The pinnacle of all art museums on planet. You know it's big when they want to build a version in the UAE. We knew it was big before that, but for the kids, it seemed to make a difference. We ventured out for a full day of FFF (forced family fun) and our legs and feet suffered for it. But, it was worth it.
In case you are coming to Paris, the Louvre is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. We saved it for a beautiful sunny day and I was really looking forward to sharing this experience with our kids. Mike and I had been there about 16 years ago and he keeps telling them that we got into the museum via the back door by accident. In reality we went in the back gate via the courtyard which looks like the back door because it's not marked very well. For some reason the girls love this story. "Mom and Dad snuck into the Louvre." This is not true, but no one wants to believe my version. Oh well.;) (Mike says it is absolutely true or I was SO IN LOVE that it was like a fairy tale).
I have a few museum tips that I like to offer up:
1. If there is a line to get in, just get in the membership line and join the museum. It's a win-win for everyone. Tax deduction, shorter line, warm fuzzy for supporting the arts.
2. Visit the gift shop first and find a book/poster/card of a piece featured in the museum that you (and your kids) want to look for to keep their attention. You will NEVER view or absorb the entire museum in one visit, so don't even try.
3. This is not a tip, but a suggestion to museum administrators. Start pumping oxygen into your spaces like they do in Vegas. See what happens to attendance. (This is not an issue for the Louvre)
Lucky for us the line was quick moving and within 20 minutes we were inside and ready to head off to see the Mona Lisa. Quick stop to grab our fancy Nintendo 3DS Guides. The educational opportunity that this little gadget can offer is immense. Maddy and I took advantage and I was really looking forward to some quiet time with my device.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I will rent the audio guide at any and all museums just to have a valid reason to tune out the whining.
First stop, the Mona Lisa.
We were not the only ones with this idea. About 10 minutes into our tour this became and 'Let's get in, see the thing, and get out' adventure. See image below.
Overall, it was a quick visit. We spent about 2-hours weaving our way around the crowds, absorbing what we could from the audio guide and being mindful that we were actually in the Louvre. Maybe my expectations were too high for the kids, but I'm hoping that we made a small deposit in their cultural accounts that will yield greater results in the long term.
P.S. I'm going alone next time.
And then after the Louvre, we walked to:
- The Paris City Jardin
- The Champs Elysees
- The Arch de Triumph
- The Tower of Mr. Effiel
Our dogs were barking, but it was Paris on Steroids. Yes!