There is certainly no lack of museums to visit in Paris, but where to go if you want to keep the whole family entertained? Today many Parisian museums develop special parallel programs and activities for younger audiences, so you won’t have to give in and trek to Disneyland. There are also a number of museums whose collections are naturally adapted to the interests of children, such as the one dedicated to hunting and nature, below. Combine fun with learning at these new-generation venues that have each made an effort to create surprising circuits inside their collections, and to keeping kids entertained. From rotating exhibits on video games to elaborate displays featuring real but stuffed creatures for exotic lands to contemporary art shows designed with kids in mind, there’s no shortage of museums in Paris that the whole family will enjoy. Hit one or five, and your clan will not be disappointed.
Le Gaîté Lyrique
This museum is dedicated to digital creation across all disciplines, including art, fashion, and music. The space includes an all-access video game center with a rotating selection of independent video games to discover and enjoy. There are great workshops for kids on the weekends, and the beautiful café and bar has wow-factor galore.
The contemporary and modern art museum with its emblematic architecture has a kids’ space on the mezzanine presenting interactive programs in sync with the art exhibitions on display in the galleries. Take the escalators up to the 6th floor to the swanky but fun Georges restaurant—try the rose-flavored milkshake—with its amazing views over the city.
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
There’s stuffed animals galore at this intimate museum dedicated to “hunting & nature,” that explores the relationship of man to the animal. Housed within two historic Marais mansions, the museum was completely overhauled in 2007. Kids will love coming face to face with a stuffed polar bear, lion, or rhinoceros. There are also always interesting contemporary art exhibitions on display that highlight the permanent collections.
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
The city’s Natural History Museum is an extraordinary compound featuring various galleries specializing in mineralogy, paleontology, anatomy, and botany; science and nature exhibits; botanical gardens; tropical glasshouses; a menagerie featuring kangaroos and pink flamingos; and a herbarium. Its origins go back to the royal botanical gardens, known as Le Jardin des Plantes.
Grand Galerie de l'Evolution
Located within the Jardin des Plantes, this exhibit devoted to Darwin’s theory presents a Noah’s Ark of stuffed animals inside a beautifully restored 19th-century iron and glass pavilion. Exhibits on the periphery treat themes relating to man’s impact on nature, and the glass lifts up to the second floor are great fun. The Galerie des Enfants presents a permanent interactive exhibition designed for families that examines environmental issues.