By: | | Dogs, Cats, MD/DC Area Pet Guide

Looking for a fun Halloween event that you can bring your dog, cat, or other furry, feathered, or scaled friend to? We’ve gathered up a list of the best pet-friendly Halloween events, including pet parades, pet costume contests, and Halloween yappy hours in Maryland and Washington, DC for 2023. So grab your pet and their costume (only if your pet tolerates wearing one, of course) and head out to one of these great events! Maybe we’ll see you there!

Know of a pet-friendly Halloween event that’s not on the list? Click here to tell us about it. We’d love to include it!

Washington, DC Pet-Friendly Halloween Events

Dogtoberfest: Cheers to Canine Socialization & Wellness

Saturday, September 30, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dacha Beer Garden (Navy Yard) | 79 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC

Join us for a pawsome event celebrating our furry friends! Dogtoberfest is the pawfect opportunity for your canine companion to socialize and have a tail-wagging time. We’ll have a variety of activities including dog-friendly games, a doggy costume contest, and even a “pup”-kin patch for photo ops. Don’t miss out on the chance to pamper your pooch with our wellness stations, offering doggy massages and paw-dicures. So grab your leash and join us for a day of tail-wagging fun at Dogtoberfest!

Howl-o-ween @ Newark Street Dog Park

Saturday, October 14, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Newark Street Dog Park | 3851 Newark St NW, Washington, DC

Join us for a pet costume contest with prizes, refreshments from Bluestone Lane and giveaways sponsored by Small Door Veterinary and more — all in support of the Newark Street Dog Park. Come for tricks and treats while we raise funds for the local dog park. This event is free for all to attend and enjoy.

Hirshhorn Howl-O-Ween

Sunday, October 22, 11:00 am–12:30 pm
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden | Independence Ave SW & 7th St SW, Washington, DC

Join us for a morning of dress-up, art activities, and furry fun at Hirshhorn Howl-o-Ween, our annual costumed celebration for dogs and their whole family. The one time of the year when Hirshhorn visitors can share art encounters with their well-behaved pets, Hirshhorn Howl-o-Ween invites dog owners and dog lovers of all ages to the Museum’s Plaza for a pre-Halloween party, featuring: breakfast snacks, coffee, mimosa bar, dog-friendly treats, Halloween-themed art making for humans and peanut butter “paw-traits” for dogs, a seasonal family photo booth.


Thursday, October 26, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fairmont Washington DC Georgetown | 2401 M St NW, Washington, DC

Fairmont’s Canine Ambassador, Georgie, invites friends and neighbors to stop by with their canine companions for Fairmont’s 12th annual Howl-O-Ween. Prizes will be awarded at 7pm to costumed doggies with their people, such as overnight stays, dinners, and more. Local celebrity judges will award prizes for most creative, most adorable, funniest, and honorable mentions. All dogs will be pawsatively treated to peanut butter doggie biscuits created by Fairmont’s pastry team, and canine coolers will be placed throughout the courtyard. Humans can purchase spooky canine-themed cocktails along with Puptails and Doggie Dinners for all four-legged guests.

Prince George’s County Pet-Friendly Halloween Events

Harbor Halloween 2023 Pet Pawrade

Sunday, October 22, 2:30 pm – 3:15 pm
National Harbor Plaza Stage | 150 National Plaza, National Harbor, MD

Our Harbor Halloween fun is for the whole family, including your pets! Get them dressed in costume and register for the Harbor Halloween Pet Pawrade. Prizes will be awarded for best costume, most creative costume and more in each weight category.

Frederick County Pet-Friendly Halloween Events


Wednesday, October 25, 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Ballenger Creek Dog Park | 5420 Ballenger Creek Pk, Frederick, MD

A Halloween Party for the Pups! Enjoy an evening of tricks and treats with your furry, four-legged friend, at the Ballenger Creek Dog Park. Your pooch will have an opportunity to run free in one of our off-leash areas, compete in a costume contest, and make new friends. Paw-o-ween also provides great opportunities for families to sample dog related products and visit exhibit booths.

Canines on the Creek: Doggy Parade & Costume Contest

Saturday, October 28, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Carroll Creek Amphitheater | Frederick, MD

Dress up you and your pooch in your best Halloween get up for the opportunity to win prizes and giveaways! There will be exhibitors, demonstrations, food, and prizes. All proceeds benefit Leader Dogs for the Blind. Donations welcome!

Howard County Pet-Friendly Halloween Events

Howl-O-Ween Dog Photos

Sunday, October 8, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Black Flag Brewing Company | 9315 Snowden River Pkwy, Columbia, MD

Join Adopt a Homeless Animal Rescue for Howl-O-Ween! Come enjoy delicious beer, treats and get spooky dog (or kid) photos with a monster. This event is free, but please sign up at: so we can accommodate as many people as possible and make it a fun experience for all. We will also be working to accommodate walk-ins as we can. While this is primarily a dog photo event, ANYONE is welcome! We greatly appreciate your support of our rescue. Please enjoy a beer from our friends at Black Flag.

Pet Parade – Halloween Costume Contest for Pets

Saturday, October 14, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Centennial Park, Main/South | 10000 Clarksville Pk, Ellicott City, MD

Dress up your furry, feathered or scaled family members and show them off. Pets judged on fashion/costume, presentation, behavior, and use of props. Extra points for special skills or tricks. Winners receive gift cards or prizes.


Saturday, October 28, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Clipper’s Canine Cafe | 8407 Main St, Ellicott City, MD

Join us for our annual Howl-O-Ween event! With a donation of $15 cash (per dog), which will be donated to the local rescue Pitties and Purrs Rescue Inc, you will receive a list of participating Main Street businesses and make your way through Main Street visiting the stores to receive your pup’s treats. Trick-or-treating is from 12-3 and ends across the street, where the Costume Contest will begin promptly at 3:15. There will be four categories: Cutest, Funniest, Best Ensemble and Most Original Homemade with amazing prizes for the winners! This year, Sweet Paws Dog Bakery will be joining us with their Doggie Treat Truck! We also have some other fun surprises in store this year!

Baltimore City & County Pet-Friendly Halloween Events


Saturday, October 14, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Baltimore Humane Society | 1601 Nicodemus Rd, Reisterstown, MD

Join us for a doggone great time and help support the animals at Baltimore Humane Society! Pups and their people will have a blast with games and activities like Simon Says, a speedy 20-yard dash, bubble chase, paw painting, and endless playtime in the sand pit! Hold onto your leashes, because we’ve got some fantastic contests and prizes for your beloved pooches. They can compete for the titles of Best Costume, Best Kisser, Best Dancer, Best Owner/Pet Look-alike, Catch the Treat, Musical Sit, and Best Pet Trick. The kids will be set up for a great time with pet-themed arts & crafts, face painting, and a bouncy house! Don’t forget to explore the vendor marketplace and meet some adorable adoptable animals at the pet rescue groups’ booths! And there will be a wide variety of delicious food and treats available for purchase throughout the event, satisfying both two-legged and four-legged appetites.


Saturday, October 28, 7:30 am – 2:30 pm
Patterson Park | 27 S Patterson Park Ave, Baltimore, MD

BARCStoberfest is an annual, large-scale, pet-friendly festival and fundraiser that benefits the lifesaving programs and animal care at the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS). Individual and team fundraising for BARCStoberfest raises critical funding for BARCS, Maryland’s largest open-admission animal shelter, which rescues more than 10,000 animals per year. This family-friendly event includes our popular 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk, a pet-friendly beer garden with live music, Halloween costume contests, a local food truck rally, yoga with your dog, a shopping market and so much more. Our goal this year is $350,000, so please join us to raise funds for animals in need in our community.

Tails on the Rails

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
B&O Railroad Museum | 901 West Pratt St, Baltimore, MD

Come best dressed with your pup to the B&O this Halloween for an evening of tails on the rails. There will be a costume contest with prizes, a 3pm train ride, activities under the pavilion, free pet photos, and a “Yappy” Hour for all the adults in the building.

Anne Arundel County Pet-Friendly Halloween Events

11th Annual Critter Crawl – A Costume Contest for Your Pets

Saturday, October 21, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Homestead Gardens | 743 W Central Ave, Davidsonville, MD

Join us for the 11th Annual Homestead Gardens Critter Crawl! It’s a fantastic chance to showcase your pet’s Halloween spirit, compete for incredible prizes, and support our local SPCA of AA County. Sign up now until October 20th. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity!

Tips for Attending Halloween Events with Your Pet

Make Sure the Event Is a Good Fit for Your Pet

While these events welcome pets, keep in mind that not all pets are going to enjoy attending them. If you know that your pet doesn’t like strangers or large crowds or is fearful of loud noises, it may be best to leave them at home instead of forcing them into what may be a very stressful situation. Use your best judgement, err on the side of caution if you’re not sure how your pet will react, and be prepared to leave early if your pet is showing signs of stress.

Keep Your Pet Safe and Secure

Unless the event has a specifically designated off-leash area, keep your dog on-leash at all times in a secure, well-fitted collar or harness. For other types of pets, secure them with a leash or in a suitable carrier to keep them safe. And make sure your pet’s ID tags are up to date just in case they do get lost.

Be Cautious with Costumes

Some pets don’t mind wearing any type of costume and just enjoy all the extra attention they receive when wearing one, but for many pets, it’s not a positive experience. Consider your pets’ feelings when choosing their costume, and don’t force them to wear a costume that makes them uncomfortable (physically or mentally). Alternatively, you can try training your pet to like wearing their costume.

Have a Happy Halloween with Your Pet!

With so many different pet-friendly Halloween events to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find a great one to attend with your pet. We’d love to hear which ones you attended and how much fun you had in the comments below.

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