FYI: Daylight Savings in France takes place at 3am October 30, 2016.
The annual Nuit Blanche “White Night” festival starts at sunset on Saturday and goes until sunrise on Sunday, with a diverse set of artistic events and shows scheduled predominantly on the Right Bank (with twoparcours, East and West), and a few “Off” events on the Left Bank, in parks, public spaces and sometimes cool venues like the Petit Ceinture (usually closed to the public). This year there are also a few bars and food trucks along the route, worth stopping in just for that! Free entry. Info in English on the city’s website.
Don’t miss the last magical Candlelit Evening at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, just an hour south of Paris by RER and shuttle. Visit the family-owned palace and gardens that inspired Versailles by candlelight, including dinner in the gardens (or bring your own picnic or book a table for a gourmet meal starting at €59) and a fireworks finale. Entry €19.50.
Book your table at the Paris Shangri-La’s monthly “100% Green” Gourmet Dinner served in the hotel’s gorgeous Bauhinia restaurant, just €68/person (not including drinks), check out the vegetarian menu (PDF). This is an excellent meal even if you’re not vegetarian. I also recommend getting one of the “jars”, a fresh fruit and vegetable smoothie cocktail (with alcohol in it) served in a mason jar.
Escape to a little island on the edge of Paris for the 92nd annual Foire de Chatou antique market. Formerly known as the Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons (Ham and Flea Market), this popular twice-annual market has a mix of over 800 stands selling antiques and bric-a-brac, with an entire section dedicated to regional French foods, particulary pork in all its varieties. The Ile de Chatou, just north of Paris, also known as the Impressionists Island, is accessible via RER A from Charles-De-Gaulle-Etoile station in Paris, then either walk five minutes or take the free shuttle. Entry €6.
Bestiaire is a free, open-air exhibit of fantastic, mythical, and surreal animals in paintings, sculptures and videos are on display in the gardens of the Hôpital Pitié Salpêtrière (83 blvd Hôpital, 13th), open free to the public daily 2-7pm, and during Nuit Blanche October 3rd from 7pm until 1am.
The 33rd annual funfair carnival, the Fête à Neu Neu, opens on August 30th in the Bois de Boulogne (Porte de la Muette, 16th, M° Rue de la Pompe). Open 4pm-midnight Mon, Tues, & Thurs; 2pm-midnight Wed & Fri; and noon to midnight Sat-Sun. Free entry, ATM, Vélib station, food tents and rides (tickets purchased onsite).
The 16th annual Marché de l’Aveyron takes place for three days with over 100 food, wine and artisan stands from the Aveyron region of France. There will also be folk dancing and live music. Free entry, open 9am-10pm along the Rue de l’Aubrac, 12th, M° St-Emilion (near Bercy Village).
Celebrate Oktoberfest in Paris all week long in a huge Bavarian-themed tent at the Porte de la Villette (19th), tickets €34-€44, including €15 of drink tickets. There will be music, Bavarian Cancan dancers, and plenty to eat and drink. Dust off the lederhosen and be ready for fun!
The largest antique market in Versailles takes place for three days for the Fête d’Automne, with 50 antique shops and art galleries celebrating the reign of Louis XIV (it’s the 300th anniversary of his death). SHops and stands along the Passage de la Geôle and Rue du Bailliage (northwest corner of the Marché Notre Dame, closest station is the Gare de Versailles Rive Droite direct from Paris’ Gare St-Lazare).
Head up to Montmartre for the 83rd annual Fête des Vendanges, the wine harvest festival (yes, there is an actual little vineyard in Montmartre, just behind the Musée Montmartre and across from the Lapin Agile Cabaret). There is grape stomping, food and wine tastings, fireworks, a parade, live music, and all kinds of fun throughout the “Butte“. Many events are free, some you have to reserve a spot, so get to the website or stop by the little Montmartre Tourism Office at 21 Place du Tertre (18th).
Over 100 Paris artists open their ateliers to the public for three days for the event ParisArtistes 2016. They are in different neighborhoods throughout the city, some in public buildings like the Couvent des Recollets in the 10th or la Villa Belleville. Free entry, check the website for the full schedule.
Fashion Week is over, but you can still enjoy a bit of the glamorous Parisian fashion lifestyle at the Bristol Hotel’s Fashion Saturdays, which includes a fashion show by one of the major fashion houses with Afternoon Tea (pastries, Champagne, teas, and finger foods). Entry is €70 per person. This week’s show features Etro, from 2:30-4:30pm, in the Jardin Français Bar (112 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8th), RSVP 01 53 43 43 42.
Discover the latest up-and-coming French “créateurs” at the Hôtel Bohême, a pop-up sale of jewelry, accessories, clothing, decor, art, gifts and other goodies all made in France, with a particular focus on eco-friendly design and organic products. There are also gourmet sandwiches, salads and other snacks by Chloé Cuisine en Vert, making this more of an outing than just shopping. Free entry, open Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm. Address: 71 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 11th, M° Parmentier, Goncourt or Couronnes.
The SOS Help English-language listening line is hosting its Autumn Book Sale today 12 pm to 4 pm. Orrick Law Offices, 31, avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 16th, M° Alma-Marceau. Paperbacks are only 1€ and hard covers are 2€. They have books in every category, with a ton of general fiction, young adult, and children’s books. Be sure to tell your friends about this great way to get inexpensive books, meet other people in the English-speaking community, and support this organisation. To donate books in good condition, simply bring them to the sale on Sunday. They will also have a bake sale where you can get all kinds of fabulous homemade sweet and savory goodies as well as perk up with a little coffee!
Watch some of the best international outdoor and adventure short films at the European Outdoor Film Tour tonight at La Cigale from 8pm. There are 9 films for a total time of 120 minutes with a half hour break. See the trailer here.
The charity shop Emmaüs Alternatives (105 blvd Davout, 75020, M° Porte de Montreuil) is clearing out its stock of used men’s, women’s and children’s clothing with a 5-day Kilo Sale, where everything is on sale for just €10 per kilo. Open 11am-7:45pm.
Blending culture with social, Sinfonietta Paris brings you an evening of classical music, “Music by the Glass,” Shostakovich: Trio for piano nº 1, op 8; Tchaikovsky: Trio for piano, op 50) — exquisitely performed by SPCO musicians at the Institut Finlandais (behind the Cluny Medieval Museum, Latin Quarter). Sit closely to the performing artists; afterwards, enjoy an excellent cocktail reception with wine and mingle with musicians and fellow culture lovers. Presentation of the evening is in English and French. From 8-11pm. Tickets €25 (wine and hors d’oeuvres included). Register on the website; places limited.
One of the biggest flower shows of the season, Les Journées des Plantes de Courson is taking place at the Château de Chantilly, just 30 minutes north of Paris by RER. Over 200 exhibitors in a stunning setting with pretty flowers and plants, what’s not to love? Buy your tickets in advance online to get the €17 entry fee (€20 at the door) or the €30 3-day pass.
October 16, 22, 23
There are a number of neighborhood Vide-Grenier (attic sale) or brocantes (antique sales) throughout Paris this month. For info on these sales and others in Paris for any given date check the website Info-Brocante.
Le Food Market is a monthly open-air food festival on Boulevard Belleville (between metro Ménilmontant and Couronnes) with over a dozen stands serving up tasty dishes of all kinds (kind of like a gathering of static food trucks, but without the wheels) from 6pm-10:30pm. The first two editions were VERY crowded, so get there early to avoid waiting (there are places to sit and eat if it’s not cold/wet). You can also check out the event on FB.
The 8ème Avenue show features 23 contemporary, urban and street art galleries under the tents along the Champs-Elysées, from Concorde to Clemenceau. Tickets €15, open 11am-8pm (Monday until 6pm). It’s right next to the Art Elysées Art & Design Fair, so you can make a day of it if you combine shows. Galerie Mathgoth will be there, who represents Herakut, a German duo of street artists Hera and Akut, who did a mural in the 13th arrondissement this month (see video below):
October 21-30 A bit like a smaller, cozier version of the Foire de Paris, the Foire d’Automne at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles is a trade show of food and wine, home decor, beauty and fashion, and all French arts de vivre. Open 10am-7pm, entry €9.
Ma Cocotte, the trendy Philippe Starck designed restaurant in the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen hosts a monthly Apéro Voyance (Fortune-Telling Happy Hour), tonight from 7:30-11pm. From €25/person for the dinner menu, or €30 per couple for just the apéro. Reservations recommended: 01 49 51 70 00
October 28 – November 1
Stuff yourself with all kinds of chocolately goodies at the annual Salon du Chocolat, at the Paris-Expo – Porte de Versailles (metro line 12), 10am-7pm. Entrance €14. You can get advance tickets online or ask at your favorite chocolate shop if they have any extra invitations. Avoid the weekend unless you’re a masochist! Here are some Salon du Chocolat tips from a previous article by Secrets of Paris intern Tara Oakes.
The last big electronic music festival of the year, the Pitchfork Festival, takes place over three days at the Grande Halle de la Villette (Parc de la Villette, 19th). One-day passes €54, three-day passes €120.
October 31 – Halloween in Paris!
Inspirelle Magazine has an article on Seven Spooky Haunts where you can Celebrate Halloween in Paris (and the countryside) for all ages. You can find some other ideas for Halloween (including costumes) in the 2013 article How to Halloween in Paris.
October 29 – Nov 15
On a charming, cobblestone street in Belleville, the East Parisian quartier of artists and ateliers, the Association pour l’Estampe et l’Art Populaire (print making atelier and gallery) hosts an annual festival commemorating the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos in Spanish, or Les Jour des Morts en français), a typically called All Saints Day or Toussaint if you’re Catholic. It’s the festival on November 1st when we remember those who have passed on. In France, that means visiting the cemetery to put flowers on graves of loved ones. In Mexico the Dia de los Muertos is a colorful festival not just to remember the dead, but to remind ourselves to be thankful for the time we had with them, and our time left here on Earth. There is usually an altar where gifts of fruit and flowers are placed alongside candles and incense, and artworks with skeletons, aka calaveras in French. This Belleville atelier has both for their annual Jour des Morts, come check it out at their vernissage on October 28th from 6pm, or the exposition of artworks by different artists daily 3-8pm.
Through November 25
The unforgettable Paris photos by legendary photographer Willy Ronis are on display in a free exhibition “Transmission” at the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (182, rue Saint Honoré), open Mon-Fri 8:30am-8pm.
November 17-January 8
Book your seats now for 42nd Street, one of the last Broadway musicals showing at the Châtelet Theatre before it closes for renovations in February 2017. Tickets from €25.
The 39th annual AAWE Bazaar at the American Church of Paris (65 Quai d’Orsay, 7th), a giant second-hand sale of quality clothes, jewelry, handbags, accessories, English books, toys, children’s and baby clothes, white elephants, and baked goods. The Bazaar also continues the long tradition of American women coming together once a week to create and craft hand-made items, for sale at the Handicrafts table. Open 9:30am-7pm. Entrance €2, free for kids, proceeds go to charities in France and abroad helping women and children.
Through December 31
Bartabas, the mystical horse trainer, is back with his Zingaro company of equestrian performers for the show “On Achève Bien les Anges” under the big top at Aubervilliers. A must for horse lovers looking for a magical evening. Tickets from FNAC or online, €42 (€21 for kids). Shows Tues, Wed, Fri and Sat at 8:30pm, and Sun at 5:30pm.
Are you a fanatic for the Tintin, the boy reporter — along with Captain Haddock and Snowy? Now’s your chance. There’s a fantastic exhibit about the Tintin series (and about its author, Hergé), at the Grand Palais. More information at the Grand Palais website.