The summer’s heat has given way to fall’s chill, the County’s farmers markets are ripe with the season’s best apples and Arlington’s brown flip-flops have been replaced by boots. Indeed, another spooky season is upon us.
With Halloween lurking just around the corner, we’ve compiled some of the ways to make the most of your trick-or-treating, frightening fun and haunting hikes in Arlington.
As Arlington’s younger population transforms in ghouls, ghosts and goblins, it’s important for everyone to keep in mind some trick-or-treating tips. First off, while Arlington doesn’t have set hours for trick-or-treating, you should expect the candy crusade to coincide with the sunset, which on Oct. 31 is just after 6 p.m.
And whether you’re out driving, in costume or chaperoning kids, it’s important to remember to #BEaPAL — Predicative, Alert and Lawful:
- Drive and bike SLOWLY
- Lighten up! (Reflective accents can be added to costumes to help you be seen. As well, carrying glow sticks or flashlights can be helpful as they not only help others see you, but help you see in the dark as well.)
- Be lawful at intersections
For those of you on Nextdoor, check out its Treat Map, a guide for who in your neighborhood plans to celebrate Halloween either by passing out treats or hosting a haunted house.
- Campfires — The whole family is invited to a special edition of Parks & Rec’s Fall Campfires on Oct. 25 when the nature theme is Halloween Animals. Can’t make it that night? DPR has a whole series of campfires in the fall, held at the Gulf Branch and Lon Branch Nature Centers, complete with stories, games, songs and, of course, S’mores.
- Pumpkin Walk — Join Parks and Recreation on Sat., Oct. 26, at Arlington’s first-ever Pumpkin Walk! This short stroll, designed for all ages and abilities,will feature dozens of spooky lighted pumpkins that will delight the whole family. After the walk, the Arlington Mill Community Center will host games, face painting, moon bounces, face painting, food vendors and more — there will be a free pumpkin giveaway. Costumes are encouraged! More info.
- Teen Halloween Trip — On this Oct. 26 trip, teens get to enjoy all the rides and amusements of the park throughout the day, and the thrilling chills of HAUNT at night. Learn more. To Register: Call 703-228-4747, or visit registration.arlingtonva.us | Activity Code: 720220-B. Registration Deadline: Thursday, Oct. 24.
- Trick or Treat at the Village — Grab your little ghouls & goblins for trick-or-treating around The Village at Shirlington’s participating shops & restaurants on Oct. 26
- Halloween at Ballston Quarter — Join a night of trick-or-treating throughout the mall with fun goodies, special Halloween treats and photos with your favorite movie characters
Check out a Book … or a Scare
If you’re looking for a family-friendly fright, your local Arlington Public Library branch is ready to be your Halloween host:
- Pumpkin Palooza Storytime — The Columbia Pike Branch Library will host its annual pumpkin painting on Oct. 25, a song singing and storytime program for pre-K through 5th grade. All materials, including a pumpkin, will be provided. Registration is required.
- Boo-Pa-Looza — To celebrate Halloween, Westover Branch Library will create its very own monsters, snack on sweet treats, and Missus Counts will read a Halloween story (Oct. 26).
- Halloween Storytime — On Oct. 26, families and children of all ages are invited to the Shirlington Branch Library for stories and songs, complete with a Halloween parade around the Library following storytime.
The Arlington County Police Department wants you to have a safe and happy Halloween with these tips. As always, officers will be out in your neighborhoods. If you need police assistance, call 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency. On Friday, Oct. 25, police are hosting a Halloween anti-drunk driving event to highlight the impact that alcohol has on motor skills. This free event is open to the public and will take place at the intersection of N. Hudson Street and Wilson Boulevard, beginning at 8 p.m.
As you continue your celebrations on Saturday evening, WRAP’s 2019 Halloween SoberRide® program, in partnership with Lyft, will give users $15 off one ride home.
Give your Jack-o’-lantern new life after Halloween by dropping it off for composting on Nov. 2. The Arlington County Solid Waste Bureau will use the organic results in parks and other landscaping endeavors. Last year, this program collected more than 7,800 pounds of gourd.
- Remove decorations, candles, paint and other inorganic materials prior to drop-off
- Pumpkin composting drop-off is for Arlington residents only (no commercial establishments)
The Solid Waste Bureau will also accept pumpkins through food scraps drop-off during normal business hours (7 a.m.-4 p.m., M-F).