Every summer, palm trees, deck chairs and tons of sand descend upon Paris to transform parts of the city into Paris Plages (Paris Beaches), a month-long event originally created in 2002 to relieve Parisians from the sweltering August heat and to satisfy their seaside cravings. This free event has since expanded beyond its beginnings around Pont Neuf and become so popular that other European cities (like Berlin, Brussels and Madrid) have adopted a similar event.
My boys have been itching to go to the beach, so before we head to the ocean ourselves, they got a little taste last Sunday right here in the city. With plenty of activities and lots of options for refreshments, overall it's a wonderful way to spend a summer day. My favorite section was the Louvre à la plage installation set up under the Tunnel des Tuileries - it was basically a mini art gallery where you're invited to discover pieces from the Louvre's vast collection. There's even a table set up for little ones to color and draw their own masterpieces.
Ice cream by the river with seagulls overhead pacified my boys' yearning for the ocean,... for now :)
Official Site: Paris Plages
Dates: 19 Jul - 17 Aug 2014
Hours: Everyday, 9am - midnight