Want to celebrate Halloween on the road? Drop by one of these top Halloween cities around the world to mark the spooky season in style.
Derry, Northern Ireland
Derry’s Halloween festivities are like nowhere else on the planet. For the past 30 years, the city has honored the holiday with parades, fireworks, and celebrations attended by Halloween fans from around the world. Derry’s 17th-century walls also come to life each October with vibrant projections and art installations. You’ll also find jack-o-lantern contests, a tasty food market, and a whole lot of music.
New York, New York
New York’s quirky characters can make the city feel like a costume party every day of the year, but locals go even more above and beyond when it comes to Halloween. New York’s annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is the world’s largest Halloween parade, and it doubles as a pageant where participants can show off their wild and creative costumes. The real stars of the parade, however, are the larger-than-life puppets operated by volunteers. You’ll also see dozens of marching bands, commercial floats, and costumed locals who’ve joined in on the march.
New Orleans, Louisiana
If any city knows how to have fun, it’s New Orleans. The Big Easy’s lively music scene and annual Halloween parade make it a fantastic place to celebrate. Of course, any city with a history as rich as New Orleans is bound to bring up some spiritual energy this time of year. With above-ground cemeteries, unique local practices to honor the dead, and plenty of haunted historic buildings, you just might get a spookier experience than you bargained for.
Oaxaca in late October is about something far more thrilling than any Halloween party: The Day Of The Dead, or Dia de los Muertos. During this days-long event, locals gather to honor loved ones who have passed away. This is a time of celebration and joy rather than mourning; and while it’s celebrated around the same time as Halloween, it’s a totally different holiday. Departed loved ones are supported on their spiritual journey with beautifully decorated gravestones, altars, and paths of flower petals to help them find their way. You can expect parades, light shows, face painting, and a lively market.
Halloween is a relatively new celebration in Japan, but Tokyo has more than made up for lost time in the last few years. In bustling Shibuya, you’ll find thousands of people gathering in costume to join in on the fun. The festivities aren’t just reserved for Halloween night - the crowds celebrate for days! In the nearby neighborhood of Roppongi, you can get your costume party on among the area’s many local bars and clubs.
Each October, this low-key town outside Minneapolis transforms into Halloween Headquarters, USA. Anoka is believed to be the first-ever US city to host a Halloween parade in 1920. Nearly a century later, the town’s annual block party and costume parade attracts thousands of visitors from all over the country.