We like to open every month with a selection of the best events and things not to be missed in France ! May brings even more excitement and glamour with loads of memorable experiences for you to discover!
Don’t miss our little French culture snapshot at the end too…
01 Beyond the limits by Teamlab
After its tour to Tokyo, Shenzhen, and Singapore, the digital art team —— Teamlab is coming to Paris! From May 15th to September 9th, Teamlab is presenting a spectacular new exhibition “Beyond the limits” at La Grande Halle de la Villette.
In this innovative space, visitors can interact with the 3D digital world within a huge 2,000 square meter exhibition area.
“Teamlab wants to eliminate the boundaries between people and the world. Audiences are active participants in art and eventually become a part of art. And audiences immersed in interactive works of art will become more aware of the existence of others.”
Come take a deep dive into this unique experience!
02 Artists and Robots
With the development of artificial intelligence, more and more new works have collided between traditional art and AI. Now are the last weeks of “Artists & Robots”, exhibited at the Grand Palais in Paris until July 9th, providing a high degree of audience interaction. The exhibition has been raising many questions, debates and controversy since its opening. The exhibition consists of more than 30 works including creative machines, or programmed artwork, showing the evolution of artists and robots interaction in time. It covers painting, sculpture, design, film, music and other fields, all questioning where can the boarder be, between art and modern science? Come question your assumptions in this interactive virtual world.
03 Fête de la musique
The annual music festival is a passionate day for French people to share music: listening, playing or dancing to music! For this one day of the year, regardless of how professional or amateur, any musician is invited to go out and play ! It’s entirely free and whether it is Jazz, Soul, Reggae, Rock, Pop or Classic, you can walk to the streets and express your love of music on this day.
Following tradition and celebrating the arrival of summer, the 37th Music Festival Day will be held on June 21st. Expect over 100 official performances in various stages, including 86 just for the Paris area. At the Tokyo Palace, the Grand Palace, the Marais District, the Latin Quarter, and Neuilly, there will be performances! But also almost anywhere you head to, amateurs will be playing on the streets! Friends in France remember to check the official website of the event and go out together!
If you are not in France, don’t worry. The French Music Festival is also celebrated in more than 340 cities on the five continents. French and local performances will be organized by the Festival iIn Japan, India, Malaysia, and the United States, so you will somehow have the opportunity to feel the enthusiasm of the French people!
MNM Reminder: Make sure to bring a portable charger with you and record all the fun you’re going to have!
04 Horse racing – Prix de Diane
Le Prix de Diane is a flat-level horse race designed for three-year-old female purebred horses in June each year. Held in Chantilly, France, it is one of the most beautiful racecourses in the world and definitely one of the most prestigious in France! Origin of the name is the mythological hunting goddess Diana (French written “Diane”), the event is often referred to as the French Oaks too.
In addition to being the highlight of the racing season, Le Prix de Dianne is where dressed up ladies come together to be seen. During the competition, the organizer will invite one of the Longines brand ambassadors of the moment. Previously, Kate Winslet and Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai were some of the famous high profiles during the event.
Each year, the “Miss Elegance Diana” competition is the most eye-catching part of the day outside the tournament. All the ladies attending the event on the same day can register for the election. The best-dressed lady who wins will receive an exquisite Ladies Longines watchfrom the hands of the “event star” herself. Blue sky, green grass, castles, ladies, gentlemen, costumed attendance, grassy picnics, this glamorous combination can only be seen in France!
MNM Reminder: Admission tickets is 18 euros but accesses to observation decks, restaurants, etc. are sold separately. Remember to bring a picnic basket, or go for one of the lunch picnic boxes at the event itself.
Things To Do
05 Versailles night fountain show
The Palace of Versailles, the former Palace of Louis the XIV, the King Sun, is one of the jewels of a visit to Paris! There are 1400 large and small fountains in the hundred hectares garden and a 1.6-kilometer cross-shaped artificial Grand Canal, building a sophisticated design known as the most iconic example of French classical garden. Versailles is where the water and the sky meet in subtle reflections, shapes and colors as you wander along the alleys, remembering the magnificence and splendor of the Grand Siecle.
But every Saturday night between June and September, Versailles also celebrates the night with an unforgettable, musical fireworks display over the fountains, which are put into operation especially for the event! You can literally travel back in time and feel how it must have been like to rule over this Palace, listening to classical music played in the gardens, seeing the fountains come to life and watching the “Fetes des nuits” fireworks over Versailles. Expect a fabulous atmosphere you will never forget about!
06 Become a duchess at Vaux-le-Vicomte
On Sunday, June 3rd, will be the Grand Siècle Day at Vaux-le-Vicomte, one of our favorite events! On this day, costume lovers or classical times fans will come dressed at their best in their own French-style court costumes, with high curly hair buns, painted white cheeks and all embellishments that were typical of that past style of beauty, bringing you right back to the 17th century ! Some of the participants spend the entire year preparing their attire for the event!
As every year, organizers will take photos of the event according to various themes. Once on Facebook, the general public can then vote and choose their favorites, who win the 17th-century best dress award for each theme. On the Grand Siècle Day itself, other highlights include musketeers’ military exercises and old dancing classes. If you want to increase your understanding of French court life during Louis XIV, or simply have exhilarating fun feeling in the past, you really cannot miss this day!
The Baroque-style French castle, surrounded by the moat, is a turning point for the fate of French Finance Minister Nicholas Fouquet. The young Nicholas Fouquet eventually became a political victim, and the castle also experienced four families.
MNM Reminder: Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte is 50 kilometers from Paris and a 50-minutes drive. From Paris you can take public transport but we recommend having your own car. On June 3rd, the Costumed visitors will be given priority access at 10:00am and will receive a discount on the entrance ticket. You can also rent clothing at the venue.
Do it like the French
07 the Picnic
How do French people feel about picnics? Just look around: they obviously love it and nothing can stop them from eating outdoors. From grabbing a coffee to go, to eating on a terrace or organizing your own picnic with family and friends, it’s part of the culture to enjoy your food under the nice weather. The history of French picnics can be traced back to the 17th century and this activity has almost been elevated to an art! Nowadays picnics have become ubiquitous and as soon as the sun is shining, you will see French friends and families literally invading parks, river banks or any other space to have their food!
What do you usually bring in a picnic in France?
First of all, you need a basket. Obviously.
In France, people usually take food that is easy to share, using cutlery or simply your hands to eat. Bread, salads, ham slices, spreads, cheese, fruits, and small desserts are all French favorite picnic choices. Top it up with a good bottle of wine or some sparkling water to refresh yourself, and you’re good to go!