Things to Do

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Happy Halloween! There are plenty of dance parties happening around town to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve this weekend—plus a book festival for children, a German-wine tasting, and more.

You might also be interested in . . . How Restaurants Are Getting Into the Spooky Spirit | Halloween Parties at Bars | Happy Hour Finder | Costume Stores in Washington

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Thursday, October 30: Local author Eric Nuzum—who’s no stranger to scary creatures of the night —reads from his latest book, The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires From Nosferatu to Count Chocula, at the Barnes & Noble in Georgetown. Nuzum’s quest to understand our culture’s strange fascination with vampires drove him—among other things—to take a tour of Romania, watch hundreds of vampire films, and (gasp!) even read the Anne Rice vampire saga. Oh, did we mention he also drank his own blood? Check out the book reading at 7:30.

The AFI Silver Theatre’s Halloween on Screen series continues with two horror classics: Rosemary’s Baby and Night of the Living Dead. The first one, Roman Polanski’s terrifying story of a young woman impregnated by the devil, shows at 7. Night of the Living Dead, George Romero’s first entry in his zombie series, is at 9:45. Tickets ($10) can be purchased here. For more scary movies around town this weekend, check out our guide.

Bee’s Knees, a monthly party featuring vintage rock and soul tunes at Velvet Lounge, gets a spooky makeover, with a costume contest, candy, apple bobbing, and giveaways. Bands and DJs will entertain the crowd. Drink specials include $4 Jameson and $2 Natty Bohs before midnight. For more information, click here.

Olympic winners Nastia Liukin (who, OMG, just shot a guest spot on Gossip Girl) and Shawn Johnson are part of a group of athletes in the Tour of Gymnastics Superstars, which stops by the Verizon Center. The athletes will perform their routines to the tunes of Disney musical acts Jordan Pruitt and K.S.M. Tickets ($29.50 to $125) can be purchased here. The show starts at 7:30.

This year’s last doggie happy hour at the Hotel Monaco goes out with a bang: a Howloween party. From 5 to 8, the hotel’s courtyard will host a costume contest for pets and owners, with prizes awarded to the best politically themed costume, the most glamorous costume, and more. Snacks and drinks will be available at the Jackson 20 hotel lounge.

The Junior League of Washington presents Eat and Drink for Pink! An evening for Breast Cancer Awareness. The all-pink cocktail-and-cupcake happy hour will be held in Lounge 201’s private Sierra Lounge at 6:30. A pink-martini special will be available for $7.50. For more information, visit

Friday, October 31: Halloween on a Friday? Zombies don’t stand a chance against Washingtonians getting down to “The Monster Mash.”(Speaking of which, you should really check out our Halloween-music playlist) Below are some of our picks for parties happening around town. For a complete list, check out our guide here.

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 ticket purchases. If bought 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.

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.

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

Join DC101’s 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—the person with the best costume will win $3,000 in cash. The first 50 people to arrive will receive a copy of the Nightmare Revisited soundtrack.

Local performance group CRACK hosts Crack-o-ween, a Halloween costume party, at the Duplex Diner. The party will feature the premiere of the group’s latest short film, Loopy Summer Day. DJs will spin electro and indie dance tunes, and drink specials will be available. For more information, click here.

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 individual 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 after-party. 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 to 1 AM.

Saturday, November 1: Stop by Cork Wine Bar for an afternoon of German-wine tasting. Bryan Forsgren of Potomac Selections and the Cork staff will present seven Rieslings from Rudi Wiest Selections, including Schäfer-Fröhlich Estate Riesling Kabinett 2007 and Monchoff Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese 2006. The tasting starts at 3 and costs $50 per person. Call 202-265-2675 for reservations.

The Kennedy Center’s annual Multicultural Children’s Book Festival runs from noon to 6, with readings, musical performances and special workshops. For the complete schedule, click here.

Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean the partying has to end. 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 complimentary admission for up to six people with a table reservation, but a $250 minimum tab is required. To reserve a table, call 703-869-0929.

Pumpkin carving is an art for many people (check out our photo gallery for proof), and few are better at it than the Holtorf Carving Association in Vienna. Every year, 200 pumpkins are put on display for everyone to see. The display is arranged on the driveway of 2328 Trott Avenue.

Sunday, November 2: Dia de los Muertos is a Latin American holiday celebrating the life-and-death cycle. Part of the tradition involves the setting of shrines (called altares) for the deceased with their favorite foods and candles. For those interested in learning more about the holiday, the National Museum of the American Indian is hosting musical performances, film screenings, and demonstrations on how to set altares and make traditional food for the celebration. The events start at 10:30 and goes through the afternoon. Check out the schedule here.

Want to know more about farming? The Virginia Organic Producers’ and Consumers’ Association presents a free Farm & Food Expo, featuring trade demonstrations, food tastings, live music, and activities for kids. Stop by the ZeroPak Warehouse from 1 to 7 For more information, visit

After Lakeview Terrace and his Wicker Man remake starring Nicholas Cage, Neil LaBute may not have the strongest reputation when it comes to film, but his talent for depicting and dissecting relationships really shines in plays like In the Company of Men, The Shape of Things, and Fat Pig. In the last, a man’s love for an overweight woman puts him at odds with his friends. The show is currently onstage at the Gunston Arts Center. Tickets are $17. For showtimes, click here.

The Arabian Sights Film Festival wraps up today with several screenings across town. At E Street Cinema at 12:30, you can catch Under the Bombs, about a young woman driving across a war-scorched southern Lebanon in search of her six-year-old son, or at 2:30, the Algerian film The Yellow House, about an older couple whose happiness is torn to shreds once they receive news of the death of their eldest child. Meanwhile, at the Goethe-Institut at 5, you can catch Captain Abu Raed, Jordan’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Picture; it’s about a janitor who pretends to be a worldly travel in order to entertain a group of local children. For tickets and information about other movies, check out the festival’s Web site.

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