Food

Your Eating, Drinking, and Partying Guide to Halloween Around DC

Get ready for weeks of spooktacular fun.

Punch Bowl Social is one of the many spots hosting Halloween events. Photo by Amber Boutwell.
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Make the most of autumn activities with these ideas for a fun-filled fall. Check out colorful foliage, corn mazes, haunted houses, pumpkin patches, and more.

The spookiest season of the year is back, and we’ve got all of your Halloween plans covered. If you think the holiday is just October 31, think again—venues around DC have more than two weeks of events planned.

Pop-ups and theme bars

Now through Sunday, November 3, Lucy’s rooftop burger bar is making a hair-raising transformation into Spooky Lucy’s. The pop-up, located on the second level of Little Coco’s, will screen your favorite horror flicks alongside wickedly delicious cocktails.

Get an early start on Halloween at PUB Grimm in Shaw, which pops up through Friday, November 1.The Grimm’s Fairytale-themed bar serves cocktails inspired by famous characters like Snow White and German fare, and is covered in whimsical decorations. Don’t forget to grab a ‘Gram in the photo booth with Little Red Riding Hood’s cloak. On Halloween there’s a ticketed party.

If you want to get your frights year-round, head to Beetle House on H Street. The new Halloween-themed watering hole, part of a New York-based venture, serves a pun-y menu of drinks and eats (mmm, Edward Burger Hands).

Fire dancer from Peculiarity Productions. Photo by Tony Hitchcock.

Pre-Halloween Events

Welcome, Great Pumpkin. On Wednesday, October 23, City Tap Dupont hosts a Pumpkin Smash party starting at 5 PM when the bar taps a giant pumpkin keg filled with Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter. Get your first pint and a keepsake glass for $10, then head out to the patio to paint your own pumpkin. Plus, you can snack on seasonal bites like pumpkin arancini or ravioli.

What’s better than pints and pumpkins? Head over to Franklin Hall for a pumpkin carving contest on Thursday, October 24, from 7 to 9 PM. For $10, participants will get a pint of Hellbender Kolsch, a pumpkin, and carving tools (additional beers go for $5). The individual or team with the best looking pumpkin will win a four person guided tasting tour of Hellbender Brewery. RSVP here.

Oyamel‘s ongoing Day of the Dead celebration includes a cocktail dinner on Thursday, October 24, at 6:30 PM.Head chef Omar Rodriguez prepares a five-course feast matched with spirited drinks. Tickets are $75 (all-inclusive).

The Night of the Living Zoo is back on Friday, October 25, from 7 to 10:30 PM. In addition to after-hours access to exhibits, the adults-only event boasts a dance party and wickedly good performances throughout the night. Guests can grab a brew, or stop by food trucks like CapMac or DC Tapas. Tickets start at $40.

Gamers, unite! Punch Bowl Social in Ballston is hosting a video game-themed party from 9 PM to 2 AM on Saturday, October 26. Pair up with a buddy and come as Mario and Luigi (or go solo as a Link) and try to win the top prize in the costume contest. Be sure to check out the Hayride Hooch, a boozy punch topped off with gummy worms. This event is free.

Spend an evening in “purgatory” on Saturday, October 26, at Dirty Habit, which throws a Halloween party starting at 10 PM that promises high drama and glamour. The Penn Quarter restaurant and bar will give Cirque du Soleil a run for it’s money, featuring an aerialist and fire dancers. The monster bash will have festive cocktails like Chambord cotton candy and a costume contest with a $200 gift certificate grand prize. The 21+ event is free, but you can RSVP here.

Have a hauntingly good time at Fish Market’s Nightmare on King Street on Saturday, October 26, at 9 PM. The restaurant will have a two-DJ setup, guaranteeing that your night will be a thriller. Couples can win prizes in the mummy wrap contest, or Scream Queens in-training can test their lungs. No cover.

Head over to 12 Stories at the Wharf on Saturday, October 26, at 9 PM for a party with a view. Halloween-themed cocktails will be $12 each and glasses of Veuve Clicquot go for $20. The grand prize winner of the rooftop bar’s costume contest will go home with a bottle of Veuve.

Who’s afraid of the dark? On Wednesday, October 30, at 6:30 PM the Crown & Crow is retelling tales from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark with District Karaoke. For the faint of heart, there will also be tarot card readings and free pumpkin decorating. Tickets for the event are $13.13.

Enjoy all things purr-anormal at Crumbs & Whiskers from Monday, October 28, to Thursday, October 31. The first ten people to show up at the cat cafe locations dressed up as felines will get to hang out with some furry friends for free.

Image courtesy of Crumbs & Whiskers.

And finally, on Halloween…

Estadio is wrapping up its month-long “Espookio” celebration with a Spooktacular Halloween party from 7 to 11:30 PM. Snack on some “boo-cadillos” and “monster-ditos” from the kitchen, or head to the cash bar for a Jack O’ Lantern slushito. The Spanish eatery will play haunted hits through the night and hold a costume contest with three top prizes.  Tickets are $31 and includes tapas and treats.

Have a blood-chilling evening at Le Diplomate’s burlesque drag performance by Théâtre des Vampires, starting at 9 PM. Hosted by Betty O’Hellno, the show will have performances by Bombalicious Eklaver, Gigi Holliday, and others. Guests can grab a complimentary caramel apple or try their luck in the costume contest.

Head over to the Line DC, where BLCKNLIT and Full Service Radio are teaming up for an immersive audiovisual party from 9 PM to 1 AM. The hotel lobby will transform into a haunting Halloween dance hall with food and drinks from the bars at Brothers And Sisters. You can RSVP here, but be sure to go early—when the space is full they’ll stop admitting guests.

Enjoy the last night of “Espookio” with a Halloween costume party. Image courtesy of Estadio.

Starting on October 31MXDC is celebrating the Day of the Dead with festive food specials during lunch and dinner. The restaurant will also have discounted $7 margaritas, including the blackberry cilantro and habanero versions. On Halloween and Friday, November 1, the restaurant will have a face painting station and photo booth to go along with the festivities.

For another Halloween/Día De Los Muertos celebration, head to El Rey for happy hour. The beer garden will have $6 shots, $9 margaritas, and $5 tall boys, as well as activations like a face painter booth on Halloween and Friday, November 1.

Who said the party needs to stop after October? Head to The Yards on Saturday, November 2, for a zany nighttime circus. The fifth annual Side Yards will have tarot card readings, a pop-up escape room, and magical sideshow acts. Plus, there will be an array of specialty foods and drinks provided by Due South and Agua 301. RSVP for the free event here.

If you want to party with your pup, check out Bone Yards on November 2, from noon to 2 PM. Dress your furry friend up in their best Howl-o-ween regalia for a chance to win gift cards to shops and restaurants around the Yards near Nationals Park. There will also be puppy trick-or-treating and music throughout the free event.

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Editorial Fellow

Madeline Rundlett is an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She previously covered All-Met sports for the Washington Post and was an editorial intern at The Hill. Madeline graduated from the George Washington University with a degree in Political Communication in 2019.