Things to Do

Things to Do in Washington on Halloween

Boo. Photograph via joruba/iStock.

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


Alliance Française 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.

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop:
This free afternoon “Halloween Spooktacular” concert includes performances by the workshop’s young music students. Round out the event with a good old donut and cider reception.

Chinese Disco: This fete features a four-hour open bar, scary movies playing on TVs, and, most important, an endless supply of peanut butter cups. $55.

Chipotle: Starting at 5 PM, walk in with a surprising twist to your Halloween costume, and Chipotle will give you the gift of the $3 “boo-rito.” Tacos, salads, and bowls are also part of the deal.

DC Halloween Crawl: Get a “haunted” mug, food and drink specials, and entry into bars like the Huxley, Blackfinn DC, and Front Page as part of this bar crawl. Specials include $2 Yuenglings and $4 shots. Tickets are $30.

Dumbarton United Methodist Church: This concert comes a bit late—a week after Halloween on November 7—but it’s got the right idea. Inspired by the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, the program includes dramatic readings and songs set to Poe’s poetry, plus a performance of Nicholas White’s cantata, “the Raven.” $35.

Exorcist Steps: At 4 PM on October 30, head to the top of the Exorcist steps in Georgetown to meet the film’s director, William Friedkin, then at 6, make your way to the bottom for a plaque unveiling ceremony featuring screenwritter William Peter Blatty, Muriel Bowser, and others. Free. (And while you’re at it, check out Washingtonian’s feature story on Blatty in the magazine’s October issue.)

Howard Theatre: DJs Shea Van Horn and Matt Bailer’s monthly dance party, Mixtape, celebrates a special Halloween version on October 30. $12.50. On Saturday, go-go band Familiar Faces frontlines “Nightmare at the Howard.” $27.50 to $60.

Joy of Motion Dance Center: If you’ve always wanted to learn the choreography to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video, now’s your chance. On October 30, Joy of Motion Dance Center returns with its annual “Thriller” workshop. Prizes will be awarded to the best costume and best dance-off. $30.

Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage: Here’s something free to do: Story League presents a Halloween-themed costumed comedy show, featuring magic tricks, jokes, and treats.

Mason Inn: A $53.74 ticket gets you access to a four-hour “Monster Mash” open bar, featuring beer, cocktails, wine, and champagne. The party’s costume contest includes prizes for both individual and group outfits.

National Building Museum: Take an eery, lantern-lit stroll of the museum and hear ghost stories about the former Pension Building. Two hour-long tours will be offered at 8 and 9:15 PM. $22 for members; $25 for non-members.

National Zoo: You could totally get away with dressing up like Bei Bei for the zoo’s October 30 adults-only bash, “Night of the Living Zoo,” featuring live music by Black Masala, food trucks, performance art, and a costume contest. $20 for members; $30 for non-members.

Nightmare on M Street: More than 40 bars in Dupont Circle, U Street, and Chinatown get together for a bar crawl featuring $4 Blue Moons and $5 Kraken Rum drinks, plus costume contests and food specials. $15.

POV Rooftop Lounge: The W Hotel’s “Halloween Social” will have the usual perks—alcohol, DJ music, and a costume contest. In this case, though, the winner gets a free hotel suite and complimentary breakfast. $30.

The Sphinx Club: Cover bands White Ford Bronco and Jeff From Accounting perform at this “haunted hunt” on October 31 at the Sphinx Club in Franklin Square. An open bar, from 9 PM to 2 AM, includes liquor, beer, and wine. There will also be a cash-only $5 Fireball shot bar on the upper level, because, well, why not? $60.

Washington Walks: Choose from three haunted walking tours: “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 supposedly haunted Northwest DC museum. $25.


AFI Silver: Celebrate Halloween with two double features: Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein followed by the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein followed by Dracula. $12.

Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club: On October 30, the venue hosts a “Halloween Howl” ($25) dance night with movie projections and live music. The following night, local band the Vi-Kings perform hits from the 1960s for a second Halloween-themed dance fest ($15).

Carroll Mansion: Make the trek to Baltimore for a special Halloween performance of Planchette, an interactive theater collaboration between playwright Annelise Montone and magician Brian M. Kehoe. Only 20 audience members attend each performance, which explores the origins of the Ouija board and contacts “the other side.” $35 to $75.

Villain & Saint: The Bethesda music venue is throwing a Halloween bash with drinks, a silent auction, a costume contest, and live music by local Grateful Dead tribute bands. The event benefits the Rex Foundation, a non-profit founded by Grateful Dead members. $30.

Woodend Nature Sanctuary: Explore the trails of this 40-acre lot in Chevy Chase then step inside the mansion for nature-themed arts and crafts stations. And, yep, this family friendly event, scheduled for October 30, is really called “AuduBoo!” $10.


Clarendon Halloween Crawl: Much like DC’s crawl, revelers get a souvenir mug, plus food and drink specials. Participating bars include Mad Rose, IOTA Club, and Don Tito. Oh, and entry also gets you $2 Bronx Pizza slices. $30.

Lake Anne Plaza: Dress up your furry friends—cats, dogs, or any other critters you keep around the house—in costume and stop by Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza for a family- and animal-friendly event, including music, games, and happy hour specials.

Morrison House: This 1920s costumed dinner party has a twist: It’s not all about the food. Guests are enlisted to help crack a murder mystery, while sipping wine and dining on a three-course dinner. $100.

Signature Theatre: From October 27 to 31, Tracy Lynn Olivera returns to Signature with a Halloween cabaret featuring classic spooky tunes like “Thriller” and “Science Fiction Double Feature.” $35.

The State Theatre: Put on your favorite spandex and dance along to ’80s tribute band Legwarmers‘s beats on October 30 and 31. The evening includes a costume contest—winner gets $400. $18.

Weems-Botts Museum: On select days in October, including Halloween, take a $10 ghost tour of the haunted museum then finish the night off with a campfire and a cup of hot chocolate and cider.