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Fodor's Paris 2014
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Grande Galerie de l'Évolution (Great Hall of Evolution)
Grande Galerie de l'Évolution (Great Hall of Evolution) Review
With a parade of taxidermied animals ranging from the tiniest dung beetle to the tallest giraffe, this four-story natural history museum in the Jardin des Plantes will perk up otherwise museum-weary kids. The flagship of three natural-history museums in the garden, this restored 1889 building has a ceiling that changes color to suggest storms, twilight, or the hot savanna sun. Other must-sees are the gigantic skeleton of a blue whale and the stuffed royal rhino (he came from the menagerie at Versailles, where he was a pet of Louis XV). Kids 6 to 12 will enjoy La Galerie d'Enfants (The Children's Gallery): opened in 2010, it has bilingual interactive exhibits about the natural world. A lab stocked with microscopes often offers free workshops, and most of the staff speaks some English. Hang on to your ticket; it will get you a discount at the other museums within the Jardin des Plantes.
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