Thanksgiving in Paris

Sep 10th, 2010, 05:14 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Thanksgiving in Paris

Going with the family the week of US Thanksgiving (14 and 9 yr olds) and want to know what to expect weather and crowd wise. We have been looking at apartments to rent and it seems nobody visits in November??? Could that be? Is it the rainy season? I'm also open to any "must see" suggestions with the kids.

csmart01 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2010, 06:49 PM
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We went to Paris with our then 4 year-old in November 2008 (left U.S. on Thanksgiving Day, arrived in Paris the day after Thanksgiving).

We rented an apartment for 4 from Vacation in Paris ( Apartment was in the 7th arr. with a great view of the Eiffel Tower from the front 3 windows.

Weather was cold and drizzly (temps in the upper 30's to low 40's during the day, low 30's at night), but we were there for 7 days and there were no washouts. Crowds were non existant (just the way we like it) so we had access to all we wanted to see/do.

No sure about your kids, but we did typical things visitors do:

Eiffel Tower (twice)

Shopped (X-Mas displays in Grand Magasins were spectacular)

Went to a couple of museums (suprisingly, the 4 year-old loved the Louvre and cannot wait to go back)

Took in a marionette show (Guignol) in the Jardin de Luxembourg

Played in the cool playground in the Jardin de Luxembourg

Are a lot of good food

Hope this helps some.
clemson91 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2010, 07:37 PM
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Congrats! You are in for a real treat. There is no bad time to go to Paris. We went to Paris at Thanksgiving two years ago and it was cold and rainy and still beautiful! Paris is glorious, no matter the weather. I was two months pregnant at the time and not feeling great, so walking around all day in the cool, drizzly weather was actually quite nice.

I think your kids would like the Christmas markets, if they're up and running; there's a nice one at La Defense and one on the Champs. Also, depending on their/your squeamish level, the catacombs might be good. (And a good thing to do on a rainy day.) And if it's cool and they've been out walking through town, they'll enjoy warming up in the cafes with hot chocolate.
Back2Sabi is offline  
Sep 10th, 2010, 07:39 PM
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We were there the exact same days as Clemson in 2008.
Back2Sabi is offline  
Sep 11th, 2010, 02:52 AM
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I was there last year at Thanksgiving. Here's a link to my trip report in which I mention the Christmas markets/decorations.

Some have started by the last week in November, but many have not. Still, there are enough decorations to give you something fun to look at. The Christmas Market on the Champs Elysees, up near the Grand Palais, has some cool rides kids might like (

Another place I went on that trip that I had not been to before was Deyrolle ( It's a garden store on the first floor, with a whole museum of animals on the second. Google it. Kids seemed to love it. And it's a good thing to do if it's raining.

For weather you need to be prepared for anything. The weekend before Thanksgiving was warm - about 60, and I was uncomfortable in my wool coat. The weekend after it was about 35 and again I was uncomfortable, but for the opposite reason. It also did rain. Layers. Lots of them.
isabel is offline  
Sep 11th, 2010, 05:00 AM
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We frequently go to Paris in November. And even being from Florida , the weather has never been an important issue. In fact, I savor the coolness and the occasional drizzle.
avalon is offline  
Sep 11th, 2010, 07:18 AM
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You didn't expect November to be peak tourist season, did you. No, it isn't a common period for many tourists to go to Paris, but there are always some. November does have more rain than some other months, just as it does in many other countries of the world. But it's not as pronounced a rainy season compared to dry as in some countries. It's not as bad as May, and about the same as July, when I often go. It's just drearier and colder in November, of course. It's pretty much the same climate as where I live in the US and similar to the mid-Atlantic area or New York. Although I think it gets dark earlier in Paris. The sun sets around 5 pm at that time of year.
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Christina is offline  
Sep 11th, 2010, 07:51 AM
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I have visited Paris the last two years in November. The good thing about it not being tourist season is that there are fewer lines. The cultural season is in full swing. And it hasn't been that rainy when I was there.
Nikki is online now  
Sep 11th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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In the early 2000s, I went to Paris once during Thanksgiving week as that was the only time that I could go that year. I got lucky in that there wasn't any serious rain that week, but the air was quite cold. Even my two friends from Jersey and N.Y. were quite chilled, so imagine how chilled I was as I'm from L.A. But, I had a lot of clothes on and survived it. I personally don't care to do it again.

Plus, of course it was dark. But, I've experiences that "dark" sensation as I lived in Danmark, for two-plus decades, and for several months out a the year of each stay, and once I went in December/January which is when I experienced the "dark" sensation. The other months were summer ones where it's the opposite and is "light" all the time.

On that November Paris trip, each evening I ate ,near my hotel, at my friends' restaurant in the 6th, on the rue Gregoire des Tours, which is usually mid- crowded to crowded during my "usual" annual trips there which are also during a time that's not high tourist seasons.

But, in November, that street was empty and the restaurant owners were standing in the doorways trying to catch whatever stray person who came walking down the street. Each night, at my friends' restaurant, in the 2 hours that they were open, only one or two tables were occupied. The restaurant is usually full.

My friend said that it was due to being close to Christmas and people saving their money. She said that it was like that every year at that time of the season. She and her husband had the restaurant for over 15 years.

In November of 2008, I know that it was very cold in Paris because my Parisian friend e-mailed me in October and was complaining about it. He was born and raised in Paris and has lived there his whole life. So, I told him that he should come here to L.A. for a couple weeks to get some warmth. He took me up on the offer, found a really cheap flight and landed here on Halloween night and stayed 12 days.

I gave him a key to my place and let him come and go as he wished. Some days, while I was at work, he was out swimming at Santa Monica Beach. He said he couldn't believe that he could be swimming in the ocean in November or just even be out walking around wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt with no coat. He never once put on his coat here. For me, in November , I wear a short-sleeved T-shirt,during the day, but with a lightweight, cashmere, pullover sweater and during the night, a long-sleeved, cotton turtleneck, also with a cashmere, pullover sweater. But, he was fine only with his long-sleeved T-shirts.

After his 12 days here, he was dreading going back to the freezing cold and e-mailed me several times upon arriving home to say that it felt like it was getting even colder. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 03:20 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback... we booked it! Can't wait! I'll post pics when we get back.
csmart01 is offline  

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