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Things to Do for Christmas with Kids in Paris – Updated 2021

Things to Do for Christmas with Kids in Paris – Updated 2021

Oh what fun it is to be in Paris during the holiday season! Dazzling Christmas lights brighten up the main avenues, while decorations deck the city’s restaurants and storefronts. Everywhere you turn, charming holiday villages pop up here and there, offering freshly roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and chocolat chaud to keep you warm, with lots of opportunities for unique Christmas shopping. If you are planning on spending Christmas with kids in Paris, here are some ideas for making it a fun and festive trip.

To make your Christmas season in Paris as easy as possible, be sure to have your French Health Pass on your phone via the TousAntiCovid app or in paper format, as all public businesses are required to validate this.  If you are in need of a QR code, you can consult this map with a list of participating pharmacies that will transform a paper vaccination card into a digital one.

Christmas Decorations for kids

A lovely family activity is to take a stroll down the Boulevard Haussman, just behind Opéra, and check out all the beautiful Christmas displays in the store windows. The Galeries Lafayette and Printemps both spend a lot of time and money on rivaling each other for the most creative displays. The giant Christmas tree and decorations inside the Galeries Lafayette are also not to be missed.  Galeries Lafayette’s theme this year is 1,2,3,Noel! It features Santa Claus and his band of Disney characters performing what could only be a Christmas rock song.  Printemps is focusing on Santa’s workshop and his trusty elves. Both are perfectly curated and not to be missed!  It’s the perfect outdoor activity during Christmas with kids in Paris.

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In other areas in Paris, the BHV and Bon Marché also provide enchanting Christmas decorations that are well worth a visit, as is the Christmas wood, “planted” outside the Panthéon every year.

Christmas Markets with kids

Until December 29th the Christmas Market will be in full swing at La Defense and many describe it as the largest and most beautiful Christmas market in Ile de France. There are 300 wooden chalets bursting with gift ideas, food, music, a decorations village and loads more. Santa will even be there, ready to hear Christmas gift requests! The market is open from 11am until 8:00pm Sunday through Thursday, from 11am-10pm on Friday, and from 10am-10pm on Saturdays.

In the heart of the city, discover a winter wonderland right in the Tuileries Garden. Christmas chalets will be offering hot, spiced wine, and hot chocolate, regional foods and products as well as plenty of original gift ideas. Ride the giant Ferris wheel for a spectacular view of the city of lights or treat the children to a holiday “guignol” marionette show. There’s even an ice rink to test your skating skills!

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When: Through January 2, 2022
Where: Tuileries Gardens, Paris 75001

Illuminated Festival of Lights

The popular Light Festival at the Jardin des Plantes is aglow once again!  Come experience this night-time walk through impressive light structures. The circuit begins in Place Valhubert, alight with spectacular lanterns in the shape of creatures that went extinct 65 million years ago. Cross paths with a 30meter great white shark and enter the Ménagerie, the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes, transformed with gigantic glowing creatures.

This one of a kind light festival also features live shows about nature as well as workshops where children can create and decorate their own lantern. Buy your tickets ahead of time here, for deals and family rates and save time waiting in line.  Christmas with kids in Paris has never been more enchanting.

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When: Through January 30, 2022 (closed December 24th)
Where: 2 Place Valhubert, Paris 75005 (Nearest Metro: Gare d’Austerlitz)

Charléty sur Neige

Unfortunately, this event will not be taking place in 2021. 

A unique visit for children is Charléty sur Neige, an entire winter park for children between 3-16. It’s the perfect place for children to have fun in the snow… in Paris! There’s a tobaggan run, a zip line, Christmas trees, workshops, snow garden, trampolines, climbing walls, and an ice skating rink. Plus, it’s free! Kids have all the fun.

When: not in 2021
Where: Stade de Charléty, 99 Boulevard Kellermann, Paris 75013

Ice Skating

Speaking of ice rinks, why not initiate the kids in Paris!  Check out the Esapce Sportif Pailleron to try your hand at skating.  They also have a swimming pool and plenty of other wellness activities for the whole family!

Public ice rinks can usually be found around Paris in December & January, but the city has decided to postpone these setups due to Covid.  In place of the skating rink usually found at the Hôtel de Ville, you can find a charming Christmas Village! a

We’re also excited to go ice-skating inside the Grand Palais next year! This was the largest indoor ice-skating rink in the world, and we have high hopes that it will return in 2022.

When: Not in 2021 
Where: Grand Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris 75008
Check times, dates and rates 

Disneyland Paris – perfect for Christmas with the kids

Almost every child’s dream is to go to Disneyland Paris, especially at Christmas! The world-famous amusement park is less than 45 minutes from central Paris, which makes it ideal for a day trip. This year, there’s a Christmas parade, the characters from Frozen, Santa, and many more fun festivities for all the family!

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When: Through January 9, 2021
More information on Disneyland Paris at Christmas here.

Get pedaling with the kids and Fat Tire Tours

Fat Tire Tours offers a great overview of Paris on the Paris Day Bike Tour. Plus, we visit the Christmas market in the Tuileries during the winter months!  We have bike sizes for all ages and tag-along tandems and trailers.  Bring your gloves and hat and get ready to have some fun!

When: Daily at 10am
More information at Fat Tire Tours.

We’d love to hear any ideas you have for celebrating Christmas in Paris with children.  Please share below in the comments section.

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