Paris undergoes a transformation with the approach of the festive season. The city’s most beautiful monuments are illuminated, Christmas decorations adorn the streets, and department store windows are filled with animated displays. Markets, Nativity scenes, merry-go-rounds and a host of other activities and events take over the city, offering fun for all the family. Restaurants keep the festive spirit alive all the way into the New Year, with special menus for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebration.
In Paris, there are lots of special events at Christmas time for kids and adults that make this an extra magical time of year with lots of fun and special moments together.
ENTERTAINMENT FOR KIDS & GROWN-UPS
At Christmas, there is plenty happening in Paris for little ones. Young and old can enjoy the merry-go-rounds and fun fairs, as well as theme parks in the Paris region all trimmed up for the festive season, not to mention workshops and activities in museums and monuments.
From 9 November 2019 to 6 January 2020, the Disneyland Paris theme park is all decked out with its spectacular Christmas decorations. The Park welcomes visitors in a magical atmosphere with a Christmas parade, wonderful lights and a gigantic Christmas tree.
From 21 December 2019 to 5 January 2020, Parc Asterix will be decked out for the Christmas season. With your family, enjoy a Gallic Christmas during a truce with the Romans. Christmas shows, park decorations, a meeting with Santa Claus, an ice rink and toboggan run are all on the programme!
From 23 November 2019 to 5 January 2020, visitors can enjoy the Vaux le Vicomte celebrates Christmas activities: the magic of toys of yesteryear and wonderful decor.
From 22 November to 15 December 2019, the Château de Champs-sur-Marne offers dramatized tours with the show ‘Le Grand Réveillon’ and invites the public to enjoy the atmosphere of Christmas in the late-19th century.
From 14 to 29 December 2019 at nightfall, Versailles regains all the pomp of the royal Court with the ‘King’s Tour’. A visit and show combined into one with baroque music, dance, singing and theatre that takes visitors to the very heart of the Palace, from the Hall of Mirrors to the State apartments.
From 7 December 2019 to 4 January 2020, the Parc de la Villette welcomes Jours de Fête, the biggest Christmas fun fair. Magical moments for kids and parents to share on the festive rides.
From 21 December 2019 to 5 January 2020, the Paris Zoological Park celebrates Animals’Christmas. Baboons, wolves, manatees, penguins and many others receive gifts that each unpacks in their own way. For the occasion, a reef tank and around thirty aquatic species such as bamboo sharks make their debut at the zoo. And look out for Father Christmas as you stroll around the zoo! A unique experience!
From 21 December 2019 to 5 January 2020, the enchanting Château de Breteuil and its stunning Christmas decor will transport children into the world of Perrault’s famous fairy tales. Plus, workshops and themed storytelling sessions.
On 22 and 23 December 2018, the show Les Enchanteurs de Noël will be playing at the Château de Vincennes. A magical moment, where Merlin the Magician, Santa, Knights and fire-breathers will provide a captivating spectacle for the public.
Every year, carol concerts cast a warm glow over the festive season getting everyone into the Christmas spirit. And the big churches and cathedrals provide an enchanting setting.
The traditional Christmas concert at Radio France takes place on 20 December 2019 in the exceptional setting of the auditorium of the Maison de la Radio. For the first time in France, American composer Aaron Zigman is playing his Tango concerto with Jean-Yves Thibaud, accompanied by a bandoneon player. Travel to Buenos Aires, Paris and Helsinki for an unforgettable holiday season!
The Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine and the Chœur d’enfants de l’Opéra National de Paris are putting on the show ‘180 children sing Christmas’ featuring the most beautiful secular and sacred Christmas songs.
Several musical evenings with Christmas carols will be taking place in the magnificent Madeleine Church. The magical Grand Christmas Concert takes place on 23 December 2019.
There is something extra magical about Paris during the festive season. Decorations and shimmering lights create an enchanting atmosphere for visitors in chateaux, museums and monuments:
From 23 to 25 November 2019, top French fashion designers including Jean-Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, join forces for The Designer Christmas Trees event. An auction of trees designed by them takes place and the profits are given to an association.
From 20 November 2019 to 5 January 2020, the Grand Rex presents its new captivating show Féérie des Eaux. This delightful spectacle featuring jets of water and light and music effects can be coupled with a backstage visit of the mythical Parisian cinema or the screening of the new film Frozen 2.
From 23 November 2019 to 5 January 2020, the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is offering exceptional visits in a special magical Christmas setting: outdoor and indoor decor, enchanted characters, magical glades and a light show projected onto the chateau. The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is teaming up with the Red Cross to make Christmas a time for everyone: children are invited to offer a gift that will be given to people who are not fortunate enough to get one.
From 30 November 2019 to 5 January 2020, the Chantilly Estate is celebrating Christmas. An enchanting setting has been created especially for the occasion, places in the chateaux usually closed to the public are accessible, a unique equestrian show will take place in the Great Stables, and more … Magical moments for everyone to enjoy!
From 26 December 2019 to 5 January 2020, the Festival du Merveilleux in the Place Musée des Arts Forains celebrates the magic of Christmas with street shows, magicians, toys and attractions from a bygone era, all open exceptionally to the public.
SPORTING EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
For sporty types, there are plenty of fun activities over the festive season. The city’s iconic skating rinks are back this year and the banks of the Seine also offer opportunities to take part in winter sports activities:
From 21 December 2019 to 5 January 2020, the popular La Défense ice rink returns creating an enchanting setting at the Grande Arche.
Every year, the Canopy at the Forum des Halles will house a large ice rink. Open from 2pm to 7pm on weekdays and from 11am on weekends and during school holidays.
From 20 November to 31 December 2019, Galeries Lafayette has set up a skating rink on its roof for the first time. Come along and skate for free and enjoy a spectacular view of the rooftops of Paris!
From November to December, the winter show at the Manoir de Paris welcomes visitors who enjoy a scare and who dare to mingle with bloodthirsty goblins and many other ghastly Christmas characters.
Article and Photos Courtesy of Paris Tourism