Things to Do

Halloween Parties Around DC

Halloween is on a Friday this year, and that means a few things: Dancing to “Monster Mash” all night long is not only acceptable but expected, and if your Halloween makeup doesn’t wash off, you won’t have to call in sick. Be whoever you want to be on the

October 28, High Heel Race
Head to 17th and Q streets near Dupont Circle to watch the annual High Heel Race. It begins at 9, but spectators should show up as early as 6 to grab a good spot.

October 31, Graveyard Jam
Young professionals can win a trip to Aruba, enter a raffle for a guitar, and enjoy dancing to live music at this year’s Graveyard Jam at the Hard Rock Cafe. Prizes will be awarded for the scariest, prettiest, and most original costumes of the night. Early arrivals can enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drink specials. Costumes are preferred but not required, and sneakers can be worn only as part of a costume. Tickets are $10, and the party runs from 9 PM to 3 AM.

October 31, Halloween Fiesta
Throw on a costume and head to La Tasca for its fifth annual Halloween Fiesta. Those in costume enjoy $3.50 drink specials and have the chance to win a $100 gift certificate. A DJ will provide the tunes starting at 11. Guests ages 18 to 20 are invited to dance.

October 31, Piratz Tavern Halloween Party
Need a last-minute costume idea? A pirate is easy to pull together, so grab some mascara, hoop earrings, and a bandana, and head to Piratz Tavern for its Halloween party. As of the full moon on October 14, “de tavern be haunted,” and Piratz will have a haunted VooDoo Luau leading up to Halloween. If you wish the holiday would never end, get two extra days of celebration with the Zombie Lurch on November 1 and the Day of the Dead celebration on November 2.

October 31, Trick-or-Treat on Embassy Row
Going from house to house might be unacceptable unless you’re accompanied by a child on Halloween—so what are adults to do for their candy fix? Participate in Trick-or-Treat on Embassy Row to try international sweets from 6:30 to 9. Getting a peak inside some of the embassies is a special treat but not guaranteed. Purchasing a ticket to this event automatically gets your name on a list for the Graveyard Jam at Hard Rock Cafe. Tickets are $30.

October 31, Hollywood Ballroom Dance Party
Singles are invited to the Halloween dance party at the Hollywood Ballroom. Free two-step lessons will be offered at 8 by Steve Ferrara, and the party starts at 9.

October 31, Nightmare on M Street
DC’s largest roaming costume party/bar crawl is in its ninth year. From 6 PM to 2 AM, treat yourself to Halloween specials, including $2 Miller Lite bottles, $4 rail drinks, and more. The party starts early, but be sure to catch the costume contest at midnight at McFadden’s. Advance tickets are needed for James Hoban’s Irish Bar, but Front Page and Rumors accept walk-up tickets. If purchased in advance, tickets will start at $12 and will increase over time, while walk-up prices are $20 at the door or a $10 cover at each bar without an event wristband.

October 31, Clarendon Ballroom Monster Bash
Do you start planning your Halloween costume on November 1 for the following year? If so, the Halloween Monster Bash costume contest at Clarendon Ballroom is for you. To enter, download the entry form and drop it off at the registration table upon arrival. Judges will pick 30 semi-finalists from 9:35 to 10:15, which will be narrowed down to 10 with the best and most original costumes. These contestants will compete, and the crowd will pick the winners. First-, second-, and third-place winners receive $200, $100, and $50, respectively, and the most original costume also takes home $50. Get more information and the application here. Doors open at 6, and tickets start at $10.

October 31, McGinty's Public House
McGinty’s is giving away $200 in prizes for this year's best costumes. Live rock music will be provided by Still Counting.

October 31, Synetic Theater's Vampire's Ball
After a performance of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher at Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre, stick around for the Vampire’s Ball. Food and drinks will be available, and prizes will be awarded for the costume contest; 8 PM.

October 31, Yorktown Bistro
The Yorktown Bistro will award prizes for sexiest and most original costume. Come dressed to impress to participate and enjoy live music.

October 31, 9:30 Club Halloween Bash
Head to the 9:30 Club to watch the Pietasters, the Toasters, and Deals Gone Bad, and participate in the costume contest. The grand-prize winner takes homes tickets to every 9:30 show in November and December. Tickets to the bash cost $15, and doors open at 8 PM.

October 31, ’80s Halloween Bash
If the ’80s was your favorite decade, pull your hair in a side pony and throw on stone-washed jeans before heading to Tortoise and Hare for its throw-back bash. Eighties cover band Members Only will perform.

October 31, Best Halloween Show Ever
Palace of Wonders hosts The Best Halloween Show Ever, featuring burlesque performances, a go-go show, and more. Participate in the costume contest and enjoy candy. Costumes are highly encouraged. The fun starts at 10; $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

October 31, Jammin’ Java Halloween Bash
Some people can get by on Halloween without a costume—but not at Jammin’ Java. Get creative because the costume is a must, and impress the bands because they will be voting on the best costume. Mambo Sauce, Future, Flex Matthews, and Jon Braman will provide entertainment, and a special Halloween happy hour starts at 8.

October 31, Alice in Helixland
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum cocktails will be served at Helix Lounge as well as complimentary tea party-themed hors d’oeuvres for this Halloween charity bash benefiting the Whitman-Walker Clinic. Get lost in Wonderland and participate in the costume contest or bid on an item during the silent auction. The admittance fee includes two drink tickets. 7-10 PM; $10. 

October 31, 14th Annual Halloween Bash
Check out the Old Post Office Pavilion for the 14th Annual Halloween party featuring Judo Chop and the Winn Brothers Band. Costumes are required, and awesome prizes will be awarded: Best group costume wins a $500 bar tab, and the person with the best costume wins a $300 tab at Smith Point. The entrance fee includes an open bar, Red Bull Bar and free admission to the Rookery for an afterparty. Tickets cost $60 for the first 300 people who purchase in advance, $80 if purchased before 10 PM on October 30, and $100 at the Rookery between 4 and 9 PM on Halloween. 9 PM-1 AM.

October 31: ICDC Halloween Dance Party
The International Club of DC is hosting a Halloween dance party at the Sports Club of LA. Kick the night off with a salsa lesson at 8:15, then dance to the Latin grooves of Origem at 9. Costumes aren't required, but c'mon—who wants to go to a Halloween party not dressed up? Bring a can of food for the homeless, which will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank. Tickets cost $15 for the dance party or $20 for the party and the salsa lesson, but register now because prices will increase.

October 31: DC 101 Elliot in the Morning Halloween Bash
Join DC 101 Elliot in the Morning for a Halloween Bash at RFD Bar and Grill. Pay $10 at the door, which opens at 8 PM, and enjoy live music and special guests Plain White T's. Come dressed up because the person with the best costume will be rewarded with $3,000 in cash. The first 50 people to arrive will receive a copy of the Nightmare Revisited soundtrack. 

October 31: Mega Halloween Party at Gazuza
Head to the Mega Halloween Euro Party at Gazuza and compete for the sexiest, scariest or funniest costume. Dance the night away while a handful of DJs spin Euro House Music from 9 to 3. Enjoy complementary admission for up to six people with a table reservation, but $250 minimum tab is required. To reserve a table call 703-869-0929.

More Halloween Fun

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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