We are here in March and the rain clouds are relentless! In a city where there are a plethora of sleek modern museums, I don’t let the rain slow us down. Charles and I have been to most of the museums and indoor attractions Paris and we have our definite favorites. Here are our favored rainy day excursions.
CineAqua is simply spectacular. GO! On rainy days, this is Charles’ favorite place. The aquarium is entirely underground and, as the name suggests, is coupled with a cinema museum, which has just received an entire overhaul. Enter through the lovely waterfall walkway and gaze at the colorfully lit jellyfish, watch the graceful sharks, stroke the carp and sturgeons in the touch tank, listen to the live pianist, learn about how movies are made, admire various movie sets and costumes, sit down and watch an animal documentary, Japanese animation short, or silent animation film, and then dine in the Japanese restaurant, OZU.
Baby Sting Ray
Charles at the Touch Tan
Museums!!!! Everyone should raise a glass and say, “A votre santé!” to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He recently announced plans to make all of the country’s museums free to everyone 25 and under. That should shave a few euros off our next Parisian adventure. Thanks President Sarkozy for the arts-friendly initiative!
The Musee d’Orsay‘s open floor plan is great for discovering art and sculptures with a tot in tow. Although we are spoiled with the Natural History Museum in NYC, I still find the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle worth the visit. The Grande Galerie de l’Evolution should not be missed. Your journey begins at the under-sea level, where you can view the immensity of a blue whale suspended from the ceiling. The main atrium has the ever-popular parade of African animals. Charles’ favorite section is located on the 3rd floor, which contains mammals that are endangered and extinct. The Louvre‘s Egyptian section is always a big hit. At the Musee de la Magie, there is a 20 minute live magic show (in French), magical antiques, interactive illusions and magical devices in the subterranean museum.
Cite des Sciences et de l'industrie
Cite des Sciences et de l’industrie is an excellent science museum. The Explora exhibitions are all interactive. Charles’ favorite part is the flight simulator that allows him to fly an airplane of his choice. Super cool. The museum also has special temporary exhibitions, a planetarium, IMAX and 3-D films (in French and English), and spy submarine. Also, check out the section called Cite des Enfants. This mini-museum is Paris’ best-kept secret! Newly renovated, the Cite des Enfants provides for a thrilling 90 minutes of tactile fun. Charles always heads right for the construction site, but never misses the ball machine, water table, and maze. He’s always amazed to learn that time is up and begs for me to ‘come back soon.’ Tip: As this section is such a hit, call to make a reservation, as it will guarantee you a spot and you will avoid standing in line.
Be sure to check out the various marionette theatres, circus performances, or ateliers happening in the city during your stay as well. Also, if you have time, hit up the 2 1/2-hour cooking workshop for kids (ages 6-11) at the Ritz, which can be held in French or in English. Next time you are in Paris and the rain clouds are threatening your family fun, head indoors and experience any of our favorite rainy day adventures.
Construction Zone at Cite des Enfants
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