Spooky Season in Arlington: Halloween 2021

Published on October 26, 2021

Halloween pumpkin with facemask

Another spooky season has come to Arlington County, and while it is certainly feeling a step closer to normal, there are still some things to keep in mind to help minimize COVID-19 risk.

There are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health, highlighted here by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible.

With Halloween lurking just around the corner, we've compiled some ways to make the most of your trick-or-treating, frightening fun, and safe spookiness in Arlington.


As Arlington's younger population transforms into ghouls, ghosts, and goblins, it's important for everyone to keep in mind some trick-or-treating tips. While Arlington doesn't have set hours for trick-or-treating, you should expect the candy crusade to coincide with the sunset, which on Oct. 31, 2021, is just after 6 p.m.

For those of you on Nextdoor, check out its Treat Map, a guide for who in your neighborhood plans to celebrate Halloween either by passing out treats or decorating.

Halloween handout.jpg Halloween Safety Tips to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19

One of the easiest ways to stay safe from COVID-19 is to choose lower-risk activities, like these ideas from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).  

  • Decorating pumpkins outside with family and neighbors
  • Visiting a pumpkin patch or orchard
  • Watching a scary movie at home
  • Hosting a virtual costume contest
  • Decorating Halloween cookies

When trick-or-treating, VDH encourages staying outside, bringing hand sanitizer, and for unvaccinated children to wear a mask (or have one with them in case they visit crowded locations). 

If you’re planning to hand out candy this year, it is recommended that you stand at least 6 feet away from the candy bowl, consider wearing a mask (especially if you are unvaccinated), and encourage kids to choose sweets one at a time.

Stay Safe & Spooky This Halloween

From our friends at Arlington County Police Department: Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, except when it comes to the safety of our community members. Ahead of this year's Halloween Festivities on Sunday, Oct. 31, ACPD is sharing ways to ensure you and your family can stay safe on the spookiest of holidays. 

  • See and be seen! Select bright costumes, add reflective tape and/or carry flashlights and glow sticks.
  • Plan your trick-or-treat route in advance. Stick to familiar neighborhoods and well-lit streets. 
  • Never send children out alone. Younger children should be with a trusted adult. Ensure older children take friends and stay together.
  • Walk on sidewalks and cross at corners, using traffic signals and/or crosswalks.
  • Motorists are encouraged to slow down, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn on your headlights earlier in the evening to spot children from greater distances.   

To help spread the message that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, the Arlington County Police Department, in partnership with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), is hosting a Halloween anti-drunk driving event to highlight the impact alcohol has on motor skills. This free event is open to the public and will take place on Friday, Oct. 29, at the intersection of N. Hudson Street and Wilson Boulevard, beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Eerie Events

Need ideas and inspiration on how to celebrate Halloween this year? Check out one of these eerie events from our friends at Parks and Rec: 

  • Deep Dive: Zombies of the Natural World - Oct. 27, 7 p.m. - Explore real-life zombies in celebration of Halloween.
  • Haunted Prague - Oct. 28, 1 p.m. - Take a tour of the cobblestone streets where tales of magic and mystery are found at every turn.
  • Virginia Ghosts Campfire - Oct. 29, 5 p.m. - The whole family is invited to the Fort C.F. Smith Park fire ring for lots of old-fashioned fun and, of course, S’mores. 
  • Fear Factor - Oct. 31, 12 p.m. - Join a naturalist for a challenging and fun nature program filled with creepy crawlies, slimy specimens and more.

Get crafty with these spooky projects to do at home!

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