Skates away! Christmas ice-skating in Paris

Baby it’s cold outside, and if you’re feeling like you want to earn your festive glass of vin chaud or those cinnamon infused Christmas biscuits; what better way than to spend an hour or more on the ice?

The brilliant news about living in Paris is the possibility of ice-skating for next to nothing – paying merely to rent your skates for an hour.

Ice-skating is fun, something you can enjoy alone or with friends and a great way to stay active in this cold weather. So while your morning run may be as appealing as jumping in the ice-cold Seine at this time of year, and the prospect of indoor exercise puts you off because of those smug French gym bunnies who don’t seem to break a sweat or increase in body temperature after 45 minutes pounding the treadmill…heading to some of these beautiful central Paris locations for an outdoor, after-work or weekend endorphin-rush could be a welcome replacement. Get your skates on!

1. The Eiffel Tower (Trocadero)

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Not only do you get La Tour Eiffel standing spectacularly in the background; the rink at Trocadero also features a ‘Santa’s Village’ of log cabins for Christmas treats and last minute gifts.

2. Hotel de Ville

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The gorgeous Hotel de Ville building hosts an outdoor ice-rink each year which remains until early March. Perfectly located for a Paris Sunday, afterwards you can enjoy roaming the artistic haunts of the nearby Marais.

3. Champs-Elysées

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This year the Christmas market on the Champs-Elysees features an outdoor ice-rink, complete with a special section for little ones learning to skate for the first time. Buffered between the Grande Roue de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe at the end of a light-infused, tree-lined avenue, not to mention the countless culinary and craft delights at the market itself, this is a wonderful way to spend a chilly December evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like…Christmas in Paris.

Some might chastise me for mentioning the ‘C’ word while it’s still November (according to some very wise sources close to me, it’s bad luck to say it before December 1st), but as far as I’m concerned it’s less than a month to the big day and the excitement and anticipation of being reunited with friends and loved ones, as well as the inevitable gifts, songs, embarrassing jumpers, over-indulgence and excuse for general merriment is just what we need to help get us through the otherwise cold, dark month ahead. IMG_0468 IMG_0470

Such excesses were on beautifully on show in the windows of the nearby Galeries Lafayette and Printemps yesterday. Having moved to this area recently following my first 8 months of life in Paris being located on the Left-bank, I was pleasantly surprised on a mini-exploration of the surrounding Rive Droit by our proximity to Opera and the Grands Magasins of Boulevard Haussmann.

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Chestnuts roasting…on a shopping trolley on the side of the street, Disney princesses being painted onto the pavement, musical moving bears and other animals taking part in a Christmas feasts of ‘Be-our-Guest’ proportions – to stroll past the windows is to bear witness to a magical, at times bizarre but unquestioningly entertaining display of Christmas cheer, that is appealing to all age groups. Indeed, I witnessed Parisiens and tourists alike of every demographic enjoying the show.

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And why not? I don’t know what form my future Christmas’s will take; wearing Prada whilst being draped across the banquet table might cause some raised eyebrows chez moi – but this is a great free way to spend an hour before cozying up on an outdoor heated terrace with a chocolat chaud, perhaps after having spent some time exploring the nearby outdoor market on the Champs-Elysees. 26 days and counting…

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