Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Musee des Arts Forains, Life is a Carousel

 Living in Paris, its hard not to fall in love❤️ with carousels. Last Sunday I went to the Musee des Arts Forains (museum of fairground arts) in Bercy, open specially during the Christmas holidays through 2 January,2022.

 I promised myself I’d ride the carousel this time. Instead, like this little girl, I preferred to watch. 

The old-fashioned big wheeled bicycle carousel had a huge long line. Merci deux 🙏 This one really spins fast. Why were early bikes designed with a giant front wheel? The high wheeler/ordinary/penny-farthing was developed in the 1870s with a huge front wheel, allowed the bicycle to travel greater distances with each pedal stroke, and provided a smoother ride on shoddy roads.

Hanging out admiring the carved carousel animals🦒is more my cup of tea ☕️ 

The oldest stationary carousel in the world was built in 1780 in Hanau, Germany.

It  had 4 chariots and 12 horses. The horses and coaches date from 1896. In 1970, twelve of the 16 wooden horses were stolen.

There are multitude of dramatic tableaux with costumed figures of famous French performers. Plus a slew of games that French families line up for like mad. Having good ole fashioned fun is a favorite French family pastime.

I loved the gift 🎁 boutique. 

I bought a snapping alligator, quacking duck & wind-up rooster. ‘A fool and their money are soon parted’ my dad used to tell me.

Outside in a big courtyard you can fill up with popcorn, candy cotton, fish n’ chips etc.

The final stop - The Magic Mirror Hall with photos of Josephine Baker and a terrific song and dance man.

    He got everyone up and dancing to his commands 👏 
If you are in Paris and want to have a barrel of fun and giggles definitely book a ticket for the Musee des Arts Forains. or start planning for next year.

I tried painting the carousel sculptues, but in the end, plunged in to capture the nightime scene at Hotel de ville. How’d I do? The result is in my Etsy shop.
Have a Très Belle Année PBers 🥂 🍾🦪🤸‍♂️❤️😊🐻🥂


  1. The magic of a carousel brings back childhood memories. Everything in the museum looks like a lot of fun.
    Your water color is very beautiful.
    Happy, Healthy 2022🎠🥂

  2. It is a very fun museum GA. I spent 2 hours there and the time flew by.

  3. Joycelyn10:45 AM

    That old deep feeling of having lived in 18th C france has grabbed hold of me it does from time to time. Merci for the historic carousel journey.
    Not 18th C but delightful.

  4. Beautiful, Carol! What a fabulous visit you had! And, good for you buying those metal toys…I’m sure they will bring you a lot of joy! Carousels are definitely a fond memory from my childhood. It is delightful how Paris keeps carousels running, all over the city, all year round. Such a lovely place for children to grow up!

  5. Joycelyne - a chat 🐈‍⬛ With 9 lives!

  6. Thanks Bonnie, I did not know the city carousels were all free during the holidays!
    No wonder the long, long lines.

  7. W.Ternay III1:20 PM

    This post is soooo wonderful.
    Am I right in thinking one of your early memory's was riding the
    Carousel at Willow Grove Park.?

  8. Carousels are so magical! What a fun time out. Happy New Year!

  9. I enjoyed the Carousels! Thank you. I notice that in many towns in France, you oft times run into a carousel!
    I got interested in carousels and am sharing the following bit of info as I love Angers but had never heard anything about him or his factory in Angers until last year.

  10. Gustave Bayol (1859-1931) the most prestigious and important carousel carver in Europe. His carousel factory was in Angers. Carousels can be found in many cities throughout France. In Paris, a simple, green-roofed carousel in the Jardin du Ranelagh features Bayol’s signature, and sweet-faced barnyard animals; another can be found in the Bois de Vincennes, outfitted with lots of adorable little pigs.

  11. Thank you , really enjoyed this. MerciThanks

  12. Happy New Year Carol early
    Such an interesting post!! Thank you so much!!
    Tragic about the stolen horses
    ...wonder where they went....

  13. Ooops Laura,
    It was just a Wikipedia note. Nothing to do with Musee des Arts Forains!
    My error 🙏

  14. What a fun outing! Please show us your alligator, duck and rooster. Lovely painting too. Bonne Année!

  15. I was charmed by them :) And yours.

  16. J'adore les carousels On en a ici aux Etats-Unis...souvent dans nos
    jardins zoologiques.


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