A few months back, I asked Daisy de Plume, creator of THATLou hunts, to be a guest contributor on The Paris Itinerary. Daisy shared her idea behind making the vast Louvre Museum fun and interactive by creating a treasure hunt around the museum – hence the name THATLou (Treasure Hunt at the Louvre). A simply brilliant idea I was excited to try out myself.
I chose All Things Gaul, a hunt focused on French history, from the 12 wide varieties of themes available. I was a bit nervous that I might be in over my head not really knowing a whole lot about French art. This is the first thing I loved about the hunt, you don’t have to know anything about art to enjoy the hunts. While it does help a bit, the treasure map and clues you are given at the beginning are easy to follow.
Here’s the way it works…After booking online, Daisy will meet you at a designated time and place outside the museum. Our meeting place was the Louis XIV statue. If you decide not to get your ticket ahead of time (which is a must!), then I highly suggest you purchase your ticket through Daisy when signing up for your hunt. The small convenience fee is well worth it!
To start, Daisy will give you a brief history of the museum from the outside, then once through security, she tell you even more interesting facts about the museum. Finally, she will review the rules (no running, no flash photography, no GPS, etc), provide you with a highlighted map of the areas your hunt will cover, a sealed envelope with the answers, offer a few helpful hints in getting started and then send you off on your way. In all, it took about 30 minutes with Daisy. You will find her so charming and personable, you’ll want her to come along with you!
After we left Daisy, we took our coats to the coat check since we were not in competition with another team, then sat down to strategize our plan. We decided to go room by room, floor by floor versus just going for high points. My travel partner was in charge of reading the clues and recording our points while I was in charge of the map. We set our phone timer and off we went.
It was so much fun and took quite a bit of restraint to stay within 3 meters of each other (mostly because we weren’t exactly sure how far 3 meters was-ha!). I loved exploring areas of the museum I hadn’t been before and viewing art that I might normally not have stopped to explore. I especially enjoyed when we would search out a feature on a piece of artwork (like peering through the fish’s mouth) and then later catch others behind us doing the same thing.
We were even brave enough to get extra points by taking pictures reenacting a scene in the painting.
Later when tallying up our score, we had lots of laughs on how off we were in counting the number of unicorns in the same room as the relief “George Slaying The Dragon.” Lets just say we were WAY off and certainly didn’t get those extra points.
The hunt is very well thought out and the explanation of the artwork really revealed the effort and research Daisy put into the hunt. I loved it!
So who would I recommend THATLou for? I think these hunts would be great for those who have been to the museum before, those who really don’t like museums and for families including those with teenagers. While the hunts include a couple of the major pieces of artwork famous at the Louvre (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, etc), if you feel your visit to the Louvre would be incomplete without seeing them, you will want to plan additional hours at the museum. But, no worries, you can exit and enter the museum using your same ticket during the same day. I did the hunt in the morning, left for lunch and later returned to visit other pieces I wanted to see. The visit was an entire day but well worth it and almost seemed like two totally different days.
So, are you thinking of adding THATLou to your Paris itinerary?