D.C. Death Cafe at the Potter’s House: There are a lot of silly, tongue-in-cheek events celebrating the ghosts, ghouls and hauntings around Halloween, but if you want to have an honest and open discussion about one of the underlying (and taboo) topics of the holiday — death — then this meeting of the minds is for you. The chat is led by D.C. resident Nicole Heidbreder, who is an instructor at Johns Hopkins University and a hospice and labor & delivery nurse. 6 p.m. Free.
Tuesday, Oct. 30
‘Anastasia’ at Kennedy Center: The mystery of the Romanov dynasty continues to inspire (the new TV show from the creator of “Mad Men” is about possible descendants of the Russian royal family, after all). With its sumptuous costumes and backdrops, the Broadway musical “Anastasia” — based on the 1997 animated film and the 1956 Ingrid Bergman movie of the same name — comes to the Kennedy Center. The musical, about an orphan named Anya who tries to discover the secrets of her past life, is a more grown-up spin on the cartoon, but some of the songs fans remember are here, like “Journey to the Past.” Through Nov. 25. $49-$175.
17th Street High Heel Race at 17th Street NW between R and P streets: The course for the High Heel Race is 0.1 mile long, and it usually takes less than a minute for the winning drag queen’s size 14EEE pumps to cross the finish line. But sprinting is only one piece of this 32-year-old Dupont Circle tradition: Spectators line the sidewalks and beer gardens along 17th Street NW hours before the race, marveling at the elaborate costumes worn by the race participants, who turn the closed-off street into a runway, strutting up and down in their towering heels, before heading to the starting line at 9 p.m. The mayor’s office has taken over the race, which has some longtime LGBTQ advocates worried about the event being politicized (longtime organizer Dave Perruzza is still involved this year). For now, though, it’s an event that few would dream of missing. 7 to 9 p.m. Free.
Wednesday, Oct. 31
Trick-or-treating on Embassy Row: To outsiders, embassies along Massachusetts Avenue NW might look unfriendly with their guards and heavy iron gates, but newcomers to Washington are often told that on Halloween night, these buildings open their doors to groups of trick-or-treaters and lavish them with foreign candy and gifts. The truth is kind of a mixed bag: The Korean Embassy’s Cultural Center, for example, rolls out the red carpet with Korean candies, cultural activities and access to its exhibits for a crowd of “mostly college students” until 4 or 5 p.m., while other embassies stay locked. It’s a roll of the dice, but it might pay off. During business hours along Massachusetts Avenue NW between Dupont Circle and Observatory Circle. Free.
Superfine! Art Fair at Union Market: After hitting New York and Miami, Superfine! Art Fair debuts in Washington with the goal of connecting young art lovers on a budget with emerging artists — as seen through such panels as “Art Over Avocado Toast: How to Build a Great Collection on a Millennial’s Budget.” More than 300 artists will display their works at 70 booths, and prices start at about $100 (the majority of the pieces are less than $5,000). This weekend-long show at Union Market kicks off with a masquerade party on Halloween, and events within the fair include a short-film festival and an ice cream social. Through Sunday. $12-$55.
Frankenreads at the Library of Congress: In honor of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s classic tale “Frankenstein,” venues across the world have been holding readings and performances of the cultural touchstone. The marquee event of “Frankenreads” fittingly takes place on Halloween at the Library of Congress, when the full text of Shelley’s work will be read aloud from morning to night. It is estimated to take nine to 10 hours, and curious onlookers are free to drop in and out throughout the day. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free.
Pumpkin carving at Red Derby: Feeling too old for trick-or-treating but still want some staples of the holiday? Get yourself to Red Derby on Halloween where you can carve out some spooky pumpkin designs. And as a bonus, the bar will have the original 1978 “Halloween” on the screen as you work. 7 p.m. Free.
Thursday, Nov. 1
Pulse at Hirshhorn: Your own heartbeat and fingertips will be integral to Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s exhibition, which will fill the Hirshhorn’s second level with immersive technology that turns biometric signatures into art. In “Pulse Room,” for example, hundreds of lightbulbs blink in time with the heartbeats of past visitors, while “Pulse Tank” turns visitors’ heart rates into ever-changing ripples illuminated on gallery walls. This will be the museum’s largest interactive technology exhibition to date. Through April 28. Free.
Día de los Muertos celebration at National Portrait Gallery: The National Portrait Gallery’s monthly After Five gathering turns its attention to Mexico’s Day of the Dead, with traditional and contemporary Mexican music by local band Los Gallos Negros, a performance from the Maru Montero Dance Company, and arts and craft activities for children and adults. Food and drinks are available for purchase in the Kogod Courtyard’s cafe. 5:30 to 7 p.m. Free.
Friday, Nov. 2
‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’ at Freer Gallery of Art: The District is already home to great art house cinemas, but one of the best kept secrets is that some of the most interesting film programming comes courtesy of the Smithsonian museums. The Freer is showing “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” the second film from director Bi Gan, who is already being lauded as one of China’s most prodigious filmmakers. Critics praised the film’s innovative visual style when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. The signature moment comes halfway through the movie, when the film’s protagonist enters a theater and puts on 3-D specs — at the same time, the viewer is asked to do the same — and goes on a surreal journey that is captured in a 59-minute uninterrupted take. 7 p.m. Free.
Founders’ CBS 2018 Release Party at ChurchKey: One of D.C.’s best beer bars is the natural site to host the release of one of the country’s most beloved beers. Michigan’s Founders Brewing Company — you’ve probably had one of their All Day session IPAs — is probably best known for its string of annual special release (and limited quantity) breakfast stouts. This year’s Canadian Breakfast Stout combines coffee and chocolate and is aged in bourbon barrels that once housed Michigan maple syrup. Try it alongside the 2017 version, as well as Founders’ popular Kentucky Breakfast Stout. 4 p.m. Free admission; drafts priced individually by the glass and in four-ounce tasting pours.
‘Hocus Pocus’ at Union Market: If you aren’t yet sick of Halloween, check out a beloved movie of the season in which three evil witches return to Salem, Mass., after three centuries and it’s up to a group of kids to stop them. This is the last drive-in movie event of the year at Union Market; the parking lot opens up at 5:30 p.m. so you can park and take trip around the market to stock up on snacks for the film. Lot opens 5:30 p.m., lot closes promptly at 7:45, film begins 8. $10 parking fee per car, walk-ups are free.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin and Fritz Hahn