First, sign up your kids for one of the fabulous art workshops at the Musée des Augustins (cost: 10€, free for the teenage group). It lasts from 2pm to 4:30pm and parents are asked to leave. The museum is situated in the heart of the city, so once you’ve found a parking space, you’re set until the evening.
Use your precious free time to do what you like. In my case, this meant getting my own ticket for the museum and enjoying the amazing statues and monumental painting gallery, but also the current exhibition of non-portrait portraits (called “Ceci n’est pas un portrait“) at the heart of my boys’ art experience. It was absolutely delightful.
Secondly, you wander around the pedestrian streets for an hour, dipping in and out of shops to get out of the rain. It’s been coming down in unpredictable showers since I got up, so by now all pretence of a hair “style” has been abandoned. I did buy enough coral red wool for yet another loop scarf and face cream designed to keep the Old Crone at bay. I tested a dozen perfumes at Séphora while the boys tested eye shadow on each other, and I vaguely looked into boutique windows, but as any mother in town with kids knows, there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell to even look at a T-shirt with them in tow.
Thirdly, you stop at Le Petit Magre around the corner from Les Augustins for afternoon tea. The boys preferred hot chocolate, fruit salad, and a very pretty raspberry Saint Honoré. It was gone before I could try it.