Once the sun comes out, Parisians love getting outdoors! And there are plenty of things to do for everyone, from fitness classes to gardening, treasure hunts, and exhibitions … Read on!
Martial arts and yoga
Paris’s parks are popular with fitness fans who enjoy working out either on their own or in a class. If you are a Qi jong enthusiast, go along to the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont any morning at 9am for a free introductory outdoor session, or to the Parc de La Villette on Saturday. Yoga fans have plenty to choose from as numerous studios or apps offer classes in parks and gardens in Paris. Oly Be, for example, organizes classes in the evenings and at weekends in the Tuileries Gardens, the Parc André Citroën or the Parc Monceau. Just check out their programme of events to see what suits you. The YUJ brand also offers classes, among other things, in Place des Vosges, the Champs-de-Mars or the Bois de Boulogne. And, numerous independent teachers give classes and workout sessions on a regular basis, so feel free to approach them or follow them on social networks. One such example is Yogaligned which combines yoga and a picnic in the Tuileries Gardens.
Training sessions with or without a coach
The Outdoor Corner, Urban Challenge, Urban Sports Club… Many apps and gyms have adapted and now offer coaching and bootcamp workouts outdoors – a great way of exercising using public infrastructure rather than staying cooped up indoors.
If you want to work out on your own, Paris has numerous sporting facilities. This year, the Parc de Villette has opened a 1,540 m² street-workout space. Plus, you can also work out in the capital’s many pubic parks and gardens, along the Coulée Verte, on the pedestrianized Seine riverbanks … You are simply spoilt for choice!
Tennis, skateboarding, swimming or petanque
Paris has an abundance of sports facilities: skateparks for skateboarders and riders (Skate parc Bercy, République, Skate Park Léon Cladel à Bourse, Bowl de la Muette, Skatepark Quai de Jemmapes …), tennis courts to rent by the hour or outdoor swimming pools like the Josephine Baker pool or the one at Butte-aux-Cailles. Petanque fans enjoy meeting up along the Canal de l’Ourq, on the courts on Avenue Richard Lenoir, on Auai de Valmy, at the Arènes de Lutèce or in the Palais-Royal gardens.
Art has been escaping into streets and gardens. This year, many exhibitions have been organized outdoors. Look out for the exhibition featuring Geluck’s cat on the Champs-Élysées, the ‘Fables de Calao’ visual and sound trails in the Goutte d'Or district, the exhibition ‘Fragiles colosses’ (‘Vulnerable giants’) by Michel Bassompierre in the Jardin des Plantes, posters of the greatest Louis de Funès films in Bercy Village, the travelling exhibition ‘Nous la Commune’ by Dugubus and works from the new open-air art gallery Spot 13 in the 13th a few steps from Galerie Lavo//matik.
Otherwise, you can always admire the works of important artists to be found around town, like the monumental street art works in the 13th or 19th arrondissements, the Buren columns, fountains, the Kiosque des Noctambules or the statues in the gardens of the Musée Rodin or in the Luxembourg Gardens.
Walks and outings
Many companies like Échappée Belle, Vivre Paris … offer fun, offbeat, and exciting tours to discover the city in a new light. On a walk, with a guide, information cards or your phone, you will see the city from a whole new perspective: the Paris of crime, the ‘Années Folles’, the secrets of Montmartre … Urban orienteering and treasure hunts are also great options with apps like Paris Region Aventure or Explorhappy. A must for families and friends.
From spring onwards, green spaces offer gardening classes to learn more about plants. Of note, the Maison du Jardinage at Bercy, and also the association Culture(s) en Herbe(s) which holds workshops in the Jardin Marcotte (11th) or at the Murs à Pêches in Montreuil. You can ask your neighbourhood associations what is available in your area.
And if you are looking for a water activity, why not go rowing on Lake Daumesnil, or on the lake in the Bois de Boulogne or rent one of the little boats (no licence required) at Marin d’Eau Douce on the canals? A change of scene guaranteed!