Looking for a unique musical experience in a cozy setting? Book your tickets for the Sinfonietta Paris Chamber Orchestra, “Wine by the Glass” concert and wine tasting. Sinfonietta is “a concert series which blend and cross genres through the exploration and rediscovery of a significant and sometimes overlooked repertoire, offering fresh and innovative experiences to its audiences.” This weekend there are two “private residence” concerts and one at the iconic Reid Hall in the Latin Quarter. The program is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Divertimento in B flat Major K. 254: I. Allegro assai (1776), Valentin Silvestrov: «Moments of Mozart» (2007), and Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op.97 “Archduke” (1811), with commentary in French and English to help better understand the pieces, and wine afterwards with the musicians. Tickets just €25! Book here in English.
There’s nothing like Christmas in Alsace, but if you can’t make it to Strasbourg the next best thing is the Marché de Noël Alsacien on the square in front of the Gare de L’Est Train Station (10th), 9am-8pm. Pretzels, ginger bread, foie gras, vin chaud and many other regional specialities!
The 41st annual AAWE Bazaar at the American Church of Paris (65 Quai d’Orsay, 7th), a giant second-hand sale of quality clothes, jewelry, handbags, accessories, English books, toys, children’s and baby clothes, white elephants, and baked goods. The Bazaar also continues the long tradition of American women coming together once a week to create and craft hand-made items, for sale at the Handicrafts table. Open 9:30am-5pm. Entrance €2, free for kids, proceeds go to charities in France and abroad helping women and children.
Don’t miss this unique Marché de Noël “De L’Economie Circulaire” at La Recyclerie (right outside metro Porte de Clignancourt, 18th), from noon-8pm. Free entry. There are 15 stands from local start-ups selling everything from hi-tech to toys and home made jam! Also stands for food and drink.
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, food stands, flea market, concerts, vintage carrousel and nativity scenes, from 11am-7pm. Live singing performances on Sat-Sun at 5:30pm.
December 2-3rd, 8-10th, 15-17th and 22-24th
The Boutique Ephérmère is a market featuring 35 stands with 80 different designers from all over Europe who create unique gifts: stationary, jewelry, bags, and other fun accessories and gifts. Open December 3-4, 9-10-11, 16-17-18, and 21-22-23-24 from noon-8pm, At the Galerie Joseph, 7 rue Froissart, 3rd. Free entry.
Berkeley Books and the Academy of American Poets Fall 2017 series on American poets in Paris present a poetry reading this Sunday by Jennifer K. Dick starting at 7:30pm. Libations offered, along with musical interlude by Bremner Duthie. Free entry, limited space (so don’t be late!) At 8 rue Casimir Delavigne, 6th.
The cult musical dance show STOMP! is on at the Folies Bergere, info and tickets here.
December 8 (through January 14th)
The famous street artist JACE has a show “Je t’aime, un peu, beaucoup… Gouzou! ” (on the theme of love), at the Mathgoth Gallery (34, rue Hélène Brion, 13th). The vernissage is the th December from 6pm, and the show continues through JAnuary 14th (Wed-Sat 2-7pm).
Meet five local artists in their ateliers this weekend to check out their latest works over afternoon tea: Marcus McAllister – Colette Billaud – Anne Meunier – Josette Vigneau – Nicole Pavlowsky at 152 Rue St-Maur, 11th, free entry, open from 2-7pm. (Code rue : 49735 Escalier A code A2897, 1e étage à droite)
Just two days for the Norwegian Marché de Noël at La Recyclerie (right outside metro Porte de Clignancourt, 18th), from noon-8pm. Free entry. There are stands for food, drink, decor, and music.
See the circus acrobatic show from New Guinea, Boulevard Conakry, performing their mesmerizing fusion of traditional dance and circus acrobatics at the Quai Branly. Tickets €20.
Le Food Market is a monthly open-air food market in Belleville along the boulevard between metros Ménilmontant et Couronnes. This month’s theme is Charistmas, of course! Unlike most food markets, this one isn’t for purchasing ingredients to take home and cook up, but is a market of food stands, where none of the dishes are more than €10. There are seating areas to sit and enjoy your food. Dress warm! From 6-10:30pm.
December 26 – January 7
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 by reservation only for the holidays, La Festival du Merveilleux. Guided tours of 2 hours by an elf, where you’ll get a chance to go on the rides and attend a magical music show. Tickets €14, tours daily (including Christmas), in French with an English handout. 10am — 6pm
Through December 28
The Marché de Noël La Défense opens in late November for its 23rd year in a row with 250 chalets featuring gifts, food and Christmas decorations. Since the Champas-Elysées fair was cancelled (the contract for the company running it was not renewed by the City Council), this is the largest Christmas MArket in the Paris area (reachable on Line 1 of the metro). Free entry, open Mon-Thurs and Sunday 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm. More markets will open around Paris in December.
Daytrips from Paris
The town of Provins, with medieval ramparts making it a UNESCO listed village, hosts a two-day Marché de Noël Médiéval with a Living Nativity show in the church. You can easily catch the train from Paris to Provins for the day, but I should warn you it’s pretty crowded! Two separate markets, one in the “upper” town that has a Medieval/Renaissance Fair style, and a more traditional French Marché de Noël in the “lower” town. In between is the Tour César, a tall dungeon tower that used to protect the city, and the church hosting the free Nativity Concert several times each day. There is no entry fee for the fairs, but there are long lines for the stands, especially the food, so be prepared with a picnic basket!
Through December 30th
If you want to see the best and largest Christmas Market in France, don’t miss the Marché de Noël de Strasbourg, in Alsace-Lorraine, where the entire city is decorated with a dozen separate markets, the towering Cathedral, and countless events throughout the month of December. It’s a doable daytrip (2:15hrs by TGV from Paris), but I recommend staying overnight if you can to have time to visit the museums and enjoy the streets after the daytrippers have left. Avoid weekends if possible. Read Heather’s post from last year here.
Through January 7
The family-owned Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (the 17th-century palace that inspired Versailles) becomes a Christmas wonderland in December, decorated from top to bottom, each room in a different holiday theme, fireplaces ablaze, and holiday music playing. And at night the château facade and the gardens are lit with festive lights. It’s a magical experience, not to be missed! There are even carriage rides on the grounds. Open the weekends of December 2-3, December 9-10, December 16-17, and every day from December 23-January 7 (closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) from 10:30am-6pm. Entry €18.50 for adults, reserve in advance online (where you’ll also find the schedule for the shuttle from Melun train station to the chateau).
Other Official Paris Calendar Links
▪ For general events around Paris: Que Faire à Paris?
▪ For mainstream events visit the: Paris Office of Tourism