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What's Brewing in Alexandria This Halloween Season

Here's a list of things to do around town for all ages.

October is a cornucopia of events in Alexandria for kids, families and adults. Here's a sampling of what's going on around town:

Oct. 6, 20 and 27
October Spooky Saturdays at the Athenaeum
1-2 p.m.
Admission: free
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria VA 22314
703-548-0035

Children ages 6-9 are invited to hear a ghost story from Virginia folklore. Then, an art teacher will lead children in using their imaginations to create a paper-based Halloween craft. All ghost stories are kid-tested not to be too scary. All craft materials provided.

Oct. 6 — Mask Making. Princess or witch, batman or bat? Make a mask with cardboard, feathers, yarn, glitter and more!

Oct. 20 — Scary Pop-Up Cards. Ever seen greeting cards that open to show a 3-dimensional pop-up? Create your own card, and make a scary creature jump right out!

Oct. 27 — Eerie Origami. The Japanese art of paper folding has never been this creepy! See what kind of Halloween decorations you can make.

Oct. 6
Oktoberfest at Virtue Feed & Grain
11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Admission: Free
Virtue Feed & Grain, 106 S. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314
571-970-3669

Virtue Feed & Grain will hold an Oktoberfest in Wales Alley with Sam Adams hops, grilled sausages, sauerkraut, German potato salad and more – plus live music and games. Winners can qualify for a trip to Germany's Oktoberfest - By Sam Adams. A portion of the proceeds go to Chefs as Parents, dedicated to transforming how we feed our children in the school lunch system.

Oct. 7 - Oct. 31
Pumpkin Sale at Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill

Immanuel Church on the Hill on Seminary Road will be offering pumpkins for sale this October for the 19th year.

The pumpkins will arrive Oct. 7, following a “Mass-on-the-Grass” with guest preacher Rev. Ian Markham, dean of the Virginia Theological Seminary. A second shipment will arrive Oct. 17.

The annual pumpkin sale is the church’s largest outreach fundraiser of the year, according to the church’s website. The church is located at 3606 Seminary Road, at the intersection of Quaker Lane.

Oct. 13

The Christmas Attic. Did you know the Christmas Attic is haunted?

Time: 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Admission: Free

The Christmas Attic, 125 S. Union St., Alexandria VA 22314

Stop by for ghost tours around the store and learn who haunts the Attic with mysterious movements and unexplained activities. Scary face paintings and spooky craft activities for the whole family. Come dressed in Halloween flair to get a special gift.

Oct. 16 - Nov. 2
Death Comes to Carlyle House: An 18th-Century Virginia Home in Mourning
Times: Tues-Sat: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun: noon-4 p.m.
Admission: $5/adults, $3/children, free for members
121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria VA 22314
703-549-2997

To commemorate the 232nd anniversary of the death of John Carlyle, Carlyle House presents an exhibit on the mourning practices of 18th-century Virginia through the experience of the Carlyle household. The house will be draped in mourning and a collection of 18th- and early 19th-century mourning jewelry will be on display.

Oct. 19
Edgar Allan Poe: Tales of Mystery and the Imagination
7 p.m.
Admission: $10
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria VA 22314
703-548-0035

Actors from the Georgetown Theatre Company will read stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe at the Athenaeum. Stories will include The Cask of Amontillado, The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, The Black Cat and Berenice. Poems will include The Raven, Annabel Lee and Ulalume. Since the Athenaeum is reputed to be haunted, perhaps there will be ghostly manifestations! A coffee and dessert reception follows the stories.

Oct. 20
Spirits, Suffering, and Society: Death in Civil War Alexandria
6-9 p.m.
Admission: $15
Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden, 614 Oronoco St., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-548-1789

A re-enactment focusing on the social aspects of dying in a Civil War hospital. See events and reactions to the unprecedented scale of death and destruction during the Civil War. Learn about the house’s role as hospital and morgue for the Union Army.

Oct. 20
Kids’ Class: Halloween Cookie Decorating
1-2:30 pm
Admission: $35
Sugar Cube, 1218 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-548-2868

Ages four and up learn how to roll and cut cookie dough and then decorate cookie shapes using colored icing and candy. Children take home what they make. Advance registration is required. Call 703-548-2868 to secure a spot.

Oct. 21
Cauldron Tea at Carlyle House
2 p.m.
Admission: $25
Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-549-2997

“Double, double toil and trouble/Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” What will be brewing in your pot? Come to the Carlyle House terrace for a spooky afternoon tea that will be sure to cast a spell on your Halloween celebrations. After the tea, guests are invited to tour the museum and learn about 18th century funeral and mourning practices in Virginia. Costumes welcome.

Oct. 24
Horror Halloween: Storytime for Adults
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission: Free
Barrett Branch Library, Queen St., Alexandria VA 22314

Listening to stories read aloud is a pleasure for listeners of all ages. Join Old Town's Barrett Branch library for a different kind of storytime -- one for adults! Librarians will read short stories from the horror collection.

Oct. 25
Ghosts and Folklore of Alexandria
7 p.m.
Admission: $10
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-548-0035

Alexandria is one of the most haunted cities in the country. Authors Michael Lee Pope (author of Ghosts of Alexandria) and JJ Smith (author of Haunted Alexandria and Northern Virginia) join Betty Ward of Footsteps to the Past to share stories of the Female Stranger, Swope House, Ramsay House and many more! A coffee and dessert reception follows the stories. Those who dare may take a short ghost walk at the end of this event.

Oct. 27
Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314

Ghouls and goblins, witches and wizards of all ages will be trick or treating with the Old Town Boutique District this Halloween. Member stores will be handing out treats.

Oct. 27
Re-enactment of Colonel John Carlyle’s 1780 Funeral & Ghost Tour of Alexandria
6-9 p.m.
Admission: $15
Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-683-3451

In the fall of 1780, Death visited Carlyle House and claimed the life of town founder John Carlyle. Step back in time and be a part of this historic funeral as you learn about mourning practices in early America. Admission includes a ghost tour of Old Town Alexandria, during which participants will visit the candlelit Carlyle House to view the coffin and pay respects to surviving family members. At 9 pm, return to Carlyle House to escort John Carlyle’s body to the Old Presbyterian Meeting House and visit his lantern-lit grave in the cemetery. Please call Alexandria’s Footsteps to the Past at 703-683-3451 to purchase your ticket: $15/person. Reservations are recommended.

Oct. 28
Annual Halloween Dog Walk
1 p.m.
Admission: Free
The Dog Park, 705 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-888-2818

The Dog Park shop on King Street is organizing the popular Halloween Dog Walk for Sunday, Oct. 28, starting at 1 p.m. Trick-or-treating dogs and their humans are invited to stop by the Dog Park for a map and bag and then visit participating businesses for more treats.

Oct. 28
Del Ray Halloween Parade
2 p.m. 
Admission: Free
Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray

Children and families from Del Ray and elsewhere come decked out in their most creative costumes for a march straight down through the heart of Del Ray. There are awards presented for best pet costume and best stroller decoration. 

Oct. 30
Doggie Happy Howl-o-ween Costume Contest
Registration 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Contest begins at 6 p.m.
Admission: $TBD participant registration fee
Jackson 20 Restaurant, 480 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-842-2790

Jackson 20 and Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Alexandria host their annual Doggie Happy Howl-o-ween Costume Contest. Local pets and their human companions can model their Halloween finest while competing for prizes in a contest in the outdoor courtyard. The event is open to the public with a TBD registration fee for all participants.

Prizes will be awarded for:
• Best Political Pooch (in honor of this year’s election)
• The Most Glamorous Get-Up
• The Best Dressed Couple (pet/owner costume combo)
• The “Top Dog” Award (best overall costume)

During the evening’s festivities, guests can purchase Halloween-themed cocktails and light bites from Jackson 20 restaurant, while complimentary doggie treats and fresh water bowls will be available for all canine friends. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis, for a limited number of entries. Spectators are welcome. Contest registration is from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Contest begins promptly at 6:00 p.m. and winners are announced at approximately 7 to 8 p.m.

Jackson 20 Restaurant and Hotel Monaco Alexandria are located at 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Event will be held in the restaurant’s courtyard; please use the Royal Street entrance.

Nov. 2
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Costume & Dance Party at the Torpedo Factory Art Center
8-11 p.m.
Admission: Advance $15; Door: $20 or two for $35 (Tickets $10 each with a student ID)
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-838-4565

The Torpedo Factory Art Center presents their 4th annual Day of the Dead extravaganza featuring an exhibition of artist-made altars and a festive Costume & Dance Party. This year’s Costume & Dance Party will take place on the actual holiday of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and will feature DIY matchbox altars, live music, a costume contest and more!

Quimby October 02, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Looks like a lot of great programs, thanks for pulling them all together. The ones at the Athenaeum look particularly good for kids!
Kristen October 02, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I also always love what South Lee St. residents pull together. Does anyone know if they'll be at it again this year, and when?

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