The most beautiful toy stores in Paris reside in secret arcades and on famous streets which makes seeking them out as much a pleasure as it is to enter into their magical worlds. Each toy store is inspired by timeless classic tradition and exists to delight not only young children, but the child in all of us.
Au Nain Bleu
252 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75007 Paris. Metro: Solferino
Established in 1836 Au Nain Bleu is the oldest and most regal toystore in Paris. Residing on the famous Boulevard St Germain it rests among the stars of big brand designer names so you can indulge in some intense window shopping for yourself along the way or even stop off at Les Deux Magot – the old cafe Picasso, Hemingway, Satre and de Beauvoir used to frequent. Inside Au Nain Bleu you will find traditional toys such as our beautiful French Bateaux Tirot boats, over-sized teddy bears, retro cars, beautiful books such as the Little Prince pop up book, dress up clothes for princes and princesses and doll houses.
42 Rue François Miron, 75004 Paris. Metro Saint Paul
Les FanFans holds a special place in my heart because it’s here that my life was changed. Le Fanfans was the first toy store in Paris I visited a number of years ago when I was travelling with my young daughter who was about to turn six. I was seeking birthday gifts along with something special for my ever-growing number of nieces and nephews. The owner was so charming and funny that it began my journey to create Spirited Mama and the French Heart Store. Le FanFans is indeed full of tresors for infants yet it is a typical toy store stuffed with magic tricks, laughing cows, metal carousels and games. It resides in the back streets of the Le Marais – on the Seine side of Rue des Rivoli among fashionable restaurants, small art galleries, fromageries and the latest gift and craft phenomenon Petit Pan, so after some retail therapy for the little one you can treat yourself to something beautiful, too.
29 Passage Jouffroy, 75009 Paris. Metro: Richelieu – Drouot or Grands Boulevards
Of all the toyshops Pain D’pices is the most enchanting. It resides in 19th century passage way built of decorative metal, glass and wood. While Pain D’pices offers many European toys to customers, it specialises in the miniature doll houses from the classic Georgian home to the modern mansion. But more impressive are the fitouts – everything you could imagine has been included – hundreds of tiny copper saucepans, brooms, fruit, wine decanters, miniature cheese boards (with French cheeses of course), French pasteries, rolling pins, vintage scales and all the furniture you could ever wish for. There are also miniature boulangerie, toy shop and petrol station storefront models that children (or adults) can build. If the children in your life believe in fairies then Pain d’Epice has the evidence.
Si Tu Veux
68 galerie Vivienne 75002 Paris. Ph: 33 01 42 60 59 97. Metro: Bourse
The most beautiful of all toyshops in the world, Si Tu Veux is found in a charming neo-classical 19th Century arcade in Paris’ 2nd arrondissonment nestled among the most illustrious antique and designer stores and a divine bar LeGrand Filles et Fils (so that you can have a well deserved champagne after finding the arcade). Sparkling in soft fairy lights, Si Tu Veux beckons the passerby to enter into a magical world which boasts classic European toys. The owner Madeline Deny publishes a regular blog that suggests all manner of creative and inexpensive children’s activities to do with the imagination and play – great to practice your French, or be inspired by one of the denizens of toy shopping.
And if you don’t have the chance to visit one of these beautiful Parisian toy stores in Paris itself then visit our French Heart Store, an online store as beautiful as the boutiques of Paris, which features provincial and artisan crafted toys and children’s decor sourced from the heart of France.
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