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Paris Hidden Gems

Musée des Arts Forains – fairground artifacts and quirky curiosities

Le Musée des Arts Forains in Paris 12 is a museum dedicated to ancient fairground artifacts, theatre and music-hall objects and other curiosities. This museum is usually open for private events (by appointment) BUT from time to time, during special occasions and only for a few days, the management decides to open it also to the public. If you are visiting Paris with kids or looking for a more local experience in Paris, don’t miss this museum, you will have a blast.

Musée Arts Forains


Unlike other museums, le Musée des Arts Forains is not behind a display cabinet or a cord: all the fairground artifacts are working so children (and not that children) can enjoy them. The ticket price includes two rides or games and, believe me, it was not enough for us ; -)

Musée Arts Forains


Jean-Paul Favand is the owner and collector of one of the most beautiful collections of ancient carousels. Stage designer, he has created in this museum four different spaces using light, mirrors, music, and papier-mâché: la Rue Jardin, the Venetian Saloons, le Théâtre du Merveilleux and le Musée des Arts Forains. Welcome to another world, a timeless world where elegant carousels, forgotten fair plays and automatons singing opera will bewitch children and adults. This has nothing to see with “Mickey Land”, this museum is a superb show!

Musée Arts Forains

Musée des Arts Forains


The Musée des Arts Forains is also special because it owns the oldest carousel in the world: a carousel formed by velocipedes dating from 1860! No need to say that this carousel was THE public’s sensation at that time, a carousel 100% ecological because it works without electricity and only the strength of our legs is necessary. This was my chosen ride and I tried hard to follow but the carousel was running so fast that I had to raise my legs up. Big fail, I guess, haha.

Musée Arts Forains


Le Musée des Arts Forains is in Paris 12. 53 Avenue des Terroirs de France; M. Cour St Emilion L14; Vélib Station #12034 or #12110.

The museum is opened to the public during Les Journées Européennes du Patrimoine (next time on 16-17 September 2017) and Le Festival du Merveilleux (december). During the rest of the year it is possible to visit it ONLY previous reservation on

Tickets : Full price 14€, children 6€. Each ticket includes two rides or games. Extra rides cost 1,5€


Do you like carousels and fairground artifacts? Have you seen any similar museum around the world?

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Musée Arts Forains

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  • Carmen's Luxury Travel
    11/24/2016 at 1:15 am

    From 1860?! That’s very impressive! What a unique and fun place to visit, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • WorldInParis
    11/22/2016 at 5:07 pm

    you will have to come back to Paris 🙂

  • Lara Dunning
    11/22/2016 at 5:32 am

    The oldest carousel in the world! I would so love to see this museum! Thanks for sharing as I didn’t know about this.

    • WorldInParis
      11/22/2016 at 5:06 pm

      Few people know about this museum because it is usually open for private events :-/

  • Lala
    11/21/2016 at 9:01 pm

    Carousels are beautiful! I especially love that you can you touch and feel things in the museum.

    • WorldInParis
      11/22/2016 at 5:07 pm

      Agree! A nicer experience 🙂

  • Sab
    11/21/2016 at 7:08 am

    I’m not really into museums, but this looks interesting! Thanks for sharing!

    • WorldInParis
      11/22/2016 at 5:07 pm

      You are welcome 🙂

  • Castaway with Crystal
    11/21/2016 at 5:32 am

    That place looks totally AWESOME! I’d love to check it out one day!
    PS. What’s a “liviving” museum? 😉

    Crystal recently posted… Budget guide for New Zealand; North Island

    • WorldInParis
      11/22/2016 at 5:09 pm

      a liviving museum was a typo mistake that I just corrected, lol Thanks

  • Alex Datsev
    11/21/2016 at 4:00 am

    How cool – to be able to not only see but also ride on ancient carousels?! That would be a great experience for kids and adult alike!

    • WorldInParis
      11/22/2016 at 5:09 pm

      I am no kid and had a blast 🙂

  • Kaaya
    11/20/2016 at 7:42 pm

    Soo during my next visit I’ll totally visit this museum! OMG, I love museum and this is so amazingly cool!

    • WorldInParis
      11/22/2016 at 5:09 pm

      you will need to check on their website if it is open during those days :-/

  • Vicki Louise
    11/20/2016 at 7:51 am

    Wow! A fairground museum would be incredible (and possibly a little bit creepy if it was dark!) Great photos though!

    • WorldInParis
      11/22/2016 at 5:11 pm

      a little bit dark for my taste, yes. It is a matter of creating a certain atmosphere I guess . .

  • anna
    11/20/2016 at 2:37 am

    Oldest carousel in the world! How cool is that!

    • WorldInParis
      11/22/2016 at 5:11 pm

      veeeeery cool! :-p

  • Valter
    08/05/2016 at 6:42 pm

    Lovely photos!! 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      08/08/2016 at 11:32 am

      thanks! 🙂

  • Danielle Des
    05/24/2016 at 11:58 pm

    This is really cool and lots of bragging rights if you get to ride. I think the admission is still kind of pricey though.

    • WorldInParis
      05/28/2016 at 8:18 pm

      Yeah, I agree: rides are pricey but it was nice 🙂

  • Ashley Hubbard
    05/24/2016 at 4:22 am

    Oh my gosh, what a neat idea for a museum! I love carousels and would love to visit this one day!

  • Claire
    05/23/2016 at 8:15 pm

    Wow, I’d love to catch this when it’s open to the public, looks awesome!

  • Nancy
    05/22/2016 at 9:36 pm

    I never even knew this was in Paris! Next time we are there we are not going to miss this. So glad you posted so we can add this to our list.

    • WorldInParis
      05/28/2016 at 8:19 pm

      Cool! It is rarely opened to all public though. You good have good chances in periods like Christmas

  • Paul
    05/22/2016 at 7:52 pm

    This looks like an incredible place to visit! Looks like a great spectacle.

    • WorldInParis
      05/22/2016 at 8:51 pm

      Incredible and FUN! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Kathryn Hunter
    05/22/2016 at 6:52 pm

    This looks like so much fun. I’ve emailed them and hope they get back to me with available tour dates for when I’m there. *fingers crossed*

  • Laura Lynch
    05/21/2016 at 11:24 pm

    That looks like a really awesome museum. I like that the tickets include rides on the carousel!

    • WorldInParis
      05/22/2016 at 8:56 pm

      ooh so “rides” was the word, ha haa! Yes, awesome place 😉

  • sarah
    05/21/2016 at 8:31 pm

    This is fascinating. It just goes to show that however well you think you know a city there are still things left to be discovered.

    • WorldInParis
      05/22/2016 at 8:59 pm

      well, yes, there is so much to discover in Paris . . that’s why we propose our Parisian guides here 😉

  • Brianna
    05/21/2016 at 3:21 pm

    Woah this is awesome. I’m really not a museum person, but I think I would really enjoy this one 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      05/22/2016 at 9:00 pm

      probably. . don’t need to be a kid to enjoy this, he hee 😉

  • Colby
    05/21/2016 at 3:04 pm

    I love carousels! Would love to visit here someday!