As someone who grew up trick-or-treating on the Hill, I can say with much certainty that Capitol Hill celebrates Halloween better than any other neighborhood in this area. My friends in suburbia-land try to brag about how their streets are full of kids and they all decorate their houses, but I promise it is nothing like what you get right here in our neighborhood.
Since my friends’ parents moved them out to the ‘burbs for grade-school, I spent a number of Halloweens in other neighborhoods, and let me tell you, it’s just not as good. We don’t mess with giant inflatable pumpkins and ghosts here; on the Hill you get graveyards with monsters jumping out at you, elaborate and really creative yard displays, spooky music, and the best trick-or-treating around since you hit at least three-times the number of houses as you do in the suburbs. And to top it all off, it’s not just a one night party on the Hill – we have events for kids of all ages all week long…and then some.
For a full list of events for kids, adults, pets, and any other living or dead being that wants to get into the Halloween spirit, keep reading after the jump:
Friday, October 23
The US Navy Museum is hosting a lecture and tour called “True Ghost Stories of the U.S. Navy” where author Eric Mills unearths all of the U.S. Navy’s rich cargo of paranormal phenomena. Learn about (and maybe see!) the great Stephen Decatur, whose mournful apparition still stalks the halls of his famous home, said to be one of the most haunted spots in Washington, D.C. And the USS Sullivans, now a floating museum, is the source of much disturbing spectral activity–poltergeists opening locks, hurling objects, and turning on radar that’s no longer under electrical power. That’s only the start…The event is free but space is limited on the walking tour, so please call ahead (202) 433 6826.
Saturday, October 24
Frager’s Hardware is hosting their first annual pumpkin carving contest on Saturday, October 24. Pumpkins need to arrive at Frager’s before 3:00 pm on the 24th. Judging will take place between 3:00-4:00 pm, with the winners announced shortly thereafter. Additional details, registration information, and contest rules can be found at fragersdc.com.
Friday, October 23, & Saturday October 24,
And Friday, October 30, & Saturday, October 31
What’s Halloween without a few ghosts? In a town as old and full of scandal as Capitol Hill, there are plenty of chances to find a few. Every Friday and Saturday night through the month of October you can go on a ghost tour of Capitol Hill, and this Saturday, the 24th, they will have a less-gruesome kid-friendly version of the tour. The tour costs $15 per person (or parent/child couple and $5 for each additional child) and, as an added bonus, Tunnicliff’s is offering their happy hour rates to all ticket holders after the tour. Visit GhostToursDC.com for information on how to reserve a spot.
Looking for even more spookiness? Take a tour of Capitol Hill’s historic Congressional Cemetery, resting place to 19 Senators, 71 Representatives, and 120 other members of congress who died in office. The official Ghost Tour was last weekend, but they still have cell phone-guided tours.
Monday, October 26 – Monday, November 2
H Street is adding their own edgy twist to Halloween with their Dia de los Muertos for the entire week of Halloween. Many of the restaurants will be offering special menus and discounts from October 26-November 2, and many of the store fronts will be decorated with shrines to the muertos (the dead) as a tribute to Dia de los Muertos.
Friday, October 30
If you don’t have your fill of ghost tours yet (is that even possible at Halloween?), head over to the US Navy Museum to tour the Ghost Ship Barry on October 30, 2009 from 6:00 -10:00 pm.
The next event is a must for all neighborhood kids (and parents!) – Hilloween 2009 will be on Friday, October 30 from 5:30-7:30 pm at Eastern Market. Hay rides, moon bounce, face painting, etc…all the usual stuff to keep kids happy and occupied while the grown-ups catch up and enjoy food and beverages from Tunnicliffs (last year they had jello shots but no word on what goodies will be supplied this year).
After Hilloween, put on your moon walking shoes and head over to H Street Northeast to be part of a massive Thriller performance at 9:00 pm where Joy of Motion, H Street Main Street, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, and Auto Zone are hosting the Thriller on H Street Party in the Auto Zone parking lot. Don’t know the famous Michael Jackson dance? Come to a workshop at Joy of Motion at 7:00 pm to learn the moves (the workshop is $10 for kids, $20 for adults). Then head over to the parking lot at 9:00 pm to take your place. At 9:30, the goal is to have a packed parking lot, with the video showing while everyone performs the iconic dance. *While encouraged to learn the dance moves, you do not need to attend the workshop to participate in the performance. Costumes are recommended. This family friendly event also includes a Thriller video screening and performance, Moonwalk contest, door prizes and more!
Friday, October 30 & Saturday, October 31
Local stylist Amber Lucas and her team will be offering free styling and makeup to perfect your Halloween costume at The Remix on Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 from 5:00 -8:00 pm. No costume yet? Why not go retro with The Remix’s selection of vintage clothing and accessories from the 20’s-80’s?
Saturday, October 31
The Canine Costume Contest is another must-see in the neighborhood every year. On Saturday, October 31 at 2:00 pm, Lincoln Park will be packed with neighborhood dogs decked out in some of the most hilarious costumes you can imagine. The pups can compete for prizes in five categories and all participants get goodie bags (doggie bags?) from Chateaux Animaux.
From 10:00 am – 1:00 pm The U.S. Botanic Garden is hosting HalloFest: Decorate a pumpkin, attend a Monster Meal cooking demonstration or create a Creepy Craft. Young and young-at-heart are invited to come dressed up to participate in the costume parade at noon. Prizes will be given for best plant outfit, best costume-adult and best costume-child.
The best trick-or-treating in town is a must-see for adults too! Even if you don’t have kids, take a walk down East Capitol Street once the sun goes down. The residents of this main street take serious pride in their lawn and house decorations, and it is worth fighting the crowds to see it. You will also be treated to some of the best costume-sightings around as just about every kid from the neighborhood (and many from other neighborhoods) come out to see how much loot they can fit into their trick-or-treating bags.
**I have been told that East Capitol Street is not the only show worth seeing on the Hill, but I have yet the exact location of these other amazing side streets (I hear the residents off of one alley turn it into an amazing haunted house!). If you know where these great streets are, please share in the comments!
Fun at the Bars
If you don’t have kids or were lucky enough to find a babysitter for Halloween, there are events at just about every bar on the Hill as well! If you’re favorite bar is not listed below, just give them a call. While not everyone is publicizing their Halloween events online, most hold costume contests and other events. **All events are on Saturday, October 31 unless otherwise noted.
- The Argonaut – Halloween night starts at 9:00 pm – Upstairs – Live DJ – NO COVER – Costume Contest – $4 Dead Guy Ale by Rogue – $5 Dark & Stormys – and a new fog machine – Must be 21+ to pillage the bar.
- H Street Country Club – Monster Bash – A haunted golf course, freaks dancing after 10:00 pm and a costume contest. Celebrate Halloween on H Street. No cover. $3 Dos XX until 8:00 pm, mixed drink specials all night and discounts on food after midnight.
- Rock and Roll Hotel – Halloween & Costume Party! Entertainment will include: Captured! By Robots, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, and Bonjour, Ganesh!. Doors open at 8:00 pm and the show starts at 9:00 pm.
- Palace of Wonders – Friday, October 30, they will have The Titled Torch Spook-o-Rama! “See belly dancing by Belladonna that will make any red-blooded ghoul stop in his tracks, Delia Aces will cast a spell on you with her wicked burlesque moves, bone-chilling aerial tricks by Moria Lee, sinister fire play by Malibu, and creepy cunning fire movements by Miss Joule. Our MC for the evening is none other then the spooktacular Shortstaxx.” The doors open at 6:00 pm and the show starts at 10:00 pm. Price is $10.00.
- Palace of Wonders – On Saturday, October 31, check out the New York Nightmare On H St Halloween Burlesque Show! The doors open at 6:00 pm, the show starts at 9:00 pm, and the cost is $20.
- The Red and the Black – Free admission to to anyone who dresses up as a character from Road House. Special performance by the Swayze, A Tribute To Road House. Doors open at 8:00 pm and the show starts at 9:00 pm.
I saw on MOTH this morning that Ghost Tours is adding a second kids ghost tour on Sunday @ 11am to make up for the one spoiled by the terrible weather last weekend.
Yes, tis true. He posted as such on his Facebook page. Hopefully it will not rain, as last weekend it was miserable. Ghastly, not Ghostly.
Quite true, we are adding the second kid’s tour this weekend, Sunday at 11 am. We’re happy to take walk-ups but if you want to be sure of a slot email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We learned a few things about giving ghost tours this weekend, though. Foggy, misty rain = good. Relentless, freezing rain = bad.
I’m hearing news that Congressional Cemetery is going to do another round of ghost tours on Halloween day at 11:00 and 11:30 am.
trick or treaters up and down East Cap is great but it is 10th Street when they get scared.
@michael, tell us more about 10th st. I live on 10th (I don’t think we’re very scary), but don’t have kids, so I don’t really know the good or scary trick or treating routes.
Walter Street SE is a great block for trick or treating.
Congressional Cemetery added more tours times for its Halloween Tour: Saturday October 31st at 11:00 and 11:30 AM
Thanks, everyone for the extra details on events!
Some more info from Congressional Cemetery: “True tales from the crypts! Macabre and horrific tour of historic Washington DC brought to you by the Dozen Decent Docents of Historic Congressional Cemetery. Saturday, October 31st between 11:00AM and Noon. Tread lightly past the wrought iron gates to the Chapel to hear more about seances at the Lincoln White House, grave robbery, cannibalism, body snatching and more! Step inside the Public Vault, we promise not to lock you in – trust us!”
Just found out, Wisdom on Pennsylvania is going to have a masquerade ball on October 31st at 7pm– that sounds like fun (and bring a mask!)
any news on Hilloween 2010?
Not quite yet but stay tuned!