Whether you have an award-winning costume or not, Halloween is one of the best nights of the year to go out and get a glimpse at how this buttoned-up city likes to cut lose in disguise. And while there are a few Halloween-specific events planned, most of the fun and action will take place at some of the area’s most popular bars and clubs (because who doesn’t love seeing a giant cow costume break-it-down on the dance floor?).
Here are our best picks for this year’s Halloween scene:
- Cobalt/ Level One (1639 R Street NW). Grab some dinner at Level One and then hit the bar at Cobalt. Both will be open.
- Policy (1904 14th Street NW). The bar and restaurant will be open; Karaoke upstairs starts at 9 pm.
- Lost Society (2001 14th Street NW). The upstairs will be open for a Halloween party; the downstairs restaurant will not be open.
- Café Saint-Ex (1847 14th Street NW). Cafe Saint-Ex will host a special bar contest with Bar Pilar (1833 14th Street NW) on Halloween night. The theme is Prince of Darkness vs. Queen of Pop. Dress to impress! There will be prizes for the best costumes. Make sure you get off of work early – the contest starts at 5 pm.
- Nellie’s (900 U Street NW). Nellie’s will have drink specials and a costume party on Halloween night.
- U Street Music Hall (1115A U Street NW). Catch Crookers with Nick Catchdubs and D.J. Yorker at 9 pm. Tickets are $20.
- Local 16 (1602 U Street NW). According to a hostess, “Halloween is our favorite holiday here.” Dress up and hang on the rooftop with a local bar that loves Halloween.
- Tropicalia (2001 14th Street NW). It’s a Halloween Discoteca with Beyond the 3rd Dimension, Will Eastman and Sammy Y + Ozker.
- 9:30 Club (815 V Street NW). Freelance Whales and Geographer go on at 6 pm, Rusko is at 11 pm.
- Black Cat (1811 14th Street NW). Electronic Six and Little Hurricane play at 8 pm.
- The Mansion on O Street (2020 O Street NW). The historic Mansion on O Street will host a Night of the Living Divas Drag Show on Halloween night from 5:30 until 11 pm. Tickets are $40 and include a glass of champagne, a costume party and the drag show. Prizes will be awarded for best costume, best couples costume, craziest shoes, most creative, scariest, zaniest, grossest, worst prom outfit and more. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the website.
- Shaw Main Streets Halloween Crawl (various locations). This event takes place on Saturday, October 27 from noon until 6 pm, but is one not to be missed. The event will be hosted at seven venues, including American Ice Company (917 V Street NW), Bistro Bohem (600 Florida Avnue NW), The Brixton (901 U Street NW), Duffy’s Irish Pub (2106 Vermont Avenue NW), Etete Ethiopian Cuisine (1942 9th Street NW), Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U Street NW) and Shaw’s Tavern (520 Florida Avenue NW). Each venue will feature food and drink specials and drawings for prizes. Tickets are $25 online and $30 at the door (the first stop is Duffy’s). Proceeds support the Shaw Main Streets historic fire and police call box project.