Family Summer in Paris
Sixteen dates for the diary to get you started
You gotta love the Summer in Paris. For fun activities, things to do and places to go, Paris is hard to beat during the hottest season of the year. Make no mistake, 2018 is no exception, it’s packed to the brim with cool stuff to do and see, so many in fact that we will likely have to break it down over a few posts. But to kick the season off, here are some of the highlights you can expect, as we say goodbye to Spring and bonjour to the Summer in the city.
Fete de la Musique
So we gotta start with our favourite music date in the French calendar. In a nutshell, which isn’t easy for MLP, this countrywide music event has natives, tourists and musical talent, singing and grooving in the streets. If you are lucky enough to be in the city of love, on this special date, be prepared to be involved in an experience that brings music to the streets. On June 21 the capital will be transformed into a stage for artists across every single genre from reggae and RnB to Soul and latino beats.
As the music is played outside cafes and bars, along the riverfront or in a tiny theatre or on a raised platform by a row of shops, you’ll see people drinking wine and dancing uninhibited, to the soundtrack of the city.
It’s free, it’s fun and there are a whole host of events and spaces around Paris that you can secure for your viewing pleasure. All the details can be found on the Fete de la Musique Paris site. Here are also a couple of feature pieces and reviews, written about the event by MLP over the past few years, just to give you a flavour of what you can expect. Please put it in the diary, this is one date you should definitely NOT MISS!!!! The kids will love it too.
On June 23, it’s Olympic Day here in Paris. All day there will be a veritable feast of sporting events taking place in the capital. The idea is to pull the people of Paris together around the theme of the Olympics, as the city prepares to host the games in 2024. There will be a variety of sports activities for the public to take part in, specifically along the border of the River Seine. Plus there will be plenty of top French Athletes on hand to encourage and support you.
From midday to 9:30 pm there will be over 30 sports for you and your family to try out; from boxing and badminton to hockey, golf and archery. All of these fun activities will eventually hurtle us towards a climactic finish, as the 2024 meter night race, which will include the general public (that means you), brings a high-octane end to a day of Olympic proceedings.
Yep, thousands of people will be running from the Pont de Alexander to the Eiffel Tower to celebrate the end of a day showing off the city’s excitement and commitment to producing an Olympic Day in 2024 that they hope will be unforgettable!
If you want to take part in the 2024 meter night race, then go to the Olympic Day in Paris website.
Music Soiree at the Museum
As the city celebrates Fete de la Musique, it’s no surprise that some very special events will be taking place in the Museums. One that caught our attention was this event at the stunning Musee d’Orsay. A free concert for the evening of June 21st until 11:30pm. The theme is the Baltics. Singers and Musicians will entertain in a variety of spaces throughout the grounds of this special space. The normal entrance fee will apply but this musical extravaganza is a bonus, offering you a different way to experience this beautiful art gallery.
Marie Antoinette celebrations
If you love French history then you’ll already have been to Versaille and you’ll know how beautiful this enchanting place is. Well, this summer, the home of the Sun King will be paying homage to the controversial Marie Antoinette Her story will be showcased using pyrotechnics – so expect fireworks, flames, video clips accompanied by music. It’s set to be a spectacular event. performed in Versailles gardens at nighttime on Friday, June 29 and July 5, 6, 11, and 12, 2018. Get the details.
Life’s a Beach
If you can’t get to the coast and fancy a beach life moment, whilst you’re in Paris, then the annual Paris Plage shouldn’t be missed. Some of the team here aren’t convinced, but for the most part, we can see why people love it. The feeling of Summer comes to life when you see those colourful parasols rooted in the sandy banks of the River Seine, with imported palms and sunbeds to help give a real tropical flavour…whats not to love?
The kids can run around building sandcastles and eating ice-creams. Ok so it’s not Jamaica, but who cares..it’s a nod from the city to the coast and Paris does it so so well. 3,5000 tons of sand, 550 deck chairs, 450 parasols and 50 palm trees are brought into the city just for your summer pleasure, so take full advantage.
As usual, there are several places around the city where you can find these little beaches. So head to La Villette along the canal or Voie George Pompidou on the right bank, or Salforino harbour on the left bank. Possibly, there may be a beach at City Hall too but are awaiting confirmation.
From July 7th until September 2
T Rex Exhibition
If your offspring have a mild obsession with dinosaurs, they are not alone. These Jurassic and Cretaceous creatures are very much alive and kicking in the hearts and minds of kids everywhere. So this expo could be right up your street this Summer. The recently discovered bones of a T-rex, have been flown into Paris and you can see it, at the Natural History Museum. Alongside the skeletal remains of the worlds largest known dinosaur, plenty of other insights and various fossils as well as video and images can be perused.
The skeleton was found in Canada in 2013 and is….wait for it….67 million years old!
The exhibition which opened on June 5th and ends September 2, is on at the same time as the Jurassic World movie expo at the Cité de la Cinema which, is also open now and ends on the same date. So take a walk on the wild side with the kids.
For those who know Paris, you’ll be aware that street art is as integral to the cultural scene here, as the classical paintings one sees hanging in the Louvre. So Paris welcomes this special exhibition running from now until the end of August celebrating Afro-Futurism.
Here you’ll dive into a concept that began in the 1950s in the United States, defining itself as a ” new vision of the future, proposed by the peoples of the African Diaspora “. A kind of ” cultural aesthetic ” bringing together ” elements of science-fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, Afrocentrism, magical realism and non-Western cosmologies “.
The exhibition delves into these themes, through ” an expression of black identity “, thus allowing the voyeur to ” understand the past and the present by taking control by the imagination of new and more encouraging futures “, exploring ” the cultural interconnection of Africa and Afro-America “.
The exhibition will also be accompanied by some badass music from the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Parliament and Funkadelic – what a lineup!
All the information you need can be found on the Street Ary Gallery website and you’ll also find more details about the artist behind all these great art pieces, Raphael Frederici seen in the image below.
Fire – Cite de la Science
La Cité des Sciences is one of the most loved spaces in France. Natives across the country visit Paris just to spend a weekend visiting this museum, with the family. Europe’s largest Science Museum rarely disappoints in what it offers, and its’ location is spectacular. Nestled along the canal on the banks at La Villette it’s a great place to while away the hours with the kids.
Currently on offer for those enquiring minds is an expo along the theme of Fire.
Bruno Maquart, president of Universcience, explains “The exhibition, after the fire that hit us in the summer of 2015, is a way for us to tame the fire and understand how to do so. Those who dedicate their lives to fight against it, the Paris Fire Brigade, has agreed to be the scientific partner of this unique and unpublished exhibition. “
It’s an in-depth, interactive exploration of the element fire from all perspectives and definitely worth discovering.
OMG She’s Parisian
In truth, we haven’t seen it yet but the idea of this one-woman show had us pulling out the diary to book a date.
La Parisienne, Julie Collas performs at the Theatre BO Saint Martin on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until July 21st with her show ” Oh My God She’s Parisian! “.
This is the first French one-woman show, performed 100% in English, thank goodness! There is already a one-man-show in English, by Frenchman Olivier Giraud called, How to become a Parisian in an hour (which is very very funny!) and has been a hit at the Theatre des Nouveates, for many years so we suggest you see that one too if you haven’t already.
Although a pure Parisian at heart, Julie Collas lived in New York, London and Chicago. After working as a legal officer in major companies she decided to turn to comedy; after the Paris attacks which, made her realize that life was too short not to pursue her dreams.
MLP loves to support women doing their thang, so good luck Julie we look forward to seeing the show.
Late Nights at the Zoo
Every year during the Summer, Parc Zoologique takes advantage of the long days of the season by staying open super late. From now until August 9, you and the family can roam the zoo until 10 pm. If you’ve ever been curious as to what animals do after dark, then this opportunity gives you the perfect chance to observe their nocturnal habits
Every Thursday make an appointment to view and experience something new and different with the kids.
To add an additional dimension to all this, there are a couple of other features at the zoo this season, that you might find appealing.
The Zoological Park of Paris will also be showcasing three different species this summer. For fans of giraffes put June 16 and 17 in the diary. Then there are the bats at night, you can see them on the last two Thursdays of July, while we gotta wait for August 16 and 18 to discover the lemurs.
Also, the Parc Zoologique and Time Out have teamed up to organize two new Silent Zoo events, essentially a silent disco with animals! One date has passed but on July 5, night owls will be able to listen to music and dance. So book your spot!
There is no doubt that when it comes to Paris Cinema experiences, The City of Light knocks it outta the park. One of our favourite things to enjoy are the movies en plein air, and the ease of which you can do it here over the summer months is great.
All you have to do is check out the cinema listings, choose your movies, rock up, grab a deck chair for a small fee and then its lights, camera action. Take a picnic or buy popcorn and hotdogs on site. Don’t forget to bring a picnic blanket and take a jacket as the heat subsides through the night. It’s a wonderful family evening out.
La Villette is the hotspot for, outdoor movies so check out the La Villette website, but the movies that stood out to us were; Jungle Book on July 21st, La La Land July 18, Bande des Filles -August 15th and Sugar Man, August 1
Paris Jazz Festival
It’s been 25 years since Paris has been gracing us with a Jazz Festival at the beautiful Parc Floral. A staple music moment in the Parisian calendar, the event runs from June 30th until July 22. Jazz bands and artists from across the world will appear at these outdoor concerts throughout the day and night, every weekend over the course of these dates.
As well as great music, what makes this event so enjoyable is the outdoor setting in one of the most beautiful parks in Paris, (you can even take the kids tree climbing there…it’s an MLP fave).
For information on the lineup, discover more at the Jazz Festival Paris website.
Our schedule of suggestions for family fun experiences, this summer in Paris, would not be complete without a digital expo. Taking place at La Villette up in the 19th district of the city, this visual and immersive experience sounds awesome and we felt, worthy of a mention and it’s on Until September 19th,
Team Lab has taken over 2000sqm at La Grande Halle. Five nature-inspired installations cross-pollinate as you enter a world you can touch and change. You can move tree leaves and see grass responding to your footsteps and water moving around you. Check out the Team Lab video below to see what we mean?
Jardin d’Acclimatation is one of the most sought-after spaces for families in Paris. It provides so much entertainment for kids, what with the rides, the park, the zoo, theatre and so much more besides. Over the last several months this inner-city answer to Disneyland has been closed for refurbishment and it has now finally reopened its doors. As of June 1st, Jardin d’Acclimatation is back, renewed, refurbished and revamped. With over 40 attractions including 19 new ones, 4 large roller-coasters, 500 animals (exotic birds, goats, rabbits, & lemurs), 16 restaurants and 18 hectares of nature.
Not only have these attractions been restored and expanded, the architectural heritage of Napoleon III was key to the development of the land. The historical route of the landscape of the Emperor, Barillet-Deschamp, was redesigned to provide us with an exceptional walking area. Open now!
Childhood of Lights
On until the end of July, the Museum Cognac-Jay has an interesting exhibition about the perception of childhood that is designed for kids aged 7-9. The theme focuses on childhood depicted from the 17th & 18th centuries.
There are five themes connected to each other by a giant “Good Game” carpet created just for the occasion. It is a free interactive exhibition designed to inspire.
Could be worth a jaunt with the little ones we think. Find out more on the Musee Cognac Jay website.
Open Air Pools
Yes, it’s that time of the year! Swimming under the light of the sky in the day and the stars at night. The season of open-air swimming is about to unleash itself on the capital. This is a must do a moment for families and you have plenty of pools to choose from. Rather than rewrite all of the fabulous spaces you can enjoy here, just check out our top ten outdoor pools in Paris. We have written everything you need to know…enjoy!
Hope you found some of these tips useful and that they help to start planning your Summer in Paris. There is so much ahead over the next few months that MLP will be posting more regularly to keep you juiced about Paris and all this wonderful city has to offer throughout the season of sunshine. So consider this an aperitif!
Have a great Summer in Paris!
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