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jul 07 2010

Paris: 5 best July values

What to do in Paris this month…

Les Soldes (June 30–August 3)

The season for frenzied shopping began in Paris on a very hot June 30 and will continue through early August. The city's bi-annual sales are the only time when French retailers are allowed to sell their products at a loss to liquidate their stock and make room for new collections. Reductions this summer are expected to be high—around 50 percent off—from the very beginning and to climb even higher toward the end of the five week period. (Tips on navigating the sales.)

Fête Foraine du Jardin des Tuileries (June 26–August 22)

The city's annual summer fair has just opened in the Tuileries gardens next to the Louvre (1st arrondissement). Rickety rides, barbe à papa (cotton candy) and carnival games make this Fête a lot of fun for traveling families, and the giant Ferris wheel provides an incredible panoramic view of Paris. On July 13–14 the fair will host a series of free jazz manouche performances to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of musician Django Reinhardt. From 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. on weekdays and until 12:45 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. feteforaine-jardindestuileries.com.

Tous à vélo (July 1–4)

The centerpiece of this four day celebration of cycling is a Critical Mass bike ride on Saturday, July 3. Want to ride through the streets of Paris in a pack of thousands? Rent a Velib' bicycle (check out Budget Travel's video on how to do rent a bike), then meet up anytime after 2 p.m. for a 4 p.m. departure from the Hôtel de Ville (4th arrondissement). The ride will culminate in a party with music and food (the location to be shared only with those who ride). velorutionuniverselle.org.

Paris Cupcake Camp (July 4)

Following similarly sprinkled events in Montreal, Bombay and other cities, Paris will soon be hosting its very own Cupcake Camp. Local sugarmamas like Berko, Synie's Cupcakes, Chloé S., Cupcakes & Co., and Little Miss Cupcake will be sharing sweets and baking tips, and participants will taste and vote for the winning cupcakes in several categories. A portion of each €10 ($13) entry, which includes tastings and a beverage, will benefit the charity Rebuilding Haiti Now. From 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Bistrot Vivienne, 4 rue des Petits Champs, 2nd arrondissement. rebuildinghaitinow.org.

Street Food Soiree #2: Fish & Fries (July 5)

The free foodie magazine M.I.A.M. will be hosting a street food party to celebrate Fish & Chips—the British dish that turns 150 years old this year. Beginning at 7 p.m., revelers will be downing Zubrowka cocktails (a bison grass vodka rarely seen in the U.S.) and tucking into cones of fish and chips prepared by celebrated Japanese chef Toyomitsu Nakayama (restaurant Toyo). DJs will be spinning on the banks of the Seine from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets at €15 ($19) for can be purchased online or at the door. Le Batofar, Port de la Gare, 75013, batofar.org.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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