Last week we went to the most wonderful place with a not so wonderful history… 104 used to be a mortuary. The city of Paris was in charge of all funerals in the city, taking care of hearses, coffins, etc. It was created in order to distance religion from funeral services as in the past divorced women and suicide victims were not to be buried at certain times for religious reasons. But on to happier thoughts!
Today the building has been completely renovated and turned into a community arts centre. There are many exhibits throughout as well as a cafe, a used curiosity shop, and a book store. The best part of the building is La Maison des Petits. It is a bit like Coffee and Scream in Calgary except that it is run by the local region. It is basically a play area for kids 0-6 years old. There are tons of toys, arts and crafts, water play areas, books, and best of all, free coffee for moms and dads!
They only allow 30 people (kids and adults) in at a time, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. It opened at 3pm and was full by about 3:30pm! AK had a great time playing with all the new toys, trying her hand at painting, and watching all the other kids run around. She doesn’t seem to want to play with other kids yet, more interested in watching what they do.
We stayed for about an hour and had hardly played with half the toys. We were amazed at the differences between this play area and ones we would see in Canada. Most places in Canada would not have dolls and such toys as they wouldn’t be “sanitary” and would be hard to clean. There was no handwash station at the door either. Personally I think this is great, a few germs are fine for kids, they don’t need to grow up in a bubble!
We’ll definitely be heading back soon as AK had a great time and ended up having a super long nap once we got home. It’s too bad places like this didn’t exist in Canada!