White Christmas Tree and Eiffel Tower 02 © French Moments
  • Home
  • Blog
  • Top 10 Things to see in Paris at Christmas with Kids

Last Updated: 18 April 2024

This year the Christmas holidays take place from Saturday 19 December 2015 to Sunday 3 January 2016 included. Christmas is a joyful time when children (and grown-ups alike!) marvel at the lights, Christmas markets and trees, without forgetting Nativity Scenes and an encounter with Santa. Here are our 10 favourite things to see in Paris at Christmas with kids.

Paris at Christmas on the Champs-Élysées

Christmas on the Champs-Élysées © French Moments
Christmas on the Champs-Élysées © French Moments

The prestigious avenue decked with lights and enchantment to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. The event remains an unforgettable experience with a festive atmosphere.

Find out more about Christmas on the Champs-Élysées.

Christmas window displays of the Grands Magasins

Christmas Windows of Printemps Haussmann © French Moments
Christmas Windows of Printemps Haussmann © French Moments

All the great department stores (Grands-Magasins) of Paris have wonderful window displays especially decorated for Christmas: Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, Bon Marché Rive Gauche and Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville. One of our favourite are the windows of Printemps Haussmann. Don’t forget to climb to the panoramic terrace on top of the Printemps store to enjoy one of the best views of the roofs of Paris…

Christmas tree of Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree Paris
Christmas Tree of Galeries Lafayette Haussmann in 2016 © French Moments

It is tradition: a giant tree always sits under the beautiful Art Nouveau dome from November to January. The 2015 Christmas tree is a metallic structure with gold and silver stars and meteorites. Four times a day at 12pm, 3pm, 4.30pm and 6pm the Christmas tree is the centrepiece of an indoor light show.

Christmas tree and Nativity Scene of Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame Christmas 05 © French Moments
Notre-Dame Cathedral at Christmas © French Moments

Another beautiful tree is to be admired on the Place Jean-Paul II in front of the Gothic façade of Notre-Dame cathedral. Inside the sanctuary, a large Nativity Scene usually fascinates young and old alike.

Nativity Scene Notre-Dame Paris
Nativity Scene of Notre-Dame in December 2016 © French Moments

However, following the great fire of April 2019 all Christmas events in Notre-Dame won’t be taking place for several years – until the restoration works are completed.

Christmas Fun Fair inside the Grand Palais

Jours de Fêtes Grand Palais
Jours de Fêtes at Grand Palais

In 2015 the Grand-Palais welcomes the festive event “Jours de Fêtes au Grand-Palais“. The stunning nave is transformed into a magical fun fair with a ferris wheel and 50 exciting rides. Open from 21 December 2015 to 5 January 2016

Paris Ice-skating rinks

During the Holiday Season, a number of open-air ice-skating rinks are found at several locations in Paris: Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, Champ-de-Mars/Trocadéro, Champs-Élysées, first floor of the Eiffel Tower. Inside the iconic Parisian Charlety Stadium is a ski resort for the 3-16 year olds during a week during the Christmas school holidays.

Merry-go-rounds in Paris

More than 20 merry-go-rounds are being set up in 18 arrondissements of Paris. Some of the sites: Place de la République (3rd, 10th, 11th arrts), Place de l’Hôtel de Ville (4th arrt), Square Saint Médard (5th arrt), Place Saint-Sulpice (6th arrt), Place Joffre (7th arrt), Place de la Concorde (8th arrt), Place d’Italie (13th arrt), Esplanade Gare Montparnasse (15th arrt), Place du Trocadéro (16th arrt), Square Louise Michel (18th arrt)…

For a complete list, check out the 2015 merry-go-rounds of Paris.

Christmas market at the foot of the Eiffel Tower

A visit to the Eiffel Tower at Christmas time has become one of the highlights of the festive season when discovering Paris. From Christmas markets to ice-skating rinks, the area of Trocadéro-Eiffel Tower-Champ-de-Mars is a very popular place to be for residents and tourists alike.

Find out more about Christmas at the Eiffel Tower.

Encounter Santa in Paris!

Christmas in France - Santa Claus © French Moments
Santa Claus in France © French Moments

Santa (known as le Père Noël in France) can be seen in many places in Paris during the time of Advent: 5th level of Galeries Lafayette, Printemps Haussmann, Bercy Village (21 Dec), Christmas market of Champs-Élysées, in the métro… the kids will surely have a few unexpected meetings with him while strolling across Paris.

Do you have other great ideas on how to spend Christmas at Paris with kids? Let us know by commenting below!


Christmas in Paris ebook
Journey to the Land of Christmas
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

Like it? Leave a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Transparency: Some blog posts and pages may contain affiliate or sponsored links. If you are planning a trip, the use of these links helps us to run the site. There is no additional cost to you. All you have to do is click on the link and any booking you make is automatically tracked. Thank you for your support!

Escape to France with every email! Get insider insights, travel guides, cultural gems delivered and exclusive offers to your inbox twice a week. Your journey to Paris and France begins when you sign up!



24 Places to See in France in 2024