Boo! Whether you're seeking a fun time for kids or a hair raising fright, Amsterdam Mamas has your Halloween covered with local events, longer trips, and scary tales of ghostly Dutch legends ...
Halloween, or 'Hallowed Eve', falls on 31 October, the night before the Roman Catholic Holy Day of All Saints Day. Originally of Celtic origin, Halloween has transcended countries and cultures; the opportunity to dress up in costume and give frights big and small to other revelers has global appeal. Here's a quick rundown of the family friendly events happening around Amsterdam and further afar this Halloween.
Amsterdam Halloween Events 2019
Looking to celebrate Halloween locally? Here’s a roundup of family friendly, public events around Amsterdam this Halloween:
Join a parade! Amsterdam Mamas' annual party returns on 27 October, 10:30am - 12:30pm in Beatrix Park! Dress up, decorate your strollers, and strut your stuff! After the parade, gather for games and treats and bouncy houses at the paddling pool playground. 27 October 2019
Get a fright! Kids over 10 (accompanied by an adult) seeking Halloween frights can go to the Amsterdam Dungeon on a special Halloween ticket. The Dungeon is open late on 26 October (until 2:00am on the 27th) and has extended hours on Halloween Day itself - until 10:00pm. 26-27 October 2019
Rock out Halloween! Hard Rock Cafe hosts its Lil Monsters Ball on Sunday 27 October - doors open at 9:00pm. Come in costume and enjoy face painting, games, trick or treating, and a spooky mini-disco. 27 October 2019
Eat and play! Ginger and Ale (Oost, Watergraafsmer) has Halloween themed events for little ones on 30 October as well as their weekend brunches on 2 and 3 November: masks, face painting, cookies, crafts. 30 October 2019, 2-3 November 2019
Halloween Travel in Europe
For people who enjoy getting chills down their spines, Amsterdam Mama’s regular contributor Mary Petiet compiled a list of spooky Halloween destinations all over Europe, including two from here in the Netherlands:
The blood of condemned prisoners is said to have flowed through Blood Street as it drained into the canal, and Spook Alley is the eternal home of the ghost of Helena, who killed her sister in a fit of jealousy. Nearby Dam Square is known after dark as home to the spirits of victims of the witch trials, while the nearby Amsterdam Dungeon, itself built over a medieval cemetery, offers a chilling exhibit of the city’s darker past.
To get the most of Amsterdam’s haunted past, visitors can join a local ghost tour (e.g., The Ghost Walk of Amsterdam), and the Amsterdam Dungeon has a variety of frightening but fun Halloween activities.
Leeuwarden - Blokhuispoort
A prison from 1580 to 2007, Blokhuispoort has seen its fair share of horrifying incidents — and the victims of those traumas continue to haunt the fortress today.
In the 17th century, people were tortured and publically executed here, and in the 19th and into the 20th centuries, it housed a sick ward with tuberculosis patients. Take a tour through the building, now a museum, to hear the stories of the tragic spirits who continue to roam its dimly lit halls.
Ghost Stories from Netherlands
Read about Aunty Cor, the Jordaan fortune teller who could take revenge on evildoers by conjuring up figures in the flames, or Rixt who lured ships to their doom to steal their bounty until she found her own child in the wreckage, or walled-in nuns, or ghost ships off the Dutch coast ... if you are seeking chills they are all here: haunted castles, witches and ghosts.
Anastasia Drost is the Editor in Chief of Amsterdam Mamas. She lives in Amsterdam with her Dutch husband and nine year old twins. She loves her yoga and flaky treats from Le Fournil.
Mary Petiet is a reporter, writer, and story teller. Though she lives in Amsterdam now, her work is frequently inspired by her native Cape Cod. Mary is the author of Minerva’s Owls (Homebound Publications, April 2017), a book remembering the divine feminine to reenvision the world.
Main banner credit: Audrey Coggins