Welcome to October! Autumn is a great season in Paris, when the weather is still fairly warm but the crowds are much smaller than during the hot summer months. The lines at major attractions are shorter and it's easier to snag a table at that popular cafe. If you've planned a trip to Paris this month, you're in luck, because there are plenty of great activities happening around the city this month. Here are 10 that I think are great!
This all-night festival is a showcase of activities, art, and performance featuring local and international artists. Although this year the focus is on locations on the right bank of the city, activities can be found all around Paris. Have young kids? Not to worry, there are activities for them too! This festival has inspired Nuit Blanche festivals in cities around the world, and is a world-class event.
- Date: October 3-4, 2015
There aren't many wine growing areas in Paris these days, but there remains a small vineyard in the Montmartre region that celebrates the harvest each year with a large festival. There is a parade, performances, workshops, and of course, wine! The festival runs over the course of several days, with some activities requiring reservations and others open to all. There are kid-friendly activities as well.
- Date: October 7-11, 2015
- In the Montmartre area of Paris
If you are a chocolate lover, this is for you. This Salon du Chocolat is a multi-day event that brings together some of the world's best chocolatiers showcasing their goods. The highlight for me isn't the tasting, but the competition to create sculpture from chocolate. The artists who compete are truly incredible, and they produce artistic masterpieces that you have to see to believe. It will also host the World Chocolate Masters Finals. Children are welcome and can participate in workshops at the Chocoland exhibit. Tickets can be purchased online.
- Date: October 28-November 1
- Porte de Versailles
I am not a fan of horse racing myself, but if you are, then this is the premier horse-racing event in France. This event attracts enthusiasts from around the world, and has been an ongoing tradition since 1920. It's an excuse to get dressed up, mingle, and watch some racing.
- Date: October 3-4, 2015
- Longchamp Racetrack
If you are a modern art fan, you are in for a treat. This event is centered in the Grand Palais but also has both indoor and outdoor exhibits across the city in a number of galleries and museums. There are over 175 exhibitors and 3127 artists represented. This is truly one of the best art fairs in the country. Tickets available online. Children under the age of 12 are free.
- Date: October 22-25, 201
Yes, you heard me. Zombie Walk. Who says Paris is all about monuments and museums? Get your undead on and join the zombie walk that leaves at 1pm from Place de la Republique. A different way to experience the city, that's for sure!
- Date: October 3, 2015
- Place de la Republique
Yes, I know you probably have Netflix where you live, but hear me out. Netflix is fairly new here in France, and as a promotional campaign they have organized 15 different themed movie marathons to be shown in different locations around the city over the course of 5 days. For example, Romance is being shown on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, while Children's movies are being screened at the Aquarium. A fun way to relax on a rainy day in some great locales around the city.
Date: October 15-19, 2015
If you have kids, or are a kid at heart, Disneyland Paris is the place to be this Halloween. They have special activities happening all month long, as well as a special party on Halloween night. Pumpkins, costumes (for the kids), rides, and candy. What more could a kid ask for on Halloween? Plus, it's easily acceptable on public transportation.
- Date: Throughout the month of October.
PSG or Paris Saint Germain has been on top of Ligue 1 lately, and is making an impression in the Champion's League as well. They have four home games in October, and their home stadium is located just on the edge of the city. The stadium is world class, and the team has some international stars. There is even a highly anticipated game against Real Madrid this month.
- Dates: Various dates in October
- Parc des Princes
Paris has always been a jazz haven, and this year's jazz festival promises to be one of the best ever. Taking place in 20 venues, it features 120 concerts and 450 musicians. In addition to concerts, the festival also hosts a variety of workshops ranging from beginner to masterclass. For full details, check the website.
- Date: October 9-24, 2015