Visiting a theme park may not be at the top of every person’s bucket list on a trip to Paris, but it should be. There is more than enough to keep visitors busy here for a few days, right in the Greater Paris Area.
Paris has more to offer to tourists than just the Eiffel tower and the Louvre. While they are indeed two of the most famous attractions in Paris, there are many other things to do and see in the capital of France.
Everyone may have heard of Disneyland Paris theme park, but another great option is the French Parc Asterix. From zoos to aquariums and the new French fad of accrobranche, visitors will be curious to explore the different entertainment options near Paris and discover their own magical memories.
So if you are hoping to add a few thrills to your time in Paris, here are some of the top theme parks in Paris and the surrounding area.
1. Disneyland Paris
Unless you live in Florida or California next to a Disney theme park, Disneyland Paris should probably be somewhere on your list of things to do in Paris with kids. A 30-minute RER train from the center of Paris will take you to Mickey’s doorstep.
Disneyland Paris, aka EuroDisney, actually is much cheaper compared to other Disneylands in the U.S., Japan, and elsewhere. The park is split into two parts: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios and you can buy tickets for both parks, or just one.
For accommodation, you can also stay at the nearby Center Parcs that has partnered with Disney to make the most of your holiday. You can read more about visiting Disneyland here.
It is located at Boulevard de Parc, 77700 Coupvray. The park is accessible on RER A about 30 minutes outside Paris, or alternatively, you can book your transportation here.
2. Parc Asterix
If Disney is too “American”, you can head over to the French version, Parc Asterix. The theme park features the intrepid Gauls (as the French were called then) and their fight against Julius Caesar and the dastardly Roman Empire.
Based on the French comic books, Asterix, Obelix, and their friends roam around the theme park, ready to greet visitors while they ride various rollercoasters and merry-go-rounds.
Combining history and kitsch, the park is divided into areas featuring the land of the Gauls, ancient Egypt, the Roman empire, and more.
It is located at Parc Asterix, 60128 Plailly, about 30 minutes outside of Paris. You will have to catch a shuttle or hire a private car to get there. You can read more about visiting Parc Asterix here.
3. Jardin d’acclimatation
If you don’t want to invest the full day at Disney or Parc Asterix, but still want to entertain the kids with a few rides at a theme park in Paris, you can head out to Jardin d’Acclimatation, which is right on the metro line 1.
The park has over 40 rides, as well as a small aviary and jungle gyms. Set in the Bois de Boulogne, the Jardin is next to the Louis Vuitton Foundation art museum, if you would like to combine the two.
A lot of the rides are for the toddler crowd, compared to Disney and Parc Asterix which are for older children.
It is located in the Bois de Boulogne, Route de la Porte Dauphine à la Porte des Sablons, 75116 Paris. Getting there is easy as well, it is just off of Line 1 on the Paris Metro, about 15 minutes bus or metro ride from the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. You can read more about visiting the Jardin d’Acclimatation here.
4. France Miniature
While France Miniature doesn’t have many rides, this is theme park that will take you all over France in a single day. The theme park features the most beautiful French cities, attractions all monuments, all replicated and miniaturized to 1/30th the size.
It is the biggest miniature park of its kind in Europe, spanning over 5 hectares, laid out in the topography of France from north to south.
Small buildings built with care, with tiny details that have been exquisitely added to make you feel like you are looking at the real thing.
There are also a few small rides and play areas as well, if you are looking for a few thrills. It is located at Boulevard André Malraux, 78990 Élancourt. You can read more about visiting France Miniature here.
Located in the south of Paris in the 15th arrondissement, just next to the Boulevard Peripherique. A giant aquatic park over 7000 m2, it has plenty of slides, swimming pools, and lazy rivers to enjoy. There is also a small fake beach, surf wake pool, and even a cinema on the premises.
It is located at 4-6 Rue Louis Armand, 75015 Paris. You can get there on Metro line 8 Balard, or line 12 Porte de Versailles.
If you have ever wanted to leap from trees in a forest like Mowgli in Junglebook here is your chance. Parisians are great fans of accrobranche, and there are several parks featuring in the Paris region.
Some are larger than others, while others are much more convenient to get to, especially if you don’t have a car. For a set price between €10-20 per person, you can choose as many paths as you want and swing from the trees.
In perfect safety, of course. Like in mountain-climbing, you are attached to a protection line, making it easy enough for kids 3 and older. (My 3-year-old’s preschool class went on one as well, as an end-of-year school trip.)
The most popular accrobranches in Paris and around the Greater Paris region include:
a) Evasion Verte – Near Vincennes Metro
In the Parc Floral de Paris, you have Evasion Verte which offers four different routes, increasing in difficulty. It is recommended for ages 6 and up, and costs around €16-21/person.
In addition, you can also participate in a hunger-games style archery and paintball competition within the Parc Floral. It is located at Esplanande du château de vincennes, Route de la Pyramide, 75012. You can get there on the Paris Metro at the stop Vincennes on Line 1.
b) Parc Aventure land – Magny en Vexin
The Parc Aventure Land is located in 7 hectares of forest and includes everything from tree-climbing, balance games, slides, trampoline, mazes, etc.
There are 150 activities in all, with pony rides, karting, mini-golf, paintball and more.
It is located at Parc Aventure Land, 95420 Magny en Vexin. You will need a car to get there, or alternatively take RER A Train to Cergy Prefecture station, then bus N ° 9504.
c) Accrocamp Rueil Malmaison
With four different routes taking kids as young as 3, this accrobranche center also includes trampoline filets and other things you can jump off. It does require a car to access.
It is located at Côte de la Jonchère 92500 Rueil Malmaison, and you will need a car to get there.
d) XTREM Aventure Cergy
Around 30 km from Paris, is XTREM Aventure in the town of Cergy. If you have ever wanted to ride a zippy bike in the air, XTREM Aventure has you covered.
There is a bit of everything from luging in a tube and an elf village for the littles ones, as well as those becoming your own slingshot for the grownups.
It is located at Ile de Loisirs de Cergy-Pontoise, Rue des Étangs, 95000 Cergy. You will need a car to get there, or alternatively take RER train to Cergy and Bus 48 on public transportation.
7. Zoo de Thoiry
At the Zoo de Thoiry, you can come for the animals and stay for zipline. While it doesn’t have any rides per say, this theme park features a zoo and a separate safari that you can drive through in your car.
The zoo is about 40 minutes outside Paris, and does need a car to access. However, you can actually stay overnight at the zoo as well, in cabins with a view of the animals.
The estate is actually on lands surrounding the Château de Thoiry owned by the Comtes de La Panouse. It was built in the 16th century by Raoul Moreau, an alchemist and the treasurer of the King of France.
There are hundreds of different animals on the properties, and many of them roam free on the safari side of the zoo. There is also a safari bus that you can climb into, if you do not wish to take your car into the safari.
If you are looking for a fun day out, the Zoo de Thoiry is bound to please the whole family. It is located at Rue du Pavillon de Montreuil, 78770 Thoiry.
8. Aquarium de Paris
About 500 meters (1/3 mile) from the foot of the Eiffel tower is the Aquarium de Paris. The entrance is slightly hidden because the aquarium itself is underground, but if you ask someone, you should easily be able to find it.
Built underground, the aquarium was constructed at the same time as the Eiffel Tower in 1867. After a massive 21-year renovation in 2006, the Aquarium covers an area of 3.5km and houses over 10,000 different species of fish.
Giant shark tanks, alien-like octopuses, little seahorses, there are a wide variety of sea creatures to look in awe at. And if your little ones like getting their hands wet, there is even a touch pool.
There are also drawing and art workshops for children, although those will be organized in French.
It is located at 5 Avenue Albert de Mun, 75016 Paris, on the Metro stop Trocadero. You read more about visiting the Aquarium de Paris and buy your skip-the-line tickets here.
If you enjoyed that article, you may want to read more about day trips from Paris here. A bientôt!