Wednesday
Jan022013

Paris Events Calendar - February 2013


The 2013 Chinese New Year Parade is February 17th (see below)

Through February 17
At the Place de la Concorde is the Grande Roue Ferris Wheel (and the largest Christmas Tree in France). Each enclosed "car" holds six people. €10 for adult, €54 for kids under 10, open daily 10:30am-midnight.

February 12 - March 5
During winter renovations, part of the Musée Rodin's gardens are closed; the good news is that you can visit the open sections for free during this time (okay, it's nomally only €1 to visit the gardens; but now you can put that money towards a warm drink in the garden café afterwards). Don't forget the opening hours of the gardens are: daily except Monday 10am-5pm (until sunset on Wednesdays when the museum stays oprn until 8:45pm).

February 13 - April 7
The very cool Gaïté Lyrique (3 bis Rue Papin, 3rd, M° Arts-et-Métiers) is hosting a new exposition, Arrrrgh! Monsters in Fashion, featuring "58 contemporary creators who, inspired by design, animation and sketches, use monster form and expression in their costume and clothing designs, from Alexander McQueen and Andrea Crews to Craig Green and Walter Van Beirendonck". Tickets available on their site, €7. Open daily except Monday from 2-8pm (until 6pm on Sunday, until 10pm on Tuesdays). There is a very cool boutique next door selling all sorts of geeky gadgetry, not to be missed!

February 15-17
Shopping, Music & Art! It's time for the latest weekend extravaganza known as Take Me Out, with 60 créateurs selling their clothing, jewelry, artworks, accessories, vintage wares, home decor, etc. There will also be a tattoo booth, live music, food stands, cooking workshops, live painting, and an art show. Free entry, at the Espace Blancs Manteaux (48 rue Vieille du Temple, 4th, Marais). From 2pm-10pm Friday, noon-10pm Saturday, and noon-8pm Sunday.

February 16 - April 23
Fans of the French novelist Honoré de Balzac won't want to miss a free guided tour (en français), "Traversez les Passages Parisiens avec Balzac". This 90-minute exploration of the historic covered passages of the 19th century that appeared in most of Balzac's writings starts from the Colonnes de Buren at the Palais Royal at 11am. Reserve your spot  by calling 01-55-74-41-80 or by email at dac-reservationbalzac@paris.fr. (Other dates March 10, March 12, and April 23; check out the Maison de Balzac website for more themed walks of Balzac's Paris).

February 17
Celebrate the Year of the Snake at the annual Chinese New Year Parade in Paris' (and Europe's!) largest Chinatown district in the 13th arrondissement (within the triangle of Avenue de Choisy, Avenue d'Ivry, and Boulevard Masséna). The free parade with its colorful dragons, musical drummers and costumed dancers starts at 1pm from 44 ave de Choisy, passing by the Avenue de Choisy, Place d’Italie, Avenue d’Italie, Rue de Tolbiac, Avenue de Choisy, Boulevard Masséna and back to Avenue d’Ivry. Another parade will take place the same day at 11am in the Belleville Chinatown (11th, 19th and 20th arrondissements), from Métro Belleville to Boulevard de la Villette, Rue Rebeval, Rue Jules Romains, Rue de Belleville, Rue Louis Bonnet, Rue de la Presentation and the Rue du Faubourg du Temple. Find the entire program of concerts, film screenings and parades here.

February 17
Heat up these chilly February evenings with a traditional Irish céilí dancing ball tonight at La Bellvilloise, presented by the céilí band, "Les Patients du Docteur Franck". There will be an initiation into this informal Gaelic dance frm 6pm. Free entry; snacks and drinks from the bar.

February 17
Looking for a bit of retro vintage shopping? Check out the Fifties Sound "Vide-Grenier Retro Vintage" with 45 stands selling fashions, accessories, home decor, vinyls and burlesque outfits. Today 10am-8pm at Next Step: 11 cour Debille, 11th, M° Voltaire. The live swing concert with The Jallies starts at 5pm. Entry €2.

February 18
Part retro freak cabaret, part brilliant musical group, the Maxi Monster Music Show is performing a sneak preview of their summer tour "Soir d'Amour à Monte Carlo" at the Théâtre de L'Alhambra (near canal St-Martin, 10th) tonight at 9pm, tickets €27. Truly unforgettable!

February 19-26
The public is invited to the 30th annual International Environmental Film Festival, taking place at cinemas in and around Paris such as the Cinéma des Cinéastes (17th), La Clef (5th) and Télécom-Paristech (13th), with 145 films (fiction, short films, documentaries) and web-documentaries from 34 countries. Free entry (space permitting). Eight winners will be announced at the end of the festival.

February 22-24
The public is invited to attent the anuual Paris Cookbook Fair (at the Carrousel du Louvre) and Gourmand Awards Gala this weekend, with cookbook authors and publishers from around the world. This year will also combine the Wine Books. Check out the program for the list of talks, demonstartions and other events.

February 22-23
My dear friend Victoria is moving out of her gorgeous Paris apartment at Odéon and needs to sell everything this weekend. Get all of the details here.

Through February 23
Looking for something unique? Check out the Museum of Everything, a temporary, traveling museum of art created by "untrained, unknown and unintentional creators of our modern world" currently housed in a former Catholic school building in St-Germain-des-Prés (14 blvd Raspail, 7th). Exhibition 1.1 is set up in the old classrooms, and there is also a boutique and café. Open Wed-Sun 11am-7pm (until 8pm Fri-Sat). Entry €5.

February 23 - March 3
Cows, piggies, horses, sheep...it's the 50th anniversary of the immensely popular Salon de l'Agriculture at Paris Porte de Versailles. Open 9am-7pm, Friday March 1st until 11pm. Entry €13, students and kids under 13 are €6; free for kids under 6.

Extended through February 26
Bartabas' amazing equestrian show Zingaro is back for another season with Calacas, a macabre Day of the Dead theme with the Grim Reaper and his horseback brigade of skeletal demons. At 176 avenue Jean-Jaurès (metro Fort d'Auberviliers), tickets €42 (€30 for kids). Book soon, these shows always sell out! (Note: Dinner is served in the main tent after the Sunday show if you book at the bar BEFORE the show begins).

February 27
Hot jazz, extraordinary food, and a beautiful Art Deco setting: reserve now for the monthly "Swingin' Relais" at Le Relais Plaza, the brasserie of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée. Menus from €75, or à la carte. Every last Wednesday of the month fom 8pm. A different band each month.  Reserve at 01 53 67 64 00.

Through June 17
Looking for a romantic exhibition in a little-known museum? Don't miss Sensuality and Spirituality: In Search of the Absolute at the Musée Henner (43, avenue de Villiers, 17th, M° Malesherbes; entry €5; closed Tuesdays, open until 9pm on first Thursdays of the month).

Through March 17
The Patinoire de Paris is a large ice skating rink in front of Hôtel de Ville. Free entry, €5 skate rental, gloves or mittens obligatory.

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Wednesday
Jan022013

Paris Events Calendar - January 2013

Leftover Holiday Events Through January 6th

Disneyland Paris celebrates the holidays as well as its 20th anniversary through January 6th with Main Street decked out in decorations, and the Disney Dreams spectacle each night. Special discount tickets available at FNAC for €45 (two parks, one day; good through Feb 28th) or €114 for the Family Pass (three people of any age).

The annual Christmas Village on the Champs-Elysées includes over 200 chalets selling holiday gifts, local specialties, mulled wine, warm hats and gloves, toys, jewelry and every kind of sweet imaginable. There is also a fun ice skating "track" through nature scenes, amusement park rides for kids and Santa visits. A great place to wander with an appetite and a Christmas shopping list! I made a Christmas Village video two years ago, but this year's is much better in terms of quality and variety. Open daily 10am-11pm (until midnight Friday and Saturday).

The "Trocadéro on Ice" Christmas Village in the Trocadéro Gardens has an Alpine theme with ice skating and other wintery events (and a snow-maker). Stands selling food, drink and gifts, all with a fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower. Open daily 11am-8pm. 

All of the Manèges, aka Carrousels de Paris, are free for children for the holidays. There are carrousels all over the city, but the best are the ones at the Hôtel de Ville and at the Eiffel Tower (at the Pont Iéna). Open daily 10am-9pm. 

The Grand Palais is hosting Le Grand Palais des Glacesthe largest indoor skating rink in Paris under the great glass Art Nouveau nave. Open daily from 10am, closing depends on the day (between 5pm and 2am, with some "nocturn" soirées, see the website for the schedule). Entry and skate rental €12, €6 for kids, advance tix on the website.

Château Vaux Le Vicomte is exceptionally open for the holidays, decorated with sparkling Christmas trees, an antique carrousel with wooden horses, roaring fires in each cozy room decked out in the theme of "blue and violette". Always worth the trek (check their website for special shuttle service from Paris). There is also a live show, "Hunchback of Notre Dame" for kids six and over, en français. Open daily 11am-6pm. Entry €13-€29 (depending on age and whether you're staying for the show).

If you saw Midnight in Paris you'll recognize the Musée des Arts Forains, a private museum of antique carnival and fair rides and decor in a stunning setting, open to the public for the holidays. Expecy crowds, get there early and dress warmly! Open 10am-6pm, €12 entrance, €5 for kids under 12.

Open-Air Winter Activities

January 5
Join thousands of happy hikers for the annual Randonnée du Rallye Tour Eiffel, with four different scenic circuits of 10km, 15km, 16km and 23 km past the iconic monuments of Paris. All walks start and finish at the Halle George Carpentier (81 Bd Masséna, 13th, M° Mairie d'Ivry), begining at 3pm (last start time is 6pm), ending with a big party (event closes at midnight). Entry is just €1.80 per person, arrive between 1pm and 3pm to pay in person (specific details on the route are in French here, or just follow the trail markings for the distance you want to walk).

Through February 17
At the Place de la Concorde is the Grande Roue Ferris Wheel (and the largest Christmas Tree in France). Each enclosed "car" holds six people. €10 for adult, €54 for kids under 10, open daily 10:30am-midnight.

Through March 17
The Patinoire de Paris is a large ice skating rink in front of Hôtel de Ville. Free entry, €5 skate rental, gloves or mittens obligatory.

Interesting Expositions

Through January 13
The exposition Personal Best/Personal Choice highlights the works of the legendary 20th-century American photographer Elliott Erwitt at the Elephant Paname (10 rue Volney, 2nd). Entry €12. Closed Mon-Tues.

Through January 24
Paris Aujourd'hui, Paris Demain Les Grands Projets Qui Font Paris
is a free exhibition on the 70 different urban revival projects currently planned in the City of Paris (parks, housing, public transports, etc.) and what the future of the city will look like once they're completed. At the Hôtel de Ville (entrance at 29 rue de Rivoli, 4th), Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm. 

Through January 27
If you noticed a rather sturdy vessel moored at the Pont Alexandre III (8th), that would be the research schooner Tara, taking a break from her world travels to present an exhibition on the effects of climate change (sponsored by the expedition's partner, the United Nations Programme for the Environment). The schooner and its exhibition is open to the public, and will also include documentary screenings and debates on global warming. Open daily except Tuesdays from 11am-6:30pm (Sat-Sun from 10am), entry €6.

Through January 27
The Cinémathèque Française (housed in a very cool Frank Gehry building in the Parc de Bercy, 12th) is hosting an exposition on one of the greatest French films of all time, Les Enfants du Paradis. Come discover this legendary 1945 film and the secrets behind its creation. Highly recommended: get your coupe-file tickets on their site or at FNAC.com to avoid any lines.

Through February 17
Did you know that in the 19th century, the Carnaval de Paris was much more popular than the one in Venice, although its reputation was quite wild, bordering on obscene. Learn all about it at the exposition La Carnaval à Paris at the newly reopened Maison de Balzac (47 rue Ryanouard, 16th). There is even a brochure with English translations for the exposition downloadable for free here.

Through February 17
The Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris is hosting L'Art en Guerre (Art at War), an exposition about the art created in France during WWII and the artists who managed to survive and even thrive during the Nazi Occupation that labeled many of them as "degenerates". Over 400 works of art by over 100 artists, some anonymous, but also Picasso, Breton, Duchamp, Rousseau, Klee, Ernst, Matisse, Miro, Dubuffet, Braque, Léger and many more. The exposition includes documents and films never before presented in public. Entry €11. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm, Thursday evenings until 10pm.

Through February 23
Looking for something unique? Check out the Museum of Everything, a temporary, traveling museum of art created by "untrained, unknown and unintentional creators of our modern world" currently housed in a former Catholic school building in St-Germain-des-Prés (14 blvd Raspail, 7th). Exhibition 1.1 is set up in the old classrooms, and there is also a boutique and café. Open Wed-Sun 11am-7pm (until 8pm Fri-Sat). Entry €5.

Live Shows

January 6-31
Reserve your places now for the ballets, operas and musical concerts at the Opéra Royal de Versailles. This month includes Wagner: Vienna 1863, Purcell's King Arthur, Ravel's Boléro, and the Béjart Ballet Lausanne performing Brel et Barbara.

January 24-27
Check out the best in contemporary circus arts at the 33rd Annual Festival Mondial du Cirque du Demain, four nights only under the Big Top of the Cirque Phénix, Pelouse de Reuilly (12th). There are three shows (Show A, Show B, and the "Best Of"), with prices from €15 for one show to €110 to see all three.

Extended through February 26
Bartabas' amazing equestrian show Zingaro is back for another season with Calacas, a macabre Day of the Dead theme with the Grim Reaper and his horseback brigade of skeletal demons. At 176 avenue Jean-Jaurès (metro Fort d'Auberviliers), tickets €42 (€30 for kids). Book soon, these shows always sell out! (Note: Dinner is served in the main tent after the Sunday show if you book at the bar BEFORE the show begins).

Literary Event

January 30
The American Library in Paris has been hosting its free Evenings with an Author since the 1930s. Tonight guests will meet Lisa Reznik, Director of Left Bank Bookseller, and Cyntia Morris, author of novel Chasing Sylvia Beach, who will discuss their treatment of the literary giant (and Shakespeare & Co founder) Sylvia Beach in their respective media: film and prose. Starts at 7:30pm, free entry.

Shopping Event

January 9 - February 12
The annual Soldes d'Hiver (winter sales) begin January 9th and last until February 12th, with most stores in the country, but particularly clothing shops, selling last season's collections at up to 70% off to make way for the Spring/Summer collections.

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