The Louvre With Kids
Activity: The Louvre. Metro Stop: Louvre Museum. Cost: Covered by your museum pass, or 17 euros/adult, free under 26. Hours: Open until 21:45 on Wednesdays and Fridays, 6 pm other days, closed Tuesdays. Children tend to do better at the Louvre when it is less crowded, so it’s best to come in the evenings.
The museum is huge and frankly can be a lot for even an adult. Personally, I loved The Orsay and the Orangerie more than the Louvre, but there are a few works of art here you just can’t miss! Museum passholders can enter through the group entrance in the pedestrian passageway (labeled Pavilion Richelieu) between the pyramid and Rue de Rivoli. It’s under the arches a few steps north of the pyramid; find the uniformed guard at the security checkpoint entrance, at the down escalator.
Tips for tackling the Louvre with kids: go fast! We did the whole thing in an hour with a baby in a stroller (we had to lift it up and down a few stairs). Chances are if you’re here with kids, you’re an avid traveler and will be back one day!
Aim for three art pieces: The Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, and Venus de Milo. Also, pro-tip, the Mona Lisa is a bit of a letdown. You can't get that close and she is small and behind thick glass. I also like the furniture rooms in the left wing, but your kids may not be interested. There is a Touch Gallery in the basement of the Louvre with plaster casts of the statues. Kids are allowed to touch them to their heart’s content!
Let your kids spend ample time running in the Tuileries park before and after touring the Louvre as one component of the museum is the amazing architecture! If you have teens, have them watch the Beyonce/Jay-Z music video filmed in the Louvre go up the cool factor of the museum. Watch with the sound off if swearing bothers you.