Due to a disturbing new rise in Covid-19 cases in Paris and the surrounding Ile-de-France since September, many regular events in Paris have been canceled, postponed, or heavily restricted in scope. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things happening around town to keep you entertained. Just don’t forget your mask!
NOTE: Clocks in France turn back one hour on October 25th at 3am for Daylight Savings.
Despite the recent Covid security measures that all bars in Paris have to close at 10pm, Paris Beer Festival events are still taking place October 3rd-9th in bars, wineries, and specialized restaurants all over Paris, and a huge fair featuring 40 microbreweries the weekend of October 10th-11th at Ground Control to close the festival. Supporting and celebrating independent and artisanal microbreweries is the theme of this 7th annual festival (formerly known as Paris Beer Week). Day passes for the weekend at Ground Control are €5 (€7 at the door), get your in advance online here.
October 3 Nuit Blanche
The annual Nuit Blanche “White Night” festival starts at sunset on Saturday and until 2am (usually goes all night, but not this year), with a diverse set of free artistic events and shows dedicated to contemporary art. Of course there are restrictions because of Covid-19, and it’s a handful of indoor events have limited spaces and need advance reservations. Check out the full program online (you’ll need to use an auto-translator if you can’t read French), or download the official map on Mapster here.
Through October 4
Escape to a little island on the edge of Paris for the 100th edition of the 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, particularly 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-Gaulle-Etoile station in Paris, then either walk five minutes or take the free shuttle. Open 10am-7pm, entry €7.
Head up to Montmartre for the 87th annual Fête des Vendanges, the wine harvest festival (yes, there’s actually a vineyard in Montmartre!). This year’s theme is “Celebrating the Future in the 18th” : “Over the course of five days, the eight districts of the 18th arrondissement will gather and look into the future through a rich program addressing themes such as green cities, science, intergenerationality, science fiction, and utopia. La Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre will once again expand beyond La Butte de Montmartre in order to highlight the originality and unique identity of the 18th arrondissement as a whole, a creative meeting-place between different generations, cultures and visions for the future.” Because of Covid-19 there won’t be a parade this year, but there will be many other free events and tastings and live music. Find the full program on the website or stop by the Montmartre Tourism Office at 21 Place du Tertre (18th).
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/TER. 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 €16 entry fee (€18 at the door) or the €48 Family pass.
Through October 11
The 37th annual funfair carnival, the Fête à Neu Neu, opens on September 4th in the Bois de Boulogne (Porte de la Muette, 16th, M° Rue de la Pompe). Opening night is 6pm-1130pm. Normal hours 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). On opening night you can purchase an unlimited ride pass for €20 (€10 for kids).
Learn the art of Champagne tasting tonight at Dilittantes, “La Maison du Champagne” (22 rue Savoie, 6th) featuring four champagnes, each representing the four principle terroirs of Champagne, with the option to follow with dinner at the neighboring restaurant Le Christine. Participants can purchase any of the Champagnes tasted at a 10% discount and enjoy it with your dinner at Le Christine with no corkage fee. The 90-minute session is 7-8:30pm, maximum ten participants (seven spots open as of today), prices from €75. Check here to sign up, or call the Italian-American boutique manager Marie for more info in English: 01 70 69 98 68.
Enjoy a lunchtime Champagne tasting session with Fabien of Champagne Maurice Grumier today from noon-1:30pm at Dilettantes as part of their Tastings with the Winemakers series. Learn more about a specific Champagne house in a relaxed setting with a limited number of participants (no more than 12 during Covid restrictions). Just €15/person for the tasting with four champagnes Sign up here if you’d like to reserve a spot.
October 17 – January 3
Château Vaux-le-Vicomte is decorated in lights and decorations for their annual holiday illuminations show. “Courtyards and outbuildings, the château and the garden à la française will be transformed into a wonderland where lights and activities promise an enchanted moment, one where time is suspended for the whole family!” Online reservations are required, tickets €19.90 (€14 for kids).
The second nationwide Nuit des Châteaux (Night of the Castles) takes place this evening in 100 historic châteaux throughout France (including Ile-de-France). Aside from the magic of being able to visit these castles all lit up at night, there are special tours, events, concerts and candlelit garden tours…check out the official website for the participating châteaux and their programs. The tickets vary depending on what is presented, but start as low as €1. You’ll need a car, none of the castles are in Paris or accessible on public transport.
Every Saturday through October 31st
Enjoy a guided, one-hour visit of one of the oldest working farms on the edge of Paris, transformed by the Parti Poétique into a permaculture farm on one hectare. Just €6.50 for the tour (in French), every Saturday at 3pm. Register in advance though #ExploreParis. FYI, it’s right next door to the Galley Farm I visited last fall: A Historic Working Farm on the Edge of Paris
Through December 19
La Nouvelle Seine péniche moored at Quai de Montebello (5th) is hosting The Cabaret Burlesque, “a collection of talented performers each with a particular style combine glam and rock in hilarious fashion. The retro aesthetics of this intimate show make for a quintessentially Parisian cabaret!” Friday and Saturday nights, tickets €24 (includes Champagne).
Through December 19
The Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) is hosting an exposition “Le Rire de Cabu” in honor of the life and work of the satirical cartoonist Cabu, who was killed in the Charlie Hebo attack in 2015. Free exposition in the Salle Saint-Jean from 10am-6:30pm, but you have to reserve your spot online here.