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December in Paris: 17 ways to celebrate

December is already halfway over!  With New Years on the way, it’s time to take advantage of all of the seasonal activities taking place in the capital before 2019 hits.  Not to fret, Le Figaroscope has compiled a list of some of this seasons most worthwhile activities, events, and expositions happening right now in Paris.


1.  Attend the Christmas show put on by the Grandes Écuries de Chantilly: Le Songe d’une nuit d’hiver.  An equestrian adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy, the show features donkeys, horses, and ponies, along with their riders, acrobats, and dancers.

Le Songe d’une nuit d’Hiver. Grandes Écuries de Chantilly. Rue du Connétable, Chantilly (60). Runs until January 6th.  Show times at 2:30 and 4:30 PM. Rates: €21 (adults), €17 (3-17 years old), free (under 3 years old).


2. Participate in a Christmas-themed escape game.  Your mission: help Raoul the amnesic elf find Santa’s naughty and nice list before the big day!  You have 1 hour to hunt for clues and the solve the puzzles before it’s too late.  Perfect for families and friends alike.

Escape Game “La liste du Père Noël”. 5 bis, rue Emile Allez (17th). Runs until Dec. 22nd, 2018. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 8 PM. Price: 90€ (from 3 to 6 people).


3. Walk amongst tyrannosaurs, mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers, sharks, and bears at le Jardin des Plantes.  All either extinct or endangered species, these animals come back to life in the form of monumental Chinese lanterns on display in the menagerie. A fun, festive nighttime adventure to be had by all.

Espèces en voie d’illumination. Jardins des Plantes. Place Valhubert (5th). Runs until January 15th. Open 6 PM to 11 PM. Ticket prices ranging from €11 to €15.


4. Sip hot chocolate, enjoy a waffle, or buy a marbled cake to-go at Hugo & Victor, the talented pastry chef on the Left Bank, who sets up his seasonal chocolate bar on the huge terrace of the Jardins du Marais hotel throughout the winter.

Bar à chocolat Hugo & Victor à l’hôtel Les Jardins du Marais. 74, rue Amelot (11th). Runs until the end of February 2019.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 3 PM to 9 PM.


5. Settle comfortably in the Grand Rex’s main hall for la Féerie des eaux et Le Grinch, the most fun way to watch the latest blockbusters.  Before the movie, la Féerie des eaux, a spectacular water feature show set to lights and music, takes place on the main stage.  A spectacle sure to delight audience members before the main event.

Image result for le grand rex

Main Hall of Le Grand Rex (Wikimedia Commons)

La Féerie des eaux et Le Grinch au Grand Rex. 1, boulevard Poissonnière (2nd). Runs until January 6th. Prices ranging from €11 to €15.


6. Transport yourself in time to the century of the Sun King for Christmas at Vaux-le-Vicomte. The ins and outs of the castle and its gardens are adorned for the occasion with thousands of lights and decorations.  Live shows and seasonal entertainment also on site.

Noël au château de Vaux le VicomteMaincy (77). Runs until January 6th. Open Wednesday to Sunday until December 23rd and every day from December 24th to January 6th, except on Christmas and New Year’s Day, from 11 AM to 5:45 PM. Admission: €19.50 for adults, €13.50 for children 6-17 years old, free for children under 6 years old.


7. Reawaken the child within by attending the 2018 Disney on Ice show “Crois en tes rêves” (Believe in your dreams). From Frozen to the Little Mermaid, with Aladdin, Cinderella and the Beauty and the Beast, watch as all of the characters from your favorite Disney movies do whatever it takes to make their dreams come true on ice.


Image result for disney on ice

Disney on Ice (flickr: HarshLight)

Disney sur Glace at Le Zénith. 211, avenue Jean-Jaurès (19th). From December 12th to 23rd, at 2 PM, 5:30 PM and 8 PM. Prices ranging from €25 to €59.90.


8. Experiment with cheese and spirit pairings in the popup boutique combining La Distillerie Générale and Julhès. La Distillerie Générale will offer its limited edition alcohols, while Julhès will provide their classic pastas.  The boutique also features products combining the best of both brands, such as the absinthe-washed reblochon.

Boutique La Distillerie Générale X Julhès Paris60, rue du Faubourg Saint Denis (10th). Open from December 4th to 31st, every day from 11 AM to 8 PM.


9. Rediscover the classic Perrault fairytale turned film by Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand, Peau d’Âne, at the Théâtre Marigny. Let yourself be carried away by the whirlwind of dance and song in the shows whimsical wonderful forest setting.

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Théâtre Marigny (Wikimedia Commons)

Peau d’Âne au Théâtre Marigny (Paris VIIIe)Until February 17th 2019. Prices starting at 36€.


10. Get your winter sport on at France’s largest skating rink, set up seasonally at the Grand Palais.  Glide along more than 2700 m² of ice under the beautiful glass ceiling of the Grand Palais and unleash your inner Olympic gold medalist.  If you’re in need of a break, enjoy the live shows and entertainment, or have a bite to eat at the food court.

The interior of Le Grand Palais (Wikimedia Commons)

Le Grand Palais des Glaces au Grand Palais. 3 avenue Eisenhower (8th). From December 16th to January 9th. Prices ranging from €12 to €29.


11. Take a musical break before the big celebrations at the Philharmonie de Paris with Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Messe de minuit.  Performed by Paul Agnew and Les Arts Florissants, a Baroque musical ensemble in residence at the Théâtre de Caen, Messe de minuit combines both popular songs and religious music, and is sure to capture that magic holiday feeling.

La nuit de Noël à la Philharmonie221 avenue Jean Jaurès (19th). December 18th at 8:30 PM. Tickets ranging from €10 to €70.


12. Ignore the thermometer and make believe it’s summer again at the fairgrounds of le parc de la Villette.  Rides of all kinds, flying chairs, shooting galleries, games: the sensations are all there, not to mention cotton candy and other delicacies. A joyful break with family or friends before New Year’s Eve.

Jours de fêtes à La VillettePlace de la Fontaine-aux-Lions (19th). From December 8th to January 6th. Tickets ranging from €2 to €10.


13. Can’t get enough Christmas music?  Head to La Seine Musicale for 180 enfants chantent Noël. 180 children from La Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine, French children’s choir under the Opéra National de Paris, as well as 25 accompanying musicians, will perform sacred arias and secular songs, reflecting the magic of the holidays.

180 enfants chantent Noël à la Seine musicale.  Île Seguin, Boulogne-Billancourt (92). December 20th, 2018 at 8:30 PM. Tickets starting at €25.


14. Spend the weekend celebrating the light and cheerful atmosphere of your favorite musicals during Week-end comédies musicales at the Paris Philharmonic. If you love Gene Kelly, don’t miss the star of the weekend, Singin’ in the Rain. Or, if jazz suits your fancy, don’t miss your favorite Disney standards all spiced up in Jazz Loves Disney.

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La Philharmonie de Paris (Wikimedia Commons)

Week-end comédies musicales à la Philharmonie. 221 avenue Jean-Jaurès (19th). December 21st-23rd.


15. Take the children to listen to Claude Debussy’s musical tale “La Boîte à joujoux”. Accompanied by pianist Frédéric Lagarde, Élodie Fondacci will tell the story of a toy chest, and how the arrival of a porcelain doll changed everything.

La Boîte à joujoux dans le Grand Salon de l’Hôtel des Invalides. Rond-Point du Bleuet de France (VIIe). December 22, 2018 at 11:30 am, 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm. €10 for kids, €15 for adults.  The book: La Boîte à joujoux by Élodie Fondacci, Gautier-Langureau edition, €23.80.


16. Finish any last-minute gift shopping at the Lucernaire Christmas market. Amongst the stalls in this offbeat market, you will find a varied choice of original handmade gifts sure to please everyone on your list.

L’Étrange Noël des créateurs au Lucernaire. 83 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, 75006. December 23rd, from 2 PM to 8 PM. Free admission.


17. Looking for something off the beaten track to do with the children?  Head to le Château de Champs-sur-Marne, where kids can participate in a fun guided tour following the adventures of the characters depicted on the walls of the salon chinois.  Children will especially enjoy the mischievous little dragon who emerges during the tour to surprise them and continue the guided journey.

Le Château de Champs-sur-Marne (Wikimedia Commons)

Visite contée au Kamishibaï au château de Champs-sur-Marne.  31, rue de Paris, Champs-sur-Marne (77). Runs December 24th, 26th, and 28th at 2 PM (7-10 years old) and 3:30 PM (4-6 years old). Call 01 64 62 74 48 for reservations. €8 for adults, free for children.



Source: Calendrier de l’Avent: 24 idées de sorties à Paris

Main Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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