Halloween is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States, with Jack o' lanterns lining the streets, black and orange candy filling up the shops and costumed kids trick or treating. Where better to celebrate than in the nation's capital? If you're in Washington DC on or around this October 31st, there are plenty of spooky events to terrify and entertain.
One of the scariest is Fright at the Museum, held at the Crime Museum. Dedicated to the history of crime and law enforcement by day, the museum will become a haunted house this Halloween. Take a terrifying trip on their “Dead Men Walking” tour, if you dare! This special event runs from October 23rd until November 1st, and there are a variety of times to choose from, making it easy to link up with your Big Bus tour - the Crime Museum is just a six minute walk from Ford's Theatre (stop 20 on the red loop, and stop 28 on the yellow).
If you prefer a little less gore at Halloween, then head to Halloween at Carnegie Library. On the 31st of October, this historic library hosts a fright fest with bands, DJs, an open bar and four different party areas. Suitable for over 21s only, tickets should be booked in advance online. Join your celebrations up with your bus tour of Washington DC by hopping off at the Convention Center (stop 46 on the yellow tour). It's then just a three minute walk to the library, which is located within Mt. Vernon Square.
Another fun adults-only option is Night of the Living Zoo, at the National Zoo, held on Thursday October 30th. There'll be live performances from palm readers and fire eaters, as well as craft drinks, food trucks, and, of course, animals. The zoo is stop 50 on the green loop of your Big Bus Tour – and don't forget to dress up, as there'll be a costume contest on the night!
If you're on holiday with the family, the zoo is also hosting a child-friendly event between October 24th and 26th. At Boo in
the Zoo, you'll find plenty of spooky fun for the whole family, including trick or treating, goody bags, animal demonstrations and talks from zoo keepers. Book your tickets online in advance, as this is regularly a sell-out event!
Finally, take a ghost tour of the city for a little bit of history on Halloween. Washington Walks have a number of eerie tours taking place in the witching hour, allowing you to glimpse a different side to the city's past. Ghosts of the Octagon runs on both October 30th and 31st, and explains the creepy history of the Octagon, reputed to be Washington DC's most haunted house. Tours must be booked online, and cost $20 per person. If you'd rather just show up on the day, The Most Haunted Houses walk is another way to see this ghostly location, and runs daily at 19:30. Or you could explore the darker side of one of the city's oldest neighbourhoods with the Capitol Hauntings tour, which takes place on Saturdays at 19:30.