No time of year proves the District's "work hard, play hard" ethic as clearly as Halloween. Over the next two weeks, Washingtonians will cut loose at events that range from all-out costumed ragers and classy embassy soirees to over-the-top pub crawls. And naturally, we've got the to-do list that'll give you plenty of thrills and chills, whether you're craving a total scarefest or just want to dance the night away in costume.
Brightest Young Things Twerk or Treat Halloween Party
Just when you thought twerking was on its way out (making way for yiking, of course), it's time for BYT’s Twerk or Treat Halloween shindig. Expect stiff cocktails from Spirits in Black, weirdo adventures courtesy of New York art collective CHERYL, and performances by DJ Rex Riot inside K Street's Sphinx Club.
When: Saturday, October 26, at 8:30 p.m.
Where: The Sphinx Club, 1315 K Street NW; no phone. $20 advance tickets available here.
Boo-B-Tastic: A Loosely Themed Halloween Burlesque Show
If your ideal Halloween experience is equally spooky and sexy, this burlesque and sideshow production includes performances by dancers such as Mourna Handful and Candy Del Rio.
When: Thursday, October 17, at 8 p.m.
Where: The State Theatre, 220 N. Washington Street, Falls Church; 703-237-0300. $12 advance tickets available here.
Nightmare on M Street
If your idea of a perfect party doesn't include a cover charge, pub crawls are a great way to go. The annual Nightmare on M Street event offers deals on drinks and food at over 30 local bars.
When: Saturday, October 26, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Where: Locations vary; see full list here. Cost is $22.50; tickets available here.
Halloween Gala and Party at the Embassy of France
A chance to dress up in masquerade garb, dance, enjoy some French cocktails, and have a generally classy Halloween? Sign us up. With Things To Do DC's "American Werewolves in Paris" party, you can do all of those things in the French Embassy's gorgeous surroundings.
When: Friday, November 1, from 8:15 to 11:45 p.m.
Where: Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Road, NW, no phone. $88 advance tickets available here.
For those with a “been there, done that" attitude about Halloween events, it might be time to take to the seas. During the Spirit of Washington's annual Boo Cruise, expect Halloween-themed food, entertainment, and a cash bar, all set against haunting late-night views of D.C. Costumes are not only encouraged, but rewarded — the best getup will earn four free tickets for a future cruise.
When: Saturday, October 26. Boarding begins at 9 p.m.; cruise goes from 9:30 p.m. to 12:05 a.m.
Where: Departs from Spirit of Mount Vernon, 600 Water Street SW Pier 4; 888-822-5993. Tickets are $44.50; purchase advance tickets here.
Heroes Vs. Villains at KABIN
Dupont Circle's Alpine-inspired KABIN lounge will become a spooky party place on November 1. The no-cover event includes complimentary party favors; you can splurge on a $20 ticket to get access to a one-hour-long open bar that includes specialty cocktails, or arrange for bottle service if you really want to go all out.
When: Friday, November 1, from 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Where: KABIN, 1337 Connecticut Avenue NW; 202-810-2770. Reserve your spot, open bar ticket, or table here.
Mayhem and Madness Halloween Bash
First dates — talk about scary. Luckily, Professionals in the City offers up a little Halloween matchmaking fun with a seated singles speed-dating event. After the getting-to-know-you portion, take part in a Halloween celebration with dancing, costume contests, prizes, and drink specials. You never know — you might just find the Waldo to your Wilma.
When: Saturday, October 26, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Where: Look Restaurant and Lounge, 1909 K Street NW; no phone. $30 advance tickets available here.
This pub crawl offers multiple-package options and more bars than you’ll reasonably be able to hit in one night (or, let’s be honest, remember the next day).
When: Saturday, October 26; Thursday, October 31; and Friday, November 1.
Where: Locations vary; see full details and purchase package options here.
Halloween at Carnegie Library
Not content to let Halloween be the property of bars, haunted forests, and house parties, George and Mason Inn combine forces again to create a party with three levels and four distinct "party zones" to satisfy partygoers. You can also check out Halloween movies playing in the McKinley Theatre all night.
When: Saturday, October 26, at 9 p.m.
Where: Carnegie Library, 801 K Street NW; no phone. Tickets are $65-$95, and available here.
Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion
It's a bit of a drive, but Kings Dominion's Halloween Haunt event promises some pretty intense scream-inducing scenarios. This year's event includes haunted mazes, live performances and shows, and all the usual thrilling rides and attractions.
When: Halloween Haunt will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, starting Friday, October 18, through Sunday, October 27.
Where: Kings Dominion, 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, VA; 804-876-5000. Tickets start at $32.99.