Baby its Cold Outside... Well that's because we're in Paris where it ranges from 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 45°F) for most of the month! But the good news is that even when you are freezing your ass off in Paris its a happy ass because I mean let's be real. You're in Paris and from December 1st thru the New Year is probably the most beautiful time to be in Paris (other than spring, autumn and early summer ;)). Why is that you ask? Well because it soooo feels like Christmas and winter and big coats and hot drinks and all that fun stuff. So here are some fun things to do in Paris to prepare for the holiday season!
Image courtesy of Getty Images
Une: Absolute must! Check out the holiday windows at Printemps!
As you know I have spent the last 7 years of my life in Paris and every year I make it a point to go to Printemps and see the windows. It is a big deal and a lot of fun for kids and adults alike. Each year boasts a theme and sometimes a specific brand takes over the display. One year Chanel, one year Dior and sometimes it's a collective situation like this year. The one thing they all have in common is that they are fun! The bonus is that Boulevard Haussmann is always decorated with lights and you can continue walking down to Galleries Lafayette to see what they have done as well (or vice versa) then walk over to Non Coupable for a happy hour spicy Mojito to warm up!
64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris
Deux: The Holiday Market in front of L'Hôtel de Ville
Each year from December 1st to January 6th the space in front of L'Hôtel de Ville is transformed into a cute Marche de Noel (Christmas Market). You can weave through the various stands to see artisan gifts from all over the country. all the while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and/or vin chaud (spiced wine)!
2 place de l’Hôtel de ville -75004 Paris
Trois: Take a Pastry Class
On year for my mom's Christmas present I signed us up to learn how to make French puff pastries at Patisserie a la Carte in Paris' 9th arrondissement and we had so much fun! Our instructor and one of the owners Séverine Nobis was such a great teacher and we really enjoyed her fun tips and tricks. It was really an unforgettable experience, one that my mom and I still look back at and laugh! This one is a win-win because not only do you learn a skill to take back home for the holidays but you also get to take all your fun food to go!
Quatre: Go Ice Skating at Le Grand Palais
Each year starting at the end of November/beginning of December le Grand Palais is transformed into a huge holiday wonderland of a skating rink for all to enjoy. The rink is 30,000 sqft. ] available It's a great moment to do something a bit different in Paris and enjoy the beautiful lights of the city.
Cinq: Walking the Champs-Élysées
Walking the Champs-Élysées during Christmas is beautiful, all the lights are strung in the trees and fun holiday decorations all the way down towards Place de la Concorde. The best part is whether you are coming or going to the ice skating rink on (it’s at the end of the Champs-Élysées before the place de la Concorde) you can stop by Laduree for a hot cup of tea and a delicious French pastry.
Laduree : 75 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France
Six: Fondue at Le Chatlet Savoyard
There are many places in the city to find fondue but Chatlet Savoyard is one of my favorites because you can have fondue or raclette but not the modern day raclette take a slice of cheese and heat it up in a small pan, no it’s the old school put the half of a wheel of cheese on a spike, heat and scrape. So much fun and so satisfying!
58 Rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France
Sept: Go tasting at the Salon Noël Gourmand
Once a year in Paris there is an exhibition where you can wonder through various stalls and taste all the delights that are found in a traditional French Christmas dinner. As you hop from stall to stall you will taste, foie gras, biscuits, roasted chestnuts and even some great wines! Needless to say come hungry and ready to discover everything that makes a Père Noël say "ho, ho, ho" on Christmas Eve!
Huit: The light show "Espèces en Voie d’Illumination" in the Jardin des Plantes
Every year the Jardin des Plantes is transformed into a winter wonderland from mid-November until mid-January with hundreds of lights and installations. This quaint space that is located in the heart of the 5th arrondisement is a perfect place to wonder through the gardens even without the added bonus of fun holiday lights. Each year the theme changes and fun, beautiful and whimsical. The entrance fee is 15 euros and tickets are only sold online.
Whether you visit these special spots or you just get lost in the streets, there is no doubt that you will enjoy this time of year in Paris. However, from me to you it is much more fun with a cup of hot wine and after some ice skating. Have a great time et joyeuses fêtes!!