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Since 1860, this amusement park on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne has been, well, amusing Parisians. Like most of Paris’s planned parks, this was a brainchild of Napoleon III who revolutionized the way Parisians relaxed by letting them stroll through tamed countryside. Just a quick carriage ride from the Arc de Triomphe and visitors could enjoy Japanese gardens, pretty carousels, boat rides on the lake, and other activities not found in the busy city.
Today, the historical heritage can still be found here despite extensive renovations undertaken in 2017 to modernize the park. The Jardin d’Acclimatation now boasts 40 rides and attractions for the very young to the older, including miniature rollercoasters, bumper cars, a small train, and even a brand-new virtual wildlife reserve. And all under the watchful eye of the magnificent Fondation Louis Vuitton building on one side, and the wealthy residences of the Neuilly-sur-Seine neighborhood on the other. Like at a fair or carnival, rides require tickets which are available for purchase along with your admission ticket at the front gate or once inside the park.
If rides aren’t for you or if you’re on a budget, the park also proposes plenty of enjoyable things to do for free. Sit in the lounge chairs on the sprawling lawns, amble along meandering streams and lakes, peek into the vast aviary filled with colorful birds from around the world, climb on the playgrounds, or say hello to the animals at the petting zoo. Along with the chickens, goats, sheep, bunnies, and guinea pigs in enclosures throughout the park, ducks, geese, and peacocks run free on the grounds.
You can easily spend all day here, enjoying the roughly 50 acres of gardens and attractions, bringing a picnic or buying snacks from one of the 12 cafés and restaurants inside the park. Before you leave, though, be sure to browse through the souvenir shop and take a look at the old postcards dating back to the early 1900s and showing people enjoying the park just like today.
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