Weekend Outlook: Embrace Halloween with pumpkin carving and a bone-chilling rendition of “Dracula”

Media Credit: Krishna Rajpara I Assistant Photo Editor

The Victims of Communism Museum opened its door this past summer to showcase the realities of lives under a communist regime with immersive exhibits.

If you find yourself still in the District for fall break, venture out of the Foggy Bottom bubble to take advantage of the time off.

Pay a solemn visit to a new museum honoring victims of totalitarian regimes Friday, unwind with a pumpkin carving contest Saturday and end the weekend with a spine-chilling, reimagined production of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” Sunday.

Friday

Victims of Communism Museum in McPherson Square
Start your weekend with an educational experience highlighting true stories about life under a communist regime. The Victims of Communism Museum opened its doors this past summer to showcase the realities of lives under a communist regime with immersive exhibits. The pioneering museum features five exhibits in chronological order dating back to Marx’s Communist Manifesto. Gallery III traces the rise of communism through Asia, Africa and Latin America, life under a totalitarian authority and resistance fighters who fought against these regimes. The museum illustrates the history of communism while highlighting its modern continuation in countries like China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam. The museum also poignantly memorializes the more than 100 million people murdered by communist regimes with a solemn display of black-and-white photos.

Victims of Communism Museum, 900 15th Street, NW. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m to 3 p.m. ISuggested donation of $10. Find more information here.

Saturday

Pumpkin Fest: An Afternoon of Cooking and Carving Pumpkins
Embrace a softer, more childish side of Halloween – the tradition of pumpkin cooking and carving. Enter a jack-o’-lantern carving contest and learn to concoct pumpkin-flavored delicacies like soups, cocktails and other beverages to put your Pumpkin Spice Latte to shame at W.S. Jenks & Son, a hardware store in the Northeast. Immerse yourself in the sweet and silly side of the fan-favorite autumnal flavor by reconnecting with a reminiscent childhood activity. Carving contest winners will receive a mystery prize, so get in the competitive, spooky spirit with your design.

W.S. Jenks & Son, 910 Bladensburg Road NE. Noon to 2 p.m. $20. Find more information here.

Sunday

“Dracula” at Synetic Theater
This spine-chilling and sensuous reimagining of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” at Arlington’s Synetic Theater delivers a theatrical experience worth crossing the Potomac. In days of yore, a vampire terrorized the Transylvanian countryside, and an unlikely group unites to protect their home. Stoker claimed he based his story and its characters on reality, making “Dracula” not simply as a fiction, but a warning that nightmares may come to life. From Director Paata Tsikurishvili, a professor at Catholic University and the founder of the Synetic Theater, this rendition of “the world’s most iconic horror story” uses fake blood, sexual innuendos and gore to enrapture audiences and lean into the horror factor just in time for spooky season.

Synetic Theater, 1800 S Bell Street, Arlington, VA. 2 p.m. Running until November 6. $25. Find more information here.

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