Be the king of the swingers in Paris
Tree climbing in Paris is a great idea. Especially when you have energetic children who spend their waking hours hurling themselves around the house or wrestling each other to the floor as I do! Any chance to help the kids rid themselves of this abundant energy has gotta be given a try right? Even if you have one little munchkin, the situation is much the same. They need to exorcise their boundless joie de vivre with total immersion in something super fun, mentally challenging and ultimately exhausting; and tree climbing could be one useful solution.
Located in the beautiful Parc Floral is a place that can only be described as nirvana for parents. After weaving through the paths, meandering amongst the stunning scenery with lakes, flora, fauna and more; you eventually arrive at Évasion Verte – a magical space where children and adults can get high amongst the trees, zip-lining or tight-rope walking from Pine to Pine! Here is our experience…
Not knowing what to expect at first, we are as parents a tad nervous but the boys (aged 8) are raring to go. Our confidence grows after talking to the outdoor team who are clearly very informed and have an answer for all our natural concerns. It is especially amusing to watch them respond to one of our boys asking “can we die doing this?”. Must say they handle the enquiring mind with expertise; informing him that there has been not one single demise to date and the apparatus are super strong and all safety measures are in place!
Once in their harness and sporting other various clips and equipment, the kids are given a 15-minute lesson in parkour – which basically means a sporting assault course. Fully prepped they are ready to take their first steps up the ladder, unsure of when they will be coming back down to earth. Our job as parents is to stay close and ensure they use the equipment properly to help them get from tree to tree without a hitch.
The place is full of families, kids of all ages, here to experience the challenges ahead. We are stunned at the confidence of some and slightly distressed at the wailing nervousness of others, but we are determined and try to remain unphased, focusing on the boys and their exciting adventure.
There are three levels, each one elevating the participant higher and higher above ground. Level One is green and offers the right balance of challenge and height. It takes around 30 minutes or less depending on experience/nerves. Speed can be impacted on by the strict rules. Only one person on a connecting link – bridge, zip-line, log or tightrope at any one time and only three people on a waiting platform.
The boys are loving it, owning it. There is a little bit of trepidation to start then a sudden boost of confidence, camaraderie and inevitably healthy competitiveness. We (hubby and I) are proud and terrified simultaneously as they eagerly attempt Level Two which is blue. A tougher course for the kids, who are so high it’s not so easy to control how they use the equipment. The poker face is on (as far as they are concerned) as we encourage them to take it slow and strategically progress to each tree.
Their faces are full of concentration, amazement,smiles, wonderment and a little fear as they fly between the trees waving at us from the leaves – satisfied with their achievements. They have so much to do and think about, but they are enjoying it and gaining confidence with each testing stage.
We observe a few scared younger kids but the staff are attentive and visible, checking in at every level and making sure that all is well even rescuing a few when necessary.
By the end of Level 2, our children’s eyes rest on Level 3 – colour red! But out hearts which momentarily stopped a few times en route just can’t take it and we call it a day nad they reluctantly accept our decision.
In total, we end up spending around 2 hours and 30 minutes in Évasion Verte in terms of time and around €40 for the privilege but it was worth it. However, we (family of four) also paid €18 to get into Parc Floral!
Wandering through the park as we left, unbelievably the children still have the energy to play on the logs and in the playground.
Budget permitting we would love go tree climbing in Paris again – it was a great family day out and the kids absolutely adored it.
As we leave they are walking a little bit taller, happy and full of endless chatter about their accomplishments and we are relieved that they are in one piece. By the time we get them home they drag their exhausted little bodies into the apartment and fall into bed without complaint after supper. Yes!
Our work here is done!
PS: We know there is another Tree Climbing option at Sherwood Parc just outside of Paris, but this is the only one inside the Periphique!
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Évasion Verte, Parc Floral – Opening times vary, check their site for the details.