Head over to the Louvre for some culture. Older kids love the Egyptian collection with sarcophagi and amazing statues, and the whole museum is full of lifts and ramps so taking a pushchair along is no problem. There is even a special queue for moms with pushchairs so you can skip the crowds (if there are any).
Then, as an antidote for the kids, walk over to the Tuileries Gardens. They have trampolines (for kids over 2), and a merry-go-round situated in the middle of the gardens. Try to go before 4pm as this is the time school finishes and the parks get packed. To treat yourself, go for a hot chocolate at Angelina’s (226 rue de Rivoli). Rumour has it, that this is the best hot chocolate in the Northern Hemisphere….
Treat yourself to a spot of shopping on one of the shopping hotspots of Paris, rue des Franc Bourgeois and rue Veille du Temple in the Marais. There are numerous little parks around these streets (places des Vosges and parc Royale), so you can let the kids have a quick play in-between shops! Go for lunch at Le loir dans la Théière (3 rue des rosiers 75004 Paris Tél. : 01.42.72.90.61). Ironically all the antique highchairs there are purely for decoration, but it is a really kid-friendly place with big leather sofas. Nobody rushes you, even if there is a huge queue in front of the door (and the lemon tarte is something to behold– its meringue topping must be at least 15 cm high)!
Head over to the Jardin des Plantes. La Menagerie is a little old-fashioned zoo inside the park. It is very cute and has all the animals kids could possibly want to see. The café inside is decent and very good with kids. In true French style you can order anything… from a croque monsieur to escargot! If it is raining, the Natural History Museum is also in the same park. It is maybe not the most impressive stuffed-animal museum of all times, but definitely worth a look.
Time to treat the kids to some shopping. Some of the best kids clothing and toy stores in Paris are concentrated on the rue Vavin and the rue Brea in the 6th, just south of the Luxembourg gardens. Petit Bateau have a lovely shop there as do DPAM and Jacadi, and there are lots of individual children boutiques. After that you can go to the playground in the Luxembourg Gardens, which is one of the best playgrounds in Paris. There are swings for bigger kids, and the highlight for all the kids are the sailboats you can rent at the fountain, which you push around with sticks.
Make your way over to the bois de Vincennes. It is a beautiful park/woods on the outside of Paris but in easy reach by metro (line 1). You can rent little boats to row around the lake and there is a little city farm, which is worth visiting especially in the spring when all the animals have just had their babies. The playground in the Parc Floral is huge and great for all ages.
If you still need to get a bit of shopping out of your system head back into town to the village St-Paul a little maze of cobble stone courtyards full of little antique and design stores. It is actually a lovely place to go with kids as the courtyards are all interlinked and pedestrianized.