The new school year is quickly approaching, but there are still a few free weekends left to explore the District. With only a month of summer left, hit these three locations for chilling ghost stories, a magical scavenger hunt and some picturesque scenery.
Haunted Old Town Virginia: After Dark
Halloween may seem like a lifetime away from the first weekend in August, but a tour of Haunted Old Town Alexandria will spook you into thinking it’s October. As you crawl through Old Town’s colonial graveyards and abandoned buildings, a guide will divulge creepy tales of the founding fathers. The 18th century haunted houses might give you the creeps, and who knows, you could even pick up some ghoulish friends on your way to dinner. For those that are 21 and over, calm your nerves from the tour’s unsettling stories with a drink from nearby restaurant on the waterfront, Chadwick’s.
Old Town Virginia at the corner of King and North Fairfax streets. 8:15 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. $30.
Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt
If a letter from Hogwarts wasn’t sitting in your mailbox when you turned 11, make up for it with a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt at the National Gallery of Art. Alongside fellow witches, wizards and muggles you will track down various characters from J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. Discover creatures from the Forbidden Forest and intriguing magical beings. As you explore the halls of the National Gallery of Art, you’ll find artwork that is reminiscent of scenes from the Harry Potter books and movies.
National Gallery of Art, 6th & Constitution Ave. NW. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. $19.
Hike and Picnic at Great Falls
Grab your hiking shoes and get ready for an adventurous workout on the Great Falls Trail, a former trading place for Native Americans and colonists. You’ll travel alongside the river, see the ruins of George Washington’s dream canal, pass by a man-made gorge and stop at beautiful waterfalls. Be sure to bring a lunch to enjoy during a picnic by the scenic stops, as well as plenty of water to keep hydrated on the hike.
Great Falls Park. 9200 Old Dominion Dr., Mclean, Va. 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. $15.