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oh joy in france / part 2: what we did in paris…

Oh Joy in Paris | What We Did

Oh Joy in Paris | What We Did

The last time I visited Paris, I was 20 years old and visiting my college roommate who was studying abroad. I had a lot of time to myself, so I shopped and ate while my friend was in class. Coming back almost 15 years later, I had such a different (and even more special) experience this time because I shared the experience with my family.

This trip wasn't about what I wanted, but about what would be fun and entertaining for our whole familyโ€” including a very playful almost-two-year-old. A toddler can only walk, sit in a stroller, or shop for so long, so each day we'd put just a couple things on our list of things to do and left plenty of cushion time for Ruby to play in a park, playground, or do something kid-focused at least once a day. 

1st District

Oh Joy Paris| Tuilleries

Oh Joy Paris| Tuilleries

The Jardin des Tulleries is mostly known for it's beautiful gardens, but it's also full of some amazing areas for kids that you just stumble upon while walking through…like this gorgeous carousel…

Oh Joy Paris| Tuilleries

Oh Joy Paris| Tuilleries

…this playground with the coolest swing/hammock ever…

Oh Joy Paris| Tuilleries

…and this trampoline area for kids. Ruby was in heaven and cried when we said we had to leave to go get dinner. The parks of Paris are seriously the coolest I've ever seen! And I love how so many landmarks have playgrounds nearby.

Jardin des Tulleries | Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris


Oh Joy Paris

And soon after all that jumping, someone succumbed to a nap…



3rd District

Oh Joy Paris| Bonton

Oh Joy Paris| Bonton

Oh Joy Paris| Bonton

Oh Joy Paris| Bonton

I loved visiting the Bontonโ€”a kid's store full of clothing, home decor, and giftables of all kinds. This is the kind of store I wish I had as a kid.

Bonton | 5 boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, 75003 Paris

Oh Joy Paris

Oh Joy Paris

You can't be in Paris without hopping on the Metro. Ruby loved the "choochoo train", and people were always kind enough to let her sit in a seat even when it was jam-packed.

6th District


Oh Joy Paris| Luxembourg Gardens


Oh Joy Paris| Luxembourg Gardens


Oh Joy Paris| Luxembourg Gardens

The first day we arrived in Paris, we stayed at a fancy hotel for one night before heading to Lyon for the first leg of our trip. We were dazed and tired from the flight but trying to stay up to fight the jet lag and went for a walk to the Jardin du Luxembourg. The scenery and flowers were just what we needed to stay perky and wide-eyed.

Jardin du Luxembourg |  Boulevard Saint-Michel, Ile-de-France, Paris, France, 75006


7th District

Oh Joy Paris| Eiffel Tower

Oh Joy Paris

Oh Joy Paris| Eiffel Tower

You have to see the Eiffel Tower when in Paris, right? The thought of standing in line to climb up the tower with a toddler made me want to poke my eyes out, so instead we played right nearby in the park and on the carousel.

The Eiffel Tower | Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris

Oh Joy Paris| Eiffel Tower Boat

Oh Joy Paris| Eiffel Tower Boat

Even though those bus and boat rides can be touristy, sometimes it's just a nice way to sit down and enjoy the scenery and see a lot of one city in a short period of time. We decided to take this Vedettes de Paris boat totally last minute just as it was getting ready to leave. It was a one hour ride and the perfect amount of time to entertain Ruby with something new, allow us to rest our feet for a bit, and enjoy the free wine.

Vedettes de Paris | Port de Suffren, 75007 Paris

 

9th District


Oh Joy Paris


Oh Joy Paris



I treated myself to a few hours alone (while Bob stayed home with Ruby during naptime) and went to visit Rubi Jones for a haircut! She let me into her gorgeous Paris apartment and styled my hair with the most beautiful braid. 

Oh Joy Paris | a la Mere de Famille

 

Oh Joy Paris | a la Mere de Famille

 

On the way home, I stopped by A la Mere de Familleโ€”Paris' oldest candy shop and picked up treats to bring home for friends.

A la Mere de Famille, 33-35 rue du Faubourg Monmartre, 75009 Paris (multiple locations)


10th District


Oh Joy Paris | Antoine et Lili

Oh Joy Paris | Antoine et Lili

Ruby loved this shop, Antoine & Lili, full of colorful toys. They also have kid's and women's clothing within three shops that sit side-by-side near the canal.

Antoine & Lili | 95 quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris (multiple locations)

Oh Joy Paris | Centre Commercial Kids

Oh Joy Paris | Centre Commercial Kids

Oh Joy Paris | Centre Commercial Kids


This was my favorite kid's store I visited while in Paris. It's small but has such a well-curated selection of clothing, toys, and accessories. I mean, look at that clothing rack arranged by color! I even bought a ring for myself there that I plan to give to Ruby one day as a reminder of her first trip abroad. The street that this store is on was my favorite little set of shops in the 10th District, including an amazing jewelry shop called Medecine Douce.

Centre Commercial Kids | 2 rue de Marseille, 75010 Paris 

Oh Joy Paris | Canals


We stayed in the 10th District and loved strolling along the canals and seeing the cute shops and playgrounds along the way.


Oh Joy Paris | 10th District Park

Oh Joy Paris | 10th District Park

Oh Joy Paris | 10th District Park


I could seriously do a post called "The Playgrounds of Paris" as we visited at least 15 different ones during our trip!


Oh Joy Paris | 10th District

Oh Joy Paris | 10th District

Oh Joy Paris | 10th District


Oh, Paris! It was both fun and exhausting all at the same time. This trip definitely brought our family closer together as we navigated unknown territory, ate a ton, pulled out our high school French skills, and had the opportunity to see it all through Ruby's eyes.

Stay tuned next week for the final part of our France trip with our adventures in Lyon!

P.S. A lot of you have asked about tips for traveling with small children abroad. I'm going to work on a post about that (I learned a lot!) for later this month, too.

P.P.S. If you missed it, see Part 1 – What We Ate in France and Part 3 – What We Did in Lyon.

{Photos by Oh Joy}

90 comments

  1. great post! makes me want to go to Paris with the girls, but with two and one on the way I think we will wait another couple of years. Beautiful memories you captured!

  2. Thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures with us. I enjoyed them a lot and it reminded me of my trips in Europe as well. I can’t wait till I’m out there again.
    Looks like everyone had a good time! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. looks like you had a beautiful time (and beautiful weather!) I’ve aleady found a couple of parks in our new home town of Copenhagen and the built in trampoline element is here too – my daughter goes nuts for them. Just one of those things you’d pretty much never see in the US b/c of all the liability I think…

  4. What a nice thing to discover my town through your eyes.
    These pictures are precious, Joy is more and more adorable.

  5. I just discovered your blog and absolutely love it! I adore all of the photos in this post – so beautiful. It makes me want to return to Paris! Your trip just looks and sounds so well organised, and you really got the best out of it! I wish I would have known about all the delicious places you went to eat (in your last post) the last time I was in Paris. Also: Ruby is also such a little cutie! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. OKAY I just died a little. The picture of Ruby kissing the bunny – PRECIOUS. The picture of her POSING?!?!?! INSANELY TOO CUTE!!! LOVE!!!

  7. Love this! J’adore Paris! The last time we went, we had two little ones in tow. The younger one was almost one. So yes, we saw a lot of playgrounds! My oldest daughter remembers riding a pony at the Eiffel Tower.
    I think in a way you get a more realistic feel for a place, though, when you have little ones because you end up doing more of what the locals do.
    Love all the pics,

  8. Oh my god, the picture of Ruby kissing the bunny! Melts my heart!
    You always hear about Paris being so…cold? chic? standoffish? So it’s great to see how kid-friendly it really can be! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Hello!
    I’m always late to the party these days since I’m w/ my babies mostly, and maybe you’ve already posted this elsewhere, but where did you get Ruby’s awesome heart gray T?
    Love it! Looks very airy and soft.
    Cheers.

  10. rubi jones’s apartment is to die for – all that natural light! my brother and his family visit paris quite a bit (they live in london) and he’s always saying it’s such a great place for families, that it’s really designed to be kid friendly. great pics thanks for sharing.

  11. Hi Bonnie,
    I made it! I didnt post about them but I made a bunch for her little friends for Valentines Day earlier this year ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Joy

  12. Does Ruby ever… well, does she have tantrums? Our daughter is almost exactly Ruby’s age and we’ve been considering doing a trip with her. But she’s definitely not happy all the time like Ruby looks here! (She’s adorable btw). I’m really looking forward to your post about traveling with small children.

  13. Hi Joy,
    Your trip photos are so great! Would you mind sharing what camera and lenses you brought with you to Paris?

  14. My favorite post ever!!! Ruby is beyond adorable and I love all the joy that comes across in the shots. Thanks for sharing! This are photos to treasure.

  15. Hi Christie,
    Thanks for the compliment! We used a combination of a Sony RX1 (fixed lens) and Nikon V1 with a 10mm, 18.5mm, and 32mm lenses. Both are great travel cameras because they are very small yet have great image quality. We brought two cameras (because I wanted to experiment), but in retrospect could have probably just gotten away with one (which would have been the RX1). We only took one camera out with us at any time though.
    Smaller is better when traveling, and a fixed focal length limitation often forces more creative photographic compositions.

  16. Ruby is such a little personality and I love her yellow sunnies! My kiddo loves his sunnies too ๐Ÿ™‚ What a special trip. Pinning it for later, when I get up the nerve take my toddler to Paris. And I can’t wait for that traveling with toddlers post!

  17. The photos in this post are some of my fav ever on your blog! soooo sweet!! It looks like you had a wonderful time! Glad you guys were able to enjoy such a special trip together. xo

  18. I LOVE your daughter. I love seeing pictures of her and watching her grow. I look forward to seeing her for many years. My daughter is addicted to her to.

  19. what a wonderful photo collection of your trip. Your daughter is so sweet and adorable. I am 30 and decided to rent an apartment in Paris for month in the 10th arrondisement. It was one of the most beautiful and memorable experiences of my life and I can’t wait to experience it with my family when we decide to have to have a child. Thank you for the post, it put a smile on my face and brought back fond memories ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I really enjoyed this post, beautiful photographs. BTW, where are those light gray (I think) pants from, the ones you’re wearing with the chambray shirt?
    Thanks for sharing!

  21. You took some very nice pictures. I especially liked the one of you blowing the tiny seeds in the air and your daughter reaching out towards the tiny plant. Your pictures make me want to travel. Have a very nice day.

  22. Hi Bob,
    Thank you so very much for this detailed response. I am so very happy to hear that you got these great shots without lugging huge camera and lenses around with you! This is just the travel camera info I was looking for!
    Thanks,
    Christie

  23. Joy,
    I enjoyed your post vey much! We just came back from a trip to Paris and it was nice to find a post on similar experiences. And your last sentence was very true-it is fun and tiring at the same time.!
    I found your blog via Better Homes and Gardens and I absolutely LOVE it.
    Maria

  24. Joy, we just took our 27-months-old to Paris in August too! Can’t get enough movable feast! What are these adorable shoes on Ruby’s feet, they’re so cute. Our Isabelle wore her white sandal all the time and they were a little cold at night. :p

  25. You are a wonderful mama, Joy! It was such a pleasure to “visit” Paris with your family through this post. The ring you’ll give to Ruby one day is such a sweet touch. What an authentic and awesome post!

  26. I never comment to anything… but today I just have to. ๐Ÿ™‚
    You three people are the most adorable and cute. With all the happiness on your faces! Thank you for sharing your pictures and the happy times with the world.
    All the best to you! :*

  27. As someone who works in the travel industry and has read many posts about traveling to Paris, this was a fresh read. Even family travel bloggers seem to miss the mark sometimes when traveling with kids and it’s nice to see about adult and kid things to do without sacrificing any fun.

  28. I never comment on anything either but this is such a wonderful post and even though we don’t have kids, I definitely want to explore some of those fun places when my husband and I go next year! I am also curious about your brown shoes- they look really comfy and stylish and perfect for travelling, do you mind telling us where they are from? Thank you!

  29. Hey Joy,
    I’m totally curious how you liked the OMG Lo & Son’s bag. It’s so pricey that I haven’t purchased it yet but keep staring at it:). Thanks for sharing your pics!

  30. i don’t think i’ve ever commented but oh. mah. gawd. can your daughter be any cuter in that first photo? ish don’t think so. she’s sooooo cute. i love her smile and just that innocent cuteness that they tots don’t even know they exude.

  31. I enjoyed watching all your images. Your daughter is so cute. It sounds you have lots of fun. I love the image most where your daughter is kissing to a rabbit shaped toy. It looks so innocent.

  32. I totally agree with this,and in fact I was about to mention some importance of trampoline replacement in my comment below.
    Itโ€™s certainly a fact that helps makes us work more and faster.see more
    trampoline replacement

  33. Lovely lovely pictures you have here!
    May I ask which month you travelled to Paris as the weather looks just as fun as Ruby x

  34. Looks like a lot of fun for the little ones! Don’t forget to get your own 12ft trampoline pad for your backyard trampoline. It’s the best way to keep the springs out of reach. Check out http://goo.gl/YFuDTf for more informaiton. Thanks!

  35. Colocation Paris et logements รฉtudiants en France .Trouver la colocation ou le colocataire parmis des milliers d’annonces avec ou sans garants.

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