20 Hectares of Paris for Kids’ Amusement:
Parents looking for a children’s amusement park in Paris will be pleased that they need go no further than the Bois de Boulogne. The Jardin d’Acclimatation in the northern section of the Bois Boulogne, has been a paradise for children since 1860.
Attractions for children in this 20-hectare amusement park include a menagerie, an archery range, a vegetable garden, a house of mirrors, miniature-golf course, shooting galleries and an art museum for children. Kids can also ride on the little train, go on pony rides, take rides on the “Enchanted River” or the fairground rides. And, there’s entertainment taking place all the time, including special events such as carnivals.
There’s also a puppet theatre and workshops on cooking, calligraphy, magic, etc. for children ages 3 to 10.
The Jardin d’Acclimatation has events to keep parents entertained as well. In the Chocolate Workshop, a talented pastry chef who has worked at the Crillon for 15 years reveals all his secrets for making wonderful chocolate treats such as chocolate truffles, chocolate creams and sweets, fudge and many other French pastries and desserts. Other workshops include perfume making and Egyptian belly-dancing.
For more information about the park and entry prices, see their website www.jardindacclimatation.fr/.
Jardin d’Acclimatation’s Bizarre History
Jardin d’Acclimatation de Paris was opened by Napoléon III and Empress Eugénie in October 1860. Its original name was the Jardin Zoologique d’Aclimatation as it was initially a Paris zoo.
During the Paris Siege in 1870, food supplies were short and the animals from the zoo were used to feed the bourgeois who were not content to eat lesser animals which the ordinary Parisians were reduced to eating.
From 1877 until 1912, the Jardin Zoologique d’Acclimatation was converted to “l’Acclimatation Anthropologique”. Parisians, like other Europeans, were curious about the customs and lifestyles of indigenous peoples – Nubians, Bushmen, Zulus and many other African peoples were “exhibited” in this human zoo! The exhibitions were a huge success and the number of visitors to the Jardin doubled, reaching the million mark.
Getting there by Metro:
Bois de Boulogne (16th arrondissement)
Metro Station Les Sablons – Walk along rue d’Orleans and the entrance to the Jardin is 150 metre away.