The Harlequin show at the Children's Museum, MarseilleThe Préau des Accoules is a museum and exhibition space designed especially for children in a beautiful building in Marseille's Old Town: a former Jesuit college dating back to the 18th century. logoClick here to book a hotel in Marseille

Each year the Préau hosts two temporary shows, accompanied by games and educational activities. These are aimed primarily at school groups.

But the museum is open to individual families at certain times, when there are guided visits and workshops - in French - which you need to sign up for in advance. And you can also go round under your own steam if you prefer. Details below.

One of the nice things about Marseille's Children's Museum is that it often collaborates with the city's "grown-up" museums, revisiting their shows from a kid's point of view.

Now ended, the last exhibition, Si la Couleur m'était contée, explored the art and science of colour, with the help of loans from Marseille's art galleries and its Museum of Natural History.

Another recent event was called Un Siècle à croquer (A Delicious Century). The century in question was the 18th one and the show was inspired by an exhibition at the Musée des Beaux Arts of paintings from that period.

At the Préau des Accoules, children are invited to immerse themselves in history through dressing up, games and other fun activities.

In recent years The Little Studio, or How to Paint the Sun (Le petit atelier ou comment peindre le soleil) and was inspired by Le grand atelier du Midi, a two-part show at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Marseille, and the Musée Granet in Aix.

Previous temporary exhibitions have covered everything from Roman amphorae, the history of coins and money, Scheherazade and her One Thousand and One Nights and Marseille soap to lucky charms around the world and harlequins (all displayed at kid's-eye-level, of course).

Nana by Niki de Saint PhalleAnother show included a display, on loan from the Musée Cantini, of child-friendly modern sculptures by Pablo Gargallo, Julio Gonzalez, Henri Laurens, Jean Arp, Roger Bissière, César Jean Amado and others. Pictured: Nana (1971) by Niki de Saint Phalle.

Entrance free. Suitable for age five upwards. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Marseille's Children's Museum also holds workshops by prior arrangement. Check the museum website for details.

Where: 29 montée des Accoules, 13002 Marseille. Tel: (+33) 4 91 91 52 06. The museum is on your left, a short walk up the hill from the Accoules church. Website for the Préau des Accoules (in French only).

How to get there: Metro (line 1, stop Vieux Port), then a short walk.


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