If you think Paris is more for lovers and not for families with children, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, it’s not the please-jump-and-scream-freely-in-my-restaurant destination Barcelona is, but it’s a promise to keep kids entertained. Lots of museums on our list and no time to waste:
1. The Louvre – this is THE Parisian cultural institution where kids can have their very first incursion in the world of arts. From ancient Egyptian artefacts to famous attractions like Mona Lisa and Four Seasons, your children will be amazed by Louvre’s introduction to the arts.
2. Musée d’Orsay – among the most visited museums in the world, Musée d’Orsay has a 2.5-hour kids tour conducted by an art historian trained in working with them. Your children won’t be only admiring Realism and Impressionism paintings, they will be encouraged to get familiar and critical about what they see.
3. Choco-Story Museum – tastiest museum of all, with tailor-made tours and games for children. A must (taste)!
4. Musée des Impressionnismes – you’ll find it in the middle of Claude Monet’s secret garden in Giverny. Visit it in late summer and your children will see Monet’s beautiful paintings with perspectives, symmetries and colours brought back to life.
5. Musée Grévin – sort of a Madame Tussauds but at a smaller scale. You will be admiring waxworks of very famous people. Kids aged 7 to 12 can also take the discovery tour to see how wax figures are actually made.
6. Musée national de la Marine – special tours on ocean life for children up to 12 years old.
1. Philharmonie de Paris – children from 3 months to 12 years old can be musicians for a day by joining the music making workshops organized here. Don’t miss the special family discount on tickets to weekend concerts.
2. Cinémathèque française – for cinema lovers and their kids, joining any of the workshops on vocal training, screenwriting and animation will be a great experience.
3. Maison européenne de la Photographie – organizes children’s photography workshops.
4. Musée en Herbe – take advantage of a not-so-perfect-weather day and have your children enrolled in their classical and modern art workshops.
5. Musée de la Poupée – crafting workshops where children learn to make all sorts of funny things like Russian nesting and paper dolls.
1. Musée de la Vie romantique – gracefully evoking the Romantic period, this museum provides special storytelling tours for children.
2. Musée Carnavalet – the entire family can take part in interactive tours to learn more about the history of Paris from its origins to present day.
3. Musée de l’Armée – for detective game lovers of all ages. Opt for one of the guided tours or storytelling sessions to teach children about iconic historical figures.
4. Musée du Moyen-âge – located in the glamorous courtyard of the 15th century Hôtel de Cluny, this museum will entertain you with its family-friendly history workshops.
5. Musée du quai Branly – the place to get insight on the customs and traditions of ancient civilizations from around the world.
6. Grand Galerie de l’Evolution – as an ode to Darwin’s theory, the gallery showcases a Noah’s Ark with stuffed animals inside a restored 19th-century iron and glass pavilion. Exhibitions about man’s impact on nature and other environmental issues are very catchy.
1. Studio 13/16 at the Centre Pompidou – both teenagers and adults will be wired by the interactive artworks and experiments in digital creativity. Free entry with no prior booking required.
2. Paris Story – extra-large-screens, touch-screens, and original films highlighting the Parisian glamour from origins to present times.
3. The Cube – centre for digital creation with interactive workshops for kids up to 11 years old.
1. The Palais de la découverte – prepare to be amazed by earth science, astronomy, biology, chemistry, maths, and physics.
2. Géode – children will be watching documentaries on the biggest hemispherical screen in Europe.
3. Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace – located in Paris-Le Bourget airport, this museum will fascinate the entire family with its aircraft and planetarium collections. The ‘Planète Pilote’ workshop is a must.
4. Exploradôme – from how to create an optical illusion to making water safe to drink, Exploradôme is the home of wacky experiments geared to kids of all ages.
5. Musée des Art et Métiers – museum of inventions founded in 1794 and housed in an old abbey. Among many other things, here you can see Foucault’s pendulum swing and the Théâtre des Automates which once belonged to Marie Antoinette.
Writer Jim Morgan used to say Paris is “like one great piece of art. Every quarter, every street, every character seems painterly.” There’s even more to discover about Paris and now you have some key points on your roadmap.