Tysons, VA

Door-to-door greeting and candy distribution is a classic staple of Halloween night, but Fairfax County and health officials warn it might be one of the worst activities to do amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

There are alternative activities available, like a parade going to residential areas around Vienna and a Trunk or Treat activity in McLean. For those that do plan to trick or treat this year, there are several precautions the CDC recommended taking, including:

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
  • Wash hands before handling treats.
  • Wear a mask.

Photo courtesy Anne B.

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Your child is invited to an online Halloween Math Escape Room on Friday, October 30 at 4 p.m.

The Russian School of Mathematics has created this online event where kids will solve mystery brainteasers, spooky riddles and eerie puzzles to find out the way to escape from our chilling adventure.

Join us dressed in your favorite costume and invite your friends to get into the holiday spirit together.

Register now for the October 30 event!

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Oct. 27)

Thursday (Oct. 29)

  • Falls Church Amateur Writers Group (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — A group for aspiring writers, the website said. Discussing and offering constructive criticism for each other’s work, the group will meet via Zoom. Email Pete Sullivan, [email protected], to request the Zoom link.

Friday (Oct. 30)

Saturday (Oct. 31)

  • Halloween Wave Parade — 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at all Town of Vienna quadrants — In order not to gather the usual ghoulish crowd for this beloved event, the Town is taking 10-15 floats in the way of a Halloween Wave Parade through Vienna neighborhoods, the website said.
  • Halloween Craft Popups — 10 a.m.-3:15 p.m. —  Enjoy pumpkin painting, birdhouse painting, or scarecrow-making at three different City of Falls Church parks, the website said.
  1. Pumpkin Painting Popup — 10 a.m.-3:15 p.m. at Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave.) — The cost is $6. To register, use this link.
  2. Birdhouse Painting — 10 a.m.-3:15 p.m. at Berman Park Picnic Shelter (236 Irving St.) — The cost is $4. To register, use this link.
  3. Scarecrow Making — 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Frady Park Gazebo (311 E. Broad St.) — The cost is $10 per family. To register, use this link.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

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With COVID-19 on the upswing again in Fairfax, many traditional Halloween events are cancelled, but the Old Firehouse Center (1440 Chain Bridge Road) in McLean is planning a pair of events this Saturday to help keep the holiday alive.

The first will be House of Terror, the Old Firehouse Center’s first haunted house experience.

“OFC’s House of Terror will transform the teen center into the best Halloween experience in McLean,” the group said in a Facebook event listing. “Please note: OFC’s House of Terror is recommended for participants 10 years of age and older.”

As an alternative for younger — or less spooky-inclined — attendees, the Trunk or Treat will help recreate the trick-or-treat experience at a series of vehicles.

“The OFC’s Trunk or Treat will have themed vehicles with Halloween candy at each location to share (while supplies last),” the center said. “Trunk or Treat is a great safe alternative to trick or treating. We would love to see you dressed in your Halloween best. We look forward to seeing you there to give you the scare of your life.”

The program is scheduled to run from 6-9 p.m. and admission is $2. Preregistration is required and all attendees are required to wear a mask and will have a temperature screening prior to entry.

Photo via Google Maps

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

As the fall sports wrap up and the weather turns cold, I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to dread the cold days inside with nowhere to go and nothing to do due to COVID-19. So, I’ve been looking around for activities that I’d feel comfortable taking my kids to as something to look forward to.

I’ve found it takes very little to get them excited these days. If you’re like me, take a look at this list and see what makes you feel comfortable venturing out!

The Ni Family Lights: 2528 Drexel Street, Vienna
Now through October 31, 6:30-9:30 p.m. or 10 p.m. (hours vary on weekends)
A 28 minute light show set to 8 songs!

House of Terror and Trunk or Treat: Old Firehouse in McLean
Saturday, October 24, 6-9 p.m.
Best for kids age 10 or over.

Haunted Mini Golf: Upton Hill in Arlington
October 28-October 31, 4-8 p.m.
Buy one adult round, get one kids round free. Children in costumes receive a spooky treat!

Haunted Trail and Festival: The Salamander Resort
October 28-October 31, 6:30-9 p.m.
A haunted 0.6 mile trail for kids ages 4- 12, plus food and other activities.

Halloween Drive-Up Movie Night: Tysons II
Friday, October 30
6 p.m. — Car trick or treating
6:45 p.m. — Scooby-Doo Stage Fright
8:45 p.m. — Beetlejuice
Proceeds benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

Spooktacular Science Show: Veteran Amphitheater in Fairfax
Saturday, October 31, 1:30-2:15 p.m.

Drive-by Pumpkin Patch: Fairfax High School
October 31, 6-9 p.m.
Drive through to look at various carved pumpkins on display. Also accepting donations for A Place to Stand (cereal, granola bars, oatmeal, crackers, PB&J, dried beans, rice and pasta).

I have a poll for you, because who doesn’t love to give their opinion? When house hunting in the fall/winter, do holiday decorations (Halloween blow ups for example) deter you from looking at the house?

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Monday Morning Notes

Ketamine and Wellness Facility Opening in McLean — “Avesta Ketamine and Wellness is excited to announce the opening of their second location in McLean Virginia November 2020.” [Benzinga]

Cloud Networking Service in McLean Wins $2.15 Billion Sale — “McLean, Virginia-based telecommunications, internet and cloud services provider GTT Communications has signed an agreement to sell its infrastructure business to I Squared Capital, a Miami-based infrastructure investment company, for $2.15 billion.” [WTOP]

Vienna Community Center Selling Halloween Goodie Bags — “Those interested may come to the community center 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 am-6 pm Saturdays. Each bag is $20 and comes with two pie-sized pumpkins.” [Vienna Happenings]

OmniRide Cancels Woodbridge-Tysons Route — “Last week, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, which operates the bus service, announced a host of changes to reduce expenses that will take effect Nov. 2. Three commuter routes – Dale City to Mark Center, Lake Ridge to Mark Center and Woodbridge VRE to Tysons Corner – will be suspended until further notice.” [WTOP]

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The arrival of October usually means the beginning of a month full of fall and Halloween festivities. However, in pandemic times, the seasonal celebration might look a little bit different — trick-or-treating in particular.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted a list of guidelines to take when planning for fall and winter holidays, including Halloween at the end of this month. Festivities were ranked low-risk to high-risk, allowing people to gauge what level of risk they are comfortable taking when participating in the holiday.

Some low-risk Halloween ideas include carving pumpkins with family, having a virtual costume contest or holding a trick-or-treat style scavenger hunt around your home.

One-way trick-or-treating with pre-wrapped goodie bags was recommended by the CDC as a moderate-risk activity. Traditional trick-or-treating, however, was listed as a higher-risk activity.

Considering recommendations regarding pandemic trick-or-treating and the likelihood of children hunting for candy, will you be handing out goodies this year? Will you be doing so traditionally, modifying the candy giveaway, or skipping the activity altogether?

Photo by NeONBRAND/Unsplash

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Although Halloween in Vienna will look a little different this year, COVID-19 isn’t stopping the town from holding socially-distanced fall festivities. 

Currently, the town is collecting donations for “Halloween in a Bag” until Oct. 1. The collection, based on their “4th of July in a Box” over the summer, will deliver 750 bags with enough supplies for two kids per household to celebrate Halloween from home.

The bag will include a pumpkin decorating kit, Halloween candy and treats, festive crafts, recipes and activities, vampire teeth and an assortment of Halloween fun, according to the Vienna Voice. Bags are $20 each.

Then, the Vienna Business Association and the Town of Vienna will host Distanz Oktoberfest — a twist on the usual Oktoberfest celebration — from Oct. 2-4.

The celebration will feature various festivals that fall into four different categories: Festival Food, Beer & Wine, Market Platz/Retail and Business Expo/Professionals. 

On Oct. 31, the town will host the “Halloween Wave Parade.” At 10 a.m., locals can expect 10-15 floats to travel through the four quadrants of Vienna. 

The parade is looking for more sponsors — businesses can apply to be a sponsor on the VBA website. Sponsors will have their logos displayed as the parade moves across town.

Photo by David Menidrey/Unsplash

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Alpaca Party — “Earlier this summer, [Andrea] Diaz, who lives in Vienna, started a new business, My Pet Alpaca.” [DCist]

Lodging Revenue Nose Dives — Tysons-based Park Hotels “saw a 95.16% drop in revenue, from $434 million in 2019 to just $21 million in the most recent quarter. RevPAR for the second quarter was $14.47, down 95.1%. Occupancy for Park’s 18 consolidated hotels that remained open for the entire quarter was 20.8%. Today, 42 of Park’s hotels are operational, which accounts for 53% of its portfolio.” [Washington Business Journal]

Road Closure Alert — “The 100 block of N. West Street will be closed on Monday, August 10, from 10 a.m. to about 2 p.m. to allow for construction trailer movement at the Founder’s Row site.” [City of Falls Church]

Halloween Store Coming to Tysons — “Spirit Halloween stores recently announced plans to start opening its 1,400 U.S. locations in anticipation of Halloween 2020. The company typically occupies vacant storefronts leading up to Halloween season, and this year it will be at the former Performance Bike location at 8387 Leesburg Pike in Tysons.” [Patch]

COVID-19 Case Backlog — “An additional 2,015 coronavirus cases were reported statewide Friday, which the Virginia Department of Health attributed to a backlog of cases. The number reflects cases that should have been reported on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as Friday’s cases.” [Patch]

Local Author Releases New Novel — “If the Roman Empire never collapsed, would society be far more advanced than it is today? That’s the subject of a new history novel, “The Alternative History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” enthusiast Martin Missaiel has been working on since 2012.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Hand Sanitizer Recell — “The Food and Drug Administration has recalled 75 brands of hand sanitizer that contain methanol, which can cause serious health complications.” [Patch]

Photo courtesy Hilde Kahn

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(Updated 9:30 a.m.) The Vienna Business Association’s Oktoberfest and several Town of Vienna events are no longer happening due to the pandemic.

The town announced today (Tuesday) that events through Oct. 3 are canceled and alternative Halloween celebrations are under consideration.

The canceled events include:

Kathy Georgen, who chairs the Oktoberfest planning committee, said in the town’s announcement that Oktoberfest had to get axed because it depends on hundreds of vendors and thousands of attendees.

“We could not in good conscience move forward in this current climate,” Georgen said.

Instead, the VBA plans to promote Distanz Oktoberfest, which is described in a press release as “an initiative that encourages VBA-member and other Town businesses to host in early October German-themed events and promotions at their own location.”

Nearby, the City of Falls Church took similar precautions, canceling its Falls Church Festival in September and Farm Day in October. The rest of the city’s events for 2020 “will take place if a safe event format can be created.”

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