Cool Things to Do in Lyon For Christmas

What to Do in Lyon after the “Fête des Lumières”?


The Festival of Lights traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday season in Lyon: 
the weather gets snowy and cold, lights are on, and yes kids can’t stop thinking about Christmas… Here’s a list of 10 fun things to do friends and families can do to keep the holiday spirit alive.


Food & Holiday Shopping

Holiday Food Tour at Paul Bocuse’s Covered Market

If you wander what your christmas dream dinner would look like, why not make a gourmet tour of Paul Bocuse covered market known as Les Halles?

Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse

Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, best food market in Lyon. ©Jack Leone

Lyon’s famous indoor market named after 3-Michelin-starred chef, has become a must-go for tourists and business travelers eager to get a taste of French gastronomy and learn about the city’s gourmet identity.

Visites de Lyon proposes guided tours with food and wine tastings.

You are going to see a crowd of locals looking for fine and expensive food items many of them could not afford to buy on a regular basis from foie gras to oysters, scallops or lobsters.

Les Halles Paul Bocuse (Food tour by Visites de Lyon)  
102 Cours Lafayette – Subway B Part Dieu or Place Guichard, Tramway T1 Mairie du 3ème or Part-Dieu Servient, Bus C3 Halles Paul Bocuse. Fare: 39 Euros (90 minutes), 59 Euros (2h).

Christmas Cooking Classes

It’s never too late to learn how to cook, get some ideas for your christmas menu or have a culinary experience with local chefs.

Cooking class businesses propose a series of courses ahead of christmas: Foie gras, lobsters, scallops, pumpkin cream soup, christmas logs, roasted pineapples, macaroons, chocolate truffles and full christmas menus.

Gourmet lovers can taste the dishes they made or, in some cases, bring them home.

Atelier des Chefs – 8, Rue St Nizier (Lyon 2) – Subway A Cordeliers – 75/90 Euros

Atelier des Sens – 55, Rue Garibaldi (Lyon 6) – Subway A Foch – 68/92 Euros

Delicieusement Vôtre – 28, chemin de Montray (Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon) – Bus C19 Sainte-Foy Hôpital


Alternative Christmas markets in Croix Rousse and Part Dieu

Two trendy temporary christmas markets happen on December 16-17 in Lyon, a great opportunity to find gift ideas made by local artisans and artists the last weekend before christmas.

Croix Rousse traditional christmas market takes place on Sathonay square with 60 crafters selling decorative items, jewels, fashion clothes, ceramics, leather goods or art prints.

Another, more intimate, christmas market is hold simultaneously at Instead, a former brownfield site turned café, photo studio and showroom in the 3rd district.

Alternative shoppers may find funny printed clothes, perfumes with rare aromas in a very friendly atmosphere with good music, DJs, Hand embroidered christmas cards, street art workshops for kids and yes, a lot of candies.

Croix Rousse Christmas market – 360° sur l’Art – December 16-17 – 11am-7pm 
Place Sathonay & Rue Vitet (Subway A, C Hotel de Ville).

Part Dieu Pop Up Xmas Market – December 16-17 – 10am-7pm  , Instead, 6, Rue de la Part-Dieu – Lyon 3 – Subway B Place Guichard, Tramway T1 Liberté.

Kids & Comedy Shows

Visual Quick-Change Show at the Celestins Theatre

Arturo Brachetti

Arturo Brachetti

Arturo Brachetti, the world’s most iconic quick-change artist, is back to Lyon in December with his new one-man visual show named Solo featuring dozens invented characters he successively plays.

The young (and not so young) audience is usually bowled over by both the artistic and technical performance of the italian maestro.

It’s a good way to keep kids busy during the christmas break away from any computer screen or video games for one hour or two.

Arturo Brachetti (one-man visual theatre show) – 90 minutes. 
Celestins Theatre – 4 Rue Charles Dullin – Lyon 2 – Subway A, D Bellecour 
Dates: December 14-31 (4pm or 8pm) – Fares : from 9 euros to 38 Euros.


Soap Bubble Circus Show in Croix Rousse slopes

If there was a list of games kids never get bored of (playing), soap bubble blowers may certainly be near the top of it.

Soap bubble show

Soap Bubble Circus Show in Lyon

The successful soap bubble show created by the compagnia Ribolle, an italian circus troupe, is the latest proof.

Clowns and jugglers take viewers into a poetic, funny and colorful journey despite the absence of words or taming performances.

There is no chance for parents to fall asleep because of the constant interaction between comedians on stage and the audience asked to move, sing and participate in any way.

Soap Bubble Circus at Salle Paul Garcin – 7 Impasse Flesselles, Lyon 1 – Subway Hotel de Ville (A, C) or Croix-Paquet (C). 
Fare: 19 Euros (14 euros for children under 14-year-old). 
Dates: December 20: 2.30pm, 5pm / December 21: 8.30pm / December 22: 4.30pm, 8.30pm 
December 23: 3.30pm, 8.30pm. 


Kids Theatre Play at the Gadagne Museum

Lyon’s Puppet Arts museum proposes a 40-minute kids and family oriented play created in 2017 by a French multidisciplinary theatre company whose shows combine theatre, puppeteers, music and video.

Les Petits bonhommes dans le Brouillard show

Les ptits bonshommes dans le brouillard (c) La Contravention.

Les P’tits Bonshommes dans le brouillard (Little men in the fog), the name of the play, tells the story of three little boys who have always dreamt of seeing snow while they are living in a tropical area.

The three characters do whatever they can to see their shared dream comes true. 
After all, it’s what the christmas season is all about!

Les P’tits Bonshommes dans le brouillard (Puppet play) – La Contravention Theatre company. 
Gadagne Museum – 1 Place du Petit Collège – Lyon 5 – Subway D Vieux-Lyon. 
Fare: 10 euros (adults), 8 Euros (children) – December 27 (10.30am, 4.30pm), December 28 (10.30am).

Outdoor Activities for Folks & Families


Luna Park Winter Funfair in Confluence

Croix-Rousse’s Vogue des marrons may be over, there is another funfair coming up in Lyon.

Luna Park winter edition kicks off on December 16 on Quai Perrache right between Confluences Museum and the shopping mall: a winter wonderland for kids and anyone willing to bring his or her inner child from roller coasters to bumper cars, haunted houses, shooting stands and frustrating claw toy-grabbing machines.

They are of course plenty of food: cotton candies, candy apples and waffles…

Luna Park funfair – From December 16 – 75/79 Quai Perrache – Lyon 2

Tramway T1 Musée des Confluences or Hotel de Région
Opening hours: 2pm-8pm (until midnight on Fridays, Saturdays and holiday eves).


Ice Skating in Monplaisir and Carnot Square

Sliding on an outdoor ice rink is the funniest thing to do during the holiday break anywhere in the world.

In Lyon, kids and families can go skating in Monplaisir while enjoying a magnificent view on the Lumière Brothers’ former villa, the home of the Lumière institute and the museum of cinema.

You don’t have to wait the opening of Monplaisir’s ice skating, on December 15, to impress your friends with improvised figures as Lyon’s christmas market has (for the first time) its own temporary ice rink.

On top of that, three after work parties are set for December 1, 15 and 22 featuring remixed christmas songs, street food and skating.

Monplaisir– Place Ambroise Courtois – Lyon 8 Subway D Monplaisir-Lumière 
December 15 – January 7 – 4 euros for one hour (3 euros for children and students).

Carnot square (Lyon Christmas market) – Subway A/Tramway T1, T2 Perrache
December 1-30 – 3 euros – Opens daily – Full timetable


Music & Arts

Modern Art Exhibition at Lyon Fine Arts Museum

Los Modernos, Lyon’s Fine Arts Museum winter exhibition, focuses on Modern Art and the artistic bond French and Mexican artists built in the first half of the 20th century.

Frida Kahlo self portrait at Lyon Museum of Fine art

Frida Kahlo Self-Portrait On The Border Between us, Mexico-1932 (c)Cchristie’s images-Bridgema Iimages.

Visitors can see hundreds of paintings, sculptures and photos from the museum own collection as well as Mexico’s museum of Art (Museo Nacional de Arte).

The exhibition shows works of European and American Modern art painters from Picasso to Diego Rivera, Fernand Léger, Francis Bacon, Frida Kahlo, David Alfaro Siqueiros or José Clemente Orozco.

Los Modernos –Fine Arts museum – December 2 – March 5 – Subway A/C Hotel de Ville.
English guided tours on Saturdays at 12.30pm (December 16, 30 / January 13, 27 / February 10, 24). 15 Euros (full fare).


End-of-the-Year Broadway Concert at the Auditorium

Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL) playing at the Auditorium

Lyon National Orchestra et Lyon’s Auditorium © David Duchon.

Lyon National Orchestra holds its annual end-of-the-year concert featuring Broadway musicals from My Fair Lady to Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story to name a few: a great way to say goodbye to 2017 while celebrating the New year as if you were in a Broadway theatre in Midtown, Manhattan.

One of the best performers of French classical music got help from British American orchestral conductor David Charles Abell, an expert of the Broadway repertoire who worked with Leonard Bernstein on West Side Story.

End-of-the-year concert – Lyon National Orchestra – Broadway shows (1h40) 
Lyon Auditorium – 149, Rue Garibaldi, Lyon 3 (Subway B Part Dieu, Tramway T1 Part-Dieu Servient). 
December 29: 8pm, December 30: 6pm, December 31: 8pm, January 1: 4pm 
Fare: 16/68 Euros (50% off for spectators under 28-year-old).