Posted Oct 09, 2018
The Washington, DC area has a chilling mix of events to honor the spookiest day of the year. If you’re looking for family-friendly Halloween activities or a place to scream, then you’ll be pleased with this spooktacular roundup.
Oct. 27, 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Admission: $14 adults, $8 for kids
Mt. Vernon, VA
If you want a unique trick-or-treating experience this month, head to George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. Guests will enjoy a special scavenger hunt, a wagon ride through a 12-acre field, not to mention a children’s costume parade with awards going to the best George and Martha costume. Let’s not forget boo-tastic crafts, too.
Oct. 27, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Admission: members $10, non-member child $15, adult chaperone $5
Georgetown, Washington D.C.
For another unusual trick-or-treating experience, make your way to Georgetown with a visit to Tudor Place, an historic home and garden. Families will enjoy finding hidden treats together while meandering the North’s garden paths, face painting, crafts, outdoor games and pumpkin painting.
Consider yourself warned. Only the bravest of souls can survive the terror unleashed at this 150-year-old estate located in Leesburg, VA. Admission gives you access to “Paxton Hall” -- a haunted boarding school run by a terrifying headmistress. Attendees will encounter rebellious children and be forced to learn about the school’s disturbing past. Also with admission is the Carnival of Souls, located in the basement of Paxton Manor. If you thought “It” gives you the creeps, well, just you wait. The haunted house is not recommended for those under 13. All scares aside, the event is also a fundraiser for The Arc of Loudoun, a non-profit organization helping children with disabilities and their families.
Now through Oct. 28, 7 p.m.
Lake Fairfax Park, Reston, VA
Enjoy the sight of more than 5,000 hand-carved glowing pumpkins artistically displayed along a 1/3-mile trail. Artists have taken ordinary jack-o-lanterns and transformed them into Halloween masterpieces. It’s hard to imagine unless you see for yourself — and you’ll certainly want to add this to your fall bucket list. The Glow: Jack-O-Lantern Experience will surely become a family favorite and heighten the Halloween spirit.
5 Day of the Dead in DC's Petworth Neighborhood
Oct. 27, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Nov. 2, 6:15 p.m.
The Day of the Dead (Dio de Los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday that coincides with Halloween but is a celebration of those who passed away. In DC’s Petworth neighborhood, Petworth Arts Collaborative hosts a celebration on Oct. 27th and Nov. 2nd that is free to attend. Attendees on Saturday will learn about the history of the holiday and altar making at the Petworth Farmer’s Market. The following Friday (Nov. 2nd), visitors will experience calavera face painting and a beautiful Day of the Dead procession on Upshur Street. End the night with a live Mariachi band performance.
6 Attend Leesburg's Historic Halloween Parade
Oct. 31, 6 p.m.
King Street, Leesburg, VA
For over six decades, the Leesburg Halloween Parade, hosted and organized by the Leesburg Kiwanis Club, has drawn thousands of spectators to its downtown spectacle. It is one of the oldest Halloween parades in the eastern U.S. with many local businesses and organizations participating in the Halloween fun. Parade-goers may dress in Halloween costume and enjoy the parade route on historic King Street at 6 p.m.
7 Attend the 22nd Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade
Oct. 28, 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Mount Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues, Alexandria, VA
Wear your scariest, funniest, or craziest Halloween costume and come on out to Del Ray’s long-time spooktacular free event. Parade attendees are invited to strut their costumes in hopes to win prizes in different costume categories. The 22nd annual parade begins at Mount Vernon Avenue south of East Bellefonte and continues down to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center fields at Mount Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues. Strollers and pets are also welcome…and there are even prizes for the best-decorated stroller and pet costume contest.
8 Air & Scare at Udvar-Hazy Center
Oct. 20, 12 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Have a spooky good time with a trip to Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. The annual Halloween bash at the Air and Space Museum includes indoor trick-or-treating (so arrive in costume), creepy crafts and science experiments. The event is free, but you must pay to park.
Lia Hobel is a Northern Virginia-based writer and former news broadcaster. She resides in Leesburg with her husband and two boys.
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