One of the greatest pleasures in being a parent in Paris is exploring the “other” Paris, the sort of Paris that isn’t in the movies or front-and-center in every guidebook. Sure, it’s cool to take your kid to the Eiffel Tower or to one of the many world-class museums here, but how many times are you really going to wait in line to do that? And how much does a kid really get out of their day at the museum or climbing a historic monument?
You know what’s really great for a kid in Paris? The zoo!
You know what zoos have, right? Monkeys, zebras, giraffes, monkeys, birds, rhinos, sea lions, monkeys, lions, cougars… did I mention monkeys? What more could a kid want?
Located just on the edge of the low-key, residential 12th arrondissement is the Parc Zoologique de Paris in the Bois de Vincennes. This zoo has recently been renovated and sports a little café and a great walking path that leads you through the various terrains, from the high plains of Africa to the chilled climes of Antarctica.
Zef was probably still a little too young to fully appreciate the zoo when I took him last year. He was only 14 months old, but he enjoyed his time looking at all of the different animals (particularly the giraffes and those ever-so-slightly-older-than-him toddlers). The aviary was a big hit as well as the hyper-active baboons.
Warning: the baboons do baboony-type things. Don’t expect them to behave just because you’re there with your little one 🙂 There was plenty of mating and masturbation happening, which fascinated Zef momentarily. If he was a bit older, it might have been time for some real “birds and bees” type talk. As it was, his attention shifted to some other baboon shrieking and then, before I knew it, it was time to move on.
As Zef is approaching his second birthday (he’s 23 months old today, as I write this!) we’re thinking a second trip to the zoo is in order.
However, at 22 Euros for a single adult, the cost is a little steep. This makes the 64 Euro yearly pass a real option for those living in Paris and who think they’ll make multiple visits. Luckily, kids under 3 are free so we have about 1 more year of letting Zef loose at the zoo before they start charging us for it. So there’s that.
If you’re smarter than me, you’ll buy online and save 1 Euro a ticket for a non-dated entry pass to use anytime you want! We’ll probably buy our tickets online this time and skip the yearly pass. As cool as the zoo is, it is still an hour away from where we live, making it less likely that we could go more than a couple of times over the next year. Especially now that I’m back to working full-time and Zef is in the crèche all week. Alas, that’s a story for another time!