Spending part of my childhood in the U.S., Halloween was such a big tradition that you were considered rude if you didn’t open your door and give “trick-or-treating” children candy, and considered boring if you didn’t go “trick-or-treating” yourself. As adults, I guess the idea of living Halloween to the fullest becomes drenched in binge-drinking and in risqué, or actually super-scary, costume indulgences. The Halloween tradition as celebrated in the U.S. – at least its “adult” incarnation – is apparently catching on in Germany too, as it had in Denmark when I was living there five or so years ago.
But there are all kinds of special events here, actually. Lots of creativity going around with the “horror nights” theme. Everywhere they seem to prefer that you wear a costume (you can get free stuff, discounted entry, etc.) You can find something in your closet, can’t you? And whether you’re more party-loving or chilled out, there’s surely something for you to do on this list, which features 20(!) events going on this Halloween weekend in Leipzig:*
Friday, October 30th (Halloween Eve)
- 6 p.m. – Halloween videogame tournament: Needless to say, an alternative to the boozy Halloween parties – or I guess it’s early enough where you can do both, if you’re into both modalities…
Where: Games Workshop – Burgplatz 2, 04109 Leipzig
- 7 p.m. – Hell Nights Leipzig: I’m guessing these bands are not for the faint of heart (or eardrums): “Every year THE OTHER invites the best bands of the horror scene to travel with them through the country and thus enable thousands to move about Halloween in fear and terror.”
Where: Conne Island – Koburger Str. 3, 04277 Leipzig-Connewitz
- 7:30 p.m. – QUIZ NIGHT – the evening before Halloween: Pub quiz has become one of my favorite things to do in town. This one sounds especially fun because of the special occasion…
Where: The English Room – Käthe-Kollwitz-Str. 54, 04109 Leipzig
- 9 p.m. – AY, CARAMBASS! vs. Día de Muertos: Concert and costume party. Mexican culture. NOW we’re really getting into party zone!
Where: 4rooms, Täubchenweg26, 04317 Leipzig
- 10 p.m. – Halloween-Spuk at Spizz: How does this sound to you? “Enter into the catacombs of horror and experience the scariest haunted spot beneath the market square: You are intimated to attend the ball of the cursed again this year. You can expect skeletons, severed limbs, torn eyeballs… a breath of death pervades the rooms…” plus music and a welcome drink!
Where: Spizz Leipzig, Markt 9, 04109 Leipzig
- 11 p.m. – Classic Halloween 90s and 2000s party: We children of the 90s know what to expect in terms of music, and we know we can still dance to it all night! The masked people are a bonus…
Where: Aqua Club Leipzig, Große Fleischergasse 19, 04109 Leipzig
Saturday, October 31st (Halloween)
- 10 a.m. – Halloween for small and grownup kids at Stadtfarm: Seriously? Halloween is starting this early in the morning? Guess it is! Here you find ponies, warm food, drinks and other activities for the whole family, and until 7 p.m. in case you can’t get up by 10. Not sure how many ghouls will be around, but the “open house” has got a Halloween theme, nevertheless.
Where: Kleine Stadtfarm Leipzig, Eisenbahnstraße 131a, 04315 Leipzig
- 10 a.m. – Halloween Paintball Party: Again, people like to get started early, and this time, well… it’s a matter of life or death! “Men (or women) vs. Zombies” – are you up for the challenge?
Where: PSL Paintball Leipzig, Riesaer Str. 72, 04328 Leipzig (Paunsdorf)
- 6 p.m. – Halloweenyl – VOL. 2.0: All-you-can-eat buffet. DJ. “Let’s do the Monster Mash.” Costume contest. You up for it?
Where: Peach Pit Leipzig, Könneritzstraße 14, 04229 Leipzig
- 6 p.m. – Halloween “climb in the dark”: Compete against the “undead” and “poltergeists” climbing, have some food too. You are welcome to come in costume, of course. “Arm yourselves with headlamps” and climb your favorite routes or discover new ones…
Where: Kletterturm Leipzig, Tauchaer Str. 14, 04357 Leipzig
- 6:30 p.m. – Firefighters’ Halloween party: Organized by Feuerwehrverein Hartmannsdorf; this one is on the other side of Cospudner See from Leipzig. The party has reportedly almost tripled the number of visitors to Hartmannsdorf, so might be worth making the drive or ride for it…
Where: Erikenstraße 20, 04249 Hartmannsdorf
- 7 p.m. – Internations Halloween party: Hanging out with Leipzig’s expat group is always fun, especially if you can do it in a costume, and in our dear community Polish place, and with some food and vodka and raffle prizes.
Where: Poniatowski Polski Bar & Restauracja, Kreuzstrasse 15, 04103 Leipzig
- 8 p.m. – Halloween at Halfischbar: “None other than the “fabulous” HORNETS, the probably coolest two-man “rock ‘n’ roll” combo this side of the equator, will honor us with the finest rockabilly live in our bar. We would be pleased if you were to dress up as dead Hollywood stars. Special drinks in cooperation with ASTRA and JÄGERMEISTER are planned.”
Where: Haifischbar Leipzig, Große Fleischergasse 4, 04109 Leipzig
- 9 p.m. – Flowerpower Halloween Special: My favorite place in Leipzig after 3 a.m. is starting early-ish in the evening for Halloween with punk rock and other stuff.
Where: Flowerpower Leipzig, Riemannstraße 42, 04107 Leipzig
- 9 p.m. – Champions Bar Halloween Party: “Live music from our DJs, burgers, chicken wings and nachos, beer and house wine, ALL YOU CAN EAT AND DRINK!!”
Where: Champions Bar Leipzig, Brühl 33, 04109 Leipzig
- 9:30 p.m. – Halloween Ballroom: One of my favorite, regular hangouts in town – for pub quiz and Guiness, especially – is throwing a Halloween party involving “80s trash” and an American guy called “Frank The Baptist;” the “DJ-Dream-Team;” and these dudes: The Dirkness (Trashcave, Berlin); Ralf Thyssen (Pagan Lovesongs, Bochum/Berlin); Adrian (Gothic Ballroom, Leipzig); Knüpfi (Vanity Noire, Leipzig).
Where: Noels Ballroom, Kurt-Eisner-Straße 43, 04275 Leipzig
- 10 p.m. – Halloweenparty 2015, Altes Landratsamt: This sounds really cool! “For the 5th year in a row we open on 31/10 the creaking doors of the Old District Office. You are welcome to the largest & more gruesome party in town! We will celebrate on 2 floors in an elaborately redecorated and thus breathtaking Halloween location to the finest ‘Black & House’ and ‘all you can dance music.’ You can withdraw to the shisha lounge to recover from the shock, consult our fortune teller cards and thus predict the future or have fun in the photo box.”
Where: Landratsamt: Kongress-, Messe- & Eventlocation, Tröndlinring 3, 04105 Leipzig
- 10:30 p.m. – Da Switch’s Dance of the Living Dead: Another very cool-sounding event with a creative description. It’s going to be tough to choose! “It’s quiet in Plagwitz. Too calm! But suddenly: streets & roads fill up with crowds of undead party addicts who only crave only one thng: the Da Switch DANCE OF THE LIVING DEAD! The xxSuperkronik becomes the scene of bloody bass massacre, where the DJ booth is occupied by top-class entertainment zombies.”
Where: XXSuperkronik, Karl-Heine-Straße 35, 04229 Leipzig
- 11 p.m. – Halloween Party @ Aqua Club: You know what this means, if you also looked at events the previous night – parties two nights in a row at Aqua Club! You might as well try to sleep somewhere around there, wake up and then go back?? They’ve also got a shisha lounge and a welcome drink. Different DJs and ambiances, apparently…
Where: Aqua Club Leipzig, Große Fleischergasse 19, 04109 Leipzig
Sunday, November 1st (post-Halloween hangover)
- 12:30 p.m. – Lolita Fashion Halloween meeting: A day of hanging out at spots around town for people who like to dress like this – “a fashion subculture originating in Japan that is based on Victoria and Edwardian clothing, but the style has expanded greatly beyond Japan,” evidently. You can see it at the Gothic festival in Leipzig.
Where: Leipzig Hauptbanhof (meeting point)
*I doubt this is a complete list, though. If you know of any more parties going on in the area, please add the links to the comments section of this post.