I just discovered it’s Museum Week, and what would you know, I had this post drafted and ready to go! After many years of visiting Paris, I finally made it to the Pompidou last spring. I was excited to experience it for the first time with my family, including my brother and his crew. A Parisian fixture since it’s opening in 1977, the Centre’s “inside out” architectural design makes it stand out in the area known as Beaubourg. The iconic vents are my favorite design element, juxtaposed with the classical facades behind them. It was a gorgeous day, as you can see with everyone lounging out front…I wouldn’t normally recommend a museum on a sunny day, but it made for incredible panoramic photos up top.
The Pompidou is wonderful for kids of all ages, with wide open spaces both inside and out, focused exhibits, a cinema, and boutique. The first thing we did was head to the first level to check out the Galerie des Enfants. Dedicated to children, the space has ever-changing interactive exhibits for littles. Henry and Marie loved the “lift the world” exhibit, with many moving parts encouraging them to play and learn. Since they enjoyed it so much, we spent a good bit of time there, and added their names to the collection of wishes for peace and love around the world before heading to the top floor!
Let me preface by saying that reaching the top was extra challenging for me, as I’m deathly afraid of both heights and open spaces. After ascending the glass elevator with the stroller (gulp), we made it to the (all glass, double gulp) walkway. While it’s only six floors up, the glass walls make you feel very exposed, and stimulate vertigo. I literally had a death grip on either my brother, my husband, or the stroller until we made it to the galleries. I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone with similar phobias, although the stunning views do help distract from the fear. While I may have had a minor panic attack while getting these shots, I still managed them. Facing your fears pays off, especially when in Paris!
It’s fairly ironic that we saw our first Koons exhibit in Paris, but we knew the kids would enjoy it. They knew his work, thanks to a replica of the balloon dog in their playroom, so they were excited to see something familiar, supersized! We quickly realized that keeping them from touching the sculptures would be challenging – it’s so different than paintings. As you can see in the photo below, they’re attempting to sit on the platform (yikes). Previously, we had always kept them in strollers in museums, but this time we felt it was ok to let them be free. They did exceptionally well for toddlers, despite setting off the alarm not long after that mirror shot. Mommy was too busy taking the photo to realize how close Marie was to the wall, oops. Despite the challenges of taking small children to a museum, this one is very welcoming to littles, easier to manage than most in Paris, and won’t eat up your entire day (unless you want it to). Don’t miss it!
Centre Pompidou | Place Georges-Pompidou 75004 Paris