Even though under-18s are usually free, is it worth buying a Paris Museum Pass for kids? The short answer is: No, your kids do not need a Paris Museum Pass.
So, you’ve followed all the experts’ advice. You purchased a Paris Museum Pass for everyone over 18 in your family. Now, you’re wondering what to do with your kids at museum entrances — do you need to queue in line for their tickets, thus negating the main benefit of the Paris Museum Pass — skipping the line? Can your kids skip the line without a Paris Museum Pass? Will they be allowed to bypass the line and enter the museum with you, the Paris Museum Pass holder? Should you buy them a Paris Museum Pass just to be safe?
Should I get a Paris Museum Pass for my kids so they can skip the line with me?
The short answer is: No, your kids do not need a Paris Museum Pass. At most attractions, they will be allowed to enter alongside you. If your kids are close to 18, or look like they’re almost 18, then it’s wise to bring along a passport to verify their age. Have them close to you and confidently show your PMP and you’ll be waved right along, bypassing any and all ticket buying lines. The Paris Museum Pass website clearly states this on the FAQ page and my personal experience has proven this out time and time again. Skip the Paris Museum Pass for kids.
Now, for the exceptions: The Army Museum (Invalides) + Arc de Triomphe. You will need to pick up a (free) ticket for your youngsters at these attractions. However, lines are usually nonexistent and totally hassle-free. These are the only two places I’ve ever had to pick up an actual ticket in addition to the PMP. But, again, no worries, I’ve never encountered a terrible line despite traveling during peak tourist season.
In sum: Do not buy a Paris Museum Pass for kids!
So, save yourself the money, and rest assured that your kids under 18 do not need a Paris Museum Pass. They will be allowed to enter with you, gloriously and happily skipping the ticket-buying lines. Now, go enjoy Paris!
UPDATED July 8, 2015: Today, my family and I encountered a ticket-buying line at the Arc de Triomphe’s underground ticket office. It wasn’t horribly long, but long enough to compel me to find a way around it. I skirted the line and found an employee standing near the ticket window, right next to the Paris Museum Pass entrance. I politely showed her my Paris Museum Pass and asked for a children’s ticket. She happily went to the ticket window for me and procured my free kid’s ticket. We jumped the line and proceeded to the entrance. Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to flash your Paris Museum Pass, smile and politely ask for whatever you need to bypass the line, and don’t forget to always say please, “S’il vous plaît (si-vu-play).”
More great tips and travel advice about taking your kids to Paris — including sightseeing strategies, line-skipping advice and more about the Paris Museum Pass — are available in my guidebook, Paris with Kids.