Wednesday
May012019

What's On in Paris -May 2019

There are three holidays in France in May: Fête du Travail (May 1st, almost everything is closed); V-Day 1945 (May 8, most places remain open); and Ascension (May 30th, most places remain open). 

May 1 
It's the annual Fête du Travail in France, one of the biggest national holidays when almost every museum and shop is closed. Some are still open, as is the Tour Eiffel – see what's open May 1st for a full list. Traditionally there are parades by French workers' unions, although this year it will likely include the Gilets Jaunes, and should be avoided. Whatever the case, call ahead to make sure the places you're going are open and count on several public transport disruptions.

May 4-5
The largest gardening festival in Versailles takes place this weekend at the 11th annual Esprit Jardin: L'Art du Jardin, with free entrance exceptionally to the Potager du Roi. With more than 80 exhibitors, the festival runs from 10am-7pm in the Quartier St-Louis: rue du Maréchal Joffre, rue d'Anjou, Carré à l'Avoine, Potager du Roi et Parc Balbi. Free entry.

Through May 8
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).

May 10-11
If you're looking for some new-to-you clothing and want to support the charity Emmaüs, don't miss their latest Vente au Kilo where you can stock up on used clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women and kids sold for €10 per kilo, as well as CDs, DVDs, records and sewing supplies. At the Palais de la Femme (96 rue de Charonne, 11th), 10am-6pm, free entry.

May 15
Tonight is the last chance to see "Swinging on the Seine: A musical one-woman show in English about the swinging 60's in Paris" starring the woman who was there, D'Yan Forest! Text written by Stephen Clarke (authour of the 'Year in the Merde' series). From 7pm at the Jardin Sauvage (10 quai d'Austerlitz, 13th), €15 entry includes a free drink. Tickets through Billet Reduc.

May 17-19
One of the biggest flower shows in France, Journées des Plantes de Chantilly(formerly Courson), takes place this weekend at the Chateau de Chantilly, just 45 minutes north of Paris from the Gare du Nord. Entry €20 (or €18 if you get your tickets online before May 16).

May 18
Check out your favorite Paris museum at night during the 15th annual Nuit Européenne des Musées, when all over Europe museums stay open until midnight...for free! Special flashlight tours, live music, installment arts, film screenings, costumed museum guides, and other fun events throughout the evening at each museum.

May 20
Want to participate in one of the biggest clothing/decor/record/book swaps in Paris with 600 other people? Sign up now to grab a place at the next "Giant Free Troc Party" hosted at the Acteurs du Paris Durable (21 rue des Blancs Manteaux, 4th). There are three time slots, 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm, free entry, bring all the stuff you want to exchange to add to the piles. 

May 22-26
The 13th annual Fête de la Nature is a five-day festival celebrating nature with a full program of 5000 free events in parks, gardens, nature preserves and forests all over the country, with 36 events in Paris alone.

May 24-25
Blending culture with social in their excellent ‘Music by the Glass’ chamber series, Sinfonietta Paris  presents an emotionally charged series of concerts. For May, they present the works of Debussy and Fauré with Fiona McGown (soprano), Raphaëlle Moreau (violin), Manuel Vioque-Judde (alto), Sharon Tsai (violoncelle) and Célia Oneto Bensaid (piano). Friday's concert takes place at a private residence in paris, and Saturday at the Fondation Dosne-Thiers in the 9th arrondissement. Tickets €25 (wine and snacks included after the concert). Register on the website, spaces limited.

May 24-27
The 30th annual Artists' Open Studios in Belleville takes place for four days in over 120 ateliers in Belleville (centered on the 19th and 11th arrondissements). It's a great chance to see some real Paris neighborhoods, meet local artists, and of course purchase some lovely artworks! See a map of all the open studios, or visit the HQ at Galerie des AAB (1 rue Picabia, 19th, metro Couronnes). Free entry. Studios are open 2-8pm over the four days of the event.

May 25-26
Les Frigos, one of the oldest artists "squats" in Paris (legalized over 35 years ago) houses 200 artists of all kinds in a 1920s refridgerated warehouse converted into ateliers near the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand (13th). This weekend they're open to the public for their annual Portes Ouvertes, with live music, entertainment, and art for sale directly from the artists. Free entry, Saturday 2-10pm and Sunday 2-8pm.

May 25-26
The City of Paris is bringing together all of the local organizations working on ideas for "ecological transition" to fight climate change in an event called Paris de l'Avenir (a play on words: "Paris" also means "a bet" and "avenir" means "future") Whether you live in Paris and want to get involved or are visiting and curious to see what Parisians are doing to prevent a climate crisis, stop by the square in front of the Hôtel de Ville from 11am-6pm (free entry) to check out the different stands and workshops. If you want to attend the special tours and events around the city, you'll need to register in advance on the official website (only in French).

Through May 30
Although it's basically a big branding event, if you're looking for a sunny terrace to enjoy a beer with your friends in the Latin Quarter, check out the Atelier 1664, a pop-up brasserie with a huge garden courtyard and terrace in a lovely historic building (47 rue Cardinal Lemoine, 5th). There's food, bar snacks, and all of the beers in the 1664 range (you can even take beer making classes). There's also a huge table for 16 you can reserve if you've got your whole tribe with you. Open daily noon-midnight (Fri-Sat until 1am).

Through June 30
For something a bit lighter for the whole family, Théâtre in Paris is also featuring the new musical comedy, "The Tower of Monsieur Eiffel" (La Tour de 300 Metres in French), celebrating the 130th anniversary of the city's iconic monument. Catchy and fun, the play introduces a gallery of lively characters including Gustave Eiffel himself, his daughter Claire, the author Guy de Maupassant, Panama Canal architect Ferdinand de Lesseps, the International Herald Tribune editor James Gordon Bennett Jr, the workers who built the Tower, and the crazy neighbors who tried to block it (many of the actors play several of the roles). It's a great way to learn a bit more about the drama behind the construction of the Eiffel Tower and the man who dreamed it could be done. It's playing at the adorable Théâtre des Mathurins (near the Opéra Garnier in the 9th) with English surtitles (there's also a bit of Franglais in there), and a warm welcome from the Théâtre in Paris staff with your own English program and excellent seats. From €29.

Through November 3
New in 2019, the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (the inspiration for Louis XIV's Versailles) presents The Styx: River of the Underworld: "An exceptional adventure on the underground river which was diverted by Le Nôtre in 1654 during the creation of the French gardens, this specially designed trip is fun and interactive, and draws on La Fontaine’s text «The love of Cupid and Psyche ». Guided along on the Styx the river of the classical underworld equipped with headlamps and wading boots, you will go through a series of tests of agility and logic… An unprecedented and intense adventure performed by professional actors!" The cost is €60 per group (with 2-6 people per group) in addition to the château fee (kids have to be at least 1.3m tall). Note: this activity is only in French for the moment. Check out the other château events here.

Plan Ahead for June

June 2: Paris Vegan Festival

June 2: Grand Siècle Day at Château Vaux le Vicomte

June 6: Sinfonietta "Bravo!" dinner concert

June 7-9: Rendez-Vous au Jardins

June 14-15: Music by the Glass 

June 15: Bal des Parisiennes

June 21: Fête de la Musique

Other Paris Calendar Links

▪       For French Theatre with English surtitles: Theatre in Paris 

▪       For general events around Paris (including sports): Que Faire à Paris?

▪       For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism

Sunday
Mar312019

What's On in Paris - April 2019

April 21st is Easter, but many shops, restaurants and museums will remain open. Some smaller restaurants and shops may be closed on Monday the 22nd, as well as municipal museums which have usual weekly closure on Mondays.


April 1, 11 & 18

Sinfonietta Paris presents their monthly Music by the Glass series with "Vienna in 1900: Zemlinsky & Schönberg", a thematic cycle of three « discovery concerts » during the month of April 2019 at the Salle Cortot (17th), offer a rare and fascinating opportunity to experience chamber works for voice and strings by the revolutionary composers of the Second Viennese School: Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern, and Alban Berg. The cycle will also include three composers who cast a significant influence on the musical evolution of Berg, Webern, and Schönberg: Johannes Brahms, Alexander von Zemlinsky, and Gustav Mahler. The cycle will feature two sopranos, German-American Nora Lentner and Belgian Charlotte Wajnberg as well as three of the most highly regarded young professional string quartets in France: the Tchalik, Van Kuijk and Voce Quartets. Georges Zeisel, curator of the cycle, will deliver a pre-concert introduction at 19h45 before each concert, sharing his insights into the lives of the composers and the atmosphere of creativity that was present in the Habsburg capital at the turn of the twentieth century. Tickets €25/concert or €50 for all three!

April 1-7
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 4-7
The 21st annual modern and contemporary art festival, Art Paris 2019, takes place at the Grand Palais for four days, featuring 150 international art galleries with the themes this year: "A Gaze at Women Artists in France", "Southern Stars: An Exploration of Latin American Art", "Promises" supporting young galleries and emerging artists, and "Solo Show" of 46 monographic exhibitions. Entry €27/adults, €14 students, and free for kids under 10. 

Through April 6
See Oscar Wilde's classic play, A Picture of Dorian Gray, is playing at the beautiful Théâtre Ranelagh (16th arrondissement) in French. But don't worry if you don't understand French, because Théâtre in Paris has partnered with the production to provide English subtitles (above the stage), a program in English, and a special welcome for all English-speaking guests. Tickets from €25. 

April 6
Nightowls and karaoké fans should check out the coolest event in town, Nicolas Ullmann's Kararocké at Le Bus Palladium (6 rue Pierre Fontaine, 9th) featuring the French band Marshmallow as the warm-up act at 9:30pm, then the karaoke starts at 11pm through 1:30am. Entry €7, doors open at 8pm.

April 7
The Abbey Bookshop is hosting a FREE guided tour of Paris’ largest and most famous cemetery, Père Lachaise! "The cemetery is home to many of France's most celebrated artists, including writers Balzac, Wilde, Colette, and Proust. The tour will be 1.5-2 hours, and it is led by Paris’ resident expert, Jacques Sirgent. As an old friend of the bookstore, he is pleased to offer this free tour to all of our friends in both English and French. We are meeting at 10:30am, at Place Gambetta in front of the Mairie - Town Hall of the 20th arrondissement. If you are running late or get lost, please call Mr. Sirgent on 06 20 12 28 32." Call the Abbey Bookshop to find out more: 01 46 33 16 24. https://www.facebook.com/events/1551279295004730

Through April 8
Street art fans shouldn't miss the latest exposition by the world-famous Galerie Itinerrance: Walking Down the Boulevard, featuring the giant murals along the 13th arrondissement's Boulevard Vincent Auriol by INTI, MAYE, SETH, HOWNOSM, D*FACE, DALEAST, and others. See many of their artworks here. The vernissage is on the 15th from 6-9pm (expect a crowd in advance).

April 13
Attention vinyl fans, the ninth annual Disquaire Day (Record Shop Day) takes place today at over 200 independent record shops in 90 cities all over France (43 in Paris). In addition to unique collections and records available for purchase, there will be live events, DJ sessions, showcases, and arts expositions. Find the list of participating record stores and events here (sorry, only in French): https://www.disquaireday.fr/disquaires/

April 13
Unique stand-up comedy in English: "Have you ever wanted to know what life in Paris was like way back in the Swinging Sixties? Comedienne, singer and living legend D'yan Forest has a story for you. At 84-year's old, D'yan's true love is the city of Paris. She moved here from America in 1963 as a young, sassy ingenue looking to make it big in the Parisian cabaret scene. She had many unforgettable and hilarious adventures while immersing herself in the glitz, glamour and scandal of the era. Through stand-up comedy and song, accompanied by her trusty ukulele, D'yan takes you back to her first years in the City of Love." The show is on La Nouvelle Seine peniche (Quai Montebello, 5th) at 5:15pm. Ticlets just €10.95 with advance purchase on Billet Reduc (or €22 at the door).

April 13 through November 3
New in 2019, the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (the inspiration for Louis XIV's Versailles) presents The Styx: River of the Underworld: "An exceptional adventure on the underground river which was diverted by Le Nôtre in 1654 during the creation of the French gardens, this specially designed trip is fun and interactive, and draws on La Fontaine’s text «The love of Cupid and Psyche ». Guided along on the Styx the river of the classical underworld equipped with headlamps and wading boots, you will go through a series of tests of agility and logic… An unprecedented and intense adventure performed by professional actors!" The cost is €60 per group (with 2-6 people per group) in addition to the château fee (kids have to be at least 1.3m tall). Note: this activity is only in French for the moment. Check out the other château events here.

Through April 17
Looking for a fun and interactive way to explore Paris with your own family or group of friends? Sign up for THATMuse Marais Hunt, "teams start off with a French Alice in Wonderland who sets you off on a magical adventure after the White Rabbit, stopping off to spin some gold at alchemist Nicolas Flamel’s house (only the oldest stone house in Paris, from 1407!). Lots of history, lots of light-hearted silliness (like enacting Paris’s coat of arms, Pompidou Prancing, Seranading like Cyrano de Bergerac, that big nosed Frog) this Marais hunt ends at a chess table in a secret garden." Not only is it fun, you can even compete to win a free tour of the Louvre for 4! The self-guided hunt should last about an hour, costs €11.85 per group (5max) for the hunt pack (pencil, hunt, scribe copy and sealed answer sheet). Pick up your hunt at "Galérie S" (96b rue Beaubourg, 3rd), anytime Mon-Sat from 7:30am-7pm (closed Sundays).

 

April 21
Today is the monthly Marché des Grands Voisins from 10am-6pm, a mix of flea market, craft fair and neighborhood garage sale to raise funds for Les Grands Voisins, a residential community center that hosts all kinds of cultural events, classes, concerts and benefit sales. It's a great place to meet the locals, bring the kids, get a bite to eat, and learn about local nonprofits and volunteer opportunities. Free entry.

April 25
American-born, longtime Parisian-based painter Linda McCluskey is holding a vernissage for the opening of her latest show at ArtEthic Gallerie (3 rue de Lanneau, 5th), from 6-9pm. "The marvelous Perry Leopard and Automne Lajeat will be out playing in the street in front of the galerie with surprise guests and anyone who'd like to come along to play. This is going to be so much fun so be sure to mark your calendar. See you then with new paintings!" If you can't make the party, the show continues through May 11th.


April 27-May 8
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 30
For something a bit lighter for the whole family, Théâtre in Paris is also featuring the new musical comedy, "The Tower of Monsieur Eiffel" (La Tour de 300 Metres in French), celebrating the 130th anniversary of the city's iconic monument. Catchy and fun, the play introduces a gallery of lively characters including Gustave Eiffel himself, his daughter Claire, the author Guy de Maupassant, Panama Canal architect Ferdinand de Lesseps, the International Herald Tribune editor James Gordon Bennett Jr, the workers who built the Tower, and the crazy neighbors who tried to block it (many of the actors play several of the roles). It's a great way to learn a bit more about the drama behind the construction of the Eiffel Tower and the man who dreamed it could be done. It's playing at the adorable Théâtre des Mathurins (near the Opéra Garnier in the 9th) with English surtitles (there's also a bit of Franglais in there), and a warm welcome from the Théâtre in Paris staff with your own English program and excellent seats. From €29.

Other Paris Calendar Links

▪       For French Theatre with English surtitles: Theatre in Paris 

▪       For general events around Paris (including sports): Que Faire à Paris?

▪       For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism