by Colette Davidson
So, you’ve managed to get the whole family to Paris, and now you’re stuck with the prospect of finding things to do that even the little ones will enjoy. After a long day on the tourist track, your kids are probably deserving of a little treat. Here is a list of Paris’s best shops geared towards children that just might save the sanity of everyone in your entourage.
Ok, truth be told, most kids don’t really enjoy clothes shopping. But if you’ve come all the way to Paris, you really can’t leave without purchasing a blue-and-white striped sailor shirt for your little darlings. Petit Bateau has come to epitomize classic French children’s fashion and the items are not only fashionable, but well-made. Even better, they now have adult sizes so you’ll be able to treat yourself as well.
Au Nain Bleu
This is considered by many as Paris’ best toy store, and should definitely top the list of places to go to spoil the youngsters. Wooden dollhouses and mini kitchen sets, costumes, movable robots and musical instruments are just some of the gems you’ll find here.
5 Boulevard Malesherbes, 75008
01 42 65 20 00
La Sardine à Lire
Even if neither you or your children speak French, a book from Paris is a great keepsake and, who knows, could spark an interest for learning the language later on. This quaint bookshop is teeming with ambiance, and has a wealth of children’s books for all ages. If you can’t find anything good to read, there are also plenty of toys and trinkets on display.
4 rue Collette, 75017
01 42 29 06 68
Métro: Guy Moquet
Le Bonhomme de Bois
Try walking by this toy-filled kid’s store without your little ones begging you to drag them in. Just try. Store windows burst with stylish wooden train sets, xylophones, dolls and more. With everything from baby’s first doll to school materials, this shop has a little of everything for kids of all ages.
43 boulevard Malesherbes, 75008
01 40 17 03 33
Métro: Saint Augustin
Les Bio Gosses
For organic-minded mommies and daddies, this clothing and toy store is 100 percent earth-friendly. Clothes are made with organic cotton and toys come without heavy metals or dyes. Here you’ll also find toys made of wood from sustainable forests, ready-made organic baby food, washable all-cotton diapers and essential massage oils. It’s the one-stop shop for babies, bigger kids and moms alike.
4 rue Notre-Dame de Lorette, 75009
01 48 78 09 91
Métro : Saint-Georges or Notre-Dame de Lorette
Design connaisseurs unite at this hip parent-friendly children’s store. Glittering snowglobes holding plastic babies and wooden monkeys join funky child-size chairs and giant, colorful cushions. The shop, which has been open for seven years, is spread out over two floors and can be enjoyed by kids up to age twelve.
25 rue des Filles du Calvaire, 75003
01 42 74 01 49
Métro : Filles du Calvaire