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Musée des Arts Forains

Musée des Arts Forains

The Musée des Arts Forains, housed in the Pavillons de Bercy, is a showcase of objects related to Carrousel-Salons, large traveling structures that brought entertainment to the people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They included ballrooms, organs, carousels, games, rides and refreshments.

The Musée actually consists of three separate large buildings, each filled with marvellous objects that mostly date from the Belle Époque, around the turn of the century.

Take a ride on the Manège de Chevaux de Bois (a carousel/merry-go-round of wooden horses, dating from about 1900). Or try your hand at an old fashioned horse race game, modeled on Siena's famous Palio. Dance in the ballroom to wonderful music from a 1930s organ. Let your imagination run wild!

-- France Travel Planner [francetravelplanner.com]

We heartily endorse the recommendations above. The Manège de Chevaux de Bois is a hoot, and the horse race game was a blast -- I won my round! But the highlight was the ride on the Velocipede Carousel (manufactured in 1897 and still in working condition)!

-- Guy Roger