Christmas fun and entertainment family in Paris

Entertainment, shows, attractions... a selection of events to help you enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Nota Bene - Covid

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. 

Due to the health crisis, many cultural venues will remain closed for the 2020 holiday season. Cultural venues are expected to reopen on 7 January 2021. However, a few events are being organised outdoors in the gardens of the castles and in the capital's squares and some concerts will take place but without an audience. Fans are invited to listen to them in streaming on different platforms.

Enchanting events for kids & grown-ups in Paris and the Ile-de-France region

Thoiry Lumières Sauvages 2019 - requin

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:

Until January 3, 2021, 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.

Du 15 décembre 2020 au 10 janvier 2021, the  is celebrating Christmas. An enchanting setting has been created especially for the occasion, a unique equestrian showAlana et la Cité d'Opale will take place in the Great Stables, a small Christmas market is set up, Christmas tours, a Chantilly cream workshop, not to mention the many exhibitions organized ... Magical moments for everyone to enjoy!

Also until 3 January 2021, the Chantilly Estate celebrates Christmas. For the occasion, an enchanting decor is set up in front of the castle, a small gourmet Christmas market (with demonstrations of whipped cream) is set up and a mini-course through the castle, where the richly decorated festive table of the Galerie des Cerfs can be seen, is offered up to the shop, where a 2m40 Christmas tree awaits visitors. Outdoor guided tours are also organised. Park ticket at 5€.

The magnificent Château de Fontainebleau is also celebrating Christmas! During the 2020 festive season, visitors are invited to discover the 130 hectares of park and gardens surrounding the castle. Here they can admire beautiful garden lighting, christmas trees, decorations and Christmas music. Access is free of charge.

In December and during the end of the year celebrations (25 December and 1 January inclusive), the magical Château de Breteuil and its 75-hectare park offer a wonderful Christmas decor transporting children to the world of Perrault's famous tales : sound and light, maze and, not forgetting the illuminations at the end of the day. Access to the park: €11 per person.

Thoiry ZooSafari will once again be hosting its Wild Lights Festival this winter (on until 7 March 2021). Visitors can walk amongst hundreds of illuminated sculptures in the shapes of wild animals. These Chinese lanterns light up at nightfall, creating a magical atmosphere and giving children and adults alike the feeling they are wandering through an enchanted forest.

Each year, the Canopy of the Forum des Halles is adorned with beautiful decorations and a giant Christmas tree. Some animations are also programmed.

People of all ages flock to the Village JouéClub de Paris during the festive season to browse in the shops stocking an extensive array of toys and games.

Christmas illuminations and shop windows in Paris

Vitrines de noël Galeries Lafayette 2020 © Javier Pina

The streets and squares of Paris were once again adorned with a thousand lights this year to offer an enchanting spectacle. The windows of the department stores also compete in beauty and light to present marvellous installations full of enchantment.

More info on the Christmas lights in Paris

More info on the Christmas window displays 2020 at the big department stores

A weekend of surprises at Printemps Haussmann

Printemps Haussmann - Partageons Noël 2020, Paris

The famous Parisian department stores' Printemps Haussmann is offering a big weekend of surprises on 19 and 20 December 2020.

Saturday 19th December 2020:

  • from 11am to 6pm: meeting with Father Christmas in virtual reality - Printemps Femme, floor 0
  • from 2pm to 6pm: Magic and surprises by Vinz. Magic for all and surprises for the little ones - Vinz
  • from 2.30pm to 4.30pm: singing performance with Shade and her DJ Jonathan

Sunday 20th December :

  • from 11am to 6pm: meeting with Father Christmas in virtual reality - Printemps Femme, floor 0

... and many other surprises await customers in the shop.

The events listed below are cancelled:

The Grand Palais des Glaces under the nave of the Grand Palais

The skating rink on the roof of Galeries Lafayette

The ice skating rink at gardens of the Trocadéro

The ‘King’s Tour’ at the château de Versailles

Jours de Fête, the biggest Christmas fun fair, at the Parc de la Villette

Animals’Christmas at the Paris Zoological Park

Christmas concerts

Maison de Radio France - Auditorium, Paris © Christophe Abramowitz

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 18 and 19 December 2020 in the exceptional setting of the auditorium of the Maison de la Radio. This year, the Orchestre Philharmonique conducted by Mikko Franck will be performing a delightful Russian programme (including Swan Lake and The Nutcracker). Concert without audience broadcast on France Musique and ARTE concert.

Two other musical events will be taking place at Maison de la Radio in the run-up to Christmas. The Radio France Choir conducted by Martina Batic will present a choral concert on 21 December, and a concert of Christmas organ music by Karol Mossakowski will be held on 22 December. Concerts without an audience broadcast on France Musique.

On 19 December 2020, Beethoven’s glorious Missa solemnis will be sung in Latin in a splendid setting – the Champs-Elysées theater. The line-up of musicians is equally remarkable, featuring the acclaimed violinist Andrés Orozco-Estrada accompanied by the Orchestre National de France and the Radio France Choir. Concert without audience broadcast on France Musique.

A few days later, on December 24, 2020, the Maîtrise de Notre-Dame de Paris offers another exceptional event: the Christmas concert in the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. This unique moment will be broadcast on France 2 and on KTO during the evening of December 24.

The Palais Garnier is holding its ‘Grande Messe de Noël’ Christmas concert on 21 and 22 December 2020. The well-known choir and orchestra Les Arts Florissants will be conducted by Paul Agnew in this enthralling two-part performance of works by Vivaldi. A superb programme is also offered throughout December at the Palais Garnier. EVENT CANCELLED.

Meanwhile, La Seine Musicale will be celebrating Christmas with a big concert by the Maîtrise de Sainte-Croix de Neuilly (The Paris Boys Choir) conducted by François Polgar. The concert, to be performed twice on the same day – 19 December 2020, at 3pm and 7pm, is titled Le mystère de la Nuit de Noël à travers les siècles et l'Europe musicale, and explores the tradition of Christmas music in Europe down the centuries. EVENT CANCELLED.

The sumptuous Madeleine Church is the scene of several musical evenings decorated with Christmas carols. The magical Grand Christmas Concert takes place on December 23, 2020. This concert by the Hélios Orchestra will also be performed the previous evening at the Saint-Eustache Church. EVENTS CANCELLED.

In addition, the Les Violons de France Orchestra accompanied by the soprano Cécile Besnard will perform a Christmas concert in the Église de la Madeleine on 22 and 25 December. The programme features Vivaldi’s Four Seasons alongside the Schubert and Bach/Gounod versions of the Ave MariaEVENT CANCELLED.

Radio Classique’s Christmas concert by the Philharmonie de Paris can be heard on two dates: 18 and 19 December 2020. It will feature an extraordinary line-up of ensembles, among them the French Republican Guard Symphony Orchestra, the French Army Choir and the Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine (Greater Paris choir school), with François Boulanger conducting. EVENT CANCELLED.

In the heart of Paris, the Théâtre du Châtelet welcomes the Maîtrise de Notre-Dame de Paris on December 20, 2020 for a Christmas concert conducted by Emilie Fleury. Middle school and high school students will be accompanied by Thomas Tacquet on the piano. EVENT CANCELLED.

Virtual concert on 31 December 2020

Concert de Jean-Michel Jarre du 31 décembre 2020 - Affiche, Paris

French artist Jean-Michel Jarre offers Paris lovers a great 100% virtual concert entitled Welcome to the otherside to celebrate the year 2021. On Thursday 31 December 2020 from 11.25pm to 12.15am, this great name in electronic music will perform in the virtually reconstructed decor of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.

This major event is free of charge and will be broadcast live, among others, on, France Inter and BFM Paris.

The full programme of Paris sparkles

Château de Chantilly

7 rue du Connétable, Chantilly, 60500

The Domaine de Chantilly extends across 19,000 acres within one of the largest forests in the surrounding areas of Paris,......

Le Grand Palais des Glaces

December - January 2020/2021
Grand Palais - 3 avenue du Général Eisenhower, Paris

For the festive season, the Nave of the Grand Palais plays host to the largest ice rink in France

Designer Christmas trees

Celebration | Exhibition
November 2020
Plaza Athénée Paris - 25 avenue Montaigne, Paris

Top couturiers, designers create unique works to the association ‘Les Sapins de Noël des créateurs’

Animals’ Christmas

December 2020 - January 2021
Parc zoologique de Paris - Muséum national d’histoire naturelle - Croisement de l'avenue Daumesnil et de la route de la Ceinture du Lac, Paris

Presents for the animals during the holidays at the Parc Zoologique de Paris

Thoiry Lumières Sauvages

October 2021 to March 2022
Thoiry ZooSafari - Château et parc zoologique de Thoiry, Thoiry

Giant illuminated sculptures on show this winter at the Thoiry ZooSafari

Christmas at the Château de Breteuil

December 2021 - January 2022
Château de Breteuil - Allée du Château, Choisel

The Château de Breteuil has just been trimmed up with festive decorations, lights and lots of Christmas activities

Château de Fontainebleau

Place du général de Gaulle, Fontainebleau, 77300

The residence of 34 kings and two emperors, Fontainebleau is the only château that was lived in by every French monarch for......