Visiting a museum in or around Nice (or anywhere actually) with the family often evokes long boring hours for kids of any age.
But in reality, it all depends on what frame of mind we put them in.
Below are 7 great museums to visit with the family that can be quite fun when armed a bit of imagination!
Bring paper and colored pencils and try to find a painting that is intriguing enough – sit on the floor and draw the big lines.
You’ll be surprised that teens also like to do this! (even if they don’t admit it)
Even better have them make up a story based on what they see in the painting.
In Musee Chagall for example, most of his paintings tell a story.
At the Picasso Museum, the geometric forms can be quite interesting and may take some time to figure out the meaning, like a puzzle.
Musee Matisse is a small museum so it’s easy to sit down and have fun drawing.
Just outside the Matisse Museum, enjoy a walk through the olive trees at the “Arenes de Cimiez“
Musee Matisse was created in 1963 and shared its space with the Archeological Museum next door.
Today you can visit the museum inside “the big red house” nestled within the garden of “Arenes de Cimiez”.
Henri Matisse lived in Nice from 1917 to 1954, Within the villa’s walls, you can discover various permanent collections of Henri Matisse work, including paintings, collages, and drawings.
In addition, you can also see some amazing temporary collections of other famous painters such as Matisse’s old friend Bonnard.
Address: 164 av des Arènes de Cimiez
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 93 53 40 53
Marc Chagall was present at the museum’s inauguration In 1973. He wanted this space to be serene and in harmony with his beliefs.
Most of his paintings are of religious inspiration and the use of strong colors convey an important message. To understand this message there are audio guides available.
In addition, at different times (check website) families have access to a digital tablet in order to further discover Chagall’s universe. Through a series of interactive games, they can learn more about the artist.
Also check out the different concerts, cinema and dance events sponsored by the museum.
Address: Av. du Dr-Menard, Cimiez
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 93 53 87 20
The Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain – better known as Mamac, is a national museum in Nice.
It’s imposing structure is located on the Promenade des Arts and spans 3 floors. It’s laid out on a large esplanade next to its theater and library.
Collections from various artists including Andy Warhol, Yves Klein (Blue Venus) to Nikki de St Phalle (Lochness Monster) – her sculptures can be seen inside and outside on the esplanade.
Address:Place Yves Klein, 06000 Nice / Tel: 04 97 13 42 01
Musee de la Photographie Charles Negre
Photography as Art.
This is a small exhibit hall, but it is very interesting as it spans the beginning of photography to modern times.
Collections often change so that the public can discover and learn about the works of well known and lesser known photographers.
It is now located in the Old Town.
Address: 1 place Pierre Gautier – 06300 NICE
Tél. : +33(0)4 97 13 42 20
Musee de la Photographie, Mougins
The “Musee de la photographie” has several exhibits of Picasso seen by the most famous and amazing photographers.
First on the list is Andre Villers, who gave his name to the museum and who was one of the first to meet Picasso. Their growing and ongoing friendship led to what this museum is all about.
Other photographers, like Robert Doisneau, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Ralph Catti and many others, were also able to capture Picasso and share with us different aspects of his life through their photos.
In addition, this is a great place to discover the “camera and photography” evolution through different collections and exhibits.
Address: Porte Sarrazine, Rue de l’Eglise, Mougins
Tél : 04 93 75 85 67
Musee Fernand Leger
This amazing French painter born in 1881 became a reference for Modern Art through his sculptures, painting, drawings, and illustrations way past his death in 1955.
Inside take some time to meditate on the stained glass panels along the walls.
From the shaded garden, you can admire his most beautiful mosaic work and enjoy walks through rows of olive trees.
Breathe in the view and stop to discover the other selected sculptures on your way.
The museum was conceived by his wife Nadia Leger. After the museum, enjoy a walk through the small village of Biot.
Address: Chemin du Val-de-Pome, Biot
Tel.: 00 33 04 92 91 50 30
In 1946 Pablo Picasso was given the opportunity to set up his workshop in Antibes within the walls of the Grimaldi Castle.
In 1966 it officially becomes the Picasso Museum.
You can also see paintings of Fernand Leger and Juan Miro.
Address: Chateau Grimaldi, Antibes
Tel.: 00 33 04 92 90 54 20/26
Bonus: The eclectic Foundation Maeght
Foundation Maeght is a private museum of modern and contemporary art. It is 20 km from Nice and just a few km from St Paul de Vence.
If you have a car just go!
It is not a museum in the traditional sense, but rather an indoor-outdoor experience. Here you’ll admire the long slender sculptures of Alberto Giacometti, the works of Joan Miro and other contemporary artists.
In addition, you’ll also see paintings of Chagall and Bonnard who considered Provence their home.
Foundation Maeght is an eclectic mix of sculptors and painters and their work can be discovered indoors and throughout the grounds of the museum.
Address Chemin des Gardettes, Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 93 32 81 63
If you would like to read more about Nice check this post: Must-See Spots in Nice
And for some cool ideas for Day Trips, check here: 10 Top Day Trips from Nice
Culture and Fun can without a doubt go hand in hand for a great afternoon.
Some museums have free days or reduced ticket prices, so make sure to check the websites for the best options.