SPOOKTACULAR! Halloween activities and events on the French Riviera

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 decorations are easy to find on the French Riviera (image: deavita)

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!

If you prefer to make your own costumes, food or decorations, Pinterest and Good Housekeeping have loads of DIY Halloween ideas.

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.

Spider ice cubes in your mocktail anyone?

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.

Neighbourhood trick-or-treating

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

Antibes

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/

halloween antibes

Les P’tits Confettis is hosting Halloween activities in Antibes 2017

Beaulieu-sur-Mer

Tuesday 31 October:  Free entertainment from 3pm at the Ecole élémentaire including a show, bon bons and a lantern parade.

Biot

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.

Halloween 2017 in Biot includes a parade

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

Cannes

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

Carros

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.

Grasse

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

La Colle-sur-Loup

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.

halloween la colle sur loup

Halloween 2017 in La Colle-sur-Loup

La Turbie

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.

Le Rouret

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.

Monaco

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).

monaco halloween 2017

Halloween 2017 at Stars ‘n’ Bars in Monaco

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!

Mougins

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.

Nice

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.

St-Laurent-du-Var

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.

fete de la citrouille 2017

Halloween activities in St Jean Cap Ferrat from 3pm on Sunday 22 October 2017

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/

st paul de vence halloween

Halloween 2017 in St Paul de Vence includes ‘The Day of the Dead’ entertainment in the village (image: Pinterest)

Tourrette-Levens

Sunday 29 October:  At the Château, free activities and entertainment from 5.30pm to 7pm including a costume parade and fire show.

Valbonne

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.

Villeneuve Loubet

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.

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Charity events on the French Riviera

Saturday 14 October 2017    Cogs 4 Cancer : End of Ride/Season Party

The popular Cogs 4 Cancer cycle covers 1400 km from London to Antibes with 30 cyclists raising more than €242000 this year in the fight against cancer.  While that is a phenomenal amount, let’s get behind the team and keep the funds growing by attending the fundraiser party that will be hosted in the evening at The View in the Palais des Congrès in Juan les Pins.

Entertainment includes a DJ, Deceptionist and Contortionist with snacks and nibbles on offer; the event starts at 8pm and goes till late.  100% of ticket sales goes to charity and 30% of drinks sales goes to charity.   There are also the Cogs 4 Cancer wristbands/bracelets on sale across the French Riviera, or you can opt to visit the website to donate www.cogs4cancer.org

Note:  The cyclists will be arriving at Antibes the previous day on Friday 13 October 2017 following a tribute ride from Port Gallice around the Cap d’Antibes and arriving at the IYCA at Port Vauban in Antibes approx. 4.45pm with the arrival party from 5pm, sponsored by Gourmet Deliveries.  Find out more about the Cogs 4 Cancer 2017 arrival time and info here:  http://cogs4cancer.org/2017-tribute-ride

charity french riviera

Cogs 4 Cancer End of Ride/Season Party

Saturday 14 October 2017   Yachts du Coeur

Yachts du Coeur, an EcoMer initiative, is having a charity collection at Port Vauban in Antibes from 10.30am to 2.30pm with the human solidarity chain at 11am.  Come along for music, songs and bring a donation of non-perishable food to benefit the Food Bank.   Visit their website here to find out more about their mission or to donate: http://www.yachts-du-coeur.com/

charity french riviera

Yachts du Coeur charity collection – Port Vauban, Antibes

Friday 10 November  Chances for Children Fundraiser at Monaco Yacht Club

After the busy events week during Monaco Yacht Show, Monaco Yacht Club will again host another event in November – Music, Magic and More – with proceeds benefiting Chances for Children charity.

The fundraising night runs from 7.30pm to 11.30pm with a magic show featuring Neil Henry (Britain’s Got Talent), hors d’oeuvres, DJ set and paintings for sale by Emma Kavuma, a talented Ugandan artist.   Find out more about C4C at www.c4c.mc (Poster design Dave Rowles)

charity event french riviera

Music, Magic & More – Chances for Children fundraiser on November 10 at Monaco Yacht Club

If you are a charity with an upcoming event on the French Riviera, you can contact me to list your event for free – send an email to accessriviera06@gmail.com with subject line ‘Charity event’ and I’ll do my best to add your event to my blog.

 

Are French Riviera tourism operators ready for China’s National Week?

Are French Riviera’s travel and tourism operators ready for China’s National Week?   I’m dubious to say ‘Yes’ as I believe a high proportion of travel-related businesses here are completely oblivious to targeted marketing for one of the world’s largest holiday periods and tourism markets.

What is National Week?

Chinese National Day is celebrated on 1st October each year to celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China.  National Week or Golden Week is the holiday period that follows National Day – this year, it runs from 1st October to 8th October 2017.  Golden Week is the longest public holiday in China aside from Chinese New Year.

Why should France care about China’s National Week?

Traditionally, France has ranked within the top 2 overseas destinations for Chinese visitors however it is increasingly facing tough competition from other European destinations.  Switzerland has made huge efforts to attract Chinese tourists, as has Croatia with Game of Thrones-themed tours.

Director Jiang Yiyi of the International Tourism Research Institute with the China Tourism Academy says, “Chinese tourists no longer only select traditional hot journey places such as Thailand, the United States and Japan to spend their holidays. Countries such as Kenya, Morocco, New Zealand and Peru have all become a new attraction.”

France needs to adapt their tourism model and refresh their marketing to go beyond standard tour product by assessing the entire tourist journey from availability and frequency of flights from Chinese cities to French cities to including Chinese-specific signage at key tourist areas.

Notably, one of the biggest lags in tourism development for Chinese visitors is translation of French websites.  To compare, Barcelona Tourism has their main website resources available in 13 languages; Nice Tourism’s website is 7 languages including Chinese – something to think about for French businesses looking to grow their Chinese client base.

Chinese tourists visiting the French Riviera

Locally, companies are realising the potential of Chinese tourism on the French Riviera.

Monte-Carlo SBM has hosted high-profile events for Chinese companies adapting their service offering for their clients, including Chinese TV channels and meal options.  Their 4 hotels –  Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort and the Monte-Carlo Beach have obtained the Silver Certification, a hospitality standard for outbound Chinese travelers, awarded by ‘Welcome Chinese’.

‘Welcome Chinese’ is the only officially recognized by Chinese Authorities certified travel service standard and travel platform, aimed at upgrading the services dedicated to Chinese travellers.

Monaco has promoted the Principality as an add-on travel experience for National Week holidays, appealing to Chinese visitors to Monaco Yacht Show to stay and discover the Principality and surrounding regions.

Golden Week – French Riviera

French Riviera travel and tourism businesses need to prepare and strategise for this important tourism market – over the 8-day Golden Week holiday period, 650 million Chinese will travel which is an incredible number logistically and of that number, 6 million will travel abroad.  While they won’t all be heading to the famous Côte d’Azur coastline, a large number have been researching their travel options for European highlights and booked already.

The chance to create travel product and packages for a target group (known as mid to high spenders) is untapped for many businesses.  Shanghai-based Ctrip.com International, a Nasdaq-listed travel agency said that a quarter of their Ctrip customers chose to travel between 7 and 10 days, up 140 % year-on-year.   As well, shopping ranks highly as an activity during this time.

Immersive culture experiences, adventure activities and enticing landscapes appeal to Chinese visitors and as it is shoulder season here with comfortable temperatures and clear weather, the potential for opportunity is high.

Stats:  Ctrip.com, UNWTO

Monaco Yacht Show 2017: What You Need To Know

It’s almost upon us – the annual late September gathering for Monaco Yacht Show of the world’s premium superyachts, 125 to be precise, including around 40 yachts that will be freshly revealed for their Monaco debut.

Monaco Yacht Show 2017 will be held at Port Hercules from 27th to 30th September.

my aquarius feadship

M/Y Aquarius will be at MYS 2017 (image: Feadship)

Monaco Yacht Show 2017 – What’s New

September is a busy month in this neck of the woods for yacht shows with Cannes Yachting Festival just finished and Genoa Boat Show starting tomorrow, but Monaco Yacht Show 2017 is the most influential yachting show and certainly the one to visit to see the largest yachts and latest innovations with toys, tenders and tech gadgets in the nautical world.

mys2017

Monaco Yacht Show is one of the world’s leading yacht shows (image: MYS)

If you’re looking for an in-depth guide, Bespoke Yacht Charter very kindly asked me to write them a guide about the Monaco Yacht Show 2017 and I’ve included many insider tips including what to expect at show zones, VIP experiences, exhibitor and yacht lists and party dates.  You can read the guide here:  Monaco Yacht Show 2017 Guide

(This Monaco Yacht Show 2017 guide is a paid article on behalf of Bespoke Yacht Charter)

250,000 THANK YOUS

Sunday smiling and sending out a huge heartfelt thank you to all my followers, sharers, commenters and occasional readers who have stopped by Access Riviera – I have hit a milestone of 250,000 visitors!

I’m totally overwhelmed with all of the support for my blog from what started as a simple vision to provide information about the French Riviera and has grown into a behemoth and I’ve appreciated every like, share and comment along the way.

I’ve worked with some brilliant clients, learned a lot about growing and ungrowing followers, committed myself to writing good content and generally sticking to writing about things I believe in whether it’s the good, the bad or the ugly.

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!  Here’s to the next 250K

Becks

To read some of my most popular articles, click on the links below:

Secret French Riviera : Hidden spots worth visiting

The Lavender Route

Cannes Film Festival : The Ultimate Guide

Top 15 French Riviera viewpoints for amazing photos

Monaco on a budget

To work with me or simply send me feedback, you can contact me a number of ways from my Contact Access Riviera page.

Flying to and from the Monaco Yacht Show 2017 in Style  

A complete guide on how to experience the Monaco Yacht Show 2017 in style.  

Learn all that you will need to experience one of the hottest tickets in town this autumn –  The Monaco Yacht Show 2017.   

Every September, the world’s most prestigious brands descend upon the principality of Monaco, to showcase all things new in luxury to a global audience. What better way to join in the fun than with a private jet charter to arrive in style? Learn all you’ll need to know for the perfect trip to the 2017 Monaco Yacht Show.

Monaco Yacht Show

The Show

The Monaco Yacht Show, first and foremost, provides a setting for the world’s most respected shipyards to showcase their latest super-yacht creations. However, over the years the exhibition has attracted a wider audience – from luxury fashion, to the automotive and aviation industries.

During the show, several ports of call are a must. Below are a few of the exhibits at this year’s show that will leave you already booking a private jet to return for next year’s event.

Port Hercules

From 27 – 30 September, Port Hercules will transform itself into a super-yacht showroom. This year, 40 of the world’s most exclusive super-yachts will be unveiled. With the yachting elite poised for what is sure to be an amazing spectacle, a stroll around the harbour is not to be missed.

The Upper Deck Lounge

After taking in the latest and greatest yachts on earth, head to the Upper Deck Lounge for a light refreshment. Located under the Parvis Piscine exhibition tent, visitors can unwind in a professionally designed space, equipped with restaurant and Lanson Champagne Bar.

Test driving at the Car Deck

Once you’ve re-charged your jet setter batteries, why not test drive a Bentley or Lamborghini from the Quai Antoine 1er; situated on the eastern side of Port Hercules.

This year, Bentley, McLaren, Lamborghini and amongst others, Aston Martin, will be offering visitors to the show a chance to take a spin in one of the most famous F1 locations.

Travelling to the Monaco Yacht Show 2017

With anticipation growing on how you can be part of this extravaganza, read on for our tips of how to get there, where to stay and what to do with those long Riviera nights.

How to Get There

Transportation links to and from the principality are limited to rail, road… and helicopter. It therefore could not be easier by flying with a private jet charter, due to the flexibility and services booking privately affords.

After landing in Nice, you’re a stone’s throw away from Monaco via helicopter transfer. When you book a private jet, helicopter transfer can be added. This exceptional service will transport your party and luggage from door to door in style and sophistication.

Where to Stay

There isn’t a spot on the Riviera that does not exude luxury, however, our suggestion for the ultimate Monte Carlo experience would be the Fairmont. Situated on the Avenue des Spélugues, this four-star hotel is a short walk from Port Hercules, restaurants and Casino.

fairmont hotel

Aerial view of the stunning Fairmont, a short walk from Port Hercules, restaurants and the Casino

With an eclectic choice of restaurants & bars, shopping arcade, spa & fitness, pool and pop up Beach Club, the Fairmont is a perfect retreat from the bustling crowd of the yacht show.

Nikki Beach at Fairmont Monte-Carlo

Fairmont Monte-Carlo at night (image: ©ArtmanAgency5340)

Dining in the Principality

Choice during your private jet charter tour could be daunting with the plethora of impressive restaurants on offer, but help is on hand to highlight a few of the best spots in town.

Avenue 31

For a taste of the Mediterranean, venture to Avenue 31; a cosy yet exemplary dining experience, with expertly crafted menus designed by head chef Andrea Lanzillotta.

Avenue 31 dining during Monaco Yacht Show

Buddha Bar

For something a little more extravagant, the Buddha Bar which neighbours the Casino is sure to dazzle the senses. With exotic interiors and a menu to match, the Buddha Bar will live up to any finalé evening in the playground of the rich and famous.

best club monaco

The Buddha Bar with exotic interiors and a menu to match is one of Monte-Carlo’s hottest nightspots

Le Louis XV

Within the Hotel du Paris resides Le Louis XV. Recently refurbished, guests can enjoy haute cuisine with a 3 Michelin star price tag for a special occasion. Alongside the à la carte menu, guests can choose from one of two set menus: Jardins de Provence, or Menu Gourmet.

le louis xv in monte carlo

Fine dining at Le Louis XV (image: (c) PierreMonetta)

With the Monaco Yacht Show hot on your jet setting heels, there has never been a better time to grab your passport, purse and private jet charter and head to The Monaco Yacht Show 2017.

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post in partnership with Relevance.

 

Reblog from L’Occasion: Mapping France In Wine Bottles

If you have the impression that finding affordable wine in France is hard – it is definitely time to revisit that stance. My husband and I have taken several road-trips through France, meeting winemakers and tasting wine – much of it high-quality, AOP wines with price-tags that need to be forgiven for their modesty. Where […]

via Mapping France in Wine Bottles: Where to Get Affordable French Wine — L’OCCASION