Through September 13
The bandstand of the Parc Floral botanical gardens in the Bois de Vincennes (12th, M° Chateau de Vincennes) hosts the Festival Classique au Vert classical music concerts by international musicians every Saturday and Sunday from 4pm-6pm (open stage for amateur musicians at 11am). Entry to the gardens €6. The gardens also have playgrounds, a butterfly house, photo exhibits, and gorgeous floral displays, of course!
Through September 30
Meet the artists of Belleville at the Belvédère aux Artistes, every Saturday and Sunday at the Parc de Belleville (on the esplanade overlooking the Maison de l’Air, Rue de Piat), 2-8pm. Fifteen local artists and artisans — painters, clothing designers, jewelry makers, furniture makers, etc — will create, display, and sell their works direct to the public. Free entry, and the view over Paris is amazing!
Through October 3
Looking for an alternative to Paris Plage? Glazart (near Parc de la Villette in the 19th) has it’s own version, La Plage (the Beach), with free live music, techno parties, a huge sand “beach” with terrace, cocktail bar, food trucks, food trucks, and even pétanque. See the entire schedule of concerts here.
Through October 3
Don’t miss one of the most magical events of the summer, the Candlelit Evenings 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. Every Saturday evening, entry €19.50.
Through October 18
The 32nd 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).
Through October 31
The gardens of the famous Curie Institut are open to the public for two months, featuring science-inspire artworks by 100 international artists. The Jardin du Musée Curie (1 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 5th, metro Place Monge), open Wed-Sat 1-5pm. Free entry.
September 6, 13, 20, 27
The pedestrian-only shopping and dining street known as Bercy Village is hosting free, open-air opera concerts every Sunday in September at 3:30pm and 5pm. See the full program here (sorry, only in French).
Le Lavage de la Madeleine is one of the largest Brazilian street festivals in Europe, held each year in Paris in and around the steps of the Madeleine Church in the 8th, with a Brazilian food and crafts market (Friday-Sunday 10am-8pm), 300 artists, live music, a traditional mass, and a colorful parade on Sunday starting at 11am at the Place de la République and finishing at the Place de la Madeleine at 3:30pm with the symbolic washing of the church steps. For more info see the FB page.
The annual Fête de l’Humanité is three days of live music (65 acts including headliners Manu Chao, Texas, and Juliette Gréco), debates (because the French love a good debate), arts and cinema expositions, a bal populaire, a book fair, and activities for kids. The main sponsor/organizer is the daily newspaper L’Humanité, whose motto is “Envie de Changer Le Monde” (The desire to change the world), so you can imagine it’s quite a leftie leaning festival where politics, social justice and liberty are the main stars. This year it takes place in La Corneuve (northeast suburbs), and three-day passes are just €32 (€35 at the door; camping and parking also possible).
La Parisienne is a women’s race to race awareness and money for breast cancer research and prevention (although it’s a pretty paltry sum of €30k last year donated by the organizers, who collect almost €2 million from the 40,000 runners to participate; the rest of the money is given directly from participants) . The first two days are filled with special events, classes, demos, food, health sessions, stands, and training sessions. The 6k race takes place on Sunday with muscians providing entertainment along the way. The theme this year is Celtic (which also, judging by the website, means cheesy green shamrock costumes and green glitter). Ok, maybe I think this event is a bunch of Pinkwashing BS. Donate your dough direct to the Fondation Recherche Médicale to combat breast cancer and find another race to run.
Le Grand Feux is one of the biggest fireworks shows in Europe, taking place on the edge of Paris in the Parc de St Cloud from 9pm-11pm. Tickets are €29 (lawn) to €49-79 (seated) and €215 for VIP area access. Get tickets at FNAC. See videos from previous years here.
The Top to Bottom Graffiti Festival takes place this weekend at the Esplanade Nathalie Sarraute (Halle Pajol), 18th, featuring 30 street artists, including Grems, Nicolas Barrome, Sébastien Touache, Jean-Michel Ouvry, and Shane, Tyrsa. Check out the teaser video from last year.
September 12- October 4
The Left Bank quays of the Seine know as Les Berges (7th arrondissement) are hosting a free open-air showcase of the latest innovations to help fight climate-change, “Paris de l’Avenir”, as part of the city’s participation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). Free entry. Check out the website for more events throughout the city this fall.
Feeling sporty? La Maison Radio France Fête le Sport all day with a “Vertigo Course Solidaire” race to the top (22nd floor!) of the Maison Radio France (16th arr), as well as a “Village Sportif” with badminton, fencing, boxing, basketball and other demos and animations. Money raised by the runners for the Vertigo (you can go as slow as you want, and only need to raise at least €22, but €365 each is the goal) goes to Play International to help promote a sporty lifestyle for children. Free entry to the Village, music from the DJs of Le Mouv’ (my fave French rock station).
American-born Parisian artist Marcus McAllister will be hosting a vernissage (opening reception) for his new show “Edification de l’Empanthie” tonight at the Galerie 43 (43 rue V audrezanne, 13th, Butte aux Cailles, M° Place d’Italie or Tolbiac), from 6:30pm-9:30pm.
You’ll find food specialities from Southwestern France at the 16th annual open-air food market on the Seine, Les Marchés Flottants du Sud-Ouest, for three days along the Quai Montebello (on the Left Bank, facing Notre Dame Cathedral, M° St Michel). Wine, armagnac, foie gras, saussages and sliced meats, cheese, olives, patés, tapenades, and — each day from 10:30am-3pm — fresh fruits distributed for FREE (the grapes and apples are amazing). There will also be live music, plenty of demonstratins and other activities. If the weather is nice, expect large crowds! Free entry.
Get out your earplugs, it’s time for the 17th annual Techno Parade de Paris! It starts at Palais Royal (1st) at noon, passing through St-Michel, St-Germain, Place de la Bastille, and finishes at the Place de la République. Check out their FB page for better information on the practicalities.
The Cabaret Sauvage at the Parc de la Villette is hosting the Festival de la Finance Solidaire, featuring stands from associations which are designated as socially ethical, environmental, or promoting social solidarity in all sectors. There will be travel agencies, a publishing house, food stands, crafts, and live music in the evening. Free entry, open from 2pm-10:30pm.
This weekend is the 32nd annual Journées du Patrimoine, or Heritage Days. Over 350 historic sites will be opened to the public in Paris, many which are only open for this occasion. See the full schedule at the website (click on “FR” at the top right of the page to switch the language to EN). Some of the obvious sites like the President’s Elysée Palace will have long lines, but many other sites are happily free to visit or participate in a free tour.
September 23- October 4
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.
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 edition was VERY crowded, so get there early to avoid waiting (there are places to sit and eat). Here’s the video (in French, but gives you an idea what to expect):
The Bastille district is hosting a two-day cultural party with concerts, artisan workshops, street art, performances, a public picnic and dancing on the Place de la Bastille. Look for the info tents on the north side of Place de la Bastille (by the Falstaff restaurant) or check out the schedule online. Free entry!
September 25 – October 4
Escape to a little island on the edge of Paris for the 91st 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-des-Gualle-Etoile station in Paris, then either walk five minutes or take the free shuttle. Entry €6.
Handicap International is organizing their 21st annual Pyramide de Chaussures (Pyramid of Shoes) in Paris and all over France today to bring attention to the very real problem of landmines and cluster bombs in civilian areas around the world. Show your support for the cause by bringing an old pair of shoes to add to the pyramid (in Paris at Place de la Bastille from 10am-8pm), signing the petition online, or makeing a donation to help pay for prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs for children, and de-mining operations in the most dangerous areas.
The 8th annual Culture au Quai is a free cultural festival on the quays of the Bassin de la Vilette (Quai de Loire, 19th, M° Jaurès), including contemporary art stands, live music, live theatre and dance performances, and activities for kids from 11am-7pm. They’ll be promoting and selling tickets to all of the best fall shows in Paris. Come on down for a stroll and check it out, plenty of surprises to discover! The program is here.
Celebrate the Fête des Jardins in gardens throughout Paris (many normally closed to the public). This year’s theme is urban gardening. Check the full schedule online.
Pedestrians take over the city of Paris for the Journée sans Voiture (Car Free Day), from 11am-6pm in the 1st through 7th, 10th and 11th arrondissements, as well as the Champs-Elysées and around the Eiffel Tower.
See the eclipse of the full moon at 4:47am from anywhere in France that isn’t cloudy (forecast looks great for Paris!). The last lunar eclipse visible in France was in 2011, and the next one won’t be until 2018.
Pars-based American writer Jason Stoneking will be at The Brkln Bar tonight to launch his newest collection of essays “Audience of None” (the third and final collection in the Audience series) with drinks and nibbles from 6pm and a reading at 6:30pm. Free entry, everyone welcome!
Free event at Reid Hall tonight, 7-9pm: “The Château Vaux-le-Vicomte was built by Louis XIV’s Superintendent of Finances Nicolas Fouquet, who engaged Louis Le Vau, architect, André Le Nôtre, garden designer, and the painter Charles Le Brun. The result was so splendid that the King suspected Fouquet of misappropriating funds and had him imprisoned for life, then engaged the same team to build his palace at Versailles. Today, Vaux-le-Vicomte is the largest private estate in France, owned by the family of Count Patrice de Vogüé. For Alexandre de Vogüé, his son, this architectural star is simply “home,” and Le Nôtre’s famed gardens his “back yard.” The Arts Arena welcomes Alexandre de Vogüé to speak of living Vaux-le-Vicomte.” RSVP to attend.
September 29, October 8 and October 14
SOS Help, the English-language listening line in Paris, is looking for volunteer listeners for a minimum 15-month committment of three shifts per month. If you’re interested in learning more, attend ONE of the three orientation sessions listed above, 7pm at the American Church of Paris. You can find more inforamtion about the volunteer requirements here.
October 1: Shangri-La’s monthly “100% Green” Gourmet Dinner
October 3: Nuit Blanche
October 7-11: Fête des Vendanges
October 28-31: Salon du Chocolat
Other Paris Calendar Links
- For general events around Paris: Que Faire à Paris?
- For literary events, readings, and classes: Monthly Paris Listing
- For indie/alternative music concerts see Gigs in Paris
- For art exhibitions in galleries and museum see Slash Paris
- For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism
- For naughty events, see the Naughty Paris Guide