It's much more fun to experience an event than to read about it, and I've been reading about Paris Plages since they started in 2001. I lived near the beach or at the beach in Los Angeles and only went when visitors came, so it's not unusual for me to avoid crowded beaches, and somehow I just never came in the summer weeks when it was here, but now that I live here, I finally made it to the beach :)
I went to the beach by Bassin de La Villette (Metro Stalingrad) with all the nautical amusements (instead of the one by the Louvre/Pont Sully) on a 90 degree weekday morning and it was perfectly peaceful.
There are numerous big boats, some of which offer rides/drinks/tours/meals.
There are small leg powered boats you can rent.
If you prefer to stay on land, plenty of pétanque areas.
Kids can play pirates or ride a carousel (which had a HUGE line).
Adults and kids alike can cool down with misters
or ice cream
and drinking water spouts dot the area so you can refill your water bottles (free).
Most of the chairs and picnic areas were claimed, but you could stroll along the waterfront
and lots of kids were doing that in their matching outfits.
You have numerous options to eat or drink along the water, including restaurants and bars in the Holiday Inn.
Instead of an American brand, I chose this place :)
The canal was my view on one side, and on the other this colorful artwork.
There is an association called Tous A Table which is founded on the principles of providing good food to those who may not normally be able to afford it, allowing them to pay only 10% of the cost of a meal, so they may have a good dining experience. This year they are here at Paris Plages, so I was very happy to support them; as you can see the menu is very inexpensive and basic, but there are options for vegans and meat eaters.
After you order, you are given a pager which alerts you to go upstairs to pick up your meal. In my case it was a can of sardines in excellent olive oil with a small salad and delectable butter on the side. I had some wine with my snack and my bill was still less than 12 € ($15 US).
The views of the water
have a cooling effect
no matter how hot and humid life is in the city :)