(We didn't even get bonus points for this. We just liked the look of it.)
When Daisy de Plume was growing up in New York, her mother would take her to art museums like the Met. To keep her interested, engaged and well-behaved, Mum would create games for Daisy to play that focused on the art, often with monetary incentives. Years later, living in Paris and armed with an art history degree, Daisy's wanderings around the Louvre inspired the familiar feeling of associating art with reward. Wouldn't it be great to have those games to play in the most famous museum in the world? Thus THATLou, or Treasure Hunt at the Louvre, was born.
Let's face it: the Louvre is an overwhelmingly large and well-stocked joint. Yet for all its labyrinthian halls and thousands of pieces of art, 80% of visitors to the Louvre come just to see the Mona Lisa. Now, I have nothing against the mysterious lady, but there is so much more to see and adore! Yet the sheer volume of works contained within this former palace can itself be intimidating... a problem THATLou solves with ease.
(My favorite piece of art, Antonio Canova's Psyche Revived By Cupid's Kiss)
Guided by one of twelve themed hunts, your team races around the museum trying to find and photograph yourself in front of as many pieces as possible within the time limit (usually 1.5 to 2 hours). But the clincher is that the pieces have different points assigned to them, so if you go to something ridiculously easy to find (like Ms. Mona Lisa, for example, 10 points) it's not worth as much as, say, tracking down a gorgeously ornate plate in the brand-new Islamic wing (75 points). However, you can get bonus points for the little 10-pointers, based on either knowledge or doing fun poses in front of the art. For example, if you manage to get a photo of yourself in front of the Mona Lisa with no other people in the photo (a supreme challenge), you bump up your points. So your team has to strategize to figure out the best way to get the most points without running around the equivalent of the New York Marathon.
The first time I went to THATLou, I admit I was a little intimidated. I don't know trivia about art and the space of the Louvre seemed too grand to take on. But with Daisy's clever and well-constructed hunts, along with maps highlighted with areas specific to the theme and flanked by two friends with a fun and competitive spirit, I had an absolute blast. I saw pieces of art I otherwise may never have sought out. My two friends, Parisians by birth, had only ever been to the Louvre once or twice in each of their lives, and had a ton of fun... they still bring it up ("Jenna, remember that time we had the contest in the Louvre?" "Yes, Elsa, that was just a few months ago." "It was so fun! Let's go again!").
So whether you're planning a trip to Paris or live here and you want to have a fun, engaging and unique experience, you should definitely sign up for a THATLou hunt. Whether you're with kids or friends, or simply playing against others in a public hunt, it is a truly unforgettable experience.
Now for the contest: I'm happy to announce that Daisy is offering an awesome PRIZE for one lucky reader! Leave a comment below telling me your favorite piece of art (it doesn't necessarily have to be at the Louvre). On Sunday I'll choose one reader who will win a FREE HUNT from THATLou!
**UPDATE: The contest is now closed, and the lucky winner is La Fille En Rose! Please email Daisy at daisydeplume (at) gmail (dot) com to claim your prize. Congratulations, and thanks to all who entered... it's wonderful to hear about the art you love!
*Prize consists of one free hunt from THATLou, either one pass to a public hunt or the offer of buy one/get one free (limit 2) for a private hunt. Price of museum admission not included. Also, please note that Daisy appears at the end of the hunt only at public hunts.