For families looking for original and cultural ideas for their children, many Parisian museums offer the opportunity to discover art, science and history in a fun way through adapted virtual content. There's something for everyone, from youngsters to teens!
With Muséosphère, kids and grown-ups can explore the city of Paris’s 13 museums all in virtual reality and in 360°! Small winged creatures guide the visitor providing them with fun information throughout their tour. The Catacombes de Paris, the Archaeological Crypt, Maison de Balzac, Maison de Victor Hugo, Musée d’Art Moderne, Musée du Général Leclerc – de la Libération de Paris – Jean Moulin, musée Bourdelle, Carnavalet, Cernuschi, Cognacq Jay, Musée de la Vie Romantique, the Petit Palais and the Musée Zadkine just as though you were really there!
Grand Palais and musée du Luxembourg
There is plenty to keep little ones entertained too with the Grand Palais and the Musée du Luxembourg, which share several puzzles with different levels of difficulty. An opportunity to have fun while discovering the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec or even Rubens, play a memory game (3 levels of difficulty) based on the works of Vigée Lebrun or a game based on 7 differences with Niki de Saint Phalle. And to learn to recognize fruits, flowers and leaves, a domino game on the theme of the garden is online for one or two players.
To develop your imagination, it is possible to create your own comics or to make beautiful colourings on the works of the greatest artists! The YouTube channel L'Art d'en parler gives children a chance to express their feelings about the works of Miro, Gauguin, and many others. For teenagers and older children in search of knowledge, a pixel art video game on the theme of the Moon is available online.
More games from le Musée du Luxembourg
Activities for kids at the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie
Want to play? The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is proud to present its web page designed for 9-14-year-olds who are mad about science. With films, things to make and interactive experiments on a wide variety of topics including space, astronomy, the human body, chemistry, animals and time machines, there’s plenty to keep your teens and pre-teens busy for hours!
Check out Les Petites Découvertes on YouTube for some fascinating videos showing science experiments you can do at home using everyday objects. Included on the programme are: why you can lift up a bank note with a magnet, where to pierce a balloon so it doesn’t explode, and how to observe Venus from your home. Ideal for all children aged nine and above!
And to keep boredom at bay during this period of restricted movement, the Cité des Sciences has launched La Cité des Enfants à la maison (The Cité des Enfants at home) proposing fun, smart and exciting activities for 2-to-7-year-olds, and for 5-to-12-year-olds to do as a family. Another idea: 1 jour 1 activité (An activity a day) – a great one to put in your diary! From kitchen chemistry experiments to making things, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss your daily dose of fun science for kids!
Les Petits M'O d'Orsay
It’s time for an adventure with the Musée d’Orsay’s two mascots, Pompon the bear (a sculpture by François Pompon) and Lily, the little frog who has jumped out of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies painting in the Musée de l’Orangerie. The two friends invite children to take part in a treasure hunt, using an interactive map, to find works of art. Child-friendly podcasts and explanations about the artists and the paintings make it a fun learning experience!
Calling all artists! Some of the paintings have not been finished! Get out your colouring pencils or felt-tip pens and complete the Drawings for the Musée de l'Orangerie.
And if your children aren’t afraid of friendly monsters, they can listen to short stories in the form of podcasts based on the Léopold Chauveau exhibition The Land of Monsters and let their imagination run wild!
Discover the Musée d’Orsay’s best-known paintings with your guides Raphaël, Mona and Nabi. These three characters give a playful and amusing explanation of the great works in the form of a cartoon – in one minute maximum!
Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle
To find out everything about animals, the Natural History Museum makes things big with all sorts of games, colouring books, riddles, crosswords and exploration books from the Paris Zoological Park. Something to keep children from 3 to 11 years old busy!
To become an expert on animal life, youngster can have fun guessing what animals of the savannah eat or classify those that are feathered, furry or have shells.
For the lucky ones with a balcony or garden, take part in the Vigie-Nature programme and observe the different birds, butterflies or bumblebees that wander around.
To learn about the secrets of the ocean (Exposition Océan, an unusual dive) or meteorites (Exposition Météorites, entre ciel et terre), the older children can practice finding shrimps on the sea bed or make their own meteorite, while the younger ones can guess what the animals of the savannah eat or classify who is feathered, furry or with shells.
Finally, for those with curious minds, nearly 7,000 languages are spoken in the world. Listen to some of them and find out about their history with the interactive language wall at the Musée de l'Homme.
Games from the BNF
Calling all storytellers! On the website of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, discover the application ‘La Fabrique à BD’ downloadable on tablet, laptop or computer to make your own comics; choose your characters, dialogues, speech bubbles and create a whole world ... This interactive app is suitable for both children and adults and comes in several formats. Something to keep everyone busy for hours!
For Fantasy enthusiasts, the BNF is unveiling a whole dossier to help you get to know this world at your fingertips. You can even explore the wonderful kingdom of Istyald in the form of a narrative video game.
And for the little ones, there are many animated stories to discover as well as various games (puzzles, mazes...).
Philharmonie de Paris
For all apprentice sorcerers and even Muggles, the Philharmonie de Paris unveils its special ‘witches and wizards’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ concerts for children, every week. The programme includes the theme of Hedwig from the Harry Potter films, the Danse Macabre by Saint-Saëns or the scene of Wagner's ghost ship ... Plenty of stories to get into! And for the little ones, the musical game Peter and the Wolf allows them to recognise the instruments and characters from Prokofiev's tale!
Monsieur Onde, a zany music teacher, explains the greatest symphonic works in a playful way to children and music novices alike. With the help of musical puzzles, it's up to you to find the instruments and place them in the right place. Shiver, surprise, ecstasy or tragedy, Monsieur Onde's disco is also a gold mine for discovering new pieces according to your mood.
Experiments to do at home from the Musée des Arts et Métiers
Calling all budding chemists and DIYers! The Musée des Arts et Métiers has concocted some great instructions for carrying out all kinds of experiments at home. Get out your straws, cardboard, scissors and string and invent some wacky creations!
Mon Œil - Centre Pompidou
Thanks to Mon Œil, the Pompidou Centre’s weekly web series, children as young as five can discover a selection of artworks, selected for their suitability for young audiences. The presentations take the form of short videos and animated films lasting about ten minutes. It’s every Wednesday on YouTube – save the date!
The Pompidou Centre presents its very first video game – Prisme 7. Designed for children aged 12 and over it invites players to discover 40 iconic works housed in one of the world’s most important museums of Modern Art. Colours, emotions and light are transformed into works of art as players follow a pathway through seven different environments.
Pavillon de l'Arsenal
Become an expert on the history of Paris! Every Saturday, the Pavillon de l'Arsenal publishes an entertaining digital activity book (the first volume is entitled De Lutèce au Grand Paris – From Lutetia to Greater Paris) in which children can learn about the architecture and inhabitants of the capital from its origins through numerous illustrations and games. A fun way to revise your history!
Get out your colouring pencils! The Champs-Elysées, one of the most beautiful avenues in the world, attracts thousands of tourists but far fewer Parisians. The Pavillon de l’Arsenal, Paris Mômes and the Champs-Elysées Committee organized a drawing competition for children aged 5 to 14. Starting with one of the outline images proposed, children were invited to redesign their dream avenue. Discover the winners and the judges’ favourites! The competition is over, but you can still download and print out the outline images.
The Bricoarchi of Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine
Bricoarchi are the workshops of the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine to be carried out with the family from the age of 3. Cardboard pop up, beach cabins, swimming pools, town to be built, the little ones thirsting for knowledge will be delighted by these manual activities to be done at home.
The Opéra Comique has a treat in store for the little ones with ‘My first online opera festival’. A number of opera performances are available on replay, including La Princesse légère by Violeta Cruz (inspired by George MacDonald’s tale The Light Princess) and Marc-Olivier Dupin’s Le mystère de l'écureuil bleu (The Mystery of the Blue Squirrel), created specifically for children aged six and over.
There’s also an activity book in which children can explore the Opéra Comique with the Opéra Comique’s two songbirds Super Mynah and Queen of the Mynahs!
The Palais de Tokyo - Tok Tok
With Tok Tok from the Palais de Tokyo, children can learn to make pleated dragon skin, send funny faces by post, or colour the world! A collection of zany activities to do at home, presented in the form of short videos.
The Cluny Museum
The National Museum of the Middle Ages presents a number of activities to do at home on themes related to its exhibitions, in particular its famous ‘Lady and the Unicorn’ series of tapestries. Children aged ten and over can try their hands at cross-stitching, using one of several patterns provided, and make a medieval peacock, swan or leopard cross-stitch. The little ones can colour in pictures of knights jousting or a unicorn.
Illustrated activity books are available, aimed at children aged eight and over, containing puzzles and games on the theme of the museum’s iconic animal, the unicorn.
The Atelier de l’imagier invites budding artists to ‘click and paint’ by selecting their paintbrushes and choosing pigments to colour in a series of images from the museum.
The Tropical Aquarium of Paris
If you’re fascinated by fish, the Tropical Aquarium has uploaded a whole series of short videos onto its website. Learn more about all sorts of fish as well as alligators and sharks. Find out what their favourite food is or how they breathe. You’ll be an expert by the time you go back to school!
Want to play? The strategy game Super Piggy Bang is a fun way to try to balance government expenditure. The aim of the game? To create your own economic model and use the piggy bank to balance expenditure!
For more serious students, Citéco has prepared a comprehensive interactive programme to help them revise for their ‘bac’ exams in a simple and fun way thanks to its timeline presentation. Covering 200 key dates that have shaped our world over a 10,000-year period, it helps you to see what happened when and to get a clear picture of the history of the world’s economy.
The Petit Louvre
Would you like to know all about the most fabulous works of art in the Louvre Museum? Take a look at the Petit Louvre! Here, the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the archaeological expeditions to Egypt and more are explained by means of short illustrated stories adapted by three children’s authors. In five minutes, children find out why these works are famous, their history, and some fun and fascinating anecdotes.
The Louvre and the radio station France Inter present Les Odyssées du Louvre, a series of podcasts designed for 7-to-12-year-olds and featuring some of the major works displayed in the world’s best-known museum. Find out all there is to know about the theft of the Mona Lisa, Nefertiti, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
Are your children fascinated by Asian culture? The Guimet Museum has loads of legends and activities to share. Starting with the legend of the dragon nian, which you can discover through an illustrated story and picture to colour in, and the kitsune, or fox spirit, a familiar figure in Japanese folklore. You can even make your own fox mask!