The Art of War – visiting high-culture upon your children

You’ve dragged your kids through the horror of international travel (to your horror not theirs) and now GOD DAMN IT they are going to sample some of the culture. Depending upon where you have schlepped to your options may be limited they may be expansive. Only one thing is sure. They wont appreciate it.
Take, for example, the Louvre in Paris. No, seriously, take it and throw it in the Seine for it may as well be a pointless, boring hole in the ground for all your kids will care. You’ll enthuse “The Mona Lisa! The Venus de Milo! The one that looks like its from Les Mis! That other one of the lady with her bottom sort of showing!”

“Pfft” they will say in their very best French. Shrug they will shrug in their very best, um, French. Anyway, prepare yourself for vicarious disappointment.

Know your enemy

Get the fasttrack ticket, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND YOUR OWN SANITY. Yes, it costs, like, £389 and yes it has stuff on there you’ll NEVER EVER DO Sevres, Cite De La Ceramique anyone? Also, yes you will probably still have to queue for a bit, however, today at the Louvre we queued for about 20 minutes and that was bad enough. Others, in the plebs and Americans who did no research before flying thousands of miles queue aged 1200 years. Approximately.

Once inside do not deviate to the audio guide stand or try to study a map just latch on to a tour guide and follow on (at a discrete distance) that way you’ll see all the good stuff in short order and if you’re lucky overhear some of the descriptions of the other stuff you’ve never heard of.

As soon as you enter the museum the kids will be more bored and miserable than they have ever been, ever and find stuff like the broken air conditioning units or signs for the toilets of more interest than roughly any exhibit. The children will be arguing with each other at every opportunity and pretending to touch the priceless Monet to help excavate your bowels in record time.

**Turns out….** The Monet is in the Musée De L’Orangerie which is near the Louvre, but not part of it. I hope this oversight on my part will not upset your worldview.

Now, having dragged the ungrateful little cherubs through the most intensive cultural experience of their lives they will be so bored and tired and miserable they will treat you to a particularly trying period of behaviour that ends with them (and naturally you and your partner) sat separately. This cooling off period will not cool anything off.

You have reached the end, you must now take on the final level boss. The gift shop. Here, the children will want to touch everything EVERY THING especially things clearly marked DO NOT TOUCH. You will spend a good twenty minutes saying “that’s more pennies than you have” “far too many pennies” and “ooh look, a note pad and pencil!”

An artists illustration of our day at the Louvre:

Details bit:

Louvre, Paris, France.

Paris Museum Pass £££ – worth weight in gold

What the kids really thought:

Truly amazing, very busy though and the Mona Lisa is the least fun assault course we’ve ever done.

What the adults thought:

Fantastic, plenty of exhibits other than the stuff you know about that will really impress and entertain. The Islamic Art Galleries are hugely interesting, the Egyptian and Romans bit too. Eat before or after just don’t eat there – we had some coffee, fizzy drinks and bread for about €300.00 served with typical French Va Va piss off and leave me alone. THE MAP IS USELESS see also the app guide or rather don’t bother, if the thing you want to get to is too far away it just can’t be arsed to guide you there.