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Things to Do in Washington on Halloween

Where to Pick Your Own Apples and Pumpkins in Washington

Take a Selfie in This Horrible T-Swift Cutout Located at the Taylor Swift-Shaped Corn Maze

15 Haunted Houses and Ghost Tours For an Absolutely Terrifying Halloween

The 5 Best Pumpkin Beers to Try This Fall

Your Eating and Drinking Guide to Halloween in DC

Washington National Opera’s Halloween Costume Sale Brings In $65,000

Washington National Opera’s Halloween Costume Sale Is as Awesome as It Sounds

Inside Scream City, DC’s Only Major Haunted Attraction

Dogs in Halloween Costumes at Parktoberfest’s Dachshund Dash

There’s a Giant Corn Maze in Maryland Shaped Like Taylor Swift’s Face

Transform Your Face for Halloween with These Easy Makeup Tutorials

How to Turn a Pumpkin Into a Beer Keg

A History of Halloween Celebrations at the White House

Seven Spookiest Places in Washington

Why the Author of The Exorcist Says It's Not Just a Horror Movie

Halloween Recipe: “Fancy” Jell-O Shots

Halloween Recipe: David Guas’s Ghoulish Spin on Homemade Oreo Cookies

How to Dress Like Your Favorite Candidate for Halloween

The Great Small Town That Takes Halloween—and Pumpkin Carving—Very Seriously

BlackSalt’s Caramel-Apple Streusel Pie

What Do Pastry Chefs Hand Out on Halloween?

The Best and Worst Candy Corn-Themed Halloween Treats

10 Halloween Candies That Will Make You a TP Target

How Many Ingredients Are in Your Favorite Halloween Candy?

8 Black Decor Items Perfect for Halloween

Posted at 10:15 AM/ET, 10/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph by NeilBradfield/iStock


National Building Museum: Stroll through a pitch-black museum during a lantern-lit tour and hear ghost stories about the former Pension Building, including a tale about a 19th-century "death mask." One-hour tours offered at 8 and 9:15 PM on October 23, 25, and 31. $22 for members; $25 for non-members.

Scream City at RFK Stadium has bloody corpses, clowns, and skeletons. Photo by Lauren Joseph.

Scream City: Two different haunts have taken over RFK Stadium's parking lot—a slaughter factory and a Victorian mansion. Expect to come across zombies, clowns, and corpses within the 20,000-square-foot indoor space, along with 35 hidden actors waiting to elicit blood-curdling screams. $30 to 40; if you drive, parking costs $20.

Washington Walks: These three walking tours take you across some of the most haunted places in DC: “Capitol Hauntings,” a spooky look at the Library of Congress, US Supreme Court, and Folger Shakespeare Library; “The Most Haunted Houses,” including the Stephen Decatur House, the Hay-Adams Hotel, and the White House; “Ghosts of the Octagon,” a walk through the Northwest DC museum. $25.

Congressional Cemetery: On October 16, 17, 23, and 24, between 6 and 9 PM, take a twilight tour of the Congressional Cemetery, where more than 65,000 people are buried. Costumed interpreters lead the tours and share tidbits from the lives of those laid to rest there. Bring a flashlight. $20.

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Posted at 06:55 AM/ET, 10/14/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus, where to find nearby hayrides, corn mazes, fall festivals, and more. By Angie Hilsman
Photograph via trjphotog/iStock.

Baugher's Orchards and Farms

1015 Baugher Rd., Westminster, MD; 410-857-0111

Distance from DC: About 70 miles.

Pumpkins: Take a two-dollar hay ride to the pumpkin patch. Pumpkins are 49-cents per pound.

Apples: A one-dollar wagon ride to the orchard will get you one step closer to Red and Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Empire, Jonagold, Shizuka, and Fuji apples for $1.29 per pound.

Added fun: Try their apple fritters, apple cider doughnuts, and apple cider slushies. The weekend Fall Harvest Festival has a free petting zoo, pit beef, ham, and burgers, face painting, music, funnel cake, and homemade fudge.

Picking hours: Weekends in October, 10 AM to 5 PM.

Butler's Orchard

22200 Davis Mill Rd., Germantown, MD; 301-972-3299

Distance from DC: About 30 miles.

Pumpkins: Pumpkins are 65-cents per pound.

Apples: Grab your Stayman apples for $1.89 per pound.

Added fun: Try the salted caramel apple roll, pecan bars, and sweet apple cider. Catch the Pumpkin Festival every weekend in October, 10 AM to 5 PM, for hayrides, a twisted corn maze, games, and live music. $11 admission.

Picking hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

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Posted at 12:40 PM/ET, 10/08/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Boo. Photograph via joruba/iStock.

All events take place Saturday, October 31, unless otherwise noted. This post was updated on October 27.


Alliance Fran├žaise de Washington: On October 30, play a real-life game of Clue and find out who killed who, with what, and where. Apparently stinky French cheese can count as a murder weapon. $12.

Aura Lounge: October 30's DC Hell Ball calls for costumes of demons, angels, and "creatures of the night." Plus, the bash includes performances by three bands and three DJs. $30.

Bier Baron: Local comics, including Dana Fleitman and Elahe Izadi, come together for this part-theme party, part-comedy show on Halloween night. $10.

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Posted at 10:29 AM/ET, 10/07/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
In case you weren't already planning on staying in all weekend. Photograph by yuriz/via iStock.

We’re bracing for a wet, windy weekend due to a nor’easter possibly combined with Hurricane Joaquin. This means a lot of area events planned for the next few days are cancelled or rescheduled. Here’s what you need to know.

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Posted at 12:15 PM/ET, 10/02/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Make your last summer barbecue count this Labor Day weekend. Photograph via Shutterstock.

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Posted at 04:30 PM/ET, 08/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Here's everything you need to know about the concert venue. By Emily Codik
Echostage is the largest dedicated concert venue in DC. Photo by Doug Van Sant.

Echostage is DC's largest dedicated concert venue, and it can hold thousands of people in its 30,000-plus-square-foot space. But it certainly isn't located in the heart of downtown, and a night in its dark, warehouse-ish building off New York Avenue, Northeast, can be difficult to plan. Here's everything you need to know if you're heading for the venue.

How to get there

Cabbing it or taking an Uber are probably the best choices; they'll save you the hassle of finding an affordable parking spot. If you want to take Metro, ride the Red Line to the NoMa-Gallaudet U Station. Echostage offers a free shuttle on the M Street, Northeast, exit, starting at 6:30 PM on Sunday through Thursday, and at 8:30 PM on Friday and Saturday. The last shuttle leaves the venue at 2:30 AM on Friday and Saturday night.

Where to park

Parking is available on the street and in lots surrounding the venue. Nearby spots cost anywhere from $10 to $30; check this parking map on Echostage's website for details. If you're planning to park on the street, bring cash. The nearest ATM is located inside the strip club Stadium Club--and it charges a whopping $6 convenience fee.

You can also try Parking Panda. The app lets you reserve and pay for a spot in advance--typically for about $10 on New York Avenue.

Where to eat and drink

Panda Gourmet (2700 New York Ave., NE; 202-534-1620): This Szechuan/Shaanxi restaurant occupies a brightly lit corner of a Days Inn, just a six-minute stroll from Echostage. Don't go for the ambience or service; go for the flavor bomb that is the mapo tofu, the wontons in chili oil, the mouth-searing dan dan noodles, and the stir-fried cumin lamb with dried peppers. This is our top pick in the area--plus, they've got beer.

Zion Kitchen (1805 Montana Ave., NE; 202-636-9097): Just an 11-minute walk from the show, Zion Kitchen serves Nigerian cooking, including a particularly good goat stew. The place is only open until 8 PM, so it's best for an early dinner.

Flip It Twice (1544 Rhode Island Ave., NE; 202-269-2980): Stop by this no-frills spot for omelets, waffles, sandwiches, and homemade desserts like cakes and pies. It isn't exactly a showstopper, but it'll do the job in a crunch.

MGM Roast Beef (1905 Brentwood Rd., NE; 202-248-0389): It's about a ten minute drive from the venue and closes at 6 PM, but if you're early to a show, stop by for hand-carved-to-order ham sandwiches.

Askale Cafe (3629 12th St., NE; 202-758-0077): Also located about ten minutes away from Echostage, Askale Cafe offers Ethiopian cuisine in a laid-back setting.

Union Market (1309 5th St., NE; 301-347-3998): You could always stop by Union Market on the way to the show and grab some oysters from Rappahannock Oyster Bar, a sandwich and beer from Red Apron Butchery, or brisket from The BBQ Joint.

Echostage, by the way, stocks a full bar. As far as prices go, a Corona can goes for $6; a Stella Artois costs $7.

Posted at 05:35 PM/ET, 07/29/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Bonus: These are all really cheap. By Emily Codik
Pick your own blackberries at Homestead Farm in Poolesville. Photo by Shutterstock.

Try the lunch buffet at Woodlands in Fairfax

You could take your date to Le Diplomate for a brunch of oysters and boudin noir. Or you could venture instead to a strip mall in Fairfax, where there's a killer south Indian restaurant serving endless amounts of dosas, paneer butter masala, and bhelpuri. On weekends, from 11:30 AM to 3 PM, the buffet costs $10.95 per person and includes everything from curried okra to tamarind rice. Pro tip: Keep an eye out for those dosas. They taste best when they haven't been sitting out long; pounce as soon as they're brought out to the buffet.

Catch a show at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage

Romantic outings at Jazz at the Garden usually involve standing in a drink line for 20 minutes then pushing and shoving your way onto a tiny strip of lawn, where you can hardly hear the music. Here's a better idea: Check out Millennium Stage, where the concerts are free, and the venue has chairs! Finish up the evening with a leisurely stroll on the terrace, taking in those stunning views of the Potomac.

Get two pints worth of beer at Port City for $10. Photo by Sarah Hauser, Virginia Tourism Corporation.
Eat Puerto Rican food and drink beer at Port City Brewing in Alexandria

On Friday nights, the Borinquen Lunch Box food truck slings Cuban sandwiches, empanadas, and slow-roasted pork shoulder from Port City Brewing's parking lot. From 7 to 9 PM, there's live music inside the brewery. Share a side dish of alcapurrias--plantain fritters stuffed with beef--then wash it all down with a $10 flight of beer while taking in the tunes. Each tasting brings six glasses with four- to six-ounces of beer, so it's quite the great deal.

Explore Roosevelt Island

This 88-acre park, connected to Arlington via footbridge, offers a city escape that's a little more special that the customary trek through Rock Creek Park. Walking around the island doesn't involve any strenuous climbing, so it's perfect for dates who want to spend time outdoors without turning into a sweaty mess.

Take a group dance class at Salsa with Silvia

Salsa with Silvia's dance school occupies what appears to be the owner's basement. Pay no mind: What it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in smooth hip motions. Weekend group dance classes range from salsa to Argentine tango to merengue and bachata, and pupils are encouraged to switch partners throughout the lesson, so it's a great ice-breaker for dates. First-timers pay $12 for a class and $17 each time after that. (Sign up in advance. Salsa classes in particular tend to get packed.)

Live a little! Rent a canoe. Photo by Emily Codik.
Rent a canoe at Burke Lake Park

If your date is in the mood for a walk, Burke Lake Park has a great nearly five-mile trail. However, renting a rowboat and exploring the gorgeous 218-acre lake might be a better way to spend the afternoon. (There's also great fishing. The lake is stocked with walleye, yellow and white perch, catfish, and more.) Non-Fairfax residents pay $10 per car for entry; rowboat and canoe rentals cost $10.50 for a half-day, $16 for a full day plus $1 each for life preservers and $5 for a single launch fee.

Visit 52 O Street Studios during Open Studio weekend

About twice a year, this four-story warehouse showcases its artist studios with a cool open house event. Sauntering through these walls usually involves close encounters with handmade knitwear, art installations, custom furniture, and photography. During the rest of the year, the building hosts openings, film screenings, and workshops. Follow the space on Facebook to stay up to date on events.

The 40-minute trek to Rocklands Farm is totally worth it. Photo by K-Town Studio Photography, courtesy Rocklands Farm.
Pick blackberries at Homestead Farm then drink wine at Rocklands Farm in Poolesville

Start the day at Homestead Farm, a 230-acre chunk of land, where you can pick your own blackberries, peaches, and zinnias. (The flowers are gorgeous and cost only 40 cents a stem.) In the summer, at the market on-site, you can buy peach smoothies and house-grown zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes--heirloom, cherry, and sungold. During the fall, expect hayrides, pumpkin patches, and hot apple cider.

Round out your visit to Poolesville with a stop at Rocklands Farm next door. The winery offers tastings in a rustic barnyard setting for about $7 a glass, and on weekends, it's a great spot for lunch. In the past, they've served burgers and pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven.

Daikaya’s noodles come from a Japanese supplier who makes them using a custom recipe, then ages them before they’re shipped. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Hit up Daikaya's ramen shop and izakaya

Anyone who's been to Daikaya for ramen knows the waits can be incredibly long. Here's our advice: Leave your name with the hostess then head upstairs to the izakaya (a sort of Japanese pub), date in-hand. Grab a seat at the bar, and order a cocktail and a few skewers while you wait. Once you get a ring from the hostess, the bartender will take your unfinished drinks downstairs. Try the vegetable ramen, teeming with Brussels sprouts, snow peas, and wood ear mushrooms.

Check out Phillips after Five at the Phillips Collection

The Phillips Collection stays open late on the first Thursday of every month. In August, there's a summer road trip-themed bash ($12, 5 to 8:30 PM) that sounds extra date-worthy. Food trucks, like Red Hook Lobster, CapMac, Carolina Q, and Z-Burger, offer dinner, and Right Proper Brewing Company provides the brews. Gallery talks and vintage jazz tunes round out the night.

Posted at 04:02 PM/ET, 07/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Everything you need to know about dining, drinking, and watching fireworks on Independence Day.
Photograph by ehtesham/Shutterstock.

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Posted at 01:38 PM/ET, 06/30/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Find the best views at these rooftop bars, parks, and bridges. By Elissa Miolene
Photo by redswept / Shutterstock.com.


Jack Rose
2007 18th St. NW
From 4 to 7:30 PM, watch the fireworks at Jack Rose while enjoying a $4 can of Flying Dog, a complimentary coozie, and a great rooftop view. Also on deck: a BBQ style cook-off on a wood-burning pit grill, and half-price bites. No cover.

Cardozo High School
1200 Clifton St., NW
Get a great view of the show while avoiding the congestion of the Mall. Only two miles away from the action, this school in Columbia Heights is situated at a high elevation point that makes for easy viewing.

Odyssey Cruises' July 4th Fireworks Dinner Cruise
There's nothing like seeing fireworks in the sky and on the water. By joining this cruise, you'll be in the perfect setting to see both. The glass-enclosed Odyssey will offer live entertainment, dancing, dinner, and an open bar from 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM. Tickets start at $219.90.

Avery’s Bar & Lounge
1370 H St., NE
From 3 to 9 PM, Avery’s hosts a day party on the roof of their H Street venue. Tickets are on sale for $5 before the event and $10 general admission at the door, but you might want to get there early to avoid a potential price increase. At Avery's, you'll hear DJ Hamp the Stampede perform while getting your fill on a $7 Ciroc special. At 10 PM, DJ Dopestar kicks off the night party.

1905 Restaurant
1905 9th St NW
1905 will be hosting their annual rooftop BBQ from 3 to 10 PM. Partnering with Atlas Brew Works, the event features an assortment of draft and canned beers for $5 all day. $20 tickets are first come, first serve; entry gets you three tickets that can be exchanged for beer and food.

Flight Wine Bar
777 6th St NW
Flight Wine Bar offers food, drinks, and a rooftop view. For $95 per person, you’ll gain access to a food buffet with a Southern twang, including dishes like fried chicken, mac and cheese, and BBQ bacon burgers. Beer, soda, and wine will also be provided.

Anacostia Park
1900 Anacostia Dr., SE
Just south of the Anacostia River, this park is a great place to settle down and watch the show. With 1200-acres stretching across the river, you’ll be sure to find a spot a little removed from the crowds.

Spirit Cruises' July 4th Fireworks Dinner Cruise
This patriotic-themed cruise takes the party onto the Potomac. A buffet-style dinner and an open bar package will be offered right under the fireworks. 6:30 to 11:30 PM, $199.90 to $299.90.

Rock and Roll Hotel
1353 H St., NE
Sync performs on the rooftop of the Rock and Roll Hotel on July 4, and tickets are free. Doors open at 3 PM, and the show starts at 5 PM.

Francis Scott Key Bridge
Nothing beats watching fireworks in the sky, with a view of the water at the same time. The Francis Scott Key Bridge is a great place to do both--just make sure to get there early, because it might get packed.

H Street Country Club
1335 H St., NE
H Street Country Club starts the weekend with a special brunch on Friday from 11 AM to 3 PM, offering bottomless mimosas for $12. On Saturday, watch the fireworks while drinking “Liber-tea” cocktails from 3 to 7 PM. No cover.

901 U St. NW
Prove your patriotism at Brixton’s hot dog eating contest, which takes place on the roof at 4 PM. Drink specials, beer promotions, and music by DJ Eskimo follows. No cover.

The Satellite Room
2047 9th St., NW
From 2 to 6 PM, the Satellite Room hosts Pie Fest, where guests pay $15 in advance, $20 at the door, for unlimited pie. That includes not only dessert pie, but also pizza pies. (Drink specials are not included in the basic cover fee.)

Update: A previous version of this article included DNV Rooftop. Fireworks are not visible from DNV Rooftop. This article has been updated to reflect that change.

Know other spots to watch the fireworks? Send information to Elissa at emiolene@washingtonian.com.

Posted at 10:10 AM/ET, 06/29/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()