Autumn in Paris? Don’t miss out on all the fun!
Autumn in Paris is beautiful. Despite the cooler climate, there is something special about walking through the green spaces of this city when the leaves on the trees are turning gold, red and brown. The city setting looks exceptionally stunning against this colourful backdrop. Not only that, the end of Summer signals the run up to Christmas and the 12-week mad dash before we summon in a New Year. Of course, it’s also one of the busiest periods of the year for us parents but despite that, we have got to make time to have a good time – and this is where MLP comes in. To make life easier for you, we’ve trawled through the activities happening around the city and found 50 great ways for you and your family to have fun in the City of Light this Autumn. The list is not prioritised in any way, we’ve just thrown together some great options and we hope you find something you’ll love. Enjoy.
1. Nuit Blanche
The 2016 edition of Nuit Blanche, an all-night arts event, is taking place throughout the city based on a ‘journey of love’ theme. It is set to be a beautiful artistic interpretation of love, and there will be events, installations and art exhibits all over the city. For the full lowdown on what you can expect check out all the details on Nuit Blanche here. The event takes place on Saturday, October 1.
2. We Run Paris! Nike 10km plus a mini race for kids
3. Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
One of the most famous horse races in the world and tickets start at 12 Euros. Head out to the Hippodrome de Chantilly October 1 – 2 for a unique experience. Buy your tickets in advance here.
It’s a huge season for the arts. The eagerly awaited Picasso-Giacometti exhibition at the Picasso Museum in the Marais will look at the relationship between the two artists. You might remember that back in May 2015, Picasso’s ‘Woman of Algiers’ and Giacometti’s ‘Pointing Man’ were sold at Christie’s for record-breaking sums. This exhibition starts on October 4 and will look at the paintings and sculptures they produced plus items from their private archives. Get your tickets in advance online.
5. Mexico at the Grand Palais
The big blockbuster exhibition coming to the Grand Palais is Mexique, a presentation representing the explosion of creativity that came out of Mexico in the twentieth century. From October 5, you have the chance to see the work of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Rufino Tamayo in Grand Palais style. Here is a video sneak preview. Book your advance tickets here. Some Wednesdays and Saturdays have guided visits for families.
Grand Palais from October 5 until January 23, 2017
6. Yoga Mama, Yoga Kids
MLP loves this initiative. Over 700 yoga disciples will descend upon the Grand Palais for a mega yoga session and it’s open to all! There is a special children’s sequence planned to encourage the little ones 6-12 to get involved plus, all proceeds go to a Heart Foundation to help save the hearts of thousands of children. Feels good already! All the details can be found on the website. Oh! Wearing white is obligatory. The event is on October 9, details on their website.
Yogi Coeur, Grand Palais , October 9 11:30am – 13:00pm
7. Montmartre wine harvest
Did you know there is a tiny vineyard on the hill of Montmartre, belonging to a monastery? From October 5 – 9 , the neighbourhood will be celebrating the wine harvest at the annual Fetes des Vendages de Montmartre. Everyone joins in, from markets & local shops to libraries, cinemas and theatres. You’ll find music, exhibitions and street art workshops, all culminating in a fireworks display with Sacre-Coeur as the backdrop.
8. Phantom of the Opera
It’s a London West End classic celebrating its 30th anniversary and it’s coming to Paris for the first time! The Mogador Theatre in the 9th district will host The Phantom of the Opera show and you can get your tickets here. The premiere is on Thursday 13 October.
9. Disney exhibition at Art Ludique
Take the kids to see how Disney made their favourite films. The Art Ludique Museum (right on the riverside in the 13th district). The exhibition runs from October 14 to March 5 and features original sketches and manuscripts, some of them never displayed in public before. A great chance to look at the history of Disney and for kids to understand how some of the classics like Bambi and Snow White were made. You can buy your advance tickets here.
10. The Fairground Affair
La Fete à Neuneu – the huge fun fair extravaganza, is still on in Paris until October 9 at Bois du Boulogne. It’s a massive fairground packed with rides, stalls and play spaces for the kids.
11. Kids Festival at Le Monfort Theatre
The Monfort Theatre in the 15th district is hosting a great looking festival for kids this October. Circus acts, a new take on Hansel and Gretel, concerts, dance, film and juggling – the Grande Echelle Festival at Monfort Theatre looks like a lot of fun. It runs from October 14-16.
12. Made in Paris
The Made in Paris exhibition and festival runs until October 22 and takes place at the Hotel de Ville. Everything there, whether it’s chocolate, jewellery or clothes is 100% made in Paris. A great chance to sample what the city has to offer and support local artisans and designers. This exhibition will give you all the keys you need to go in search of authentic creations on the streets of the capital.
13. My First Festival
An adorable mini film festival for children as young as 2 years old, designed to give them their first taste of un féte, entirely dedicated to them. From October 9 to October 25, this event will include screenings of animation classics, sports movies and previews of 15 international new films. Plus, 20 blockbusters that created a step change in American cinema will be broadcast. So much more is on offer including workshops. Check out the details on the Mon Premier Festival website
KidExpo is a huge annual event running from October 20 – 24 at ViParis Porte de Versailles exhibition centre. There are toys, games, workshops and lots of ideas for activities for kids to do. It’s a fun, family day out.
ViParis – Pavilion 5, Porte de Versailles in the 15th district.
15. Kids Concert at the Chatelet Theatre
As part of the Chatelet Theatre’s ConcerTot ConcerTea programme for kids, take the family along to see Kromoritmos percussion. It’s at 5pm on 16 October and you should reserve places in advance. You can get a sneak preview of their act by watching this video. We think it looks fun.
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16. Trolls invade Paris
You may have heard the Justin Timberlake soundtrack to Trolls (Can’t Stop the Feeling) all summer, well now the Trolls movie is finally arriving in Paris. This Dream Works kids’ film will be in Paris cinemas from October 19. Our top tip, if you want your kids to see it in English at a reasonable hour, is to go in the first week. That is when the earlier timings for the English (VO – version originale) take place and the cinemas at Beaugrenelle and Les Halles are good bets for kid-friendly timings for the English original version.
17. Halloween at Disney
The French are getting more and more into Halloween but it’s still not the same for Americans who miss the celebrations back home. We have one word for you. Disney. Head out to the Happiest Place On Earth for full-on Halloween decorations (cute rather than scary). Disneyland Paris will be celebrating Halloween from October 1 to November 2, so there is plenty of time for you to hop on the RER and join in the fun.
18. Salon du Chocolat
This tantalising annual chocolate show takes place October 28 to November 1 and this year will feature a new Salon du Chocolat Junior edition for kids! General tickets for the show can be purchased online here. Note there are reduced prices for kids and family pack tickets are also available.
19. Pumpkin patch
The Ferme de Gally is here to help us keep up our Anglo-Saxon Halloween traditions! Twenty minutes outside of Paris, the kids can pick up a pumpkin at the Ferme de Gally’s Cuillette (pick-your-own vegetable garden). Make time to visit the farm, café and shop too. Directions can be found on the Ferme de Gally website.
20. BNP Paribas Tennis Masters
Roland Garros is not the only annual major tennis event that takes place in Paris. Head to Bercy for the BNP Tennis Masters tournament. Tickets are on sale now from. The actual tournament takes place from October 29 to November 6 – perfectly timed for a treat for the kids during the Toussaint school holidays.
21. Spooktacular at Parc Asterix
Parc Asterix has a Special Halloween theme called ‘Peur de Parc’ from October 15 to November 2 and the entire schedule is packed with spooky rides and fun experiences. From October 29-31, there will be special Halloween evening events. You need specific tickets for these ‘soirees’ which will include sound, light shows and fireworks.
Little Villette, the great new indoor kids space in the Parc de la Villette, opens the Autumn season with a masterpiece from October 12 to 28! This is the beautiful story of Balthazar (a donkey) imagined by Nicolas Liautard . The director has split the show into two versions: one for children 4 to 7 years, and the other recommended or kids over 7 years. That way you are sure that your offspring will not be bored, and to make it even more compelling, they actually use a real donkey on stage!
23. The Musical Water show at Versaille
On until October 30, you have the chance to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Palace of Versaille. There is no question that this chateau is utterly beautiful, but what’s exciting is the opportunity to experience this classical music event. Watch as the waterfalls are orchestrated in time with the music – all 55 of them! There is plenty for children in this neck of the woods with Super Playmobil, Ruby the Pirate, Spark Fairy and games in the gardens too. http://www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/fr
24. Ferme Tiligolo
Baby farm animals that you can cuddle and feed? What could be better? A little bit of countryside is coming to Parc de la Villette and your kids can be a farmer for a day. The travelling farm Tiligolo is setting up at La Villette from 10am till 6pm from October 28 to November 2. Perfect timing for the half term holidays.
25. Family visits to Monet’s Waterlilies
This is a wonderful opportunity to take part in a family visit and workshop at the Orangerie museum inside the Tuileries gardens. You can go with your child to look at the famous Waterlily paintings by Monet and then take part in a workshop to recreate a fragment of the painting using pastels. There are two chances to do this in the autumn – Wednesday, October 5 and Wednesday, November 16. Both sessions are at 3pm and last two hours. You should call in advance to reserve a spot, the number is 01.44.50.43.01. As this activity is described as ‘en famille’, an adult is expected to accompany the child.
26. Paris Manga and Sci-Fi show
We are guessing there are teens out there who want to go to the Paris Manga and Sci-Fi show which runs November 4 – 6 at Porte de Versailles. You can get more information Paris Manga website here. Expect plenty of Science Fiction, video games, comics – it’s all there.
27. 42nd Street comes to Paris!
The hit musical 42nd Street is coming to Paris! In English! It will be at the Chatelet Theatre from November 17 until January 8. What a Broadway-style treat for the holiday season – You can buy tickets here.
28. Beaujolais Nouveau!
Thursday 17 November will see the arrival in Paris of the year’s new Beaujolais wine. Bars, restaurants and wine merchants will be tempting you in to try a glass. We will be honest and tell you Beaujolais is not our favourite red wine (we’re not sure it’s anyone’s) but it’s a lot of fun to get caught up in the celebration each year. Plus this is a wine made for immediate consumption, so consume we must! Pop into your local café and join in Beaujolais Nouveau Day!
29. Contemporary arts at the Festival d’Automne
The annual Autumn Festival in Paris is a major, cutting-edge arts festival. Packed with productions utilising every medium, expect to be inspired by events throughout the capital. Performance art by Tilda Swinton and Charlotte Rampling seems unmissable, as does the Lucinda Childs dance production. You can find the full programme here. The event runs until the end of December.
30. The Life and Times of Oscar Wilde
The much-anticipated Oscar Wild exhibition opens its doors on September 28. It’s the first major exhibition dedicated to the famous writer and will take place at Le Petit Palais. An infamous character who demonstrated a love affair with Paris, the expo will exhibit the life and work of Oscar Wilde through never seen before artefacts that have been donated to the gallery for this special event. On until January 15.
31. Street Art Expo
There are two new art exhibition spaces opening up at the Joel Knafo Art Gallery. Two street artists who use collage as their medium of choice, will be displaying their work.
As you know MLP loves Street art and we cannot wait to get acquainted with Levalet and Herard, both of whom have very distinct styles. From October 7 until October 30
32. Back-to-back Harry Potter at the Grand Rex
A Harry Potter marathon at the Grand Rex! Yes, this iconic Paris venue will be screening the Harry Potter movies as they should be seen – on the big screen! The films will be shown in their original English versions with French subtitles over the weekend of October 15-16. These magical tickets have been selling fast but you might be able to get hold of the last few via FNAC.
33. Monument Jeu d’Enfant
This is a weekend when France’s historic buildings go out of their way to cater for kids. Children aged 5 – 12 are invited to step back in time and enjoy games, craft workshops and stories over the weekend of October 22- 23 as part of Monument Jeu ‘Enfant. Nine national sites in Paris are taking part in this festival and the Conciergerie looks like a highlight, with lots going on for families between 2pm and 5.30pm both days.
34. Halloween at the Musée Grévin
The Musée Grévin is inviting families for a spooky visit from October 29 – 31 . Personally, we always find this wax museum a tiny bit creepy so it’s the perfect place for Halloween. You can buy advance tickets on the museum website.
35. Zombie Walks
This is more of a warning although you may be up for revealing your darker side and getting involved! Each year, the locals dress up as though they were appearing in Micheal Jacksons Thriller video and walk through the streets of the city. Setting off from Place de Republique and ultimately ending up in Places des Vosges. It starts at 1pm – so don’t be horrified when you see hundreds of zombies wandering through the city! MLP is still trying to get to the bottom of why it exists – we will update as we discover more! http://pariszombie.com/. October 8.
36. Jazz sur Seine
Enjoying the best of what Paris has to offer would not be complete without including a little bit of music! Given this is Paris – Jazz for us, is the obvious choice. Paris has had a love affair with Jazz for decades and during October there is a celebration of that relationship taking place. Both modern and classic interpretations of this genre are on offer at this 16-day event, including workshops for kids.YAY!
25 clubs across the capital are taking part and there will be 150 concerts given by 450 musicians. Jazz sur Seine has been going for 5 years so they have pretty much perfected the art of presenting a real show. From October 7-22 check out the programme for all the details.
37. The Fantasies of Santa Claus
Yes, it may be too early to be thinking about Christmas but MLP loves the idea of this mini expo. Imagine Father Christmas sunbathing, swimming or having coffee with Darth Vader! Well this is what you can expect to see at this photographic exhibition at Bercy Village, which is on until January from October 6th
28 Rue François Truffaut 75012 Paris 12
38. France Minature
This year marks the 25th birthday of this much-loved theme park. Brilliantly, France is recreated in a miniature form giving you and your family the chance to travel around the country in a totally unique and different way. Here you’ll find 117 replicas of monuments and 150 typical French landscapes. To make it super fun there are a tonne of activities including trampolining, interactive spaces, the chance to make a barrel and barrage, treasure hunts, slides, a car driving course, engraving…the list is endless. The kids can even climb a volcano! There’s also a special beehive and flower installation throughout July. Open until November 2.
France Minature, Boulevard Andé Malraux 78990 Elancourt
39. Shark Tale
The Aquarium by the Trocadero is offering up an education on the subject of Sharks, which includes their persecution as well as their evolution. This detailed exhibition, combined with the interactive workshops designed for kids and adults, is on until November 15
40. Grand Train
Le Grand Train is still open. If you haven’t had the chance to take the kids to check out, this train spotters/trendy outdoor bar and chill out space, then get down there before it ends on October 16.
41. Can I have some more!
Oliver Twist the musical, is here in Paris! This absolutely brilliant tale by Charles Dickens is one of the best musical films ever made and now it has been brought back to life on the stage. Open now until January 1. Tickets range from €14-€84. It’s on at the Salle Gaveau in the 8th.
42. Animaux Bebe at the Science Museum
La Cité des Science is always a winner with the children. It’s easy for parents as it never fails to entertain. The two spaces dedicated to kids from 1 to 14, are perfectly designed to keep the children engaged for an hour or so. Plus there is a current exhibition that will also maintain their interest and curiosity. Bébés Animaux is a special exposition for 2 – 7-year-olds. Here, they offer the chance for children to observe the birth and growth of 73 different species of animal. They will be able to see their development and become aware of all of the different functions, that are altered as these baby cuties grow. It’s a learning experience and sounds like one that shouldn’t be missed. Plus, this venue is an awesome place to just hang out. Until August 17, 2017
Cité des Science 30 Avenue Corentin Cariou Paris 19
43. Let there be Light
To get us ready for winter, Little Villette, will be lit up with lanterns. Kids will make the lanterns themselves with artists from the Les Poussieres Theatre. Each child will get to carry their lantern to decorate the La Villette space and the surrounding gardens. 3pm on November 6, 12 and 19
44. The Animal Orchestra
Their press team reports that until January 8, 2017, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain is pleased to present The Great Animal Orchestra, inspired by the work of American musician and bio-acoustician, Bernie Krause. The exhibition brings together the work of artists from all over the world and invites the public to enjoy an aesthetic meditation, both aural and visual, on the animal kingdom, which is increasingly under threat in today’s modern world.
45. La Fete de la science
Taking place at various venues around the centre of Paris including, Jardin du Plantes, Musée Curie, Musee du Quai Branly, Musee des Ats Metiers and Palais de la Decouverte is the Paris Science Festival. There are tours, events, workshops and you can find out everything you need to know on the Festival website.
46. The Wasteland
A funky pop-up space has opened in the 11th district of Paris. Described as a bar and space for outdoor living, this 2000m2 venue provides food, drinks, games, music and a seismic chill out zone for friends and family. It has over 400 seats and can accommodate up to 800 people, just to give you an idea of the size. There is a dedicated kids area and playground too, so make the most of it while the sun is still shining. Head to 66 Boulevard Richard Lenoir. On until November 5. From midday until 9pm 7 days a week this Autumn in Paris.
47. Ben at the renovated Musée Maillol
The Musée Maillol is looking good after some extensive work to restore the courtyard and re-organise the exhibition space. All the better to welcome the much awaited exhibition from Ben, ‘Is Everything Art?’ Benjamin Vautier, better known as simply ‘Ben’ is one of the major artists of the 20th century, famous for his ‘ectritures’ or written paintings and the idea that we can find the extraordinary in the ordinary. You can sneak a peek at the exhibition in this preview video. Until January 2017.
48. Tintin at the Grand Palais
Georges Remi is much better known as Hergé, the Belgian cartoonist best known for The Adventures of Tintin. This Autumn in Paris, the Grand Palais is hosting a retrospective of his work. He was seen as “the father of the European comic strip” and one of the first French-speaking authors to use American-style comic strips with speech bubbles. Arty kids will enjoy learning about his creative approach. The Grand Palais is offering some great guided family visits around this exhibition. Until January 15!
49. Getting surreal at the Pompidou
Introduce the kids to surrealism at the Pompidou. The Pompidou Centre will be hosting a huge exhibition of the Belgian artist Rene Magritte and the themes will be his often used motifs of fire, shadows, curtains words and the fragmented body. The exhibition is called La Trahison des Images and will run until 23 January. As with all blockbuster exhibitions at the Pompidou, we recommend buying advance tickets and getting there early before the doors open. Reward the kids with a quick spin around the Lego Store afterwards and perhaps a visit to the Jardin Nelson Mandela as both are close by.
50. Paris Photo
MLP loves photography and cannot wait for the annual Paris Photo expo this year. Taking place at the Grand Palais this year you’ll see work by Berenice Abbott, Nan Goldin,David Hockney and Joseph Sterling plus many other artists. You will be inspired—and feel an insane urge to unleash your inner David Bailey and take a few pics yourself. It’s on from November 10-13.
Hope you have found this post useful. There is so much fun to be had this Autumn in Paris. So many great places to discover. If you are interested in what’s happening in the city or what to know more about what living here is like, then subscribe and read our top five stories about life in this city and the top places to explore.
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Oh and thank you to the lovely Jennifer Hamerman for contributing her ideas to this post! Invaluable!
Have a wonderful Autumn in Paris.
Love MLP x