October is here and spooky season is in full swing! Washingtonians looking to embrace fall festivities in D.C. can rejoice: from apple-picking to haunted tours and raging concerts to delicious meals, Secret D.C. has rounded up the top things to do this month:
1. Relax to the sounds of classical music by candlelight
The Fever Originals Candlelight series is the perfect way to unwind. You can lose yourself in classical renditions of your favorite tunes amid soft candlelight. With multiple genres and musical themes to choose from, there’s bound to be a concert that’s perfect for you!
- Candlelight: Favorite Anime Themes
- Candlelight: A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics
- Candlelight: The Best of Hans Zimmer
- Candlelight Halloween Jazz: Haunted Soul Melodies
2. Feel the magic at Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience
A woodland trail inspired by the Forbidden Forest from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series will be debuting in Morven Park in Leesburg, VA. on Oct. 29. Inspired by the wizarding world, the Forbidden Forest will take guests through a magical woodland trail filled with curious creatures and characters from both popular series? Have you ever wanted to bow to a Hippogriff? This is your chance!
3. Stimulate your senses by dining in the dark
Looking for an exciting surprise? What’s more exciting than a blindfolded dinner? Dining in the Dark allows you to pick a surprise three-course meal based on your dietary preferences (green for vegan, blue for seafood, or red for meat) that will stimulate your senses!
4. Immerse yourself in renowned art
What could be more awe-inspiring than immersing yourself in your favorite art? The Immersive Van Gogh Experience and the Immersive Monet help you do just that! The exhibits use floor-to-ceiling projections to showcase each artist’s famous works, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in their art. Buy tickets to Van Gogh here or join the waitlist for Monet here!
5. Reenact your favorite show moments at The Office Experience
Step into the shoes of the World’s Best Boss with the interactive The Office Experience! With 17 realistic set representations — including the Dunder Mifflin office and Schrute Farms — you can reenact all of your favorite scenes, from Kevin’s chili spill to the coal walk. You can grab tickets here!
6. Witness art come to life at Mexican Geniuses: A Frida & Diego Immersive Experience
You can immerse yourself in the art and lives of renowned Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera at this stunning interactive experience. This 360-degree projection and multimedia art installation will give you a unique perspective into the duo’s art, culture, history, and inspirations.
7. Feel the vibrations of a 360-sound system at The Fluffy Cloud in D.C.
This experience is The Fluffy Cloud is an outdoor music festival unlike any other you’ve experienced before. Bringing top-notch live electronic performances beneath a hypnotizing LED fluffy cloud will transport you until you’re lost in the music!
8. Experience the magic of Authentic Flamenco by the Royal Opera of Madrid
An authentic flamenco experience is heading to D.C.! Brought to you by the Royal Opera of Madrid, you can lose yourself in this traditional Spanish flamenco show put on by renowned dancers and musicians.
9. Embrace the prehistoric at Dinos Alive: An Immersive Experience
Have you ever wished you could interact with dinosaurs? Well, now is your chance! This exhibit features 80 prehistoric specimens and even a virtual aquarium so you can interact with these magnificent creatures from millions of years ago.
10. See if you’re equipped for espionage at the International Spy Museum
Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to be a spy? When you visit the International Spy Museum, you can test your own espionage capabilities while learning about some of the most famous spies who have shaped the world’s history and the tools that helped them along the way!
11. Get a private tour of two beloved Smithsonians
It isn’t a recreation of “Night at the Museum” but it’s a close second! You and seven others can experience a private or semi-private tour, complete with a private guide, of the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery of Art. Over five-and-a-half hours, plus a lunch break, you’ll get to see some of the most renowned works these museums have to offer!
12. Experience Shakespeare like never before
“All the world’s a stage,” and Drunk Shakespeare D.C. is hitting the stage like you’ve never experienced before! Grab a drink yourself and watch five classically-trained (and intoxicated) actors attempt to recreate some of Shakespeare’s most famous works to hilarious results!
13. Experience Radiotheatre’s H.P. Lovecraft Festival Online
From the comfort of your own home you can immerse yourself in this online streaming festival of audio packages, featuring the award-winning audio entertainment group Radiotheatre. It’s hard to beat experiencing original scores and unique performances that are brought right to you!
14. Castle to Capitol: Museums of the National Mall Walking Tour
So much history lies in the streets of Washington, D.C., that it can be overwhelming trying to take it all in. This fun and knowledge-filled walking tour features a professional guide who will bring you to all the major sites and attractions while teaching you their rich histories!
15. D.C. Ghost Tour: The Haunted Side of The Capitol
September is here and we’re officially one step closer to spooky season! To truly set the vibe, this walking ghost tour will show you the haunted side of the District you never knew!
16. Catch a concert at your favorite local venue
- Capital One Arena: Post Malone (Oct. 4), The Killers (Oct. 10), The Smashing Pumpkins (Oct. 18), Iron Maiden (Oct. 23)
- The Anthem: The Mars Volta (Oct. 3), The Gaslight Anthem (Oct. 5), Turnstile (Oct. 9), Demi Lovato (Oct. 10) Jack Harlow (Oct. 11), The Killers (Oct. 12), Mt. Joy (Oct. 22), Arcade Fire (Oct. 27-29)
- 9:30 Club: Highly Suspect (Oct. 3), Echosmith (Oct. 16), Noah Cyrus (Oct. 21), Violent Femmes (Oct. 23-24), beabadoobee (Oct. 25-26), Tegan & Sara (Oct. 30)
- Echostage: 10 years of Echostage-Alison Wonderland (Oct. 8), 10 years of Echostage-Dom Dolla (Oct. 14), Mother Mother (Oct. 17), 10 years of Echostage-Lost Frequencies (Oct. 21), 10 years of Echostage-BAYNK (Oct. 22), FKJ (Oct. 23), 10 years of Echostage-Sonny Fodera (Oct. 28), 10 years of Echostage-Sofi Tukker (Oct. 31)
17. Let loose at All Things Go Music Festival
The All Things Go Music Festival is back! Just a short drive from D.C. at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, the Oct. 1 festival is bringing heavy-hitters to the stage, including Lorde, Bleachers, Mitski, and many more!
18. Visit the National Law Enforcement Museum’s Open House
In honor of Police Weekend, the National Law Enforcement Museum is hosting a free open house for all ages on Oct. 1. The open house will feature talks with law enforcement, a Metropolitan Police Department K9 presentation, and the opportunity for children to design their own police badges. Though free, reservations are required.
19. Celebrate Oktoberfest Weekend in style at The Wharf
The Wharf and a number of its restaurants are celebrating Oktoberfest Weekend Oct. 1-2 is one event you don’t want to miss! Stein hoisting competitions, German food, seasonal beverages—what could be better?!
20. Get in on the drama with Theatre Week
TheatreWashington is ushering the new season of plays and musicals in style with D.C.’s Theatre Week. From Sept. 22 through Oct. 9, numerous D.C. theatres and companies are offering free and discounted shows and events to preview the upcoming season!
21. Get the perfect fall Instagram shot
The air is becoming breezy and crisp, and the leaves are beginning to change into vibrant shades of orange and fall to the ground, making it the perfect time to take in the fall foliage and snap a few breathtaking photos while you’re at it! To help you get that perfect, Instagram-worthy shot, Secret D.C. has rounded up some of the best fall photo destinations in the DMV.
22. Check out these Yom Kippur meals and deals in D.C.
Whether you’re observing the religious holiday or are looking to indulge in a delicious Jewish-inspired feast, D.C. has options for you! A number of District eateries are offering day-of and order ahead meals in honor of Yom Kippur. From brisket and Israeli couscous to challah and potato latkes with applesauce, these are great deals on mouth-watering dishes!
23. Celebrate National Taco Day at these D.C. restaurants
An excuse to eat a taco? Count us in! National Taco Day is Oct. 4 (making it the ultimate Taco Tuesday) and a number of D.C. restaurants are offering mouth-watering deals you won’t want to miss!
24. Flex your knowledge at “The Office” Trivia Night at Wunder Garten
This one might be hard (—that’s what she said)! Wunder Garten, in partnership with The Office Experience, will be hosting a fan-fueled The Office Trivia Night on Oct. 4. Are you a superfan who wants to take home the metaphorical Dundie for World’s Best “The Office” Fan? Learn more here.
25. Celebrate the D.C. community at Unite the District Fest
D.C. may not be a state, but Washingtonians still have a great sense of community pride, and Unite the District Fest aims to exemplify just that. From Oct. 7-9 at Audi Field, attendees can celebrate all that the city has to offer with drinks and tastings from D.C. businesses and eateries, musical performances by local artists, and interactive art installations, and more!
26. Enjoying the final weekend of Wunder Garten’s 8th Annual Oktoberfest Celebration
Through Oct. 9 you can indulge in German foods, beers, and even participate in the Bavarian Olympics with Wunder Garten’s 8th Annual Oktoberfest Celebration! Have a pup? No problem! Bring them along on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in their best themed costumes for Dogtoberfest!
27. Imbibe and vibe at Snallygaster
Beast out with over 400 craft brews and ciders on Pennsylvania Avenue thanks to Celebrating Snallygaster’s 10th edition, patrons can imbibe from more than 400 craft brews and ciders, indulge in food truck eats, and vibe to live music! Attendees must be 21+.
28. Sit and sip at D.C. Wine Fest: Fall Edition
Is wine tasting more your speed? We’ve got you covered! Tickets to this Union Market festival include unlimited wine tastings, so you’re bound to find one you love. Feeling hungry? No worries, food can be purchased from Buddin’ Bakery, Corky’s Crab Cakes, and Smoke Stack’s House of BBQ.
29. Attend the October’s National Gallery Night: Homecoming
National Gallery of Art brought back a fall favorite with the return of National Gallery Nights on the second Thursday of each month from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Each month’s engaging program has its own theme—Oct. 13th’s theme is “Trick or Treat”— and features a variety of interactive entertainment, including “live performances, art-making, music, and pop-up talks,” according to a National Gallery press release. National Gallery Nights are free events, attendees must register to attend, with registrations opening one week prior to each event at 12 p.m. at nga.gov/nights.
However, for the first time, the gallery also will release a “limited number” of tickets on its website at 10:00 a.m. on the day of each month’s event. A small number of tickets will be available at the door beginning at 5:30 p.m. the night of each event, as well, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
30. Taste the your way through the International City Food Festival
International City Food Festival celebrates D.C.’s cultural diversity with a series of events (Oct. 13-15), including the Embassy Chef Challenge, the Taste of Oktoberfest, and the Día de los Muertos food and film exhibit!
31. Celebrate cider at Rock The Core
Few things scream autumn like hard cider, and Hook Hall is celebrating just that at its annual Rock The Core event on Oct. 15. More than 30 ciders from cideries and breweries nationwide will be available for tasting. Add in live music and food, and what more could you ask for? tastings of over 30 ciders and beers.
32. Learn the cultural history behind Día de los Muertos
Put on by the Embassy of Mexico on Oct. 15 at Franklin Park, this free, family-friendly Día de los Muertos foods and film festival (which includes a screening of Disney’s “CoCo”), aims to educate people on the holiday while having fun!
33. Have the paw-fect day at the Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash
Watching dachshunds race for charity? Woot woot (or should we say, woof woof)! The Wharf is putting on its 10th annual Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash Oct. 16. Free to watch, the cost for entering your dachshund is donated to Rural Dog Rescue. Food and drinks are available for revelers to purchase.
34. Children can immerse themselves in Art Cart: Halloween at the Hirshhorn
Self-expression and Halloween go hand-in-hand, and the Hirshhorn Museum is encouraging this creativity with a Yayoi Kusama-inspired Halloween craft. This free Oct. 27 event allows children to create their own wearable art while they learn about Kusama’s life and artwork (including her very on-theme “Pumpkin”)!
35. Get into the spooky spirit with Boo at the Zoo
It’s a dream come true! You can reserve tickets for Oct. 28-30 for Boo at the Zoo—after-hours trick-or-treating, dancing, and animal friends at the National Zoo!
36. Join the Smithsonian for a Día de los Muertos Family Day
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is offering a free, family-friendly Día de los Muertos event Oct. 29, where you can experience live ballet and mariachi performances, get your face painted, and even participate in festive arts and crafts!
37. Take a hike—literally
Itching to take in some fall foliage and explore the great outdoors? D.C. might be a city, but it’s also within driving distance from some great hiking trails with equally gorgeous views! We’ve rounded up a few that will give you the best views!
38. Take a day trip to go apple-picking
Apple-picking is almost an autumn rite of passage, so Secret D.C. compiled this list to help you find the perfect place to get your pick of this season’s most delicious apples!
39. Peruse your local pumpkin patch for the perfect gourd
Whether you use them for cooking, carving, or as decor, a trip to the pumpkin patch is always a fall favorite!