The Jardin d’Acclimatation, Paris is the best amusement park for children within the city. The park covers 20 hectares and is situated on the northern fringe of the Bois de Boulogne near the suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine.
A brief description of the Jardin d’Acclimatation, Paris
The park is a cross between a funfair, a zoo, a garden and a large playground. Children are spoilt for choice with many rides: from merry-go-rounds, bumper cars, go-karts, distorting mirrors, a zip line and a mini-canal ride (la rivière enchantée). Poney, donkey and camel rides are organised through the park’s walkways.
The park features a cute scaled-down farm reminiscent of Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet in Versailles. It is possible to reach the park from Porte Maillot where a little train connects the visitors to the Jardin d’acclimatation every 15 minutes.
The Jardin d’Acclimatation: a bit of history
The park was inaugurated on 6 October 1860 by emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie as a zoo after 15 years of work. Originally called Jardin Zoologique d’Acclimatation, the park was a successful attraction under the direction of Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, housing some 110,000 animals. Legend has it that, during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) and the siege of Paris, many animals were cooked by chef Alexandre Étienne Choron including the zoo’s two elephants Castor and Pollux.
During the Third Republic (especially from 1877 to 1912) the Jardin d’Acclimatation houses a ‘human zoo’ and presented some thirty ethnological exhibitions showing the customs of lifetimes of non-European indigenous peoples such as Nubians, Zulus and Kanaks. After World War Two, the park became more family-oriented with less funfair rides but more playful attractions and instructive features such as educational workshops.
The rides found in the park were installed for children of all ages. They include merry-go-rounds, bumper cars, go-karts, distorting mirrors, a zip line and a mini-canal ride (la rivière enchantée).
The little Norman farm
The Jardin d’Acclimatation has a little farm area which is very popular among children. A few Norman-style half-timbered buildings houses a tea-room and stables. Reminiscent of the Queen’s hamlet in Versailles or in Chantilly, the setting of the farm is beautiful. There are several favourite farm animals such as cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks…
The kitchen garden
The small kitchen garden (le potager) contains several native European plants: strawberries, raspberries, lettuce, herbs.
Next to the kitchen garden is the aviary (la Grande Volière) where many various birds are kept. Peacocks, ducks and other birds are not in cages and roam free across the park.
There are many playgrounds for all ages scattered across the park with many swings, slides, roundabouts. There is a water play area for kids in the warm months of Summer.
The Seoul garden
This landscaped garden was offered by the City of Seoul to Paris in 2002 to celebrate the deep friendship between the two capitals.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton
The Jardin d’Acclimatation offers unexpected views over the Fondation Louis Vuitton which often emerge from above the tops of the trees. The huge modern structure was designed by Frank Gehry as a ‘cloud resting on water’. This new Paris landmark was opened in 2014 and now houses art exhibits. Admission to the Fondation includes entry to the Jardin d’Acclimatation.
See more photos of the Jardin d’Acclimatation on Flickr!
- The Jardin d’Acclimatation is open daily.
- Ticket sales times: from 10am to 7pm except for Fridays when the cashier booth is open until 10pm.
- Attractions are open Monday-Friday until 7pm; weekends, bank holidays, and school vacations until 8pm
- Admission: €3 for adults and children starting at 3 years old and up, free for children under the age of 3 (prices as of May 2016)
- Tickets for the attractions are separate – one ticket is €2.90, a book of 15: €35, 25: €55, 50: €90
- More practical information about the Jardin d’Acclimatation and how to get there.
- Download the Brochure and Map of the Jardin d’Acclimatation (English version).