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Guide Family Paris

Follow the route up and down, up your desire.

Museums of all kinds

Discover the life of the Pharaohs at the Louvre, science at La Villette or a workshop on contemporary art at the Pompidou Centre; explore the arts and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas at the Musée du quai Branly... Paris is overflowing with rich and varied cultural and artistic activities and events for children. Here’s an overview of what is on offer in the museums of Paris.

If you mention the words ‘museum’ and ‘Paris,’ you immediately think of the Louvre. Located in the centre of the capital, the Louvre is the most visited museum in the world (9 million visitors per year). This former palace of the kings of France was turned into a museum in 1973. It hosts outstanding collections of art and antiques grouped into eight departments (Sculpture, The Art of Islam, Oriental, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Graphic arts). If adult visitors crowd the rooms devoted to painting from the Middle Ages to 1848 to admire the Mona Lisa or the Venus de Milo, children prefer to visit the department of Egyptian Antiquities to see the sarcophagi and travel along banks of the Nile in the footsteps of the pharaohs. Also very popular with children are the workshops held throughout the year by the museum.

On the other side of the Seine, the Musée d’Orsay is another landmark of the capital and is popular with Parisian children. Renowned for hosting the largest collection of Impressionist works in the world – you can see The Luncheon on the Grass by Manet, The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer by Degas, Dance at Le moulin de la Galette by Renoir – the museum is very popular with children thanks to its many activities: workshops (‘In Rodin’s studio’), guided tours (‘When artworks tell stories’), game tours (‘My little art history’) and visits for teenagers (‘Ranc’arts’), concerts, films, shows, etc. Not far away, the Musée de l’Armée, located in the Hôtel National des Invalides, serves as a haven for boys who will love to see weapons, armor and uniforms dating from the Middle Ages to the end of the Second World War. A few hundred yards away, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, the Musée du quai Branly specialises in ethnic and tribal art. This beautiful building designed by Jean Nouvel and opened in 2006 has a pleasant garden, exciting temporary exhibitions and a rich entertainment programme for children from the age of 3 (workshops, storytelling visits, etc.).

For those who prefer the sea to contemporary art, there is the Musée national de la Marine, which is a great outing for kids. Opposite the Eiffel Tower, this space exhibits models of ships, navigational instruments from the 17th century to today, and appeals to children through its workshops and game tours. Still in Place du Trocadéro, the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine is a treat for visitors who love architecture (abbeys, cathedrals, train stations and skyscrapers). Three tube stops from the Trocadéro, the Palais de la Découverte, located in the west wing of the Grand Palais, is one of the most interesting Parisian museums to visit with family. Kids will love this museum that makes science accessible to all.

Another science museum to discover with the family: the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie in the Parc de la Villette. Visiting the Cité des enfants (divided into five play and experimentation areas for children from 2 to 12) or watching a movie at the Géode is a treat for every child! Further north of Paris, at Le Bourget (93), the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace attracts aviation enthusiasts who particularly appreciate the flight simulators available to try out.

Back to the centre of Paris, the Musée Grévin is great fun for kids who will enjoy discovering the look-alikes of their favourite stars or characters from comics and cartoons. In Les Halles, the Pompidou Centre, dedicated to modern and contemporary art, not only shows masterpieces by Picasso, Matisse, Miro and Warhol, but also welcomes the little ones to its children’s gallery for exciting events (exhibitions, workshops, meetings) based on contemporary art.

In the east of the capital, you can also discover, in the Gare d’Austerlitz district, one of the most popular places among young Parisians: the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, which houses the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution and the Galerie des enfants... Kids love this museum, which combines the science of earth, life and mankind.

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