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How many hours can you expect a 9 year old to spend in the Louvre?

How many hours can you expect a 9 year old to spend in the Louvre?

Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 06:10 AM
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Yeah, there are seldom long lines....sure and there is often an absolute mod scene once you get inside and are trying to decide which major direction to go in.

Face FACTS: this is a BAD IDEA, you ALREADY KNOW IT so ditch the idea of staying an entire day there with this child.

Tag teams???? going in and out and watching kids with boats??? hot chocolate??? that latter might work for a few minutes...
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 06:40 AM
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I didn't mean tag teaming like every few minutes . . . but my guess is some of the other <u>adults</u> also don't relish an entire day in the Louvre. Don't be so literal . . . I meant take turns doing things others might enjoy.

Don't get me wrong -- of course it depends on the child's (and the adult's) tolerance -- I have spent many hours in the Louvre . . but to schedule a group of adults and a 9yo to an all day slog is probably not a great idea.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 07:29 AM
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OP's decision, but with 5 nights in Paris( four days) I could not imagine spending a whole
day inside a museum - however great.
Paris is such a glorious city wit so much to see and enjoy.
Of course, we all have different interests and endurance.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 07:44 AM
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I loved colduphere's synopsis of his children's inclinations.

And I do like janisj's general idea.

But I think a better idea is to think: if I really like Paris, I WILL return. Because you will. There's no need to put everyone with you on a forced march.

My kids are "museum rats". They were born that way. My youngest was a holy terror on an airplane but plop her in a stroller in a museum, she would suck her thumb and look at art forever without a peep.

I have no clue why.

That said...
All museums, as other have indicated above, have a tipping point of sensory exhaustion. Once the pipsqueak was out of the stroller, our family time limit, no matter what their ages or ours, was usually less two hours max per visit.

Our youngest was 8 or 9 during her first visit to the Louvre during a long weekend, and she did darn well. We made a "who can find the..." game out it and let her win (I'm sure there's something online one find that would have that "treasure hunt" aspect).

Still, successful visit as it was, we were not in the Louvre for more than two hours.

Since we did want to spend a lot of time there during our next visit (which we assumed would be our last time--now you know why I said you'd return) when we were staying in Paris for 6 or 7 days, we bought museum passes and did a little bit each day at opening.

Seriously, we went there EVERY day.

We'd have a breakfast snack at the little cafe inside, decide where we'd head, and we'd explore until we felt it was time to get out of Dodge.

Then we'd head elsewhere for the day.

The kids favorites? Not what you'd think. Yeah, we did Mona Lisa, etc the first time. But for other visits,they always got a charge out of revisiting "fat lady hall"--the Marie de' Medici Cycle--and the Napoleon apartments.

As they learned more things in school, things like Hammurabi's Code started to appeal.

Only I was ever interested in the darn moat ruins.

If YOU want to spend your time there, then you certainly could get a museum pass for yourself (it can be used tons of places in Paris) and see if anyone else is interested in going elsewhere with your child.

So what appealed to them outside the Louvre?

My kids did like Musee d'Orsay much better, but that's mainly because we had an "Artist of the Month" program at our elementary school, and there was a heavy Impressionist leaning in the program(probably because the colors appeal to kids). They had a great time showing me all the paintings they had studied.

My kids never got a thrill out of Angelina's hot chocolate. Both said, "This is sickening."

They got a huge thrill out of all the bakeries, etc, though. Even though I'm a health nut, I told them I'd let them eat anything they managed to order by themselves in French. The little one had, "Une tarte aux pomme, s'il vous plait, madame" down within an hour of arrival.

Transport intrigued them. They were in charge of all our Metro route planning. They loved the funicular going up to Sacre Coeur. You get the drift.

Good luck planning--and I hope you get to see what you want to see, even if I'm darn sure you'll go back.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 08:00 AM
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in case someone else hasn't suggested this, why not get a museum pass and just spend a small amount of time there every day, seeing different things?

you can of course use them for other places too, so you would probably get your money's worth.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 08:02 AM
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We dragged our kids to many museums at that age and they usually had fun. Fifteen minutes to one hour is a reasonable amount of time.

Our strategy: Stop at the gift shop first. Have kids choose 5 postcards with works of art they want to see. (Add mummies, the ML and the V de M at the Louvre). Then go on a 'treasure hunt' to find the items on the postcards. At at 9, a camera and a sketchbook will buy you extra time.

More kid-friendly museums in Paris: Rodin (take photos mimicking the Thinker); Pompidou (go in the evening); D'Orsay; L'Orangerie.

A full day at the Louvre would make me insane, but I'd gladly go to several museums in one day.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 08:49 AM
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Play it by ear - leave when child gets restless and bored - could be a few minutes or a few hours depending on the kid - like kerouac above if precocious you may stay longer than you think.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 09:21 AM
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I spent a good deal of my teaching career with 8-10 year olds. Cold's kids sum up my answer. Some would last a short minute, some an hour or two, and some all day. An hour or so would be my thoughts for a nine-year-old. And kids can surprise you!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 09:28 AM
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Haven't nearly read all, but of course, a whole day is too much--and for the OP also.
BUT the time for ALL concerned could be maximized, and increased, because of real knowledge being transmitted if you hired Michael Osman as your guide. he is magic for children and adults alike.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 09:30 AM
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Depends completely on the kid and on which departments you go to. I would think about 4 hours is the limit - even if the chid loves museums and you pick out the departments they like. Definitely go to the web site in advance and decide which the child is most interested in.

And frankly - I don;t see that it makes sense for adults either. I never spend more than about 4 hours in any museum - instead do multiple visits if the museum deserves it and you have enough days.

(My parents used to tek and B and myself into the City to a museums often on a Sunday. Unless it was raining we usually stayed 2 or 3 hours - with sections we liked - B was younger and his favorites were Egyptian and arms.armor at the Met and naturally dinos at Natural History. This museum is the standard 2nd grade class trip for NYC school kids - but they spend only about 3 hours there.)
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 10:52 AM
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I agree with Gretchen. Get a guide. An hour or so with a good guide and you will be able to appreciate what you see but trying to take it all in in one day and you'll appreciate nothing. I spent four hours at the Louvre many years ago when there were no crowds and that time included a lunch break. All day at any art museum, even for an art lover, is ridiculous unless your intention is trying to impress someone.

If your child has not been exposed to much art, you run the risk of alienating them completely. Keep it simple, keep it fun and making it a learning experience...an introduction not a graduate course.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 11:12 AM
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I would never serve Angelina's chocolate to anyone, myself, I think the idea of drinking pure melted chocolate is sickening. There are places you can drink something more like real hot chocolate drinks, not just melted candy.

I couldn't stand to be in the Louvre more than a few hours myself, I don't think I've ever been in a museum more than 3, and that was unusual. Usually 2 is my max. But if you've never even taken the child to an art museum (or else you'd know), I'd also say 1-2 hours.

There is nothing magical about the Carousel entrance that means there are no lines there, lots of people go there, it isn't a big secret. But I wouldn't let that affect my plans, the lines aren't usually that long (for security). I've waited 10-15 minutes there, though, at a real busy time. I just wouldn't do it -- plan a very long day at the Louvre, forcing a child to go in multiple times.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 11:14 AM
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I think the people here who are trying to make universal or even generalized pronouncements about how any individual will react to the Louvre based on their reaction to the Louvre are really off-base.

OBVIOUSLY some families, and some children, would HATE having a guided tour. Equally obviously, some children and some adults will not want to stay long, while others will come to life inside the Louvre and will need to be chased out by guards at the end of the day.

The inappropriately self-styled "history traveler" who thinks an art lover is "ridiculous" for loving a full day at the Louvre and accuses them of trying to impress somebody is just an anti-intellectual ignoramus who has no clue.

I heartily encourage you to create -- not a schedule -- but an open-ended experience of the Lourve that allows people to react in whatever way they truly feel -- including your child. It is a tremendous "luxury" to have in one's life a whole day to set aside to enter a tremendous site of art and history like the Louvre and see how one feels, as an individual, about this famous place.

I will applaud you and your group if you walk out after 30 minutes and say "let's hit the pastry shop!" I will applaud you if some or more of you just follow your noses, or take a tour or whatever. JenniferCo & Her Crew Meet the Louvre is a story that should be allowed to unfold without formulas, rules and other people's boredoms, ignorance or aspirations. That's why the Louvre is still there for you.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 11:18 AM
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split up and make sure your child can do a variety of things with each of you, even if it involves a trip by city bus to a crepes stand.

i've taken my son to Paris from an early age: he would have lasted 30 minutes at the Louvre. He liked Pompidou, but specific shows and only for a short hour.

When my wife and I went together with him we would split up. It's nice to be able to visit for a long time, without having to worry about the attention span of your child. So, maybe your daughter can have an exciting day on the town and you an entire day at the Louvre.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 11:36 AM
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One major difference about children that I have noticed on this site (as well as other sites) are the parents who worry about keeping track of children compared to the ones whose children stick to them at all times (I think of this as 'frisky puppy' vs. 'obedient duckling' behaviour.). I think most parents already know what kind of child they have in that department.

As for museum interest, some children absolutely love to explore any place that is new and different and others just submit to what their parents are doing. The Louvre is a magnificent place for exploring, so when it comes down to the nitty gritty, basically it is just a question of whether the child is allowed to lead the way through the museum or whether the child is just dragged along until the breaking point is reached.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 12:13 PM
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lol, Kerouac, if we'd turned our backs on our 9 year old for a second in somewhere like the Louvre, we'd have needed the whole day to find him.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 01:23 PM
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You do raise a good point, Kerouac. Doesn't every parent differ in his/her approach depending on the kid, the kid's age, and the circumstances?

For both museums and hiking trails--and now that I think about it, Disney World!--we created a family rule that for periods of the day, each family member had to take turns being in charge of "quality control".

In other words, that person--could be one of the kids or my husband--would be in charge of determining: "Are we still having fun?" If we were no longer having fun, then the family had to come up with a means of addressing the problem. Ergo, that's why I said that for our solid week of "Breakfast at the Louvre" we'd would stay at the Louvre until we agreed we had had it.

And for the OP, that brings up ANOTHER POINT I don't think some of us have made:

While the Louvre is amazing, and while I obviously have spent a hundred or so hours there, it it NOT my favorite art museum of all time. It is not even close.

I think I would like it better if certain wings were not closed at different times. For example, it took me four visits to get to see just some of the Flemish art I had been dying to view. The Louvre has an amazing collection of Northern painters throughout different centuries--the very works one has studied in every art appreciation course--but I swear I've never gotten to see the collection in its entirety. I can't tell you how many times I'm just about to round the wall to get to the "good stuff" and one of those darn metal stands with connecting ropes is up with "zone fermée" written on it, blocking me from the objects of my desire.

And yet Mesopotamia is never closed (or so it seems). I know that because when we are lost, we always end up there.


And because all of the Louvre's art collections are so massive, there is a lot of very UNINTERESTING art in the place. Although I personally would not want a guide, I can see why Gretchen is recommending one get Michael or someone else to whisk one through to the highpoints.

And I bet you Michael never gets lost in Mesopotamia.

Anyway, back to how the Louvre isn't my favorite art museum...

...its vastness is one of the reasons we appreciated the old Mauritius museum in Den Hague. The old Mauritius was so small that there was no room for "blah" stuff.

As to the antiquities and other stuff, I much prefer the British Museum and I adore the V&A museum. I find both so much more accessible.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 03:40 PM
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I'd say 1.5 to 2 hours. I bet a nine year old would like the sculptures better then the paintings.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 03:50 PM
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"Our strategy: Stop at the gift shop first. Have kids choose 5 postcards with works of art they want to see..."

Brillant, crosscheck!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 04:34 PM
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Thanks, LSky - My parents used the postcard method with us as kids as well. It's very cool because you end up bonding with what you select...and with the perfect cheap souvenir. FWIW, my sister and I both grew up to work in the arts and are now museum fanatics (but prefer intimate exhibitions - two hours for us in the in Louvre is plenty).

I just reread my post and noticed I was semi-hacked in preview mode by a naughty relative who thought this site had an editing function. Meant to say 1-2 hours, not 15-60 minutes.
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