It’s Friday, Oct. 1, or more importantly: the start of Halloween month.
While locals start the scramble to put together their spooky decorations and costumes, Visit Alexandria has put together a rundown for ghostly activities and family friendly haunts around town. Events range from parades to plays, from the streets of Del Ray to the depths of Ivy Hill cemetery.
The big event of the season is the Del Ray Halloween Parade, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. The parade runs along Mount Vernon Avenue to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center (2701 Commonwealth Avenue). Children, pets and strollers are invited to march in the parade in costume, with awards given for best pet costumes, best decorated businesses, best decorated home and best decorated stroller.
Several trick or treating events are also planned around town, including:
- Old Town Trick or Treat by Old Town Business Association: Saturday, Oct. 23, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
- 8th Annual Doggie Trick of Treat: Sunday, Oct. 24, from 1-5 p.m. Costumed dogs are welcome to come to the Old Town dog park (705 King Street) to sample treats from local stores.
- “Boo Bags” at Horray for Books!: Sunday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Horray for Books! (1555 King Street)
- Trick of Treat at Carlyle House: Sunday, Oct. 31 from 4-6 p.m. at Carlyle House (121 N. Fairfax Street)
There are several festive events around town included in the Visit Alexandria rundown as well.
- Raven’s Night at the Birchmere: Saturday, Oct. 16, starting at 7:30 p.m at The Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Avenue). The Birchmere’s Raven’s Night event is coming back for its 10th year, with a mix of belly dancing, live music, and a pre-show carnival. This year’s theme is “Coven” with a witchcraft and wizardry theme. Tickets are $45 per person.
- “Wait Until Dark” at The Little Theatre of Alexandria: Wednesdays, starting Oct. 16 through Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. at The Little Theater of Alexandria (600 Wolfe Street). The Little Theatre is hosting a production of “Wait Until Dark”, a play about a blind woman alone in her apartment facing off against a crew of con men. Tickets are $21-$24 per person, and all patrons are required to wear a mask through the show.
- Halloween Ball and Anniversary Celebration at Barkhaus: Thursday, Oct. 21, from 7:30-10 p.m. at Barkhaus (529 E. Howell Avenue). Barkhaus is hosting an appropriately dog-focused Halloween event, with guests asked to dress formally with “Halloween twists” on their costumes. Dogs are encouraged to dress up as well. Tickets are $75.
- Poems and Stories of Edgar Allan Poe: Thursday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 30, from 7-8 p.m. at Ivy Hill Cemetery (2823 King Street). The Guillotine Theatre’s “Poe Outside the Vault” program returns, with actors reading through works by poet Edgar Allan Poe. Seating is limited and guests can RSVP at [email protected] Tickets are $20.
- Boos & Booze at Cafe 44: Friday, Oct. 29 to Sunday, Oct. 31 at Cafe 44 (44 Canal Center Plaza). The cafe will be running a selection of craft cocktails. Costumes and reservations are encouraged.
- Fall Frolic: Saturday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m at the Lee-Fendall House (614 Oronoco Street). The Lee-Fendall House is hosting a seasonal event in the garden, with activities aimed at children ages 3-12. Tickets are $15 per person.
- Nightmare at Barkhaus: Saturday, Oct. 30, from 5-8 p.m. at Barkhaus (529 E. Howell Avenue). Barkhaus is also hosting an annual costume contest for dogs, with food and drink specials along with a dog runway. Admission is free.
There are at least two ghost tours available in Alexandria. The Ghost & Graveyard Tour starts today (Monday) at 7:30 p.m. and runs nightly through Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays there are additional tours at 8:30 and 9 p.m. The tour follows an 18th-century costumed guide through Old Town, telling ghost stories and local folklore along the way. The tour is for ages nine and up, with no pets allowed. Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, military and law enforcement, and $10 for children. Tours start at the Alexandria Visitor Center (221 King Street).
The Lee-Fendall House also offers a Grief & Ghost Tour on Friday, Oct. 22 and Saturday, Oct. 23 and Friday, Oct. 29 and Saturday, Oct. 30. Tours start at 7, 7:30, 8:30 and 9 p.m. The tour looks at Victorian mourning traditions, along with stories of tragic deaths and mystery at the Lee-Fendall House. Mourning rituals like covering mirrors and seances are explained. Tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance.
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