There’s no shortage of parents who’ve given up going to the museum with the arrival of their kids. Too noisy, can’t sit still, unable to concentrate. All good reasons – and admittedly often justifiable – to not bring them to the exhibition of the moment. Or perhaps it’s you who just wants a moment without the rugrats. But kids like to get out and love new things; they’re naturally curious and will floor you with the depth of their observations, the finesse of their questions and the interest they can show. But you’re also opening them up to incredibly rich and formative experiences at a young age.
Here is a small selection of museums in Paris where you shouldn’t hesitate to bring your children. I myself am a mother of a 5 year-old girl, and let me say that this list has been approved by the two of us.
– Les Arts Décoratifs
The exhibitions in this museum are often 3-dimensional instead of flat works on a canvas. Kids love that! They can easily relate to objects they’ll recognize from their daily lives, or escape into an imaginary world triggered by less common themes. Needless to say the temporary exhibition of the moment is important so I encourage you to check out the schedule beforehand.
– Le Palais Galliera
If there’s one way to get kids interested in the history and evolution of society, clothes!! They could have the faintest interest in fashion but they’ll get a kick out of mannequins dressed in strange garbs. It’ll spark questions and let them stroll through the “costumes party” as dreamers through time and space.
– Picasso Museum
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not because a painting is figurative that children won’t be interested. On the contrary! I was surprised by how much my daughter was captivated by Picasso’s paintings. Just put the kids in front of a deconstructed figure and ask them what they see. You’ll be floored by their perspective and the freshness of their unfiltered questions. They’re intrigued and while their questions will seem simple, revise your classics as the answers will be a little less so.
– Le Centre Pompidou
The exhibitions at the Pompidou are often installations or artists original and different. Kids eat up these shows in the large space that often includes music, film, special lighting and sculptures! You might want to check ahead though as shows may exhibit things that could jolt their sensitive nature.
And then there’s the building itself. Industrial style with a thousand colors, eight floors of escalators (trivial you say, but kids love escalators) and an incredible view of Paris. Lots of good reasons to enjoy a visit!
– Le Palais de Tokyo
Those who say “Contemporary Art” say questioning, denunciation, progress, avant-garde, transgression, and even provocation. In that sense it might worth checking ahead before taking the kids. But as much the building as the nature of the exhibitions will win them over. The space is airy giving them the freedom to move through installations that can be both intriguing and surprising. And given the succession of short-term exhibitions, their thirst for novelty will be quenched and curiosity nurtured.
– La Fondation Louis Vuitton
An architecture that is as enchanting for them as it is for us, fountains and pools, several balconies with views better than the last, stairs everywhere. It’s a beautiful labyrinth. And on top of that you can pass through the Jardin d’Acclimatation after or let off some steam in the Bois de Boulogne. That alone will make any kid want to go. Choosing the right moment to go is giving them the opportunity to visit with the most impressive artworks of the last 150 years!
This is neither an exhaustive list nor is it in order of preference, but it’s my personal experience and I hope it makes you want to leap into a museum with your little ones.
If you want to see what’s happening in these museums or others in New York, London and elsewhere, it’s right here: culturaliv.com.
So now you’re out of excuses to not take your kids to the museum!