What if children prefer museums to sandboxes in Paris?


ParisCultural HeritageCities

Palais de Tokyo
© Palais de Tokyo

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 9 February 2023, updated on 6 May 2024

Not long ago, visiting a big city with its toddlers was not always synonymous with vacation. It seems that Paris has put everything in place to change that trend: activities for families have grown considerably, which will have its younger visitors soon picking museums over sandboxes!

Lively places where you don't have to be afraid to make some noise

With the Palais de Tokyo, the idea of a museum was conceived as a lively place near the Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower: no more dusty clashes, intimidating places with almost religious silence. Here we have the right to laugh, run, read in a corner ... much to our children's pleasure!

By immersing yourself in the program, there is something for all tastes and ages: fairytales, Tok Tok workshops or a family workshop, and more. Whatever's on the schedule, the idea is to wander around the rooms, create and above all have fun.

For a multidisciplinary approach, opt for the Centquatre in the north of Paris. Here everything mixes: dance, theater, visual arts, cinema, music, literature. The site, of course, proposes family visits or "le petit chantier" to learn how to build an ephemeral world. But above all there is enough to spend the day just sitting here or there, reveling in the contortions of hip hop dancers, salsa classes, anonymous musicians with their dance steps, just for the joy of it. So we sit and enjoy while the children imitate the entertainers!

In the same neighborhood, La Villette is a veritable temple for little ones. From the Cité des Sciences to the Grande Halle or the most recent Philharmonie de Paris, children can learn about scientific mutations, contemporary circuses and new music. Again, you can touch, experiment, and make noise.

Learning by having fun in the heart of Paris

There are other places totally dedicated to children like the Musée en Herbe in the heart of Paris. Each exhibit is designed to capture the interest of visitors young and old ... "from 3 to 103 years" as they say, and it's true! Recognized by its peers, the museum is now lending major works by other big-name museums for its thematic exhibitions.

A few steps away, the Center Pompidou is another must-see site. To visit its current temporary exhibitions, do not forget to register your children at one of its many workshops. Always creative, they are the image of the place and you can conclude the walk together by a visit to the children's gallery: the interactive exhibition is entrusted to a contemporary artist and is always very playful, whatever the age of Visitors.

Less well known but to be discovered without further delay, the Cité de l'Architecture offers on the ground floor a retrospective of the most beautiful portals from the Middle Ages to the 17th century. The first floor, on the other hand, is devoted to contemporary French architecture. With the help of well-designed booklets, the child walks through the museum like a treasure hunt. Workshops in connection with temporary exhibitions also showcase children's creativity around issues of urban planning and contemporary constructions.

Off the beaten track!

Self-proclaimed "geeks" aren't left out, with two key places dedicated to digital creation: Gaîté Lyrique halfway between Les Halles and Place de la République in Paris, and the Cube in Issy-les-Moulineaux, southwest of Paris, the capital. The first is a multidisciplinary venue where children can attend concerts, play video games or participate in a digital workshop; The second proposes in particular its Little Big Party where families can share a digital afternoon together. On the schedule: a series of digital tales or a collaborative game play area!

The Palais de Tokyo - 13, avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris.

The CENTQUATRE-PARIS - 5 rue Curial, 75019 Paris.

La Villette - 211, Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris.

Philharmonic of Paris - 221, avenue Jean-Jaurès, 75019 Paris.

City of Science and Industry - 30, avenue Corentin-Cariou, 75019 Paris.

The Musée en Herbe - 23, rue de L'Arbre-Sec, 75001 Paris.

Center Pompidou Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris.

City of Architecture and Heritage - Palais de Chaillot 1, Place du Trocadéro, 75016 Paris.

The Gaîté Lyrique - 3bis, Rue Papin, 75003 Paris.

Le Cube - 20, Cours Saint Vincent, 92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux

By France.fr

The magazine of the destination unravels an unexpected France that revisits tradition and cultivates creativity. A France far beyond what you can imagine…