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Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween in 2019

It’s a sign…you’re in for a wicked fun Halloween!


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Why wait until the actual day to celebrate one of the best holidays of the year? Besides the bonus of getting extra mileage out of costumes and having more excuses to indulge in sweets, Halloween festivities are a treat any day. And there are gobs of ways to get into the spirit during the days leading up to the grand event. From no-fright fun to cool and creepy thrills, this annual KFDC round-up has all of the details on where and when you and the kids can have a wicked good time around DC and even a bit…beyond. Mwahahaa. Happy Halloween!

American Scream: Halloween Selfie Museum
Where: Tysons Corner Center | Tysons, VA
When: Through November 3
Admission: $15-18 (find discounts)

This unique, immersive experience is a celebration of all things Halloween and Horror. Unlike other Halloween events, guests and fans of Halloween will have the opportunity to interact and enjoy Halloween and horror in a completely ‘Made for Instagram’ experience with incredible photo opportunities to share with their friends.

Fields of Fear
Where: Cox Farms | Centreville, VA
When: Fridays & Saturday through November 2
Admission: $20-35

When night falls on Cox Farms, it’s time for Fields of Fear — for ages 12 and up! The Dark Side Hayride feature The Lost Circus, a circus abandoned in the early 1900s that now comes to life when the living approach. The friendly Imaginature Trail takes a dark turn for Fields of Fear, transforming into The Forest: Back 40, which consists of half a mile of fear. The Forest joins two other haunted attractions at Fields of Fear, the Dark Side Hayride and the Cornightmare. The Firegrounds feature several bonfires, a six-lane slide, music, karaoke, entertainment, tasty treats, Foamhenge, and more!

Howl-O-Ween
Where: Great Wolf Lodge | Williamnsburg, VA
When: Through October
Admission: Rates vary

Enjoy a Halloween-themed family getaway to Great Wolf Lodge, where there will be spooktacular fun all month. Kids and parents alike can enjoy special activities including a Trick-or-Treat Trail, Howl-O-Ween House, Costume Parade, Monster Bash Dance Party, Spooktacular Story Time, and much more. This, plus the ongoing fun and indoor waterpark will make for an extra special and spooky Halloween! Read more about Great Wolf Lodge in this KFDC post.

The Glow: A Jack O’Lantern Experience
Where: Lake Fairfax Park | Reston, VA
When: October 3-27
Admission: $16 (find discounts)

The Glow isn’t a place to expect frights and ghouls, but you will scream with delight to see pumpkins come to life. The Glow features an enchanting and unforgettable wonderland of more than 5,000 hand carved, illuminated pumpkins transformed into beautiful landscapes, iconic figures and larger than life structures. As jack o’lanterns illuminate the park for an unforgettable evening, make sure to grab few photos and some seasonal snacks. Don’t forget to check out master carvers as they demonstrate their artistry or to pick up a gourd at the pumpkin patch. There is something everyone will enjoy at this truly magnificent fall spectacular.

Shocktober
Where: Paxton House | Leesburg, VA
When: October 4 – November 2
Admission: $40-50 (find discounts)

Paxton Manor is Northern Virginia’s only REAL Haunted House. Brand new this year, the first 3 levels of the haunted manor have turned into Paxton Hall, a horrifying and haunted boarding school. Encounter new characters, including rebellious students and frightening teachers, as you unravel the dark and mysterious past of Paxton Hall. The haunt also includes Carnival of Souls, the basement of Paxton Manor, an attraction full of creepy clowns and carnival carnage. These haunted attractions are not for the faint of heart; this annual event is PG-13 Scary Fun.

“Eye Spy” Halloween Trains
Where: Cabin John & Wheaton Regional Parks | Bethesda & Wheaton, MD
When: October 4-27
Admission: $6

Hop on board the Halloween Trains! Great for families of all ages, Montgomery Parks’ Cabin John Miniature Train and the Wheaton Miniature Train will take a ride through “Trainslyvania.” They’ll run every Friday, 4-6pm, and Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 6pm. Purchase tickets online starting October 1.

Fright Fest
Where: Six Flags America | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Select days through November 3
Admission: $43+

Fright Fest, presented by SNICKERS, is back at Six Flags America. It’s a spooky time of year as zombies and ghouls take over the park. Enjoy thrills and activities for the whole family throughout the day and go back for a truly frightening evening of fun after the sun goes down. Fright Fest offers a wide variety of places to get your scare on, including several haunted houses and scare zones located throughout the park. The stuff of nightmares lurk around every corner as the dark of night washes over the park. The ghouls are set free for their daily hunting rituals.

Book Some Halloween Fun
Where: DC Public Libraries | Around DC
When: Several October dates
Admission: Free

Story times, crafts, and children’s parties all with Halloween themes are taking place at libraries around the city. Drop in for the fun — all of the activities are free! Be sure to check age recommendations to confirm they’re appropriate for your child as they vary by event.

Laurel’s House of Horror
Where: Laurel, MD
When: Through November 2
Admission: $25 and up

Built inside of an abandoned movie theater, Laurel’s House of Horror is one of DC and Maryland’s scariest haunted attractions. The attractions offer sensory overload, a chilling sense of anticipation, and fear with several new exhibits. New and unique escape rooms are open all year during the weekends, and for private parties and special dates. The elaborate House of Horror feature starts up again each September with new themed areas and special guests. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: October 18-20, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members

Join the National Zoo for their annual not-so-spooky Halloween haunt, one of DC’s most popular events for the kiddie crowd. With more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, a dance party and kids’ karaoke, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family. By the end of the evening, Boo at the Zoo commemorative bags will be brimming with your favorite chocolates, snacks and souvenirs. Treat stations will include goodies for all ages, including adult treats like craft beer and food tastings. Costumes encouraged!

Soul Strolls
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 18-19 & 25-26
Admission: $25/adult, $12/child

Trespass into the past and discover the secrets of some of Congressional Cemetery’s “residents.” Soul Strolls, the Cemetery’s annual twilight tours, explore the stories of individuals buried here through guided tours and costumed interpreters. Experience the history of this hallowed ground exactly the way it should be experienced in October – in twilight and darkness, happening upon vignettes and individuals under the guidance of one of our “Dozen Decent Docents.” Hour-long tours depart every 15 minutes 7-10pm on Fridays, and 6-10pm on Saturdays. Beer, wine, and cider will be for sale at the cash bar in the Chapel.

Creepy Cupcakes Kids Confectionery Class
Where: Creative Saints Loft | Hyattsville, MD
When: October 19, 1-3pm
Admission: $35

This event is for kids who love being in the kitchen and parents who love to eat their creations! Children ages 6-12 will learn pastry decorating techniques such as molding and piping from one of the areas Top Pastry Chefs Padua Player of SugaChef Desserts! If you’re looking for an exciting way to have some not-so-scary day time fun bring your little ones dressed in their BEST costumes ready to create! Each ticket includes a 2-hour instructor lead class by Executive Pastry Chef Padua Player of SugaChef Desserts, 1/2 dozen uniquely decorated cupcakes (Spiders, Witches, and Frankenstein Oh MY!!), Vigilante Coffee and sweet treats for adult ghouls, + candy and punch for kid ghouls

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: October 20
Admission: $15-18

Enjoy spooky fun for the whole family at this annual tradition! The Concert Hall transforms into a ghostly sight when our ghoulishly attired musicians perform new and old classics to celebrate Halloween. Nicholas Hersh leads this exciting concert experience, which features music from Harry Potter and more. Arrive early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Recommended for ages 5+.

Rumpus Room Family Dance Party: Halloween Special
Where: Black Cat | 14th Street NW, DC
When: October 20, 11am – 1:30pm
Admission: $15

The Rumpus Room, DC’s only daytime dance party for families, returns in time for Halloween! This October they’ll be getting (slightly) spooky in the club, so put on your costumes and go dance. Get ready for a dance floor filled with little ghosts, goblins, witches, dragons, and pumpkins of all ages. The soundtrack for the day will be a family-friendly mix of dance hits and Halloween classics, all at a kid-friendly volume. Rumpus Room is designed for kids 10 and under and their caregivers, but older siblings are welcome.

Boo-Tiful Mobile
Where: Hidden Pond Nature Center | Fairfax, VA
When: October 20, 2-3:30pm
Admission: $10

Create a spooky mobile of your favorite Halloween characters. All materials will be provided. For children ages 3-12, and must be accompanied by an adult for this 90-minute program.

Halloween on the Farm
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: October 20, 4-7pm
Admission: $4/ages 2+

Head Old Maryland Farm at Watkins Regional Park for a Halloween & Fall themed event for little ones. Enjoy hayrides, games, crafts, cider, creepy-crawly animals, a costume contest, and pumpkins for purchase. Kids 13 & under must be accompanied by a paying adult. Read more about Watkins and Old Maryland Farm here.

Boos and Brews (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 21, 6-9pm
Admission: $20 ($10/members)

It’s that spooky time of year again, so join the National Building Museum for an evening to eat, drink, and be scary! Boos & Brews will feature scary ghost tours around our haunted halls, a monster mash-up of songs by DJ EPX, a costume contest, fun games, devilishly delicious food, and wicked good beer from various breweries including Port City and Right Proper. For ages 21+.

Night of the Living Zoo (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: October 25
Admission: $30-40, $65-90/VIP

Step right up for Friends of the National Zoo’s adults-only night of curiosities, grotesques and beastly good fun. The dark carnival arrives to thrill crowds. Street performers—including a sword swallower, a fire eater, living statues, magicians and stilt walkers—will delight guests. Food trucks will sell delicious food to pair with craft beer and wine. There will be dancing, live-band karaoke and animal encounters, and, of course, no Halloween event would be complete without a costume contest. VIP guests also can enjoy complimentary food from local restaurants, an exclusive mixed drink and a souvenir, fortune telling, treats at a candy bar, a private DJ and dance floor, and a special photo station.

Toddler Time Halloween Parade
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 24, 10:30am
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 2-12

Join the B&O for a spooktacular Toddler Time, as we celebrate the end of this year’s Toddler Time program Halloween style. Featuring festive fun, we’ll read Alice Schertle’s Little Blue Truck’s Halloween, before making monster grab bags to fill with all sorts of fun tricks and treats during our costume parade around the Museum’s campus.

Hilloween
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 25, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

Capitol Hill’s annual neighborhood event is legendary 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. And more will be in Eastern Market’s North Hall. Moon bounces, goody giveaways, face painting add to the excitement. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the extravaganza.

Boostravaganza
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Herndon, VA
When: October 25, 6:30-7:30pm & 7:30-8:30pm
Admission: $10/child

Celebrate the Halloween season with this annual event at Frying Pan Farm. Attendees enjoy a variety of themed games, dare to enter the slightly-spooky BOO barn, and take a wagon ride. Finish the evening with a small treat bag. Reservations are required, and space is limited, so sign up soon!

BOOtanica
Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: October 25, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $18/child (free for parents)

Gather the family together for a fun evening! Children can dress in their favorite costume, participate in a garden costume parade, paint a pumpkin, try a pumpkin treat, and top the evening off listening to award-winning storyteller Gary Lloyd present “Pumpkin Tales for the Young” telling tales more funny than scary. Space is limited. Register children ages 3–12, parents are free.

Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: October 26, 12-5:30pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 6pm

Explore the spooky side of air and space at the Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center’s 13th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Arrive in costume to get into the Halloween spirit and enjoy safe indoor trick-or-treating.

Spooktacular Kids Pizza Class and Party
Where: Matchbox locations around the DMV
When: October 26
Admission: $32

Matchbox invites all mini chefs to a kids pizza party featuring a hands-on pizza-making class complete with chef hat and customized personal pizza, a tour of the kitchen and pizza ovens, jack-o-lantern cookie decorating, and other Halloween treats, plus a round of mimosas for parents! Tickets are available here for select Matchbox locations — Capitol Hill, 14th Street, Rockville, Merrifield, Pentagon City, Potomac Mills, One Loudon.

Día de los Muertos Family Day
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: October 26, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with SAAM! Enjoy Mexican folk dance performances throughout the day, a live Mariachi band, and face painting! Leave your handmade ofrendas (offerings) including paper marigolds, calaveras (skull masks), and paper monarch butterflies on our beautiful Day of the Dead altar.

Haunted Washington Scavenger Hunt
Where: Lafayette Square | Downtown, DC
When: October 26, 2pm
Admission: $22

You just might after this spooky tour that reveals the stories of the restless souls you might disturb. On teams, you’ll follow clues to ghost-plagued buildings near the White House and answer tricky questions about what you find. Possible cameos by the spirits of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Dolley Madison, Abigail Adams, Andrew Jackson, the (allegedly) suicidal Mrs. Henry Adams, and losing duelist Stephen Decatur. The hunt is a bit spooky, a bit macabre, a bit goofy, and a lot of fun. It’s also a bit slower paced than Watson’s regular hunts because the questions are longer, in order to fill you in on the eerie events that transpired at each location. Recommended for older kids or KidFree. For private groups, they also offer a Kids Edition of this ghoulish game, suitable for ages 7 and up.

Spooktacular Family Day Piano Show
Where: Bobby McKey’s | National Harbor, MD
When: October 26, 12:30-2:30pm
Admission:

Need an excuse to dress up? Bobby McKey’s is offering an afternoon Halloween party that’s not to be missed. Head down to the National Harbor for some serious FUN! They combine 2 hours of all request live piano music with a costume contest, a lunch buffet, fountain drinks, and of course encouragement of singing along and wiggling in your seats! Bar is open for non-driving parents.​

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens | Mount Vernon, VA
When: October 26, 3:30-6:30pm
Admission: $16/adult, $8/child

Trick-or-treat at Mount Vernon as George Washington’s estate 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!

Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: October 26, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $2

Dress the whole family and enjoy a day of trick-or-treating, art activities, lunch and more! The 20th 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. Booths will be spread out around the Parking Circle and down the Wooded Path allowing guests to roam at their own pace – free range trick-or-treating! Also enjoy g Halloween-inspired music and dancing with a guest DJ. Admission fees will benefit local charities. Don’t forget to bring your camera — there are always unique photo opportunities with the boo-tiful decorations.

Trick or Treat in the Garden
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: October 26, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $15/non-member, $10/member, $5/adult

Get into the Halloween spirit! Explore the Tudor Place garden as the seasons change, and trick or treat throughout the site. Make your own superhero bracers and festive owl decoration. Play traditional outdoor games, enjoy face painting, and paint your own pumpkin to take home. Costumes suggested but not required. This outdoor event will take place rain or shine, so dress for the weather!

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: October 26, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities

The Glen Echo Park Partnership’s annual Halloween-themed family event is open to the public, and visitors of all ages are invited to the Park to explore the arts through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, trick-or-treating and visiting open studios. It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone. Register here.

Halloween Yoga
Where: Capital Cider House | Petworth, DC
When: October 26, 10-11:30am
Admission: $10

Join Little Moon Yoga at Capitol Cider House for a morning of Halloween Yoga FUN! This family yoga class is for families of all ages and abilities. While wearing your best halloween costume, practice playful yoga postures and games all centered around a Halloween theme. Doors open at 10am, yoga starts at 10:30am – bring a mat. Space is very limited for this event, so purchase tickets in advance to guarantee a spot. Full food and drink menus will be available.

Halloween Kids Cooking Class
Where: Maggiano’s Little Italy | Chevy Chase, DC
When: October 26, 9:30-11:30am
Admission: $25/child, $15/adult

Join a fun, hands on Kid’s Cooking Class Experience featuring all your favorite Halloween fun! A chef will guide your little one on creating a culinary masterpiece. Before the event, everyone will enjoy a Maggiano’s Breakfast Buffet and coloring activities. Next, the Chef will demonstrate and instruct hands-on how to make caramel apples, step by step! Pumpkin and cookie decorating is also included during this fun-filled morning.

Spirits & Spirits
Where: Downtown Occoquan, VA
When: October 26, 11am – 10pm
Admission: Free (some activities require fee)

The Town of Occoquan will host Spirits & Spirits, a full day of activities for everyone, in downtown Historic Occoquan. The brand-new event includes kids’ events, a costume parade, a magic show, a Haunted Maze and a Spirit Garden with all of your favorite beverages from 5-10pm. In addition to these fun activities, Hauntingly Historic Occoquan Ghost Tours will host spooky town tours from 11am – 4pm. Purchase/prebook your tours here.

Día de los Muertos
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: October 26, 2-6pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at The Wharf. Head to Pearl Street for a memorable afternoon with live music by La Unica, beer stations for parents, street food, a photobooth, an altar contest, and more. Want to get creative yourself? Decorate a sugar skull or get your face painted. Plus, there will be prizes for the best self-painted faces.

Historic All-Hallows Eve
Where: Sully Historic Site | Chantilly, VA
When: October 26, 4-7pm
Admission: $10

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Virginians celebrated All Hallows Eve with storytelling, fortune telling, fall foods and family gatherings. Experience these traditions as you tour the house and grounds by lantern light. For ages 5+.

Halloween Carnival
Where: Falls Church, VA
When: October 26, 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 fifth 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 – 5th graders will enjoy the second hour.

Pumpin Rock ‘n Roll
Where: GIGS Courtyard | Kensington, MD
When: October 26, 2-6pm
Admission: Free

Join the 2019 Pumpkin Rock N’ Roll! The GIGS Courtyard in Kensington, MD, will be transformed into a full-blown Halloween extravaganza. Participate in a costume parade and enjoy family-friendly attractions including live musical performances, food trucks, inflatable rides and slides, and a hay maze. Don’t miss the main event: The Pumpkin Roll, a derby race of Halloween pumpkins-turned-boxcars.

Spooky Pooch Howl-o-ween Celebration
Where: Hillwood Museum & Gardens | Northwest DC
When: October 26, 2-4pm
Admission: $13/adult, $8/member $5/age 6-18, free/under 6

You’re invited to bring your “best friend” to Hillwood for Halloween fun. Explore Hillwood’s twenty-five acres of landscaped gardens and lush natural woodlands with your four-legged friend, while enjoying a costume competition, yappy hour, and a visit by City Dogs rescue.

Pumpkins in the Park
Where: Canal Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: October 26, 4-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy a cauldron full of spooky new surprises at the Capitol Riverfront BID’s annual event. Bring little monsters out to decorate their own pumpkins, play in the moon bounce, and get their faces painted (all for free). Kids-at-heart can make insta-worthy leaf wreaths, enjoy beer, wine, and cider (for purchase), and get cards read by a real life fortune teller! The whole gang can hop on brooms and head across the street to catch a free screening of Hocus Pocus. Dress to impress — they’ll be handing out prizes throughout the day for best-dressed humans and howlers (that’s “doggos” in Halloween-speak).

Halloween Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 27
Admission: $35

The Mansion will be decorated for Halloween just for this — celebrate the BOO season on a zany treasure hunt! Have fun searching for autumn & Halloween themed items found only at The Mansion. Over 100 rooms and 70 secret doors (yes 70!) are there to explore, and they guarantee you can see at least 60 of the legendary rooms — but be warned secret doors are tricky to find — if you find 2 or 3 you are an above average sleuth. Learn more about the Mansion on O Street here.

Harbor Halloween
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: October 27, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Join the annual Harbor Halloween event at National Harbor. Trick or treat around the shops at the Harbor. There will be trick-or-treating from 1-3pm. See a showing of Hocus Pocus on the Plaza Big Screen (movie will begin at 1:30pm). Watch a chef pumpkin carving contest. Plus, enjoy special activities, including pumpkin decorating, a Halloween coloring station, and a fabulous family fall themed photo station.

Del Ray Halloween Parade
Where: Del Ray Neighborhood | Alexandria, VA
When: October 27, 2pm
Admission: Free

One of Del Ray’s favorite traditions, the 23nd Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade begins at Mt. Vernon Avenue, south of E. Bellefonte, and continues down to the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center play fields at Mt. Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues. Children, pets, and strollers in costumes are invited to march and show off their finest and scariest Halloween garb. Awards and goody bags are given out, too. The Parade and all activities are free. (PS: All of October C&W will be focusing on the adoption of black cats and kittens. Superstition or not, black cats often have lower adoption rates. They’re two-thirds less likely to be adopted than white cats, and half as likely to be adopted as tabby cats. But black cats are just as adorable and deserve a loving home!)

Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Fort Hunt Preschool | Alexandria, VA
Date: October 27, 3-5pm
Admission: $5/age 3+, $18/family of 4

Bring the kiddos for a spooky obstacle course, festive crafts and treats, and some Halloweeny fun and games! This annual event is one of our favorites and is open to the public. Rain or Shine. More info + get your tickets online here.

Purr-anormal National Cat Day Celebration
Where: DC Cate Cafe & DC Kitten Cafe | Georgetown, DC
When: October 28-31
Admission: Free with cat costume (see below)
Crumbs & Whiskers’ purr-anormal celebration for National Cat Day is a real treat. With Halloween and National Cat Day (Oct29) just days apart, the kitten and cat cafes have a scary good skela-bration. That week, October 28-31, the Cat and Kitten Cafes are offering FREE experiences to the first 10 people who dress up as cats. So put on your cat suits and ears, and draw on some whiskers and prepare for some hocus purr-cus.

17th Street High Heel Race (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: 17th Street NW, btwn P & S | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 29, 9pm
Admission: Free

The High Heel Race is a 30+ year DC tradition, with a rich history of “Crossing The Line Since 1986.” On the Tuesday before Halloween, thousands of spectators pack the Dupont Circle Neighborhood to watch hundreds of costumed drag queens show off their extravagant outfits and race down Historic 17th Street, NW. The race begins at 9pm, but people start gathering at 6pm.

Monster Mash-Up Workshop
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 30, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

Boos and ghouls of all ages are invited to create their own paper monster! All templates, markers, and sparkly bits provided. Join this family workshop in the JRVC on the 3rd Floor. Face painting, too!

Trick-or-Treat at the Mall
Where: Fashion Centre | Pentagon City, VA
When” October 31, 5-7pm
Admission: Free

Calling all little pumpkins! Ghouls and gals are invited to enjoy not-so-spooky fun at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City on Halloween evening. Costumed kiddos can trick-or-treat for crave-worthy candy and tempting treats at participating stores displaying a Jack-O-Lantern sticker in the window. Families can also shop for the season’s latest looks at top brands, including Gap, Macy’s, Nordstrom, The Children’s Place and more.

Fall Halloween Festival
Where: Ronald Reagan Building | Downtown DC
When: October 31, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy Halloween and Fall Festival fun at Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center! Bring family and friends to enjoy free Halloween festivities including: a hay bale maze, face painting, pumpkin decorating with Blick, candy giveaways, costumed characters, DC Public Library Book Bike, music, food vendors, and so much more!

Hall-O-Screen Party: A Nightmare Before Christmas
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 31
Admission: Free

The Kennedy Center brings the fun outdoors this Halloween with a free night filled with tricks and treats for the DC community. Patrons are welcome to come in costume to celebrate the haunted holiday at the REACH. Join a dance class to learn the moves to ghoulish tunes such as “Thriller,” “Monster Mash,” The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s “Time Warp,” and more. Watch The Nightmare Before Christmas on the REACH Video Wall. Enjoy savory and sweet items from food trucks as well as drink specials. Patrons must show valid identification to consume alcoholic beverages. There will also be opportunities to get sweets and swag.

Día de los Muertos | Day of the Dead Festival
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: November 1-3
Admission: Free

Celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), with an after-hours event, performances, and family activities. The Day of the Dead is a festival celebrated by people in Mexico, parts of Central and South America and in many Latino communities across the U.S. as a way to honor family and friends that have passed away. This celebration originates from the indigenous cultures of Mesoamerica, including the Mexica (Aztec) and Maya.

Post-Halloween Smithsonian Sleepover
Where: National History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: November 2-3
Admission: $100

The Nation’s T-rex has returned to the Natural History Museum, and his towering skeleton has been drawing big crowds to the amazing Deep Time exhibition in the brand-new David H. Koch Hall of Fossils. A post-Halloween Smithsonian Sleepover offers the perfect way to avoid the rush and spend plenty of quality time with your favorite dinosaur. And as a bonus, you can wear your Halloween costume one more time. Pack your sleeping bag and a toothbrush and join a small group of fellow adventurers as one of the world’s most popular museums closes its doors and the crowds leave for the day. For kids ages 8-14.

Día De Los Muertos
Where: General Getty Neighborhood Park | Wheaton, MD
When: November 2, 2-4:30pm
Admission: Free

Join Montgomery Parks to celebrate Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Originating in Mexico, the vibrant tradition is an opportunity for family and friends to gather and celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones. The festive event will include a Mariachi band, face painting, games and building a communal Altar de Ofrendas (Offerings). Altar de Ofrendas traditionally include candles, flowers, food, photographs, and mementos to honor the memory of passed relatives. Everyone is encouraged to bring items to include in the altar.

Pumpkin Chunkin’
Where: Great Country Farm | Bluemont, VA
When: November 2-3
Admission: $10/adult, $8/child

Bring your leftover jack-o-lantern to a smashin’ session and let it fly! The Silo Drop and the Zip Wire Sploosh let you do the smashin’ yourself or bring your pumpkin to the Pumpkin Drop Zone and add it to the upside down “fireworks display” as the pumpkins are dropped from a 40-foot lift. You will be sure to love giving your pumpkin one final ride. (What happens to all those smashed pumpkins? The pigs and cows love to eat them and GCF composts the rest.) The Roosteraunt Concession stand will be open 11am-3pm — don’t miss the Cider Donuts! Of course, plan to enjoy the farm’s playground, full of fun, too!

Sunday Funday: A Halloween-Themed Event
Where: Wheaton Veterans Urban Park | Wheaton, MD
When: November 3
Admission: Free

Keep the fun going after the big day and head at this Sunday Funday Halloween-themed event! Activities include a Halloween costume contest, pumpkin painting, s’mores roasting, face painting, balloon sculptues, lawn games, and a DJ and music. There will also be plenty of food, hot chocolate, cider, and beer available for purchase.

Fall Festivals
Where: Around the DMV
When: Through early November
Admission: Varies by locale

Many of the fall festivals around the area incorporate Halloween fun into their offerings. Pick out potential jack-o-lanterns, do Halloween-themed crafts, go on rides, and more. See a list of seasonal celebrations here.

Did I leave out any good ones? Let me know in the comments!


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The KFDC Guide to the 2019 Fall Festival Season

An autumn past at Clarke’s Elioak Farm





Fall is right around the corner, and so are the many festivals that come along with it. They celebrate everything from the season to city neighborhoods to cuisines to historic times. You can have a blast on a farm, savor local food and culture, go medieval or colonial — all amidst gorgeous autumn scenery in the cool, crisp air. This list of celebrations, ordered by start date (and mostly reprised from previous years), will help you plan for it all. Happy Fall!

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD
When: Weekends through October 20
Admission: Thru 9/8: $20/age 16+, $10/age 7-15
9/14-10/20: $27/age 16+, $12/age 7-15 | free/6 & under

This medieval time trip began in late August and gets a huge endorsement from me as one of the best annual events in the area. You just can’t beat the amazing variety of entertainment — exciting jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters, sword swallowers, tight rope walkers and other balancing acts, jugglers, musical performances, puppetry, plus slides, play areas, and games. And walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in Revel Grove, the charming location that resembles a 16th-century village, as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of “mead” is an immensely fun and interesting jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy.

Apple Gala & Cider Festival
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Weekends in September
Admission: $10-12/adult $8-10/child, free/2 & under (find discount)

The annual Apple Gala and Cider Festival takes place every Saturday and Sunday in September. Over 7,000 apple trees are planted throughout our farm, with plenty for picking and pressing to make fresh apple cider. Learn how apple cider was made back in the day with cider pressing demos from an antique 1835 cider press, enjoy live music, nosh on donuts baked fresh each morning, take wagon rides out to the apple orchards, and and have lots of fun in the five-acre play area, corn maze, and more.

Fall at Clark’s Elioak Farm
Where: Ellicott City, MD
When: Tuesday – Sunday through November 3
Admission: $7

This fairytale of a farm doesn’t have a special fall festival per se, but with so many activities, including seasonal delights like pumpkins, cider, and Halloween fun, it’s like a celebration all the time. And it all takes place on the sprawling grounds adorned with installations practically straight out of a storybook (they were actually salvaged from The Enchanted Forest, an old Ellicott City amusement park). Kids can sit on a wall with Humpty, Peek in the Three Bears’ windows, climb aboard Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, explore the Old Woman’s shoe. If that’s not enough, there are hayrides, cow train rides, slides, farm animals to pet, a pumpkin patch, the pine tree maze, and even more. Hours are 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Friday; 10am – 5:30pm Saturday & Sunday. Closed Mondays.

Fall Fun Festival
Where: Gaver Farm | Mt. Airy, MD
When: September 6 – November 3
Admission: $9/weekdays, $13.50/weekends, free/2 & under

Celebrate the arrival of fall in Frederick, MD with farm activities for the whole family family and other great seasonal traditions. Conquer twists and turns of the corn maze, jump on the giant pillow, pet and feed farm animals, and cruise down giant slides. There are over 50 attractions appropriate for any age including mini mazes, playgrounds, duck races, ball games, photo centers, and much more. Dates to note: September 14 – Touch a Tractor, September 21 – Military and First Responders Appreciation Weekend, September 28 – Apple Harvest Festival.

Adams Morgan Day
Where: Throughout Adams Morgan, DC
When: September 8, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate one of the city’s most diverse communities at the 41st Annual Adams Morgan Day, offering a day full of music, art, culture, dancing, and more. The family-friendly celebration will have activities for all ages, including free crafts, multiple stages of entertainment, all kinds of demos, a whole Family Fun Zone, and tons more. More details and the schedule of performances are available on the website.

Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: September 14-15
Admission: $18-20/adult, $11-12/age 6-11, free/5 & under

At George Washington’s old stomping grounds, they re-create a lively early-American marketplace with demonstrations, crafts and entertainment. Take in the sights and sounds of it all on Mount Vernon’s 12-acre field and chat with colonial artisans selling traditional handcrafted food and wares. Colonial music transports you back to the 18th century as expert artisans demonstrate period crafting techniques. Learn how the Washingtons enjoyed ice cream and watch as interpreters showcase the process. There’s plenty of fun for the whole family!

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: September 14 – November 5
Admission: $7-20 depending on dates

This festival is enormous! So big I recommend giving the website a good look to help prepare and navigate your way around the sprawling site that contains multiple slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and lots more. Expect some lines, especially for the giant slides that take you swooping down several humps over a hillside. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under. Be prepared for a crowd, especially on weekends.

Montpelier Farms Fall Festival
Where: Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Weekends September 14 – November 3
Admission: $12, free/2 & under (find discount)

Enjoy all of the staples of a fall festival on the farm — pumpkins, hayrides, animals, hill slides, farm-themed games and rides, and much more. They also offer field trips and birthday parties, something to keep in mind for autumn-born children. And a tip based on our experience there: Do not miss the corn maze. It’s EPIC.

Taste of Falls Church
Where: Falls Church, VA
When: September 14, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but tastes and rides are a fee

Falls Church’s annual autumn tradition returns for its 44th year, highlighting the area’s popular restaurants and featuring live entertainment, pony rides, children’s amusements, crafters, businesses and civic organizations. Festival goers can sample cuisine from city restaurant kitchens, plus there will be a beer garden to sample local brews and spirits. The children’s activity tent offers face painting and craft projects. Most rides will also require the purchase of tickets.

Hartland Orchard Fall Festival Weekends
Where: Markham, VA
When: Weekends September 14 – October 27
Admission: $10/ages 3+, free/2 & under

Hartland’s long list of opportunities for amusement include hayrides, pumpkin patches, a 60-foot slide, a corn maze, duck and pig races, and pony rides (some activities cost extra). New this year is a disc golf course — you can rent discs to play on a small, farm course with a hill and haybale obstacles. And FYI: The apple picking comes highly recommended.

Baltimore Seafood Festival
Where: Canton Waterfront | Baltimore, MD
When: September 14, 11am – 7pm
Admission: $12-15/adult, free for kids (find discount)

Head to this 6th annual waterfront festival showcasing some of Baltimore’s favorite restaurants serving their signature seafood dishes. Toss in refreshing drinks, live music, cooking demos, and an area for families with toys, games, face painting and more, and you have the Baltimore Seafood Festival – the only large scale seafood festival in Baltimore City. 

KID Museum FutureFest
Where: Silver Spring Civic Center | Silver Spring, MD
When: September 15
Admission: Free

KID Museum’s annual FutureFest is one of the DC area’s largest, free family festivals where kids can spark their imagination and families can celebrate their collective power to invent the future through all kinds of exhibits, demos, and live performances. A few highlights: KID City: Participants will build a city of the future — from the ground up — for a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience. Light up a high-tech street, construct a sculpture using 3D-printed bolts, race a vehicle down the maker highway, and more. Cultural Crossroads: Explore cultures that shape our community, from China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, India, Korea, and beyond, through hands-on activities, collaborative art installations, and live music and dance performances. Innovation Expo: Discover technologies and innovations that are transforming our world and inspiring the next generation of innovators. Glimpse the future of Work & Play, Space & Exploration, Food & Sustainability, and more.

Anniversary Fall Festival
Where: Reston Farm Market | Reston, VA
When: September 20 – November 5
Admission: $10/weekdays, $15/weekends

Celebrate and have fun at the Fall Festival and Anniversary Event at the Reston Farm Market. Bring the family for lots of activities, including train rides, a petting zoo, face painting, and much more. Get ready to pick a pumpkin, pansies, and mums as well. Seasonal produce will be available for purchase, and food trucks will be there with concessions. On weekends, enjoy special shows 11am – 5pm and live music 2-5pm — check the Events Calendar to see what’s going on each weekend.

Wiener 500 Oktoberfest
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: September 21, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Help celebrate Wiener 500 Oktoberfest at The Wharf! Stop by District Pier to watch some of the speediest dogs compete for prizes. All race proceeds benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance. Enjoy the music, adults can drink cold Oktoberfest beer and participate in the stein hoisting competition, and all can munch on great food and watch the races on a 17 foot jumbotron! Don’t have a Dachshund? All dogs can enter the contest for best-dressed! Plus, there will be local vendors and giveaways from DC’s best pet friendly businesses.

H Street Festival
Where: H Street NE, DC
When: September 21, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving hip corridor is always huge. If you don’t mind crowds, there is tons to see and do. The event features loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; cool art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and children’s activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is recommended, as parking is always difficult.

Homecoming at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: September 21, 9am – 3pm
Admission: Free for Family Day, $35-40 for the 5k

Lincoln’s Cottage is once again combining their two popular events, the Freedom 5K and Family Day, into one full day of racing and family fun: Homecoming! During the Civil War the Lincoln family called the Cottage home. This year they welcome everyone back “home” to join in a full day of activities where you can run, walk, and play like Lincoln. Go for just the race, just Family Day activities, or stick around for both.

Swinging into the season at Ticonderoga Farm

Fall Festival 2019
Where: Ticonderoga Farm | Chantilly, VA
When: September 21 – November 3
Admission: $10.95/weekdays, $17.95/holiday and weekends

This festival at one of our favorite farms in the area has all the trappings for a great time on the farm: hayrides, swings, a couple of playgrounds, hillside slides, s’mores roasting, cornshucking demos, a petting farm, a bamboo maze, antique tractors and firetruck, a pumpkin patch, and much, much more. Some features are available weekends only, but there’s more than plenty to keep kids entertained any day of the week. For a peek at it all, see this post about their Winter Festival and this one about a school field trip there.

Pumpkin Village Fall Fest
Where: Leesburg Animal Park | Leesburg, VA
When: September 21 – November 5
Admission: $15.95-18.95/adult, $11.95-15.95/child free/2 & under
(find discount)

The animals are usually the main draw at the park, but this time of year, there are activities galore that bring visitors to enjoy some seasonal fun. Year after year, families, groups and schools spend a crisp fall day enjoying loads of great activities such as giant hill slides, hay rides, moon bounces, pedal carts, and more. It’s also a great place for a fall birthday party. Get $2 off Mon-Thurs admission after 2pm by subscribing to their email list!

Corn Maze & Fall Festival
Where: Winterbrook Farms | Thurmont, MD
When: Opens September 21 – November 3
Admission: $10

The farm in Frederick County claims the largest corn maze in Maryland, and it comes with loads of other farm fun, including slides, a pumpkin patch, animals, the moo choo train, cornhole, zip lines pedal karts, apple cannons, a tractor tire mountain, and lots more! Go on Opening Weekend and get $1 off admission.

Wayside Farm Fall Fun
Where: Berryville, VA
When: September 21 – November 3
Admission: $12, free/2 & under (find discount)

The whole family can enjoy hours of farm fun for visitors of all ages. Get lost in the corn maze, watch piggies race, pick out a pumpkin, visit farm animals and check out the goat walk, whiz down slides, romp in the play yard. Admission covers all of those activities and even more. Plan on lunch from the Feed Trough and stock up on fresh farm goods from the Food Stall.

Harvest Festival
Where: Belvedere Plantation | Fredericksburg, VA
When: September 21 – November 2
Admission: $9.95 – $16.95, depending on day/time

This heritage farm has loads to keep the whole gang entertained for hours. The Maize maze, slides, hayrides, ziplines, pumpkin patch, playground, flower picking, jumping pillow are just some of the attractions that little ones will love. New this year is the Sunflower September Spectacular, a pick-your-own sunflowers field open September 21-22, 24-26, and 27-29. Plan to eat there — the Red Rooster Grill offers a variety of grilled favorites to satisfy all appetites.

Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch
Where: Middletown, MD
When: September 21 – October 31
Admission: Free on weekdays, $5/weekends (find discount)

Pick out a pumpkin and enjoy other fun activities for little ones at this 131-acre farm. A 15-acre corn maze, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, and wagon rides will delight young farm-goers. Concessions and craft shopping are part of the offerings, too. Some activities may cost extra, and not all of the activities are available during the week, so check the schedule for details.

Fall Adventures at Summers Farm
Where: Frederick, MD
When: September 21 – October 31
Admission: $10-17, depending on time/day (find discount)

With so much farm fun, there undoubtedly will be something to excite every kid. A pumpkin patch, giant jumping pillows, live entertainment, hay rides, hay slides, pig races, rubber ducks races, straw mountains, a mini obstacle course, even a campfire area if you want to “chill” out. Be sure to check the calendar for any special events going on.

Taste of Georgetown
Where: K Street, Wisconsin to Thomas Jefferson | Georgetown, DC
When: September 22, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but pay per taste

In its 26th year, the Taste of Georgetown will showcase the spectacular cuisine of more than 30 premier restaurants in the neighborhood, highlighting Georgetown’s culinary personalities and featuring delectable dishes to sample as well as wine pairings. Little foodies will enjoy the Kids’ Corner tent with coloring and face painting. Plus, there will be live entertainment. Tasting tickets can be purchased online or at the event.

Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Where: Mill Street in Occoquan, VA
When: September 28-29
Admission: Free

Plan for a day of family fun as the streets of Occoquan come to life with beautiful art, live music and great food! For the 49th year, the historic town will close its streets and host over 300 contemporary and country crafters and artisans from across the US. Find one-of-a-kind, hand crafted items galore! Located just 20 minutes south of Washington, DC, but far from the hustle and bustle of a big city, exhibitors and shoppers alike will enjoy the small town oasis nestled along the Occoquan River.

Harvest Happenings
Where: St. Luke’s School | McLean, VA
When: September 28
Admission: $5

The McLean Community Center is once again hosting a fun and exciting day for the whole family. This indoor-outdoor festival features live entertainment, crafts, and more activities. Children can buy their own pumpkins from the pumpkin patch (with the help of a parent/guardian) to decorate at the crafts station. Food will be available for purchase.

Frederick’s Oktoberfest
Where: Great Frederick Fairgrounds, MD
When: September 27-28
Admission: $8/21+, $5/ages 4-20, free for 3 and under

The Frederick Fairgrounds are transformed into a German village where dancing, live music, children’s events, bratwurst, Oktoberfest bier, German wines, and much more will make for a fun time for all ages. Especially for kids: face painting, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, and musical entertainment. Note that Friday night is 21+ only.

Farm meets city at the Barrack’s Row Festival

Barracks Row Fall Festival
Where: 8th Street SE |Capitol Hill, DC
When: September 28
Admission: Free

Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce of 8th Street SE on Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. Enjoy tours of the historic barracks, an animal petting zoo, food and art vendors, a beer garden, and tons of fun for kids. Enjoy entertainment all day as musicians, magicians, comedic performances, aerialists, stilt-walkers, and jugglers will keep the crowd amused.

Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival
Where: Germantown, MD
When: Weekends September 28 – October 27
Admission: $12, free/2 & under

Enjoy a country outing and join Butler’s in celebrating the harvest with traditional autumn activities. An area favorite, kids love jumping in the hayloft, heading out on hayrides, the tube slide, a rubber ducky derby, animal petting area, pony rides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, face painting, and much more. Some activities and food cost extra. Purchase there or bring along a picnic, but be sure to treat the kids – and yourself – to a yummy caramel apple! Note: There are also Pumpkin Harvest Days on some weekdays — see the website for more info.

Autumn Activities
Where: Larriland Farm | Woodbine, MD
When: Late September thru October
Admission: Free (fee for some activities)

Larriland is best known for their PYO fields, but in the fall, they offer a little more for farm-goers. Take a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to find a potential jack-o-lantern, then play in the Boo Barn or make your way through the straw maze. Apple fritters and food trucks are available on Saturdays and Sunday’s.

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: September 30 – October 31
Admission: $10-12/adult $8-10/child, free/2 & under

Great Country is known for its awesome festivals, and the Pumpkin Harvest is no exception. Thrills for little people (okay, us grown-ups, too) include P-Rex, the pumpkin eating dinosaur; Rubber Ridge, the tractor tire mountain; the Pumpkin Princess in the pumpkin patch, a giant Pumpkin’ Jumpin’ Pillow; five mazes; 60-foot slides, rope swings, tractor rides, and even more fun in the country. Find a future jack o’ lantern in the pumpkin patch, the largest u-pick patch in the area. See a weekend schedule of activities here.

Fall For Fairfax KidsFest
Where: Fairfax County Government Center, VA
When: October 5-6
Admission: Free, but rides are extra (find discounts)

This annual event by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, lots of live entertainment, and loads of activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee.

Autumn Harvest
Where: Schlagel Farm | Waldorf, MD
When: Weekends, October 5-27
Admission: $9/ages 2+

The farm known for it’s strawberry picking in spring also welcomes guests to pick out pumpkins in the fall. Hayrides, farm animals to visit, and small slides, and a straw maze give kids a little extra fun, too.

Taste of Bethesda
Where: Woodmont Triangle | Bethesda, MD
When: October 5, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but pay for samples

According to some stats, Bethesda has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S. Accurate or not, DC’s suburban neighbor definitely has a food scene worth celebrating. The 29th year of Bethesda’s famous food and music festival will bring 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to the downtown’s Woodmont Triangle. Along with delicious food samples and live entertainment, there will be a kid’s corner for face painting, arts & crafts, and more fun for young ones. Admission is free, and taste tickets are sold on-site.

PorchFest
Where: Adams Morgan, DC
When: October 5
Admission: Free

Get the best seats in the house (or on the sidewalk) as the front porches of homes and maybe a few local businesses are transformed into intimate performance spaces to be enjoyed by anyone who happens to stroll by. Enjoy a variety of music styles from over 30 bands playing on porches, patios, and stoops in the neighborhood. Music maps are usually available at the corner of 18th Street and Columbia Road NW on Porchfest Day.

Art on the Avenue
Where: Del Ray Neighborhood | Alexandria, VA
When: October 5, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the diversity of Alexandria’s Del Ray community at this multicultural arts festival. Over 300 artists – jewelers, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, painters, sculptors, fabric artists, and musicians – will have their work on display and for sale. And kids activities have always been a vital part of the festival – scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin painting, lotus flower design, screen art weaving are just some of the crafts to enjoy. Food vendors will also be there offering hot dogs, BBQ, Indian fare, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and home made cider donuts.

College Park Day
Where: College Park Aviation Museum | College Park, MD
When: October 5, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Join friends, neighbors, and the entire City of College Park community at the 10th Annual College Park Day Festival. This FREE event is fun for the whole family with live music and bands, awesome kids zones, delicious food and drink, live performances and performers, helicopter fly-ins, exhibitors, and so much more. Plus free museum entry during the event!

Harbor Harvest Fall Children’s Festival 
Where: Waterfront | Baltimore, MD
When: October 6, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free (fee for some activities)

Waterfront Partnership’s 12th annual Harbor Harvest Fall Children’s Festival will once again transform Rash Field into a fall wonderland with its family-friendly Inner Harbor tradition! The event is free to attend and will feature an urban pumpkin patch, petting zoo, kids play/hay maze, professional pumpkin carving competition, bubble fairies, face painting, pumpkin decorating, pony rides, train rides, and live music from interactive children’s bands Rocknocerus and The Uncle Devin Show. Guests can also enjoy a variety of food trucks while taking in the scenic backdrop of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. 

Homestead Farm Fall Festival
Where: Poolesville, MD
When: October – exact dates TBD
Admission: Free, but there are fees for some activities

While Homestead doesn’t have an official festival, the farm embraces the spirit of autumn every year. Tractor rides out to the pumpkin patches, apple picking, hot cider, farm animals, and scarecrows make it a great place to spend a few hours enjoying the season with the family. And the good thing about the lack of a festival, admission is free! You still pay for pumpkins and cider – and their can’t-miss caramel apples.

Bethesda Row Arts Festival
Where: Downtown Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

All ages are welcome to join one of the region’s most exciting and esteemed outdoor festivals. Overnight, Bethesda Row’s Shopping and Entertainment District will be transformed into an outdoor art gallery, featuring more than 200 juried fine arts and crafts from artists around the nation. “Art Fair Sourcebook” and “Sunshine Artists” have recognized the event as one the most important in the country, and over 45,000 attendees agree! Especially for kids will be a spin-art tent to create their own art. And new for 2019: STartER GALLERY — a separate cluster of tents located on Bethesda Lane, featuring local and emerging artists showcasing their works to first-time and novice art collectors. 

Marker-Miller Orchards Festivals
Where: Winchester, VA
When: October 12-13 & 26, November 9
Admission: Free

There’s a variety of fun to be had throughout the season with a couple of different festivals taking place. The Apple Harvest Festival is October 12-13, offering a weekend of, well, everything apples: 20 varieties of apples, apple cobbler, apple caramel sundaes, plus the wagon rides and cow train for kids. October 26 is their annual Pumpkin Festival, when you can find your own Great Pumpkin and enjoy all the usual festivities at the orchard. And their Bakery Festival, when you can sample bakes goods, is November 9.

Taste of DC
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: October 26-27
Admission: Start at $10

Celebrate the food, wine, and culture of our city in a new, cool location! Along with the obvious — tastings from numerous area restaurants — there will be cooking demos, live entertainment, a beer garden, and an area with activities especially for kids.

The Emporiyum
Where: Union Market Dock 5 | Northeast, DC
When: November 8-10
Admission: Tickets start at $15 (find discounts)

Meet, eat, and shop at this two-day market and celebration of everything delicious. Over 95 artisans, producers, chefs, and restaurants showcase their wares, works, and culinary creations. It’s a chance to meet the people behind the brands, taste and learn about their products, and shop for unique edible gifts.

Have a favorite festival you don’t see listed here? Let us know about it in the comments!


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Eats, Fall, Farm, Festival, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Play, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

What’s the Best? Ren Fest! (And it begins this weekend!)

The festively adorned village of Revel Grove


What time is it? It’s Ren Fest time! Anyone who has been reading this blog for awhile surely knows that the Maryland Renaissance Festival is my hands. down. very favorite annual event in the area. If you want to know why, just go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for a whole lot of rambling and gushing and, of course, huzzahs.

In this post, you’ll find all the information you need for this year’s event. And I can’t recommend Ren Fest enough… it’s one to put on your family’s fall calendar, for sure. Huzzah!

Logistics
The merriment begins this Saturday, August 24, and runs every weekend, rain or shine, through October 20 in the lovely 16th century-style hamlet of Revel Grove in Crownsville, MD. Hours are 10am – 7pm. Admission is $20/adults, $18/seniors, $9/ages 7-15, free for ages 6 and under through September 9. After that, tickets go up to $27/adults, $23/seniors, $12/ages 7-15, still free for 6 and under. Multi-day passes that offer a discount are also available. Tickets can be reserved in advance online.

Special Days:
* August 24-25: Children’s Weekend – FREE admission for ages 15 and under with adult
* September 2: Seniors day — Free admission for all seniors age 62+
* September 7 & October 6: ASL Interpretation Days
* September 7-8: Myth and Magic Weekend
* September 14-15: Celtic Celebration
* September 21-22: Romance Weekend — Singes party Saturday, vow renewals Sunday
* September 28-29: Pirate Weekend — dress in your pirate best, aaargh!
* October 6-7: Shakespeare Weekend

KFDC Tips
* Bring a stroller or carrier for little ones, as there’s a lot of walking. I recommend a stroller that navigates over dirt paths easily.
* Get a map and schedule on your way in to help you navigate and plan your day
* If there’s a show you really want to see, get to the stage a few minutes ahead of time to get good seats, so the kids have a good view.
* You might encounter less crowds on Sunday, when many folks are watching football
* Plan to spend on extras like food, games, and fun for kids (all reasonably priced, but it can add up)
* Tickets can sell out, especially on beautiful fall days as the chances to go dwindle, so it’s never a bad idea to reserve in advance.
* Let the kids dress up! Princesses, knights, fairies, pirates will fit right in.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD ( get directions)
When: Weekends August 24 – October 20, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $20-27/adult, $18-23/senior, $9-12/age 7-15, free/6 & under


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Fall, Festival, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Weekend