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Halloween Happenings and Events 2021
There are tons of family-friendly Halloween events to enjoy in the DMV! We have compiled a list of events that your whole family will enjoy, including outdoor movies, a dance party, carnivals, costume contests (for human kids and fur babies), and more. In addition to Halloween activities, we have also included a few Día de los Muertos events. For more ideas on how to have some Halloween fun, check out these Halloween movies for kids, Halloween craft ideas, pumpkin patches, and this Halloween Game and Spooky Window Hunt. And check out our Guide to the Month of October too! However your family decides to celebrate Halloween, we urge you to follow safety protocols required by venues and that your family works to stay safe and healthy in your communities. If you know of other virtual or in-person events to celebrate Halloween, please let us know in comments.
Eye Spy Trains
Now through October 31st (Saturdays and Sundays)
Cabin John and Wheaton Regional Parks
Bethesda and Silver Spring, MD
Saturdays and Sundays in October mean the popular Eye Spy Trains are back for Halloween. Great for families of all ages, Montgomery Parks’ Cabin John Miniature Train and the Wheaton Miniature Train will take a ride through “Trainslyvania.” Purchase tickets in advance online to reserve your preferred date and time.
Halloween Movies on the Potomac
Sunday evenings through October
4pm – 6pm
National Harbor, MD
Pack your chairs, grab food to go from one of the delicious dining establishments, and meet at the Plaza’s big screen for a free evening of spooktacular fun. Enjoy one of these family-friendly Halloween classics: Casper (10/10); The Addams Family (10/17); Hocus Pocus (10/24); and Goosebumps (10/31).
Halloween Hunt at The Mansion on O
October 13 through 31
11am – 3pm
Celebrate the BOO season on this zany treasure hunt throughout the Mansion’s 100+ rooms and 70 secret doors. Have fun searching for seasonal and Halloween themed items found only at The Mansion, which will be decorated for Halloween. Online reservations required. The Mansion is also offering a Halloween Hunt with Treats on 10/29, 10/30, and 10/31. Attendees are invited to go in costume to explore the Mansion and will receive and individual bag of trick-or-treat candy.
Soul Strolls: Twilight Tours
October 15 – 16 & October 22 – 23
Trespass into the past and discover the secrets of some of Congressional Cemetery’s “residents.” Soul Strolls, the Cemetery’s annual twilight tours, explore the stories of individuals buried there through guided tours and costumed interpreters. Soul Strolls take place over four nights. Hour-long tours depart every 15 minutes between 6 and 10 pm and tickets must be purchased in advance for this Halloween event.
Día de los Muertos at The Wharf
2pm – 5pm
Celebrate the Day of the Dead at The Wharf with live music, street food, a beer garden, face painting, sugar skull decorating, and more. Plus, prizes will be awarded for the most authentic outfit.
Del Ray Halloween Parade
Del Ray’s annual Halloween Parade begins at Mount Vernon Ave., south of E. Bellefonte, and continues down to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center play fields. Children, pets, and strollers in costumes are invited to march and show off their finest and scariest Halloween garb.
Día de los Muertos Celebration (online)
National Museum of the American Indian
Celebrate Día de los Muertos from home with this event hosted by NMAI. In recorded presentations by two renowned Mexican families, the museum showcases two traditions central to Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos): the art of making figures from sugar and papier-mâché. These two presentations will take place in Spanish. Closed captioning in Spanish and English will be available. Also, join Cynthia Vidaurri for “Day of the Dead: The Basics” to learn more about this day. How is it different from Halloween? And what is an ofrenda and what do the beautiful decorations mean? Finally, learn how to make paper marigolds, which play an important role in the Day of the Dead.
4pm – 7pm
Head to Alethia Tanner Park in NoMa for live entertainment, food, music, a seasonal scavenger hunt, and a “pick-your-own” pumpkin patch. This year’s event will also include a special performance by award-winning children’s entertainer, The Great Zucchini, as well as the return of the kid’s costume contest. Don’t miss out on this free, family-friendly event! The event will be followed by a screening of Hocus Pocus at 6:30pm. Please be sure to register to reserve your pumpkins (limit of 3 per family) and tickets for the movie screening.
4pm – 6pm
Hilloween is a much loved tradition in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. For 20 years, families have gathered for fall fun, creativity, and kinship. This year, the event will once again be in-person and organizers are taking extra health and safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the Halloween event website for more information on how to participate in the spooky fun.
5th Annual Frames of Fear
October 30 – 31
DC in Motion hosts this special Halloween showcase for local artists in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Animators, illustrators, and motion designers will create wicked windows such as 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 this neighborhood. Stay up to date about the event and learn more about participating artists through email or social media.
9:30am – 11am
The Hirshhorn is hosting its first-ever dog-friendly event, just in time for Halloween. Join them with (or without) your dog for a morning of costumes and coffee in the Hirshhorn’s outdoor Sculpture Garden. Dress up your pup, and if they’re feeling fierce, sign them up to strut their stuff in a furry fashion contest ($25 to register) for the chance to win a few special prizes. Local experts, District Dogs, will be there to keep the dog party going with free activities like peanut butter portraits. This event is open to all ages, and kids are encouraged to join in on the fun with Hirshhorn-inspired creative projects geared toward little artists. This event is free but advance registration is required.
Día de los Muertos Virtual Family Celebration
10am – 11am
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Celebrate Día de los Muertos online with Ballet Folklórico Mi Herencia Mexicana and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. There is fun for the whole family during this virtual performance. Watch as Ballet Folklórico Mi Herencia Mexicana demonstrate several Mexican folk dances including El Toro Viejo from Sinaloa and the popular El Son de La Negra from Jalisco. Learn more about Día de los Muertos as the dancers explain the history behind their dance traditions. Continue celebrating Día de los Muertos on SAAM’s Latinx Heritage Family Zone, where you can learn more about Día de los Muertos, make crafts, do coloring pages, and watch videos about this traditional Mexican celebration. This event is free, but registration is required.
10am – 3pm
Enjoy some safe and seasonal fun with the family in the garden of the Lee-Fendall House during its Fall Frolic! Put on your Halloween costumes for activities catered to children ages 3-12. Activities include a “ghost” hunt, crafts, and a costume parade. Sessions start at every hour from 10am to 3pm. Timed tickets must be purchased in advance.
Air and Scare Outside
10am – 5pm
National Air and Space Museum at Udvar-Hazy Center
This year, the Museum’s popular Air & Scare program is back and will feature: trick-or-treat stations with free candy and snacks; creepy crafts; spooky experiments; special story times and puppet shows for the youngest Halloween revelers; photo opportunities with your favorite Star Wars characters; and a chance to enter a costume contest to win sweet prizes. This outdoor event is free, but tickets are required. If your family can’t make it to the event, check out the Air & Scare at Home virtual activities.
Nightmare on Elm Street Urban Park
1pm – 4pm
Take the family out to Montgomery Parks’ free Nightmare on Elm Street Halloween event at Elm Street Urban Park for some spooky, silly fun. Enjoy fun events for the whole family such as a fantastic “Trick or Treat Trails” scavenger hunt, music, lots of lawn games, and tons of great Halloween props and decorations for you to snap pictures with. Food trucks will be onsite.
1pm – 5pm
Takoma Park, MD
The Takoma Park Recreation Department will once again host this family-friendly Halloween event. The Monster Bash event will kick off at 1pm with a DJ and roving entertainment and a magic show. The Costume Parade and Contest will begin at 2pm and end at the Takoma Park Library/Community Center. Festivities will end with the Costume Award Ceremony and Celebration, including a selfie station, games, and more roving entertainment.
1pm – 5:30pm
Falls Church, VA
This spooktacular family-friendly Halloween Carnival in Cherry Hill Park is for kids ages 2-11. This year’s event will include games, inflatables, and snacks. The Carnival will be open with two time-slots: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Time-slots are not age specific. The cost to attend and participate in carnival activities is $1 per person (adults and children), cash only.
Halloweenie Roast and Campfire
12pm – 3pm
Join the naturalists at the Clearwater Nature Center for this non-scary, family-friendly Halloween event! Enjoy Covid-conscious crafts, games, and live animals. S’mores, hot dogs, cider, and roasting sticks will be provided. Costumes are suggested, but not required. The costume contest will be held at 2pm and will give awards for the Best Animal, Best Original, Most Earth-friendly costumes. Space is limited so advanced registration is recommended as all activities are first come first serve.
Rumpus Room Family Dance Party
11am – 1pm
Celebrate Halloween at a dance party on the rooftop of Union Market. Get ready for a dance floor filled with little ghosts, goblins, witches, dragons, and pumpkins of all ages. Relive your night-life glory days and show off those rusty moves with your little ones in tow. The soundtrack for the day will be a family-friendly mix of dance floor and Halloween classics, all at a kid-friendly volume. The event is designed for kids 10 and under and their caregivers, but older siblings are welcome.
Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
2pm – 6pm
Mount Vernon, Virginia
Trick-or-Treat at Mount Vernon! This festive event is already sold out, but become a member and get first dibs on tickets to fun events like this!