stars): Chef Jean-François Piège is very friendly to little ones. Of course, they have to be well-behaved! The chef came to our table and welcomed our daughter who was eight months old at the time, and he asked what could be offered. We just got her bread. But the service was impeccable and very kid-friendly.

The best child-friendly shops I’ve discovered in Paris include:

Of course, there are parks, museums and activities for parents and children:

  • LE MINI TIGRE offers yoga sessions for parents and babies, gym for little ones, hatha edge yoga and other activities. Classes start from one month in age.
  • Jardin d’Acclimatation is a garden located in the Bois de Boulogne. It offers plenty of activities for kids: the little train ride is always a success, the gymborée atelier is great for young babies, and the cooking class for parents and toddlers is apparently very fun too. There’s also a horse ride, a puppet show (Guignol), a carousel, a trampoline, and so much more!
  • Little Villette is a new space dedicated to family fun! The outdoor games are particularly nice on sunny days.
  • This tropical aquarium has never failed me! Even for the youngest ones.
  • Kids are usually very interested in animals, I can’t think of a better place than the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution.
  • Also, don’t miss the children’s gallery.
  • Musée de Poche is one of my favourite places. It is an art gallery made for kids … even the size of it! The team also offers a great range of workshops.

And, some other places worth a visit:

  • Mum & Babe is a beauty salon. Get your haircut while your kid is being taken care of! Paradise!
  • In France, a place in a daycare is hard to get… like, very hard! So there is an alternative called CoWorkCreche. It is a baby-friendly coworking space.
  • Stéréokids is a kid-festival introducing the hippest artists to the little ones! Kids are happy, parents are happier!
  • Paricipate in the egg hunt for Easter! It is a tradition at the Jardin Acclimatation or the Champ de Mars by the Eiffel Tower. The Museum of Montmartre also organises a hunt in the Renoir Gardens. The most prestigious one is without a doubt, taking place at the Chateau Vaux-Le-Vicomte.
  • The hippest shop of Paris Colette is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. For that special occasion, the staff has installed a bubble swimming pool here.

 

Have you travelled with children to Paris or another big European city? What places would you recommend visiting?

 

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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