Musée des Arts Forains – Paris, France - Atlas Obscura
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Paris, France

Musée des Arts Forains

A museum of carnival attractions where you are invited to ride the rides. 

This museum of antique carnival objects invites you to ride on century-old carousels and experience the wonder of amusement attractions from 1850 to 1950. 

The museum, which opened in 1996, is sourced from the private collection of Jean-Paul Favand, an actor and dealer of antiquities. It includes such vintage carnival items as wooden carousels, fair stalls, German swings, and a Hooghuys Organ. Best of all, you can play a carnival game and even ride on some of the rides, such as the “Manège vélocipédique” from 1897, a carousel of bicycles powered by the pedaling of its riders. 

The museum is open only by reservation or by attending one of the scheduled seasonal tours. 

Know Before You Go

Reservations for the tour need to be made in advanced (a week ahead of time is optimal). Reservations can be made online or by phone. Twice a year, the museum is open to self-guided tours and shows every half hour for European Heritage Days (the third weekend of September) and Le Festival du Merveilleux (December 26 to the end of the year). Tours are one hour and 30 minutes and come with an optional English pamphlet for non-French speakers.