Top Halloween Events in Alexandria

IT’S ALIVE!!! Alexandria’s history, that is. Come Halloween, Alexandria’s rich  past comes to life as spirits walk the cobblestone streets and costumed guides lead brave souls on late-night tours of Old Town’s haunted hotspots. You could even say this town casts a spell over all who visit it, granting them the desire to return year after year for all the Halloween hoopla. One thing’s for sure: from trick-or-treating through the Old Town Boutique District to canine costume contests, you won’t want to miss out on all the “ghoul” Halloween festivities Alexandria has to offer!

See what’s brewing in Alexandria this Halloween:


Halloween for Hounds

Halloween-in-Alexandria-Bark-or-Treat-Canine-CruiseImage credit: Potomac Riverboat Co. 

Alexandrians know dogs just want to have fun, too. That’s why canine companions will find a lot more treats than tricks around Alexandria this Halloween—just pick up a goody bag at The Dog Park and lead your pooch around Old Town for the annual Doggy Trick or Treat (October 26, 1 p.m.-close of business).

Four-legged fashionistas can strut down the dog-walk at the Doggy Howl-o-ween Costume Contest at Jackson 20 on King Street (October 30, 5-8:30 p.m.). The finale of the Doggy Yappy Hour series, the contest benefits the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

Pooches who favor scenic views, hop aboard the Bark or Treat Halloween Canine Cruise! For one night only, costumed pups and their guests can enjoy a 40-minute ride around the Potomac, complete with Halloween tunes and doggie treats (October 30, 7 p.m.).  


Family-Friendly Festivities 

Halloween-in-Alexandria-Del-Ray-Halloween-ParadeImage credit: Flickr user 100wordminimum

Little monsters and their furry friends won’t have any toil or trouble finding treats to munch on this Halloween in Alexandria. In its annual “Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques,” the Old Town Boutique District dishes out sweets to goblins and ghouls of all ages (October 25, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.). Just a few blocks away, the Lee Fendall House will welcome young Frankensteins and other small spooks to its Halloween Pumpkin Hunt with hundreds of toy-filled Halloween pumpkins, crafts and scary stories (October 24-25, 5:30 p.m.).

For a truly historic treat, head to Mount Vernon, where George Washington’s estate open its doors for the first time to trick-or-treaters for a scavenger hunt, children’s costume parade, spooky storytelling, wagon rides and more (October 31, 3:30-6:30 p.m.).

To see the most creative costumes on display, check out the 18th Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade, flooding Mount Vernon Avenue with zombies, vampires, superheroes, princesses and costumed dogs galore (October 26, 2-4 p.m.).  


Scares of Historic Proportions

Halloween-in-Old-Town-Alexandria-Carlyle-FuneralImage credit: Katie Garlock

Old Town Alexandria’s colonial buildings and historic streets have kept many secrets over the years, and even harbored a haint or two. Gather your courage and embark on the Ghost and Graveyard Special Halloween Tour, which investigates the city’s many haunted locations and comes to a chill-inducing conclusion in the bedroom of the “Female Stranger” at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (October 24, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; tours run every 15 minutes).

Experience a truly chilly blast from the past in John Carlyle’s 1780 Funeral Reenactment, Vault Visit and Historical Haunt Tour of Alexandria. View the coffin of Alexandria co-founder John Carlyle at the Carlyle House, follow your guide into Alexandria’s rarely-seen underground vaults, and join the funeral procession on its way to a mock internment at Carlyle’s lantern-lit grave in the cemetery (October 25, 6-10 p.m.).

Did you know that “master of the macabre” Edgar Allan Poe paid a visit to Alexandria shortly before his death? You can experience Poe’s hair-raising tales at the Lyceum, where actor David Keltz reenacts Poe’s spine-tingling storytelling (October 30-31, 8 p.m.).


Find more Alexandria Halloween events here.

Header image by Kimpton Hotels.