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How to visit the Louvre with kids

How to visit the Louvre with kids

The Louvre in Paris is the world’s largest art museum. It’s so big in fact that it would actually be impossible to see all 380,000 pieces the museum exhibits in one day.  Ok, so here’s the scenario. Two kids in tow. Targeting the right pieces with a strategy to navigate the Louvre. And all before the dreaded onset of boredom. A daunting prospect, I think you’ll agree.

Visiting the Louvre with kids

Visiting the Louvre with kids

Visiting the Louvre with kids

What to see at the Louvre?

With around nine to ten million visitors a year, the Louvre museum also takes the crown for the most popular in the world. It’s home to some of the most famous artworks and sculptures – I’m talking Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and of course the Mona Lisa, plus some phenomenal artefacts from the Egyptian and Greek epoch. When you have young impressionable minds to nourish, missing out on all this on your first visit to Paris would be a pity.

Visiting the Louvre with kids

Another thing to bear in mind on your visit are the signs on the Louvre paintings are obviously all in French. Not a problem for those fluent in French of course, but I hate not being able to answer a ‘What’s this mummy?’ question. Of course, the museum does provide audio guides. Personally I think it’s the worst way to see a museum with young children. Zero interaction is a sure-fire way of hearing the two ghastly words – ‘I’m bored!’

Visiting the Louvre with kids

So what do we have now – A gargantuan area to cover. Over-crowded. Parental knowledge inadequacy. Resulting in my visions for their first visit being full of great memories fading fast into an oblivion.

With all this in mind it was a no brainer for us – a tour guide was conducive to a successful first trip. We booked a private two-hour family tour with Paris Muse. It certainly became a highlight of our Parisienne adventure. Here’s why this is one of the best ways to visit the Louvre with young children:

Skip the lines Louvre

Visiting the Louvre with kids

No need for your heart to sink when you see the huge queue outside the glass pyramid entrance waiting for their Louvre museum tickets. Although, there is no escape from the security checks which may have queues; with a Louvre tour guide you can fast track your way past the line.  All kids (and most adults) will agree waiting patiently is the pits.  Oh and a top tip, don’t bring any large bags. They won’t fit in the lockers provided in the cloakroom

Louvre private tour

We met our guide Henry outside the The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel opposite the Louvre. Whilst stood outside the impressive building he engaged the girls with questions and gave us a short recap on its colourful history – From its origins as a fortress in 1190 to a royal palace in the 16th century before opening as a museum at the end of the 18th century.

Visiting the Louvre with kids

Henry presented both girls with their own case detective workbook. Their eyes lit up by the fact they’d be on a scavenger hunt around the museum for treasure. The tour is designed to give kids aged 6 – 12 years old an entertaining insight to the history of the masterpieces whilst playing a sleuth detective. With their answers from the clues finally leading them to an educational prize hidden under the Louvre’s glass pyramid.

Focused

Visiting the Louvre with kids

The scavenger hunt took us through a broad range of collections from Ancient near East, Egyptian, Greek and Roman through to Renaissance Italian and French.

Visiting the Louvre with kids

On a first visit it gives you a real sense of the vastness of the museum and touched on the all major masterpieces you’d want to see.

Visiting the Louvre with kids

Relaxing

Time to be honest parents. When was the last time you visited a museum with the kids and actually found it relaxing? We’re all super keen to ensure our kids are cultured and hopefully share some of our passion for the arts. It means though the days of mooching around and immersing yourself fully in the art is long gone. Well until you hire a private tour guide, as I discovered.

Visiting the Louvre with kids

Mr S and I shared a knowing look as we walked behind our enthused girls on the scavenger hunt. We revelled in being able to wander around stress free. There were even proper adult conversations in between polishing up on our own knowledge. Priceless!

All the best bits!

The first clue bought wide eyes a plenty when it took us to the Code of Hammurabi Plinth. It’s the world’s oldest written Babylonian law from ancient Mesopotamia dating back to 2nd century BC!

Visiting the Louvre with kids

Although excited to finally see the Mona Lisa, like most people the girls found it rather underwhelming in real life, being only a little larger than an A2 piece of paper. The hordes who surround it daily make it tricky for little ones to catch a glimpse. I promise you she’s in front of the crowd behind bulletproof glass.

Visiting the Louvre with kids

Of course yours truly always finds a way to get her snap!

Visiting the Louvre with kids

Next to entice their young minds was the inspiration behind a world-famous sports brand. The Winged Victory of Samothrace also known as Nike of Samothrace. It’s one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world and conveys action and triumph as well as a sense of incredible movement.

Visiting the Louvre with kids

One of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture is Venus de Milo. Created around 100 BC it’s believed to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess…the summit of beauty and love. And Venus was her name. She’s got it – yeah baby, she’s got it…Sorry slight digression back the tour.

Visiting the Louvre with kids

The department of Egyptian Antiquities has Radha all giddy. She’s been fascinated by mummies ever since visiting the British Museum.

Visiting the Louvre with kids

Home to one of the largest sphinx sculptures in existence outside of Egypt. The 26 ton Great Sphinx of Tanis had to be pushed through a hole in the wall, when there was no machinery available to lift such a weight. Believe me, it’s big.

Visiting the Louvre with kids

And finally…

Visiting the Louvre with kids

I was quite impressed with the level of enthusiasm our guide retained through the course of the two hours with the girls. It’s something we could never have achieved and it was wonderful to watch them immerse themself in the hunt.

The Louvre can be overwhelming for an adult, nevermind a child. This guided family tour is a fantastic way to combine entertainment and education in the world’s most famous museum.

At €320 for a family of 6 or fewer these tours aren’t cheap. In my opinion if you’re going to splurge on anything maybe pass on another electronic device and instead go for culture and memories that will last a lifetime.

For more information on the family Louvre tour and other tours Paris Muse run, please head to their website here.

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Watch my highlights video below of the scavenger hunt around the Louvre.

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary family tour, however, all views, opinions and photos unless otherwise stated are my own and remain a trademark of the Curious Pixie.

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Visiting the Louvre with kids

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13 Comments

  • Scarlett Roitman 23rd April 2018 at 6:48 am

    My parents used to take me to the Louvre regularly as a child, and I remember being bored to death. Of course now, I could spend all day in there (although I’m with your girls, the Mona Lisa still leaves me underwhelmed.) The scavenger hunt is a good idea, and a two-hour tour with an engaging guide must be fun (but that is quite pricey isn’t it?).

    • Sima Sthanakiya 23rd April 2018 at 11:22 am

      There’s so much to take it that you can just end up switching off, especially as a kid. Yes, it is expensive but I’ve never seen my girls so absorbed and even after 2 hours they could have carried on – Unheard of in a museum scenario. Having experienced it, I think when I head back I’d definitely want to do another one their museums.

  • Binny 23rd April 2018 at 8:09 am

    This sounds amazing and a scavenger hunt is so much fun!!!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 23rd April 2018 at 11:23 am

      We all had so much fun Binny. One of the best ways we’ve been to a museum as a family.

  • Laura 23rd April 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Sounds like so much fun, such a fun and interactive to explore the Louvre

  • Seetal 23rd April 2018 at 7:09 pm

    I’m no kid, but I wouldn’t mind doing a scavenger hunt there as it sounds like so much fun 🙂

  • Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays 4th May 2018 at 5:31 pm

    We did a scavenger hunt at the V&A in London and loved it fabulous way to see things you would otherwise miss #CulturedKids

    • Sima Sthanakiya 8th May 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Totally agree Catherine. There is no way I’d be able to impart even half the knowledge.

  • Nancy Roberts 9th May 2018 at 6:22 am

    A scavenger hunt is a great idea! Tours can really bring a museum or gallery to life, especially if they’re short on the signage or interactive opps. I’d love a tour of the Louvre!

  • Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me) 11th May 2018 at 12:37 pm

    We walked past the Louvre on our way to the Bateaux Mouches the other day, and it seemed to go on for miles! I last visited over a decade ago, and I’d forgotten just how vast it is. I think a private tour would be a great idea – thanks for the tip. #CulturedKids

    • Sima Sthanakiya 14th May 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Is bloody huge Nell. It was the best thing for us for sure.

  • Nicky @ Go Live Young 15th May 2018 at 10:38 am

    This sounds like the perfect way to explore the Louvre with kids. Scavenger really keep the kids entertained and allow for a more fun museum visit #CulturedKids

    • Sima Sthanakiya 15th May 2018 at 1:31 pm

      For sure Nicky. No way I could have kept their level of interest going for that long.

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