Where to go for a weekend full of tricks and treats in the District.
Clever costumes, Jack-O’-Lanterns and candy comas make October 31st one of the best celebrations of the fall season. We found the spookiest spots and the sweetest soirées for readers of all ages to explore, dine and socialize over the Halloween weekend.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo invites the entire family to come out in costume and enjoy an evening of live entertainment, bewitching treats, and after-hours access to animal exhibits starting on Friday, October 21st and ending on Sunday, October 23rd. Guests will receive special “Boo at the Zoo” trick-or-treat bags to use at the 40+ treat stations scattered throughout the exhibits, where goodies for all ages include sponsor Mars Chocolate NA products, Ledo pizza, and craft beer. The zoo will also debut decorated trails and a special scarecrow field – and don’t forget to stop by the pumpkin decorating contest! Purchase tickets starting at $20 online or at the zoo gates.
When: Friday, Oct. 21st to Sunday, Oct. 23 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Where: 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC
George Washington invites families of all ages and sizes to celebrate Halloween in classic fashion. The estate will offer a scavenger hunt, wagon rides, arts and crafts, and a children’s costume parade. The best “George” and “Martha” Washington will win prizes! Treats will be provided by the event’s sponsor, Mars Chocolate NA. Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about the Mansion’s history and spooky inhabitants. Purchase tickets starting at $6 here.
When: Saturday, Oct. 29th and Monday, Oct. 31st from 3:30 to 6:30 pm
Where: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA
For the internationally inclined, this Halloween night walking tour of Dupont circle and Embassy Row is the trick-or-treating experience for you. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from one of Washington’s preeminent guides about the architecture and history of the boulevard, as well as about the lives, mysteries, scandals, and spooky stories of its inhabitants. Treats will include candy from around the world and exclusive access into embassies and ambassadors’ residences. Purchase tickets starting at $33 here.
When: Monday, Oct. 31st from 7:00 to 9:30 pm
Where: Meet at the north exit (top of escalator) of Dupont Station, Q Street NW between Connecticut Avenue NW and 20th Street NW, Washington, DC
Look your best in that costume you’ve been saving – and preempt all that candy guilt! – with FlyWheel Sports’ special “Halloween Rides” spinning and “Halloween Pulses” barre classes. Members dressed in costume will have the chance to win a 5-pack class credit and will receive a special prize – including credits, snacks, and more – when they say “FLY trick or treat!” at the front desk. Sign up for your spooky session here.
Anita’s Halloween Ride – 4:30 p.m. / Emma’s Halloween Pulse – 6:30 p.m. (Dupont)
Christine’s Halloween Ride – 7:00 a.m. / Marisa’s Halloween Pulse – 7:00 p.m. (CityCenterDC)
1927 Florida Ave NW Washington DC (Dupont)
824 9th St. NW Unit B Washington, DC (CityCenterDC)
Get a meditative workout in before a long night of hocus-pocus. Join the New District Brewery for an all-level vinyasa flow class – in costume! – set to your favorite Halloween hits. The class will be followed by a tasting of the New District’s most refreshing and limited edition craft beers. Purchase tickets for $15 here.
When: Saturday, Oct. 29th from 10:30 to 11:30 am
Where: 2709 South Oakland Street, Arlington, VA
The award-winning hotel of Lafayette Square, the Hay Adams, has made available for one night only the enchanting Transylvania suite for that couple that just can’t get enough of Halloween. Transformed by designer Barbara Hamilton of the Ociana Group into a decadent haunted house, the suite will feature a cobweb-draped canopy bed made with fine Italian linens, a complementary collection of the best horror films, and a personal phantasmic butler. Guests will also enjoy spooky treats from pastry chef Josh Short, cauldrons of specialty cocktails, a three course devilish dinner paired with wines in the suite’s dining room, and breakfast in bed – complete with “Bloody Scaries.” This frightful fantasy is priced at $2,995 (excluding tax and gratuity) and must be reserved (no cancellations) by October 24th. For reservations call 202-638-6600 or visit their website.
When: Monday, Oct. 31st
Where: 800 16th Street NW, Washington, DC
Love ghost stories? Join Washington Walks for a nighttime walking tour of the most famous monuments and the best-kept secrets of Capitol Hill. Visitors will learn about haunted history and paranormal activity – the “stranger things” of the heart of our nation’s government. Purchase tickets for $20 online or in person.
When: Saturday, Oct. 22nd and Oct. 29th from 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Where: Meet at the Capitol South metro station, First Street SE between C Street SE and D Street SE, Washington, DC
The Exorcist Steps aren’t the only spine-chilling landmark that Georgetown has to offer. Join Dwane Starlin of the Guild of Professional Tour Guides to explore the legacy of 200 years of witches, ghosts, ghouls, and other creepy crawlers in the backyard of DC’s most picturesque neighborhood. Purchase tickets for $15 online or in person.
When: Friday, October 28 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Where: Meet by the garden gates of the Dumbarton House at the corner of Q and 27th Streets, NW, Washington DC
Join the Friends of the National Zoo for their annual adult-only monster mash bash, Night of the Living Zoo. Guests in costume will enjoy craft beer, bites from DC’s hottest food trucks, after-hours access to animal exhibits, live performance artists, and a DJ dance floor. There will be prizes awarded at the costume and Day of the Dead altar contests, and VIP members will enjoy exclusive animal experiences and a private lounge and bar. Purchase tickets starting at $20 online.
When: Friday, Oct. 28th from 6:30 to 10:00 pm
Where: 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC
Come out Saturday afternoon in your Halloween best for a day of screams and spirits like no other. DC’s favorite Halloween party will take you through DuPont Circle’s most popular bars, lounges, and nightclubs, cutting the lines and offering deals of $3 Coors Lite, $4 Redd’s Wicked Apple Ale, and $5 mixed drinks. Some of the haunts on tap are Sign of the Whale, the Gryphon, Asia DC, and the Exchange. Purchase tickets starting at $15 here.
When: Saturday, Oct. 29th from 12 to 7:30 pm
Where: 1716 I St NW Washington, DC 20006
Venture out – if you dare – to one of the Smithsonian’s “Top Five Historic Venues to Explore in the World:” the Mansion on O Street. This Halloween, the opulent, spooky sensation of DuPont is throwing a costume party you won’t want to miss. Discover secret doors and hidden rooms in the labyrinth of the mansion on a tricky treasure hunt, dance to the DJ and treat yourself to the chocolate fountain and extensive cash bar. Purchase tickets starting at $50 here.
When: Monday, Oct. 31st from 8:00 pm to 12:00 am
Where: 2020 O Street NW, Washington, DC
Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble. Champagne lovers will flock to the Gryphon, the trendy social house and new dining concept from the owners of Lost Society, for a two-hour champagne open bar event on Saturday night. Witches and vampires welcome. Register for tickets online.
When: Saturday, Oct. 29th from 10:00 pm to 12:00 am
Where: 1337 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC
FOOD & DRINK
Where “southern garden party meets bistro luxe,” the Macon Bistro & Larder is hosting a tap takeover by RavenBeer of Baltimore. The brewery’s exquisite craft beers pay homage to the King of Spooky Stories, the poet Edgar Allan Poe. Get in the Halloween spirit with a draft of the Raven Special Lager, the Cask, or the Tell Tale Heart IPA – and read the poetry that inspired it – for a hair-raising evening with friends. For reservations visit their website or call 202-248-7807.
When: Monday, Oct. 24th through Monday, Oct. 31st
Where: 5520 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC
Calling all foodies! Head over to Glen’s Garden Market in Shaw to kick off the Halloween week with fall bites like “Pepper Jack O’Lantern Grilled Cheese,” sausages on pretzel buns, and cinnamon sugar donuts. The market will also feature fresh brews from Charm City Meadworks, Old Bust Head Brewing Company, and Distillery Lane Ciderworks, as well as themed activities such as chocolate pretzel dipping, face painting, pumpkin decorating, and bobbing for apples.
When: Saturday, Oct. 22 from 2:00 to 6:00 pm
Where: 1924 8th Street NW, Washington DC
Located on the waterfront in Old Town, Alexandria and boasting a large back patio with beautiful views of the Potomac and National Harbor, this classic shore tavern is hosting a Halloween costume tap takeover on Saturday, October 29th. Guests can enjoy fall and pumpkin-themed beers from South Street Brewery, take photos, and participate in the costume contest! Categories include “best costume,” “best nautically-themed,” and “best couple.” For reservations, visit their website or call 703-739-6090.
When: Saturday, Oct. 29th from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am
Where: 5 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA
If you’re not quite ready for the festivities to be over – and you’re already planning your costumes for next year – head over to Josh Phillips’ Espita Mezcaleria, the Southern-Mexican restaurant located in Shaw, to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Guests will sample varieties of the Los Siete Misterios mezcal and speciality dishes such as house-made Morcilla blood sausage, cochinita cookies, and mole negro lamb belly. The restaurant will also offer face painting and customized temporary tattoos, along with an honorary Day of the Dead cocktail, “Flor de Muerto.” For reservations, visit their website or call 202-621-9695.
When: Tuesday, Nov. 1st
Where: 1250 9th Street NW, Washington, DC
Stop by the Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner for a spooky tea party like no other. The Ritz’s popular wine bar and lounge, Entyse, is hosting a costumed soirée complete with a performing magician, a haunted house, and a feature Halloween movie showing. Visit their website to make your reservation for a relaxing afternoon of happy hauntings. Tickets cost $68 per person, including tax and gratuity.
When: Sunday, Oct. 30th at 10am and 1pm
Where: Tysons Galleria, 1700 Tysons Blvd, McLean, VA
Other local Halloween events include: Halloween at the Ritz-Carlton – Tysons Corner (Oct. 30th); Día de los Mezcales by Union Market with Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits (Oct. 27th); limited-time only Dutch Harbor Red King Crab at Ocean Prime DC (Oct. 26th); and Halloween at Texas Jack’s Barbecue (Oct. 31st).