The ‘Festival of Wonder’ at the Museum of Fairground Arts, 26th December 2019 – 5th January 2020

It’s the 10th anniversary of the Festival du Merveilleux at the Fairground Arts Museum (Musée des Arts Forains), somewhere that’s usually closed to the public. The holiday season is a rare chance to see this incredible place…

Le Festival du Merveilleux au Musée des Arts Forains du 26 décembre 2019 au 5 janvier 2020

Generally, the only way you can get to see the Musée des Arts Forains is as part of a group that’s booked in advance, or during Open House weekend in September, but over the Christmas holidays, the museum’s Festival du Merveilleux has become a tradition, and indeed a success!

For just 11 day you can experience their ‘crazy carnival’ celebrating the funfairs of yesteryear, with special shows and displays, and for their 10th anniversary they’re making an even bigger effort than usual!

Le Festival du Merveilleux au Musée des Arts Forains du 26 décembre 2019 au 5 janvier 2020
© Pavillons de Bercy – Musée des Arts Forains

There’s a photo studio with backgrounds from the era, tanoura dancing (a bit like whirling dervishes), tap dancing lessons, acrobatic shows…

Visitors are encouraged to come in costume, and in addition to the shows going on, you can try a selection of vintage rides and attractions from back in the day.

Also, if you’re hungry, two food trucks – La Cabane de Cape Cod and Le Trotter – are on hand with fish & chips and wraps to keep you going. Yum!

Le Festival du Merveilleux au Musée des Arts Forains du 26 décembre 2019 au 5 janvier 2020
© Pavillons de Bercy – Musée des Arts Forains

This year is also the first time you can see an extra special piece, a chariot from a Belle Époque ride called Hippo-Palace, a huge (16m diametre) attraction that the museum acquired this summer, considered by some to be the most beautiful carrousel in the world.

Before restauration is done on the entire ride (it’ll take a little time) the chariot shows the splendour to come. More info about the ride (in French) can be found here.

Le Festival du Merveilleux au Musée des Arts Forains du 26 décembre 2019 au 5 janvier 2020
© Pavillons de Bercy – Musée des Arts Forains

The Festival du Merveilleux is at the Musée des Arts Forains (here) from 26th December 2019 – 5th January 2020

Open every day (including 1st January) from 10am-6pm

Admission: 16€ / 14€ / 10€

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