Hosting a pumpkin carving party is a great way to start turning coworkers and acquaintances into friends.
With so many fun DC area events centered around fall, it’s just a shame that there’s only one month to take advantage of them.
People in DC, especially those with kids, love their pumpkin patches. And what’s not to love? Pumpkins, cider, corn mazes, hay rides, etc.
Cox Farms in Centreville, VA, is the most popular, so be prepared for crowds, especially if you go on a weekend. Also, they say that a pumpkin is included with the cost of admission, but it’ll be one that’s too small to carve, and those that are bigger are generally overpriced, so I suggest buying them elsewhere.
Other festivals include, but are not limited to Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, MD, Sharp’s at Waterford Farm in Howard County, MD, and Burke’s Nursery and Garden Centre in Burke, VA.
Enjoy Fall Colors
Many people head to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to enjoy fall colors. Hiking Old Rag is one of the most popular activities; it takes roughly four and six hours and reveals some gorgeous views. Make note, however, that it can get extremely crowded, so I suggest setting your alarm clock and heading there early. Last fall I had to wait in a line for 45 minutes (that’s not a typo) at the top of the trail to go through a narrow portion. Also, have some cash to pay a nominal parking fee. For those less active-inclined, cruising Skyline Drive is a nice alternative.
A closer and less crowded option is Brookside Botanical Gardens in Wheaton, MD. It’s gorgeous, peaceful and free. And, of course, there’s always the National Arboretum, which is a great place to explore by bike.
Nearby amusement parks create a shoulder season by offering Halloween-themed events. Six Flags in Maryland has Fright Fest and King’s Dominion in Virginia promotes its Halloween Haunt.
The National Zoo has its annual Boo at the Zoo, which is a trick-or-treating event. It costs $30 for non-FONZ members.
There’s plenty of haunted houses, hayrides and trails throughout the region. A couple options include Markoff’s Haunted Forest in Poolesville, MD, and Bennett’s Curse in Jessup, MD.
DC’s Halloween bar hop called Nightmare on M Street is really popular. A true rooky mistake is to go to M Street in Georgetown for this event, as it’s actually in Dupont. And be ready for some serious crowds and long lines at the bars.
Professionals in the City will also be hosting it’s annual Halloween party, Mayhem and Madness, at K Street Lounge.