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Special events for Mom & teenage daughters around Christmas

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I'll be in Paris with my daughters (16 and 17) this December during Christmas week. Planning details now and so many questions:

(1) I'd love to find a couple great events, such as a gala art opening or a private gourmet event or a special performance or some other happening intended for natives to do in the evening instead of or in addition to going out to dinner. Any ideas where I can find out about this stuff?

(2) Planning an excursion to Versailles and I'm toying with the idea of going out there on our own, instead of with a tour, but not sure how: for example, which train line, where to pick up the train, what metro to take to the train, how to get from the Versailles train station to the chateau, etc. Any suggestions on where to find out about these details?

(3) Has anyone ever gone to Notre Dame on Christmas Eve? Was it a madhouse crowd? Did you have to go hours and hours in advance and wait on line? Was it amazingly beautiful? Great music?

(4) Any suggestions for restaurants open on Christmas Eve or Christmas night for dinner -- local-y vs. touristy, with really great food?

(5) Which department stores would you recommend for awesome eye candy around Christmas/great displays, etc., and what stores or shopping areas do you recommend for actual shopping (inexpensively) for teenage girls?

(6) Anybody done one of those cooking classes where a small group cooks together and then eats dinner together once it's cooked? Which would you recommend?


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