19th & 20th Arrondissement Activities
Cinéma en Plein Air à La Villette
Parc de la Villette, 211 Ave. Jean Jaurès, 19th Arrondissement
Each evening at dusk from Wednesday through the weekend, the Parc de la Villette presents an outdoor screening of a now-classic film. This summer’s selection includes Fargo, Corpse Bride, and The Seven Year Itch (all in English). It’s a popular activity, so pack a picnic and stake out a patch of grass early.
Parc de la Villette
211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 19th
Sited on a former industrial wasteland (the Parc de la Villette had served as a slaughterhouse since the 19th century until its rehabilitation in the '70s), this expansive cultural venue is the perfect marriage of old and new. Many of the original buildings—including the veterinarian hospital—are now exhibition halls, and 10 themed gardens, many of which are devoted to kids, dot the landscape. All-in, the Parc de la Villette now houses the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, three major concert venues, and the Conservatoire de Paris. Photograph by Arnaud Legrain
La Cité des Sciences
30 Avenue Corentin Cariou, 19th
A planetarium, an aquarium, a submarine, an IMAX theatre? Check and check. The museum covers everything from microbiology to outer space, and kids ages 3-12 and 12-15 each get their own ‘Cité’ where learning is interactive. Plan to spend the whole day here, as it's huge (and fascinating), but avoid the weekends which get annoyingly crowded.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
1 Rue Botzaris, 19th
Opened in 1864, the Parc des Butte Chaumont was actually a giant public works project: It's called after Chauve-mont, which means bleak hill, because before its makeover, it was actually a dump (as well as a site where they displayed the bodies of hanged criminals). After years of terracing, planting, and construction (everything, from the man-made lake to the cliffs, was molded into shape), the park opened to huge crowds. Beyond just being a lovely place to pass the day (particularly when it's spent drinking wine at Rosa Bonheur), the grotto, waterfalls, and Temple de la Sibylle are big draws—along with a bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
16 Rue du Repos, 20th
Paris's largest (and most historic) cemetery plays home to pretty much everyone you'd ever want to commune with after death: Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Gertrude Stein, and Édith Piaf all rest here—plots are still available, but the waiting list is long. Photograph by Chemin Errazu
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