March 28-April 3
The Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art is a European-wide festival of artisans who open their workshops to the public. The website is all in French, but a little auto-translate help is all you need to find the artists, jewelry makers, designers, furniture makers, ironsmiths, and more wherever you are in France (use the “near me” function to find the open studios). Free entry.
April 1-June 6
From noon to midnight every day is the Foire du Trone, an open air fair with rides, food and perfect for a family outing. Open from noon until 11pm, Fri-Sat until 1am. Free entry, rides work with tickets. On the Pelouse de Reuilly, 92 boulevard Poniatowski, 75012 Paris (near Bois de Vincennes).
The Paris Vegan Festival takes place this weekend, packed full of visitors looking to try the latest vegan foods (this is where you’ll find all of the good vegan cheese!), drinks, fashions, beauty, and healthcare products. There are over 100 stands, as well as animal welfare charities, and daily conferences and cooking demos. Open Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11am-6pm, at the Paris Event Center, 20 Av. de la Porte de la Villette, 19th. Entry €14 (children under 15 free).
April 2-May 8
Calling all street art fans! The Colors Festival brings together 65 French and international artists, painters, photographers, etc. from around the world to decorate 700m² of space in the 11th arrondissement, with four live painting sessions each weekend. Open daily, weekdays from 11am-7pm , until 9pm on Thursdays, and weekends 10am-6pm (last entry an hour before closure). Unlike most street art shows in Paris, this one charges an entrance fee: €15 for a timed-entry ticket (€8 for students and seniors over 62; €5 for kids under 13, free for kids under 3). You can buy on site, but if you want to make sure you get in the time you want, buy online: https://www.colorsfestival.paris/
The Marathon de Paris takes place today in central Paris; be aware of closed roads and don’t forget to cheer on the runners!
April 7-July 17th
Learn about the history of the construction, evolution, and burning of Notre Dame Cathedral in a free augmented reality exhibit in the nave of the historic Collège des Bernadins, a 13th-century monastery-turned-cultural-center just across the river from the Cathedral in the Latin Quarter. The exhibit is in multiple languages using a “histopad” tablet, although the website where you sign up for your spot is only in French (click the purple “Reserver” button and create an account to get a free ticket). Open Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 10am-6pm, and Thurs and Sun (and April 16-18) from 2-6pm. Closed April 15th and May 1st. On 20 Rue de Poissy, 5th.
April 10 & 24
The French Presidential Elections take place on Sunday, April 10th. If there’s no winner with over 50% of the votes, the top two candidates will have a run-off on April 24th. Follow election news in English on France24.
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 for less than €10 (kind of like a gathering of static food trucks, but without the wheels) from 6pm-10:30pm. It can get quite crowded, so get there early to avoid waiting (there are huge tables to sit and eat). Here’s the video (in French, but gives you an idea what to expect).
Vaux-le-Vicomte, the family-owned French castle that inspired the creation of Versailles, is hosting their annual Easter Egg Hunt on their grounds April 16th, 17th, and 18th for kids 2-5 years old, 6-12 years old, and 13-17 years old. All participants get a bag of Léonidas chocolate eggs at the end of the hunt. Entrance is €17.90 for adults, €12.90 for kids 6-18 years old, and free for children under 6 (reservation not necessary for free entrance, all others should pre-pay entrance online).
One of the many film events in this month’s Lost in Frenchlation lineup is the much-anticipated screening of Jean-Jacques Annaud’s 28 million-dollar docufiction blockbuster, ‘Notre-Dame Brûle.’ “Jean-Jacques Annaud’s new movie reconstructs hour by hour the unbelievable reality of April 15, 2019 — the day the cathedral suffered the most important disaster in its history. Women and men will put their lives on the line in an incredible and heroic rescue of the beloved monument.” — Synopsis. First, kick the night off on the right note with a Women in Paris walking tour at 5:30pm, where you’ll learn all about the intrepid female writers who have called the City of Light home. The bar opens at 7pm, followed by the film Elle Magazine calls “an already historic, breathtaking, and spectacular thriller.” Watch the trailer with English subtitles here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NofSJzYGHU
Attention vinyl fans, Disquaire Day, or Record Store Day, is celebrated today at over 200 independent record shops in 90 cities all over France (43 in Paris) and Belgium. In addition to unique collections and records available for purchase, there will be live events, DJ sessions, showcases, and arts expositions. Participating record stores in Paris: All Access Paris, Balades Sonores, Betino’s Record Shop, Born Bad Record Shop, Crocodisc, Gibert Joseph Saint-Michel, Ground Zero, Le Rideau de Fer, Le Silence de la Rue, Major Tom, Maquis Megastore, Music Avenue Paris, Musiques Musiques, Patate Records, Potemkine, Quinze.Bis by Gibert, Rock Paradise, Souffle Continu, Supersonic Records, Toolbox Records.
The American author Cara Black will be at the Red Wheelbarrow bookstore (11 rue de Medicis, 6th) today from 5pm to sign copies of her latest Aimée Leduc novel, “Murder at the Porte de Versailles”. The twentieth installment of the beloved mystery series follows the Parisian private detective as she navigates a complex conspiracy amid terrorist threats. The event is free but you have to register by sending them an email firstname.lastname@example.org
April 28-May 9
The annual Foire de Paris (Paris Fair) is one of the biggest events of the year, occupying the entire Paris Expo Porte de Versailles (15th arr.) with hall after hall of food and wine, home and garden, fashion and accessories, travel and world cultures, arts and crafts, the famous Inventions Contest, and a ‘Makers Fair’. It’s chaos, it’s fascinating, and there’s always something interesting to learn (or buy, or eat). Just don’t go on the weekend unless you like being trampled! Buy your tickets in advance and avoid lines; entry €11 (€15 at the door).
Through June 16th
To celebrate the centenary anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses by Sylvia Beach, owner of the original Shakespeare & Co Bookstore in Paris, an ensemble of international stars are recording the complete text to be released as a free podcast between February 2nd and Bloomsday on June 16th by Shakespeare & Co, listen here.
Planning Ahead – Book it Now!
Private Evening Visit of the Gaudí Exhibit at Musée D’Orsay – May 4 – the American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay (AMFO) are hosting a private after-hours visit of the new Gaudí exhibition, followed with a glass of Champagne. Free for members, €35 for non-members, register now for your spot!
Run My City Paris – May 15 – A unique run through Paris, it may start off like any other “race” but there’s no time recording, just two routes (9k or 15k) that take runners to special museums, monuments and other Paris sights you may or may not know (yes, you stop your run to pop in for a visit). Sounds fun, right? Register in advance for the best rate, and let Heather know you’ll be there, too. 😉
ChangeNOW Summit for the Planet – May 19-21 at the Grand Palais Ephémère, “The world’s largest gathering of solutions for the planet with 1000 solutions, 400 speakers from 120 countries, and 800 investors.” The featured guest speaker is the legendary Jane Goodall. All events will be in English and French. They’re also still looking for English-speaking volunteers (Heather is one of them!).
Rock-en-Seine Festival – August 25-30th at the Domaine de Saint-Cloud, headliners include Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Stromae, and Rage Against the Machine.
Paris Sketchbook Workshop – September 27-October 2 in Paris, with five world-famous sketchbook artists.