A retail store for your Halloween costume and decoration needs recently opened in Crystal City.
Total Fright — or Total Party, during other times of the year — is open in the Crystal City Shops at 1750 Crystal Drive, near the Metro station. It was formerly located in the now under-renovation Ballston Common Mall.
The store is usually open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, but will have extended hours leading up to Halloween (Monday, Oct. 31).
There are a couple of other dedicated Halloween stores in Northern Virginia, including two Spirit Halloween locations in Falls Church and Springfield.
The annual Clarendon Halloween bar crawl will be back for another year this year, although it will be taking place after Halloween itself.
Halloween is on Monday, Oct. 31. The bar crawl is scheduled from 1-9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.
“Bust out your best costume and get ready for a spooktacular party like no other this season,” says the website for the crawl. “The Clarendon Halloween Crawl celebrates the scariest time of the year in Arlington with thousands of your closest friends!”
Revelers will get a “souvenir haunted mug, access to Clarendon’s best bars, exclusive drink and food specials, free pictures of the event and a raffle entry to win great prizes.”
Participating bars include Mad Rose Tavern, Clarendon Ballroom, Clarendon Grill, IOTA Club and Cafe, Whitlow’s, Mister Days, Spider Kelly’s and Hunan One.
Tickets are $15 online or $30 at the door.
The “Cow Flop Drop” game is part of the Lyon Park neighborhood’s family-friendly, all-day Halloween festivities.
A cow named Blossom will wander around part of the park, marked off in an 8×8 grid. Residents will buy a square in the grid and hope that Blossom deposits her droppings in that square, to win cash prizes.
If Blossom’s bowels are uncharacteristically unproductive, a “brave volunteer” will “dress as a cow an lob a water balloon into the field to identify a winner.”
From the Lyon Park and Ashton Heights listservs:
This Saturday, shoehorned in between the Parade of Costumes at 10 AM and the bonfire at dark, Lyon Park will hold a Cow Flop Drop.
Yes, we have a cow. Yes, we have a plan. Yes, there will be games (with cow-themed prizes) and food.
Volunteers will create a grid on the ground with 64 square, and you’ll be able to purchase a square starting at 10:00 AM. Our cow, Blossom, will surprise and delight you as she enters the field at 10:30 AM.
From 10:30 AM until 2 PM, we’ll monitor Blossom’s “movements.” Each time she selects a square, the square’s owner will win a portion of the proceeds from that game. It’s cow chip bingo!
The earliest games will be low-stakes, and you can purchase a square for just a few dollars. Around noon, we’ll offer a high stakes game with each square costing $50. And don’t have a cow — if Blossom doesn’t deliver every 30 minutes, we have a very brave volunteer who will dress as a cow an lob a water balloon into the field to identify a winner!
If your costumed child would like to run a game and toss a balloon, we will offer a few $1 games if you can recruit enough players to cover the entire board.
The aforementioned children’s parade of costumes starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by an “explore a fire truck” event starting at 11 a.m. From 7-9 p.m., the community will hold its annual Halloween bonfire in the park.
Halloween is tomorrow and some houses in Arlington have been decked out for the spooky holiday.
Spider webs and spiders hanging from fences, windows and trees are popular choices. The more festive have skeletons or half-decomposed corpses trying to emerge from graves on the lawn.
We stopped by N. Jackson Street near Clarendon, 15th Street N. in Waycroft-Woodlawn, N. Harrison Street in Leeway Heights and S. Frederick Street in Columbia Forest to check out some of the ghoulish decorations.
If you spot any other houses decked out for Halloween, post a picture or two in the comments section.
There is no official trick-or-treating time in Arlington, but tradition says costumed children will start arriving around sunset, until around 8 p.m. or so.
The three day countdown to Halloween has begun, and that means it’s time to start solidifying plans for the haunted holiday.
Halloween falls on Saturday this year, giving you more time and flexibility to take part in festive activities happening in the area, especially trick-or-treating.
Unlike today’s dreary weather, the forecast looks promising for candy-seekers, with National Weather Service predicting temperatures around 50 degrees and some clouds.
As in years past, there’s no designed time for trick-or-treating in Arlington, but tradition indicates parents will bring their costumed kids through the neighborhoods around sunset — which is expected around 6:10 p.m. — and knock on doors until 8 or 9 p.m.
Here are some tips for planning your trick-or-treat trip:
- Children should be accompanied by an adult.
- Choose a neighborhood or street you’re familiar with or is known for getting in the spirit. For example, N. Jackson Street near Clarendon is traditionally a must-see.
- Houses with the outside lights are the ones expecting and ready for trick-or-treaters.
- Expect the older, non-costumed crowds later in the evening.
- If you’re passing out treats, turn the outside lights off when you run out.
There are also other opportunities in the area for kids to get their candy.
The Arlington Historical Society is hosting its first trick-or-treat event at the Arlington Historical Museum (1805 S. Arlington Ridge Road) from 4-6 p.m. There will be candy, Halloween-themed story time and coloring.
Children of all ages who are in costume can also pick up a treat at the Cherrydale Branch Library (2190 N. Military Road) between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Finally, for the adults looking to celebrate, the Clarendon Halloween Bar Crawl will return from 1-9 p.m., one hour longer than last year.
This Halloween, patrons at select Arlington restaurants will be praised not for the creativity of their costumes, but for getting home safely.
From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., representatives from the campaign will be outside three Clarendon nightspots to thank designated drivers and those who choose to take public transportation, a taxi or ride sharing service home.
The three restaurants that will be reference points for the “surprise and delight” thanking events are:
- Clarendon Ballroom at 3185 Wilson Blvd.
- Spider Kelly’s at 3181 Wilson Blvd.
- Don Tito at 3165 Wilson Blvd.
This year’s campaign is aimed at stopping people ages 21 to 35 from drinking and driving. According to a release, 36 percent of highway fatalities in Virginia last year were alcohol-related, and more than 40 percent of people killed in alcohol-related crashes were within the campaign’s target age range.
Festive holidays, like this weekend’s Halloween celebration, often see a spike in DUI-related incidents.
WRAP will also offer free taxi rides on Saturday through its SoberRide program.
The free rides will be offered from 10 p.m. on Saturday to 4 a.m. on Sunday. In order to get a free ride, revelers have to book their cab by calling 1-800-200-TAXI.
In its press release (below), WRAP noted that nearly half of all Halloween traffic deaths in the U.S. are caused by drunk drivers.
As a means of making the Washington-metropolitan area’s roadways a little less frightening this Halloween, free cab rides will be offered to would-be drunk drivers throughout Arlington County, Virginia on the evening of Saturday, October 31st.
Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the Halloween SoberRide® program will be in operation at 10:00 pm on Saturday, October 31st (Halloween) and operate until 4:00 am on Sunday, November 1st, as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk, holiday period.
During this six-hour period, area residents ages 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide® phone number 1-800-200-TAXI and be afforded a no-cost (up to a $30 fare), safe way home. AT&T wireless customers can dial #WRAP for the same service.
Local taxicab companies throughout the Washington-metropolitan area provide this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may attempt to drive home after drinking.
SoberRide® is offered in the: District of Columbia; throughout the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; and throughout the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, (eastern) Loudoun and Prince William.
“The scary fact is that nearly half (43%*) of all U.S. traffic deaths occurring during Halloween are caused by drunk drivers,”said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP’s President.
Sponsors of this year’s Halloween SoberRide® offering include: AAA Mid-Atlantic, Anheuser-Busch, Constellation Brands, Diageo, District of Columbia Association of Beverage Alcohol Wholesalers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Giant Food, MillerCoors, Red Top Cab of Arlington, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Volkswagen Group of America and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association.
Participating taxicab companies include: Alexandria Yellow Cab; Barwood; Fairfax Yellow Cab; Loudoun Yellow Cab; Northern Virginia Checker Cab; Red Top Cab; Silver Cab of Prince George’s County; Yellow Cab of D.C.; and Yellow Cab of Prince William County.
Last Halloween’s (2014) SoberRide® program provided nearly 300 (278) free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Washington-metropolitan area.
Since 1993, WRAP’s SoberRide® program has provided 62,773 free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.
Founded in 1982, the nonprofit [501(c)(3)] Washington Regional Alcohol Program (www.wrap.org) is an award-winning public-private partnership working to prevent drunk driving and underage drinking in the Washington-metropolitan area. Through public education, innovative health education programs and advocacy, WRAP is credited with keeping the metro-Washington area’s alcohol-related traffic deaths consistently lower than the national average.
More information about WRAP’s SoberRide® initiative can be found at www.soberride.com.
The event is planned for Thursday, Oct. 29, from 6-9 p.m. It will include a jack-o’-lantern contest and a steampunk costume contest.
“Break out your petticoats and top hats, don your driving goggles, and adorn yourself with gears of all shapes and sizes, because the winners of these contests will score awesome prizes!” TechShop said in an event page.
In terms of food and drink, the party will feature a Good Stuff Eatery milkshake bar, a kids candy bar and a “haunted cocktail bar.”
Tickets are $15 for adults who aren’t TechShop members, $10 for members, $5 for those under 21.
A family-friendly “Hack Your Halloween” meetup, featuring a workshop on laser etching a pumpkin, will be held from 4-6 p.m. Tickets for children ages 10-14 attending the meetup are $10 and there are additional charges for the pumpkin etching.
TechShop Arlington is located at 2110 Crystal Drive and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for major holidays.
(Updated at 4 p.m.) The Clarendon Halloween Bar Crawl will return this year with an extra hour of revelry.
The bar crawl is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 31 — Halloween — from 1-9 p.m. The start time is an hour earlier than last year. Just like last year, participants are encouraged to come in costume.
“We recommend wearing your spookiest, scariest or most creative costume!” says the event website. “There will be costume prizes for the most festively dressed participants.”
Tickets currently are available online for $20, and a limited number of tickets will be available at the door for $30. The fee gets participants a souvenir mug, food and drink specials at bars in Clarendon and a raffle entry.
Bars along the crawl include Whitlow’s, Mad Rose, Clarendon Ballroom, Bracket Room, Don Tito, Mister Days, Spider Kelly’s, Hard Time Cafe and Hunan One, among others.
Last year, the Arlington County Police Department live tweeted the Halloween-themed festivities. It was deemed a relatively quiet affair, crime-wise, with thousands of participants and only 9-10 arrests.
Dogs and their owners will make their way around the Market Common Clarendon loop, while stopping at local businesses to trick-or-treat. Each year, owners compete to have the best costume for their furry friends.
Kelly Spafford, a spokeswoman for Doorways, recommends owners use “originality, creativity and humorous/clever costumes” to win the costume contest.
“Consider combining your dog’s costume with your own (dressing up isn’t mandatory, but there will be prizes!),” Spafford said in an email. “Remember to make sure your dog feels safe and comfortable in their costume.”
In addition to trick-or-treating and the costume contest, dogs will have the ability to show off their skills on an agility course.
Howl-O-Ween is dog and human friendly, Spafford said.
“It’s a way to get your kids involved in charity work, [as] volunteering is typically unavailable to them for confidentiality, insurance or other reasons at most human service nonprofits, so this is a way to get them connected to the importance of helping others early, so bring the whole family,” she said.
Howl-O-Ween is a charity event, and costs $30 for adults and $20 for children. All proceeds go to helping women and dogs that are victims of abuse.
Immediately after Howl-O-Ween, the Market Common Clarendon will host its annual family-oriented Falloween event from noon to 4 p.m.
The free event will also have a petting zoo, face painting and pumpkin decorating. Kids will have the opportunity to go trick-or-treating at local businesses from 1-3:30 p.m.
Fairlington Dental will be buying back candy after Halloween this year.
Kids can bring their Halloween candy to the dental office from Nov. 2-5, where they will be paid $1 per pound.
The candy will be sent to Operation Gratitude in California, a program that sends care packages to troops serving overseas. Dawn Patrick, patient concierge at Fairlington Dental, said that the candy is used as filler in boxes that mostly include personal cards, games, hygiene products and snacks.
This is the 10th year Fairlington Dental has bought back candy, and the office has donated to Operation Gratitude since it started the program.
Fairlington Dental will also donate a portion of the candy to the Mattie Miracle Foundation, Patrick said. The foundation collects candy for a free snack cart for children and families at the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, as well as for other hospitals and cancer wards, according to the website.
The dental practice used to buy candy for $3 per pound but dropped the price to $1 per pound as the program became more popular. The office also pays for the shipping, which can get pricey with such heavy packages.
“Back then, we were getting about 100 pounds,” Patrick said. “Now our biggest year has been around 600 pounds.”
The office asks that the donations are capped at five pounds for the buy back program.
Donors also have the option to donate their candy as an entry in a contest where groups can win an $100 pizza party for selling back the most candy. Patrick said a group Fairlington mothers has won the contest for the past few years, with a group donation of about 35 pounds of candy.
The key for eating candy and other foods high in sugar is to do so in moderation, Patrick said, adding that a one-time pizza party is much better than eating candy for days or weeks after Halloween.
Instead of sugar, Fairlington Dental tries to encourage eating candy with xylitol, a sweetener that breaks down bacteria instead of feeding it.
A full list of local dental practices that buy back candy can be found on the website halloweencandybuyback.com.
Filckr pool photo by Ddimick
(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) The Arlington County Police Department live-tweeted Saturday’s Halloween-themed bar crawl in Clarendon, providing Twitter followers with frequent updates, safety tips and photos.
The bar crawl, billed as “The Rise of the Day Drinkers,” ran from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. It was the first bar crawl approved for a permit under the county’s new bar crawl regulations, which are intended to curb drunken criminal activity by providing a larger police presence, at the expense of crawl organizers.
The stepped-up police presence apparently worked. This past weekend’s Halloween-theme was a relatively quiet affair, with only 9 or 10 arrests, according to initial reports. There were no reports of any bar crawl patrons stripping naked, or any other significant incidents, according to police spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm.
ACPD’s live-tweeting highlighted authorities’ efforts to keep everyone safe — from officers making sure long lines outside of bars did not stretch out onto the street to paramedics having a stretcher ready should medical assistance be needed.
The police department’s running commentary also had some lighter moments, including an officer taking a photo with Muppets characters, a joke about finding Waldo, and a reminder that orange could be the new black for bar crawl patrons who choose to drive home while drunk (see below).
Remember to drink responsibly & plan a sober ride home. Over the limit & these costumes can become a reality. pic.twitter.com/38FxQlJFv9
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) November 1, 2014
Photos via @ArlingtonVaPD
Many of us go through the annual struggle of figuring out a creative Halloween costume. For Clarendon resident and amputee Josh Sundquist, his disability presents him an annual showcase for his creativity.
Sundquist is dressing up as a foosball player — the tabletop soccer game — this year after being named to the U.S. Amputee Soccer team. His previous costumes include a lamp, a gingerbread man with a leg bitten off and a brilliant flamingo costume.
The above video is how Sundquist made this year’s costume. Sundquist is a 2006 Paralympian in downhill skiing and, according to his website, the only person in history named to both the Paralympian ski team and the amputee soccer team. He lost his leg after being diagnosed with bone cancer when he was 9 years old.
Sundquist is an also an author and motivational speaker, and his book, Just Don’t Fall is on sale now.
Photo via Josh Sundquist
It wouldn’t be October if there weren’t some creepy creations crawling onto lawns around Arlington.
We encountered residents who surrendered their yard to frightful grave-dwellers on N. Jackson Street, in Ashton Heights, and in two yards within a block of S. Joyce Street in Aurora Highlands.
Have you seen other ghoulish Halloween decorations around town? If so, snap a photo or two and post it in the comments section.
Halloween takes place on Friday, Oct. 31 this year. There is no official time for trick-or-treating in Arlington County.
A number of Halloween-themed events are taking place over the next two weekends, including the Howl-O-Ween dog walk, the Douglas Park Halloween Trail of Terror, a family-friendly Halloween party at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, and a Halloween bar crawl in Clarendon.
The study, conducted by financial advice company NerdWallet using data from online event platform EventBrite, says Arlington’s “overall score for Halloween parties,” which is a combination of number of RSVPs and affordability, is 83.79 out of 100.
Arlington registered a seven out of 10 for its “party engagement score” and has an average party cost of $12.15, second-lowest in the top 10, behind No. 8 Nashville, Tenn., at $12.11. Washington, D.C., is the 17th-best city in the country for parties with an overall score of 81.73 and an average cost of $25.64.
The engagement score is on a scale of 1-10, according to NerdWallet, with a 10 meaning more than 20,000 people in one city have RSVP-ed to a Halloween party. The only city in the country to achieve a 10 was San Francisco, the top city on the list. Behind San Francisco, which had an overall score of 96.14, on the list are New York City, San Antonio, Texas, and Phoenix.
Flickr pool photo by ddimick