Halloween, usually celebrated on 31st October each year, has slowly been gathering steam since I first moved to France, but for expats who are used to lots of activities and events during Halloween you’ll have to remember that it isn’t a traditionally observed day in France and has usually been seen as a bit Anglophone!
Never less, you can now find towns getting into the spirit (pun intended) of spooking kids on the street, as well as ready-made Halloween accessories and costumes for sale in many stores.
Halloween falls during the October school holidays on the French Riviera – Vacances de la Toussaint – so there’s no excuse not to get involved in the activities and local events happening in various towns. The following day is a bank holiday, Toussaint Day (All Saints Day) in France where the lives of deceased relatives are remembered.
Unfortunately, a lot of Halloween goods found here on the French Riviera are manufactured in China and the standards are quite low so they are ‘buy-and-throw-away’ items – just exercise caution with cheap costumes for kids because they are hugely flammable!
Where to find Halloween decorations / accessories / costumes / carving pumpkins on the French Riviera
If you’re looking for Halloween items for décor, party items or costumes the best places to start are the €1 and €2 stores – places like Maxi Mart, Maxibazaar, Destock and the like always have low-cost Halloween accessories such as wizards hat, tridents, plastic skeleton bones, witches cauldrons, spider webs as well as trick-or-treat bags.
La Foir Fouille, Fêter et Recevoir and Gifi are good stores to head to for costumes, and Carrefour usually has a good range of Halloween items.
For carving pumpkins, in the past few years local residents have found decent pumpkins at Lidl, Grand Frais, the Intermarche on boulevard République and Nice Carrefour TNL.
Trick-or-treating around the neighbourhood is not that big here on the French Riviera. In the years I have lived here, I have had maybe a handful of kids knock on our door trick-or-treating (with adult supervision) though I always have some bon bons ready just in case!
Halloween activities and events happening this year on the French Riviera
Thursday 26 October: Parent-friendlly cafeteria La Chapelière Toquée is hosting a Halloween party from 11am to midday which is ideal for toddlers (from 2 years). Cost is €16 per child, reservations necessary.
Saturday 28 October: La Chapelière Toquée is holding a Halloween yoga session from 11am to midday for kids 3 years and upwards, contact them to reserve a place via the link above.
Wednesday 25, Thursday 26, Friday 27, Saturday 28, Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 October: Les P’tits Confettis is hosting twice daily Halloween activities for kids aged 5 to 10 years costing €15 per child – from 10am to midday and 2pm to 4pm come along for face painting, a photo booth and candy hunt. Reservations essential via https://www.lesptitsconfettis.com/animations-thématiques/
Tuesday 31 October: Free entertainment from 3pm at the Ecole élémentaire including a show, bon bons and a lantern parade.
Tuesday 31 October: Free Halloween entertainment including a parade at 4.30pm from the entrance to the village to Place des Arcades by Compagnie Soukha, followed by a kids Halloween snack at Place des Arcades at 5pm. At 6pm, there will be a fire show by Compagnie Soukha at Place de Gaulle.
Breil sur Roya
Tuesday 31 October: Film screening of ‘Zombillénium’ at 2.30pm with bon bons at 4pm and trick-or-treating in the village from 4.30pm
Tuesday 31 October: Free Halloween activities at Coulée Verte in Ranguin (will be held in the gymnasium in case of rain) – face painting, Halloween ateliers, films
Tuesday 31 October: From 10am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 5pm, Carros is hosting Halloween activities hosted by the Office du Tourisme at Villa Barbary.
Saturday 28 October: For something a bit different, kids aged 8 to 12 years can join a guided tour at 11am retelling spooky tales about Grasse. Leaves from the Maison du Patrimoine, to make a reservation 47.97.05.58.70 or email them: animation.patrimoine@ville-grasse-fr
Tuesday 31 October: The village will host ‘La Journée des Sorcières and Bal des vampires’ from 2pm to 8pm – head along for arts and crafts ateliers, face painting (charge applies for face painting), and costume parade. The main costume parade is from 5.45pm at St Jacques church with the ‘Bal des vampires’ and Halloween party at Place de la Libération from 6.3opm to 8pm.
Tuesday 31 October: Free activities from 5pm to 7pm including a treasure hunt for candy in the village and a disco. Hosted at Place Neuve and Salle polyvalente – espace Jean Favre.
Tuesday 31 October: Head to 1 chemin du billard from 2.30pm for face painting, followed by Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’ screening at 3.30pm. Cost is €5 euros each, under 12 years is €3 each.
Tuesday 31 October: Family-friendly Stars ‘n’ Bars hosts an annual Halloween event – this year, head along from 6pm to 9pm for ghost ship, haunted house and trick-or-treating. Cost: €20 (5-13 years) or €10 (14 years upwards).
Tuesday 31 October: Adults can join the Halloween festivities at La Rascasse bar with a ‘Day of the Dead’ theme. The table with the scariest costumes will win a bottle of Champagne!
Saturday 28 October: Circus Party, an indoor play centre, is hosting a Halloween party with Halloween food, decorations and prizes to win. Cost is €20 for adults, €18 per child.
Tuesday 31 October: The Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins will be plunged into darkness and will host guided tours by torchlight at 4pm, 5pm or 6pm. Cost is €7 per person, reservations necessary direct with the museum.
Saturday 28 October and Sunday 29 October: From 9.30am to 12.30am, the Hard Rock Café in Nice is hosting a Halloween breakfast, magic show and ‘create your own magic potion’ atelier.
Tuesday 31 October: Halloween entertainment from 2pm-6pm and also 9pm till midnight at Patinoire Jean Bouin, competition for best costume, face painting and bon bons. Special entry fee of €2 with €2 for ice skate rental. Kids under 6 years are free entry.
Saturday 21 to Monday 30 October: Halloween-themed arts and crafts at Pitchoun Parc
Tuesday 31 October: Halloween Party all day at Pitchoun Parc
St Jean Cap Ferrat
Sunday 22 October: Fête de la Citrouille is a free event that will take place at Théâtre de la mer – Espace des Néreïdes from 3pm. Face painting, pony rides (on the terraces at the port), treasure hunt in the village, for ages 2-12 years.
St Martin Vésubie
From Saturday 21 October to Sunday 5 November, Parc Alpha Loup is hosting Halloween activities. The park usually has an entrance fee, however on Halloween (31 October) entrance is free of charge if visitors are dressed in costume* (*A proper Halloween costume, not a simple witches hat!)
St Paul de Vence
Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October: Aventure (Live Escape Game) is hosting a giant escape game ‘La Forêt Maudite’ on various dates at the end of October (as well as November). The minimum age is 18+ with 6 players per team over 1.5 hours of gameplay starting at 9pm…definitely one for adults.
Tuesday 31 October: In the village, the Halloween party runs from 1pm to 5.30pm with the popular Mexican theme, ‘The Day of the Dead’. Activities include making castanettes, maracas, masks, treasure hunt, piñata, face painting plus a screening of the brilliant animated film ‘The Book of Life’. Full details are found here (in French): https://www.saint-pauldevence.com/en/fiches/tout-lagenda/halloween-mexicain/
Sunday 29 October: At the Château, free activities and entertainment from 5.30pm to 7pm including a costume parade and fire show.
Tuesday 31 October : Every year, Valbonne is the place to be for trick-or-treating around the village shops. The action kicks off around 5pm with kids and adults dressed in costume. Many parents bring some extra (individually wrapped) candy to give to the participating merchants/residents as they run out early.
Tuesday 31 October : Treasure hunt every 15 minutes from 3pm to 5pm – reservations are necessary with the Office du Tourisme. Cost is 7€ / family (4-5 people) or 5€ / 1 adult + 1 kid. From 5.30pm to 7pm, come dressed in costume and enjoy a potion at Place de Verdun. ** Please note: Fake weapons and firecrackers are banned.
Are you hosting a public Halloween event, spooky activity or themed workshop on the French Riviera? Feel free to drop me a line and tell me about it and I’ll add it to this list. P.S. This list is for public events, not week-long stages or school holiday programmes.