The nights are getting longer, a chill is cooling the air, and jack-o’-lanterns are jumping out … Halloween season has arrived.

Jack-o’-lanterns in Washington, D.C.

© Provided by NBC Washington D.C.

Jack-o’-lanterns in Washington, D.C.

Although the coronavirus pandemic means we’ll have to take extra precautions this year, plenty of haunts are casting spells to make the spooky season safer.

Check out these ways to celebrate in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

What to Know

  • Coronavirus is still spreading through the D.C.-area community, so take steps to stay healthy when going out
  • Wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and maintain six feet of distance from others. Don’t go out if you feel sick
  • Situations are constantly changing, so check with each event or attraction’s social distancing rules and schedule to make sure it works for you and your family

Washington, D.C.

Foot Tours Through DC

Various times and locations

Topics like True Crimes & Scandals of DC and Ghosts of Georgetown are made for Halloween season.

The tours are outside, and attendees should wear face masks.

Drive-In and Outdoor Movies in D.C.:

Capitol Riverfront Drive-In Movie Series

Akridge Lot, 1880 2nd St. SW

The Capitol Riverfront’s drive-in movies take a spooky turn ahead of Halloween. Catch the original 1931 classics “Frankenstein” and “Dracula” on Oct. 16 or Jordan Peele’s R-rated horror flick “Us.” On Oct. 30, they’ll show a Halloween-themed movie chosen by voters.

“Halloween SZN” at Park Up DC

RFK Campus Lot 5, 2400 E. Capitol St. SE

Check out RFK drive-in “Halloween SZN” for both family-friendly flicks and Halloween horror classics. Shows are on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through October. Tickets run $29-$45 per car.

Sunset Cinema at the Wharf

The Wharf, Southwest D.C.

Get a group of 2-6 people together and head down to the cabanas at Cantina Bambina. Reservations are $10 per person, which includes popcorn and a beer. That counts toward the $20 minimum-per-person purchase on snacks and drinks. Movies will show on Thursday nights.

October’s showings include “Knives Out,” “Hocus Pocus” and “Beetlejuice.”


Fall Frolic at Lee Fendall House

Saturday, Oct. 24; admissions are hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

614 Oronoco St., Alexandria, Virginia

Bring the kids in costumes for socially distant trick-or-treating, crafts and a photo booth. Timed tickets start at $5 per adult and $15 per child.

Field of Screams

Weekends plus select Thursday nights through Nov. 7

4501 Olney-Laytonsville Road, Olney, Maryland

Dare to traverse the Haunted Trail or Trail of Terror at one of Maryland’s biggest annual haunted attractions — this year, it’s entirely outside.

Each ticket admits up to six people and costs $250-$275 depending on the day and time slot you choose. Masks are required. To maintain social distancing, the park will keep you grouped with your friends and family while you wait and during your walk on the haunted trail.

Ghosts of Alexandria Tour

Fridays in October, 7 p.m.

Old Town Alexandria

Wind through “haunted” Old Town Alexandria to learn about the “lingering spirits” and lore of his historic area. Tickets cost $15 per adult or $8 per child. You can also check out cemetery tours.

Grief and Ghost Tours

Oct. 23-24, 30-31, departing every half-hour from 7-9 p.m.

614 Oronoco St., Alexandria, Virginia

This tour and talk about Victorian mourning customs certainly is fitting for the grim season. Tickets are $10 per person. Face masks are required.

Halloween Murder Mystery at Maggiano’s Tysons Corner

Thursday, Oct. 29, 7-10 p.m.

Maggiano’s Little Italy, 2001 International Drive, McLean, Virginia

Sit down for dinner and a murder mystery. Tickets are $75 and include a four-course meal and non-alcoholic drinks. Organizers say safety is priority number one and masks are required.

Nightmare Alley: Drive Thru Haunt 2020

Weekends in October; tickets are timed

Workhouse Arts Center, 9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton, Virginia

Billed as Northern Virginia’s first drive-in haunted house, the Workhouse Arts Center has adapted its annual scare-fest for the social-distancing age. Timed tickets cost about $60 per car and it runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Six Flags Fright Fest

Weekends in October; hours vary

Roller coasters and haunts? You have double the reasons to scream at Six Flag’s Fright Fest. Go during the day for family-friendly shows, a trick-or-treat trail, a corn maze and more. At night, the ghouls, zombies and killer clowns come out. One-day tickets start at $30.

All guests are required to wear masks. Expect temperature checks at the park.

Drive-In Movies in Virginia:

Alamo Drive-In

One Loudoun, 20575 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn, Virginia

“The Lost Boys” and “Hocus Pocus” for October. Admission is $30 for two people.

You may order refreshments online or via app, and an Alamo server will bring them to your car. Note that outside food or drink will not be permitted, with the exception of ready-to-eat items from neighboring One Loudoun merchants.


For Kids

Halloween Hooves and Horsepower Event

Saturday, Oct. 24, 1-3 p.m.

Madison Fields, 21355 Big Woods Road, Dickerson, Maryland

Dress up the whole family to drive around Madison Fields’ therapeutic horse farm and stop along the way for a photo booth, round-bale art, Halloween goodies and more. The organizers request a donation, and you should get a ticket online in advance.

Drive-In Movies in Maryland:

“Hocus Pocus” and “Beetlejuice” Double Feature

Saturday, Oct. 17, 6:30-11 p.m.

Historic Savage Mill, 8600 Foundry St., Savage, Maryland

Load up the car for a double feature of two Halloween classics, “Hocus Pocus” and “Beetlejuice.” Tickets are $30 per car and food trucks will be available on site.

Virtual Events

Eighties Mayhem Virtual Dance Party from the Black Cat

Saturday, Oct. 31, 9 p.m. to midnight

The Black Cat’s ‘80s-themed Halloween bash is moving online this year. Join the livestream for a Beetlejuise-themed dance party with music by DJ Steve EP, DJ MissGuided and Killa K. It will be streamed live on Twitch – no cover. All ages are welcome.

Virtual Shock from Shocktober

Make your house the haunted house with Shocktober’s virtual tour of Carlheim Manor. You can chose from celebrity-led tours on certain nights (starting at $10) or download episode packs starting at $25.

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