Insiders Guide to
Family Museums in Paris

Traveling with children? There's a lot for a family to see and do in Paris. For example: great museums that appeal to children and adults alike, covering a variety of topics from sciences to history to the arts.

Let's start in the 5th Arrondissement where you find the Natural History Museum, brimming with child-friendly displays.

It's located in the Jardin des Plantes with its gardens and zoo. If the kids need a day simply to run around, head to the Parc de la Villette where they can work off energy while you visit the expansive City of Science and the City of Music, after walking along the canal.

If you have just a few hours, the Grevin Wax Museum or The Paris Story are good museums for families. Remember — although these museums are geared to families, they're so much fun that we recommend them to those without children, too!

Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle

Natural History Museum

There's a ton of stuff to see at this museum in the Jardin Des Plantes, including the Gallery of Mineralogy, the Gallery of Paleontology (birds, dinosaurs, prehistoric animals) and the Grande Gallery of Evolution. Great for kids.

Speaking of kids, there's also a wonderful zoo in the Jardin des Plantes. So, make a day of it with a visit to the zoo followed by the Natural History Museum.

Natural History Museum
Jardin des Plantes, 36 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 75005
Metro: Austerlitz, Censier-Daubenton, Jussieu
Open: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Closed: Tues and public holidays
Museum Website »

Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie

Paris Science Museum

Head to the 19th Arrondissement to see the biggest European science museum.

There's a planetarium, an Imax theatre, a geode and many engaging science exhibits. Check the calendar before you go as there are many special workshops and temporary exhibits for children.

The biggest attraction for kids are the two Cités des Enfants within the museum, one for ages 3 to 7 and the other for ages 5 to 12. They're packed with fun, hands-on, interactive displays for children. (Most instructions are in French and English.) However, during the week when school is in session there are likely to be classes on field trips, which means hundred of kids with few supervisors, and it's a madhouse! For a family trip it's best to go in the summer or on weekends or during a school break.

City of Science: Paris Science Museum
Parc de la Villette, 75019
Metro: Porte de la Villette, Corentin Cariou
Open: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
Closed: Monday and public holidays
Museum Website »
Free Entrance with the Paris Pass »

Cité de la Musique

Museum of Music

Discover the history of western music in the heart of the Parc de la Villette.

There are over over 1000 instruments on display including ones owned by Frederic Chopin and Frank Zappa. English audio guides are available for your children.

If your kids (or you) are interested in music, then this museum will be fascinating. However, there are very few hands-on displays for children to play with. Check the museum website for special exhbiits, such as the recent Bob Dylan 61 – 66.

City of Music: Paris Museum of Music
Parc de la Villette, 75019
Metro: Porte de Pantin
Open: Noon to 6:00 pm. Sun 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Closed: Monday and public holidays
Museum Website »
Free Entrance with the Paris Pass »

Palais de la Découverte

Palais de la Découverte

Right in central Paris, and part of the Grand Palais complex, is this wonderful museum of science and discovery.

There are tons of hands-on displays that kids will love (while they learn!).

One of the favorites is Rat School, where kids see how a rat learns to run through a maze. It's in French, but children will love it no matter what language they speak.

Museum of Discovery
Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 75008
Metro: Champs Elysées-Clemenceau, Franklin D.Roosevelt
Open: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm; Sun & Holidays 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Closed: Monday
Museum Website »

Musée du Quai Branly

Musée du Quai Branly

Explore the world and its cultures with outstanding collections of African, Asian, Oceanic arts and civilizations.

Take a break in the garden patio and enjoy a drink or a light lunch. This is one of the newest museums in Paris, opened in 2006, and currently one of the most popular among Parisians.

Nestled close to the Eiffel Tower in the 7th Arrondissement.

Quai Branly Museum
37 Quai Branly, 75007
Metro: Alma-Marceau, Iena
Open: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm; Thur, Fri & Sat until 9:00 pm
Closed: Monday and public holidays
Museum Website »
Free Entrance with the Paris Pass »

Musée des Arts et Metiers

Musée des Arts et Metier

Don't be misled by the name of this museum. "Arts and Crafts", as the name is translated, is really about science, discovery and invention. Founded in 1794, it has over 80,000 objects including the original Foucault pendulum.

Kids will love the 3-storey auto and airplane display built right inside the former chapel that also houses Foucault's pendulum.

Museum of Arts & Crafts
60 Rue Reaumur, 75003
Metro: Arts et Metiers
Open: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Closed: Monday and public holidays
Museum Website »
Free Entrance with the Paris Pass »

Toy Gallery at Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Toy Gallery

The Museum of Decorative Arts, in a wing of the Louvre Palace, is dedicated to the "French art of living, the savoir-faire of its craftsmen and industrialists," and the creativity of artists.

In addition to displays of fashion, craftsmanship and décor you will also find the Gallery of Toys, exhibiting historical and current toys from France.

Toy Gallery at the Museum of Decorative Arts
6107, rue de Rivoli, 75001
Metro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre
Open: 101:00 am to 6:00 pm, Thur until 9:00 pm
Closed: Monday and public holidays
Museum Website »
Free Entrance with the Paris Pass »

Museums in Paris – Grevin Wax Museum

Grevin Wax Museum

The Grevin opened its doors on June 5, 1882 and has been a popular destination ever since. There are over 300 wax statues depicting everyone from Brad Pitt and Celine Dion to The Little Prince. Your children will love it, and you will too!

Grevin Wax Museum
10, Boulevard Montmartre, 75009
Metro: Grand Boulevards
Open: 10:00 am to 6:30 pm; Sat-Sun 10:00 to 7:00 pm
Closed : First week of Oct.
Museum Website »
Free Entrance with the Paris Pass »

The Paris Story

History comes alive in this interactive museum geared towards children.

You'll learn about Paris, starting from the prehistoric settlements up to modern times, and everything in between. It's great for families.

The Paris Story
11 Rue Scribe, 75009
Metro: Opera
Open: Daily 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Museum Website »
Free Entrance with Paris Pass »

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