I was incredibly excited to visit Paris with my little brood, because Paris was where myself and Mr. C had our first ever holiday together. Mr. C had booked it for just after I had finished my final year at university, but just before we went we discovered that I was unexpectedly expecting Bear. It was a very uncertain time and myself and Mr. C had only been together a few months. We weren’t sure if we even wanted to be together long term at that point, but then we had the most wonderful time in the most enchanting of cities and we came home feeling much more confident that our story was only just beginning. With such a special place in our hearts, we knew that visiting Paris with our two boys would be just magical, but it was even more amazing returning than either of us could have imagined.
On our first visit to Paris as a couple back in 2013, we spent long afternoons talking over hot cups of tea and coffee in quaint little cafes. We strolled through parks, placed our padlock on padlock bridge, visited the wall of ‘I Love Yous’, had a caricature drawn of us, viewed the city from the top of the Eiffel Tower, took in the wonderful artwork at The Louvre and marvelled at the beauty of Notre Dame. Naturally visiting the city with two small children was somewhat a different experience, but the charm of Paris remained.
It took us nine and a half hours to drive from the Harz Mountains in Germany, to Paris in France and we only had a brief stop off in Koblenz. So on our first day in Paris we decided to have a relaxed day. We decided to stop by at a café we went to on our first visit and then took a picnic to enjoy beside the lake in Parc des Buttes Chaumont. It was such a relaxed afternoon and one that was very much needed after the long drive from the Harz Mountains.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont is a really beautiful park in the North West of Paris and one I really recommend visiting. There are many different parts of the park that are beautiful to explore, from the suspension bridge that leads to Temple de la Sibylle, which overlooks an artificial lake to the sloping, grassy hills and waterfalls.
Bear absolutely loves dinosaurs, so we decided to visit the National Museum of Natural History on our second day in the Paris. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see any of the dinosaurs because the upper floors of the museum were closed due to the heat wave that had hit Paris. The first floor has bones of a wide range of animals from huge whales and giraffes to turtles and wildebeest, which Bear found really interesting so was definitely worth the visit.
On our final day in Paris with toddlers, we decided to do some sightseeing. There had been a string of terrorist attacks back in the UK and then one in Paris just before we arrived, so all of the main attractions were crawling with military and police. It was both a comfort to have them around and a stark reminder of the horrendous events that had unfolded in the months, weeks and days previous.
We started at the Eiffel Tower, but it was incredibly busy and with the amount of security around reminding us that it was an area likely to be targeted by terrorists, we quickly moved on. We found an artist alongside a riverbank near the Eiffel Tower who drew us a family caricature picture. He referred to us as ‘Beauty and the Beast’, which made us laugh.
After our morning at the Eiffel Tower, we decided to take a short metro ride to Notre Dame, where we stopped for lunch in one of the many cafes. After loading up on chocolate and pancakes, we took a stroll along the river to take in the streets lined with cafes and the beautiful building of Notre Dame. It is such a visually stunning building, with such intricate architecture, I’m not sure I could ever grow tired of it. The riverside is home to a selection of shops that sell quirky paintings, prints, tourist bits and second hand books and I couldn’t help but buy one of prints to take home with us.
Paris is such a beautiful city to visit and it was just amazing being able to take the boys to see the city that helped their parents realise that their love story was just beginning. Paris has a unique charm and one that draws me back time and time again. If you’ve never visited Paris, then I highly recommend you do.