Kids will find plenty of fun in this old-fashioned amusement park in the Bois de Boulogne, located on the western edge of Paris.
Descended from the pleasure garden inaugurated by Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie in 1860, the Jardin d’Acclimatation (located on Boulevard des Sablons, near Les Sablons station) is great for kids who need a break from museums and city streets.
Inside, many of the attractions have to be paid for, but the playgrounds , distorting mirrors (1), puppet shows (2), farm, and aviary are free. Younger kids will enjoy the gentle boat ride around the Magic River (3), while bigger ones can try their skill steering radio-controlled boats (4) through hoops. There are two playgrounds : one for ages 10 and up (5), the other for under-10s (6). The Musée en Herbe (7) offers educational exhibits about art with activity sheets (in French only, but easy to figure out), and Explor@dôme (8) is an exciting science show where kids are encouraged to try things out : making cloud rings, building an arch, and rolling square wheels. Texts are in French but helpful docents will try to explain a little in English. At the Village des Manèges (9), traditional fairground rides range from flying chairs to plastic ducks to a teacup ride for tots. More unusual are wooden horses that gallop around a bumpy circuit and the automobile track (for driver over 10). Tops for thrills are the Papillons d’Alice and Chinese Dragon mini-roller coasters. There are several places to snack or picnic. For a sit-down lunch, try the Club House du Golf (10), which has a kids’menu and high chairs.
Metro Station : Les Sablons (Line 9), Porte Maillot (Line 1 followed by mini train)