Although there are plenty of Halloween events in the Capital Region that are appropriate for all ages, especially families, there are also several adult-only celebrations in northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. at the end of October and in early November this year.
If you're traveling to the area this Halloween (or Day of the Dead) season without kids and looking for a place to get dressed up in fun or scary costumes, these parties, events, and festivals offer everything from drinking and dancing to out-of-this-world terrors in honor of the haunted holiday. However, be sure to check each event's website for information about ticketing, attendance guidelines like dress codes, and up-to-date information about the party itself.
The Giant Halloween Graveyard Jam is one of the biggest adult holiday dance parties happening in Washington, D.C. this October. Hosted by Things to Do D.C. on the last Saturday night in October each year, the Graveyard Jam is a huge party featuring a costume contest with prizes including a trip to the Carribean, DJ music, and dancing.
Throughout the night, guests will also have access to other entertainment options like pumpkin party games, free drawings done by a caricaturist from Frankenstein's Castle, and tons of giveaways. While costumes are not required to attend, you'll be sorely out of place among the thousand costumed guests if you don't dress up.
For information about ticketing, hours, and location of this year's event, visit the official Things to Do D.C. Facebook page closer to the last weekend in October.
Each year for Halloween, the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., stays open late for the Night of the Living Zoo event, which features live music as well as bone-chilling performance art including palm readers, fire eaters, talking bats, and illusionists.
Night of the Living Zoo takes place on Friday, October 25, 2019, from 7 to 10:30 p.m. and is only available to guests over the age of 21. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes as they wander through the animal habitats and stop by the beer, wine, and food truck area that will be set up on-site during the event.
If you're in the mood for cheap drinks with large groups of costumed partiers, head to Dupont Circle for this year's Nightmare on M Street bar crawl, which takes place on Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 1 to 8 p.m. The crawl includes stops at the area's best bars, which will be covered in terrifying Halloween decor, and participants are encouraged to dress as ghouls and goblins.
Tickets for this crawl—which must be purchased in advance—grant access to great drink specials at all participating bars as well as some custom souvenirs from the event organizer. Attendees will be given wristbands at the start of the event but should review the rules and guidelines for the crawl before attending. Venues featured at this year's event include Rewind, Dirty Bar, Dirty Martini, Rosebar, City Tap, Blackfin Ameripub, and Eden.
Located on the Georgetown Waterfront, Nick's Riverside Grill in Washington, D.C. hosts a spooky and fun holiday party each year on the Friday before Halloween. This means that in 2019, Nick's Halloween Bash will take place on October 25 from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Dress in your best costume for a night of drink specials, a finger-food buffet, live DJs, and a costume contest. Prize giveaways include tickets to Nick's New Year's Eve Bash, a $50 cash prize, gift cards to local restaurants, and tickets to ride the Boomerang Boat. Tickets are available at the door and include access to the buffet and entrance into the contest.
Each year, the Synetic Theater in Arlington, Virginia, hosts a party known as The Vampire's Ball for the cast, crew, and audience of its annual Halloween production. The event also includes an open bar, light snacks, a chance to meet the cast and crew, and a costume contest. Come to the performance in your most theatrical outfit and you could go home with the night's biggest prize.
Now in its 13th year, the Vampire's Ball invites audience members to stay after the Friday night performance on October 18, 2019. This year's production is a new adaptation of "The Tempest" that's making its debut on September 25 and closes on October 20.
Each year, Mer Events hosts a giant costume contest and dance party for free on the weekend before or during Halloween. In 2019, the Halloween Costume and Dance Party takes place at The Living Room bar in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, October 26, from 5 to 10 p.m. Bottle service and drinks from the bar cost extra, but admission to the event is free with advanced registration online.
One part theme party and one part comedy show, the "HA!lloween: Beers, Costumes, and Killer Jokes" event returns in 2019 for its sixth year starting at 7 p.m. on Halloween night. Hosted by the Bier Baron Tavern and Comedy Loft in Washington, D.C., this delightfully unique Halloween extravaganza features a killer lineup of local comics as well as a costume contest, mummy wrap, and other lightly macabre activities. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and although costumes are highly encouraged, they are not required to attend.