Halloween activities on the French Riviera

Halloween is becoming more popular in France and the Côte d’Azur has plenty of options for fun activities on and around the actual Halloween date, Thursday 31st October.

Trick-or-treating from house to house isn’t that popular here as overseas, with children mostly going around village shops and towns.

Halloween falls during the Toussaint school holidays so you can be sure of finding something to suit all ages.  The day after Halloween is Toussaint’s Day (All Saints Day), 1st November, and on this day French people visit cemeteries often taking chrysanthemums and pray for their deceased relatives and saints.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are a few options for Halloween on the French Riviera this year:

Antibes

Antibes usually has an informal trick-or-treat walkaround whereby local children wander around the old town stores on 31st October asking for candy.  Usually, early afternoon is best as the centre aère holiday programmes also do the rounds and by early evening the shop vendors are starting to get a bit tired and have run out of bonbons!

If you’re looking for something a bit different to do, artist Chris Cook will be running kids workshops where children can make eco-friendly Halloween decorations.

Details:

Kids Craft Workshops at Gallery Cook, 10 avenue Tournelli in Antibes

Wednesday 23rd October, Saturday 26th October or Wednesday 30th October from 2pm to 5pm

The craft workshops are recommended for ages 5 years and up.  Cost is €10 per hour

Tickets:  Reserve a place by phoning 06 16 59 31 64

Artist Chris Cook is running Halloween workshops where kids can make eco-friendly decorations

Cannes La Bocca

Fun City is an indoor play venue that’s perfect for rainy days or when your kids need to burn off energy. Their Cannes La Bocca venue is holding a Halloween night with magic show and disco.

Details:

Fun City Halloween 2019

Friday 25th October from 8pm to midnight

Kids: €20 each including entry to Fun City play zones, disco, magic show and kids menu (nuggets, crepe, candy)

Adults:  €22 each as above with adult food option being lasagna and tarte au citron

Tickets:  Pre-book by emailing them direct before 21st October at :  contact@fun-city.fr

Fun City Cannes La Bocca is throwing a number of Halloween animations, including a party on the evening of 25th October

Châteauneuf Grasse

The 16th edition of ‘Fete de la Courge’ will take place on Sunday 20th October at place Clemenceau from 10am to 6pm.  It’s a family-friendly day with live music, kids games and the place to see big courges!

More information is at: https://fr-fr.facebook.com/FeteDeLaCourge

Fête de la Courge will be held on 20th October in Châteauneuf

Le Rouret

Little monsters aged 5 to 12 years can head along to an afternoon Halloween party at the Thêatre du Rouret with facepainting, candy bar, and Halloween animations.

Details:

Le Rouret ‘Bal des Petits Monstres’ 2019

Wednesday 30th October from 3pm to 4.30pm

Kids: €5 each

Adults:  €3 each

Tickets:  Reserve your place with the Le Rouret Mairie on phone : 04 93 77 20 02

Bal des Petits Monstres in Le Rouret at Halloween

Monaco

Stars n Bars is well-known as being a good place to take kids if you’re in Monaco.  During Grand Prix and the Monaco Yacht Show it’s a lively business networking and socialising hub, but outside of those events it’s a fun location to take kids of all ages.

For Halloween, they’re throwing a Spooktacular evening with trick or treat, a candy treasure hunt, photo booth, magician, inflatable castles, fire jugglers, candy floss and more.   Fancy dress is prerequisite so take your kids along as vampires, mummies, zombies, skeletons etc!

Details:

Stars n Bars Halloween 2019

Thursday 31st October from 6pm to 9pm

Kids: 5-13 years are €27 each which includes animations and all-you-can-drink sodas/sirops.

Adults:  14 years upwards are €17 each which includes animations and all-you-can drink sodas/sirops.

There is a buffet on offer which is additional cost and will run on a ticket system.

Tickets:  It’s advisable to buy your ticket in advance for Stars n Bars Halloween party as it is expected to be busy!  Get your tickets here:  Stars n Bars Halloween Party 2019

Stars n Bars will have lots of fun stuff happening for Halloween

Mougins

Mougins is aiming to appeal to different age groups for Halloween this year with a range of activities.

Details:

Mougins Halloween 2019

Wednesday 30th October and Thursday 31st October – various times

Kids:  If you have young children, there are story sessions on Wednesday 30th October – babies to 3 years are at 10.30am and 3 years+ are held at 4pm.  The story sessions are free of charge and will be held at Médiathèque de Tournamy Mougins et Médiathèque et Espace Jeux de Mougins-le-Haut

Kids aged 6-10 years can join a treasure hunt in Mougins village on Thursday 31st October from 5pm-7pm with the Seven Dwarfs and Snow White.  The cost is €5 each and limited to 40 children.

Tweens and teenagers from 12 to 17 years are invited by the conseil municipal to a Halloween night ‘Soiree d’Enfer’ at the Salle de Courteline from 8pm to 11.30pm; there will be drinks and candy on offer.

Tickets:  To reserve a place for the baby/toddler reading sessions, contact phone: 04 93 75 33 82.  To reserve a place for the Seven Dwarfs treasure hunt, contact the Mougins Tourism Office on phone: 04 92 92 14 00. The teenagers ‘Soiree d’Enfer’ party is free entry.

Additionally, the Musée d’Art Classique Mougins is having Halloween tours at 3pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm on Thursday 31st October – you will meet the mummy and explore the museum in the dark!   The cost is €7 per person including bon bons for kids in costume; there are limited places so you have to pre-book via email: reservations@mouginsmusee.com  or phone: 04 93 75 18 22

You can visit the Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins in the dark on Halloween! Pre-booking necessary.

Nice

While the music industry memorabilia at their Nice restaurant may be lost on some younger kids (James Brown’s suit, a drum kit from Guns n Roses, Michael Jackson’s fedora from Smooth Criminal etc), nevertheless The Hard Rock Café is a good option for families with lots of neon and cool stuff to look at and plenty of room for groups.

They’ll be throwing a ‘Fantastic Beasts (Les Créatures Fantastiques) Halloween party on 26th and 27th October with American buffet breakfast, spooky touch wall, ‘decorate-your-own’ Halloween donut session, create a magic book craft session and a Fantastic Beasts magic show (magic show lasts for 45 minutes).

Details:

Hard Rock Café ‘Les Créatures Fantastiques’ Halloween 2019

Saturday 26th or Sunday 27th October from 9.30am to midday

Kids:  2 years and under are free. 10 years and younger are €14.95 each

Adults:  €19.95 each

Note:  In my opinion, I think it’s pretty rubbish to charge an 11-year old an adult price as they’re not technically adults.  It reminds me of the travel industry where children are charged adult fares from 12 years up….regardless, the price is decent for 2.5 hours including breakfast and animations.

Tickets:  You can buy tickets in advance for the Hard Rock Café Halloween breakfast events – note, the booking portal adds a €1 fee to each ticket. Tickets here: Hard Rock Café Halloween 2019

St Martin Vésubie

Parc Alpha is very good at organising events to attract visitors to the area and will be hosting Halloween animations for the whole of Toussaint school holidays.   The park has picnic areas and food onsite, and they have 3 wolf packs that you can watch being fed three times a day (look on the Parc Alpha website for feeding times).

Every day during school holidays from 2pm to 4pm, kids can meet witches and join craft workshops to make a spooky lollipop, magic potion or bewitched puppet.

On 31st October, there will be witches and Little Red Riding Hood and a show at 3pm.

Parc Alpha is running Halloween activities the whole Toussaint school holidays

Details:

Parc Alpha Halloween 2019

Saturday 19th October to Sunday 3rd November open every day from 10am to 5pm

Tickets:

Kids:  On 31st October only, kids under 12 years will receive free entry if they are dressed in Halloween costume – note, it must be a proper costume not just a scary hat or face paint!

Outside of 31st October, if you visit any other day of the school holidays then kids under 4 are free, kids 4-12 years are €10 each and adults are €12 each.  They also have family deals (2 adults + 2 kids) available on their website.

More info about tickets is here:  Parc Alpha tickets

Valbonne

Valbonne is highly recommended for trick or treating action.  Families stroll around the village around 5pm with both kids and adults dressed in costume.  It’s busy and people end up at Place des Arcades to meet friends.  Many families take extra candy to give to the shop owners.

Valbonne / Vallauris / Villeneuve Loubet

Kidooland is hosting stages during Toussaint school holidays with various Halloween activities on offer for kids aged 4 to 16 years at their locations at the Hotel Golden Tulip in Valbonne Sophia, Vallauris and Villeneuve Loubet.

As well, all locations will also host Halloween parties on the 31st October.

Inscriptions are necessary, for more information visit here: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d66ca3_c9d0f6b98a3f49e9992b91c792a1eff0.pdf

Kidooland will host stages and Halloween animations during Toussaint school holidays

Villeneuve Loubet

There will be a Halloween party including a treasure hunt on Thursday 31st October at Valbonne Village.

Details:

Villeneuve Loubet ‘jeu de piste’ & Halloween party 2019

Thursday 31st October from 2pm to 4pm (treasure hunt departs every 15 minutes)

Families:  €7 for 4-5 people, or €5 for 1 adult + 1 child

Tickets: Reservations are necessary, phone 04 92 02 66 16

Where to find Halloween decorations and kids costumes on the French Riviera

I’m becoming more conscious of waste during festive events, so I’m really trying to cut down on buying plastic accessories and individually-wrapped candy.  There are plenty of stores such as Carrefour, MaxiBazaar, Destock, GiFi, La Foir’ Fouille and Maximart on the Côte d’Azur that will be cranking out plastic Halloween items such as tridents, cauldrons or skeletons – so I’m hoping that people will consider their purchases long-term and try and reuse their costumes more than one season or make them from recycled items.

If you want to make your own eco-friendly Halloween decorations and costumes instead, refer to Pinterest, Good Housekeeping, Instagram or A Clean Bee for ideas.

For carving pumpkins, head to the Fête de la Courge in Châteauneuf on 20th October or try your luck at Grand Frais, Nice Carrefour TNL or LIDL.

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Toussaint school holidays: 8 things to do with kids on the French Riviera

October school holidays run from today until Sunday 4 November on the Côte d’Azur and it’s a time to sample some of the autumn activities in the region.

There are lots of school holiday options for kids that aren’t attending the centre de loisirs/centre aérés or booked on stages for holidays – I’ve written this post to highlight some of the free or low-cost activities for families with kids of all ages on the French Riviera.   Have a safe and enjoyable Toussaint vacances!

Saturday 20 October and Sunday 21 October

JUAN LES PINS:  The 4th edition of Village des Sciences et de l’Innovation is being held all weekend at the Palais des Congrès in Juan les Pins.  The event has more than 60 stands with games, educational activities and demonstrations.  If your children are interested in robots, tech, planets and science this is the place to go!  Entry is free of charge all weekend.  Opening hours are 1pm-7pm on Saturday, and 10am-6pm on Sunday.  See the programme here:  Village des Sciences et de l’Innovation 2018 Juan les Pins

fete de science juan les pins

Village des Sciences and de l’Innovation 2018 (image: AntibesJuanlesPins tourist office)

MOUANS-SARTOUX:  The RE-PLAY festival is being held at Gymnase René Friard in Mouans Sartoux and is a great option if your kids are into video gaming, cosplay or computers with retro games on display, competitions and workshops.  Entry is free for children under 10 years of age (limit of 2 kids per family), all others entry is €5.  The festival is open from 10am to 7pm all weekend.

replay festival mouans sartoux

RE-PLAY Festival 2018 in Mouans-Sartoux (image: L’agenda Geek)

Wednesday 24 October

CAGNES-SUR-MER:  Perfect for small children around 3-4 years of age, ‘Le grenier magique de Lili’ is a theatre show of 50 minutes duration with songs and magic.  It will be held at the Centre Culturel, 28 avenue de Verdun in Cagnes-sur-Mer at 3pm. Tickets cost €5 each and can be pre-purchased from the Tourism Office on boulevard Maréchal Juin.

Saturday 27 October and Sunday 28 October

FRÉJUS :  The Festival International de l’Air is a kite festival and is a great place to go where kids can watch over 100 kites in flight, as well as join in on free workshops.  The festival is hosted at Base Nature François Léotard (1196 Boulevard de la Mer, 83600 Fréjus) with free parking there.  Entry to the festival is free of charge, and opening hours are 10am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday.

Festival International de l’Air 2018 is a kite festival in Fréjus – video below is by ‘Là-bas, vu d’ici’.

Until 28 October

NICE:  The 3rd edition of Quinzaine des Théâtres is presenting a number of musicals, comedies, dances and recitals that coincide with Toussaint school holidays.  As well as a diverse programme, it gives local residents the chance to discover 21 theatres and venues in and near Nice.  Some of the family-friendly shows on offer include:

  • Beauty and the Beast (suitable for kids 7 years and upwards, duration 1 hour, cost €6) and Même pas peur! (for kids 5 years and upwards, duration 1 hour, cost €6) at the Théâtre Bellecour
  • La Fôret Magique, a show with magic and songs (suitable for kids 5 years and up, duration 50 mins, cost €5-7) at Théâte de la Cité
  • Les Contes du Maneki-Neko is a show based on traditional Japanese stories (suitable for kids 6 years and up, duration 50 mins, cost €6) at Théâtre de la Semeuse.

The full programme for Quinzaine des Théâtres 2018 is here:  Programme Quinzaine des Théâtres 2018

quinzaine des theatres

Les Contes du Maneki-Neko is just one of a diverse range of shows as part of Quinzaine des Théâtres 2018 (image: Culturo)

Tuesday 30 October and Wednesday 31 October

NICE:  Espace Magnan is hosting the Fête du Cinéma d’Animation over 2 days with films suitable for children 3 years upwards.  Most films for younger ages average around 45 minutes duration, while films for older kids are around 1 hour -1.5 hours in length.  Tickets cost €6 – €7 each depending on sessions and can be pre-purchased via Espace Magnan’s website.  You can see the festival programme here:  Fête du Cinéma d’Animation 2018 programme

Halloween on the French Riviera

Halloween, recognised on 31st October, hasn’t always been traditionally observed in France but it is very popular now.  Schools host Halloween parties and local towns are getting more ‘into the spirit (pun intended)’ by giving out bon bons to children and putting up decorations.

As Halloween falls during Toussaint school holidays, there are plenty of activities happening.  The following day Toussaint (All Saints Day) is a bank holiday and a day where lives of deceased relatives are remembered.

Halloween costumes & decorations : French Riviera

There are many stores on the French Riviera that sell ready-made Halloween costumes and accessories, or for DIY inspiration you can look on Pinterest or Good Housekeeping that have loads of fun and inexpensive ideas.

If you’re looking for Halloween costumes for kids, spooky decorations and party items, the best places to go on the French Riviera are :

  • The €1 and €2 stores – Maxi Bazaar, Maximart and Destock – which always stock things such as tridents, plastic cauldrons and skeletons, and trick-or-treat buckets.
  • La Foir’Fouille in Antibes, Grasse and Mandelieu
  • GiFi in Antibes (near Decathlon), Callian, Cannes La Bocca, Fréjus, Grasse, Menton
  • IdéaFête in Villeneuve Loubet, Nice St Isidore or Mougins
  • Fêter et Recevoir in Cannes La Bocca and Nice
  • Carrefour

Trick or treating in neighbourhoods on the French Riviera is not as popular as other countries, with children mostly going around village shops or towns.

Some family-friendly Halloween 2018 activities this year on the French Riviera are:

  • Valbonne village is very popular for trick or treating from afternoon onwards.
  • Hard Rock Café in Nice hosts Halloween events each year.  This year, on both Saturday 27 October and Sunday 28 October between 9.30am-midday they welcome families for a Halloween-themed breakfast, kids workshop and magic show.  Reservation is necessary; cost is €16 each child under 10 years of age, free for under 2 years of age, €19 for adults. Email them to book: nice_sales@hardrock.com 
  • Espace Magnan in Nice has a special screening of ‘Mary et la fleur de la sorcière‘ at 2pm.  Suitable for kids 8 years up, children can go in costume and participate in a colouring-in competition to win cinema tickets.  Cost:  €6 per child
  • Parc Alpha Loup has Halloween celebrations running all through school holidays until 4 November.  Any children under 12 years of age who come in Halloween costume get free entry – a hat doesn’t justify free entry, you must dress up with some effort!   Note: The Alpha Loup website address given on all posters now redirects to Pure Montagne (the rebranded regional site for Côte d’Azur mountain activities and tourist sites).

Parc Alpha Loup for Halloween 2018

  • Vesubia Mountain Park is having a Halloween night party on Friday 2 November that includes abseiling by black light (essentially glow-in-the-dark!)  Entry is reduced to half price for kids under 12 years that come in costume.  More info is here:  Vesubia Mountain Park Halloween 2018

Until 3 November

CANNES:  P’tits Cannes à You is a family-friendly festival aimed at kids 3-13 years and comprises a programme of marionette shows, creative workshops, dance, theatre and music.  The programme includes things such as a screening of Paddington 2 on October 22 and 25, a marionette show on October 24 suitable for kids from 2 years upwards and regular storytelling sessions for toddlers.  Find the full schedule here:   P’tits Cannes à You 2018 programme

P'tits Cannes à You

P’tits Cannes à You is an annual festival with film, shows and workshops for kids (image: Ville de Cannes)

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