The Parc de la Villette is a huge park with various cultural establishments for theater and dance shows, concerts, art exhibitions and a nice carousel. It is also the place for the “city of sciences”.
Parc de la Villette is not too crowded – very family oriented. The park hosts an independent bookshop, with some literature but also art books.
All year long there are dance, theater and modern circus shows and around spring/summer the circus tents get ready to host some circus shows. The program is quite interesting and diverse. Every Spring there is a circus and hip hop dance festival, “Hautes Tensions” and later during summer there is an outside film festival! In Autumn and Winter the place is often used for more commercial events like shows (The Pitchfork Festival is held there at the end of October) or fairs. Right now you will have a big hip/hop/street art and electro program with the Villette Sonique and the Villette Street Festival.
At the far end of the park there is the Zenith, mostly mainstream music in a really huge room so I try to avoid it as much as I can. There is also the Trabendo for indie rock concerts, but also electronic music which is pretty cool and the Cabaret Sauvage for world music and obviously cabaret, sometimes even both!
If you are a runner this is a really good place to go for a run: a wild park, dedicated paths and clear water to drink after your race.