First, the Fête

photo: opera, palais garnier

The home of ballet-type fêtes, the Opéra's Palais Garnier.

Then, the Beach

Paris:- Saturday, 7. July 2001:- The summer's holidays have officially begun, with the season's second big exodus taking place this weekend. The final big push will happen next weekend, during the 'Fête Nationale,' or Bastille day celebration.

This should leave the coming week clear to take in the spring season's 'last chances' - listed below - which will be closing their doors around next weekend. Keep your eyes open for their posters around the city, because some of them can sprout 'prolonged' stickers suddenly - perhaps adding a couple of weeks to their runs.



The eve of Bastille day and the day itself are the season's last official - and popular - 'fêtes,' and they include the traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysées, with 'popular' neighborhood 'bals' on both days.

Two Big 'Bals' - one will be at the Place de la Bastille, beginning at 22:00 and continuing untilphoto: expo, palais royal, sculpt antonio lopez garcia, hombre de pie 02:00, with the music of the Grand Orchestra Gilles Pellegrini, with the singer Yannic to be featured from midnight for 40 minutes. Paris 4, 11 and 12. Métros: Saint-Paul, Sully- Morland, Chemin-Vert, Bréguet-Sabin or Ledru-Rollin.

In the garden of the Palais Royal, pieces of sculpture on show. The closest one is by Antonio López-Garcia.

The Parvis de la Hôtel de Ville - will be the scene of the other grand 'Bal,' also beginning at 22:00 and continuing until 01:00 or 02:00. Music will be supplied by Les Arrosés and the Tryo group. Both of these 'Bals' will be held on Friday, 13. July. Paris 4. Possible métro stops for the Hôtel de Ville will be Châtelet, Cité, Pont-Marie and the RER 'C' line's Saint-Michel stop.

Fête the Eve of the Fête de la Bastille - at the firemen's balls scattered around Paris. Montmartre started it in 1937 and the good-natured brave lads party on; all these are on Friday, 13 and Saturday, 14. July, mostly with live music. Rousseau, 21. Rue du Jour, Paris 1; Sévigné, 7. Rue Sévigné, Paris 4; Blanche, Rue Blanche, Paris 9; Chaligny, 26. Rue de Chaligny, Paris 12; Champerret, 3. Rue de l'Yser, Paris 17 and Montmartre at 12. Rue Carpeaux, Paris 18. Métro: Guy-Moquet. The first fête lasted until the afternoon of the next day, and everyone at it missed the Champs-Elysées parade.

Military Parade - this always takes place on the whole Champs-Elysées, from Etoile to the Place de la Concorde. Guest of honor will be Spain's King Juan Carlos, and Spain's Royal Guards will be participating in the parade and the musical entertainment. The parade begins at 10:00 and will last until about 11:30. This is a rain or shine affair, so be prepared. On Saturday, 14. July. An official viewing stand has already been set up at the Place de la Concorde. Paris 8. Métros: count on the métro stops at Etoile, George V, Franklin Roosevelt, Clemenceau and Concorde being closed - arrive by way of the next nearest ones.

Fireworks - have their day on Saturday, 14. July, beginning about 22:30. The dazzlers will be fired off from the Trocadéro's gardens, so the best place to be is across the Seine on the Champ de Mars, with possibly 350,000 other Fête Nationale fans. The show will last about 40 minutes with a Charles Trenet theme, and is usually held rain or shine. Paris 7. Métros: Alma-Marceau, Ecole Militaire, Bir Hakeim or La Motte-Picquet- Grenelle - also the RER 'C' line stops of Pont de l'Alma and Champ de Mars.

Coincidences Fatales - is the name on an exhibition subtitled 'Alfred Hitchcock et l'Art' which features 200 art objects plus 300 photos from Hitchcock's films, some film posters, and 40 extracts from the master's films. Except Tuesdays, open from 11:00 to 21:00 daily, until Monday, 24. September. At the Centre Georges Pompidou, Place George Pompidou, Paris 4. Métro: Rambuteau. InfoTel.: 01 44 78 12 33.

Chillida - is one on the 20th century's most important sculptors and this exhibition features his works in all materials from lead to paper. Until Sunday, 16. September. Closed Mondays; open on Tuesdays from 12:00 to 21:30, Wednesday to Friday from 12:00 to 19:00 and on weekends from 10:00 to 19:00. At the Jeu de Paume, 1. Place de la Concorde, Paris 8. Métro: Concorde. InfoTel.: 01 47 03 12 50.

Paris' Canals - are featured in an exhibition with the full title of 'De Biefs en Ecluses, Les Canauxposter: expo, de biefs en ecluses, canaux, salon d'acceuil, paris de Paris.' Canals are still used for working, but mainly for all sorts of pleasures - not like in the 19th century when Parisians were short of water. This exhibition features the history of everything surrounding them. Until Saturday, 29. September. Except on Sundays, from 9:30 to 18:30. In the Salon d'Acceuil of the Hôtel de Ville, 29. Rue de Rivoli, Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville. InfoTel.: 01 42 76 43 43. Free entry.

Quartier d'Eté - a vast variety of events make up this summer's Paris program of artistic treats - from techno to opera to circuses - to be performed on streets, places and unusual locations throughout the city. This program goes on more or less non-stop from about Saturday, 14. July until mid-August. Some of these events are free and others are not. The Quartier d'Eté Web site should have complete details. InfoTel.: 01 44 94 98 00.

Ciné l'Eté - formerly 'Aout au Ciné,' now begins on Sunday, 15. July. If you are under 25 your cinema seat costs 25 francs. The list of participating cinemas can be found on a postcard, available nearly everywhere. At the boxoffice, be prepared to prove your age. The program continues until Friday, 31. August. These conditions are also accepted at the outdoor movies at La Villette and the Parc André Citroën. InfoTel.: 08 20 00 75 75.

Forum des Images - has a full-summer program for kids, plus one for adults, with 'adult' themes until Sunday, 29. July. Starting on Thursday, 16. August, 'Le Film Dans le Film,' which will feature movies that have featured movies as subjects. Then there will be a shorter 'Etrange Festival' from 22. August until 4. September. Screenings from Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00 to 21:00. At the Forum des Images, Porte Sainte-Eustache, Forum des Halles, Paris 1. Métro: Châtelet-Les Halles. InfoTel.: 01 44 76 62 00.

Antique Métro Rides - because of the métro's 100th anniversary last year, the RATP has decided to re-re-run the old red and green 'Sprague' wagons dating from the '30s. The line chosen for this is the six, between Kléber and Nation, which is largely elevated and crosses the Seine twice. Brief photo-op stops are made on the Bir-Hakeim and Bercy bridges. Reckon on 80 minutes for the round-trip. Trains leave from the Kléber station at 14:30 and 16:30. These trains will be running on Sundays only - on the 15. and 29. July; the 12. and 26. August; 9. and 23. September and 7. October. Reservations are necessary. InfoTel.: 01 48 04 22 65.

Last Chances

Springtime for Italy - Italian art could stand up to the test of modernism, from 1880 to 1910. In addition to this major exhibition also see Carlo Bugatti and Gabriele d'Annunzio. Until Sunday, 15. July. Open from 10:00 to 18:00; until 21:45 on Thursdays. Musée d'Orsay, Quai de Anatole France, Paris 7. Métro: Solférino or RER Musée d'Orsay. InfoTel.: 01 40 49 48 14.

Strebelle à Paris - from the Opéra and along the Rue de la Paix, and filling the Place Vendôme, find the monumental - really huge! - sculptures of Olivier Strebelle, on show until Friday, 15. July. Paris 1 and 2. Métro: Opéra or Madeleine. Free entry of course - open non-stop. Mentioned in a recent issue.

Dessins Romantiques Français - rarely seen works from private collections. This show continues until Sunday, 15. July; from 10:00 to 18:00 daily except Mondays. In addition to the museum, other activities are organized here, such as toursposter: expo, jeu de paume, chillida of the quarter. Featured in a recent Metropole issue. At the Musée de la Vie Romantique - Hôtel Scheffer-Renan, 16. Rue Chaptal, Paris 9. Métro: Saint-Georges or Pigalle. InfoTel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

Viel Spaß* - will show aspects of the contemporary German artistic scene, as represented by six artists. Viel Spaß continues until Friday, 13. July. Open Monday to Friday, from 10:00 to 19:00. At the Espace Paul Ricard, 9. Rue Royale, Paris 8. Métro: Concorde or Madeleine. InfoTel.: 01 53 30 88 00.

L'Or des Amazones - is an exhibition of the prestigious works by nomads from the steppes of Asia; from 600 BC to 400 AD. All the pieces are on loan from southern Russian museums and include the entire collection from the tomb of the Princess of Kobiakovo. Until Sunday, 15. July. Open from 10:00 to 17:40 daily except Mondays. Musée Cernuschi, 7. Avenue Vélasquez, Paris 8. Métro: Villiers. InfoTel.: 01 45 63 50 75.

La Genèse d'un Film - features the birth of a film by Youri Norstein, with the help of designer Franceska Yarbousova. Until Sunday, 15. July. Except Monday, from 11:00 to 19:00. At the Salle Saint-Jean in the Hôtel de Ville, 5. Rue Lobau, Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville.

Marc Couturier : Secrets - installation featuring the idea that some objects are living and are so powerful that they can't be seen by the non-initiated. Voodoo? Until Monday, 16. July. Open Monday to Friday, from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 13:30 to 17:30; and on weekends from 12:30 to 18:00. At the Musée des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie, 293. Avenue Daumésnil, Paris 12. Métro: Porte Dorée. InfoTel.: 01 44 74 85 00.

Prolonged - Diamants! - The show for blonds - features 400 of the world's best - or biggest? - sparklers. Feared to be just some old crystals, the show required a fleet of Brinks' trucks to get it into place. Prolonged until Sunday, 29. July; daily from 9:00 to midnight except on Tuesday, when closing time is 19:00. At the Museum National d'Historie Naturelle, 57. Rue Cuvier, Paris 5. Métro: Jussieu. InfoTel.: 01 40 79 30 00.

Walk-In Outside Movies - are now a tradition at the Parc de la Villette, which has a sit-down place for you to watch free movies on an inflated screen. Films roll from Tuesday, 17. July until Sunday, 26. August; and start about 22:00 when it's dark enough. Deckchairs are also available. Prairie du Triangle, Parc de la Villette. Métro: Porte de Pantin. InfoTel.: 01 40 03 76 92.

L'Octuor de France - offers 10 chamber music concerts in the Orangerie in the Parc de Bagatelle. Brahms, Prokofiev, Verdi - in nine concerts - with two entry prices: 100 francs for afternoons and 150 francs for candlelight - plus 10 francs for entry to the park. From Thursday, 19. July until Wednesday, 15. August. Parc de Bagatelle, Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. Métro: Pont de Neuilly, plus bus 43, plus 10 minutes' walk. InfoTel.:01 42 29 07 83.

Au-dessus des Catacombs - the wait is nearly over for the reopening of the Cata combs, with this new exhibition starting on Tuesday, 17. July and continuing until February 2002. Closed on Mondays and some holidays, but open on Tuesday from 11:00 to 16:00 and from Wednesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 16:00. At the Catacombs, 1. Place Denfert-Rochereau, Paris 14. Métro: Denfert-Rochereau Info. Tel.: 01 43 22 47 63.

A Beach - will be installed inside the gigantic Stade de France, featuring a mini-sea for sailboats and some sand for a beach - with palms! This will be touched up with beach tents, deck chairs and parasols. Experts will be giving sailing lessons to the 6-17 age group while there will be an inflated 'castle' for the little people to bounce in. For big people, the beach will be equipped with sound, games and contests. Oh, there will also be a beach café too. From Wednesday, 25. July until Sunday, 12. August; from 10:00 to 18:00 daily. At the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis. Take RER 'D' to Stade de France-Saint-Denis or RER 'B' to La Plaine-Stade de France. InfoTel.: 08 25 30 19 98.

Tour de France - after riding around France for three weeks followed by a huge supporting circus including TV on motorcycles, this year's bike race wheels off its final laps in Paris. The finishing line is on the Champs-Elysées and the final day will be Sunday, 29. July.

The Château de Budapest - part of the Hungarian season called 'MAGYart' begins with this exhibition about the history of Budapest's Château; repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. Most items on display are from the Budapest History Museum. Until 16. September. Except Mondays, generally open from 10:00 to 17:40. At the Musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris, 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul or Chemin-Vert. InfoTel.: 01 44 59 58 58.

Regards Persans - is an exhibition presenting the last 20 years of photography in Iran, represented with 200 photos and 20 photographers - which in turn represent threeposter: expo, images, voir autrement, la villette photographic schools in Tehran alone. Continues until 31. August. At the Espace EDF Electra, 6. Rue Récamier, Paris 7. Métro: Sèvres-Babylon. InfoTel.: 01 53 63 23 45.

37th Salon de la Marine - discover the salon that presents the French Navy's official painters, plus other artists attracted by watery scenes every other year. Until Mondday, 27. August; from 10:00 to 17:50 daily except Tuesdays. At the Musée de la Marine, 17. Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro. InfoTel.: 01 53 65 69 69.

Maillol Peintre - is an exhibition of 60 of the painter's works, from the period of 'Nabi' to the '40s. Until 20. October; from 11:00 to 18:00 daily except Tuesdays. At the Musée Maillol - Fondation Dina Vierny, 59-61. Rue de Grenelle, Paris 7. Métro: Rue du Bac. InfoTel.: 01 42 22 59 58.

Cinquante Ans de Sculpture Espagnole - presents 19 significant Spanish artists, from the last half of 20th century, with some works made especially for this expo, which will be shown later in Madrid, in the Retiro. Free entry, from 7:00 to 23:00, in the gardens of the Palais Royal, Paris 1. Métro: Palais-Royal.

Da Adversiadade Vivemos - from the '60s and '70s, 14 of Latin America's most dynamic young artists, chosen by Carlos Basualdo. Also on view, Niele Toroni and Dan Graham. The first two until 16. September and the third until 14. October. Except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:40; until 18:45 on weekends. At Paris' Musée d'Art Moderne, 11. Avenue Président Wilson, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Alma-Marceau. InfoTel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

La Mode et l'Enfant - 'mode' did exist for kids, for at least three centuries before our own, and it is on display, including costumes for royal kids. Until 18. November; from 10:00 to 18:00 daily except Mondays. At the Musée de la Mode - Galleria, 10. Avenue Pierre-1st-de-Serbie, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Alma-Marceau. InfoTel.: 01 56 52 88 00.

Raymond Hains - is presented in a retrospective, with works done from 1949 through to 'new realism.' Until 3. September. Daily except Tuesdays; from 11:00 to 21:00. At the Centre Georges Pompidou, Place Georges Pompidou, Paris 4. Métro: Rambuteau. InfoTel.: 01 44 78 12 33.

Paysages d'Entre - Villes - will be an open-space or garden show, presenting the works of various artists, including the Stalker group from Rome. This expo will have a relationship to another, the 'Cosa Mentale - Paysage(s)' this summer. Until 30. September; from Tuesday to Sunday; from 10:00 to 17:40. At the Musée Zadkine, 100-bis. Rue d'Assas, Paris 6. Métro: Notre-Dame-des-Champs or Vavin. InfoTel.: 01 43 26 91 90.

Patrick Wolff - 'art is a game,' according to Max Jacob, and 'too bad for those who think it is a duty.' See Patrick Wolff oil pastels until Friday, 27. July; from Tuesday to Friday; from 12:30 to 18:30. At the Atelier An. Girard, 7. Rue Campagne Première, Paris 14. Métro: Vavin. Info. Tel.: 01 43 22 01 16.

La Guerre et la Paix, Vallauris - features lino-engravings by Picasso, to complement Paris' Mois de l'Estampe. Until Sunday, 16. September; from 9:30 to 18:00 except on Mondays. At the Musée Picasso, 5. Rue de Thorigny, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul. Info. Tel.: 01 42 71 25 21.

Maggie Salcedo - see the illustrator of Art Déco posters, with an exhibition until Saturday, 25. August; from Tuesday to Saturday; from 13:30 to 20:00. At the Bibliothèque Forney, Hôtel de Sens,1. Rue Figuier, Paris 4. Métro: Pont Marie InfoTel.:01 42 78 14 60.

La Dame de la Mer - the first lady oceanographer, Anti Conti travelled the world's oceans for a technical institute to look at fish, and stayed on to photograph everything maritime. An exhibition of her work has opened and continues until Sunday, 9. September. Except Mondays, open from 11:30 to 18:30. At the Pavillon des Arts, Rue Rambuteau, level 1, Terrace Lautréamont, Les Halles, Paris 1. Métro: Châtelet, Les Halles. InfoTel.: 01 42 33 82 50.

The Louvre - is a huge place, somewhat like a 'hypermarché' of a museum. But in addition to the tens of thousands of exhibits on permanent display, there are alsoposter: thr palais royal, de porc en port special exhibitions. One on now is called 'Le Quartier du Musée du Louvre, XVIIe Siècle,' which continues until 31. December. Also see 'L'Etrange et le Merveilleux en Terres d'Islam,' until Monday, 23. July. Until Monday, 27. August, see 'Le Trésor de la Sainte-Chapelle.' From 9:00 to 18:00 and until 21:45 on Wednesdays. Closed Tuesdays. All at the Musée du Louvre, Pyramide entry, Cour Napoléon, Paris 1. Métro: Palais-Royal. InfoTel.: 01 40 20 57 60.

Médée Furieuse - is an exhibition presenting the three versions, shown in one place for the first time, along with nearly all the sketches. This continues until Monday, 30. July; daily except Tuesdays from 9:30 to 17:00. At the Musée Delacroix, 6. Rue de Furstenberg, Paris 6. Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés or Mabillon. InfoTel.: 01 44 41 85 50.

Les Gemmes de Louis XIV - 'gemmes' means a special kind of vase, made of hard stone - rare stone, this is. This exhibition reunites Louis XIV's collection, which includes rare pieces from antiquity up to the 17th century. Until Tuesday, 23. July; from 9:00 to 18:00 and until 21:45 on Wednesdays. Closed Tuesdays. Musée du Louvre, Pyramide entry, Cour Napoléon, Paris 1. Métro: Palais-Royal. InfoTel.: 01 40 20 51 51.

Jouer la Lumière! - features threads, textiles, lace - all of which changes with light and one's viewpoint. Except Mondays, from 11:00 to 18:00; on Wednesdays until 21:00. Until 31. December. At the Musée de la Mode, 107. Rue de Rivoli, Paris 1. Métro: Palais-Royal. InfoTel.: 01 44 55 57 50.

Desnos, Foujita, Youki - surrealist love in Montparnasse was - surrealistic! Until Sunday, 29. July; from Wednesday to Sunday; from 13:00 to 19:00. Musée - Chemin du Montparnasse, 21. Avenue du Maine, Paris 15. Métro: Montparnasse. InfoTel.: 01 42 22 91 96.

"Mille Sabords!" - features Tintin, Haddock, the dog and the other characters from the ever-lasting comic book series by Hergé. Until Monday, 12. November; from 10:00 to 17:45, except Tuesdays. It's the Captain Haddock connection that put this into the Musée de la Marine, 17. Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro. InfoTel.: 01 53 65 69 69.

Sex Obsessions - of Robert 'Mr. Natural' Crumb and James Chedburn, features designs - 'lines on paper' - comic pages and mobile sculptures. Dimitri didn't tell me there were mobiles too. Until 11. October, daily from 10:00 to 02:00 - the late show - at the Musée de l'Erotisme, 72. Boulevard de Clichy, Paris 18. Métro: Blanche. InfoTel.: 01 42 23 24 78.

La Guerre Civile en Espagne - 150 photos both by the combatants, and by professionals, such as Robert Capa; shot from February 1936 until the war's end. Untilposter: musee annees 30, boulogne billancourt Sunday, 23. September. Except Monday, daily from 10:00 to 18:30. At the Patrimonie Photographique, Hôtel de Sully, 62. Rue Saint-Antoine, Paris 4. Métro: Bastille or Saint-Paul. Info. Tel.: 01 42 74 47 75.

Infidèles - is the name of a movie program, features 120 films of passion, continuing until Sunday, 29. July. Screenings from Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00 to 21:00. At the Forum des Images, Porte Sainte-Eustache, Forum des Halles, Paris 1. Métro: Châtelet-Les Halles. InfoTel.: 01 44 76 62 00.

Sam Taylor-Wood - an exhibitions of photos and videos, on view until Monday, 27. August. Closed Tuesdays; hours are from 12:00 to 19:00. At the Centre National de la Photographie, 11. Rue Berryer, Paris 8. Métro: Etoile or George V. InfoTel.: 01 53 76 12 32.

Chopin Festival - has its 18th edition with large program of concerts and recitals. The festival continues until Saturday, 14. July. All at the Orangerie at the Bagatelle, Route de Neuilly, in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. Nearest métro: Pont de Neuilly, or bus 43. Park entry: 10 francs. InfoTel.: 01 45 00 22 19.

Paris Jazz Festival - is merely 22 free concerts, featuring names - Lisa Ekdahl, Salif Keita, Russell Malone, Didier Lockwood, Tania Maria, Buena Vista Social Club, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck - to name but a few. Until Sunday, 29. July. Concerts are on weekends only at 16:30. At the Parc Floral de Paris, Route de la Pyramide, in the Bois de Vincennes. Paris 12. Métro: Château de Vincennes. InfoTel.: 01 55 94 20 20.

Opéras - Mozart's 'La Clemenza di Tito' at the Palais Garnier, and Berlioz' 'La Damnation de Faust' and Massenet's 'Manon' at the Bastille, continue into July.Opéra Bastille, Place de la Bastille, Paris 12. Métro: Bastille. Check the Web site for both the Bastille and Palais Garnier at the Place de l'Opéra, for opera events as well as current ballet productions. Toll ResaTel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

De Caricatures en Tous Genres - Balzac went bust as a publisher, so he joined Philipon to found the weekly, 'La Caricature,' which featured Daumier, Grandville and Monnier, to name a few. Philipon founded the first illustrated daily, 'Le Charivari.' Continues until Sunday, 23. September. Except on Monday, from 10:00 to 17:40. At the Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Métro: Passy or La Muette. InfoTel.: 01 55 74 41 80.

Jan Prouvé à Paris - an exhibition showing how and why this iron artist became an constructor, engineerposter: festival quartier d'ete and architect. Until Friday, 31. August. At the Pavillon de l'Arsenal, 21. Boulevard Morland, Paris 4. Métro: Sully-Morland. Info. Tel.: 01 42 76 33 97.

Pompeii - is an exhibition advertised on posters, but one that I know nothing about otherwise except that it used to be about 17 km south of Naples, until 79 AD. Until Sunday, 22. July; from 9:30 to 18:00; on Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 19:00. Closed Monday. At the Palais de la Découverte, Avenue Franklin-Roosevelt, Paris 8. Métro: same name. Info. Tel.: 01 56 43 20 21.

Le 'Prince Noir' - this was the nickname of crime writer Andre Héléna, who has remained largely unknown since his death in 1972 despite being an extraordinary writer. This exhibition includes his original works, posters and photos. Until 30. August. From Monday to Friday; from 14:00 to 18:00, and on Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00. At the BILIPO, 48-50. Rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, Paris 5. Métro: Cardinal-Lemoine. InfoTel.: 01 42 34 93 00.

1940 - or, 'Année de Tous les Destins,' retraces the WWII campaign of May-June 1940 in France. There are few combat photos in this exhibition but much else. This exhibition continues until Saturday, 21. July. At the Mémorial du Maréchal Leclerc Hauteclocque et de la Libération de Paris - Musée Jean Moulin, Jardin Atlantique, above the Gare Montparnasse. Paris 15. Open daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:40. InfoTel.: 01 40 64 39 44.

Roue Libre - is the RATP's program to get you out of the métro and off the buses, and on to your own pedal-power. HQ is at 95. bis, Rue Rambuteau in Les Halles, plus five other moblie locations. Bike rentals are from 20 francs per hour and tours are from 85 francs, and require reservations. On the month's last Saturday, long tours are organized - call the HQ for details. InfoTel.: 01 53 46 43 77, which is necessary to call for the guided tours.

En Route Pour la Cirque - an exhibition of yesterday's and today's circus, for both little kids and big adults;in this Year of the Circus lasting until April 2002. At the same location see 'Picasso's Paint Box,' until 30. September. Daily from 10:00 to 18:00; on Saturdays from 14:00 to 18:00. At the Musée en Herbe, in the Jardin d'Acclimatation just inside the Bois de Boulogne. Paris 16. Métro: Sablons. InfoTel.: 01 40 67 97 66.

Les Pestacles - is for kids, with 22 free shows featuring clowns, music, puppets, music, magic, clowns, music and so on. On Wednesdays at 14:30, untilposter: nager a paris 29. September. At the Parc Floral de Paris, Route de la Pyramide, in the Bois de Vincennes, Paris 12. Métro: Château de Vincennes. InfoTel.: 01 55 94 20 20.

Les Piscines, Paris Plage - at the racetrack, the Piscine d'Auteuil, in the Bois de Boulogne; two pools and sunbath; Route des Lacs à Passy. La Butte-aux-Cailles, historic triple-pools; 5. Place Paul-Verlain, Paris 13. Dim inside, sun outside at Boulogne-Billancourt; 165. Rue du Vieux-Pont-de-Sèvres. Nice pool but fake grass at Puteaux; Ile de Puteaux, near La Défense. These are not all the pools there are, but the ones where you can get some soleil as well as your feet wet. Look for the brochure titled 'Nager à Paris.'

Ile-de-France - is not an island, but the region surrounding Paris - all of it sort of like an 'island' in France. Find out more about its attractions for kids at the Espace Tourisme d'Ile-de-France, in the Carrousel du Louvre under the Pyramid. InfoTel.: 08 03 81 80 00.

Les Grands Eaux Musicales - is the Château de Versailles' annual H2O and musical fountain show. Every Sunday, at the 'Grande Perspective' from 11:00 to 12:00; and at 15:30 at all of the Bassins and Bosquets, with the finale at the 'Bassin de Neptune' around 17:20. Also on Saturdays from 7. July to 29. September including the 15. August. At the Parc du Château de Versailles. Take a train from the Gare Montparnasse or Saint-Lazare, or the RER 'C.' InfoTel.: 01 30 83 78 88.

Pouet-Pouets! - is an exhibition of dolls based on famous comic book characters - perhapsposter: sudden theatre, if i were me some of them by R. Crumb. Until 30. September; from 10:00 to 18:00 daily except Mondays. At the Musée de la Poupée, in the Impasse Berthaud, just off 22. Rue Rambuteau, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. InfoTel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

Paris' Balloon - offers Paris views from a high place, without need of an elevator. Still in the air until the end of the year but you should definitely call first to find out if it is a balloon day or not. If so, first lift-off at 9:00, until dark. For adults, 66 francs and 33 for kids. At the Parc André Citroën, Rue Cauchy, Paris 15. Métro: Balard. InfoTel.: 01 44 26 20 00.

Paris' Big Wheel - presents Paris views from another high place, which is called Concorde. Meant to come down at the end of 2000, the concession has been extended until Mnday, 7. January 2002. so there are a couple of days left for your ride. From 11:00 to 00:30 Place de la Concorde, Métro Concorde.

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