Even one of the best behaved baby could not be capable of patiently wait within the lengthy traces of the Louvre. Luckily, Paris and its surrounding area even have some 200 different museums, many of which cater fortunately to younger vacationers and their households.
At this choice of 5 museums, youngsters and adults can journey vintage carousels, attend musical performances and watch magic reveals. With the profit of being a bit off-the-beaten vacationer path, extra French shall be heard and guests may really feel a way of satisfaction figuring out they’ve arrived at a spot that native Parisians additionally get pleasure from.
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
National Museum of Natural History
Encircling the Jardin des Plantes. the galleries of Paris’s pure historical past museum embrace halls of geology and botany and greenhouses of vegetation from totally different climates. But the must-sees are the Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy and Grand Gallery of Evolution.
In the paleontology constructing, a menagerie of articulated skeletons and fossils nonetheless sport their authentic, charmingly hand-lettered labels from the top of the 19th century. Neither youngsters nor their mother and father can contact, however they’ll journey the animals on the “dodo manège,” a carousel of extinct and endangered species, positioned simply exterior.
The Grand Gallery of Evolution occupies a wonderful iron and glass constructing relationship to the 1880s. Originally the zoology constructing, it reopened to the general public in 1994 after a long time of neglect. The museum shows greater than 9,000 preserved animals and bugs, from a complete assortment of many tens of hundreds of thousands extra. The reveals inform the intertwined tales of the evolution of species and of human impacts on the planet, together with a corridor of extinct and endangered species the place creatures appear to glow below low, preservation-sensitive lighting.
57 rue Cuvier, 5e, mnhn.fr
Musée de la Musique
Museum of Music
This museum in the 19th Arrondissement adjoins the home of the Paris Philharmonic. Its collection spans centuries of European classical music and instruments, with intricately decorated pianos and hundreds of reeds, horns and string instruments, including a 10-foot-tall octobass that is played with the hands and feet.
Live performances take place in the galleries of the museum every day, either on original instruments or replicas. The museum provides two versions of its English-language audio guide, one for children and one for adults, and visitors can hear the sounds of the instruments on display. Smaller sections of the museum feature electric guitars, 20th-century experimental instruments like the theremin and gmebaphone, as well as a selection of instruments from other continents.
221 Avenue Jean-Jaurès, 19e, philharmoniedeparis.fr/en/musee-de-la-musique
Musée des Arts Forains
Museum of Fairground Arts
At this museum, in whimsically arranged former wine warehouses, children and adults can hop on vintage carousels and compete on the antique fairground games. Guides recount the history of Europe’s traveling fairs and explain signs that identify the country of origin for a carousel horse. One hint: British horses face the opposite direction to horses made in continental Europe.
An unusual British carousel from the turn-of-the-20th century — one that had a cameo in the film “Midnight in Paris” — features a ring of bicycles. It turns on the pedal-power of its riders, and can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
Reservations must be made in advance on the museum’s website. Tours in French are offered several days a week year-round, and English-language tours are offered in the summer months.
53 avenue des Terroirs de France, 12e, arts-forains.com
Musée des Arts et Métiers
Museum of Arts and Tradecrafts
Established during the French Revolution to showcase cutting-edge science and technologies, the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers’ has since received continual updates, which gradually transformed it into a museum of the history of technological change.
Early planes, including the first to cross the English Channel, hang from the ceiling of one building, the former church of Saint-Martin-des-Champs. So does Foucault’s pendulum, a device first used to visually prove the rotation of the earth in the mid-19th century. The collection has tremendous range, with antique cars, early engines and scientific instruments, and elements used in the construction of the Statue of Liberty, including an early plaster cast of the sculpture at human scale.
If a parent is looking to feel particularly old, point your children to a Sony Walkman, behind the glass in the hall of communications.
60 rue Réaumur, 3e, arts-et-metiers.net
Musée de la Magie
Museum of Magic
From the reactions of young visitors to the Museum of Magic, it appears a magician’s act requires no translation. Every visit to this museum in the Marais neighborhood begins with a short performance of simple tricks, followed by a guided tour of the magic props and objects on display in these 16th-century cellars. This tour currently takes place in French, so English-speaking visitors may want to explore on their own with the help of English-language guidebooks available at the entrance.
Highlights include fun-house mirrors, early home magic kits, the first box successfully used by an American magician to saw a woman in half and an Egyptian mummy-case that made its occupants disappear. A second, even tinier gallery has what the children might call early ancestors of the animated GIF. Dozens of automatons, many from turn-of-the-century fairgrounds, perform simple motions at the push of a button.
11, rue Saint-Paul, 4e, Museedelamagie.com
Adapted with additional images from the book “The Little(r) Museums of Paris,” published June 4 by Running Press.
52 PLACES AND MUCH, MUCH MORE Follow our 52 Places traveler, Sebastian Modak, on Instagram as he travels the world, and discover more Travel coverage by following us on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up for our Travel Dispatch newsletter: Each week you’ll receive tips on traveling smarter, stories on hot destinations and access to photos from all over the world.