The DC area has a wealth of safe, in-person and virtual activities, events and festivals for all ages and preferences.
Looking for a spooky good time? Check out these frightfully fun Día de los Muertos and Halloween-themed events and activities in and around DC, all of which can be enjoyed safely in-person or from the comfort of your own home. If you’re eager to do a little more than trick-or-treating or face-painting to honor these two holidays, we’ve got plenty of options for you.
Enjoy a DC ghost tour – Ongoing
This Halloween season, consider a fright-inducing walking ghost tour through Washington, DC. These tours, many of which are year-round, will have you delightfully spooked as you attempt to walk from haunt to haunt in some of DC's oldest neighborhoods. Please observe any safety guidelines provided by the tour company as you book your excursion.
Air & Scare At Home – Ongoing
Smithsonian has provided an array of downloadable activities and challenges, live virtual programming and contests for costumes and pumpkin-decorating for Air & Scare this year. An on-site event is also being planned for the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on Saturday, Oct. 30. Stay tuned to the museum's website for updates.
Six Flags Fright Fest presented by Snickers – Through Oct. 31
This spooky celebration at Six Flags America returns with the haunted attractions, entertainment and shows and roller-coaster thrills that the DMV area has come to expect. The 2021 edition runs on select days from through Oct. 31. Adults will also want to check out Bands, Brews and Boos, held on select dates.
Select Fridays: 5-9 p.m. | Saturdays & Sundays: 12-9 p.m. | Tickets
Six Flags America, 13710 Central Avenue, Bowie, MD 20721
Halloween Treasure Hunt at the Mansion on O – Oct. 13-31
Visiting the wondrous Mansion on O & O Street Museum is quite the experience, especially when you journey through the historic venue on a scavenger hunt. View the Mansion in its finest Halloween attire as you search through its many themed rooms and secret doors for seasonal and Halloween-themed prizes. You can also bring along your own shopping bag and purchase goodies from the mansion.
The Mansion on O Street, 2020 O Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
Día de los Muertos at the Wharf - Oct. 24
The Wharf, Mi Vida Restaurant, Modelo and Fiesta DC turn the District Pier into a tribute to the Day of the Dead on Sunday, Oct. 24 from 2-5 p.m. Expect vibrant live music, delicious street food, a wondrous beer garden, sugar-skull decorating and face-painting.
PumpkinPalooza – Oct. 28
NoMa celebrates Halloween with its annual pumpkin-centric event, back in-person for 2021. Held in Alethia Tanner Park, PumpkinPalooza offers live entertainment, a seasonal scavenger hunt, food, music and of course, its famous pick-your-own pumpkin patch. The free event will also feature a performance by award-winning children's entertainer, The Great Zucchini, as well as a kid's costume contest. Make sure to register reserve your pumpkins (limit of 3 per family).
Haunted Hops at Hook Hall – Oct. 29-30
Hook Hall gets haunted for Halloween with a hop-centric event set for the last Friday and Saturday of the month. You can enjoy more than 50 craft beers and ciders (including Hazies, Crisp Lagers, Robust Porters, malt flavors and more) to go along with live music, local eats on-site artisans and plenty of spooky surprises.
Hook Hall, 3400 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20010
Spend Halloween with Black Cat – Oct. 29-30
On back-to-back nights the weekend of Halloween, head to DC's beloved Black Cat venue for pure Halloween revelry. Friday night will feature DJ Ed Wood on the ones and twos, with $300 going to the Best Costume winner. On Saturday, the annual '80s-themed Halloween dance party returns to Black Cat after going virtual in 2020. Get ready to dance your heart out with DJs Steve EP, Missguided and Killa K. Please note that either proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours is required to enter the venue.
Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC Washington, DC 20009
Hirshhorn Howl-O-Ween - Oct. 30
The Hirshhorn hosts its first dog-friendly event just in time for Halloween. Head to the Sculpture Garden with or without your pup for a morning filled with coffee and costumes. For just 25 bucks, you can enter your dog in a furry fashion contest for a chance to win special prizes. District Dogs will be on-hand for special doggie treats, including peanut butter portraits. The fashion contest will be no joke, either: local dog lovers will serve as panelists and fur-fluencers will be present. Howl-O-Ween is 100% free to attend unless you're entering the contest. Registration is required.
9:30-11 a.m. | Free admission | Register
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20560
Día de los Muertos Virtual Family Celebration – Oct. 30
Honor the Day of the Dead virtually with Ballet Folklórico Mi Herencia Mexicana and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). The former will demonstrate Mexican folk dances, including El Toro Viejo from Sinaloa and the popular EL Son de La Negra from Jalisco. Attendees can also learn more about the history of these dance traditions during the program. Also be sure to check out SAAM’s Latinx Heritage Family Zone, where you can learn more about Día de los Muertos, make crafts, color and watch videos. These virtual offerings are free to enjoy. Make sure to register for the Oct. 30 event.
10-11 a.m. | Free | Register
Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon – Oct. 30
Mount Vernon welcomes the entire family to enjoy Halloween fun. Festivities include candy-collecting in special Mount Vernon treat bags, Halloween-themed Punch & Judy shows, an 18th-century chocolate-making demonstration (as well as a sample treat), a straw bale selfie station, musical entertainment and much more.
3:30-6:30 p.m. | Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121
The 5th Annual Frames of Fear – Oct. 30-31
DC in Motion hosts this special Halloween showcase for local artists in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Animators, illustrators and motion designers were asked to create wicked windows and they truly went wild: expect to see possessed novels flying around bookstores, zombies searching for thrift fashions and other ghastly happenings. Looped animations projected onto storefronts and buildings will create a spooky spectacle in one of DC’s most ebullient neighborhoods.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show 45th Anniversary Spectacular – Oct. 31
Released in 1976, The Rocky Horror Picture Show immediately became a cult classic, prompting decades of midnight showings, costume parties and jam sessions to its unforgettable soundtrack. Events DC will host a special anniversary screening of the film at Entertainment and Sports Arena on Halloween night. Bruce Bostwick (the original “Brad Majors”) will provide a special on-screen greeting before the show begins. Make sure to come dressed in costume.
8 p.m. | Tickets
Entertainment and Sports Arena, 1100 Oak Drive SE, Washington, DC 20032