VHS circa the 1970s
“What in the world is that Mom?”
“That, believe it or not, is how we played movies in the old days when I was a child.”
Seriously?! I can’t believe we’re having conversations like this already with our kids. It’s crazy.
iPod circa the early 2000s
Even the original version of the iPod looks impossibly dated and led to a discussion about how fast technology has changed.
This banter was all inspired by our visit to the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. Founded in 1794, this museum of “arts and crafts” displays scientific instruments and discoveries, while telling the story behind the evolution of many of our most important inventions.
Display about building the Statue of Liberty
Our 8-year-old loved it so much he asked to go back for a second visit! What makes it compelling for kids is the display format which relies on real objects to tell the story. Without reading much text at all, you can marvel at the progress behind everything from communication (telegraphs, phonographs, telephones, typewriters) to transportation (bikes, trains, cars, planes) to construction, medicine, even robots!
Many things are hands-on like the gear displays which never fail to engage active kids. The star of the show for many is the working Foucault’s Pendulum demonstrating the rotation of the earth (the original was here before it suffered irreparable damage in 2010).
This is a terrific museum for school age kids and up. Plan on spending 1-2 hours here. It’s near the heart of the Marais which is great for strolling and lunch before or after your visit.
If You Go
The Musée des Arts et Métiers is located in the 3rd arrondissement at 60 Rue Réaumur. The nearest Metro stations are Arts et Métiers and Réaumur-Sébastopol.
Opening times are from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. It is open at night on Thursdays until 9:30pm. It is closed on Mondays, as well as May 1st and December 25th.
Ciao Bambino recommended Paris family hotels
Off-the-beaten-path things to do in Paris with kids
Savoring the simple pleasures of Paris with children