Things to Do

Boo! Halloween Events Around Washington

Don’t want to party in a bar on Halloween but want to enjoy the holiday all the same? Take a haunted walk, watch a scary movie, or ride a haunted roller coaster to get spooked with these fun Halloween events taking place all month.

Saturdays and Sundays, October 4 through November 2: Fright Fest

On Saturdays, Sundays, and Halloween night, Six Flags America becomes a haunted playground. Arrive early for trick-or-treating and rides, and stay until dark to ride haunted versions of the coasters. Only children are permitted to wear costumes, masks, and face paint, while all others will be asked to remove costumes before entering.

Thursday, October 23, through Sunday, October 26: Boo at the Zoo

The tenth annual Halloween festival invites costumed guests to trick-or-treat at the National Zoo. Children ages two to 12 can enjoy candy, snacks, animal encounters, and more. Tickets are required and sell out quickly. Members (with a six-ticket limit) pay $15, nonmembers $25, children under age two free; 5:30 to 8:30 PM.
Through Saturday, November 8: Ghost Tours of Frederick

Guides tell stories of paranormal activities in downtown Frederick during a 90-minute candlelit tour. Tours are held at 8:15 PM on Saturdays through October 11, and at 7:30 Fridays and Saturdays from October 17 through November 8. For more details, click here.

Fridays, October 3 through 31: Washington Walks Capital Hauntings
On this tour, learn why murders, suicides, and attacks have often occurred around Lafayette Park. Guides will tell tales of Grim Reaper stalkings, the “presidential circle of death,” and more. Tickets cost $10. 7:30.

Through Saturday, November 1: Crumland Farms Activities

Get lost in a corn maze, pick your own pumpkin, visit the mini-barnyard, and take a tour of the farm for some additional family fun. Open daily from noon to dusk; tickets ($9) are on sale until 5 PM.

Fridays and Saturdays (plus Thursday, October 30), October 10 through November 1: Haunted Woods Tour

Legend has it that 13 children vanished from a boarding school located in what is now known as the Haunted Woods at Algonkian Regional Park. Take the haunted walk and perhaps you’ll hear the children’s laughter. $13; first tour begins at 7, last ticket sold at 9:30 on weeknights and 10:30 on weekends.

Friday, October 17: National Building Museum Tour
The ghost of Mary Stuart guides a lantern-lit tour through the museum’s many mysteries and haunted past. 8 to 9 PM; tickets are $12 for members; $18 for nonmembers.

Saturday, October 25: Howl-O-Ween Fun Run
Stay fit while enjoying some Halloween festivities at Wolf Trap’s annual jog. After the run, participants ages 14 and under can compete in a costume contest. Top male and female race finishers receive airfare for two on American Airlines to anywhere in the continental United States, and second prize is admission for two to a 2009 Musical Theater Party at the Filene Center. The run starts at 7:30 AM, and the event concludes with an awards ceremony at 10. Visit Wolf Trap’s Web site for more information.

Sunday, October 26: Walking Tour of Georgetown
Things To Do DC hosts this haunted tour, which starts at Oak Hill Cemetery, ventures to the “ten o’clock ritual” at the old Foxhall mansion, and concludes at the “Exorcist stairs.” Walkers are invited to a cash-bar reception after the tour. 5:45 to 8 PM; $20.

Thursday, October 30: Edgar Allen Poe Readings

Though the Edgar Allen Poe Museum is in Richmond, you can enjoy some eerie tales by the poet read by David Keltz at the Lyceum Museum. The actor will recreate Poe’s 1849 visit to Virginia and will recite “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and more. 8 PM; $15.

Thursday, Oct. 30: Doggie Happy Howloween Event
Some people enjoy dressing their pets up just as much as dressing up themselves—and now they can be rewarded for it. Pooches and their masters are invited to the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria to sport their best Halloween costumes. Prizes will be awarded to the best owner/dog couple, most political pup, glamorous canine and the overall top dog. The event benefits the Animal Welfare of Alexandria. 5-8 PM; $10 optional donation.

Thursday, Oct. 30: Pumpkin Carving Contest
The Helix Lounge provides pre-scooped pumpkins, carving supplies and prizes for the fourth annual pumping carving contest. Come prepared with a great idea and put your skills to the test. 6-8 PM; Free.

Friday, October 31: AFI Silver Theatre Silent Films
Every Halloween, the AFI Silver Theatre shows F.W. Murnau’s silent masterpiece, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. This year, the Baltimore ensemble Silent Orchestra, keyboardist Carlos Garza, and percussionist Rich O’Meara will accompany the film with their original score. Tickets are $15 for members, $20 for nonmembers, $5 for children under 12; 7 and 9:30 PM.

Did we miss some fun Halloween activities? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll update this post with your suggestions.

More Halloween Fun

Ghost Tours, Mazes, Haunted Houses

Halloween Parties at Bars

Apple and Pumpkin Picking

Costume Stores in Washington

Vintage Stores for Costume Shopping

How Restaurants are Getting into the Spooky Spirit

Send in Your Pumpkin Carving Photos!

Scary Movies Around Town

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