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. 2021 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 2021.

We will continue to update listings for 2021 as events are announced.

We hope traditional trick-or-treating will return to many towns in 2021. There are still plenty of ways to enjoy the spooky season listed below. And you'll find more fall fun in these Autumn guides:

Scary 2021 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.

Workhouse Haunt, The Collection, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, Oct 3 – Nov 6

Northern Virginia’s scariest haunted trail returns to the Workhouse Arts Center in 2021. Zombies, swamp creatures, and more creepy characters terrify those brave enough to walk through the abandoned buildings at the Workhouse campus. The Haunt walk-through trail is open on select Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. $25/$30 regular/premium night admission. 7:00 – 11:00.

Shocktober, Leesburg, Oct 1 – 31

The most frightening mansion in Northern VA reopens for in-person scares in 2021. Named the 5th scariest haunted house in the country, the haunted mansion features 4 floors of terror plus the Well of Souls basement. This haunted attraction is PG-13 and not for the faint of heart. Timed-entry tickets start at $40; follow the link for details and ticket purchase.

Haunted Maze and Dive Bar, Occoquan, Oct 29, 30

Get ready for scares and screams in historic Occoquan at the PG-13 Haunted Maze, then visit the Dive Bar for drinks and dancing. Friday and Saturday, 5:00 – 10:00; $10. Visitors can also join a ghost tour around town nightly at 7:00.

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, Virtual

The Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center's popular annual Halloween event is virtual again in 2021. 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.

Spirits of Carlyle House, Alexandria, Fridays in October

Experience a haunting candlelight tour of Carlyle House (rumored to be haunted) mansion and grounds. These evening tours will share the stories of notable Carlyle House residents and neighbors. Reservations are required. Tours will be led through the house on the half-hour; $10.

Ghosts and Graveyards Tours, Alexandria, Sep – Oct

Join a Colonial-costumed guide on a lantern-lit walk through Old Town Alexandria. Hear ghost stories, legends, folklore, unsolved mysteries, tales of romance, and angry ghosts looking for revenge. $15/$10 adult/children, 6 and under free.

LuminoCity Festival, Vienna, Oct 15 – 31

New in 2021, the LuminoCity Festival in Northern Virginia is a walk-through, family-friendly display of colorful light sculptures. Until October 31, the festival includes several somewhat spooky Halloween scenes. (After November 7, holiday scenes replace the Halloween displays). The festival is open Thursday through Sunday, 6:00 – 9:00. Tickets are $32/$22 for adults/kids 3-12. Purchase timed entry tickets online at the festival website.

LuminoCity Festival in Northern Virginia Halloween scene
LuminoCity Festival Halloween scene

Halloween Safari, Bull Run Mountains, Broad Run, Oct 16, 22, 23

Join a fun, night-time, non-scary hike through the Bull Run Mountains, as a guide leads you along the trail. You'll meet native “wildlife” that perform natural history skits and 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. The event is held at Leopold's Preserve, 16290 Thoroughfare Road, Broad Run, VA 20137. Tickets are $10; register in advance. 7:00 – 8:30.

Halloween House & Trick or Treat Trail, Reston, Oct 16

Meet a fun cast of Halloween characters and animals at Reston's Walker Nature Center. The nature-themed Trick or Treat Trail and Halloween House are non-scary and kid-friendly. Registration required, $12/$15 for residents/non-residents; 6:00 – 8:45

Trunk or Treat Trail, Fairfax, Oct 18

The City of Fairfax Police Department is holding a drive-through Trunk or Treat Trail for a safe social distance Halloween. Get the kids in costume and head over to Bull Run Park to drive past Halloween displays. At the end, get a goody bag of tasty treats from an FCPD officer. Free but registration is required, 5:30 – 7:30.

Monster Mash, Village at Leesburg, Oct 23

The Village at Leesburg is getting into the Halloween spirit with pumpkin carving. trick-or-treating, cookie decorating, and more. Wear your costume and bring your costumed pet to join in the Halloween parade. Free; 3:00 – 7:00.

Halloween Family Fun Day, Reston, Oct 23

Get the little ones dressed in their Halloween costumes and head to the Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods for free family-friendly entertainment. Enjoy a one-man band and puppeteer then try your hand at carnival games. Activities are designed for ages infant – 8. Follow the link to register.

Boo at the Zoo, Roer's Zoofari, Reston, Oct 23

Join Roer's Zoofari for a fun-filled Halloween. Guests will get candy at walk-through and safari drive stations. The event runs all day and also features a pumpkin patch, scavenger hunt, and more. $32/$20 ages 12+/3-11.

Old Town Trick-or-Treating, Alexandria, Oct 23

Old Town rolls out the orange carpet for all the ghouls and goblins this year. Visit Old Town Alexandria in your spookiest costumes to collect treats from participating restaurants, shops, and attractions. Free; 11:00 – 5:00.

Del Ray Halloween Parade, Alexandria, Oct 24

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

Haunted Trail, Salamander Resort, Middleburg, Oct 27 – 30

Walk a family-friendly .6 mile haunted trail featuring 10 scenes with live actors. The trail is geared to kids 4 – 12. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Tickets are $14, 3 and under free, purchase online. 6:30 – 8:30.

Halloween on the Green, Vienna, Oct 27

Head to the Vienna town green for spooky crafts, games, a petting zoo, live entertainment, and more. The event is free but registration is required. Free; 10:30 – 12:30.

Halloween Parade, Vienna, Oct 27

Vienna's annual Halloween Parade is back in 2021 with a new theme—The Roaring 20s. The parade includes floats, bands, costumed kids, and more. Free; 10:00.

Halloween Weekend in Northern VA: Trick-or-Treating, Parades + More

Here are more ways you can celebrate and trick-or-treat before and on Halloween night 2021.

Boo at the Pool, Reston, Oct 30

Here's a fun event for kids 6 months to 9 years old. Swim for bobbing treats or dive for treats on the bottom of the pool. Every participant gets a goodie bag and there are prizes for poolside costumes. $4/$8 for Reston residents/non-resident. Follow the link and register for one of four afternoon sessions.

Halloween Parade, Occoquan, Oct 30

Costumed kids of all ages can join in the costume parade and contest in downtown Occoquan. Allow time to walk around town and vote for your favorite decorations and costumes at area businesses. The parade begins at 10:00; free.

Halloween Mystery at the Cabin, Riverbend Park, Oct 30

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 from 3:15 – 7:30.

House of Terror + Family Trunk or Treat, McLean Community Center, Oct 30

Walk through a spooky, scary scene as the Old Firehouse in McLean is transformed for Halloween. Or choose an early timeslot for a not-so-scary experience. $5, registration required; 5:00 – 10:00.

Or stay outside and enjoy music, fun, themed vehicles, and candy treats. Outdoor activities are free and registration is not required. 6:00 – 9:00.

Fall Frolic, Lee-Fendall House, Alexandria, Oct 30

Kids 3 to 12 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 Bark Bash, Leesburg, Oct 30

The 3rd annual Halloween Bark Bash is a fun day for dogs and their people. Enjoy trick-or-treating, music, a costume contest, and adorable adoptable dogs. Free; Noon – 3:00.

Haunted Happenings, Old Town Manassas, Oct 30

Join the Halloween fun in Historic Downtown Manassas. Trick-or-treat at local merchants, join in family-friendly activities and enter the costume contest. Free, 10:00 – noon.

Trick or Treating at Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, Oct 30

Trick-or-treaters head 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 $25/$15 for adult/youth; 2:00 – 6:00.

Mosaic Halloween, Mosaic District, Oct 31

Visit your favorite Mosaic stores all day to trick-or-treat, then stop by Strawberry Park for face-painting from noon to 6:00. At 6:00, grab a spot on the lawn for a free outdoor showing of The Addams Family on the big screen.

Halloween Spooktacular, Great Falls, Oct 31

Children up to age 12 are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes for the Halloween Spooktacular. Visit the Haunted House, enjoy trick or treating with local merchants, and enter your costumed pets in the pet parade. Free; 5:00 – 7:00.

Halloween Weekend Events Canceled in 2021

These Halloween weekend events are canceled or the host has not announced plans for 2021. We hope they'll be back in 2022.

Clifton Haunted Trail, Buckley Park, Clifton, Closed in 2021

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.

Trick-or-Treat at Reston Town Center, Reston, TBA

Costumed children can visit participating retailers and the Information Center for treats and goodies on Halloween afternoon (look for a pumpkin flyer in the window). Noon – 4:00.

Malloween trick-or-treating, Tysons Corner Center, TBA

Head to the Plaza Concourse where Fairfax County Police Department will be handing out candy. American Scream will provide some spooky entertainment and have face painters for any last-minute touch-ups. Then trick-or-treat at the 50+ participating stores. Free; 3:00 – 5:00.

Mall-o-ween, Fair Oaks Mall, TBA

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.

Ghost Train, Burke Lake Park,  TBA

The annual Burke Lake Ghost Train features a ride on the miniature train through Halloween-decorated woods. Along the way, costumed characters perform scenes from popular children’s stories. The Ghost Train is geared to young children so the event is more fun than fear. Follow your ride with a picnic and a stroll around the lake. $6 per passenger. 10:00 – 6:00.

BOO-stravaganza, Frying Pan Park, TBA

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
Halloween Fun in Northern Virginia

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