What is better than April in Paris? I’ll tell you: April in Paris with kids. Although our most recent trip there was eight months ago, it’s taken me a while to get around to writing about it. And since April is a month that gets us all thinking of the City of Light, throughout the month of April I’ll be sharing stories, tips, and even some ideal itineraries for families interested in visiting Paris or just daydreaming about it.
Paris is not an overwhelming city – in fact, I’d argue that it is very human and easy to negotiate. But when you’ve been playing tourist in Paris with kids for days, sometimes what you need is a quiet spot where you can read your Tintin book in peace and sip a cool beverage.
Please click on photos to see full-size versions
Perhaps a spot with a lovely fountain.
And some fabulous dahlias.
A place to stroll in the cool shade of some perfectly manicured trees.
Would you believe me if I told you that this spot not only exists, it is a five-minute walk from the permanent hustle that surrounds the Louvre? The Jardin du Palais-Royal is tucked back away from the street and lined with arcades full of the most chic and expensive of shops that I probably wouldn’t dare enter even without my children in tow. But there are also a few garden-side cafes full of equally chic patrons and fonctionnaires on break from the Ministry of Culture housed nearby.
It’s the perfect place to relax, right in the middle of Paris.
Once you’ve refreshed yourself, pay a visit to Daniel Buren’s striped columns in the front part of the square where the garden is housed near the Comédie Française. You may want to sit here for a bit and reflect on your day.
Or maybe you’ll discover you have enough energy for a game of tag after all.
Like this post? You might also want to check out Paris in its proper order if you’re interested in a chronological list of posts from my family’s July 2008 trip to Paris, or visit my Paris page, which lists all of my stories and tips about my favorite city.
And whether you’re reading this post using my RSS feed or are a first-time visitor, I hope you’ll consider subscribing to the Mother of all Trips via email, as the demise of Google Reader and Feedburner mean that in a couple of months my feed url is either going to change or go away completely. Signing up for email updates means you’ll never miss a post (and next week I’ll be sharing stories of some famous Parisian museums plus my top Paris restaurant recommendations with and without kids).