Dressing up in a costume is one of those funny things that you either love or hate. There’s no in between.
The Halloween season is approaching, and those who love dressing up are planning their costumes. That’s the easy part. The hard part is where to go to celebrate.
D.C. offers plenty of G-rated fun, and the best-known spot for this is the National Zoo. Boo at the Zoo is a longtime D.C. tradition, featuring lots of educational opportunities and healthy Halloween treats. The event will be held 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Oct. 22.
For adults only, the zoo hosts Night of the Living Zoo, a party featuring live entertainment, music and dancing, food and drinks, and a costume contest, 6:30 to 10 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27.
Beware of advertised “bar crawl” parties throughout the city where tickets or wristbands are sold for between $10 and $20 that allow party-goers to buy discounted drinks — if you can get into the bars, and if they have those drinks. At $3 per Coors Lite, you’d have to drink between four and 10 just to get your money back.
If you’re into cultured fun, try the Halloween Spooktacular at the Kennedy Center. The National Symphony Orchestra concert will be preceded by an hour of trick-or-treating and a musical instrument “petting zoo.” Shows at 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29.
Fright Fest at Six Flags is a terrifying event featuring haunted mazes, a terror toy shop, a house of spiders, twisted fairy tales and more. It runs weekends through Oct. 29.
Way out in Olney, Maryland, is the legendary Field of Screams, too scary for children under 13 (and many over 13 as well). Zombies, haunted houses and scenes of murder and mayhem populate the cornfields and woods at this rural Montgomery County attraction. If this isn’t scary enough for you, they also offer funnel cakes and fried Twinkies and Oreos.
Northern Virginia has its version — Fields of Fear — at Cox Farms in Centreville. Besides the Hall of Whispers, Dark Side Hayride and dreaded clowns, Cox also has less-scary attractions, including a bonfire, dance party, giant slide and kettle corn.
Now that you have some ideas about where to go, the only question left is what to wear. Sure, you can rely on the old standbys — witch, pirate, ghost, Nixon. But what’s especially hot this year?
For adults, besides Trump — the tops in scary to many — is the ubiquitous clown. Yes, clowns have long been a popular Halloween costume, but this year, expect them to be especially big with the popularity of the terrifying clown movie, “It.” Parades will never be the same.
Expect to see a few Wonder Women this year as well. Who doesn’t love a badass Amazon woman bent on defeating her arch nemesis?
The recent death of Hugh Hefner has made pajamas a trendy Halloween costume. If your husband or boyfriend chooses this costume, yours will be easy. A little chilly maybe, but easy.
Since 1977, a year has not gone by without someone dressing as a Star Wars character. Chewbacca, R2D2, Yoda, Obi Wan Kenobi, Hans Solo (although this one’s kind of silly — a white shirt and a vest, really?). Even though Princess Leia is always a trendy costume, with the untimely passing of Carrie Fisher, this year the character will be more popular than ever at Halloween.
You can’t go wrong with any superhero, princess, animal, book or movie character costume either. If you’re not up for paying big bucks for the coolest costume, try making your own or hitting some thrift or secondhand shops.
Whatever you decide to do this Halloween, have fun, stay safe and eat lots and lots of candy.