Things to do in DC October 24-30: Halloween, festivals, parties

Happy Monday everyone!

It’s time to get into the Halloween spirit! There are a ton of fun ghostly activities to do this week with your kids and pets, or you can dress up and go to any number of haunted dance parties around town with your friends. Who knows, you might be scary enough to win a best-dressed contest.

Best things to do this week

  1. Opening of the Rubell Museum DC. The new 32,000 square feet Rubell D.C. Museum will open to the public this weekend. The museum’s collection includes over 7,400 contemporary works by over 1,000 artists. The museum is located in what was the former Cardozo Elementary School and then Randall High School between 1906 and 1978. Guests can view the inaugural “What’s Going On” exhibit (Sat-Sun, free for DC residents, other tickets $10+, Southwest DC). Here are three things to know before you leave.
  2. PumpkinPalooza. Pumpkin party alert! You and the kids can pick your own pumpkins, eat delicious food, watch a movie screening of Hocus Pocusdance to live music and participate in a seasonal scavenger hunt at Alethia Tanner Park PumpkinPalooza. And there’s a pop-up beer garden for adults (game, free, NoMa).
  3. 17th Street High Heel Race. The directory High heel race down 17th Street is back for its 35th year. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs are hosting the event, along with Rayceen Pendarvis and Citrine the Queen, to celebrate the diversity of DC’s LGBTQ+ community. You can watch the lively parade down Church Street, then head out to cheer on the high-heeled costumed drag queens, drag kings and community members (Tuesday, free, Cercle Dupont). More, Lyle hosts a Sole Pop-up Spa pre-race party which includes foot massages and cocktails, and a midnight brunch after the race (Tuesday, $25 for spa party, Dupont Circle).
  4. Día de los Muertos family day. Who doesn’t like to party in a museum? Watch live performances by Ballet Folklorico Mi Herencia Mexicana, Mariachi Aguila DC, and Sol y Rumba, while enjoying face painting for all ages and arts and crafts at the Día de los Muertos Family Day (Sat, Free, Virtual and Smithsonian American Art Museum).
  5. Halloween costume party. Capital One Center is hosting a giant Halloween costume party this weekend. Halloweekend at Perchoir will feature live music, spooky golf, pumpkin painting, face painting, a pie contest and a bouncy house. Later in the evening there will be college game viewing nights and a film screening. Customers are also encouraged to bring their pets in disguise. Adoptable dogs from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue will be present at the event (Saturday, Free, Tysons).
Photographed by ucpage/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Want more things to do?

Economic. Learn how to make fall southern farmhouse recipes while celebrating National Pumpkin Day in a talk about book with author Brian Noyes (Wed, $5, Mount Pleasant). I know you’re in the Halloween spirit right now, but the winter holidays are already loading up. Be on the front line for a lottery ticket to attend the 100th National Christmas Tree Lighting (Tuesday, free, virtual).

Halloween festivities. Laugh out loud at a murder mystery comedy show (Wed, $25, Northwest DC). Discover spooky discoveries and have fun with science at Air & Scare (Sat, free, Chantilly). If haunted houses and the woods aren’t your thing, then you can let off steam in a 80s Halloween Dance Party (Saturday, $15+, Northwest DC). The Nightmare at Navy Yard the party is nearly sold out, but you can still get an all-access pass (Saturday, $85, Navy Yard). Watch a scary Movie and get a free herbal gift (Thursday, $5, Northwest DC). Sip natural wine and eat a free pizza at a Halloween wine party (Saturday, $75+, Northwest). Party at a hotel in the spirit of all things macabre (Saturday, $25, Northwest DC). Go to one Halloween party to support a cause. Proceeds help support the DC Abortion Fund (Thursday, $20, Northwest DC).

Arts and culture. Create your own laptop holiday inspired artwork with your children (free game, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden). Watch a conversation with authors Ross Gay and Clint Smith about Gay’s new book, Encourage joy (Wednesday, free, MLK Library). Explore the complexity of interpersonal relationships through the works of eight contemporary artists in the new exhibition “Kinship(Friday-Sunday, free, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery). See “opposing forces” and join a conversation between artists Julie Wolfe and Tim Doud (Saturday, Free, Northwest DC).

Theater and shows. Have you ever attended a science comedy show? If not, here’s your chance to laugh hilarious science stories and songs (Tuesday, $10, Northwest DC).

History and heritage. Dia de los Muertos approaching and local festivities are underway! Raise a glass to celebrate at a Mexican-Inspired Cocktail Classes (Wed, $65, Northwest DC). Or continue the Day of the Dead events at Hook Hall Lucha Libre Mexican Wrestling two day party (Sat-Sun, $20, Northwest DC).

Music and concerts. Listen to a live choir at ” Tomorrow ! » : a reflection on hope and resilience (Fri-Sat, $25+, downtown). See violinist Midori in concert (Sun, $90+, Kennedy Center). The US Navy Orchestra performs at the Hylton Performing Arts Center (Fri, free, Manassas). Get tickets to see a Haitian-Canadian musician wesli (Sun, $25, Northwest DC). Washington Bach Consort in collaboration with soloists perform Orpheus Britannicus at the National Presbyterian Church (Sun, $10+, Northwest DC).

Halloween fun for pets. Dress up in costume with your four-legged best friends to enter a Costumed Puppy Contest at Bark Social followed by a social sugar cookie decorating the next day (Monday-Tuesday, contest is free, cookie event is $15, Bethesda). Or you can wear your cute outfits on weekends DJ dance party (Saturday, Free, Bethesda). Spend an enchanted evening in a haunted forest which includes a “puppuccino” ticket for your dog (Thursday, $55, Alexandria). Go to Howl (Saturday, $35, children under 5 are free, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden).

To be involved. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Prince George’s County continues its Prince George goes pink campaign and events until the end of the week to raise awareness and uplift women and men in need (Tues-Thurs, free, locations vary). Also African Women’s Cancer Awareness Association hosts a fundraising gala that includes music, food, and a hair art exhibit (Fri, $100, College Park).

If you enjoyed these events, don’t forget to share this post with a friend on social networks, and Subscribe to our newsletter for more things to do.

Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide specializing in researching DC’s history and culture. She is the author of the Black History Book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C.a story that first appeared in the Washingtonian in 2016.

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