It’s almost Halloween and while you and your kiddos could dress up as any goblin or ghoul, why not trick-or-treat with some hometown pride? Let your little one flap their wings in a Mo Willems-inspired pigeon costume or get notorious with tribute  to RGB. We’ve got some locally inspired costume ideas that only district natives can truly pull off. Happy Halloween!

photo: Katy Walter

Choose to Dissent
Possibly the easiest costume to pull off (all you need is, you guessed it, a lace collar) we also predict it will be a DC favorite this fall. People are already donning frilly white accessories in honor of RBG. We’ve spotted them on NBA players, states and we predict the collar will make it’s way to your streets this Hallow’s Eve. If you want simple yet profound Halloween look, top any black outfit with one of these lace collars.

photo: courtesy of Someday I’ll Learn

Fly the Coop 
Mo Willems’s lovable character, Pigeon, graced the stage of the Kennedy Center this year. And, when times got tough (hello, pandemic), Willems hopped online to bring Pigeon-inspired art lessons to kids at home. Honor the myth, the legend, the bird with these easy DIY instructions to create your own feathered friend.

photo: Vikram Nath Chouhan via Unsplash 

Flag this Idea
DC is home to over 175 embassies and ambassador residencies. From a national costume to a colorful representation of a flag, you can pay tribute to your family’s cultural heritage while also making a nod toward Embassy Row this Halloween.


photo: Pexels

Executive Decision
There is no shortage of inspiration when it comes to the Executive Departments that call the District home base. Farmers, teachers and pilots are all fair game on Oct. 31. Independent agencies, like NASA and the CIA, also make stellar Halloween-inspiration. You can really “blast off” with some of these ideas!


photo: Prairie Township via Yelp

Get Cinematic 
What’s better than wearing a superhero costume on Halloween? Going full cosplay with an authentic backdrop on all Hallow’s Eve. If your little one loves Captain America, Iron Man or the Transformers, then suit up for the ultimate trick-or-treat experience. Relive the magic of the movies in your favorite DC hood.

photo: Jeremy McKnight via Unsplash 

Turn Back Time
Before DC was politics-central it was home to the dinosaur (and other prehistoric animals). Celebrate all things dino with a roar-some costume. You can go big with a blow-up or keep it simple.


photo: Hidden Treasures Learning Center via Yelp

Natural Wonders
DC’s architecture gets all the press, but it’s the parks, gardens and green spaces that make for family memories. If you and your brood spend most of your days outdoors, spend trick-or-treat night dressed as your favorite native fauna or furry friend. Or celebrate the DMV’s many butterfly gardens with  your own little monarch butterfly

photo: Aaron Hockley

DC So Classic
DC is known for its classic images. So, bring them to life! Tape a white stripe on a blue rectangle. Attached that to your shirt and suddenly, you’re the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Adorn you and your crew with flowers and walk the streets as the Cherry Blossoms. Or, go one step further and add a kite costume to bring the entire Cherry Blossom Festival to life. From a group of tourists to a collection of Food Trucks, the sky is the limit when it comes to personifying DC’s classic images with your family.

hot-dog-costumephoto: Xi via Flickr

Foodie Fun
There’s the obvious—Half Smoke, Mambo Sauce, or anything from Ben’s Chili Bowl. But what about avocado toast? Cupcakes? Bao Buns? As a melting pot of some of the best food in the world, pretty much anything goes when you want to resemble something edible.

photo: Huston School of Music via Yelp

Museum Inspired
We’re lucky to live so close to so many amazing museums You’ll find obvious inspiration here, like a nod to Air and Space with an Amelia Earhart costume or dress your crew as Dorothy and friends (we’re looking at you, National Museum of American History). 

abe-lincoln-costumephoto: Laura via Flickr

Get Presidential
If you want to be truly presidential for Halloween, you have quite a few options to choose from (44, to be exact). Go historic with a Washington, Lincoln, or Adams. Or go obscure and teach your little one about Harrison (either of them), Tyler (got Congress to pass the annexation of Texas), or Hayes (the first president to use a telephone).


nats-fan-dcphoto: Washington Nationals via Facebook

Sports Fan
If you’re a fan of DC sports, chances are you already have some of the necessary pieces in your kiddo’s closet to make this out fit work. Batter up to a Nationals costume or get goal-oriented with a Washington Capitals costume.

—Meghan Yudes Meyers and Tricia Mirchandani


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