Halloween in Northern Virginia: Haunted Trails and Trick-or-treating

Halloween in Northern Virginia is a fun mix of spooky and not-so-spooky events plus trick-or-treating hosted by local businesses and towns. 2020 Halloween events are listed below in three groups: scary fun throughout October, not-so-scary family fun throughout the month, and trick-or-treating options for Halloween weekend. We also list annual events that are canceled for 2020.

Many towns will not hold traditional trick-or-treating in 2020, but there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the spooky season. And you’ll find more Fall fun in these Autumn guides:

Scary 2020 Halloween in Northern Virginia Events

Spooky Halloween decor

Haunted Trails in Northern Virginia are a fun place for teens and adults to enjoy an extra scary night out. The haunted trails listed below are gear to older visitors and may be too intense for young children. Follow the website links to purchase tickets and check for weather-related closures.

Nightmare Alley Drive-thru Terror, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, Weekends Oct 2 – 31 (select nights)

Northern Virginia’s scariest haunted trail returns to the Workhouse but this year it’s a drive-thru trail. Zombies, swamp creatures, creepy clowns, and scary dolls are among 13 different scary scenes taking up residence at the Workhouse campus. The unique Workhouse setting amps up the creepy factor. The Nightmare Alley drive-thru trail is open Fridays and Saturdays throughout October plus Sunday, October 11, 18, and 25. $60, with multi-car discounts available. 7:00 – 11:00.

Haunted Trail, Salamander Resort, Middleburg, Oct 28 – 31

Walk a spooky .6 mile haunted trail featuring 10 scenes with live actors. The Equestrian Center lawn will show Scooby Doo’s The Headless Horseman of Halloween film. Food and beverage will be available for purchase including hot dogs, pulled pork, s’mores kits, caramel apples, mac & cheese and veggie wraps. $14/$20 advanced/onsite purchase; 7:00 – 9:00.

Shocktober, Virtual Event

The most frightening mansion in Northern VA goes virtual in 2020. Join a professional film crew on livestreamed walks through the haunted manor from the safety and comfort of home. This haunted attraction is PG-13 and not for the faint of heart. Viewing packages start at $25; follow the link for details and ticket purchase.

Not So Scary Halloween in Northern VA Fun

Halloween in Northern Virginia includes these not so scary events
Not-so-scary Halloween decorations

Air and Scare at Home, Air and Space Udvar-Hazy , Oct 1 – 31 Online

In 2020, the Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center’s popular annual Halloween event is going virtual. Join in costume and pumpkin-carving contests, download kid-friendly Halloween activities and watch special Halloween programming. Free; follow the link for details and downloads.

Death Comes to Carlyle House, Alexandria, Oct 9, 16, 23, 30

This event isn’t scary but it is geared to adults. Join docents for an evening tour of Carlyle House to learn about death and mourning in the 18th century. Reservations are required. Tours will be led through the house at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00; $10.

Ghosts and Graveyards Tours, Alexandria, Oct 9 – Nov 7 select dates

Join a Colonial-costumed guide on a lantern-lit walk through Alexandria’s historic district: Old Town. Hear ghost stories, legends, folklore, unsolved mysteries, tales of romance, and angry ghosts looking for revenge. The walking tour covers 6 blocks and is one hour long. You can also take a virtual tour via Zoom. Purchase tickets online in advance. $15/$10 adult/children, 6 and under free.

Halloween Costume Contest, Village at Leesburg, Oct 16 – 31

The Village at Leesburg is getting into the Halloween spirit with a Halloween Costume Contest. Snap a pic at the pop-up fall backdrop in your Halloween costume and submit it online. Bracket style voting in November will choose the prize winners in several categories including pet, scariest, TV/movie, duo/group and cutest/most glamorous costume. Free.

Halloween Safari, Bull Run Mountains, Broad Run, Oct 17, 23, 24

Join a fun, night-time hike through the Bull Run Mountains, as a guide leads you along the trail where you will meet native “wildlife” that perform natural history skits. There is a new cast of animals each year. Then, relax by the bonfire and enjoy live music. Bring a flashlight and wear good hiking shoes for this great family outing. This year the event will be at Leopold’s Preserve, 16290 Thoroughfare Road, Broad Run, VA 20137. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are $10; 7:00 – 8:30.

Trick-or-Treat Anniversary Celebration, Hogback Mountain Pony Rides, Leesburg, Oct 17 – 18

Meet Clyde the Unicorn, enjoy fire twirling, food, and trick-or-treating at the 4th anniversary celebration of Hogback Mountain Pony Rides. Tickets are $25; 11:00 – 4:00 daily.

Spook-tacular Triva Night, Occoquan, Oct 23

Bring your “quaranteam” of up to 6 people and rent your 10 ft space in a socially-distanced picnic circle for a Spooktacular Trivia Night in River Mill Park. Come in costume for extra points. Adult beverages and food packs will be available for extra purchase. $30 to play; free to watch. Gate opens at 6:00, trivia starts at 6:30.

Halloween Mystery at the Cabin, Riverbend Park, Oct 24

Meet people of the past and discover their secrets to uncover mysteries along the Potomac as you walk through the woods. A sweet treat will reward your success. $10; sessions at 4:00 and 6:00.

Fall Frolic, Lee-Fendall House, Alexandria, Oct 24

Enjoy safe and seasonal fun in the garden of the Lee-Fendall House during the Fall Frolic! Wear your Halloween costumes and join in crafts, a ghost hunt, a Trick or Treat walk, and more. Purchase timed entry tickets in advance. $5/$15 adult/kids 1-18; 10:00 – 4:00.

Halloween Adventure, Riverbend Park, Oct 25

Riverbend Park hosts two sessions of a “Halloween Adventure” that includes a wagon ride, scarecrows, sweets, stories and s’mores around the campfire. Bring a flashlight. $13; sessions at 3:30 and 5:30.

Halloween in Northern Virginia: Trick-or-Treating and Parades

Here are more ways you can celebrate and trick-or-treat before and on Halloween night 2020.

Boo at the Zoo, Roer’s Zoofari, Reston, Oct 24, 25, 30, 31

Join Roer’s Zoofari for a fun-filled Halloween. Self Drive Safari Tour guests will receive candy while in their car at candy stations sponsored by local businesses. The event runs all day and also features a pumpkin patch, Halloween contest, and more. $32/$20 ages 12+/3-11.

Workhouse Kiddie Trick-or-Treat Drive-Thru Experience, Lorton, Oct 30, 31

Treat the kids to contact-free trick-or-treating as you drive through a daytime version of the Workhouse Arts Center Haunted Drive-Thru. Instead of scary actors there will be friendly faces and 10 themed stations for socially-distanced trick-or-treating. Families remain in their vehicles and treats are delivered completely contact-free. $20 per vehicle, timed entries from 3:00 – 6:00.

Trick on Treat Trail, Fairfax, Oct 31

TheCity of Fairfax Police Department is holding a drive-through Trick or Treat Trail for a safe social distance Halloween. Get the kids in costume and head over to the Police Department for tasty treats from Fairfax Police and Parks and Recreation departments, while supplies last. Free, 10:00 – 1:00.

Halloween Wave Parade, Vienna, Oct 31

New in 2020, dress in your Halloween costume and head outside for a special Wave Parade. 10-15 floats will follow a parade route through the town of Vienna so you can enjoy the fun close to home. The parade route will be announced on October 29. Free; 10:00.

Trick or Treating at Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, Oct 31

Trick-or-treaters return to historic Mount Vernon for an afternoon of fun and history. Activities include a special scavenger hunt, a wagon ride on the 12-acre field, a boo-tiful Halloween craft, and a children’s costume parade. This event sells out and is held rain or shine. The event is $16/$8 for adult/youth; 2:00 – 6:00.

Halloween Cruises, Tall Ship Providence Alexandria, Oct 31

The whole family will have fun on a 75-minute Costumed Family Cruise aboard the Tall Ship Providence. Take a fun tour of Providence as you trick-or-treat your way around the ship. Children will be given a scavenger hunt of stops around the deck and receive a treat at each stop. $36, multiple times.

Adults get their own fun on a Costumed Fall Brew Cruise. Hear a spooky sea story and cruise the Potomac while you sip some of our regions finest fall brews. Cruise ticket covers a beer, wine or soft drink, and freshly prepared, individually packaged chips, salsa, and guacamole. $54, multiple times.

Garden Fairy Houses: Hunting the Enchanted Trail, Woodlawn, Alexandria, Oct 31

New in 2020, head to historic Woodlawn to search for Fairy houses on a natural teensie-house trail within their beautiful grounds. Admission includes a map, goodie bag, and fairy dust. Costumes are welcome and you can bring a picnic to enjoy on the grounds. This is also a great time to book a tour of the mansion and the Pope-Leighy House. $10, 10:00 – 3:00.

Halloween Mask-querade Ball, Old Town Manassas, Oct 31

Join the party at a fun Halloween event at the Harris Pavilion in Historic Downtown Manassas. Three events through the day—for kids, teens, and adults—will offer age-appropriate fun and prizes for the best costumes. $5 – $45 depending on age group; 10:00, 2:00, 6:00.

Annual Halloween Events Canceled in 2020

Sadly, the annual Halloween events listed below are canceled in 2020. We look forward to their return in 2021.

Del Ray Halloween Parade, Alexandria, CANCELED

Don your best Halloween costume and join thousands of participants in one of Del Ray’s favorite traditions. The annual Del Ray Halloween Parade welcomes children, pets, and strollers in costumes to march and show off their finest and scariest Halloween garb. Prizes are awarded in multiple categories including Best Decorated Stroller and Best Pet Costume. Free; 2:00 – 4:00.

Halloween Spooktacular, Great Falls, CANCELED

Children up to age 12 are encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween costume, experience the Haunted House, and enjoy trick or treating with local merchants in a safe environment right in the heart of town. Costumed pets on leashes are welcome to join the pet parade at 4:00 – 4:45. Free; 5:00 – 7:00.

Mall-o-ween, Fair Oaks Mall, CANCELED

Bring your costumed little ones to Fair Oaks Mall on Halloween for the 31st annual trick-or-treat at the mall event. Costumed kids go store to store collecting candy in a safe, indoor environment. This is one of the largest indoor Halloween events of its kind in the Washington D.C. area, and it gets extremely busy. Free; 5:30 – 7:30.

Bootique, Mosaic District, CANCELED

The annual trick-or-treat night returns to Mosaic District Swing by Strawberry Park to pick up your bags from Mosaic reps, and then hit the streets for some candy. Free; 5:00 – 9:00


Older kids and teens head to Cox Farms at night for the Fields of Fear. Experience the scares in the corn maze, forest trail, and wagon rides, then hang out by the bonfire with music, games, and food. In 2019, the scares are open Friday and Saturday nights, September 20 to November 2. Tickets begin at $15, 7:30 – 11:00 pm.

Madhaunter’s Madhouse, Leesburg, CANCELED

This popular haunted house for the 13-and-older crowd is an indoor and outdoor maze of terror. Custom-made special effects and live actors guarantee scares for those who dare to enter. In 2019, Madhaunter moves to a new Leesburg location at 1602 Village Market Boulevard. General admission tickets begin at $20.

Clifton Haunted Trail, Buckley Park, Clifton, CANCELED

A trail of terror awaits in Clifton’s Buckley Park, so watch out for monsters and stick to the trail. The PG-13 rated trail includes two dozen scary skits with live actors, including local legend The Bunnyman. Tickets are $18/$13 online for adults/12 and under (though the trail is likely too intense for younger kids). Tickets are $20/$15 day of event. 7:00 – 10:00 pm.

Ghost Train, Burke Lake Park,  CANCELED

The annual Burke Lake Ghost Train returns with a ride on the miniature train through Halloween decorated woods, with costumed characters performing scenes from popular children’s stories. The Ghost Train is geared to young children so the event is more fun than fear. The carousel will also be open, and you can follow your ride with a picnic and a stroll around the lake. $6 per passenger. 10:00 – 6:00.

BOO-stravaganza, Frying Pan Park, CANCELED

Reserve a spot for the little ones (9 and younger) at the BOO-stravaganza. Come to the Indoor Arena Barn dressed in your favorite costume for fun, games, and a wagon ride plus treats and a small pumpkin. $10, reservation required. 6:30 – 7:30 and 7:30 – 8:30.

Bonus Party Fun for Halloween in Northern Virginia

Make these ghoulish fingers part of your Halloween in Northern Virginia party fun.
Ghoulish Halloween Fingers appetizer

Here’s an easy, fun appetizer to serve on Halloween in Northern Virginia.

Ingredients: cheese sticks, slivered almonds, marinara sauce

To make: Trim tops of cheese sticks and add “knuckle” lines with a butter knife. Stick on almond sliver “fingernails” with a little honey. Sprinkle the underside with a little salt and pepper and serve with marinara sauce. Ooooh, spooky!

Whichever event you choose, we wish you a safe and Happy Halloween in Northern Virginia!

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A complete guide to Halloween in Northern Virginia haunted trails, family-friendly events, and trick-or-treating

This article was published in 2016 and updated in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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