News & Politics

Which DC Embassies Can You Trick-or-Treat at This Year?

Gimme, gimme, gimme, the candy before midnight. Photograph via iStock.

Trick-or-treating at DC’s embassies was a right of passage when I attended the George Washington University in 2012. Traipsing up and down Massachusetts Avenue in costumes as an almost-adult was essentially a requirement on the DC college bucket list, and the rumors that you might get to sip a unique, regional alcohol while underage made this particular Halloween tradition too good to pass up.

This year, a few embassies will continue the tradition of opening their doors to eager trick-or-treaters of all ages. While festivities seem to have wound down during the past years, a few residencies and cultural centers have decided to keep the tradition alive. Here are some of the diplomatic facilities where you can bring your plastic pumpkin on Wednesday night:

Greek Embassy

2217 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Noon – 6 PM

The Embassy of Greece will open its doors to trick-or-treaters, offering candy, including Greek chocolates and traditional aniseed-flavored candy caramels. Unfortunately, for people with costumes inspired by Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, the embassy has no plans to play any ABBA. Better luck next year.

Finnish Embassy

3301 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
6:30 – 8:30 PM

Staff members will dress in their spookiest Finnish outfits to greet visitors, the embassy says. Visitors should expect greeters “in something scary related to Finnish culture.” I asked for examples, and a spokesperson told me that staff get-ups might spook kids not familiar with regional lore. All should expect to receive popular national candies like those made by Finnish mega-confectioner Fazer.

Portuguese Embassy

2012 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
2-4:30 PM

Portugal will keep it simple this year: no big party, alcohol, or elaborate decorations but tons of treats. The embassy wouldn’t tell me exactly what it has stocked, but said it’ll be fun. Who doesn’t love a mystery?

French Embassy

4101 Reservoir Road, NW
7 PM

If you’re really looking to get gussied up, consider the French Embassy’s Halloween Dance Soirée for an evening of French wine, Parisian patisserie, and dancing. But don’t expect to show up in a mask and ball gown and get free candy—this event is for paying chic customers only. For $35, you can meet fellow ghouls and goblins while you monster-mash your heart out. And for $10 more, you can get a dance lesson before the event, too!

Mexican Cultural Institute

2829 16th Street, NW
8:15 PM

Looking to drop some serious dinero? Join the Mexican Cultural Institute for its Día de los Muertos gala on Friday.  There, the institute invites guests to dance the night away while sipping Mexican beers and helping themselves to the themed buffet. The dress code: masquerade and black tie optional, just like life. Tickets are $130.

British Embassy

3100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

You think the plans for Brexit are up in the air? A spokesperson tells Washingtonian that the embassy staff isn’t yet sure whether they’ll roll out the red carpet for guests, but the complex may provide a bowl of treats at the doorstep.

Correction: This post originally stated that the Japanese Information & Culture Center will be open for Halloween tonight. The JICC was open last Friday and will be closed tonight.


Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.