What’s on in Paris – August 2020

Due to ongoing Coronavirus precautions, many summer events in Paris have been cancelled, postponed or heavily restricted in scope. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things happening around town to keep you entertained, even during the usually quiet month of August. Just don’t forget your mask!

July 31st and August 7th
The Parc de Choisy in the 13th arrondissement (M° Place d’Italie or Tolbiac) is hosting its own free open-air cinema festival, Ciné Quartier 13, with a focus on nature and the environment: Océans (by Jacques Perrin), Il était une forêt (by Luc Jacquet), Le renard et l’enfant (by Luc Jacquet), and Une vérité qui dérange (An Inconvenient Truth, by Davis Guggenheim). Entrance is free, lounge chairs can be rented; alcohol isn’t allowed (or glass bottles); gates open at 9pm, film starts at sunset (around 10/10:30pm).

August 2
Get free Covid-19 testing, no reservation needed, today at the Stade Charlety (99 boulevard Kellermann, 13th), from 10am-5pm. Get there early, bring your Carte Vitale if you have one, and be prepared to wait (parasol and some bottled water?)

August 2
It’s Free First Sunday at the following Paris museums (links for the ones that need advance ticket purchase):

Through August 11th
It’s strange times, but the Soldes must go on! Not that stores need an excuse (or government permission these days) to slash prices to lure in consumers, but if you’re in the market for clothing or accessories (or pretty much anything else) in Paris, this is usually the best time to find a good deal if you’re ready to brave the crowds (yes, even during a pandemic). Bring your mask, they’re now obligatory in ALL stores. Prices drop even more in the final two weeks, but pickings are slim unless you’re a unique size.

August 16 -September 20
The Festivals du Parc Floral return, with the Paris Jazz Festival and the Classique au Vert at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes, 12th) with classical concerts every Saturday and jazz concerts every Sunday, at 4pm. The concerts are free, but there is a €2.50 entrance fee to the Parc Floral. Picnics allowed.

August 22nd
There will be a free solo performance, L’Epouse (The Bride) at 6pm on the Parvis in front of Notre Dame Cathedral today, featuring the actress Rebecca Journo of the Compagnie La Pieuvre. This silent performance “tells about a fallen bride whose language is only a body, a state which constitutes the anchor of a work which seeks transformation, the capacity to become other.” 

August 22-29
The 19th annual Festival de Silhouette (short film festival) is reinventing itself this year taking place in several locations in eastern Paris. As always, the festival will promote the best short films of the year with screenings in theaters and in the open air, with the usual workshops, debates and meetings around progressive/ecological themes. Free entry, open to everyone, see the full program (en français) here.

Through August 30th
Although it won’t be as big as usual, Mayor Hidalgo has assured everyone that Paris Plage will take place again this year, when the banks of the Seine and the Bassin de la Villette are turned into an urban beach with chaise loungers, umbrellas, swimming in the canal, and ice cream stands. Paris Plage kicks off July 18th with live concerts by the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, and the Cinéma sur L’Eau, a free evening of open-air cinema on the water, on little boats in the Bassin de la Villette. The screening is the 2018 Claude Lelouche film Le Grand Bain. Places are free, but limited, so reserve your boat ASAP on the website.

Paris Plage Map

Through August 23rd
Open-air cinema is back at the Parc de la Villette with La Cinéma en Plein Air on the Prairie du Triangle – (metro Porte de Pantin). Free entry, reservations required to make sure the event isn’t too crowded. All films are in original version with French subtitles. See the program here.

Through August 27th
Calling all dance fans interested in learning Afro Zumba for dance sessions at Grands Voisins (74 Avenue Denfert Rochereau, 14th) with Miraculeux, a musician, DJ and dancer from the Cote d’Ivore. The sessions take place every Thursday from 5:30-7pm, €10 per person, in a fun and informal atmosphere. Registration is necessary to participate, just call or text 0755396040 for the Thursday you’re interested in attending. More info on the FB page here.

Through August 29th
La Nuit aux Invalides is an impressive sound and light show in the courtyard of Invalides highlighting the 3000-year-old history of the Lutèce, the Roman city that preceded Paris. Tickets €19-25 (adult price).

August 29-30
Attention Harry Potter fans! The Grand Rex Cinema is hosting a two-day Harry Potter Marathon showing eight films in their original version with French subtitles. Tickets are €40 for all eight screenings, or €25 for one day of four screenings (shown in chronological order). Reserve tickets here.

Friday-Sunday through August 30th
If you like checking out the newest hotspots in the rapidly-gentrifying Pantin suburb of northeastern Paris, don’t miss the weekly open-air market at the Cité Fertile, a former SNCF railway site transitioning into the future eco-district of Pantin. The market features local producers, artisans, crafts, and foods: “Delicatessen, lifestyle, fashion, illustration, zero waste, kids, well-being, garden … a friendly market that puts forward ecological, solidarity and local solutions to build together the world after – a sustainable world and durable.” For a listing of the events and directions, visit their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/lacitefertile/events/

Through August 30th
Despite doubts because of the Coronavirus, the festive Fête des Tuileries is still taking place this summer with the Ferris wheel, stomach-emptying rides, barbe-à-papa (cotton candy) and whack-a-mole games. Open daily at the Jardin des Tuileries, 11am-midnight (free entry, tickets can be purchased for individual rides).

Through August 30th
It’s time for the 4th annual Jardins Ouverts en Ile-de-France, a garden festival of 400 outdoor events taking place in 220 gardens in Paris and the surrounding Ile-de-France region: “Despite its very urban image, more than 78% of the total area of ​​the Île-de-France region is occupied by natural agricultural and forest areas. By celebrating its gardens, the Region highlights a rich and diverse heritage, which is one of the most active drivers of tourism, and is also aimed at city dwellers who feel the growing need to reconnect with the land and nature. This summer, more than ever, Ile-de-France residents will be able to get away from home!” Find the entire program here.

Through October 3rd
The magical Candlelit Evenings at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte are back! Every Saturday from 7pm until midnight. Read the Secrets of Paris article about it here.

Every Saturday through October 31st
Enjoy a guided, one-hour visit of one of the oldest working farms on the edge of Paris, transformed by the Parti Poétique into a permaculture farm on one hectare. Just €6.50 for the tour (in French), every Saturday at 3pm. Register in advance though #ExploreParis. FYI, it’s right next door to the Galley Farm I visited last fall: A Historic Working Farm on the Edge of Paris

Other Paris Calendar Links

▪       For General Events around Paris (including sports): Que Faire à Paris?

▪       For Off the Beaten Track Tours (in French or English) #ExploreParis

▪       For French Theatre with English surtitles: Theatre in Paris 

▪       For French Cinema with English surtitles: Lost in Frenchlation

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