Things to Do

Halloween Things to Do Around DC: Your Spooky Guide

Ghost tours, Halloween parties, haunted houses, and more.

The spookiest night of the year is coming up, but you don’t need to wait until October 31st to get into the Halloween spirit. Here’s how to celebrate the haunted holiday around DC.

Interact With Local Ghosts

Looking for an audience with the occult? Brush up on your spooky lore with insights from DC-area tour guides. Then, check out a historical ghost tour, stopping at pubs, landmarks, and houses with a paranormal reputation. For an overnight haunt, book a stay in an allegedly haunted hotel or rental.

Alexandria’s haunted Carlyle House. Photograph courtesy of Flickr/Zach Stern.

Snack on a Holiday Treat

If you’re craving fall flavors and boo-zy beverages, check out these food and drink specials that celebrate the holiday. Try candy corn cupcakes, get your palm read at a restaurant, and sip autumnal libations like hot cider.

Treats from Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Treats from Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Party at a Halloween Event

All Hallows’ Eve falls on a Monday this year, so you may want to check out a Halloween weekend event for themed bar crawls and brunches. Dressing up your dog? Show off your four-legged companion’s costume at one of these dog-friendly events.

Photograph by Monty Montgomery/Flickr
Photograph by Monty Montgomery/Flickr

Check Out Fun Decorations

Maybe you want to see how your giant skeleton stacks up. Or maybe you just need a dose of spooky vibes. Take a walk through neighborhoods like Capitol Hill and Georgetown to peruse houses decked out in Halloween costumes of their own.

Photograph by David Andrews.

Explore a Haunted Location

Interactive experiences at haunted houses and forests feature zombies, clowns, and other monsters of the night. Whether you’re riding a creepy hayride or exploring a spine-chilling trail, prepare for plenty of jump scares and screaming.

Markoff’s Haunted Forest. Photograph by Jeff Elkins.
Markoff’s Haunted Forest. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Carve a Jack-o’-Lantern

Enjoy a classic fall activity, and pick a pumpkin at a farm near DC. Head home to chisel your find into a jack-o’-lantern or attend a pumpkin decorating event. (Many will provide the pumpkin for you.) Throwing a Halloween party? Impress your guests with an adults-only version, the pumpkin keg.

Image by rue_wi, via iStock/Getty Images Plus.
Image by rue_wi, via iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Rock a DC-Themed Costume

Show off your DC pop culture knowledge with a costume pulled from local headlines. If you are still seeking a get-up for your furry friend, find inspiration from this year’s Dachshund Dash, where dogs donned fabulous fits.

Photograph by Evy Mages

Katie Kenny
Editorial Fellow