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Autumn 2023: fun October events in Rotterdam

By Kim Longwood
September 25, 2023

Are you looking for fun October events in Rotterdam? And are you – like me – eager to get through October actively? Summer is over… boo! I’m not a fan either, no. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we all have to sit inside.

On the contrary: Rotterdam is bursting with fun events, so read on to get inspiration for your October calendar. Have fun!

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1. De Grote Schijn – Het Kralingse Bos

Als er iets magisch is dan is het wel De Grote Schijn. Vorig jaar was mijn eerste keer en ik kan je vertellen: wát een ervaring. Het Kralingse Bos maakt de overgang van zomers picknick en bbq paradijs naar sprookjesachtig en kleurrijk herfst domein.

Deze bijzondere wandeltocht door visuals en geluiden is leuk voor jong en oud, met familie of date en speelt zich af na zonsondergang. Van 12 tot en met 29 oktober bezoek je dit evenement.

Get your ticket here. Be quick, they sell out quickly!


The Grote Schijn takes place on the east-south side of Het Kralingse Bos. The entrance is at the intersection of Prinses Beatrixlaan and Stinsenlaantje.


2. Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam – Cinerama Filmtheater

From October 31 to November 5, you can enjoy the most beautiful and impactful nature films during WFFR. Watch the most beautiful documentaries and films in the Cinerama Film Theater in the heart of the city center.

Regular tickets can be purchased from October 1, but early birds can already purchase a passe-partout in September. Check out the website van WFFR for more information.


Westblaak 18, 3012 KL Rotterdam


3. Vrije Volk Festival Halloween Edition – Ferro Gashouder

On Saturday, October 28, the Vrije Volk Festival is all about everything spooky, creepy, sexy and strange. Dress up exactly how you want; as a monster, witch, your favorite animal, an alien or celebrity and dance your heart out in the Ferro Gashouder (also known as the Ferro Dome) in Rotterdam.


Keileweg 25, 3029 BR Rotterdam


4. Glow in the Dark Halloween Special – Maassilo

Photo Iris van den Broek.

This year you will also dance in costume in the Maassilo during Glow in the Dark. The doors of this special party open at 10:00 PM and close at 2:00 AM.

NB! The tickets for Saturday October 28 are already sold out, so get your ticket (only) via ticketswap. Due to its popularity, a party evening has also been added on Friday, October 27. You can find more information about this on the Glow in the Dark website.


Maashaven Zuidzijde 1-2, 3081 AE Rotterdam


5. Crazy Sexy Cool Halloween Festival – Zuiderpark

Zuiderpark. Foto door Iris van den Broek.

It’s crazy, it’s sexy and it’s cool! And in October too: it’s Halloween!

On Saturday October 28, the Zuiderpark is a gathering place for zombies, vampires, witches and skeletons. This gigantic outdoor Halloween festival returns annually to South Rotterdam and Crazy Sexy Cool is sure to turn things up.


Zuiderparkweg, Zuiderpark, Rotterdam


6. In Search Of Humanity – Ai WeiWei – Kunsthal Rotterdam

Foto door Jeroen Musch.

From September 30, 2023 to March 3, 2024, Kunsthal Rotterdam will exhibit the exhibition In Search Of Humanity by the artist Ai WeiWei.

This special man shows his criticism of China and modern life through various works of art. Tickets can be purchased the website of the Kunsthal.


Museumpark, Westzeedijk 341, 3015 AA Rotterdam


7. Candlelight Concert – Laurenskerk Rotterdam

Foto door Iris van den Broek.

On Friday, October 20, at 7:15 PM and 9:30 PM you can listen to various pieces of music under the soft glow of candlelight.

This edition has been named Candlelight: A Tribute to Hans Zimmer and tickets are available from €24 via the website of Laurenskerk Rotterdam.


Grotekerkplein 27, 3011 GC Rotterdam


8. Swan Market – Van Nelle Fabriek

Photo by our blogger

Everyone loves the Swan Market, right? Have a nice stroll, have a bite to eat, chat with your friends; what’s not to like? On Sunday, October 22, you can enjoy this event in the Van Nelle Factory between 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM for only €3 entrance fee.


Van Nelleweg 1, 3044 BC Rotterdam


9. Le Marie Marché – Hillegersberg

Photo by Louise Boonstoppel Fotografie.

On Saturday, October 14, you want to be in Hillegersberg from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, because then you can enjoy it the French way.

During the unique event Le Marie Marché – a pop-up market inspired by French markets – you can listen to French chansons, eat something tasty at cosy stalls and play pétanque with friends. There is also plenty to do for children, such as a swing and shuffleboard.


Weissenbruchlaan & Freriksplaats, Hillegersberg, Rotterdam


10. Stoffen Spektakel – Rotterdam Ahoy

Do you like to make clothes, cushions, your own curtains or bags? Then you need fabrics… duh. If you are looking for the nicest, most beautiful, most colourful, most special and workable fabrics, then you have to go to the ‘Fabric Spectacle’ on Friday, October 13.

Rotterdam Ahoy opens its doors free of charge to visitors looking for materials to create with. Fabric Spectacle lasts from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM.


Ahoyweg 10, 3084 BA Rotterdam


11. Maas Open Air

Not quite done with summer yet? Then come to the second edition of Maas Open Air! This intimate open-air festival is scheduled for October 7, 2023, from 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

This Summer Closing will feature a line-up of both international and local artists. The main stage features Max Dean (UK), Locklead, Jamback, Boss Priester, Kim April, Migesa, B Rhythm and Makari. For those who prefer to enjoy music with their feet in the sand, there is a special silent disco area on the beach, where you can dance to the best hits.

Click here to get your ticket. Use the code WEEKENDSINROTTERDAM20 for a 20% discount!


De Maaskantine, Plantagelaan 2, 3063 NG Rotterdam


There is plenty to do in Rotterdam when autumn starts, so don’t crawl under that blanket just yet. It’s tempting, I know… but celebrate October with a dance, a snack, live music or new favourite things for your home. Where are you going?

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