‘Paris is a … feast.’ That is the best way to sum up our city, and the pleasure we take in welcoming visitors. In Paris, partying is a lifestyle. Parisians constantly come up with new ways to have fun. The amazingly eclectic nightlife scene means anyone can find something to enjoy: listening to live music by up-and-coming bands in a bar, taking in a cabaret show with dinner, dancing at clubs where some of the world’s top DJs play, or chilling out in parks that now stay open all night long in summer. In recent years, the City of Paris has gone all out to support the revival of Parisian nightlife and promote a free-spirited scene with space for everyone. Whether you’re out with family or friends, and whatever the time of day, be it noon or midnight, Paris’s lively and unusual party scene offers many different ways to have a good time.
Editorial by Frédéric Hocquard, nightlife advisor to the First Deputy Mayor.
The end of the working day marks the moment when the Paris party scene comes to life. This stretch of time lasting from sunset to 2am (the legally-mandated closing time for most bars) is aperitif time: happy hours, after-work drinks and the like. People get together with friends to sip a cocktail and enjoy a live performance, show or revue – either to wind up their day or to get the night off to a good start.
Meeting up with friends for a drink is an essential part of French lifestyle and culture. Paris, the world’s food capital, also has thousands of places to get together and relax over a drink – from the traditional glass of red wine at a typically French place to speakeasies with an international flavour. Two of the most popular new trends are bistronomy and natural wine. Bistronomy (a contraction of ‘bistro’ and ‘gastronomy’) places have a laid-back vibe. They take on a festive feel during food-centred initiatives such as Bistronomie Club, Fooding, Les Bonnes Heures and Fête de la Gastronomie, and traditional events such as the uncorking of the first Beaujolais Nouveau bottles on the third Thursday in November, or Valentine’s Day.
Top districts for an aperitif: Bassin de la Villette Belleville Bastille Butte aux Cailles Canal Saint-Martin Champs-Élysées Les Halles Le Marais Montmartre Oberkampf Saint-Germain-des-Prés Saint-Michel
Plus: La campagne à Paris (the countryside in Paris), a leafy section of the 19th; the Canal SaintDenis, and the Berges de Seine area, currently being redeveloped.
- Le Baron Rouge A proper wine bar complete with casks, and a large selection to sample on-site or take away. 1, rue Théophile-Roussel – Paris 12 http://lebaronrouge.netCafé de Flore Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre were regulars here, and Juliette Greco could be spotted dancing of an evening. This legendary Saint-Germain-des-Près café even has its own literary prize. 172, boulevard Saint-Germain – Paris 6 https://www.facebook.com/CafedefloreofficialCafé Français The hushed atmosphere offers welcome relief from the hubbub of Place de la Bastille. Sip a drink in peace as you contemplate the July Column. The decor is by cult graphic design duo M/M (Paris). 1-3, place de la Bastille – Paris 4 http://cafe-francais.frCafé Marly A magnificent café niched under the arcades of the Louvre, where you can savour some champagne while enjoying a view of the monumental Pyramid. 93, rue de Rivoli – Paris 1 www.cafe-marly.com/frLes Folies Housed in a former cabaret, this lively, informal bar boasts a terrace, and decor comprising posters and neon lighting. 8, rue de Belleville – Paris 20 www.aux-folies-belleville.fr
Georges Ideally located on the rooftop of the Pompidou Centre, the Georges combines a pleasant atmosphere with a panoramic view. It a great spot for a drink at any time of year, and for dinner à deux or in a group. Centre Pompidou – Paris 4 www.restaurantgeorgesparis.com
Le Nemours A veritable institution, this café with a beautiful terrace shares a colonnade of the Palais-Royal with the French Council of State. 2, place Colette – Paris 1 http://www.lenemours.paris
Le Sélect Located across the road from the Coupole, the Sélect was a landmark of Montparnasse in its 1920s heyday, and is still one of the most popular bars in the area. 99, boulevard du Montparnasse – Paris 6 www.leselectmontparnasse.fr
Mixology is the art of creating the perfect cocktail – a skill deployed by bartenders who are nothing short of alchemists. The ‘science’ of mixology emerged in hotel bars, and began to catch on throughout the city in the late 2000s. It is generally practised in upscale places frequented by people with a sophisticated palate.
- La Candelaria A hidden joint in the heart of North Marais. The little canteen in front leads not to a kitchen, but to a stylish clandestine bar done up all in black where you can taste a range of agave-based spirits, just like in Mexico. 52, rue de Saintonge – Paris 3 http://www.quixotic-projects.com/venue/candelaria
- La Commune The team behind Le Syndicat (see description further in this section) has opened up a branch with a rum-punch focus in Belleville. 80, boulevard de Belleville – Paris 20 http://syndicatcocktailclub.com/la-commune
- Experimental Cocktail Club With a great location in the Montorgueil district, this is one of the best cocktail bars in the city. 37, rue Saint-Sauveur – Paris 2 http://www.experimentalevents.com/paris
The after-work drink is the office goer’s panacea. In Paris, Thursday is the weekday of choice for heading out to socialize with co-workers. Loosen that tie and shrug off that jacket to decompress and maybe even have a dance with a favourite colleague.
- Le Bal Rock This venue hosting a variety of weekday and weekend evening events boasts the largest number of screens of any bar in Paris. 161, rue Montmartre – Paris 2 http://www.lemagicparis.fr
- Le Barrio Latino Fans of Latin music and exotic flavours will be in their element at this huge bar/restaurant with dance floors on the upper levels. 46, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine – Paris 12 http://www.barrio-latino.com
- Le Hobo Club An attractive nightclub only a short distance from the Champs-Élysées. 67, rue Pierre-Charron – Paris 8http://www.lehoboclub.com
- Le Madam This small, cosy club near the Champs-Élysées hosts intimate music gigs and after-work parties. 128, rue de la Boétie – Paris 8 http://lemadam.com
Bars where you can party until midnight at any time of year have amped up the Paris nightlife scene. Some bars are micro-clubs, open until four in the morning; they are great places to hear live music by emerging bands without staying up too late.
- Le 9B The 9B has a dance floor in its soundproof basement, where DJs from Paris party collectives spin house, electro and techno tracks. 68, boulevard de la Villette – Paris 19 http://www.le9b.com
- Les 4 Éléments One of the most electro-focused places in Paris, with a line-up of house and techno. 149, rue Amelot – Paris 11 www.bar4elements.com
- Brasserie Barbès The new flagship of the people behind previous successes like Chez Jeannette (Paris 10) and Sans Souci in Pigalle (Paris 9). The Barbès is a restaurant/bar/rooftop/club near Montmartre. Its location at a crossroads makes it impossible to miss. 2, boulevard Barbès – Paris 18 http://brasseriebarbes.com
- Chez Jeannette – 47, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis – Paris 10 https://www.facebook.com/chez.jeannette Le Sans Souci – 65, rue Jean-Baptiste-Pigalle – Paris 9 https://www.facebook.com/Le-Sans-Souci-683571598428784
- Candy Shop This place with programming ranging from hip-hop to electro is smack in the middle of a bar-lined street in eastern Paris. 127, rue Saint-Maur – Paris 11
- Caveau de la Huchette This is the place for jazz that makes you want to shimmy. A short scene in the movie La La Land shows a crowd of elegant dancers in this shrine to live jazz, which dates back to 1946. Housed in a medieval cellar in the Saint-Michel district, the club draws people who come to dance to the sound of be-bop, swing and New Orleans jazz, like in the good old days of the Cotton Club and the Savoy. Open until 4am on weekends. 5, rue de la Huchette – Paris 5 http://www.caveaudelahuchette.frLa Colonie After his first café venture, Café Chéri, the visual artist Kader Attia, winner of the 2016 Marcel Duchamp prize, has opened this new cross-disciplinary space to reunite all of Paris’s cultural identities in an art-focused environment where people dance to black music. 128, rue La Fayette – Paris 10 https://www.facebook.com/lacolonieaparisDock B The latest addition to the Bellevilloise family after Rotonde (Place Stalingrad) and Trois Baudets, Dock B is a live music bar at the new HQ of French advertising agency BETC. It has a vast terrace overlooking the Canal de l’Ourcq. 1, place de la Pointe – 93500 Pantin https://www.facebook.com/dockbpantinLe Flow Housed in a futuristic-looking barge next to the Alexandre III bridge, Le Flow boasts a summer terrace and a year-round gastronomic restaurant with chef Gérard Cagna at the helm, plus a concert venue, club and bar on the upper deck. Port des Invalides – Paris 7 http://www.flow-paris.com
The Marais is dead; long live the Marais! The heart of Paris, and of the city’s gay scene, is gradually evolving into a shopping district with a focus on luxury brands. From being a need-driven positive space for gay identity and communities, the Marais has morphed into a relaxed neighbourhood like any other, with many gay-friendly businesses. The nightlife scene, too, has undergone a transformation, moving from the Marais proper (Paris 4) into North Marais (Paris 3), and from central Paris arrondissements to more far-flung districts.
- À la Folie This guinguette set up in one of the follies at the Parc de la Villette has a big terrace serving a wide range of barbecue and char-grilled cuisine. At weekends, À la Folie turns into a nightclub with edgy programming devised by the manager, formerly the programmer at the Rex. 26, avenue Corentin-Cariou – Paris 19 http://alafolie.paris
- Le Cox This Marais institution is famous for its beer-focused happy hours, with a range of tipples to satisfy all tastes. The decor changes on a regular basis, and the DJs play great music, though customers tend to congregate outside the bar. 15, rue des Archives – Paris 4 http://www.cox.fr
- Le Duplex This is one of the oldest gay bars in the Marais, where the soaring walls on the mezzanine floor regularly display interesting artwork. It attracts a mixed (usually artsy-intellectual) crowd. A smart, uplifting music selection sets this place apart from many others. 25, rue Michel-Le-Comte – Paris 3 https://www.facebook.com/Le-duplex-bar-124166857649715
There are currently 87 places in Paris to listen to music by the latest crop of artistes according to Map, a network of concert venues. From French chanson to African music, from huge stadiums to little-known places, the live music scene is prolific, with bold, quality-driven programming. Paris and the Paris region offer ideal showcases for both big-name artistes on international tours and up and-coming talent.
- AccorHotels Arena After a complete overhaul and a change of name, AccorHôtels Arena is now the biggest show venue in Paris, hosting headline concerts and major sporting events. 8, boulevard de Bercy – Paris 12 http://www.accorhotelsarena.com
- Élysée-Montmartre Opened in 1807, the Élysée-Montmartre was extensively renovated after a fire in 2011. This remodelled venue inside a structure built by Gustave Eiffel has one of the best concert programmes in the city. 72, boulevard de Rochechouart – Paris 18 www.elyseemontmartre.com
- Espace B This neighbourhood bar and family-run restaurant doubles as a lively venue for alternative music. 16, rue Barbanègre – Paris 19 http://espaceb.net
- La Dame Rose This new venue with New Orleans-inspired decor has set itself the mission of initiating the Montparnasse district into black and soul music through dinner shows and live music-and-food events. 13, rue du Commandant-René-Mouchotte – Paris 14 http://damerose.live/
French Cancan has delighted visitors to the French capital since the 19th century, and people still come to Paris to get caught up in the magic of high kicks and pretty costumes covered in feathers and sequins.
- Bel Canto This restaurant offers an unusual combination of opera arias and fine dining: perfect for people who like to be serenaded while they eat. 72, quai de l’Hôtel-de-Ville – Paris 4 http://www.lebelcanto.com Brasil Tropical This restaurant underneath the Montparnasse Tower offers a perennial touch of exoticism. Customers can stay on and dance after dinner. 33, avenue du Maine – Paris 14 http://www.brasiltropical.com
- Le Crazy Horse At the Crazy Horse, customers feel like they’re ensconced in a velvet cocoon. The programme changes frequently, with famous names in fashion and dance invited to perform sensual revues. 12, avenue George-V – Paris 8 http://www.lecrazyhorseparis.com Le Lido The Parisian cabaret par excellence is currently hosting a fantastic show conceived by the former art director of the world-famous Cirque du Soleil. Not to be missed. 116, avenue des Champs-Élysées – Paris 8 http://www.lido.fr
- Chez Michou A small venue that has gained a larger-than-life reputation in the decades since it first opened in June 1956. Chez Michou puts on the most exuberant drag queen show in Paris. Even the waiters and barmen dress up and perform. 80, rue des Martyrs – Paris 18 http://www.michou.com Le Moulin Rouge ‘Féerie’, the current show at this iconic Paris cabaret at the foot of Montmartre hill, puts the spotlight on French cancan. Forty dancers perform high kicks and cartwheels on the huge stage. Pure enchantment! 82, boulevard de Clichy – Paris 18 http://www.moulinrouge.fr
- La Nouvelle Ève A beautiful venue with 1950s decor. The revue blurs the boundaries between music hall shows and cabaret. 25, rue Pierre-Fontaine – Paris 9 http://www.lanouvelleeveparis.com
- Le Paradis Latin This cabaret is an old favourite on the Left Bank. 28, rue du Cardinal-Lemoine – Paris 5 http://www.paradislatin.com
- Le Moulin Rouge ‘Féerie’, the current show at this iconic Paris cabaret at the foot of Montmartre hill, puts the spotlight on French cancan. Forty dancers perform high kicks and cartwheels on the huge stage. Pure enchantment! 82, boulevard de Clichy – Paris 18 http://www.moulinrouge.fr
There are hundreds of places to party in Paris proper as well as its region, Île-de-France. The following selection reflects the eclectic clubbing scene and its spread beyond the ring road – a boundary that clubbers seeking out headline events or specific musical experiences now cross without a second thought.
Paris nightlife spans such a range of sounds, venues and crowds that any music fan or visitor on a city break will find something to enjoy. From 11pm to 7am.
Paris has really put itself on the international map when it comes to electronic music, and specifically EDM (electronic dance music, a term coined in the US, covering multiple dance genres). French electronic music is incredibly vibrant: it has produced stars such as Flavien Berger, Laurent Garnier and David Guetta. The nightlife scene is variegated: pop-up raves in warehouses, dancefloors in intimate clubs, festivals and events put on by collectives, and parties in diverse locations by ‘no fixed address’ promoters.
With four of its clubs featuring on the World’s Best Club list, Paris is Europe’s nightlife capital.
- Le Badaboum This club in eastern Paris is one of the top spots in the city according to the World’s Best Club ranking. Excellent acoustics and big-name concerts every week, plus a Secret Room and a cocktail bar. 2 bis, rue des Taillandiers – Paris 11 http://www.badaboum.paris
- La Bellevilloise Always buzzing with a variety of cultural activities, from workshops by grassroots organizations to gypsy jazz brunches, the Bellevilloise extends over several levels, including a basement club playing world music, hip-hop and electro and a rooftop terrace in summer. 19-21, rue Moret – Paris 20 http://www.labellevilloise.com
Paris is the capital of fashion, and the City of Lights attracts many A-listers who like to party during Fashion Week or at any other time of year in clubs where they are guaranteed to see and be seen.
- Angie Club People who prefer not to stray too far afield from the ‘Golden Triangle’ area will like this beautiful, brand-new club. 105, rue Faubourg-Saint-Honoré – Paris 8 https://www.facebook.com/AngieClubParis
- L’Arc Near the Arc de Triomphe, this restaurant/club/terrace is the quintessence of luxury. Geared to an international clientele, it has decor by Lenny Kravitz, and hosts exclusive premières and parties. 12, rue de Presbourg – Paris 8 http://larc-paris.com
- Aquarium du Trocadéro – Cineaqua This venue often hosts parties. It is popular with young people in the upscale 16th arrondissement. 5, avenue Albert-de-Mun – Paris 16 http://www.cineaqua.com
- Le Baron The exclusive club frequented by everyone who’s anyone in Paris has a new team at the helm, but models and celebrities still come here to dance. 6, avenue Marceau – Paris 16 http://lebaronparis.fr
- Le Germain Club Paradisio This restaurant featuring an oversize sculpture by French artist Xavier Veilhan has a private cinema and a comfortable basement club hosting offbeat club nights from Thursday to Saturday. 25, rue de Buci – Paris 6 https://www.facebook.com/Legermainetclubparadisio
- Le Manko Located inside the prestigious Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, this Triangle d’Or establishment is a combination of a cocktail bar, restaurant with ambiance, a cabaret show put together by Club Sandwich Entertainment and a club. 15, avenue Montaigne – Paris 8 http://www.manko-paris.com
- La Mano Lionel Bensemoun of event agency La Clique – the founder of Le Baron, Nüba and Consulat – has opened a new place with a Latin American vibe, where models ‘dance and work out.’ 10, rue Papillon – Paris 9 https://www.facebook.com/lamanoparis
- Le Mathis This bar was on the trendy circuit in the 1970s. Now renovated, it hosts DJs on club nights, like the Vipères Assassines parties organized by Emmanuel Caurel.
LGBT nights out in Paris involve club-hopping, and are increasingly centred around ‘no fixed address’ parties. So visitors need to find out what’s on beforehand and sift through a range of clubs to narrow down the weekend party that best suits their tastes.
On weeknights, the two main spots for gay clubbing are Le Dépôt and CUD.
- Le CUD This dance club is a popular haunt of LGBT night owls all year round. 12, rue des Haudriettes – Paris 3 https://www.facebook.com/pg/cudbar
- Le Dépôt A legendary Paris gay club open seven days a week, with a DJ every night and plenty of cruising areas. Two floors, both open at weekends. 10, rue aux Ours – Paris 3 www.ledepot-paris.com
- After Scandal – Le Gibus This club draws a large late-night crowd of gays because of its friendly atmosphere and playlist of international gay party hits. 18, rue du Faubourg-du-Temple – Paris 11 http://www.gibus.fr
- Barbieturix The leading organizer of lesbian club nights. Their monthly Wet for Me parties at club and concert venue La Machine du Moulin Rouge are very popular. http://www.barbieturix.com
- Beardrop Well-attended dance parties for bears and their fans, held at Yoyo, the basement venue at the Palais de Tokyo. http://www.beardrop.com
- BLT Emmanuel Caurel and Julien Lapierre’s Bizarre Love Triangle party, with Patrick Vidal as resident DJ, attracts trendsetters to the legendary Maxim’s. The duo is also behind the Ghost club night at Silencio
If bachata, kizomba, R&B or hip-hop are your choice of dance music, read on. When it comes to clubs playing world music, Paris is the capital. New clubs have sprung up in the outer ring of suburbs, and the distance no longer deters either artistes or partygoers. PNL, the French hip-hop duo who shot to fame in 2016, started out at the Pharaon Club in the suburbs. This was before they began to play sold-out concerts in central Paris, and featured on the cover of music and culture magazine Les Inrockuptibles.
- La Bellevilloise One Sunday a month, DJ Gilles Peterson mixes international sounds at this venue, which also programmes many other events (both daytime and night-time) around jazz, hip-hop, world music and house. 19-21, rue Boyer – Paris 20 www.labellevilloise.com
- Bizzart A bar/restaurant/club with soaring ceilings, as in a New York loft. Bizz’Art is a magnet for fans of soul, hosting concerts and club nights by collectives like In Funk We Trust. 167, quai de Valmy – Paris 10 www.bizzartclub.com https://www.facebook.com/InFunkWeTrust
- Le Djoon The programming here is reminiscent of a Bronx or London club. Big names in garage (a more soulful version of house) perform in this basement club not far from the Seine. It is the Paris temple of black music genres like house, funk and R&B. 22, boulevard Vincent-Auriol – Paris 13 http://www.djoon.com
- Imperio Club The Imperio is split into two rooms with two ambiances, Latin and mainstream. Dress smart. 10, rue Fernand-Léger – 95480 Pierrelaye http://www.imperio-club.fr
Paris also has a range of mainstream clubs where you can party to pop hits and the latest charttoppers in a comfortable and pleasant setting. Partying is a social activity, but some tribes like to make entry a complicated business in order to carry out a selection process. These clubs, on the other hand, are for everybody. Café Oz This is an Australian cultural import – a pub with a welcoming atmosphere and beer from Down Under on tap, where everyone can come and party.
- The Café Oz chain is inaugurating its first rooftop pub this spring, on the roof of the Cité de la Mode et du Design. 34, quai d’Austerlitz – Paris 13 http://www.cafe-oz.com/fr
- Le Bus Palladium Serge Gainsbourg mentioned it in one of his songs. This rock-focused club drawing an affluent young crowd hosts concerts by British and American bands, with club nights after. Don’t miss the Club Ullmann parties. 6, rue Pierre-Fontaine – Paris 9 http://www.lebuspalladium.com
- Le Duplex A well-known club located near the Étoile, on the prestigious Avenue Foch. 2 bis, avenue Foch, Paris 16 http://www.leduplex.com
- Le Globo The historic cradle of French hip-hop dating back to the ‘Roger Boîte Funk’ party in 1987 is now a mainstream spot. It has become a regular weekend rendezvous for unpretentious dancing to upbeat Latin rhythms. 8, boulevard de Strasbourg – Paris 10 www.leglobo.fr
- Le Loft Metropolis This super-sized club straddling the southbound motorway can pack in thousands of revellers. Known for launching the electro dance craze known as Tecktonic in the 2000s, the Loft Metropolis is the southern Paris club par excellence. Rue du Pont-des-Halles, 94150 Rungis http://www.loftmetropolis.com
- Le Mix Club This big, modern and comfortable dance club is located beneath the Montparnasse Tower. 24, rue de l’Arrivée – Paris 15 www.mixclub.fr
Opening of nine parks at night from May to September. Now you can cool off at night after some hectic clubbing in nine public parks and gardens: Square Louis-XIII (4th) Jardins des Grands-Explorateurs Marco-Polo and Cavelier-de-la-Salle (6th) Parc Kellermann (13th) Parc Montsouris (14th) Parc André-Citroën (15th) Pelouses d’Auteuil (16th): night opening only when races are suspended in summer (July-August) Parc Martin-Luther-King (17th) Parc des Buttes-Chaumont (19th) Square Séverine (20th)
Practical info: http://www.paris.fr/jardinsnocturnes
Good news for partygoers who want to keep going after the sun comes up, and people who wake up in the mood to party: Paris hosts plenty of after parties, so you can wind up the night or start off the day in style!
From 7am to noon
- Chez Carmen The owner of this place turns 68 this year. Her bar, a stalwart of the Paris nightlife scene, is still going strong. 53, rue Vivienne – Paris 2 http://bit.ly/2jx4Nda
- Concrete Parisian promoter Surprize has irrevocably put its name out there by transposing nightlife into the daytime along the lines of Berlin club Berghain. Lasting from daybreak to the end of the following night, Surpize puts on all-day parties soundtracked by inspired electronic music artistes and resident DJs. Port de la Rapée – Paris 12 http://www.concreteparis.fr
- Le Moka Goncourt This newcomer to the Belleville district, located not far from Zorba, is fast becoming a favourite stop-off for clubbers heading back from a party in a warehouse or another bar. 75, rue du Faubourg-du-Temple – Paris 10 https://www.facebook.com/mokagoncourt
- Peripate An occasional daytime party drawing a mixed, friendly crowd of techno fans to the building beneath the ring road occupied by Freegan Pony, Europe’s first volunteer-led freegan canteen. Place Auguste-Baron – Paris 19 www.freeganpony.com
- Les Petits Tonneaux A convivial and affordable place easily reached by public transport near Place de la République. 17, rue du Faubourg-du-Temple – Paris 11
From midday to sundown, Paris offers a variety of partying options to suit different tastes. In summertime, people head to the riverside stretch known as Berges de Seine, or to industrial wastelands and green spaces in Greater Paris. And of course Paris has great café terraces, including some prestigious venues.
- Le 6B The 6B is a former office building on the banks of a canal, with spaces for work, artistic experimentation and creation. It hosts open-air parties. 6-10, quai de Seine – Saint-Denis 93200 http://www.le6b.fr
- Les Grands Voisins Once a hospital, this venue is now a gathering place for aperitif and yoga lovers, and for visitors staying at Paris’s only urban campsite. It hosts a few parties in summertime. 82, boulevard Denfert-Rochereau – Paris 14 https://lesgrandsvoisins.org
- La Javelle This guinguette-style open-air terrace is a hotspot for cultural exchange. It is a place for people of all ages and from all walks of life to meet and interact. Port de Javel-Bas – Paris 15 http://lajavelle.com
- La Halle Papin A pop-up for artistic creation and performance on a disused industrial site, run by the Soukmachines collective. 62, rue Denis-Papin – Pantin 93500 http://www.soukmachines.com/evenements-1-1-1-1
- Mains d’Œuvres This centre where artists and ordinary people are encouraged to give free rein to their imagination also hosts lively daytime parties with edgy music in all seasons. 1, rue Charles-Garnier – Saint-Ouen http://www.mainsdoeuvres.org
Children like to party too. Many of the music festivals in Paris make it easy for parents to take the kids along – no need to find babysitters! The ‘mini’ versions of the festivals are genuinely family friendly events, with organized games and workshops for kids (learning to play an instrument; recycling toys into something new; VJing, making prototypes in a fab lab, etc.).
- Little Sonique – 27 May-1 June Held alongside the Villette Sonique underground music festival, Little Sonique has interesting children’s activities, like music-making workshops and lessons on how to make your own synthesizer from a DIY kit. Parc de la Villette, 21, avenue Jean-Jaurès – Paris 19 http://www.villettesonique.com/little-villette
- Mini We Love Green – 10-11 June This ‘mini’ event is perfect for people who want to teach their kids things they can do to live sustainably. Several activities are organized: a bazaar, storytelling sessions, a collective fresco, outdoor games and workshops like ‘Create your plant’, ‘Make your own gardener’s hat’ and ‘Build a Native American teepee’. Bois de Vincennes – Paris 12 http://www.welovegreen.fr/espace-kids
- Mini Rock en Seine – 25-27 August This mini event is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017. The programme is tailored to children aged 6 to 10. It features workshops (DJing; computer-aided composition; acoustics), concerts and DJ sets just for kids: no parents allowed! From 4pm to 10.30pm. Booking is mandatory (via the website). http://www.rockenseine.com/inscriptions-mini-rock-en-seine
- Mini Weather – September This offshoot of the Weather Festival is the most electro-focused of the kids’ festivals, with a host of events to appeal to children: performances, a techno party with the rest of the family, a fashion show, a flash mob house dance and an introduction to house dance. Location and dates to be announced on the festival website. http://www.weatherfestival.fr/fr
Ballroom dancing can be enjoyed by people of any age. In Paris, many older people have their favourite places to go dancing, from the traditional bal musette on Place Mouffetard, complete with accordion music, to clubs where dances are organized.
- Le Balajo The Balajo at number 9, Rue de Lappe, has been around since 1935. Even today, it is a popular gathering place for people who enjoy tea dances.9, rue de Lappe – Paris 11 www.balajo.fr
- Dancing du Memphis This club with leopard print sofas – one of the oldest venues in Paris – hosts tea dances from 2.30pm to 7pm seven days a week. 3, impasse Bonne-Nouvelle – Paris 10 http://www.le-memphis.fr
- Petit Bal Musette The accordionist Christian Bassoul plays traditional bal musette tunes every Sunday from 11am to 4pm. Free. Opposite Saint-Médard Church, rue Mouffetard – Paris 5 http://www.petitbal.com
- Rainbow Evidanse This LGBT association organizes ballroom dance classes. Students can then show off their skills at balls held in different locations. The DJs expertly mix different musical genres (salsa, Argentine tango, world music, etc.). The association also produces the historic ‘Carnaval Interlope’ event, dating back to 1922, which is now held on the Rosa Bonheur sur Seine barge. http://rainbowevidanse.fr
- Tango – La Boîte à Frissons This welcoming club with the look of a vintage dance hall hosts a gay and lesbian ball on Friday and Saturday evenings. 13, rue au Maire – Paris 3 http://www.boite-a-frissons.fr
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