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12 Frightful Halloween Events In & Around Washington, DC

Boo at the Zoo at the Smithsonian National Zoo - Halloween Events in Washington, DC

The DC area has a wealth of Halloween activities, events and festivals for all ages and preferences

Looking for a spooky good time? Check out these frightfully fun DC Halloween events and activities, from all-ages family friendly events to parties and bar crawls. If you’re eager to do a little more than trick or treating to honor the spookiest of holidays, we’ve got plenty of options for you.

1 PUB Dread
 

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From the same group that brought you the Game of Thrones pop-up bar and Miracle on Seventh Street comes PUB Dread, a spooky way to savor drinks this Halloween season. Different themed rooms, including a haunted forest, a crypt, a parlor filled with creepy dolls and a “Spacebar,” will make up this lavish holiday creation from Derek Brown and crew. Drinks will use fall ingredients like apple cider and pumpkin, as well as candy and even Twizzler soda. Prepare for a unique bar-going experience this October.
1839-1843 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

2 Boo at the Zoo

Children at Boo at the Zoo - Family Friendly Halloween Event at the National Zoo in Washington, DC

The National Zoo’s annual family oriented Halloween evening event is now an essential part of the holiday in DC. Geared toward wholesome fun, the three-day celebration (Oct. 20-22) features more than 40 treat stations, as well as after-hours access to many of the zoo's animal houses and exhibits. Halloween-themed trails will be fun for a stroll, and the whole crew can get creative during the pumpkin carving competition. Make sure to come in costume! The event is suggested for kids between the ages of 4 and 12.
Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

3 Night of the Living Zoo
Night of the Living Zoo

The National Zoo’s 21-and-over complement to Boo at the Zoo, Night of the Living Zoo transforms the animal haven into a devil’s playground on Oct. 27. You’ll have after-hours access to numerous zoo attractions while enjoying live entertainment, including frightfully amazing oddities and the annual costume contest. Enjoy grub from local food trucks and craft brews, and enter the event’s costume contest.
Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

4 Fright Fest presented by Snickers®

FrightFest at Six Flags America

This annual spooky celebration at Six Flags America draws crowds from all over the DMV area every year. The 2017 edition runs on select days from Sept. 23 - Oct. 29, with haunted attractions, magic shows and roller-coaster thrills. Buckle up!
Six Flags America, 13710 Central Avenue, Upper Marlboro, MD 20721

5 Air & Scare at the Udvar-Hazy Center

Air & Scare at the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Have some spooky fun with a trip to Air & Scare (Oct. 21, 12 - 5:30 p.m.) at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. The annual indoor romp asks that you rock your Halloween attire and get ready for an intense round of trick or treating. But the fun doesn’t stop there: crazy science experiments and creepy crafts are on the ledger as well.
Free, National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA 20151

6 17th Street High Heel Race

17th Street High Heel Race - Dupont Circle - Washington, DC

An epic DC tradition for more than 30 years, the 17th Street High Heel Race (Oct. 24, race at 9 p.m.) turns one Dupont Circle neighborhood street into a raucous, Halloween-flavored spectacle. Heel hobblers, most of whom are decked out in full drag and makeup, are cheered on by screaming fans for the full quarter-mile race. Photo ops, chuckles and plenty of fun are sure to ensue. Quick note: no chairs or animals allowed, as these intense competitors need as much space as possible to strut their stuff.
Free, 17th Street NW

7 Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon

Trick-or-Treating at George Washington's Mount Vernon - Family Friendly Halloween Event Near Washington, DC

Mount Vernon welcomes the entire family to enjoy Halloween fun on Oct. 27 and 28.  Festivities include a scavenger hunt, wagon rides, craft-making, chocolate-making demonstrations and even 18th century dancing in the upper garden (where you’ll get a chance to meet Martha Washington). Prizes will be rewarded for the best George and Martha costumes, and a children’s costume parade will begin at 5 p.m.!
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

8 Halloween Hunt at The Mansion on O
 

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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

9 Smithsonian Sleepover at the American History Museum: Halloween Special

Smithsonian Sleepovers at the Museum of American History on the National Mall - Family-Friendly Summer Events in Washington, DC

Prepare for a spooky and special Halloween sleepover at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Kids can rock costumes as they attempt to solve a mystery concerning Miss Rose, who has stolen six objects from the museum. As the kids go, they’ll enjoy interactive elements of the museum, games, experiments and craft projects. Then, it’s time to roll out the sleeping bag and crash inside one of the country’s coolest museums!
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

10 Dia de los Muertos Celebration

Dia de los Muertos Celebration in Petworth - Family Friendly Celebration in Washington, DC

On Oct. 28, Nov. 1 and Nov. 3, Petworth Arts Collaborative hosts a celebration of the Day of the Dead in DC's Petworth neighborhood, a Mexican holiday honoring those who have passed away that coincides closely with Halloween. Saturday features altar making and a chance to learn the history of the holiday at Petworth Community Market. Later that day, CrossFit Petworth will screen The Book of Life, while on the following Wednesday, a Day of the Dead procession will take place on Upshur Street. That Friday, students from Petworth will showcase works that honor their loved ones, incorporating performance and visual art, at Upshur Street and Georgia Avenue NW.
Various Locations in Petworth

11 '80s Halloween Dance Party
 

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Halloween thrills are on tap for The Black Cat’s '80s Halloween Dance Party, which will take place on Oct. 28 starting at 9 p.m. The event will take up both floors of the venue, with DJs Steve EP MissGuided holding it down upstairs while music blares in two different rooms downstairs. Costumes are highly encouraged!
The Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

12 Nightmare on M Street
 

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Get ready for a roaming costume party that is a monster mash of epic proportions. You and your friends can get decked out and cruise to different bars throughout the Dupont Circle neighborhood during the Nightmare on M Street (Oct. 28, 2 - 8 p.m.). There will be food and drink specials at each stop along the way. Now in its 19th year, the station-to-station Halloween bonanza is sure to be far from a nightmare.
Various Locations in Dupont Circle

Looking for more scary thrills in the nation’s capital? Check out these tours that are sure to spook you in the District.