Halloween in Arlington: Eerie Events, Frightful Fun, and Staying Safe

Published on October 25, 2018

rawpixel-1048261-unsplash-e1540485966218.jpg Temperatures are (finally) falling, children are readying their Halloween costumes, and zombies are invading Bon Air Park — It's spooky season in Arlington.

From trick-or-treating tips, to fun and frightening events, to what to do with your pumpkins, Arlington is poised to be your Halloween headquarters.

Spooky Safety

Arlington technically does not have set hours for trick-or-treating, but you should expect to see costumed kids collecting candy in the later afternoon/evening hours, particularly after the sun sets, which on Oct. 31 is just past 6 p.m.

Whether you're out driving, in costume, or chaperoning kids, it's important to remember to #BEaPAL — predicative, alert, and lawful.

Our friends at WalkArlington have helpful tips for everyone who will be out:

  • Drive and bike SLOWLY — There will be many more people of all ages walking around on Halloween than your typical weekday evening, so be sure to take extra care.

  • Lighten up! — Reflective accents can be added to costumes to help you be seen. As well, carrying glow sticks or flashlights can be helpful as they not only help others see you, but help you see in the dark as well.

  • Be lawful at intersections — This goes for everyone.

Additionally, the Arlington County Police Department wants you to have a safe and fun celebration with these tips.

As always, officers will be out in your neighborhoods. If you need police assistance, call 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency.

ACPD will be holding a Halloween trick-or-TWEET. Follow along with the police department's haunts on Twitter and Facebook, and at the hashtag, #tweetsonpatrol.

Eerie Events

We all know Halloween can't be contained to just one night, especially in Arlington County. Get in the spirit at some of these events leading up to All Hallows' Eve:

  • Sleepy Hollow at Synetic Theater"The dominant spirit, that haunts this enchanted region ... is the apparition of a figure on horseback, without a head."  Synetic Theater's Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili applies his unique brand of storytelling to a wholly American tale for the first time with Sleepy Hollow, the classic story of the Headless Horseman, now open through Nov. 3.

  • Dia de Muertos — Celebrate the Day of the Dead on Oct. 27 with a night of family fun at Long Branch Nature Center. Make calaveras, the decorative sugar skull masks and costumes, enjoy holiday snacks and see some night animals up close. Afterward, go on a fun night hike through the candlelit forest. This is a bilingual event. Register online with Activity #: 612958-M

  • Halloween History Ghost Tour — The oldest house in Arlington invites you to travel back in time for a scary, hair-raising (and interactive!) historic ghost tour. This free event will take place around the Glencarlyn neighborhood, as various bards of the bizarre spin spooky tales based on historical legend. Oct. 27, 6-8 p.m.

  • UFOs, Cryptids and Ghosts, Oh My! — Just in time for Halloween, join certified Cryptozoologists Scott Fallon, Dr. Marc Black, and Chad Umbach of the Alexandria Cryptozoology and Paranormal Society (ACAPS) as they talk about the local folklore surrounding UFOs, Cryptids and the Paranormal. Oct. 29, 7 p.m., Columbia Pike Branch Library

MORE: Check out StayArlington's list of 11 Spooky Halloween Events In Arlington.

Frightful Family Fun

  • Día De Los Muertos with Coco — Join Arlington Public Library for an after hours family fun event with fun crafts such as sugar skull painting, flower crowns, cookie decorating and many more.There will be a photo booth available so you can capture the moment, followed by the award winning movie Coco. Oct. 26, 6 p.m., at Columbia Pike Branch Library

  • Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt — Trip open to Arlington Middle and High school students. Participants will enjoy all the attractions of the amusement park during the day and some of the added Halloween themed options at dark. Oct. 27. To register call 703-228-4747, or visit registration.arlingtonva.us; Use activity code: 720219-B

  • Encore Stage & Studio Costume Caper 5K — Get into the Halloween spirit with an annual 5K run/walk and 1k kids run. Enjoy a run on the scenic W&OD trail through Bluemont Park while supporting "theatre by kids, for kids" in your community. All runners and walkers are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes (prizes will be awarded!)! Oct. 27, 8 a.m. Register

  • Families Unplugged: Clay Gargoyles — Join experts from the Community Arts team as they guide you and your family through a clay gargoyle project and a hanging bat craft that will make great additions to your Halloween decor. Oct. 27, 10 a.m. Register online or by phone at 703-228-4747 Use activity code 730019-D

  • Halloween Storytime — Seasonal stories, songs, and fingerplays to celebrate Halloween. Dress in costume for a Halloween parade around the Library. Oct. 27, 11 a.m. Shirlington Branch Library 

  • Spooky Storytime — Come in costume to the Westover Branch Library to make a craft, listen to a spooky story, and practice trick-or-treating. Oct. 27, 1 p.m.

Post Pumpkin Party

Give your Jack-o'-lantern new life after Halloween by dropping it off for composting. The Arlington County Solid Waste Bureau will use the organic results in parks and other landscaping endeavors. The drop-off is part of the free monthly services — including free paper shredding — at the Earth Products Recycling Yard in Shirlington.

  • Remove decorations, candles, paint and other inorganic materials prior to drop-off.

  • Pumpkin composting drop-off is for Arlington residents only.

  • No commercial establishments.

The Solid Waste Bureau will also accept pumpkins through food scraps drop-off during normal business hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.