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Paris Events Calendar

Paris Events Calendar – January 2013

Leftover Holiday Events Through January 6th

Disneyland Paris celebrates the holidays as well as its 20th anniversary through January 6th with Main Street decked out in decorations, and the Disney Dreams spectacle each night. Special discount tickets available at FNAC for €45 (two parks, one day; good through Feb 28th) or €114 for the Family Pass (three people of any age).

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).

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. 

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. 

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.

Château Vaux Le Vicomte is exceptionally open for the holidays, decorated with sparkling Christmas trees, an antique carrousel with wooden horses, roaring fires in each cozy room decked out in the theme of “blue and violette”. Always worth the trek (check their website for special shuttle service from Paris). There is also a live show, “Hunchback of Notre Dame” for kids six and over, en français. Open daily 11am-6pm. Entry €13-€29 (depending on age and whether you’re staying for the show).

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.

Open-Air Winter Activities

January 5
Join thousands of happy hikers for the annual Randonnée du Rallye Tour Eiffel, with four different scenic circuits of 10km, 15km, 16km and 23 km past the iconic monuments of Paris. All walks start and finish at the Halle George Carpentier (81 Bd Masséna, 13th, M° Mairie d’Ivry), begining at 3pm (last start time is 6pm), ending with a big party (event closes at midnight). Entry is just €1.80 per person, arrive between 1pm and 3pm to pay in person (specific details on the route are in French here, or just follow the trail markings for the distance you want to walk).

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.

Through 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.

Interesting Expositions

Through January 13
The exposition Personal Best/Personal Choice highlights the works of the legendary 20th-century American photographer Elliott Erwitt at the Elephant Paname (10 rue Volney, 2nd). Entry €12. Closed Mon-Tues.

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.

Through January 27
The Cinémathèque Française (housed in a very cool Frank Gehry building in the Parc de Bercy, 12th) is hosting an exposition on one of the greatest French films of all time, Les Enfants du Paradis. Come discover this legendary 1945 film and the secrets behind its creation. Highly recommended: get your coupe-file tickets on their site or at FNAC.com to avoid any lines.

Through February 17
Did you know that in the 19th century, the Carnaval de Paris was much more popular than the one in Venice, although its reputation was quite wild, bordering on obscene. Learn all about it at the exposition La Carnaval à Paris at the newly reopened Maison de Balzac (47 rue Ryanouard, 16th). There is even a brochure with English translations for the exposition downloadable for free here.

Through February 17
The Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris is hosting L’Art en Guerre (Art at War), an exposition about the art created in France during WWII and the artists who managed to survive and even thrive during the Nazi Occupation that labeled many of them as “degenerates”. Over 400 works of art by over 100 artists, some anonymous, but also Picasso, Breton, Duchamp, Rousseau, Klee, Ernst, Matisse, Miro, Dubuffet, Braque, Léger and many more. The exposition includes documents and films never before presented in public. Entry €11. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm, Thursday evenings until 10pm.

Through February 23
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.

Live Shows

January 6-31
Reserve your places now for the ballets, operas and musical concerts at the Opéra Royal de Versailles. This month includes Wagner: Vienna 1863, Purcell’s King Arthur, Ravel’s Boléro, and the Béjart Ballet Lausanne performing Brel et Barbara.

January 24-27
Check out the best in contemporary circus arts at the 33rd Annual Festival Mondial du Cirque du Demain, four nights only under the Big Top of the Cirque Phénix, Pelouse de Reuilly (12th). There are three shows (Show A, Show B, and the “Best Of”), with prices from €15 for one show to €110 to see all three.

Extended through February 26
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! (Note: Dinner is served in the main tent after the Sunday show if you book at the bar BEFORE the show begins).

Literary Event

January 30
The American Library in Paris has been hosting its free Evenings with an Author since the 1930s. Tonight guests will meet Lisa Reznik, Director of Left Bank Bookseller, and Cyntia Morris, author of novel Chasing Sylvia Beach, who will discuss their treatment of the literary giant (and Shakespeare & Co founder) Sylvia Beach in their respective media: film and prose. Starts at 7:30pm, free entry.

Shopping Event

January 9 – February 12
The annual Soldes d’Hiver (winter sales) begin January 9th and last until February 12th, with most stores in the country, but particularly clothing shops, selling last season’s collections at up to 70% off to make way for the Spring/Summer collections.

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