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Paris Events Calendar

Paris Events Calendar – December 2012

Christmas Villages, Ice Skating & Ferris Wheel

Through January 6
The annual Christmas Village on the Champs-Elysées includes over 200 chalets selling holiday gifts, local specialties, mulled wine, warm hats and gloves, toys, jewelry and every kind of sweet imaginable. There is also a fun ice skating “track” through nature scenes, amusement park rides for kids and Santa visits. A great place to wander with an appetite and a Christmas shopping list! I made a Christmas Village video two years ago, but this year’s is much better in terms of quality and variety. Open daily 10am-11pm (until midnight Friday and Saturday).

Through January 6
The “Trocadéro on Ice” Christmas Village in the Trocadéro Gardens has an Alpine theme with ice skating and other wintery events (and a snow-maker). Stands selling food, drink and gifts, all with a fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower. Open daily 11am-8pm. 

Through December 29
The largest Christmas Village in the region is the Marché de Noël de La Défense, on the Parvis de la Défense (line 1 metro), with over 300 wooden chalets, a Bavarian restaurant, and giant igloos housing créateurs…and don’t miss the fabulous evening views over Paris! Open Sun-Turs 11am-8pm, Fri 11am-9pm, Sat 10am-9pm (until 6pm on Dec 24th). (closed Dec 25th)

December 8-16
The annual Féeries d’Auteuil takes place at the non-profit children’s organization Apprentis d’Auteuil (40 rue Jean de la Fontaine, 16th, M° Jasmin or Eglise d’Auteuil) with a Christmas market, vintage carrousel and nativity scenes, from 11am-7pm.

December 15-23
The Marché de Noël de Notre Dame takes place in the Square Viviani (on the Left bank facing Notre Dame, Quai Montebello) has a few dozen tents selling artisan gifts and local foods daily. 

Through December 15th
The “Marché de Noël Alsacien” takes place at the Gare de l’Est celebrating specialties from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. 

Through December 24
A small “Marché de Noël” of a dozen stands set up outside the Italie 2 Shopping Mall at Place d’Italie (13th). Through December 24

December 5 – 30
The “Marché de Noêl de Montparnasse” includes 40 wooden chalets of food and gifts at the foot of the Montparnasse Tower, open daily. 

December 7 – January 2
A small “Village du Père Noël” is set up outside Eglise St-Germain des Prés, open daily 11am-9pm. 

December 8-9
The neighborhood of Ménilontant is hosting Noël’Fest – Le Noël des Créateurs” along the Boulevard Ménilmontant, highlighting up-and-coming designers and artisans. Come for original holiday gifts, live music, and plenty of food stands. Open 10am-8pm. 

December 22-January 6
All of the Manèges, aka Carrousels de Paris, are free for children for the holidays. There are carrousels all over the city, but the best are the ones at the Hôtel de Ville and at the Eiffel Tower (at the Pont Iéna). Open daily 10am-9pm from 

Through February 17
At the Place de la Concorde is the Grande Roue Ferris Wheel (and the largest Christmas Tree in France). Each enclosed “car” holds six people. €10 for adult, €54 for kids under 10, open daily 10:30am-midnight. 

December 13 – January 6
The Grand Palais is hosting Le Grand Palais des Glacesthe largest indoor skating rink in Paris under the great glass Art Nouveau nave. Open daily from 10am, closing depends on the day (between 5pm and 2am, with some “nocturn” soirées, see the website for the schedule). Entry and skate rental €12, €6 for kids, advance tix on the website.

December 21 – March 17
The Patinoire de Paris is a large ice skating rink in front of Hôtel de Ville. Free entry, €5 skate rental, gloves or mittens obligatory. 

December 26 – January 6
If you saw Midnight in Paris you’ll recognize the Musée des Arts Forains, a private museum of antique carnival and fair rides and decor in a stunning setting, open to the public for the holidays. Expecy crowds, get there early and dress warmly! Open 10am-6pm, €12 entrance, €5 for kids under 12.

Special Shopping Events

December 1-2
The Wonder Vintage Market takes place the first weekend in December at Le Centquatre from 10am-7pm, with vintage clothing, accessories, records, and small furniture from the 1920s-1980s. There’s usually live music, retro hairdressing, a photo booth, conests and stands selling food/drink. Entry €4.

December 1-3
The 10th annual Frimousse des Créateurs is a special auction of dolls decorated by famous designers and artists to benefit UNICEF. They will be on display (free entry) at Le Petit Palais until December 2nd, and the auction takes place on December 3rd at 8:30pm.

December 5-9
The Carrousel du Louvre (99 rue de Rivoli, 1st) is hosting the 7th biannual Carrousel des Métiers d’Art, featuring over 350 artists, designers and young talent selling their clothing, accessories and home furnishings and objets d’art. This year’s guest of honor is Japan. Free entry. Open Dec 5th 1pm- 6pm, Dec 6th-9th 10am-8pm. 

December 7-9
The Paris Lions Club is holding their annual Marché de Noël at the Espace Blancs-Manteaux (Marais, 48 rue Vieille du Temple) with toys, jewelry, decorations, artisan objects and gifts. Free entry, from 11am-8pm. 

December 7- January 31  
The edgy contemporary art space, Palais de Tokyo, is hosting an exhibition/market Christmas Presents: Galerie des Multiples, selling original artworks and object from €79-€1000.  

December 9th
Salon Toymania is the International Vintage and Antique Toy Fair at the Palais de Congrès (M° Porte Maillot). This year’s focus is “superhero toys”, with a special exhibition. 10am-5pm, entrance €10, free for kids. 

December 11-16
A special créateurs clothing and accessories market selling direct to the consumers, the next Les Filles en Aiguille takes place at the Espace Beaurepaire (28 rue Beaurepaire, 10th), noon-7:30pm (Friday until 9pm). Free entry.

December 14-16
The Noël en Bio market at the Espace Blancs-Manteaux (Marais, 48 rue Vieille du Temple) features organic and fair-trade products, toys, gifts and holiday decorations. Free entry, from 11am-8pm. 

December 15-16
La Bellevilloise and Fifties Sound are hosting the Vintage Marché de Noël this weekend 10am-8pm, entry €2. Expect rétro-vintage stands, crafts stands, jewelry, retro hair salon stand, clothing, furniture, home design, glasses, posters, vinyl records, burlesque accessories, etc. Live 40s and 50s music starts at 4pm. Loft du Bellevilloise, 21 rue Boyer, M° Gambetta.

December 15-16
The newly-opened shopping-dining-clubbing space overlooking the Seine, Wanderlust, is hosting their own Marché de Noël this weekend on the Quai d’Austerlitz (13th) with clothing by up-and-coming designers, gourmat foods, the opening of the designer Christmas tree exposition (through Dec 31), live Bingo game, and activities for the kids. Entry is €5, open Saturday 2pm-11pm and Sun 11am-7pm.

December 15-16
The Palais de Tokyo’s Brunch Bazar Noël is a weekend of art, brunch, flea market shopping, workshops for adults and kids, cinema screenings, bar, restaurant, and clubbing. All ages welcome, noon-midnight. €12 includes entry to the exhibitions.

December 16
Home decor and clothing by young desingers and  famous brands sold at a discount to benefit the homeless children’s charity Promethée Humanitaire. At the Espace Commines, 17 rue des Commines, 3rd) from 10am-6:30pm. Entry €2.

Book Signings

December 1
Paris Pastry author David Lebovitz will booksigning at La Cuisine cooking school, where there will be copies of his books – Ready for Dessert, The Sweet Life in Paris, and The Perfect Scoop – which you can get signed for holiday gift-giving…or for yourself! There will be sweet treats provided by the school and books will be available for purchase (or you can bring copies you already own). More about the event and RSVP here.

Memorial Service

December 6
The French association Collectif les Morts de la Rue are holding a memorial service for the 162 homeless men and women aged 15 to 79 who have died on the streets of France in the past six months at 7pm, Place de la Bourse, 2nd. More information about the event on Facebook.


December 10
Join the Musée d’Orsay curator Alice Thomine-Berrada of the new exhibition Victor Baltard – Iron and Paintbrush for a private tour organized by the American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay. 3pm, from the VIP Montherlant Entrance. Free for members, €35 for non-members. RSVP here.

Through December 15
Paris Vu par Hollywood
is a free exhibition about Paris as seen in films, both modern and classics, at the Hôtel de Ville (entrance at 3 rue Lobau, 4th), Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm.

Through December 16
Looking for something unique? Check out the Museum of Everything, a temporary, traveling museum of art created by “untrained, unknown and unintentional creators of our modern world” currently housed in a former Catholic school building in St-Germain-des-Prés (14 blvd Raspail, 7th). Exhibition 1.1 is set up in the old classrooms, and there is also a boutique and café. Open Wed-Sun 11am-7pm (until 8pm Fri-Sat). Entry €5.

Through January 24
Paris Aujourd’hui, Paris Demain Les Grands Projets Qui Font Paris
is a free exhibition on the 70 different urban revival projects currently planned in the City of Paris (parks, housing, public transports, etc.) and what the future of the city will look like once they’re completed. At the Hôtel de Ville (entrance at 29 rue de Rivoli, 4th), Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm. 

Through January 27
If you noticed a rather sturdy vessel moored at the Pont Alexandre III (8th), that would be the research schooner Tara, taking a break from her world travels to present an exhibition on the effects of climate change (sponsored by the expedition’s partner, the United Nations Programme for the Environment). The schooner and its exhibition is open to the public, and will also include documentary screenings and debates on global warming. Open daily except Tuesdays from 11am-6:30pm (Sat-Sun from 10am), entry €6. 

Shows & Concerts

December 1
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Rainbow Symphony Orchestra and World AIDS Day, Jean-Christophe Leblanc, President of the Rainbow Symphony Orchestra, invites you the concert for UNESCO to combat homophobia in educational institutions. The Rainbow Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by John Dawkins with the participation of the Torcy Ensemble Romantica and men’s choir Melo’Men, Anne-Marguerite Werster (soprano) and pianists Guillaume Coppola and Hervé Billaut. On the program are Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc and Maurice Duruflé. At the UNESCO HQ (125, avenue de Suffren, 7th) from 8pm-11pm. Tickets are €24.

December 1
is the first hair show organised by stylepixie, English hairdressers in the Paris suburbs (on line 7). In the stylish setting of La Fabrique gallery, as part of the Carrément Noël Christmas exhibition of 27 artists, guests will be able to admire the fun and fantastic creations of Stylepixie’s team with champagne and great music, as well as the launch of Jax Jewellery. The exhibition is open from 11am (through Dec 8th). The hair show starts at 8pm, free entry. 

December 2
The Escurial Cinéma (11 blvd Port Royal, 5th) is hosting an 11am matinée screening of The End of the Line, a documentary about the shrinking fish population and the effects of overfishing and farm-fishing. Greenpeace and the actress Mélanie Laurant will be there for a post-screening discussion, en français, of course.

Through December 2
Cirque du Soleil are performing their new show Alegria at Paris POPB Bercy. Tickets from €48.

December 5-16
The Disney on Ice show “The Imaginary Journey” takes place at Le Zénith, tickets from €31, at FNAC.

December 13-16
The Ballet Moroshka of St-Petersburg Russia are performing the Noël Russe (warning: music!), traditional Russian ballet at Planète Equinoxe (20 rue Colonel Pierre Avia, 15th, M° Corentin Cellon), tickets from €48. Tickets from FNAC.

December 13
The Opéra de Paris (Bastille) production Carmen is officially sold out, but those who would like to attend the gala event on the 13th, tickets are available through AROP (Amis de l’Opéra de Paris). They aren’t cheap (from €250), but they include a cocktail at the intermission and the extra fees go to support the Opéra de Paris.

Through December 31
The English production of West Side Story (with French subtitles) is showing at the Théâtre du Châtelet. There are no more online ticket sales, but there are “reduced visibility seats” available by phone (01 40 28 28 40) or at the ticket counter of the theatre (17 avenue Victoria, 1st).

Through December 31
Bartabas’ amazing equestrian show Zingaro is back for another season with Calacas, a macabre Day of the Dead theme with the Grim Reaper and his horseback brigade of skeletal demons. At 176 avenue Jean-Jaurès (metro Fort d’Auberviliers), tickets €42 (€30 for kids). Book soon, these shows always sell out! 

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