Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 10/27-10/30: Hill-O-Ween Festival, Del Ray Halloween Parade, and VP Harris Sculpture on Display

Plus, an apple festival and pie contest.

Photograph by Misha Enriquez for Visit Alexandria.

Happy Hallo-weekend, everyone!

Frightful fun is underway in just about every DC neighborhood this weekend. You can load up on pumpkin and sweet treats at an outdoor festival or skip out on the Halloween events all together and see a new vice-presidential sculpture.


Best Things to Do This Weekend

  1. Capitol Hill Halloween festival. If you are looking for a family-friendly event for trick-or-treating, then look no further. The Hill-O-Ween festival has been going on in DC for more than 20 years and is back again for another seasonal neighborhood gathering. There will be photo booths, karaoke, pumpkin decorating, face painting, and more all-ages entertainment (Fri, free, Eastern Market).
  2. Women’s History Museum new art display. The National Women’s History Museum has a new collaboration with DC Public Library. The partnership kicked off this week with the installation of “Glass Ceiling Breaker,” a sculpture that commemorates Vice President Kamala Harris. The artwork will be on display through March (during library hours, free, MLK Library).
  3. Del Ray Halloween Parade. The 26th Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade returns to Mount Vernon Avenue over the weekend. Guests can jam to live music by classic rock band Mars Rodeo and participate in a pet costume contest and stroller competition. The winner for best decorated house and business will also be announced at the parade (Sun, free, Alexandria).
  4. Adams Morgan Apple Festival. Which baker makes the best apple pie in town? You can find out at this weekend’s Adams Morgan Apple Festival where local restaurants and residents will compete in a homemade apple pie baking contest. Guests can eat lots of pie and vote to help choose the People’s Choice winner (Sat, free, Adams Morgan).
  5. Fall In Love Halloween Mixer. Are you single and ready to mingle? Washingtonian Problems is closing out their Fall in Love dating series with a romantic and spooky mixer. Hang out with fellow single neighbors at Sandlot Southeast and enjoy a complimentary cold-pressed juice cocktail. There will be food trucks, a DJ, and raffle prizes for folks wearing a costume (Fri, $20, Southeast DC).


Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Stretch and relax at the final outdoor yoga class for the month with instructor Alex Hoekstra (Sun, free, Northwest DC). Attention all gamers: This Halloween video game party is just for you (Thurs, $10, Northwest DC). Trick-or-treat at artist studios and shop cheap deals at the Spooky Seconds Sale (Sat, free, Brookland).

Arts and culture. Be a part of a conversation and music program that explores art’s role in addressing nuclear war abolition, peace, and reconciliation (Thurs, free, virtual and Northwest DC). Take a gel plate monoprinting workshop (Sun, $75, Arlington). View the “To the East: The Rise of Public Murals East of the River” exhibit while it’s on display; the weekend events will include a panel discussion and documentary film screening (Thurs-Sat, free and donations are welcome, Southeast DC). Rip the runway at the DC Cultura Fashion Show (Fri, $150, Downtown DC). Find out who won the best in Black literature awards at the Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Awards hosted by actress and author Karyn Parsons (Thurs, free, virtual). Be a part of the Artists’ Table multimedia event and panel discussion (Thurs, free, Northwest DC). View live art, body painting, and chalk illustrations at an outdoor Halloween-themed art market (Sun, free, Northeast DC).

Fall festivals. Whether you want to carve, pick, or eat pumpkins, there are multiple festivals happening to fulfill your pumpkin dreams. Check out Pumpkins in the Park to hop in a giant moon bounce and see a magic show (Sat, free, Southeast DC). Paint a pumpkin and chow down on fresh funnel cakes at City Ridge Fall Festival (Sun, free, Northwest DC). Design a trick-or-treat bag and then collect sweets and goodies at Glen Echo’s Fall Frolic galleries and artist studios. Plus, you can take a short piano or violin lesson (Sat, free, Glen Echo). Experience all of the season’s festivities at Lil’ Pumpkin Fest at BlackRock Center for the Arts. There will be a beer garden and an evening movie screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for adults (Sat, free, Germantown). Sip on free hot apple cider and journey through a hay bale maze at Fall Festival on Woodrow Wilson Plaza (Fri, free, Northwest DC). Travel to Maryland for Monster Bash (Sat, free, Takoma Park).

Theater and shows. It’s the last chance to see The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (Thurs-Sun, $35+, Northwest DC). The VIVA School of Dance is hosting a gala with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, dessert, and a dance performance at Planet Word Museum (Sat, $250, Northwest DC). Attend an adults-only show featuring five readings of short LGBTQ+ themed theater pieces at Theater After Dark (Fri-Sat, $25, Anacostia). See an original comedy by DC playwright Craig Houk (Thurs-Sat, $10, Anacostia).

History and heritage. Celebrate Día de los Muertos on a rooftop with a mariachi band and face painting (Fri, free, Northwest DC). Take a guided haunted walking tour and boo cruise on the Potomac River (Sun, $38, Georgetown) or lace up your sneakers for a historic haunted pub walking tour (Thurs, $28, Alexandria).

Concerts. You can see local talent such as Hyattsville rapper Chiiikeee perform at Songbyrd (Fri, $5+, Northeast DC) or local band UCB Live perform at their 25th anniversary show (Sat, $40, Southeast DC). The JoGo Project is having a two-day Crankathon (Thurs and Sat, prices vary, virtual, Baltimore and Northeast DC). Experience a live piano concert with local musicians Mark G. Meadows and James Fernando (Thurs, $18+, Bethesda).

Music and parties. Get into the Halloween vibe at the HellBent party featuring a collaboration of performances from various artists, dancers, and DJs (Sat, $25, Northwest DC). Bring your best dance moves to the Hip Hop Halloween Bar Crawl (Sat, $30, U Street) or the Nightmare On M Street Bar Crawl (Sat, $35+, Dupont Circle). Dress up in costume for the Nightmare on U Street music party (Sun, free before 6 pm, U Street). If your outfit is scary enough, you may win a cash prize at this restaurant and bar costume contest (Fri-Sat, free, Navy Yard and Northwest DC). Enjoy live entertainment and food specials at the Clarendon Halloween Block Party (Sat, $15, Arlington). Here’s your chance to have some folktale fun at The Shreking Ball: A Green Tie Affair (Sat, $10, Southwest DC). Decorate a pumpkin in drag at Midlands Beer Garden (Thurs, $15, Northwest DC).

Halloween movies and fun. Have a Spooktacular Movie Night with the youngsters and watch the 1984 version of Ghostbusters (Thurs, free, Navy Yard). Trick-or-treat at local shops, visit the Vienna Singing Princesses face-painting tent, and then stick around to view the animated version of The Addams Family (Sun, free, Fairfax). Spend the afternoon at Harbor Halloween to participate in a chef pumpkin carving contest, a pet costume contest, and a screening of Hocus Pocus (Sun, free, National Harbor).

Get involved. Attend a Boo Bash at the French Embassy to help support the Give for Hope campaign to meet the needs of families on the pediatric epilepsy surgery journey. There will be fun and games for kids along with pizza and other refreshments (Fri, $30, Northwest DC).

If you enjoyed these events, don’t forget to share this post with a friend on social media, and sign-up for our newsletter for more things to do.

Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.