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Trick or Treat?
If you answer “trick,” you shall get the ugly truth: Halloween is not yet big in France. The French aren’t too keen on this spooky season. Some think it’s too American, too commercialized, too n’importe quoi. It’s simply not ingrained in the French culture. During this time, they take their annual two-week vacances de la Toussaint and pay respects to the dead on the 1st or 2nd of November.
But if you answer “treat,” then here’s some good news for you: Halloween is getting bigger in France, especially in Paris, and there are so many ways to celebrate it. As a New Yorker who celebrates Hocus Pocus weekend like it’s Christmas, I’ve had my share of Halloween adventures in Paris, and each year only gets better as the French become more welcoming of it. Here are some tips on how to Halloween in Paris – fun and thrill guaranteed!
First Off, Costumes
What is Halloween if you won’t channel your inner Heidi Klum? This is, after all, the perfect occasion to disobey all Parisian fashion rules!
If you’re looking to make your costume, I recommend my fool-proof trinity of art stores in Paris: Rougier et Plé, Marché Saint Pierre – Dreyfus, and Leroy Merlin. Rougier et Plé is a multi-floor art store that sells everything an artist or an amateur may need, from fine arts to jewelry beads. Marché Saint Pierre-Dreyfus is a six-story textile paradise – it’s near impossible not to find the fabric you want here at the foot of Sacré-Cœur. Lastly, Leroy Merlin is the go-to place not only for Parisian apartment emergencies but also for crafts, hardware, and paint.
Meanwhile, if you prefer ready-made costumes and accessories, whether you’d like to buy or to rent, my favorite spots are À La Poupée Merveilleuse in Le Marais, Au Fou Rire in the 9e, and Au Clown de la République on Blvd Saint Martin. While these shops are open year-round, it does get busy in October – best to visit ahead of time to avoid lines or out-of-stock items.
Next, the Main Event
Halloween was never a solitary experience and oh boy we just cannot advise you to walk the streets of Paris alone in your déguisement without an event to go to.
Most mairies and schools organize Halloween parties filled with games and candies. However, even in my mid-30s, I’d always choose to celebrate Halloween festivities at Disneyland Paris (with the villains), Parc Astérix (Obélix is just too cute), or at the free activities held at the Paris Zoological Park.
For the laid back
Why not organize your own? For my 1920s-themed Halloween entre amis, I was able to book a private bar easily through Privateaser. A house party is also not a bad idea if you have cool neighbors!
For the party animals
The three parties I’m super thrilled about this year are The Biggest Manor of Halloween: Soirée au Solum Club (upscale Parisian club transforms into a haunted château overlooking the scenic Pont d’Alexandre III), À L’Eau Ween: Halloween Party on a Boat (because I bet you’ve never trick-or-treated in a bateau before), and Project X Halloween Party (a true American Halloween night for a crazy, good time).
For the adventurists
If you want to scale it up a notch and live a real spooky night to remember, you might want to try Boogie: The Immersive Horror Experience — survive and escape a 2000 m2 cursed circus in almost complete darkness. Otherwise, for true crime and mystery fans, what could be more perfect than solving a crime investigation at The Live Thriller?
Lastly, Have Fun
Halloween is best enjoyed with good company, so brush off anyone who doesn’t resonate the same energy you have. If your Frenchies are not down to fêter with you, don’t take it personally – as with any French holiday, most Parisians take this time to regenerate out of Paris. Also worth noting: The French don’t say “trick-or-treat.” They ask “des bonbons ou un sort” (candies or a spell) or “friandises ou bêtises” (sweets or mischief)!
Marché Saint Pierre – Dreyfus – 2 Rue Charles Nodier, 75018 Paris
Leroy Merlin – 52 Rue Rambuteau, 75003 Paris
Disneyland Paris – Bd de Parc, 77700 Coupvray
Parc Astérix – 60128 Plailly
Paris Zoological Park – Av. Daumesnil, 75012 Paris
À La Poupée Merveilleuse – 9 Rue du Temple, 75004 Paris
Au Fou Rire – 9 Rue du Temple, 75004 Paris
Au Clown de la République – 11 Bd Saint-Martin, 75003 Paris
- Another place to look for Halloween costumes: Flea Markets!
- Check out everything about cemeteries, catacombs, and ghostly itineraries in the City of Light!
- Here’s how to translate Halloween to French
Written by Maikka Piquemal for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.