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  • Writer's pictureNicole Ruskell

The best Christmas Markets on the French Riviera 2023

From snow-covered chalet villages to ice skating rinks, Mulled wine to hot chocolate... Here is a selection of the largest family festivities from Antibes to Valbonne and the biggest cities in-between.


Antibes Juan-les-Pins

16 Dec - 07 Jan


Esplanade du Pré des Pêcheurs

The Christmas village returns with gourmet and artisanal chalets, decorations, games, the Ferris wheel, and the Carrousel. New this year, a new free interactive animation on a big screen is also proposed to the children: 10:30 am to 9:00 pm (10:30 am to 9:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays);

Concerts daily with different types of music from gospel to banjo to gipsy Christmas.


Pinède Gould Ice rink (JLP)

The 525m² natural ice rink (+105m² reserved for the little ones) is back from 22 Dec. The animals of the small farm await young and old as well as pony rides and two Christmas food trucks.


Ice rink is open from 9:30 am - 8 pm. Fridays and Saturdays, until 9pm.

The last access to the rink is 40-45 minutes before closing time. Free for children under 10 years old and 3€ for children over 10 years old. Gloves must be worn.


A small petting zoo pony rides from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (with lunch break for the ponies). From 3 to 10 years old accompanied by an adult.


Water-Skiing Santa!

22 Dec

Don't miss Pere Noël arriving by Ski Nautique in the bay of JLP at 10:30 am.


Full programme here:



Beaulieu-sur-mer

06 Dec - 03 Jan

Skating rink, shows, musical parades...


Santa's mailbox

Installed at Carrefour des Héllènes from December 1st to 21st


Lightshow

Video Mapping : "Light projection in music".

Wed 2 January on Marinoni square

Wine and hot chocolates offered


Ecological ice rink

29 Dec - 7 Jan

Place Marinoni from 11am to 6pm - 5€ Place Marioni


Carriage rides

Wednesday December 21 & 28 from 10H to 13H and from 14H to 17H

(free) - Departure tourist office


Musical parades

  • "Magic Christmas" - Sat, December 23rd from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the streets of the town

  • "Benty Brothers Music" - Sat, December 30th from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the streets of the town

  • "World Music Band" - Saturday December 31st from 10H to 12H30 in the streets of the town

Wine and hot chocolates offered at Marinoni square

Biot

01 - 30 Dec

The magic of Christmas will once again invade the Cité des Verriers. Illuminations, shows and entertainment for all will be on the agenda, as well as the traditional Christmas market and its charming chalets. Not forgetting ... the snow that will be in the village throughout the month of December. This year's theme is the mountains and skiing and snow sports will be all around.


"Biot I love Christmas"

  • Inauguration 01 Dec

  • Launch of the illuminations

  • Opening of the 1st Christmas section

  • Wine and hot chestnuts offered by the Amicale Biotoise des Traditions

The Christmas shutters! - Les Volets de Noël

01 - 24 Dec

When the streets of the village are transformed into a giant advent calendar. From December 1st to 24th, the shutters decorated by the little biotois open day after day, forming an open air exhibition.


Saint Lucia's Day

13 Dec

  • Saint-Philippe lights up on Saint Lucia's day from 5 pm

  • Ambulatory light show with the Moon Parade of the Indigo circus

  • Performance of song and dance by the Espace des Arts et de la Culture

  • Distribution of lanterns to children and lantern parade

  • Snack offered to children


Christmas Market inauguration

15 Dec

Opening of the Christmas Market

- 6pm: Launch of the Christmas Market

- 6.30pm: Opening cocktail with champagne soup and sweet treats on offer

- 7pm: Concert by the Biot Brass Band

Artisan and Gourmet Christmas Market

15 - 30 Dec

The big Christmas market of Biot will be inaugurated on Friday, December 15 th at 6pm, place de Gaulle. This year's market will feature 25 snow-covered chalets with local wines, savoury hampers, gingerbread, honey, flower preserves, candles and other scented products for the home, jewellery and accessories, sweets, biscuits, chocolates, jams, ceramics, cuddly toys and gifts for everyone on your list!


Toboggan run and donkey rides

16 - 30Dec

A toboggan run will be set up on the Place des Arcades, with the traditional wooden games and creative workshops around it. Another novelty, a donkey rides will be proposed in the alleys of the historical centre.

Christmas tales and meeting with Santa Claus

16 - 23 Dec

Visit of Santa Claus to meet the children in the village: from 3pm to 6pm.


Christmas story told by Santa Claus

  • Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December: from 11am to 1pm and from 2pm to 6pm

  • Monday 19th to Friday 23rd of December : from 2pm to 6pm


Ugly Sweater Contest

19 Dec

From 6.30pm enjoy the Christmas jumper evening - Put on your ugliest Christmas jumper and come and take part in the Miss and Mister Christmas jumper election in the Place de Gaulle. In a festive atmosphere, on the red carpet and at the top of the podium, take part in the parade of the most kitsch jumpers and be elected by the public.


"Moon Boots and Ski Suits" Apéro Evening

21 Dec

From 7pm: Dress in your best ski overalls and your best Moon Boots®, come and join in a real high altitude aperitif. A DJ and cocktails will set the mood in Biot, the most beautiful ski resort on the coast!



Cannes

2 Dec - 7 Jan

The city is decked out and celebrating the holidays with a Christmas village, an amusement park, a pop-up art & cultural centre, light shows on all the church facades, concerts, film screenings, fireworks and so much more!


Allée Felix Faure

The Christmas village has around 50 little Alpine chalets with warm foods, goodies and artisan crafts. Treat yourself and buy your Christmas gifts. You will also be able to sample various specialties, such as the traditional roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and sweets to take away…


Father Christmas welcomes children and their parents on the Allées de la Liberté.


Schedule:

Open every days from 10 am to 9 pm.

Fri and Sat until 10 pm.


Ice skating

The ice rink, with its 350 m2 of natural ice, located in the Christmas village with a varied program of activities for young and old.


From 10am to 1pm:

Free for children from 4 to 10 years old (3 € for accompanying persons).

An instructor will be present every morning and lessons will be offered to beginners (registration on site).


From 1pm :

3 € entry for all, 45-minute session, equipment included. Gloves required (not provided).


Esplanade Pantiero Funfair

From December 2 to January 7, every day, at 4pm from Dec. 2 to Dec. 21 and 2pm to 11pm from Dec. 22.

To the delight of carnival-goers, around fifty food stalls, merry-go-rounds and various games (slide, small car circuit, haunted house, rifle shooting, lottery, etc.) are on offer for you to enjoy with your family or friends!


The Christmas Parade

Saturday 23 December from 5.30pm

A luminous parade featuring Father Christmas in traditional costume accompanied by his horde of elves, artists, stilt-walkers, musicians and inflatable horses and snowflakes, accompanied by traditional Christmas carols and jazz music.


New Year's Fireworks

December 31st at midnight

New Year's Eve fireworks on the theme of Charlie Chaplin.

Details on www.cannes.com


Gare Croisette

8 Dec - 22 Jan

A cultural and artistic haven in Cannes bringing shopping, food, music, artists and more… Vintage shops, tattoo artists, DJs, gourmet sandwiches, vinyl shops and art exhibitions.


Cagnes-sur-Mer

16 - 31 Dec


THE ENCHANTED SQUARE

Place de Gaulle

- Saturday 16 December at 3pm: Inauguration

Elves wander around the town centre at 10.45am, 3pm and 4.30pm.


ENCHANTED TREE

A large Christmas tree, joyfully transformed into an enchanted merry-go-round.

Accessible to everyone aged 3 and over accompanied by an adult, and without an adult aged 14 and over, from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 7pm every day (closed on the 25th).


CHRISTMAS STALLS

Santons, gingerbread, socca, hot chestnuts...

From 10am to 7pm every day


SANTA'S LETTERBOX

From 10 to 24 December, Place de Gaulle and esplanade du Béal.


BUILD YOUR OWN TREE HOUSE

A family activity for young and old builders alike...

10am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm - Free.

16 to 31 December


THE LITTLE CHRISTMAS TRAIN

Cros-de-Cagnes, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm - Free



Grasse - Noël Gourmand

15 Dec - 07 Jan

This year, more than ever, Christmas in Grasse is all about families and children: merry-go-rounds, an ice rink, creative workshops, parades and shows await young and old alike. Stroll through the historic centre of Grasse and take advantage of the expert advice offered by the stallholders at the Christmas Market and the shopkeepers in the town centre to help you do your shopping, plus:

  • Musical Christmas concerts with the Conservatoire de Musique de Grasse

  • Shopkeepers' Christmas window raffle

  • Guided tours on the theme of Christmas in Provence

  • Olfactory tours and children's workshops at the Musée International de la Parfumerie



Christmas Market

15 Dec

Inauguration of the festivities and the Christmas market in the presence of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, the year's mascots, from 6 pm.


Ice Rink

17 Dec to 01 Jan

Open 10 am to 8 pm. Accessible to adults and children from 4 years old. Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Price: skate rental 3€ / Gloves mandatory


Father Christmas

23 Dec

Arrival of Santa Claus in a horse-drawn carriage Cours Honoré Cresp and throughout town - From 11am

Lucéram - Circuit des Crèches de Lucéram

2 Dec - 7 Jan


Discover the Nativity Scene Trail, with more than 450 nativity scenes to discover in the authentic medieval village of Lucéram, whose narrow streets are decorated in the colours of Lucéram and Christmas: red and gold, and where each house has its own nativity scene.


From the smallest in half a walnut to the largest measuring 10 metres long, more than 450 cots are on display in the streets, cellars, on fountains, under porches, in the church, in the tower, in the chapels, in the bread oven, in the Crib Museum, the Museum of Old Tools, in the Maison de Pays / Tourist Office, in the Placette, in the shops...


Christmas market on Sunday, 10 & 17 Dec

The Three wise men arrive on 7 January with gifts and a giant galette du Rois, 13m wide!




Monaco

07 Dec - 07 Jan

"Rainier III, Prince Passionate"

As every year, the Monaco Christmas Village takes over Port Hercule and this year, to celebrate the centenary of Prince Rainier III, the theme "Rainier III, Prince Passionate" is felt throughout. Numerous decorations paying tribute to Prince Rainier III and more particularly to his many passions will be set up on Quai Albert I: the arts, motor sport, animals and the sea.


There will also be plenty of entertainment to punctuate the festivities at the end of the year, with the Christmas Village sure to delight young and old alike!


Christmas market

19 chalets selling decorative items, gadgets, jewellery... These chalets stand alongside 24 food stalls offering a wide range of specialities to enjoy with family and friends.


Attractions

7 rides, including the Ferris Wheel, the toboggan run, the Christmas tree merry-go-round and three new attractions (flying chairs, a children's rollercoaster and Santa's sleigh) will be set up on Quai Albert I.

  • Parades each weekend from 2:30 - 6:30 pm

  • Concerts on stage each Friday from 6:30 to 9:10 om

  • Lighted Fountain display from 6:15 pm on the pool at the Stade Nautique Rainier III

  • Kids craft workshops every weekend and school holiday from 2 - 6 pm.


Sports Village

15 December 2023 to 7 January 2024, Darse Sud in the Port of Monaco

- Tree climbing course (from 8 years old)

- Climbing structure made up of several coloured routes representing different levels of difficulty

- 3 obstacle courses of increasing difficulty inspired by the famous TV game Ninja Warrior

- A 180-metre-long Tyrolean traverse that will allow the bravest to fly over the Route de la Piscine, starting from the highest diving board in the Stade Nautique Rainier swimming pool.

Prices: from €7 to €10.


New Year's Eve

Sunday 31st December 2023

An evening of dancing with a DJ from 9pm and a spectacular light fountain show from 11.59pm to 12.20am.






Mouans-Sartoux

03 Nov - 24 Dec

Foire aux Santons

One of the largest Santon fairs in the world! A collection of thousands of the most intricately painted figurines from traditional Provencal life. See all the different characters and artisans who make them under one roof. Open daily from 2 - 6pm at the Cinema Médiatheque, free entry.











Mougins

01 Dec - 07 Jan

Santa Claus has settled in Mougins! Visit his house... tired of the freezing cold of Lapland, Santa Claus and his elves have left everything behind to come to Mougins. They fell in love with a little house in the old village, a cosy place in the old bread oven... which is never locked! Without Not forgetting the mailbox in which the lists of toys can be directly deposited.


Santa's House

A magical immersion in the daily life of the most of the most endearing hero of little & big children!

Old village of Mougins - Four à Pain, rue des Mûriers

Open Wednesdays, weekends & school vacations, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. & 2-6 p.m. (Closed on 12/25). Free admission.

  • "Chalet des gourmandises" with crepes, waffles & hot drinks

  • "Christmas Boutique" corner at Santa's House & at the Tourist Office.

  • Christmas tree maze on the Place des Patriotes

Ice rink

Each Wednesday, weekend & school holiday.


Gospel & 13 desserts

22 Dec

Mougins village, 6pm

- Gospel show in the village square

- Father Christmas will be there. Come and pose with him!

- Buffet tasting of the thirteen Christmas desserts, a real tradition in Provence. All accompanied by mulled wine and hot chocolate!



Nice

07 Dec - 07 Jan

Christmas in Nice! The city has gone all-out with a huge Eco Christmas village with dozens of artisan chalets with workshops, food and candy and lots of entertainment, free concerts and activities for the whole family. Open every day in Place Massena and the Albert I gardens.


CHRISTMAS MARKET

45 chalets featuring a wide range of crafts and Christmas products, plus a larger tasting area with mulled wine, Christmas beers, cold meats and cheeses, an oyster bar, a champagne bar and other specialities, socca, waffles...


SANTA'S HOUSE

Weekends and school holidays from 23 to 25 December, 2pm to 7pm.

Father Christmas and his letterbox will be on hand until 25 December. Games for children and family fun.


THE SUGAR SHACK

Weekends and school holidays from 2pm to 7pm

As if by magic, your children can become one of the famous Christmas characters. Your little ones are free to choose the make-up of their dreams, and all for a small price.


Great Christmas Parade

A free, magical show featuring over 200 performers

Saturday 9th December

Musicians, dancers, acrobats, mascots, DJs, Santa's float... on parade.

- 11am to 6pm, Place Massena: Musical stage with entertainment, DJs, showcases, games and gifts

- 5pm: Start of the Big Christmas Parade (Avenue Jean Médecin / corner avenue Thiers)

- 6.30pm: Arrival of the Big Christmas Parade on Place Massena


Swedish Festival of Light - Celebration of Saint Lucia

Saturday 9 December at 5.30pm

Traditional Swedish carols and sweet treats in partnership with the Swedish Consulate. Inside the Christmas village, a Christmas scene, songs and speeches, and a question about Europe.


Musical entertainment

10, 17, 27 and 30 December at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm

In the heart of the village, you'll be able to dance to the sounds of traditional Christmas music as our entertainers take to the streets!


Municipal Guard Band

10 December at 2pm

When jazz takes on the colours of Christmas! The combo-jazz band of the Musique de la Garde Municipale de Nice will be performing a programme of traditional Christmas carols revisited in jazz standards.

Concerts

There is no Christmas magic without music! Come and share these musical moments with groove, rock, jazz, gospel and of course listen to Christmas carols! Concerts start at 2 pm on the Père Noël stage in the centre of the village.


Free shows for kids

3pm, Albert 1er Garden

Free shows, specially designed for young audiences, are offered every weekend and during the school vacations in the heart of the Christmas village.


GIANT NATIVITY

"Lou Présépi, Place Rossetti

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the donkey, the ox, the sheep, the shepherd and his dog, the dromedaries and the Three Wise Men: 17 life-size automatons will bring this beautiful cot to life.

Every day from 16 to 25 December, from 10am to 8pm.

For more details, visit the city’s website.



Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

09 Dec - 07 Jan


This Christmas in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, enjoy a cross-country ski trail set amidst fir trees and forest animals presented on educational panels. Put on your cross-country skis, snowshoes or skates and let yourself slide along the ecological trail for a unique sliding sensation!


Inauguration of the ski run

9 Dec

4.30pm, Theatre on the Sea

Speech by the Mayor - Fairground snack - Visit from Father Christmas

Free ski slope, biathlon and curling from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.

Dress code: Christmas jumper


Inauguration of the nativity scene and illuminations

7pm, Place Clemenceau

- Fifres & Tambourins with the Lanciour Group and the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Choir

- Chestnuts, shortbread, gingerbread, mulled wine and hot chocolate.


Visit from Father Christmas

16 Dec

2pm to 6pm, Théâtre sur La Mer


Galette des rois

7 Jan

4pm, Théâtre sur La Mer. Free admission

Galette des rois tasting, music and colouring workshop for children.







Valbonne

09 - 27 Dec

Valbonne's Christmas festivities will take place on Place Méjane in Garbejaïre and in the streets of Valbonne Village. A whole host of activities have already been planned, including a Christmas market, shows, children's workshops, a wandering Father Christmas and hot chocolate, to give young and old alike an enchanting, friendly experience.


  • Concerts

  • Nativity Scene

  • Local products Christmas market

  • Provençal Market

  • Entertainment for kids, face painting

  • Tasting stands

  • Fire and juggling performance


Find the full programme:




For more markets, activities and celebrations in other towns and in Provence, visit Noël en Provence.

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