French drawing room at Hillwood


Enjoy enriching and educational programming year-round.

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Spooky Pooch Howl-o-ween Celebration

Group photo of 3 adults with 2 dogs relaxing on lunar LawnInspired by Marjorie Post's affection for dogs and the memorial dog cemetery she created at Hillwood, we welcome you and your four-legged friend to join us for Halloween fun!

Explore Hillwood's twenty-five acres of landscaped gardens and lush natural woodlands with your pup, and enjoy the annual costume competition.

Costume Competition

Strut your mutt and size up the other canine contestants. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Best Homemade
  • Most Glamorous
  • Best Owner & Dog Combination Costume
  • Cutest
  • Funniest
  • Top Dog (best overall)

Winners will receive a Spooky Pooch 2022 winners certificate, guest passes for a return visit to Hillwood, and of course bragging rights, and the envy and admiration of your fellow Spooky Pooch contestants! The Top Dog winner receives a family membership to Hillwood.

Yappy Hour

Stop by Merriweather To Go to pick up a special Spooky Pooch signature cocktail, light snacks, and dog treats.

Event Timeline

4 p.m. | Hillwood opens
4:45 p.m. | Deadline to enter costume contest
5:00 p.m. | Costume competition begins
5:50 p.m. | Winners announced*
6 p.m. | Hillwood closes
*Must be present to win

This program takes place rain or shine. In the event of rain, the costume contest will take place in the airy and open shelter of the C.W. Post courtyard tent.

Love visiting Hillwood with your canine pal? Hillwood members enjoy the special benefit of exploring Hillwood's landscaped gardens and lush woodlands with their four-legged friends every Sunday morning, 9:30 a.m.-12 noon. Not a member? Join today!


  • This program takes place outdoors on Hillwood's expansive Lunar Lawn.
  • See our visitor guidelines for information about how we are following the latest local and national guidance. Pump hand sanitizer will be available.

By purchasing a ticket to this event, you agree to the following guidelines:

  • Dogs are not allowed on the estate outside the hours of the program.
  • Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet at all times and under the control of their adult handlers. No retractable leashes.
  • No more than 2 dogs per adult handler.
  • Hillwood reserves the right to remove groups lacking control.
  • Dog may not be left unattended at any time.
  • To protect our plant collections and garden sculptures, stay in designated areas only. 
  • Keep your dogs on the path and designated grassy areas. Dogs are not permitted in planting beds.
  • Dogs are not permitted in any indoor facilities.
  • Aggressive dogs are not permitted on the estate. Hillwood reserves the right to refuse entry to, or remove, any dog thought to be harmful to visitors, other dogs, or property, without refund.
  • Dogs must have current license and rabies vaccination tags.
  • You are required to clean up after your dog with pet waste bags and dispose of the bags properly.
  • Full- and part-time staff and their households are encouraged to participate, but are not eligible to win the costume contest.
Young girl in devil costume with white dog in devil ears
Small brown dog dressed up in black goggles and badge, held by owner