Paris Plages 2010 – the Paris summer beach!
Continues until 20th August!

Originally devised for the Parisians who can’t leave the city during the summer (like, er, us), this yearly event has grown up and chilled out over the last 9 years. Now it has a host of deck chairs, sand (yep!) and events on two sites next to the water. Something for everyone for a whole month, and all free! Here’s the details…

photos : JasonW

2009’s summer was a bit rubbish, weather-wise. Torrential rain and not a lot of heat. However, 2010 looks a lot more promising (or even too hot?) for Paris Plages. No startling innovations this year, but a lot of space to just relax, read a book, learn some dance moves, do a bit of sport, get the kids to made things, see some concerts… and all for zero euros. Can’t really argue with that.
Our selection of top stuff to do?

– Ukelele lesson every Thursday, for kids and adults (not at the same time)
– 300 books at your disposal for a nice quiet read
– cultural walks for discovering the Seine
– Smoothie-making workshops. Yum!
– Eco stuff! Rubbish sorting explained, electrically-assisted bicycles to try out…
– Sport : boules and table football for the lightweights, fencing and canoeing for the hardcore jocks.

Don’t forget that although the event used to be limited just to the central part of the Seine, it has now spread to the square in front of Hôtel de Ville and even the canal at the Bassin de La Villette, which means that you can go on pedal boats or walk on water in giant inflatable spheres! The kids will love it.

There are loads of ways to keep up to date with what’s going on at Paris Plages 2010 too:

an iPhone application especially for Paris Plages 2010 (free!)
a Facebook group
a Twitter account (followed by less than 15 people when we wrote this article, and containing not a single tweet)
– and of course the official Paris Plages 2010 site, completely translated into English:

Here are the maps of the sites.

Paris Plages is on until 20th August 2010.

Paris Plages key figures

– 2,800 metres along the Seine.
– 1,500 metres at bassin de la Villette.
– 16,800 hours altogether.
– 1,350 tons of sand.
– 350 deck chairs, 200 tables.
– 800 chairs, 250 parasols, 40 hammocks.
– 50 palm trees and 80 other trees.
– 10 cafés et 6 glaciers.
– 1 barge to carry the sand.
– 5 nights and 4 days to set everything up.