Many people are intimidated by the thought of taking young children to museums; we think nothing of it. We feel that teaching our kids about art makes them more well-rounded individuals. At the Louvre children are always welcome and there are a multitude of treasures to educate them and amuse their curiosities.
Tickets and Entry
Children under 18 are free and we recommend buying tickets in advance from the museums website as the queue can be quite daunting. When you do so, you bypass the line and get access to the pyramid at the time stipulated on your ticket.
If you happen to be in Paris the first Sunday of every month, or on Bastille Day, the Louvre is free for all to enter, and the queue reflects this. A few years ago we found ourselves in Paris the first Sunday in July, went to check the line, and it was an estimated 4 hour wait. My wife was very pregnant with twins at the time and someone rushed over to us and explained that no pregnant woman would be waiting in line so we were ushered in immediately. We got lucky on that one, but if you want to challenge the queue with young kids to save a few €, do so at your own risk.
If you are travelling with babies, we highly recommend baby carriers. The Palais du Louvre was a palace designed long before accessibility for wheelchairs or strollers was considered important. You can do it with a stroller, but it will mean that you spend a considerable amount of time looking for lifts or carrying it up and down stairs.
There are 14 different cafes, restaurants, and snack kiosks scattered throughout the museum and if people are getting tired, don’t be afraid to take a break. You may not want a formal sit down lunch, but a pastry or soft drink will go a long way to maintaining kid’s enthusiasm.
Something For Everyone, But…
The Louvre has more than enough masterpieces of history and culture to entertain me for days. My wife and I travelling alone once spent a day and a half inside the Louvre during a visit to Paris. With our son, we stayed entirely in the Denon Wing and that is where you will see all the famous highlights.
A couple tips, do not put kids on your shoulders to see the Mona Lisa as security will be all over you in seconds. Also, turn around, The Wedding at Cana is one of my favourite paintings in the Louvre and perhaps the most overlooked.
Leonidas at Thermopylae was one of my son’s favourite paintings. He was six at the time of our visit and was enthralled by the story of Leonidas and my wife looked at me with a gleam of new found respect in her eyes as I shared the story of the Battle of Theropylae with him. She was terribly disappointed once I told her it was the premise for the film 300.
Places like the Louvre will define your family travels. Either you can take your kids and challenge them intellectually, or you can skip the Louvre and may never have a chance to return. We prefer to try and balance our activities so that everyone gets to see and do things that they will enjoy.
For some ideas about things to do with Kids in Paris, including kid friendly activities surrounding the Louvre to turn your visit into a great family day, you know what to do. Paris – 3 Surprisingly Kid Friendly Days (and one trap)
Happy and safe travels.
PS. This blog can also be reached via #CulturedKids and #allaboutfrance.