Cassel _ Musée de Flandre _ Salle Tattegrain © Musée de Flandre - Adrien FrançoisCassel _ Musée de Flandre _ Salle Tattegrain © Musée de Flandre - Adrien François
©Cassel, Musée de Flandre, Salle Tattegrain |Musée de Flandre - Adrien François

7 cultural experiences to enjoy as a family

Children are eager to learn – they have an inbuilt sense of amazement and are thrilled by the world around them. Why not combine their ability to learn new things quickly with your desire to educate them? Here are 7 cultural adventures to try together. Harnessing moments of enthusiasm like these can strengthen family bonds and bring satisfaction.

Northern France _ Roubaix _ Musée de la Piscine © CRTC Hauts-de-France - AS FlamentNorthern France _ Roubaix _ Musée de la Piscine © CRTC Hauts-de-France - AS Flament
©Northern France, Roubaix, Musée de la Piscine|Hauts-de-France Tourisme - Anne-Sophie Flament

01. An introduction to art through memory

Play and learn

As you know, your little angels have memories like elephants! The more their memory is used, the quicker, more focused and more efficient it becomes. What are you waiting for? Museums offer a range of games where works of art can be understood and interpreted – it’s an ideal way to help kids learn new words and enrich their vocabularies. Your little geniuses are very clever, especially when it comes to Memory, the card game that involves identifying pairs. Don’t worry – there are dedicated, cosy and comfortable spaces for parents and grandparents to use while the kids are playing. To enjoy them laughing out loud, head to the Musée de l’Oise (MUDO) in Beauvais, the Musée Sandelin in Saint-Omer, the Louvre-Lens, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille and the Picardy Museum in Amiens.


02. Children’s workshops to expand their horizons



Each child is an artist

Visiting a museum with little ones is like entering a royal palace – kids are always impressed. At the same time, it gives them an insight into the adult world and makes them feel grown up. With their fresh outlook, they know how to read a painting better than we do, discovering its colours and its lighting. It makes them feel happy, says Marie Lavandier, director of the Musée du Louvre-Lens, because “there is real joy in art”. Their natural curiosity leaves them feeling positive – small bursts of joy that can change the way you look at them. Picasso once said that there is an artist in every child – the problem is how to remain an artist when you grow up. Museums really understand this. They also know that before talking or writing, kids start to draw. That’s why museums invite children to dedicated workshops. Even babies in the arms of their parents or grandparents can sit among soft cushions and discover treasures together to the sound of rhymes, songs and soft music. Marvel at it all together. Where? Try the Forum des Sciences in Villeneuve d’Ascq, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille, the Louvre-Lens, the Clouterie Rivierre in Creil, the MusVerre in Sars-Poteries, Dunkirk’s Harbour Museum, Cassel’s Musée de Flandres and Picardy Museum in Amiens.


03. Your future scientists

Science museums in Hauts-de-France

Science is fascinating, but it sometimes puts people off when it appears too academic – often, young and old avoid it. Whether it’s astronomy, the Earth, the human body or the undersea world, we’ve found some small cities in the Hauts-de-France that transform science into fun experiences for all the family. Where, when, how, why? Your kids have the gift of asking questions. They can find their answers by playing games and taking fun voyages of discovery to open their minds and develop their critical thinking. To discover the world of science, head to the Centre Historique Minier de Lewarde, the Palais des Sciences et de l’Univers in Cappelle-la-Grande and then to the Forum des Sciences’ Planetarium in Villeneuve d’Ascq. Last but not least, try the Nausicaa National Sea Centre in Boulogne-sur-Mer.


04. Museums turn to role play

Game on!

Role play stimulates the brain and promotes creativity and imagination, which can be a positive influence on both children and adults. Your little ones are no doubt already excellent actors – much more spontaneous than you – and they probably already enjoy swapping characters and pretending to be a teacher or a firefighter. If that’s the case, they are going to adore making a scene at the Mining History Centre in Lewarde, at La Manufacture des Flandres in Roubaix and at a Familistère Godin in Guise, where they can take on the roles of a miner, a textile worker or a little familistèrienne – a 19th century co-operative worker – to revive activities of yesteryear.


05. Culture goes digital

An interactive experience

Just like you, your children can be addicted to their screens and are hyperconnected. These days, even babies are engaged in the digital world from a young age. Armed with tablets, you and your budding explorers can discover La Piscinemuseum in Roubaix or the Palais des Beaux-Artsde Lille and immerse yourselves in the collections of paintings and sculptures. These are freestyle interactive visits that allow you to decode the major exhibits of these magical places through games, puzzles and quizzes, all in your own time. You can also download interesting and diverse routes to your smartphone that are tailored for children and dissect the works of art so you can understand their principal themes. It’s a good way to learn about the unique talents of the artists, plus it will help your future scholars to thrive.


06. Can your detectives solve the riddles and mysteries of our museums?

Elementary my dear Watson

Kids love stories and their mischievous little eyes always widen when there’s a mystery to be solved. Riddles and investigations require ingenuity and the power of deduction, which are both useful developmental and learning skills. So, it’s time to put on their thinking caps and have some fun together – a great way to reinforce family bonds. At the Château de Chantilly, the Forum des Sciences in Villeneuve d’Ascq and the Musée Matisse du Cateau-Cambrésis, your little Sherlocks will receive clues to help them solve problems or mysteries. Who will be most astute? It’s cloak and dagger stuff!


07. Escape games take over museums

A fun way to approach art

The teenagers love it! It’s great for families too! These larger than life escape games are a group activity that spark contagious enthusiasm. Everyone goes armed with their logic, speed and observational skills, and enters a theatrical and up-lifting world of adventure. The aim is to work together to unmask a character, an enigma or a mystery related to the museum. Escape games are proving a real boon for museums and cultural hubs, who are using them to make the world of art less intimidating and more accessible. These games combine entertainment with the discovery of masterpieces and it’s a great way to create family memories. You can try it at the Saint-Omer’s Musée Henri Dupuis, the Musée Gallé-Juillet de Creil, at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Valenciennes and in Cassel at the Musée de Flandre.