Tips on How to Have a Safe and Happy Halloween

October 6, 2023 by Jesse Zucker
Tips on How to Have a Safe and Happy Halloween
(Photo by Jill Wellington via Pixabay)

WASHINGTON — The air is getting cooler, pumpkins are on doorsteps and plastic skeletons are posing in yards. Halloween is coming to Washington, D.C. There are many upcoming events for people of all ages to enjoy. Planning ahead and taking precautions can help you enjoy the holiday safely. 

Here are our top tips for safely celebrating Halloween, whether you’re dressing up to venture into the night or enjoying the day with kids in costumes.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

It’s essential to stay aware of your surroundings whenever you’re out in public — especially on a holiday when many people may be out and celebrating. 

If you’re indoors in a crowded space, take note of the exits. When navigating an outdoor crowd, try to leave some room around you, and notice an exit path if you need to get away.

When going out with a friend or group, stick together. If you’re heading out solo on Halloween, consider sharing your location on your phone with a friend or family member. 

Navigating Nightlife

Washington, D.C., has a vibrant nightlife. Neighborhoods across the district are filled with restaurants, bars, clubs and music venues. On Halloween, you’ll find them decked out in decorations, hosting events, serving specials, playing music and staying open late.

Before dressing up and heading out, read through these tips to ensure you make it home safely.

Drink Responsibly

Many people enjoy drinking alcohol on Halloween. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying drinks, but stay aware of your intake and pace yourself throughout the night. 

Although drinking alcohol on Halloween can be fun, you can also opt out. Spirit-free drinks are becoming more popular. Many bars in Washington, D.C., offer creative mocktails and alcohol-free beverages. Whether you’re sober, sober-curious or just want to stay a bit more alert — check the menu for other options. 

Always keep an eye on your drink. Don’t leave it alone on a table or bar if you need to walk away. While it may seem unlikely that someone could tamper with your drink, it’s best to always be wary.

Drink Water, Too

If you drink alcohol, stay hydrated. Alcohol can cause dehydration, which could be the culprit if you’ve ever had a bad hangover.

For every alcoholic drink, drink a cup of water as well. Non-alcoholic beverages won’t dehydrate you as much, but they often contain sugar, so it’s still wise to drink water.

If you’re ordering drinks at a bar, order glasses of water, too. Some bars may have an area where you can serve yourself water. When you get home, drink plenty of water before going to bed. Electrolytes and salt can also help keep you hydrated or rehydrate you in the morning.

Guard Your Belongings

On any night out, guard your valuables. Nightlife venues are packed on Halloween, so stay extra vigilant. Always keep your phone, wallet and keys close. 

Consider carrying a cross-body bag instead of a shoulder bag to keep your items on you. Never put your phone or wallet in a back pocket — it makes it easier for someone to swipe.

Take the Metro or a Rideshare

It goes without saying, but you should never drive if you’ve been drinking. The metro may be crowded, and rideshare prices may be higher with longer wait times on Halloween, so you may need to plan ahead. It’s worth the wait and cost to be safe.

Parents and Grandparents

Halloween is a lovely holiday for children, and Washington, D.C., has many family-friendly events. If you’ll be celebrating with your children or grandchildren, here are some safety tips.

When Is Sunset?

As we get further into fall, the sun begins to set earlier. On Oct. 31, the sun will set at 6:09 p.m. It may be safer to do activities with little kids during the day while it’s light out. It’s not necessarily dangerous to be out when it’s dark, but it will become more crowded and unpredictable.

Safe Trick-or-Treating

If your kids love trick-or-treating, it’s best to go with them to keep them safe. If they go with friends, ask if another adult will accompany them. For older teenagers who want to go out alone, tell them to stay aware of their surroundings and look out for each other.

Check All Candy

It may sound like a cliché, but checking any candy or food items before letting your kids enjoy them is important. Check to make sure that the wrappers are still sealed.

Attend a Family-Friendly Event

Many events in October leading up to Halloween are perfect for kids, parents and grandparents to attend together. Visit a farm outside the city for fall festivals, pumpkin picking and a hayride. 

Check out the dog parade on The Mall, Boo at the Zoo, and Hill-O-Ween: a kid-centered Halloween parade on Capitol Hill. Many museums and cultural centers in Washington, D.C., also offer kid-friendly Halloween events. 

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween

Living in Washington, D.C., gives you access to cultural events and fun holiday celebrations. Halloween night can be chaotic, with crowds of people dressed up and drinking. Always stay aware of your surroundings, guard your belongings and drink responsibly. For parents and grandparents, attend events with your little ones and inspect their candy before they enjoy it. Grab your costume, and have a safe Halloween.

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