Monday, September 11, 2006

Curiosity Killed the Afternoon

They say Curiosity Killed the Cat and, if so, I probably should have died a good half-dozen times by now. My deep curiosity seems to land me in some... precarious situations. It recently landed me in Paris' Museum of Curiosity and Magic. What could be more perfect?

The guidebook said it was great for kids- there was a show and lots to see. Given my quest to find the best activities for toddlers, it seemed ideal. Pulling bunnies out of hats and colorful scarves out of a sleeve would keep anyone captivated-- even a toddler!

Walking down into the museum, however, I was acutely aware that I was entering a cave and hoped desperately they weren't going to try me as an escape artist once I got inside. The museum itself was probably quite interesting in the 1980s when it opened, but would have more accurately been called a museum of the history of magic. There were many antique magic tricks encased in glass with French descriptions and a few that moved but, frankly, nothing my toddlers were so interested in seeing. On top of that, the show was more descriptive than "show" and was again, naturally, in French. I spent the afternoon in the magic museum rather similar to how I would spend it at the Louvre- chasing the kids, saying "don't touch," and trying to figure out why I had thought this was a good idea in the first place.

Re-emerging into the daylight, we made our way to a park and had a great time running, climbing and sliding. I quickly realized that curiosity should have killed this museum long ago. It certainly nearly killed our afternoon.