Halloween remains a novelty in Paris. Except for chocolate shops, few stores decorate for the holiday. Pumpkins are for eating, not carving Jack-O-Lanterns, though if you don’t mind spending 15 or so Euros for a medium-sized pumpkin (gigantic by French standards), you can find some pumpkins at the marché or in some pumpkin patches out in the farmlands near Versailles. Gobs of candy bags are not to be seen lining store shelves, and there is no trick or treating as you need the security code to get into an apartment building (so you must plan ahead and know who you are visiting).
But with a little planning, children can enjoy Halloween, either by attending organized parties, or going to a few restaurants, such as Joe Allen’s, where children dress up, can get faces painted, and an American style buffet will please everyone, with real giant Jack-O-Lanterns illuminating the restaurant (30 Euros for adults, 20 Euros for children). Chocolate shops, such as Servant, have all types of special treats, including sucettes (lollipops), and Halloween chocolates that will delight everyone. Debauve & Gaullais is another place for more classic treats.
For something really special and ghoulish, visit Père Lachaise Cemetery, with its grand tombstones and mausoleums, which is a Who’s Who cemetery of French illuminaries, world artists, composers, musicians, scientists, philosophers, including Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, and Sarah Bernhardt.
This year on Halloween, the famous Salon du Chocolate also holds some special events, so it is not to be missed.