In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.
When I think about going to the parks of Paris, the first thing that comes to mind is my red picnic blanket - spread out over a green lawn with a baguette, some cheese and charcuterie, a bottle of wine and a fully loaded Kindle. My husband and I can sit for hours on end just people watching, reading, and grazing on our snacks. I've already written about two iconic Parisian parks, Parc Monceau and Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, which fit the bill for a perfect afternoon spent doing absolutely nothing of importance.
But I get it. You're on a vacation to Paris, time is limited, and you want to get up and do something! If that sentiment describes how you're feeling right now, the Jardin d’Acclimation is for you. Located in the Bois de Boulogne on the western outskirts of the city, this park has it all - from peacocks roaming free to restaurants and even a museum.
The special thing that I love about the Jardin d’Acclimation is that it offers green space, but also a healthy dose of animals to connect with. I love starting off a walk through the garden by visiting my feathered friends.
There’s lots to see and do at the park. There are pretty gardens, pony rides, a mini amusement park, a playground, and more (the rides cost additional money - not included in the entry fee). There are also plenty of food options, ranging from a crêperie, more formal dining, and even an outpost of Le salon de thé Angélina (famous for its hot chocolate and pastries).
My favorite area? It may not come as a surprise if you know me and see how wild I go over some adorable sheep - it’s without question the Petite Ferme Normande (the small Norman farm). I just love cooing over the sweet farm animals and trying to make some four-legged friends. I could stay in this section longer than I’d like to admit…
The newest next door neighbor to the Jardin d’Acclimation is the Fondation Louis Vuitton, an amazing new building designed by Frank Gehry that houses art exhibits. If you can be pulled away from the cute farm animals, it’s well worth a visit while you’re in the area. In fact, admission to the Fondation includes entry to the Jardin d’Acclimation, so I prefer going into the museum first and then into the park. (And then there’s absolutely no rush in visiting my farm buddies!)
Not pictured: this park also features amusement rides, a zipline, a train ride, boats, and more! Check out their website for the full details. The site is in French, but you can download a PDF with English information by going to the website and clicking the British flag in the bottom right corner.
Also, there are additional fun happenings throughout the year that take place here. Right now there are sculptures from the Cow Parade in the park that are on display until August 18, 2015. Just another reason to get there tout de suite!
PLAN YOUR VISIT:
Jardin d’Acclimation (link in French)
Bois de Boulogne, 75016 Paris, France
Ticket sales start at 10am, closes at 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 July 2015)
Tickets for the attractions are separate - one ticket is €2.90, a book of 15 is €35, etc. - see official website for more prices