About Secrets of Paris

American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

* Custom Travel Content 
* Free Paris Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events
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Thursday
Apr302015

Paris Events Calendar - May 2015

Official May Holidays 
May 1st: Fête du Travail
May 8th: V-Day (WWII)
May 14th: Ascension
May 24-25: Pentecost Sunday (and Monday)

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 (equivalent to Christmas Day). Aside from the annual parades by French workers' unions, you can see what's open May 1st on the website of the Mairie du Paris. 

Through May 10
The annual Foire de Paris (Paris Fair) is one of the bigegst 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 & accessories, travel and world cultures, arts and crafts, the famous Inventions Contest, and this year 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!

May 15-17
One of the biggest flower shows in France, Journées des Plantes de Courson, takes place this weekend at the Chateau de Chantilly, just 45 minutes north of Paris from the Gare du Nord. Entry €20 (or €17 if you get your tickets online before May 14).

May 16
Check out your favorite Paris museum at night during the 11th annual Nuit Européenne des Musées, when all over Europe museums stay open all night...for free! 

May 19-June 7
The annual French Open at Roland Garros takes place for two weeks in the Bois de Boulogne (16th). Tickets go fast, get yours on their official website.  

May 20
Who doesn't love teatime? Join the author Jill Colonna of Teatime in Paris! for a book launch at Treize Bakery today 4-6pm. You get a copy of the new book and tea and pastries for just €33 (limited spaces, reserve your spot).  

Through May 22
April 26th was the Journée Nationale de la Déportation (National Day in Memory of the Deportation) in memory of the victims and the heros of the Nazi deportations during WWII. There are several exhibitions in remembrance of the deportation, including Lutetia 1945: Return of the Deportees (concentration camp survivors returning to Paris were welcomed and reunited with family at the Lutetia Hotel in the 6th), which takes place from April 23-30 at the Mairie du 10ème arrondissement (72 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 10th); and two exhibitions in the Mairie du 13ème arrondissement (Place d'Italie), "Jewish Children in Paris 1939-1945" about the lives of the Jewish children during the occupation, April 24-May 15, and "The 13th in Resistance"about the residents of the 13th who were members of the French Resistance, April 24-May 22. All events are free. 

Through June 13
Check out a free exposition on 50 years of Parisian Street Art, Sur les Murs, featuring the work of 50 different French street artists (including Space Invader, Miss Tic and Speedy Graphito). At the Crédit Municipal de Paris, 55 rue des Francs Bourgeois, 3rd, from 9am-6pm (Thurs until 7pm, Sat until 5pm, closed Sun).

June 21
Celebrate Fête de la Musique in 17th-century aristocratic style at Château Vaux-le-Vicomte for their annual costumes dance event, La Journée Grand Siècle, in honor of the 400th anniversary of the original owner, Nicolas Fouquet. There will be an elegant picnic in the chateau gardens, live music and dancing, as well as carriage rides and sword-fighting shows. If you don't have a costume gown you can rent one on-site from €17. 

Through August 1
Nostalgic for the soulful songs of the legendary Parisian chanteuse Edith Piaf? Book a tabe now at sexy cabaret singer Caroline Nin's "Hymne à Piaf", a show using English storytelling and songs en français to remember one of the greatest French singers of all time. Shows are in English Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm. Shows take place at the intimate Essaïon Theatre (6 rue Pierre au Lard, in the Marais, 4th). Tickets are €25-30. 

Through August 23
Whether you already love Edith Piaf or know nothing about this iconic French singer, this exhibition about her life and music at the Bibliothèque Nationale François Mitterrand (13th) is a great opportunity to learn all about one of France's greatest legends during the centennial year of her birth. Piaf, Tues-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 1-7pm, €9 entrance. 

Other Paris Calendar Links

Saturday
Apr042015

Paris Events Calendar - April 2015

April 1-June 13
Check out a free exposition on 50 years of Parisian Street Art, Sur les Murs, featuring the work of 50 different French street artists (including Space Invader, Miss Tic and Speedy Graphito). At the Crédit Municipal de Paris, 55 rue des Francs Bourgeois, 3rd, from 9am-6pm (Thurs until 7pm, Sat until 5pm, closed Sun). 

April 2
The Detroit indie band Future Islands (you might have seen them on Letterman) is playing at La Cigale tonight, tickets €29. Absolutely love this band, looking forward to it! :-)  

April 2
Register now to participate in the monthly hosted dinner, Once Upon a Table, at the Latin Quarter cooking school Le Foodist. More than just a gourmet French meal hosted by a professional sommelier and chef, there's also a storyteller who takes you through the history and anecdotes behind each iconic French dish. You'll even learn the French sabering technique for opening a bottle of Champagne (and yes, you get to drink it, too). A true cultural education, you'll have plenty of great anecdotes for your next cocktail party! The full 5-course dinner including wine pairings and Champagne is €150/person. 

April 4-5 
La Fête de la Récup takes place for two days to highlight the work of the Parisian establishments that collect used items, rhabilitate them and sell them back to the public, including clothing, home decor, furniture, bikes, and other items that tend to get thrown out. There will be a huge sale of these objects, as well as crafts, baked goods and other interesting events at the Halles des Blancs Manteaux in the Marais (48 rue Vieille du Temple), free entry. 

April 5-6
Easter in Paris! Note that it's also the first Sunday of teh month, which means that not only are the museums open, they're also free. Expect huge crowds, though! For fun Easter events, the Chateau Vaux le Vicomte has an egg hunt on the 4th, 5th, and 6th. There are also eggs hidden in the baskets of Velib' city bikes, and attached to balloons at the Parc André Citröen in the 15th. Or you could just get your very own chocolate Easter creation at any of the several hundred Parisian pastry shops

April 6
The 8th annual Brocante of the Marché d'Aligre (12th, M° Ledru Rollin) takes place today with over 100 antique and second-hands goods stands from 8am-6pm. Get there early for the good deals! 

April 10-12
The European Independent Film Festival showcases the best independent films from around the world in Paris cinemas. 

April 10-12
The 12th annual Salon Pari Fermier du Printemps (The Spring Farmer's Market) at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes, 12th), where 90 farmers from all over France come to share their wares direct with the consumers: wines (free tastings with the purchase of a €2 recycle cup at the entrance), cheeses, meats, produce, oils, jams, honey, juices, foie gras, etc. Get the free entry pass on their website (otherwise €6): http://www.parifermier.com/Pari-Fermier-de-Printemps.html 

April 11
Take a guided tour of the Petite Ceinture, the historic railway that used to circle Paris 160 years ago and is now slowly transforming into urban trails. The Association Sauvegarde Petite Ceinture is conducting a guided tour of the tracks outside la REcyclerie, a new multi-purpose café, community center and urban farm in the former Gare Ornano (Ornano Station), at Porte de Clignancourt (18th). The visit is free and takes place from 2:30pm, but as this is very popular you'll have to sign up for a space on their (very confusing) website: http://www.petiteceinture.org/ 

April 11
Looking for a Moulin Rouge alternative? The Burlesque Moulin presents their Spring Showcase. Whether you're a Burlesque aficionado someone with a taste for live shows or just a little curious, this event is for you! Come and indulge in a fascinating adventure where you'll be drawn in by the performances of bewitching characters who will unfold the story of burlesque before your very eyes featuring Les Teasettes, the participants of the BM Atelier à Tease, the troupe of Burlesque Moulin and our special invited guests from the four corners of the globe! 8pm at the Théâtre de Ménilmontant, 20th (Tickets €12-15).

April 14
If you haven't been to one of Adrian Leed's free Après Midi presentations, you're missing out on a great way to meet fascinating people (both guests and the speakers). Today is Roy Camblin, author of "Individual Financial Survival in a Toxic Economy: what everyone needs to know about how capitalism has mutated over the past forty years, Wall Street, and the rampant looting of world economies." The talk is from 3-5pm in the upper floor of the Café de la Mairie (corner of rue des Archives and rue de Bretagne, 3rd). 

April 14-August 23
Whether you already love Edith Piaf or know nothing about this iconic French singer, this exhibition about her life and music at the Bibliothèque Nationale François Mitterrand (13th) is a great opportunity to learn all about one of France's greatest legends during the centennial year of her birth. Piaf, Tues-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 1-7pm, €9 entrance. 

April 16-17
Blending culture with social, Sinfonietta Paris brings you an evening of Rachmaninov and Schubert trios exquisitely performed by SPCO musicians Anne-Sophie le Rol (violin), Julie Sévilla-Fraysse (violoncello) and Paloma Kouider (piano) 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.  

April 24-May 22
April 26th is the Journée Nationale de la Déportation (National Day in Memory of the Deportation) in memory of the victims and the heros of the Nazi deportations during WWII. There are several events in Paris commemorating the solemn event, including a ceremony at the Mémorial National des Martyrs de la Déportation at the Square de l’Île-de-France (the eastern tip of the Ile de la Cité, behind Notre Dame) at 9:45am; a ceremony at the Mémorial de la Shoah (17 rue Geoffroy l’Asnier, 4th) at 3pm; and a ceremony at the Memorial Flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe at 6:30pm.  There are several exhibitions in remembrance of the deportation, including Lutetia 1945: Return of the Deportees (concentration camp survivors returning to Paris were welcomed and reunited with family at the Lutetia Hotel in the 6th), which takes place from April 23-30 at the Mairie du 10ème arrondissement (72 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 10th); and two exhibitions in the Mairie du 13ème arrondissement (Place d'Italie), "Jewish Children in Paris 1939-1945" about the lives of the Jewish children during the occupation, April 24-May 15, and "The 13th in Resistance" about the residents of the 13th who were members of the French Resistance, April 24-May 22. All events are free. 

April 25
Internationally renowned peace activist Ravi Shankar will be in Paris tonight for a presentation, "Discourse, Music & Meditation" from 7-9pm at the Maison de la Mutualité (24 rue Saint Victor, 5th), tickets €15-€50.

April 29-May 10
The annual Foire de Paris (Paris Fair) is one of the bigegst 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 & accessories, travel and world cultures, arts and crafts, the famous Inventions Contest, and this year 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!

April 30
Paris is the host city for the 2015 International Jazz Day, with a live broadcast performance at the grand UNESCO headquarters (7th) with internationally renowned jazz artists including Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Dianne Reeves. Other events will take place around Paris including at the Club Rayé. Check out the website for the program. And read this Guardian article for a rundown of the best jazz clubs in Paris.

Other Paris Calendar Links