Touring the Louvre with Kids

There's a big "wow" factor.

Leonardo da Vinci's the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum, Paris
••• Tourists admire the famous Leonardo Da Vinci painting ' The Mona Lisa' in the Grande Galerie of the Louvre Museum. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
  • 01 of 06

    The Louvre Museum: Introduction

    The louvre museum in Paris is one of the biggest museums in the world and houses works of art such as the Mona Lisa.
    ••• Sebastien GABORIT/Getty Images

    Relax. Many parents feel trepidation about visiting this giant art museum with kids in tow: but you can have a wonderful time visiting the Louvre with kids. 

    It's a gigantic place, with plenty of people milling through, so you needn't be concerned about a few outbursts of baby or toddler talk.

    Also, like other art museums in Paris, the Louvre is free for kids up to 18 years old*: so who cares if your visit to this pantheon of western art lasts only an hour or two?

    You do, however, need to sacrifice any fantasies of seeing more than a fraction of this great museum: but that goes with the territory of Travel With Kids... Come back and linger once the kids are grown up. Your mission now is to make great memories with them.

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  • 02 of 06

    The Louvre: Fountain

    France, Paris, Musee du Louvre, basin in the center of the Cour Carre (Square courtyard)housing the Pavillon de l'horloge
    ••• ESCUDERO Patrick / hemis.fr/Getty Images

    Allow plenty of time on your Le Louvre day for lounging around the fountain before or after your visit. Kids can chase the pigeons, while grown-ups people-watch. 

    Visit The Louvre Museum website (English version) for opening hours and other info-- and buy your tickets online, so you won't have to stand in long line-ups. Also, at the time of writing, you can check bags for free, near the entrances. 

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  • 03 of 06

    The Louvre - Sculpture Galleries

    France, Île-de-France, Paris . Louvre Museum
    ••• Atlantide Phototravel/Getty Images

    Kids tend to like the museum's sculpture areas, which are spacious and invite exploration. The 3D art adds extra appeal.

    Families can preview this and many other sections of this giant museum by taking a virtual tour through he Louvre Museum website.

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  • 04 of 06

    The Louvre -Venus de Milo

    Venus de Milo statue at the Louvre
    ••• Philippe Lissac /GODONG/Getty Images

    Visiting the Louvre with three boys twelve and under meant viewing art at a bracing pace. They wanted to see two very famous works of art (and who cared about all the other stuff?)

    One of their goals was the Venus de Milo, above, which is a statue of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, discovered on the island of Melos ("Milo", in modern Greek) -- hence the name. Venus is the Roman name for the goddess Aphrodite, and the statue dates from the 2nd century BC.

    Fortunately, there are signs posted in The Louvre leading to the best-known pieces, such as the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa. It's all too easy to get lost in the vast museum, whose acres of galleries are laid out in two long flanks, separated by the large outdoor concourse with the fountain and pyramid. 

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  • 05 of 06

    The Louvre: Mona Lisa

    Tourists photographing Mona Lisa, The Louvre, Paris, France
    ••• Peter Adams/Getty Images

    Of course, the Louvre's most famous inhabitant is Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece," La Gioconda", better known as "Mona Lisa": even the most anti-museum kids will be eager to see this painting.

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  • 06 of 06

    Must-See Museum, near the Louvre: Le Musee D'Orsay

    Orsay Museum interior.
    ••• Izzet Keribar/Getty Images

    Right across from the Louvre is another wonderful museum: the Musee d'Orsay, full of masterpieces of French Impressionism. Manet, Monet, Gauguin, Henri Rousseau, plenty of Degas ballerinas and Toulouse Lautrec bar scenes.

    In this converted train station, you can give your child a quickie course in the amazing transition from classical art (which you've just seen, across the street in the Louvre) to the modern age.  

    And don't forget: like all art museums in Pars, the Musee d'Orsay is free for kids under age 18. Visitors can check bags for free as well.