Tysons Corner, VA

A new Halloween-themed experience opens this afternoon (Friday, Sept. 13) in Tysons Corner Center.

The American Scream Selfie Museum lets people interact with installations based off spooky movies, TV shows and pop-culture icons by snapping selfies.

The $18 entry fee gives guests 45 minutes to explore 4,200 square foot of space, spokesperson Maurisa Potts said.

Guests can interact with scenes similar to “Game of Thrones,” “Annabelle,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and other movies and TV shows, like a chair made of swords called “The Throne.”

Visitors can search for several “easter eggs” hidden throughout the selfie museum. These include framed newsprint of a historical Maryland witch hunt and an incident in the eighth season of “Game of Thrones” when actors left a Starbucks cup on set.

The space features $70,000 worth of props that set designers found at garage sales, antique shops and even Craigslist, according to Jon Libbesmeier, the set-designer and co-creator of American Scream.

Though dimply lit and designed to be spooky, staff said that there will not be anyone jumping out to scare visitors.

The company created similar installations in the D.C. metro area in past seasons, which attracted women aged 24 to 34, though all are welcome, Libbesmeier said.

“Groups of professional women coming to this as a group of friends is our bread and butter in the D.C. market,” Libbesmeier said.

He said this is not typical around the country but he assumed there are lots of young working professionals looking for things to do in the area.

The hours of operation are 3-10 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekends. The exhibit will also be open on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to Halloween.

The pop-up installation will run from Sept. 13-Nov. 1.

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A new photo experience prepares to get people into the Halloween spirit at Tysons Corner Center.

American Scream, a self-described “selfie museum,” will allow guests to take spooky photos with a variety of props and interactive displays.

Patrons can visit the pop-up after Sep. 13 near the Lord and Taylor on the first level of the mall, according to a press release. General admission is $18.

Open until Nov. 3, this temporary museum will let participants experience horror themes such as morgues, clowns and haunted dolls.

“The American Scream Selfie Museum will feature unique, interactive exhibits that will make you both laugh and scream and the star of eye-popping selfies,” the press release said. “Visitors of this seasonal pop-up activation can be the star of their own horror movie.”

Photo courtesy of American Scream 

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Morning Notes

Halloween Safety Tips — The Fairfax County Police Department has a number of Halloween safety tips for parents, drivers, seniors and pet owners. If you’re planning on bringing the little ones trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, this post has additional tips and info. [FCPD]

Vienna Council Approves New Contracts — “Citing difficulties in arranging for Vienna’s general on-call maintenance and roadway contractor to handle small work orders, the Vienna Town Council on Oct. 29 voted 7-0 to spend up to $617,745 with U.S. Concrete and Paving Inc. to handle those tasks.” [InsideNova]

Falls Church Resident Hits the Jackpot — “When Michael Kraemer discovered he’d won the $4 million top prize in the Virginia Lottery’s Hot Millions Multiplier game, he didn’t immediately tell anyone. The Falls Church man simply drove off in his car and went to work as usual.” [Fairfax Times]

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Don’t let grumbles about a lack of local nightlife scare you, there’s still plenty to do around Tysons for Halloween tomorrow.

The Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) will be hosting a night full of Halloween festivities. An in-house trick-or-treat runs from 3-7 p.m. with candy given out to children and adults. A Halloween-themed trivia night will start at 7 p.m., then at 9 p.m., Chuggalug will be performing live music until 2 a.m. Admission to the Halloween festivities is free, with registration available online.

Meanwhile, Greenhouse Bistro and Tea Lounge (2070 Chain Bridge Road) will be hosting a Stranger Things-themed Halloween costume contest. The grand prize is $500, with 2nd place winning $250 and 3rd place winning $100. Drink specials will also be available all night.

For those looking for a healthier alternative, Tysons Sport & Health (8250 Greensboro Dr) will be hosting a Zumba Halloween Party from 7:35-8:45 p.m. The event is open to non-members. Attendees are welcome to wear a costume and invite their friends.

The AMC in Tysons Corner Center will have a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a bizarre cult-classic musical, at 10 p.m. The movie is rated R and tickets are $5 for adults.

In nearby Vienna, the Blackfinn Ameripub at 2750 Gallows Road will be hosting a Hallowine and Whiskey party from 5-9 p.m. The bar will feature a selection of spooky specialty cocktails with half-off all whiskey and bottles of wine. Costumes are optional.

Photo via Greenhouse Bistro and Tea Lounge

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Morning Notes

Vienna Halloween Parade Recap — Thousands attended the Vienna Halloween Parade on Wednesday, enjoying cool fall weather and a wide variety of marchers and floats heading down Maple Ave. One particular source of interest was a Vienna garbage truck decorated with artwork from local elementary school students. [InsideNova, Patch, Fairfax News]

Reminder: SoberRide This Weekend — Those heading to bars and parties this weekend can get a free, safe ride home thanks to the SoberRide program. The program, which is active for certain festive holidays — like Halloween — offers a free Lyft ride home up to $15 with a limited-time code. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Hocus Pocus Playing in Tysons — Starting Saturday and running through Halloween, the classic 1993 Disney film Hocus Pocus will be playing at the AMC Tysons Corner 16. [Patch]

Pair of Weekend Events at Biergarten — The Tysons Biergarten will be hosting “APBA Pit Bull Appreciation Day 2018” on Saturday afternoon and “Feargarten,” a costume party, on Sunday night. [Facebook, Twitter]

Town of Vienna Replacing Furniture — “The Vienna town government soon will replace Town Hall’s reception desk, kiosk and conference-room furniture under a $23,788 contract approved Oct. 15 by the Vienna Town Council. The main reception desk at Vienna Town Hall is more than two decades old, lacks adequate work space and has non-working drawers.” [InsideNova]

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Vienna’s 72nd Annual Halloween Parade tonight (Wednesday) will haunt Maple Avenue starting at 7 p.m.

The parade starts at the corner of Maple Avenue and Branch Road SE. It will proceed west along the street past a reviewing stand before ending at Center Street S. The streets surrounding Maple Avenue will be closed with traffic redirected along Church Street.

Expect a crowd for the popular, family-friendly parade. Attendees, however, are asked not to place blankets or chairs on the sidewalks, benches, or bus shelters.

Children are invited to walk in the parade in their costumes with no registration required but they must be accompanied by an adult. Those wishing to walk in the parade should meet in the parking lot at United Bank (374 Maple Ave. E).

The parade is also a contest, with participants judged in the following categories:

  • Youth bands
  • Floats with and without music
  • Youth performers
  • Antique/classic vehicles

Winners of the costume contest will be recognized by the Vienna Town Council at a meeting in November.

Spectators are asked to keep off the street and monitor any children they might bring. Merchants along Maple Avenue are asked not to put items on the street today and to keep the sidewalks clear so pedestrians can easily walk along the parade route.

For those who have never attended the parade, local realtor Laura Schwartz had a few tips for how to get the most out of the experience.

More from Vienna’s town government on Facebook:

You know there’s something special going on when Maple Avenue looks like this. #HalloweenParade

Posted by Town of Vienna, VA – Government on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

We're making the line-up list and checking it twice, securing helium for our giant balloons, and prepping for, yes, road…

Posted by Town of Vienna, VA – Government on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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Halloween is just over a week away and across the area little ghouls and goblins are preparing for their annual candy-gathering bonanza.

But if you’re new to the area, you might not know when the witching hour is in Fairfax County. So if you live in McLean, Vienna, Tysons or elsewhere in the county, when should the kids go out?

The general answer is that trick-or-treating starts just before sundown on Halloween itself. So this year, expect trick-or-treaters on local roads starting around 5:30-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Typically, the costumed crowds dissipate by 8 or 9 p.m.

Fairfax County does not designate an official day or time for trick-or-treating, and some private communities may have different rules.

“Some communities, cities and counties designate a day other than Oct. 31 for trick-or-treating. Fairfax County Government does NOT set a different date,” the county notes on its Halloween web page. “Your homeowners association or apartment complex may set times for events, but neighborhood trick-or-treating is generally the evening of Oct. 31.”

The county also has a number of Halloween safety guidelines for residents, below.

If your children are preparing to go trick-or-treating, take these safety precautions:

  • Make sure all costumes are flame retardant. Most commercial costumes are made of flame-retardant material and you should ask your fabric shop for flame-retardant material if you make your own costume.
  • Make sure your children can see and be seen. Expand the eye holes in commercial masks to improve peripheral vision. Add reflective tape to costumes to make them more visible to motorists.
  • Ensure that each trick-or-treater has a working flashlight.
  • Tell the children to remove their masks and look both ways before they cross a street.
  • Never let a group of children trick-or-treat alone. Adult supervision is a safety “must” during Halloween.
  • Tell kids to stay away from candles and jack-o’-lanterns that may be on steps and porches. Their costumes could catch fire if they get too close.
  • Kids should never carry candles when they are trick-or-treating. Always use a flashlight, flameless candle, or light stick.
  • Tell kids to let you know right away if they see other kids playing with matches or lighters.
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Bootique will return to Merrifield this Thursday (Oct. 25) night, offering an evening of deals and treats.

The Mosaic District’s annual Halloween event will take place from 5-7 p.m, during which time local stores will be giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. At 7 p.m., attendees are invited to settle in at Strawberry Park for a screening of Monsters Vs. Aliens on the large screen outside the Angelika Film Center.

Maps will be available and stores will have signs saying if they are giving out candy. The following stores are confirmed to be trick-or-treating candy stops:

  • Cheestique
  • District Dumplings
  • Mint Nail Lounge
  • Tiny Dancers
  • Muse Paint Bar
  • Neiman Marcus Last Call
  • Caboose
  • Scout and Molly
  • Undeniable Boutique
  • Oath Pizza
  • Jinya Ramen
  • The Shade Store
  • Fair Trade Winds
  • lululemon athletica
  • Lather
  • Nook
  • Le Pain Quotidien
  • Puree
  • Lou Lou
  • Matchbox
  • Kendra Scott
  • Ted’s Bulletin
  • Arielle Shoshana
  • Williams Sonoma
  • 520 Ice Cream

Photo via Facebook

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, DC and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

On Wednesday, October 24, the town of Vienna will celebrate the 72nd annual Halloween Parade. The parade begins at 7 p.m. and starts at the corner of Branch Road SE and Maple Avenue E before ending in front of Patrick Henry Library on Center Street SW.

If you’ve never been, here are some tips to help you make the most of the experience!

  • People set out chairs and blankets early in the day to reserve their spot. If you want a front row view, I suggest you do the same. The town asks that no one does this before noon on the day of the parade and that revelers stay clear of the sidewalk and benches during the day.
  • If you have a flat bed truck, you can back into parking spaces at the shopping centers and sit high to get a better view.
  • In the parade, there are walking groups and floats with some walking groups giving out candy.
  • Some of the groups in the parade are very loud. If you have someone who is noise sensitive, consider bringing something to help them enjoy the parade without the noise.
  • There are no food vendors except for the nearby restaurants so plan to bring food if you need it or support a local restaurant.
  • Kids in costumes can walk in the parade with an adult if they want to. Participants meet at 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot at United Bank (374 Maple Avenue E).

Pro Tip: The Weichert Realtors office at 156 Maple Avenue E holds a haunted house every year from 5:45-7 p.m. They have a designated area for small kids, but they also have a scarier “Haunted Room” if you are looking for bigger thrills. They also give out candy.

The parade is one of my many favorite Vienna events! You’ll find me there with my 4 and 6 year old boys so please say hi!

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Morning Notes

Painted Benches Coming to Vienna — “In honor of the Vienna Arts Society’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2019, artists from the group will decorate 41 wooden benches that will be placed around the town for six months next year.” [InsideNova]

Free Lyft Rides for Halloween — “Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the 2018 Halloween SoberRide program will be in operation beginning at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 and continue until 4 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28, as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday.” [McLean Connection, Washington Regional Alcohol Program]

Macy’s Hiring for Holiday Season — “As the Christmas shopping season approaches, Macy’s will be hiring seasonal staff at the two Tysons Corner locations. Hiring events will be held from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18.” [Patch]

Fairfax May Legalize Hedgehogs — “Having a chinchilla, hedgehog or hermit crab in Virginia’s Fairfax County makes you a scofflaw, but that could soon change. The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to advertise a public hearing on changes to the definitions of ‘commonly accepted pets’ that can be kept without special, individual permission from zoning authorities.” [WTOP]

VA-TF1 Hurricane Deployment Update — “On October 14th the team was relocated to Jackson County, approximately 40 miles north, northeast of Panama City where they continue to work today. The team is conducting wide-area searches including detailed searches of damaged structures.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

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