Costumes, candy, and a frightening amount of fun are a recipe for one killer holiday! Even better, while the actual day may still be weeks away, you can celebrate all month long. Loads of activities and events that embrace the spooky spirit take place all over the DC-Metro, and they’re creeping up on the calendar. This annual KFDC list has all of the details on where and when you can have a wicked good time celebrating one of the best holidays of the year. Happy Halloween!
Haunted Museum Historic Ghost Tour
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 9-31 (Fridays), 8pm & 9:15pm
Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free
Ghost tours at the National Building Museum combine history, humor, and several hair-raising tales into a fun evening. The Museum houses many artifacts related to the building — plans, drawings, and tools — as well as some objects that defy easy explanation, including a collection of shoes found underneath the foundation, believed to have been buried to ward off evil spirits, and a plaster mask, thought to be a death mask dated from the late 1800s. The building is spectacular — and eerie — with the lights out! This tour is recommended for ages 10 and up. Tickets are limited.
Scary Face Pancakes
Where: IHOP Restaurants
When: Throughout October
Admission: Free (but plan to buy pancakes!)
IHOP is celebrating Halloween throughout the month of October by offering kids the opportunity to create their very own Scary Face Pancakes. And on October 30 from 7am – 10pm, they’re giving away the sweet treats for FREE to children 12 and under.
“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 10-11, 16-18, 23-25, & 28-31
Admission: $5 and a can of food
Hop on board the Halloween Train! Cabin John’s “Eye Spy” features just enough “boo” power for kids age 8 and under. Along the ride through the woods on the train, kids can try to find Halloween friends hiding along the way and mark them off their “Eye Spy” game cards that they receive with admission. Guests can also enjoy Halloween movies every night, face painting on Saturdays and Sundays, and light refreshments for sale. The train runs 3-8pm on weekdays and 1-8pm on weekends. Purchase tickets online starting October 1 here.
Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 10-11, 16-18, 23-25, & 28-31
Admission: $5 and a can of food
Wheaton Regional Park’s Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel are back and scarier than ever! This annual Halloween attraction is best for guests ages 8 and up, because they do their best to make it “very scary” (and this is part of the website description, so take their word for it). Admission includes one ride each on the train and carousel, plus entrance to the Hall of Jack o’ Lanterns movie theater presenting scary films every night. The train and carousel run 6:30-9:30pm each night. Purchase tickets online starting October 1 here.
Haunted Chocolate House Workshop
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 10, 12pm & 1:30pm
Admission: $10/member, $20/non-member, $4/adult
After a “spooktacular” family-friendly tour of the historic garden, children build and decorate “haunted houses” to take home, made of chocolate walls and candy decor. For children aged 5+ and their family members. One chocolate house per registered child.
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 15, 6-8pm
Children ages 3-8 are invited to come to the Indoor Arena Barn dressed in their favorite costumes anytime between from 6-8pm. Enjoy fun, games, and a wagon ride. Finish the evening with treats and a small pumpkin. Reservations are required, and space is limited, so sign up soon!
Spooky SPY Family Night
Where: International Spy Museum
When: October 16, 6-9pm
Ditch your Halloween costume and change your while identity at the Spy Museum’s annual Halloween event! Has your brother been spying on you? Is grandma really a secret agent? Does dad really have lethal ninja skills? Now’s your chance to find out as your family of spies gains exclusive after-hours access to the Museum. Test your family’s spy skills as you run top secret missions, go deep undercover and transform your appearance with the help of professional make-up artists, challenge yourself in Code Cracker competitions, and enjoy SPY snacks and a chance to explore all forms of spy tradecraft. Go in disguise as your favorite spy! For ages 5 and up, includes exclusive after-hours admission, SPY snacks, scavenger hunt, prize competitions, and more! Space is limited — advance registration required. (One adult required for every five KidSpy agents.)
Adventures in Halloweenville
Where: Village at Leesburg
When: October 16, 23, 30, 17, 24, 31
Don’t miss this October’s one-of-a-kind interactive Halloween Adventure hosted by Habitat for Humanity. Halloweenville is a non-scary haunted house designed for children ages 6-11 and their parents complete with a Pumpkin Village for 3-5 year olds. All proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity. The event run from 6-8pm pm Fridays and 12-7pm on Saturdays.
Halloween Family Day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: October 17
Ghosts and goblins and witches, oh my! Get in the Halloween spirit with spooky craft activities, scavenger hunts, and live music and performances. Whether in new costume or an old favorite, all are welcome to arrive wearing their Halloween best!
Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 23-25, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members
Join the Zoo for their annual not-so-spooky Halloween haunt. With more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family. New this year will be an entertainment stage with musicians, jugglers, and a DJ spinning Halloween favorites. Also, don’t miss a themed hay maze and scarecrow field. Costumes encouraged!
Where: Bradley Farm in Herndon
When: October 23-24
The Bradley Farm Haunted House promises everyone a ghoulishly fun time, and for a good cause — proceeds from the community fundraising event help Herndon – Reston FISH bring emergency help to folks in our community. This year’s “Coal Mine” theme promises fright and fun! On Friday and Saturday evening from 6-10pm, it offers a dark and scary adventure that’s perfect for tweens, teenagers, and adults. For the younger crowd, there’s a non-scary version on Saturday afternoon from 1-5pm that will include trick-or-treating inside the haunted house for children 10 and under, as well as face painting, balloons art, carnival-style games, live entertainment, and costumed characters.
Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 24, 2-7pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 6pm
See the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 11th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Bring the tiniest visitors by the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. Fun for the whole family!
Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: October 24, 11am – 4pm
Dress the whole family and enjoy a day of trick-or-treating, art activities, lunch and more! The 16th Annual Halloween in the Garden will feature more than 70 community organizations and businesses donning costumes and handing out candy and treats to all the children. Free ooky, spooky crafts will be provided and devilishly delicious food vendors will be present. Admission fees will benefit local charities. Don’t forget to bring your camera— there are always unique photo opportunities with the boo-tiful decorations!
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 24, 10am – 12pm
Your furry family member can get in on the Halloween fun at this event. Market Common Clarendon has partnered with Homeward Trails and Doorways VA to host the 2015 Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk that will start and finish at Market Common Clarendon with trick-or-treating and an exciting pet costume contest! Walk through Visit stores and restaurants in The Loop and continue to businesses around the community, until you make your way back.
Halloween Art Party
Where: Anna Banana Arts & Crafts
When: October 24, 10-11:30am
Join the Georgetown art studio to decorate mini pumpkins and a trick or treat tote, plus make scary spider art. Fun for ages 3-10. Class size is limited, so sign up soon!
Where: National Harbor
When: October 24, 12-2:30
It’s a spooktacular family event that will include activities for everyone. Join the fun at The Black Dog’s Howl-loween. Trick or treat around the shops at the Harbor. Enjoy a showing of Hocus Pocus on the Plaza Big Screen (movie will begin at 12:30am). And watch the First Annual National Harbor Chef Pumpkin Carving Contest. Bonus: Children in costume ride FREE on the Capital Wheel with adult purchase!
NSO Family Concert: A “Sleepy Hollow”-een
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 25
All Hallows’ Eve has arrived for Ichabod Crane! Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads all the ghoulishly attired orchestra members in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, his riveting re-imagining of Washington Irving’s classic ghost story about the fabled Headless Horseman, complete with an engaging narrator and spine-tingling sounds. Children should don their own costumes and go early for trick-or-treating in the special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Then, take your seats for a frightfully fun adventure through the classics.
Where: Woodend Nature Sanctuary
When: October 30, 6-9pm
Admission: $5/child, $10/members, $15/non-member
Join the Audubon Naturalist Society for a family-friendly, nature-themed Halloween! Walk the woods at Woodend Nature Sanctuary and enjoy animal encounters and treat stations along well-lit trails. Afterwards, head inside the mansion for refreshments and visit craft stations where you can make animal masks or paint pumpkins. Costumes not required, but encouraged!
Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
When: October 30, 3:30-6:30pm
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child
Trick-or-treat a day early at Mount Vernon! Back by popular demand, the estate will again open its gates for Halloween fun and spook-tacular activities. Join a special scavenger hunt, take a wagon ride on the 12-acre field, and create a boo-tiful Halloween craft. Guests can also check out wool carding, spinning, and fish net making in the historic area before greeting “Martha Washington” on the piazza of the Mansion. Historic chocolate-making demos and tastings will take place. Burn off all the extra excitement (and calories!) with 18th-century dancing. A children’s costume parade around the Mansion will begins at 5pm, and prizes will be awarded for most fang-tastic “George” and “Martha” costumes!
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 30, 7-9pm
Wear your costume and enjoy fun fall themed activities. Explore the museum’s gallery and all of its hidden haunts. Arts, crafts, hayrides, and spooky fun await kids and families.
Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: October 31, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities
It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Daytime activities for families will include pumpkin decorating, trick-or-treating, and a costume parade around the Park.
Trick or Treat in the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 31, 11am – 6pm
Bring your little ghosts and goblins to the Old Town Boutique District to start their trick-or-treating early. Stop by the dozens of shops, where they’ll be dishing out treats and some maybe some family-friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged.
Where: Falls Church
When: October 30, 6-8:30pm
Admission: $2/children ages 2 and up (adults free)
The City of Falls Church has been hosting the annual Halloween Carnival for over 30 years! Infants through sixth graders are invited to enjoy carnival games, a moon bounce, face painting, crafts, a haunted house, movies, candy, and a live creepy creature show featuring the spookiest reptiles in nature. The first hour is best for children up to 2nd grade, and 3rd – 6th graders will enjoy the second hour.
Exorcist Steps Commemoration
Where: Georgetown, Prospect & 36nd Streets
When: October 30, 6pm
One of the city’s most famous sites will get special recognition Halloween weekend on the 42nd anniversary of the The Exorcist debut. Writer William Peter Blatty will be there along with Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans. This is an event more suited for older kids (teens, or parents on a night out) seeing as our kiddies likely aren’t aware of the head-spinning flick.
Where: Port Discovery
When: October 31, 10am – 3:30pm
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up
Dress up the little ones in their favorite costumes and join Port Discovery’s annual festival. Enjoy not-so-scary, family friendly programs and performances including science-themed activities, crafts, live entertainment, yoga, and more!
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: October 31, 12-4pm
Admission: $20.95/adult, $16.95/ages 3-12
Celebrate the chills and thrills of Halloween at the MSC’s 7th annual event, where creepy chemistry and mysterious science combine to provide a hauntingly good time. Engage in hair-raising activities, create creepy crafts, and witness fangtastic demonstrations. Spend the afternoon with making gooey, glowing slime, decorating pumpkins and trick-or-treat bags, creating catapults for a punkin’ chunkin’ contest, exploring spooky sensory bins, and much more! Wear your costume to make it a truly spooktacular day.
Trick or Treat at Tudor Place
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 31, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $5/members, $10/non-members, $3/adults
Halloween is “spooktacular” at Tudor Place! Wear your costumes (optional), and wander the estate’s many meandering paths to find treats (not tricks!) in every corner of the enchanting North Garden. Paint pumpkins and enjoy other crafts, face painting, and active period games amid lovely autumn color.
Where: International Spy Museum Store
When: October 31, 11am – 6pm
Go deep undercover this Halloween at the Spy Museum where spooks of every kind will be on the prowl. Spend the scariest night of the year at the place where disguises aren’t just for Halloween! Everyone is invited to arrive in disguise in the Spy Museum Store, where acclaimed professional make-up and disguise artist, Roger Riggle, will be on hand to teach the tools-of-the-trade necessary to transform guests in preparation for a night of tricks and treats. Demonstrations are free-of-charge and include quick disguise applications meant to help guests create their own undercover masterpieces.
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 30, 5:30-7:30pm
Capitol Hill’s annual event is a legendary neighborhood event for little ones. The block of 7th Street SE next to Eastern Market will be closed to traffic for one of the best community Halloween celebrations in the city. Hayrides, moon bounces, goody giveaways, and even a mini carousel add to the excitement. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the extravaganza.
Pumpkin Patch Party
Where: Gymboree of DC
When: October 31
Admission: $15/non-members, $10 members ($5/additional child)
Dress up and join the Halloween fun at one of two Gymboree parties! Pumpkin activities, seasonal craft projects, music, snacks, dancing, and parades will be part of the festivities. Newborns – 5-year-olds are invited 11:45am – 1:45pm, and newborns – 2-year-olds can party 4-5:30pm. Reservations required: Call 202.627.2450 or email [email protected] Gymboree DC is located at 2639 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 113.
Pumpin Rock ‘n Roll
Where: Warner Circle Park in Kensington, MD
When: October 31, 12pm
Join Headfirst Camps this Halloween for a spooky afternoon of music, games, food, and fun at the first ever Pumpkin Rock N’ Roll! Warner Circle Park will be transformed into a full-blown Halloween extravaganza. Kids can participate in a fun costume contest and parade, and enjoy family-friendly attractions including festival-style musical performances, food trucks, inflatable rides and slides, and a rock wall. Don’t miss the main event: The Pumpkin Roll, a derby race of Halloween pumpkins-turned-boxcars.
Where: lil omm
When: October 31 – November 1
Admission: Varies by class
Are you in for an ohh-so-omm weekend?? Go to any family yoga classes over the weekend dressed in your Halloween best (yes, costumes!) for some festive yoga family fun.
Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: October 31 – November 1
Join the American Indian museum for its annual Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”), a celebration originating in Latin America, particularly in Mexico and Central America, to commemorate the lives of the dearly departed and welcome the return of their spirits. Learn and take part in this centuries-old tradition, which includes pre-Hispanic and Spanish customs alike.