The Marais District With Kids
Activity: The Marais District. Metro Stop: Bastille. Cost: Museums covered by Museum Pass, otherwise free. Hours: Best in the afternoon going into the evening, but always open.
Marias District: Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men. It is the music of the people who will NOT be slaves again!
Oh I'm sorry, did you say Marias or Marius? Anyways, both of them have a bit to do with my favorite French Musical, Les Miserables because the author's house is here!
From the Bastille Metro stop and follow the signs to Rue St. Antoine (not the signs to Rue du Faubourg St. Antoine). Start at the bronze Colonne de Julliet and Palace du Bastille, where the a large column commemorates the Bastille Prison.
There's no actual prison at the Bastille, just the monument to it. On July 14th 1789, Parisians stormed The Bastille Prison and took it apart brick by brick. The Bastille Prison represented royal oppression, so it had to go! This day marked the beginning of the French Revolution and The French still celebrate it as we do the 4th of July.
Walk down Rue Saint-Antoine, turn right on Rue de Birague to get to Palace du Voges. Take your time and stop in cafés to pick up some food to eat in the park. Palace du Voges is a gorgeous park with awesome long sandboxes. In the corner you will see Victor Hugo’s house. He wrote both Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, both stories that began my obsession with Paris. Once you’re done with Palace du Voges walk out the opposite side you came in and follow Rue des Francs Bourgeois.
There are a few minor museums covered by your pass on your way including The Picasso Museum, The Jewish Art and History Museum, and The Carnavalet. You’ll also pass my favorite Parisian kid’s store Le Petit Bateau (36 Rue de Sévigné). However, the real museum is outside on the streets! I love the architecture in this area.
Turn left onto Rue Vieille du Temple and then turn right onto Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie. You’re going to pass by the LGBT district and the Jewish District.
End your Marais walk at The Pompidou Center. It's open until 10 pm most days and it's covered by the museum pass. It’s a modern funky art museum that tends to be a hit with teens due to the crazy outdoor entertainers, throngs of young people, and happening cafés. There is also a futuristic escalator that younger kids love to ride. There's a nice art-themed play area to the left and up the stairs as you enter the museum.
There’s a good to-go crepe stand near here called Royal Crepe at 22 rue Saint Denis. It fits the trifecta of perfect kid restaurants: fast, cheap, and delicious food that both adults and kids will generally like.