It’s Halloween weekend -- and National Champagne Day! -- and we’re still getting questions about choosing the “right” Halloween party to go to. You can browse our list of Halloween happenings for adults and kids, check out our picks for out-of-the-ordinary events, or read on for even more advice.
I’m looking for… a place to show off my awesome costume.
Halloween costumes can be more than a way to show off your creativity -- they can pay for a new winter wardrobe or even provide you with a weekend getaway. The biggest Halloween payday around is Hot 99.5’s annual Freek-o-Ween party, where the winner of the costume contest takes home a cool $5,000. The prize is awarded by audience vote, and you must be inside before midnight in order to compete. Runners up? Elliot in the Morning’s Halloween Bash at Clarendon Ballroom, which has a winner-take-all prize of $3,000, and Town’s GhostTown party, where the best-dressed nets $1,000.
You could also parlay that outfit into a way to escape D.C. weather: The Bottom Line is giving away a trip to Las Vegas (along with $2.50 Miller Lites and $3 shooters) at its Halloween Throw Down, and best overall costume at the Things to Do Graveyard Jam at the Hard Rock Cafe wins a weekend in Mexico.
I’m looking for … a party with a fun band.
Burnt Sienna and Mr. Greengenes are fixtures on the cover band circuit, and they’re co-headlining Saturday’s Monster Bash at Clarendon Ballroom. Blues-rock party band Lethal Peanut is featured at the free “Nightmare on Seventh Street” party at R.F.D. Old-school hair metal fans should head for Petworth, where Hair Raid will be playing Guns N Roses, Poison and Bon Jovi tunes at the Blue Banana. (Look out for $3 beers and $4 shooters as well as no cover charge.)
Something less rocking? Don’t miss Washington state’s Glenn Crytzer and His Syncopators, who perform ‘20s and ‘30s swing at Glen Echo’s Spanish Ballroom. You’ll get free Lindy Hop lessons and a chance to watch dancers reenact of the “Thriller” video.
I’m looking for … fancy drinks.
ChurchKey is serving up seasonal beers on Saturday night (with a costume contest) and sour/funky beers on Monday. The Passenger’s Saturday night festivities, dubbed Zombieopolis, include bartenders dressed as Greek gods and a dance party in the Warehouse Theatre, so I can hardly wait to see what kind of drinks they’ll be whipping up to go with the theme. American Ice Company’s Spirits in Black on Sunday night features original cocktails invented by some of D.C.’s top mixologists in addition to DJs spinning heavy metal tunes all night.
I’m looking for …something artier.
The Torpedo Factory’s Dia de los Muertos party combines the usual Halloween trappings (live music, costume contest, bar) with live painting and a display of Dia de los Muertos altars created by local and regional artists. The organizers of the Artomatic festival are bringing the Surreal Halloween Masquerade Party — think bands, DJs, art installations, an exhibit of “mind bending” paintings, a costume contest and an open bar to the Georgetown waterfront on Saturday night. (Note: You have to get tickets in advance.)
Meanwhile, on H Street NE, you can participate in a scavenger hunt at the street’s bars, restaurants and shops before watching free dance performances and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.
Still want more? You might also like: Our picks for the best kid-friendly Halloween events, places to find pumpkin-themed food, drinks and events (including pumpkin carving contests) and a transcript of yesterday’s Got Plans? chat with costume designer Kendra Rai and Sandy Smoker Duraes of Capitol Hill’s Backstage costume shop.