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.
Enchanting events for kids & grown-ups in Paris and the Paris region
There is something extra magical about Paris during the festive season. Decorations and shimmering lights create an enchanting atmosphere for visitors in gardens, chateaux, monuments, museums, department stores and amusement parks:
Disneyland® Paris is one of the favourite destinations for families. And the famous theme park is celebrating Christmas in style! From 13 November 2021 to 9 January 2022, the magic will take hold of Disney: a 24-metre high Christmas tree, illuminations on Main Street, encounters with the mythical Disney characters in their Christmas costumes, the unmissable presence of Father Christmas, a brand new Mickey and his Sparkling Christmas Parade and a spectacular Disney Illuminations sound and light show and fireworks display, starting on 21 December in front of the Sleeping Beauty's Castle. Cancellation of the New Year's Eve party on 31 December 2021. However, the parks will remain open on that day, with extended opening hours.
Buy your tickets for Disneyland® Paris
The Jardin d'Acclimatation, located in the Bois de Boulogne and next to the Fondation Louis Vuitton, remains open during the Christmas holidays. This is a great opportunity to spend a fun and pleasant time with your family, between attractions and natural discoveries: animals, garden, portager...
Buy your tickets for the Jardin d'Acclimatation
From 29 November 2021 to 30 January 2022, the National Museum of Natural History is offering a new and enchanting night-time tour: The light festival ‘Evolution en voie d’illumination’. Hundreds of luminous structures - to be discovered in the alleys of the Jardin des Plantes - trace 600 million years of evolution. Young and old alike will come across dinosaurs and many other little-known species.
Buy your tickets for the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution - Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle
Buy your tickets for the Ménagerie, the zoo at the Jardin des Plantes – Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle
From 19 November 2021 to 9 January 2022, we are heading for the Saint-Cloud national estate to discover Lumières en Seine. The superb park designed by Le Nôtre - easily accessible by metro - hosts a festive and immersive night show: a two-kilometre-long route, music, light shows, water games, projections, a marvellous labyrinth, a fireworks festival, etc.
The Musée de la Magie et des Automates
Situated in the Marais district, the Musée de la Magie et des Automates offers activities all year round. During the Christmas holidays, families can enjoy a daily magic show, a lesson in magic on Saturday (one class for adults, one class for kids), and a visit to the collections of the Musée de la Magie et des Automates.
- The Musée de la Magie et des Automates - 11 rue Saint-Paul - 75004 Paris
- Metro : Saint-Paul
The Noël Gaulois at Parc Asterix
The magic of Christmas will take hold of Parc Asterix for the 2021 end-of-year celebrations. On the programme: bright and magical Christmas decorations, entertainment for all the family, musical atmosphere, the event Tous en piste, the winter sports village (ice rink, children's area, toboggan runs), a Christmas market, a souvenir photo of Father Christmas and the L'Île aux vœux pyrotechnic sound and light show at night.
From 18 December 2021 to 2 January 2022
- Parc Astérix - A1 motorway - Between exits 7 and 8 - 60128 Plailly
The Festival du Merveilleux at the Musée des Arts Forains
The Musée des Arts Forains, located in Bercy Village, is hosting its Festival du Merveilleux for the end of the year 2021. The theme of this 11th edition: the Roaring Twenties. This is the only time of the year when this unusual museum is open to all. Young and old are invited to discover this magical and wonderful place. The programme includes shows and entertainment: aerial enchantment, tap dancers, musicians, puppets, mechanical music, a ballet of automatons and optical illusion. And to make sure the party is complete, the museum is exceptionally opening some of its attractions and century-old rides.
From 26 December 2021 to 2 January 2022 (open on 1 January 2022)
- Musée des Arts Forains - 53 avenue des Terroirs de France - Paris 12th
- Metro : Cour Saint-Emilion
Christmas at the Parc zoologique de Paris
The Parc zoologique de Paris, on the edge of the Bois de Vincennes, is also celebrating during the festive season 2021. As well as the usual activities and special events, the zoo with its 180 species and more than 2,000 animals is putting on free activities (pre-booking required for some) from 18 December 2021 to 2 January 2022: creative workshops, preparation of gifts for the animals, feeding of the animals, games in wood for families to enjoy, quizzes with gifts to win … special Christmas food and drink, plus exclusive gifts at the shop. The ‘Christmas at the zoo event’ takes place on three special evenings (18 and 25 December 2021 and 1 January 2022): once the visitor path is closed, the public are invited into the entrance of the park for the lighting of the Christmas tree at 5pm and for the magical showLes Zylluminées at 5.15pm.
From December 2021 to 2 January 2022
- Parc zoologique de Paris - Crossroads of Avenue Daumesnil and Route de la Ceinture du Lac - Paris 12th
- Metro : Porte Dorée
The Holidays at La Villette
On the Place de la Fontaine-aux-Lions, in front of the Grande Halle de la Villette, the funfair is in full swing with the The Holidays at La Villette. In total, about fifty attractions to have fun with family or friends. Access is free. Attractions: from 2€ to 10€, on sale on site.
Until 2 January 2022 - Sunday to Thursday from noon to 9pm - Friday and Saturday from noon to 11pm.
- Parc de la Villette - Place de la fontaine-aux-lions - Paris 19th
- Metro : Porte de Pantin
The Féérie des eaux at the Grand Rex
The Féérie des eaux returns for the 2021 holidays in the mythical Grand Rex hall. The 15-minute show (giant waterfall, illuminations, music...) precedes this year's animated film Sing 2. A session like no other!
Until 2 January 2022 - Everyday (25 December 2021 and 1 January 2022 included) - 4 cinema screenings per day - €11 to €15
- Grand Rex - 1 boulevard Poissonnière - Paris 9th
- Metro : Bonne Nouvelle
Christmas illuminations and shop windows in Paris
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.
This is particularly the case at Galeries Lafayette, which is offering to dance on a roller dance track to the rhythm of Disney's greatest hits. See you on the 4th floor of the department stores' from 1 to 23 December 2021.
As part of its Christmas at the Summit, the BHV Marais, has a great line-up of special events for kids and grown-ups: a workshop by the master chocolatier Lindt on the 5th floor of the store, a gourmet chalet dedicated to Swiss cheeses, a Santa’s workshop …
Christmas events also back at La Samaritaine. The department store on rue de Rivoli, reopened its doors in 2021, and offers visitors enchanting decorations in the store’s windows and inside, as well as many special events (Christmas market, giant advent calendar, musical events, and more).
At Bercy Village, there are magical decorations to see outdoors. The Portuguese artist Patricia Cunha has taken inspiration from the world of Mary Poppins for her installation of bright white umbrellas hanging over the main thoroughfare of the Cour Saint-Emilion. The installation finishes in front of the UGC cinema and an 11-metre-high Christmas tree that is also decorated with white umbrellas. To discover from 18 November 2021 to 16 January 2022.
The very upscale and luxurious Faubourg Saint-Honoré is also celebrating Christmas with its Winter Time 2021. The lights on the famous thoroughfare will be switched on on 18 November 2021 with the presence of the impressive brass band of the Republican Guard. The highlight of these celebrations is the big digital tombola on the Instagram account @wintertimeparis And on the website Winter Time in Paris. This begins on 18 November 2021 and the prize draw takes place on 30 January 2022. There are numerous prizes from the most prestigious brands. All proceeds will be donated to the association Imagine for Margo. The patrons of the event are the social network star Lena Situations and French rugby personality Bernard Laporte.
Paris’s big hotels are also full of Christmas spirit with decorations and seasonal animations. Like at the Peninsula Paris with its magnificently decorated Christmas tree. Also worth mentioning, Le Fouquet’s Paris which is opening a Santa’s workshop and enchanting garden in its restaurant Le Joy.
More info on the Christmas lights in Paris
More info on the Christmas window displays 2020 at the big department stores
Paris scintille 2021 (‘Paris twinkles with lights’)
The Paris City Hall’s free event ‘Paris scintille’ (‘Paris twinkles with lights’) is back in 2021! Go along to the square in front of the Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall) or place de la Bastille, below the Colonne de Juillet (July Column). From 3 December 2021 to 2 January 2022, the square in front of the City Hall is transformed into an enchanting world for the Christmas season: a forest of white fir trees, Christmas chalets (with gifts and delicious treats) made by the woodcutters of Paris, sporting activities (toboggan, climbing wall, wooden horses, etc.), meeting with Father Christmas. On the largely-pedestrianized Place de la Bastille – opposite the Bastille Opera House, ‘Paris scintille’ runs until 26 December 2021: illumination in blue light of the Colonne de Juillet (visitable from 23 October 2021), forest of fir trees, merry-go-round, chalets with seasonal food and drink, including the presence of Father Christmas for the delight of little ones.
Christmas at the chateau!
The chateaux of Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Fontainebleau, Breteuil, the Chantilly estate... offer in their respective parks beautiful decorations and some animations for this Christmas 2021!
Until the beginning of January 2021
- Le Parcours du Roi at the Château de Versailles - From 11 to 30 December 2021
- Vaux-le-Vicomte en lumières at the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte - From 20 November 2021 to 2 January 2022
- Christmas shows, concerts and activities at the Château de Fontainebleau - From 18 December 2021 to 2 January 2022
- Fairy lights at the Château de Breteuil - From 18 December 2021 to 2 January 2022
- The horse show Alana and the Cité d'Opale at the Domaine de Chantilly - From 27 November 2021 to 2 January 2022
- Christmas in Blandy at the Château de Blandy-les-Tours - From 4 December to 30 December 2021
- Christmas in Bagatelle at the Château de Bagatelle - 11 and 12 December 2021
From 20 November 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. On the programme: a sound and light show every evening on the façade of the château, magical outdoor illuminations, the characters of the musée des équipages transformed into animals from the fables of Jean de La Fontaine, games and activities (giant wooden games, treasure hunts, etc.) in the gardens, hire of horse-drawn carriages and electric carts...
Also until 2 January 2022, the Chantilly Estate celebrates Christmas. For the occasion, an enchanting decor is set up in front of the chateau, a small gourmet Christmas market (with demonstrations of whipped cream) is set up and a 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. Not forgetting the Christmas horse show in the Grandes Ecuries: Alana and the City of Opal.
The magnificent Château de Fontainebleau is also celebrating Christmas! During the 2021 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. Among the key events: the Christmas in Europe concerts, the Christmas show Once upon a time... Perrault's Tales, the Princesses from the Cold guided tours and a grand concert by the Friends of the Fontainebleau Organ.
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.
From 27 November to 23 December 2021, the Château d'Auvers-sur-Oise, located in the north of Paris and renowned for its immersive show on Impressionism, is celebrating Christmas both inside and outside the château, in the sublime French garden. The programme of the Christmas Festivities at the Château d'Auvers-sur-Oise includes decorations, shows and workshops, guided tours and storytelling - including an unusual walk with a donkey - a drawing competition, and the illumination of the façade of the Château at nightfall.
The Château de Blandy-les-Tours, located in the Seine-et-Marne department, is offering Christmas entertainment every afternoon from 4 to 30 December 2021. The festivities start at 3 pm and end at 8 pm. The amazed public will discover various shows inspired by the Middle Ages (stilt walkers, jugglers, acrobats, dancers, musicians...) animated by different companies, a Christmas market (delicacies, handicrafts, on-site catering...) and the immersive show Say it with flowers (illumination of the castle, storytelling projection in the courtyard every 20 minutes) whose theme is love. Admission is free. The castle is closed on 24, 25 and 31 December 2021, and on 1 January 2022.
Despite the ongoing restoration work, the Château de Bagatelle is celebrating Christmas and invites the public for an exceptional weekend. On 11 and 12 December 2021, the Mansart Foundation is opening the doors of the château for a special tour of the rooms decorated for Christmas. The one-hour tour is led by the restoration team itself. Open from 10 am to 8 pm, by reservation.
Thoiry Lumières Sauvages
The Thoiry Lumières Sauvages festival returns in 2021! The animal park offers a trail where young and old alike can admire luminous sculptures of different animal species. A magical experience!
Until 6 March 2022
- Thoiry ZooSafari - 78770 Thoiry
‘Cité des Merveilles’
For its last Christmas, the Cité Fertile turns into a City of Wonders: an eco-friendly funfair with street food stalls, Christmas markets, games and attractions, a winter bar and lots of entertainment.
From 3 December 2021 to 6 March 2022. Saturday from noon to 1am and Sunday from noon to 8pm.
- Cité Fertile - 14 avenue Edouard Vaillant - 93500 Pantin
‘Bel Hiver’ (Beautiful Winter) in Saint-Denis
The event ‘Bel Hiver’ (Beautiful Winter) returns to Saint-Denis for the Christmas season 2021. The traditional Christmas fair on the square in front of the Saint-Denis Basilica Cathedral showcases local craftsmanship and expertise, and a skating rink and special activities for families await visitors. The association ‘Suivez la flèche’ will be there and will run several workshops for children and adults including an introduction to stonemasonry, a demonstration of stonemasonry, and a visit to the future work site for the reconstruction of the spire of the Basilica …
From 11 December 2021 to 2 January 2022
- Parvis de la basilique-cathédrale de Saint-Denis - 93200 Saint-Denis
Visits of Paris during the festive season
Paris is decked out in a thousand lights for the Christmas holidays: department stores' windows, illuminations, Christmas markets... The Christmas holidays are an opportunity to follow a tour full of magic and light. Below are a few ideas for original and themed tours of Paris not to be missed during the holidays:
A tour of the Paris illuminations in a 2CV with Paris Authentic
A musical tour in a 100% electric tuktuk with Tuktuk So' French. Passengers can choose between the 1 hour tour Le Bon Temps or the 2 hour tour Le Complet
From 18 December 2021 to 2 January 2022, the Tales and Stories of the Centre des Monuments nationaux will bring families together in more than 40 monuments in France - including the l'Hôtel de la Marine, the Conciergerie, the Sainte-Chapelle, the Château de Champs-sur-Marne, the Château de Rambouillet, the Château de Maisons, the Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier, le Domaine national de Saint-Cloud, the Maison des Jardies à Sèvres, the basilique-cathédrale de Saint-Denis, the Château de Vincennes and many more... - around original activities for the end-of-year celebrations.
Other attractions and visits await the public during the festive season 2021 in Paris. Those wanting to perfect their cooking skills before Christmas can take a ‘Meeting the French’cooking class, with or without a visit to a typically Parisian market (in English only). The agency Memories France is offering two special Christmas visits: firstly, a 2-hour guided tour of the covered passages, Galeries Lafayette, and a food market. The second visit – also 2 hours – includes a stroll along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and its illuminations, a tasting of Ladurée macarons and the entrance ticket to the Arc de Triomphe.
Christmas concerts in Paris
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.
A series of concerts is organised in the exceptional setting of the Maison de la Radio auditorium. The Radio France Choir and the Orchestre national de France will come together for a symphonic Christmas concert on 15 and 16 December 2021 for a requiem and symphony number 3 by Camille Saint-Saëns.
This year, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, conducted by Mikko Franck, is offering a programme exclusively dedicated to Richard Strauss on 17 December 2021.
On 21 December 2021, a Christmas organ concert awaits fans. The organist Karol Mossakowski will be accompanied by the actor Thomas Solivérès for an exceptional event.
Then, from 30 December 2021 to 2 January 2022, there will be New Year's concerts: Offenbach and his friends (symphonic concert by the Orchestre National de France) and Beethoven and Lindberg (symphonic concert by the Radio France Choir and the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra).
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 10 and 11 December 2021, the Radio Classique Christmas concert is organised in the exceptional setting of the Champs-Elysées theater. The cast is exceptional: the orchestra of the Garde Républicaine, the French Army Choir and the Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine.
From 16 to 18 December 2021, the Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra comique alternates traditional Christmas songs and modern melodies for its Christmas concert at the Opéra comique.
The Opéra Bastille is organising two concerts for the end of year celebrations. The festivities begin on 16 December with a festive concert mixing genres and styles. The Christmas concert takes place the following day, 17 December, and the programme includes Mozart and Prokofiev.
La Seine Musicale also celebrates Christmas with an exceptional Christmas Gala around the composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The Pelléas Chamber Orchestra is accompanied by the violinist Geneviève Laurenceau and the conductor Benjamin Levy for this festive moment. See you on Saturday 18 December 2021.
The sumptuous Madeleine Church is the setting for several musical evenings with Christmas carols. The magical Grand Christmas Concert takes place on 22 December 2021. It is organised by the Hélios Orchestra, which also offers this great concert the following day in the Saint-Sulpice church. The Hélios Orchestra returns to the Madeleine Church on 1 January 2022 for a New Year's concert dedicated to Strauss waltzes.
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 on 17, 25, 26, 27 and 31 December for their Christmas and New Year's concerts with Vivaldi's Four Seasons as well as Schubert's and Gounod's Ave Maria.
The Philharmonie de Paris will hold its Grand concert de Noël de l'Orchestre National d'Île-de-France on 17 December 2021. The exceptional cast includes Rosanne Philippens as conductor. The programme is devoted to Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
In the heart of Paris, the Théâtre du Châtelet welcomes the Sotto Voce Children's Choir on 19 December 2021 for a festive Christmas concert conducted by Scott Alan Prouty.
Russia and its major artists - Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rubinstein, Sviridov, Pushkin... - are in the limelight for the performance By a Winter's Night led by mezzo-soprano Victoria Shereshevskaya and pianist Alexandre Kukonin. Meet at the Orthodox spiritual and cultural centre, recognisable by the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
A magical Christmas and New Year's Eve on the Seine or in a Parisian cabaret
For an unforgettable Christmas or New Year's Eve in Paris, many establishments offer special Christmas and New Year's Day menus. This is the case of cabarets and boat companies on the Seine.
The Vedettes de Paris is offering a special evening for New Year's Eve. You will embark at the foot of the Eiffel Tower for a one-hour cruise with a glass of champagne. The opportunity to admire the illuminated monuments of Paris. At 9pm, the passengers disembark at the Francette restaurant for a festive dinner. The evening ends on 1 January 2022 at around 2am ! A second option is available for visitors who have already had dinner and want to celebrate the New Year in a festive way with a glass of champagne: the Vedettes de Paris New Year's cruise. See you at 11pm for a one-hour cruise with music.
More about the Vedettes de Paris New Year's Eve dinner cruise (from 8pm)
More about the Vedettes de Paris New Year's Eve cruise (from 11pm)