The beginning of November is usually a time when the French pay their respects to the memory of their ancestors during Toussaint (All Saints Day). But some expatriates, and more and more French, embrace a different tradition: Halloween.
The word Halloween is derived from the term, “All Hallows Eve,” which occurrs on October 31st, the day before “All Saints Day” or “All Hallows Day” on November 1st. Therefore, Halloween is the eve of All Saints Day.
Some believe this holiday originated in ancient Ireland or Scotland to mark the end of the season, a signal to protect the animals and herds from the harsh cold winter. The day was filled with superstition and chasing away unfriendly spirits and demons. Over time, Halloween has evolved into a commercial holiday, an Anglo-Saxon celebratory invention to dress up at night and go out for candy.
For those who can’t resist dressing up in a costume for a bit of trick-or-treating, INSPIRELLE has hand-picked some great places where you and your entourage can celebrate Halloween in Paris–no matter what your age. So don your costumes and get ready for all kinds of spooky, creepy, crazy fun!
(Looking for Halloween costumes and party decorations? Check out our I-List for ideas!)
Wicked, All-Day Fun for the Whole Family…
For an all-day Halloween bash that’s sure to please kids, teens and adults, check out the ALP’s annual Halloween Extravaganza. It kicks off at 10 am with all-day trick-or- treating to collect bonbons from participating local neighborhood businesses. Throughout the day, there’ll be live entertainment, short films, costume contests, Halloween storytelling and crafts for all ages. After dark, older kids, teens and adults can take a tour through the “Haunted Library”, where the ghosts of literary characters are waiting to spook and scare them. Tickets must be purchased in advance for each event. Open to members and non-members.
Ages: ALL, depending on activity.
When? Saturday, October 29, 2016, 10am – 9:00pm.
Where? 10, Rue du Général Camou, 75007 Paris. Tel: 01 53 59 12 60
Transportation: Metro: Ecole Militaire, Alma-Marceau; RER C: Pont de l’Alma
Price: Day fee: €5 Library members / €15 for non-members. Free entrance for adult chaperones accompanying a child.
For full details and reservations, visit the ALP website. Adults welcome!
Wholesome Halloween Thrills…
Count on Disneyland Paris to provide hair-raising Halloween fun for parents and their little pumpkins. From October 1st through November 1st, a haunted veil is cast over Fantasyland. There are parades to mesmerize you, attractions to make you shiver, and Disney characters disguised in costume for devilish fun! The Halloween spirit culminates with a bewitching Halloween soirée on October 31st.
INSPIRELLE tips: There’ll be lots of trick-or-treaters, so reserve and arrive early to avoid long lines. Costumes are encouraged, but no super spooky make-up that could frighten children, no mask that completely covers the face, no accessory that resembles a weapon – and, if you choose to dress up as one of the Disney characters, the park asks you not to sign any autographs!
Ages: ALL, depending on attraction.
When? October 1 through November 1, 2016
Where? 1, Rue de la Galmy, 77700 Chessy, France.
Transportation: RER A from Paris or the Disneyland Paris Express.
Price: 47€ per adult and 40€ per child 3 to 11. Free for children under 3.
Pick and Carve Your Own Jack ‘O Lanterns…
Did you know that just outside of Paris you can pick your own pumpkin from the patch, and then carve it on site at the Ferme de Gally? Tickets include entry to the farm, a visit to the petting zoo and insect trail, a pumpkin of your own, the 30-minute carving workshop, and a candle to light up your Jack ‘O Lantern at home. (Expert pumpkin carvers can also just buy a pumpkin from their store and bring it home.)
Ages: 3-12 yrs
When? October 26 – October 31, 2016, 2:30 to 5pm every day.
Where? Ferme de Gally farms in Saint-Cyr-l’École (Rue du Docteur Vaillant – 78210 in your GPS) and Sartrouville (33 rue de Chatou 78500).
Price: 9,50€ for kids. Accompanying adults: 4,20€
A Rockin’ Halloween for Kids and Adults…
If you’re looking to celebrate Halloween in truly American fashion, why not hit the Hard Rock Café?
For Kids: Little monsters and sorcerers can come to enjoy an American-style meal, a haunted maze, a costume competition and a special gift.
When? Sunday, October 30, 2016, 11am to 4pm.
Price: 9€ Euros/child
For Adults: Grown-ups have their own costume party at night, when they can sip diabolical cocktails and enjoy live music in an ambiance worthy of Thriller.
When? October 31, 2016 from 7pm onwards.
Where? 14, Boulevard Montmartre 75009 Paris.
Transportation: Metro: Richelieu Drouot (lines 9 & 8)
Reservations: Tel +33(0)1 53 24 60 00 or Email: email@example.com
A Really Scary Haunted House…
What’s Halloween without a haunted house to scare the wits out of you? Inspired by the legends of Paris, from the catacombs and vampires to the Phantom of the Opera, the Manoir de Paris (Paris Manor) is a spooky theatrical experience brought to life by over 100 professional actors. This year’s theme is “Prom Night”, and the animated, interactive show is not for the young (you must be 12+) or the weak at heart.
INSPIRELLE tip: Book tickets in advance, especially if you plan to go on Halloween weekend, or select another date to reduce your waiting time at the entrance. Makeup and costumes are encouraged, but masks that cover the face and accessories that resemble weapons are prohibited.
When? October 14 – November 6, 2016. For daily opening times and reservations, consult their WEBSITE.
Where? 18, rue de Paradis 75010 Paris
A Halloween Murder Mystery …
For Older Souls:
If you’re over the face painting and Disney characters this Halloween, but aren’t ready to brave the Manoir de Paris, head to the Château de Thoiry for something suitably spooky – a murder mystery evening. Halloween is an opportunity for the ghosts of Thoiry to come back to life and haunt the corridors of the castle. Led by clues, you and your team will wander through the dark, haunted corridors and gardens of Thoiry to try to find the killer ghost… but watch out for traps laid by treacherous ghosts along the way!
For Little Ones, something less gruesome:
Courageous young visitors can also journey through the spooky environs of the chateau, where they’ll get to taste delicious “spiders” and “beetles” and encounter many other ghoulish sights. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight!
When? Sunday, October 30 and Monday, October 31, 2016 from 8:15pm. Duration: about 2-1/2 hours.
Where? Parc de Thoiry, Rue du Pavillon de Montreuil 78770 Thoiry.
Price: 29€ (26€ for annual pass holders)
Reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: +33(0) 34 87 49 26.
Children’s Halloween Evenings:
When? Saturday, October 22 through Monday, October 24, 2016 at 6:30pm-7:30pm.
Where? Parc de Thoiry, Rue du Pavillon de Montreuil 78770 Thoiry.
Price: 21€ (19€ for annual pass holders)
Explore nature and the supernatural…
Passionate about nature and the supernatural? The Fishing and Nature Center in Levallois is hosting an entire week of Halloween-themed activities from October 24 – 28. In addition to pumpkin-carving workshops, enjoy a Night of Spooky Games and Stories on October 28, with storytellers, a haunted castle and special treats for costumed guests. October 29 is the Grand Halloween Ball featuring, music, mini-shows, a costume contest and a rocking dance party until the clock strikes twelve. Costumes are a must!
INSPIRELLE tip: Space is limited, so tickets must be reserved in advance. To purchase and for more information, consult their WEBSITE.
When: October 24 – October 28, 2016, 4:30 pm – 6 pm
Where: Espace Maison Pêche et Nature, Ile de la Jatte 22, allée Claude Monet 92300 Levallois-Perret
Transportation: Métro ligne 3 “Pont de Levallois”
Price: 15 €/participant Accompanying adults free
Night of Games and Stories:
When: Friday October 28, 2016, 8 pm – Midnight
Where: Espace Maison Pêche et Nature (address same as above)
Price: 10 € (Children under 4 accompanied by an adult are free)
Grand Halloween Ball:
When: Saturday October 29, 2016, 7 pm – Midnight
Where: Espace Maison Pêche et Nature, (address same as above)
Price: 12 €, includes 1 complimentary beverage (Children under 4 accompanied by an adult are free)