- 20, Mar 2019
- All things Paris
- Amanda Mehtala
You never know what kind of weather April will bring to Paris, a bit of rain, or some sunshine to welcome in the blooming flowers. Whatever the weather, there's never a lack of new and exciting local activities to explore in Paris. Here's the latest in our monthly Paris events calendar, all the events, shows, expositions and more you can't miss in Paris in April 2019.
First things first, April 1st that is! - Poisson d’avril
What many know as April Fool’s Day is referred to in France as the Poisson d’avril, April Fish! While the origins of this silly holiday remain confusing at best and vary from one country to the next, the commonality is always is always found in a day full of kind hearted pranks. You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with fish. For the answer, you’ll have to head back to the 16th century in France, when France first adopted the Gregorian or Western calendar. Before this big calendar change, however, the new year’s celebration was always the beginning of April, and celebrated with an exchange of small gifts and food, oftentimes being fish in recognition of the upcoming Lent period. Many didn’t want to give up the old ways, or simply hadn’t yet heard about the change and carried on exchanging a small token to welcome the month of April. After centuries of some well-meaning mockery, the exchange of fish and candies has been largely engrained to represent this silly holiday for all of France. Nowadays, each and every candy and chocolate store in the city will feature decadent window displays of ornately decorated fish, and sticking a paper fish to your friend’s back is a favourite schoolyard prank!
Copyright MNHN 2019
Ocean exhibit at Natural History Museum (Musée d'histoire naturelle)
Opens April 3, runs through January 2020
Discover the most surprising secrets of the deep sea in the latest exposition at Paris’ beautiful Museum of Natural History. Sure to please all ages, this deep ocean special demonstrates the wonders of marine biodiversity right in the heart of the Jardin des Plantes. An incredible museum and a long-awaited exposition, explore the wonders of the natural world, above and below sea at this Parisian museum. Looking for more kid friendly activities or quirky museums in Paris? Details here
Last chance for Che Malambo at the Théâtre Bobino
The Argentinian dance sensation Che Malambo has been delighting Parisian audiences for the past few months, and April is your last chance to see the talented troupe before they continue their world tour! Coming only after the tango, the Malambo is the second national dance of Argentina. Be transported by the rhythmic energy rich in traditions, a cocktail of dance and concert rooted in equestrian vitality! Che Malambo is a dynamic blend of precision footwork, rhythmic stomping, drumming and song. With no dialogue at all, anyone can enjoy this energetic crew, playing Wednesday through Sundays until April 21, 2019 at the Théâtre Bobino.
Foire du Trône - the oldest French fairground!
April 5 - June 2, 2019
La Foire du Trône (in English, the Throne Fair), is the largest carnival in France and the oldest. This year marked its 1062nd anniversary, having begun in the days of knights in shining armor, as both a carnival and market especially known for spiced bread and delicacies. The event has come a long way since then, and now welcomes over 5 million visitors annually for thrills, fun, and treats. In 2019 it will run for about 60 days from April to June, so never fear: there is a wide window to catch all the games, fun and sensations. Seated on the lawn of Reuilly, La Foire du Trone provides entertainment for the whole family from typical carnival food, such as cotton candy, candy apples, waffles and donuts, to thrilling rides such as the 80 meter high Skyfall, and the nostalgic carousel. More details
Art Paris at the Grand Palais
April 4-7, 2019
The Art Paris fair brings together 150 modern and contemporary art galleries from 20 countries in the magnificent Grand Palais. A perfect place for discovery and rediscovery, the fair combines a region-by-region exploration of European art from the post-war years to the present day and a cosmopolitan perspective on the new horizons of international creation from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Alongside the main exhibition programme, the fair will present a critical and subjective overview of the work of women artists in France curated by AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions.
Our advice? This Paris event tends to draw quite a crowd, we recommend reserving tickets in advance online, they even have special student discounts! More details
Cabaret Burlesque Show at La Nouvelle Seine
A collection of talented performers each with a particular style combine glam and rock in hilarious fashion. The retro aesthetics of this intimate show make for a quintessentially Parisian cabaret like you've never seen before! Making a triumphant return to the Parisian stage in this unique collection of acts, prepare to discover and rediscover the art of burlesque, as this show breathes new life into the age-old Parisian tradition. Performed each and every Friday and Saturday evening at La Nouvelle Seine, a unique venue on a boat in the shadow of Notre Dame itself!
Black Models, from Géricault to Matisse - new exhibit at the Musée D’Orsay
April - July, 2019
A much-anticipated new exposition arrives this April to the Musée D’Orsay, demonstrating the esthetique, political, social and racial stigmas surrounding the representation of black models in the visual arts, from the abolition of slavery in France in late 18th century to present day.The exposition is centralised around the model, and thus the dialogue between this model and the artist and how this dialogue and representation evolved and changed throughout history, continuing today. More details
Paris Planète Bière
April 7-8, 2019
For beer lovers around the world, you won’t want to miss the fifth edition of the Paris Planète Bière, the Paris beer festival boasting over 600 beers to discover and sample. In addition to exploring the hundreds of exhibitors from around the globe, the 2-day programme is full of interesting keynote speakers and hands-on workshops to get a behind the scenes look at the beer making process directly from the experts. Like many other amazing Paris special events, the beer festival will take place at the Porte de la Villette. More details
Schneider Electric Paris Marathon
April 14, 2019
This year marks the 43rd edition of the Paris Marathon, sponsored as always by Schneider Electric. Starting on the Champs-Elysées, crossing the city to tour Vincennes, and then make a triumphant finish by the Arc de Triomphe, the Paris marathon is one of the most scenic routes we can think of! While registration is closed for this year, you can still come cheer on the athletes and be a part of this favorite Parisian event.
Paris Bridal Fair at the Porte de Versailles Expo Center
April 13-15, 2019
For any brides to be, what better than a bridal fair in the city of romance? The only event bringing international and French designers and key players in the bridal industry together under one roof. Whether you’re planning a dream Parisian wedding, or simply want to be a princess (or prince!) for the day in marriage bliss, this will be an event to remember. More details
Foire de Paris at the Porte de Versailles Expo Center
April 27 - May 8, 2019
This Paris Fair is a feature of French artisans, with a focus on handcrafted homegoods & furnishings, fashion and accessories, beauty products, and artwork. Talented designers and producers from all over the world gather to demonstrate their craftsmanship, and the 2019 edition features a special focus on the tropics. A perfect place to get a unique souvenir, or simply browse many Made in France wares. More details
Looking for more unique springtime activities in Paris?