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Wednesday, October 20
Even man’s best friend can get in the spirit with the Paws at the Park happy hour at the Park Hyatt Washington D.C.. A $12 ticket buys two (human) drinks, candy, and dog treats, and part of the proceeds go to the Washington Animal Rescue League. There’ll be prizes for the best costumes. 6 to 8; no reservations required.
Saturday, October 23
Get your groove on at Joy of Motion’s (5207 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-362-3042) Halloween Party and Fundraiser with Groove Elements, the youth hip-hop company, and enjoy games, food, and lots of candy. 7 to 9. Buy tickets ($5) here.
The dead walk among us at the third annual ZombieWalk in Silver Spring. This year, the party starts at Sidebar—adjacent to Jackie’s restaurant—then the costumed revelers make their way up Georgia Avenue to the AFI Silver Theatre for the classic film Dawn of the Dead. The party starts at 7:30, the movie at 9:45. Register here.
Tuesday, October 26
Even though every day is a costume party for drag queens, tonight is the only High Heel Race of the year. A tradition since 1986, more than 100 drag queens make their way down 17th Street, Northwest, from S to P streets. The race starts at 9, but viewers start lining up for a good spot as early as 6. Free.
Wednesday, October 27
Help DC Improv support Children’s National Medical Center at the troupe’s annual Halloween benefit. A portion of ticket sales goes to the hospital, and comedians will collect costumes, decorations, and other seasonal goodies for underprivileged kids. 8 PM. Tickets ($15) are available here.
Haven’t carved a pumpkin since you were a kid? Now’s your chance at Helix Lounge’s pumpkin-carving contest. The Hotel Helix is providing pumpkins (first come, first served; there are 30), carving tools, and pumpkin martinis, and will even scoop out the pumpkin’s insides for you. The winner of the spookiest design receives a $50 certificate to the lounge. The winner of best overall design gets a one-night weekend stay at the hotel. 6 to 8. Free.
Friday, October 29
Celebrate with ghostly beasts and talking bats at Night of the Living Zoo at the National Zoo. There’ll be illusionists, fire eaters, palm readers, a costume contest, and Magic Hat brews. The night finishes with a performance by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. 8 to midnight. Tickets ($30 FONZ members, $40 nonmembers) available here.
Opening tonight is Wait Until Dark at Silver Spring Stage (10145 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring). It tells the tale of drug dealers who become tangled in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a blind woman. (The 1967 movie version starred Audrey Hepburn.) Click here for performance schedule (runs through November 20) and ticket ($20) information.
Take a Dickensian journey this Halloween at Silver Spring Theatre’s “Cabaret Macabre,” featuring poetry, song, and other acts conjuring up a creepy time gone by. The play runs from October 20 to November 7, tickets are $15. Click here for more information.
Need a last-minute costume? The Capital Fringe Festival’s annual fundraiser, Fringe Folly, consists of a silent auction of costumes and other theater goodies. There’ll also be food, drinks, and a performance by Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Review, a local rock-and-Americana group. 8 PM to 2 AM. At Fort Fringe (607 New York Ave., NW). Tickets ($70 to $150) are available here.
DJ Collective Jack's Revenge headlines at U St Music Hall tonight, and the Halloween party features a costume contest and CD giveaways. Buy tickets ($15) here or ($20) at the door. Jack's Revenge sets have been known to last over eight hours, so get ready to dance, dance until you die. (Hocus Pocus fans know what we're talking about)
Saturday, October 30
Celebrate Halloween with the masses at the Nightmare on M Street bar crawl. Drawing thousands of participants each year, this is a Washington tradition, but the real nightmare may be trying to actually get into a bar. Hit bars all up and down Georgetown’s main thoroughfare. Purchase tickets ($10) here.
Puijata eli herkkupala! That’s “trick or treat” in Finnish—just one of the many embassies that are opening their doors this Halloween. Even though the candy you get was probably bought at the CVS down the block, it’s yet another Washington tradition to trick-or-treat in a different country—without your passport. It starts at 3:30, and many embassies shut their doors around 5. Get there early to make sure you get some treats.
The State Theatre in Falls Church is hosting the Fright Night Monster Bash, one of the area’s biggest Halloween parties. Three floors, two band and a DJ, and a $300 cash prize for best costume help you have a howling good time. 8 PM to 2 AM. Get tickets ($9.25) here.
The Historical Society of Washington is throwing a spooky bash with two dance floors and a performance by White Ford Bronco—a local ’90s cover band. There are 12 bars, including one outdoors, so the night won’t be short on spirits. The best costume wins a $500 bar tab for a party with friends. 8 PM to 1 AM. Tickets ($75) are available here.
The Front Page in Arlington is hosting a Halloween Eve party with the popular local cover band Kicking Norma. The cover is $5, and there’ll be a costume contest at midnight. 8 PM to 1:30 AM.
Costumes are mandatory at the Little Miss Whiskey's Halloween Ball hosted by Everybody Loves Music. The party will feature music from All Good Funk Alliance, Juan Zapata, Jaesunel, and DJ Meegs, as well as $3 PBR Tallboys. 9 PM; buy tickets ($15) here.
Cross over to the dark side—and be sure you look hot doing it— at Buddha Bar's Villains and Vixens party. First place winner of the costume contest gets a $500 gift certificate, while the runners-up will score of Dom Perignon or Ketal One Vodka. RSVP here or text "buddha" to 703-966-3828.
The 7th Annual Haunted Mansion party is on tonight at Eden Lounge (1716 I St., NW). With three levels of music and a costume contest with $2000 in prize givaways, it's sure to be a spook-tacular good time. 8 PM to 2 AM. RSVP here.
Music lovers can party at DC9 with the Legendary Pink Dots’ 30th-anniversary tour. The Amsterdam-based band combines pop melodies, psychedelic beats, and violent, apocalyptic lyrics — a haunting combination for Halloween weekend. 9 PM. Buy tickets ($15) here.
McGinty’s in Silver Spring is throwing an ’80s-themed party with DJ Randy Bolce. There’ll be a costume contest and lots of door prizes. 8 PM.
Halloween isn’t just for Americans. Party to the sounds of Latin America, Europe, and the rest of the world at the International Halloween Dance Party at the Park at 14th. The event includes food and a costume contest. Online registration is closed, but tickets ($15) are available at the door. 7 to 11.
Meet the guy or ghoul of your dreams at the Mayhem and Madness Bash at K Street Lounge. Starting at 7:30, there’ll be speed dating and a dance party. After the night is over, you can be put in touch with your favorite dates. 7 PM to 2 AM. Buy tickets ($30) here.
For a real Halloween challenge, grab some friends and join the DC Challenge and Haunted History Race. Solve clues that take you from haunted houses to touristy landmarks. Finish at the Old Post Office Pavilion for a party. Register ($70) here.
The aptly named Spirit Cruise’s third annual Boo Cruise features haunting views of the Potomac, dancing, and hors d’oeuvres such as barbecue “bat wings.” 9 to midnight. Tickets ($43.50) are available here.
The Boos and Brews party, thrown by Georgetown Events, the Capital Club, and the Madison, runs from 9:30 PM to 1 AM. The bash, at the Westin Hotel, features three bands, a DJ, and an open bar. There’ll also be a Red Bull open bar, just in case your costume requires wings. Tickets ($55) are available here.
The venue George (3251 Prospect St., NW) is hosting a Halloween party with an open bar and TV screens playing gory horror films. The guest with the best costume wins a $250 bar tab. 9 PM to 1 AM. Tickets ($55) are available here.
Enjoy a sit-down dinner with frightening dishes such as Bloody Sunset Kobe Dogs and Grave Robber Empanadas at Masa 14. The costume party features $5 tequila specials, $6 bar snacks, and a costume contest for a chance to win $100 gift certificate.
Columbia Firehouse is celebrating Halloween all weekend. Tonight, the Old Town restaurant is hosting a party with a costume contest, dance floor, and lots of beer. Sunday, there’s a family-friendly Halloween brunch with read-aloud ghost stories, and decorate-your-own cupcakes for kids. But don’t worry—there’ll be plenty of Bloody Marys for the adults. Saturday party: 9 PM to 1:30 AM. Sunday brunch: 11 to 3. For reservations, call 703-683-1776.
It’s madness and mayhem at Surreal DC: A Magical Halloween Masquerade, presented by Artomatic and iStrategy Labs and featuring a mix of live music and DJs, an open bar until 10, an art show, and of course, a costume contest. 1701 Florida Ave., NW; 8 PM to 2 AM. Buy tickets ($20 and up) here.
For a exotic Halloween, check out Halloween on the Nile at Level X (1934 Ninth St., NW). The Ethiopian lounge is featuring live music, a DJ, and a costume contest. 8 PM.
Landmark E Street Cinema is screening the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show along with a live shadow-cast performance by Sonic Transducers. October 29 and 30 at midnight. Buy tickets ($10) here.
Burlesque bombshells and crazy circus acts – think fireeating – are the main event at Tilted Torch's Halloween show, Spook-o-rama, at the Warehouse Theater. After the show, the Warehouse Theater and the Passenger are combining for a dance party. There will also be party games and a raffle. 9. Buy tickets ($20) here.
Sunday, October 31
Are you an angel or a devil? Dress up as either one and get a free drink at Topaz Bar’s Heaven and Hell Halloween Party. Revelers can also expect all-night happy-hour prices on heavenly drinks and sinful treats. 8 to midnight. No cover.