Christmas in Cannes

    Important note about this holiday guide: Below are the anticipated 2021 Christmas events for Cannes, France and we update the list as new information is released. Please make sure to double-check with the local tourism office before going to an event, because events may get cancelled due to the current COVID19 situation. Make sure to also check our complete guide to spending your Christmas season holidays on the French Riviera.

    Christmas cottage with decors and animations, Cannes, France

    Cannes becomes even more lively around the holidays with the Christmas village and market, light shows, and many attractions that you and your kids will love.

    The Christmas season in Cannes begins with the ceremonial lighting of the whole city. Moving figurines, displays, and various animations will illuminate in multiple locations in the city. Following this joyful inauguration is a lively ice-show. The impressive display of lights, figurines, cute teddy bears, and sparkly fir trees will definitely amaze your children as you take in the yuletide spirit.

    In Esplanade Georges Pompidou, you can see and marvel at the largest animated Christmas tree in the French Riviera — 33 meters high!

    A part of the celebration, rue d’Antibes will be closed to cars and open only for pedestrians on weekends in December, plus Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, from 2pm to 7pm. There will be music and Christmas carols playing from sound systems.

    Below are the main Christmas holiday events for Cannes, France:

    Cannes Christmas Village and Market

    Christmas in Cannes - cannes christmas village1

    The Christmas village and market has about 50 chalets selling food and handicrafts. It is a great place to find memorable gifts and have chestnut treats and mulled wine.

    Two separate stalls are for the traditional Provençal crèche, or nativity scene depicting the Christmas traditions and the season with many traditional statuettes.

    • Location: Allées de la Liberté Charles de Gaulle
    • Timing: November 27 to January 2. Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 9pm; Friday and Saturday: 10am to 10pm
    • Live Music: December 12 from 3:30pm
    • Launch of Christmas lights and ice show, inauguration of the village followed by the “Join the circus” ice show and musical entertainment with Esperance de Cannes: The last Saturday of November at 6pm

    The Canadian Christmas Village

    Shows and entertainment in Canada: La Cabane à Sucre and taffy on snow tasting, plus musical entertainment from Canada.

    • Location: La Bocca, Place du Marché
    • Timing: From December 18 to December 24 from 2:30pm to 6:30pm

    Ice-Skating Rink

    Show your best move and gracefulness on Cannes’s huge outdoor 400m2 natural ice-skating rink! There will be a “Champagne” Christmas-themed skating show on December 20 at 7pm.

    • Location: Christmas Village at Allées de la Liberté Charles de Gaulle
    • Timing: November 27 to January 2. Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 9pm; Friday and Saturday: 10am to 10pm. Every morning from 10am to 1pm access is reserved for children from 4 to 10 years old, with free admission. Instructors for beginners are present in the morning. Sled chairs and sliding penguins are available for rent (children must be under adult supervision). Closes early at 4pm on December 20 in preparation for skating show.
    • Price: €3 per person, which includes skate rental. 45 min session. Gloves compulsory (not provided).

    Meet Santa

    Ready to meet Santa?

    Santa’s Cottage

    Find him in his cottage in the Christmas Village and take pictures with him! Elves, fairies, storytellers with cheerful and warm personalities will welcome and offer children workshops and tales on the Magic of Christmas. There will be many workshops (like makeup and balloon sculptures) to keep your kids busy. For a place to eat and sample the delicacies from the stalls, there will be a food corner nearby.

    Santa will receive children in his chalet until December 24, 2021 and then will stroll on Avenue F. Tonner.

    • Location: Christmas Village at Allées de la Liberté Charles de Gaulle
    • Timing: Santa will be present on December 11, 12, 15 and from December 18 to 24, from 2pm to 6pm.

    Christmas Theater

    Meet Santa at the live theater show: “The costume of Santa Claus”. The plot: The Santa Claus costume is gone! His daughter is responsible for finding him, but when his path crosses that of Father Fouettard’s son, it’s certainly funny and explosive! Marie-Noëlle is appalled… We dared to steal the Santa Claus costume that she was preparing for the big day?! His suspicions quickly turn to Jean-Balthazar, but the latter does not cooperate easily, and Marie-Noëlle will then have to be very persuasive or even threatening… luckily the public is there to help her.
    This show is a inspired Christmas fable as funny and quirky as it is poetic and touching. Circus and comedy are the basis of this funny, dynamic and touching show for all audiences with a lot of poetic humor, all sprinkled with magic.
    Santa Claus will be present for photo shoots. Followed by free snacks.

    • Location: Salle Gilbert Fort
    • Timing: December 15 at 3pm
    • Price: Free admission, limited seating available.
    • Language: French

    Santa Parades

    Gather the family for one of the most beloved events of Christmas time in Cannes: the Christmas Dream Parade. This Christmas parade features performers, acrobats, fairies, Christmas characters, live music and more. The parade of cuddly toys and Santa Claus is a must-see for anyone with kids.

    • Location: Rue d’Antibes
    • The big parade with acrobats and live music: Christmas Eve (December 24) from 3pm
    • Smaller parades of Santa Claus and his Elves: December 12 & 19 from 2:30pm

    Christmas Parades

    There are 3 main light parades happening on cours Félix Faure, rue Meynadier, rue Hoche, rue d’Antibes. These parades have human performers lit up in lights and illuminated costumes.

    • December 4 from 5pm: “The Ride of the Steppe” is inspired by the Russian steppe, the troupe searches their native steppe to find Santa’s path to Lapland. This troupe is made up of 12 white elves, 4 riding elves, 2 waders and 6 jazz band musicians.
    • December 11 from 5pm : “The kidnappers of light”, a magical parade made up of 20 characters (musicians, jugglers, dancers, stilt walkers) straight out of the imagination.
    • December 18 from 5pm: “The Santa Claus Brigade”, a troupe made up of 23 characters: dancers, circus artists, and actors, Father Christmas, Bonhomme Petit Biscuit and Jazz Band musicians stroll and call out to the public.

    Light Shows

    The so-called “painter of light”, Gaspare Di Caro of Spain, will turn a number of landmarks and buildings in Cannes into a marvelous “canvas” of bright, colorful, and cheerful lights every evening at 6pm. Among the structures that will be part of this unique spectacle are:

    • Notre Dame d’Esperance Church
    • Tower of Castre au Suquet
    • La Malmaison
    • St-Marguerite Church (La Bocca)
    • Chapelle de la Miséricorde

    The Cannes Kid’s Funfair

    While it’s not holiday-themed, next door to the Christmas village is the Kids Funfair. Experience the joy of the kids Funfair, with 50 stalls for food, rides, and games. Have fun on the slides, a small car circuit, haunted house, and many more!

    • Location: Patiero Esplanade
    • Timing: November 3 to January 5 from 11am to 11pm

    Spend the Christmas Holiday Season in Cannes!

    The perfect combination of cosmopolitan classics and traditional character, with the addition of the cheerful spirit of the holiday, is what makes Cannes an enjoyable Christmas destination and a beautiful place to celebrate the yuletide season! Double-check your plans with the Cannes tourism office, and their list of events, in case of changes.

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