The days of filling a pillowcase with Reese’s are long gone, but luckily for grown-up Washingtonians, the area has no shortage of Halloween tricks and treats. Here’s our roundup of area Halloween celebrations and costume parties guaranteed to get partygoers in the bewitching mood.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24
International Club of DC’s Masquerade Ball
For a classy take on a costume party, try the International Club of DC’s Sixth Anniversary Gala and Masquerade Ball. The evening will include music, wine, food, and dancing in the grand ballroom of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Guests are encouraged to dress in black tie or, better yet, “period formal attire from the 1800s, 1900s, and Renaissance era.” In true international spirit, the evening will feature classical Viennese waltzes, Brazilian salsa, and merengue. An elaborate dessert buffet is also on the agenda. Tickets are $90 to $155; buy them here. Event begins at 7.
Zombie Walk at the Quarry House Tavern
The Silver Spring Zombie Walk will kick off at Quarry House Tavern at 7:30. Zombie wannabes can stalk the Silver Spring streets until the march concludes at the AFI Silver Theatre for a showing of Shaun of the Dead at 10. After the screening, the undead will keep things lively at McGinty’s Public House.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30
Night of the Living Zoo
Costumed guests at the National Zoo’s first adult Halloween bash can enjoy palm readers, fire eaters, and illusionists while taking in the zoo by moonlight. The band Soulive, along with the Shady Horns and Nigel Hall, will provide the soundtrack for activities such as dancing, a costume contest, food, and a full selection of “potions” for purchase from the party’s sponsor Magic Hat. Tickets are $15 for Friends of the National Zoo members, $25 for nonmembers; 8 to midnight.
Colombian Halloween at Ultra Bar
The third floor of Ultra Bar (911 F St., NW; 202-638-4663) will serve up Halloween with a twist with its Colombian Halloween. The costume party will be Columbian-themed, with flags and Latin music all night. Admission is $20. 9 PM to 3 AM.
Rock & Roll Hotel Costume Party
Be a rocker for Halloween at the Rock & Roll Hotel's party featuring performances by Captured! by Robots, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, Bonjour, and Ganesh! Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. 8 PM.
Palace of Wonders Nightmare on H Street Burlesque Show
Is it just us or has Halloween gotten a lot raunchier as we’ve gotten older? Palace of Wonders proves it with a holiday-themed burlesque show. Doors open at 6. Tickets are $20.