Zoos, menageries and aquariums to visit with the family
Paris is home to all kinds of animals : elephants, giraffes, cockerels, clownfish …
Zoos and farms to visit with children
Elephants, lions, rhinoceros, giraffes, crocodiles … Paris offers visitors the opportunity to see all sorts of animals. Go along for some animal encounters that are sure to delight the kids!
Near to the Ile de Reuilly, the Parc Zoologique de Paris is ideal for a family outing. As well as getting to see some one thousand animals, kids can also take part in fun workshops like ‘Up Close and Personal with an animal at the park’ or ‘Breakfast with the giraffes’. And for those with smartphones and devices, applications can be downloaded to find out more about the daily life of the park’s animals. For example, the app ‘Adeline the Giraffe’s Journey’ invites children aged 5 and above to explore the Park on the trail of this special giraffe.
At the Grande Galerie de l’évolution at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, kids get to see some spectacular animals. The Evolution Gallery presents a life-size chronological trail of dinosaurs, mammoths and many other ancient and forgotten species. A wonderful way to show children the different stages of evolution that resulted in modern-age Man.
Right in the heart of Paris, the Menagerie in the Jardin des Plantes is one of the world’s oldest zoos. Here, kids can discover orangutans, big cats, red pandas, parrots and even Arabian oryx: exotic species that children rarely have the chance to see. Even more unusual, the Zoo de Thoiry and the Parc aux Félins offer visitors a mini-safari experience enabling them to get close to the animals: a fantastic experience for kids.
For a day out that combines animals and wooded areas for family walks, why not visit the Parc Animalier de l’Emprunt or the Zoo du bois d’Attilly. Your kids will adore meeting servals, lions, hippopatamuses, gibbons and other animals!
Finally, nature lovers can find a little bit of the countryside in Paris. At the Jardin d'Acclimatation, the Ferme Normande (a small farm) and the Grande Volière (aviary) enable kids to see rare domestic species. Families can also enjoy a slice of rural life at the Ferme de Paris in the Bois de Vincennes.
Animal or insect reserves in Paris
Safeguarding biodiversity is one of the capital’s priorities. In line with its policies to protect species, Paris gives families the opportunity to visit places where they can learn about and observe the natural world and make children aware of ecological issues.
Many rare and exotic animals are protected at the ornithological reserve in the Bois de Boulogne and at the reserve in the Bois de Vincennes.
Also at Vincennes, the Jardin des Papillons (butterfly garden), open from mid-May to mid-October, gives kids the chance to admire the most beautiful butterflies in Paris. In the same spirit of conservation, the Maison Paris-Nature has a ‘diversity trail’ for families to raise awareness of environmental issues.
Finally, the Ménagerie at the Jardin des Plantes manages the genetic heritage of species to preserve their ability to adapt to the natural environment and to foster their proliferation.
Tucked away in the heart of Montmartre, the Jardin sauvage is a secret wild garden where unusual and colourful plants thrive. This popular spot is only open to families at certain times of the year, notably in summer.
Aquariums to visit with the kids
In Paris, marine species are just waiting to be discovered! The capital’s aquariums reveal a unique and colourful ecosystem: a great afternoon out with the kids.
There are numerous places in Paris to see underwater fauna and flora. The 43 water tanks at the Aquarium du Trocadéro , also called Cinéaqua, are home to an infinite variety of species including angel fish and golden trevally. Touch pools enable children to touch Koi carp and goldfish. And in the Cinéaqua film auditorium, didactic cartoon films complete a family outing to this marine world.
Situated on the edge of the Bois de Vincennes, the Aquarium tropical de la Porte Dorée presents some 5,000 marine animals in a magnificent art deco building. Don’t miss the crocodile and alligator pool.
In the Paris suburbs, the Aquarium Sea Life Paris Val d’Europe offers a fun, educational, and interactive experience to discover more than 350 marine species, including its impressive spider crabs. There are lots of activities on offer: touch pool, regular special events, feeding sessions, fun activity trail.