Tag Archives: International Spy Museum

Mission: Explore the New Spy Museum at L’Enfant Plaza

You never know who’s watching at the International Spy Museum


The International Spy Museum was pretty stealth about the transition to its new location at L’Enfant Plaza. The former venue in Penn Quarter closed at the start of 2019, then seemingly while we weren’t watching… poof! The beautiful, new building was complete and welcoming visitors in July.

Between summer travels then the start of school and a busy fall schedule, we didn’t make it there to check it out until a recent day off from school. But when we finally did visit, it made for a fun and, of course, intriguing outing for Sasha, her friend, and me for a few hours.

The new Spy Museum is much like the old one in that it showcases the fascinating world of espionage, and visitors discover it all on an “undercover mission.” What’s new and different is the breadth of the exhibits that extend to present times and generally cover much more. Not only is the state-of-the-art space twice as big as the old one, there are many more displays, multimedia installations, and interactives that are engaging for a wide range of ages.

Get a secret agent identity

Learn about spies from past times

Apparently, not all vodkas are what they seem…

Once you get your secret identity and watch a short video about being a secret agent, the museum is open to tour on your own throughout the 4th and 5th floors of the building. It starts on the 5th with “Stealing Secrets,” “Making Sense of Secrets,” and “Covert Operations.” There are large installations featuring several spies during different points in history. Exhibitions focus on tools of the trade and what it takes to be a good spy. Some of the updates include exhibits about the capture of Osama Bin Laden, a comparison of Kennedy and Krushchev, and stories about World War II operations. All of them include interactive elements that enhance the exhibits and let visitors put their spy skills to use.

Create a disguise

Craft secret messages

Be part of Operation Neptune Spear, the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden

On the 4th floor, exhibitions include “Spying that Shaped History” and “Uncertain World.” The former illustrates the impact of intelligence on history through a variety of exhibits including some that recreate spy locales from the past, a theater highlighting films about espionage, and underground operations to escape East Berlin. The latter explores modern responses to threats, from interrogation to surveillance, and how they should be handled. A whole exhibit about cyber security is part of this, including an “infinity room” reminded us all of Artechouse.

Watching vintage hidden camera footage (and videoing it on an iPhone)

Infinite cyber

Some of this might sound sophisticated for young museum-goers, but it’s presented in a way that makes it interesting for them with interactive elements like cracking codes, creating digital disguises, games that test their knowledge, and experiences that put them spy situations. And, yes, they still can crawl through the air duct!

They air duct never gets old

The museum is recommended for ages 9 and up, but I saw children even younger enjoying the hands-on activities with the help of parents. When you go, be sure to exit via the stairway, not the elevator. With glass walls, the atrium-like space offers fantastic views and makes for nice photo ops.



The International Spy Museum is located at L’Enfant Plaza, just south of the Smithsonian Castle, in Southwest DC. Metro is probably the easitest way to get there — the L’Enfant Plaza stop is on the Blue, Orange, Yellow, and Green lines. Hours are 10am – 6pm daily. Admission is $24.95/age 13+, $14.95/7-12, free for ages 6 and under. You can save $2 on adult admission when you purchase online.


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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Museums, Weekdays, Weekend

Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween in 2014

jackolantern

Costume choices are nearly finalized, front yards are being decked out with fake cob webs and creepy decor, grocery store shelves are chock full of candy… Halloween is here! We may have a few weeks to go before the actual day, but prepping for the festivities is half the fun, right? Even more, events and activities that capture the spooky spirit are happening all month long. And this annual KFDC list has all the details on where and when you can scare up a good time and celebrate one of the best holidays of the year (and if it looks familiar, that’s because it’s last year’s list updated). Happy Halloween!

“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 11, 12, 17-19, & 24-26, 29-30 & Nov. 1
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 here.

Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 11, 12, 17-19, & 24-26, 29-30 & Nov. 1
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 here.

Haunted Museum Historic Ghost Tour
Where: National Building Museum
When: Sundays, October 12-28, 8pm & 9pm
Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free

Take a nighttime tour of the National Building Museum’s historic home. Guests will wander the dark and lonely halls by lantern light, being regaled by ghost stories and other curious tales. Who are the mysterious figures wandering the halls after hours? What causes the giant columns to swirl with ghostly figures? Also learn about a gruesome murder and sinister characters immortalized in sculptural busts. This tour is recommended for ages 10 and up. Tickets are limited and sell out quickly.

Trick or Treat at Tudor Place
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 18, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $7/members, $10/non-members, $3/adults

Costumes too great to wear just once deserve a preview! Celebrate a Spooktacular Halloween at Tudor Place. Children in Halloween costumes are invited to trick-or-treat through the enchanting north gardens on the estate and participate in pumpkin painting, crafts, face painting, and games.

Boostravaganza
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 23, 6-8pm
Admission: $8/child

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 24, 6-9pm
Admission: $14

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. Come 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.

Halloween Festival
Where: Bethesda Row
When: October 30, 5-7pm
Admission: Free

Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls of all ages can participate in some retail scare-apy and trick-or-treating while enjoying the last evenings of fall. The Halloween festival offers families the chance to walk shop-to-shop trick-or-treating with their littles, while enjoying live entertainment and unprecedented deals on fashion, food, housewares and more. Guests will be treated to an evening of frights and bites, and can enter to win $100 to Paper Source.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 24-26, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members

Princesses, mythical creatures, kid-wizards, and other costumed guests are invited to join the National Zoo’s annual Halloween event. With nearly 40 not-so-spooky treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, and decorated trails, this event is frightfully fun for the whole family. Boo treat bags will be brimming with goodies at the end of the evening — traditional chocolates, healthy snacks, souvenirs, and other items will be handed out to guests. Costumes encouraged!

The Haunted Toy Shop
Where: Bradley Farm in Herndon
When: October 24 & 25
Admission: $5

Looking for a some spine tingling fun this Halloween? 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 “Haunted Toy Shop” 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. Local vendors have provided many giveaways for “monsters” to hand out to the children along the haunt. After you brave the Haunted House, visit the concession stand to chase away your “chills” with warm caramel apples and hot cider. Food and entertainment will also round out the fun.

Spooky Trick-or-Treat
Where: Rhode Island Row
When: October 25, 4-6pm
Admission: Free

Head to DC’s Brentwood neighborhood for a center-wide trick-or-treating event. Kids can enjoy free face painting, balloon artists, and live entertainment, while they also trick-or-treat at restaurants and retailers. Rhode Island Row is a new urban community of apartments, restaurants, shops, and a Main Street scene located at 2300 Washington Place NE.

Halloween Carnival
Where: Falls Church
When: October 25, 6-8:30pm
Admission: $2/children ages 2 and up (adults free)

The City of Falls Church is scaring up family fun at the annual Halloween Carnival that’s been running for over 30 years! Take a frightful walk down a Haunted Trail, then shake out the Halloween jitters in the Moon Bounce. If scary dares are not for you, enjoy the many carnival games and craft activities that are sure to provide a great time for children and parents alike. Halloween candy and snacks will be plentiful, with far more treats than tricks. A live Creepy Creature Show featuring some of Mother Nature’s spookiest critters will take place twice during the evening, once at 6:30pm and again 7:30pm, and is suitable for all ages.

Halloweenville
Where: Village at Leesburg
When: October 25, 3-7pm
Admission: Free

You know Fido is dying to debut his Halloween costume early, so bring him to this pet-friendly Monster Mash celebration and enter him into the pet costume contest! The rest of the family can enjoy free hayrides, costume contests, trick-or-treating, and plenty of other (not so) frightful fun!

Haunted Hangar
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 25, 7-9pm
Admission: $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free for under 2

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 are waiting for kids and families.

Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 25, 2-7pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 6pm

Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 10th 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. Be sure to pose for a photo with your favorite Star Wars or Ghostbuster character!

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: October 25, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities

It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Explore the arts through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, and performances at Glen Echo’s annual celebration. There will be pumpkin decorating and face painting ($1 fee for pumpkin; $1-2 for face painting) and other craft activities, including decorating trick-or-treat bags to use in the Park. And new this year are pumpkin-themed kiddie games with prizes. The Halloween celebration will end with a costume parade through the Park at 3:30pm.

Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 25, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Bring your little ghosts and goblins for a day of trick or treat in the Old Town Boutique District. The OTBD’s annual Trick or Treat with the Boutiques event is a great way for families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween day in Old Town Alexandria. All of the participating OTBD stores will offer treats, and some may also offer family-friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Tricks and treats will be available during the day and during store hours.

Spooky Science
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: October 25, 12-4pm
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/ages 3-12

Celebrate the chills and thrills of Halloween at MSC’s 6th annual Spooky Science, where creepy chemistry and mysterious science combine to provide a hauntingly good time. There will be hair-raising activities, creepy crafts, and fangtastic demonstrations. Visitors can look forward to making gooey, glowing slime, decorating pumpkins and trick or treat bags, playing mummy bowling, and exploring mystery boxes filled with eerie items. Save room for more spooky fun with Reptiles Alive! Their live animal show will feature slithering snakes, terrifying toads, beaded dragons and more. Shows will be at 1pm and 3pm. Costumes encouraged!

Falloween Family Festival
Where: Port Discovery
When: October 25, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up

Dress the kids up in their favorite costumes and join Port Discovery’s annual festival! Enjoy not-so-scary, family friendly programs and performances include nature-themed activities, crafts, tutu making, wildlife adventures, spooky science, live entertainment, and more.

Haunted Chocolate House Workshop
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 25, 1:30-3pm
Admission: $12/members, $15/non-members, $3/adults

Enjoy a Spooktacular family friendly tour through the historic gardens. After the tour, children participate in a chilling chocolate workshop to create their own 3D haunted chocolate houses to take home! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Monster Mash
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: October 25, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $10, under 12 months are free

Wear your favorite costume for a day of non-spooky fun! The NCM is planning special Halloween programming, including a dance party, and hands-on activities like making masks, bats, spiders, and paper bag pumpkins, and much more! If that’s not enough, the Museum’s theatre staff will debut a brand new show, The Adventures of L.G. and I.F. I.F. will show L.G. what can happen when we use our imaginations to play – no tablets, no phones, no TVs required, just imagination and you!

Falloween
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 25, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy some Halloween and fall fun at the shopping center, a petting zoo, face painting, the festive photo stop, pumpkin decorating, treats and tastes from restaurants and retailers and much more! Don’t miss featured musical performances are by DC-region favorites, Mr. Knick Knack at 10am and Rocknoceros at 11:45am.

Crime Museum Halloween – Just for Kids!
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 26, 1-5pm
Admission: $10/costumed child, $10/adults accompanying children

Batman, Wonder Woman, police officers, and all other costumed characters can enjoy a day of Halloween fun at this Penn Quarter museum. Festivities include a regular museum tour, Police Academy Jr. Activity Sheet, McGruff the Crime Dog appearances, finger print identification cards, candy, and more.

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Whodunit
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 26
Admission: $15-18

There’s a mystery in the Concert Hall on All Hallows’ Eve! For this frightfully fun third chapter in the NSO’s popular Spooktacular concert series, don your freaky-deakiest costumes and join all the ghoulishly attired musicians for a wickedly wacky, music-filled whodunit. When the NSO’s Stephen Dumaine alerts the orchestra that his tuba has been stolen, NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl asks the audience to help them rewind time, follow the clues, lure out the “thief,” and crack the case! Go early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Then take your seats for spine-tingling classics, including Adam Glaser’s March of the Little Goblins, the “Infernal Dance” from Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird, and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, plus new favorites like “Let It Go” from Frozen, a special appearance by 13-year-old NSO Youth Fellow and tuba player Diego Stine, and plenty of Halloween surprises!

Family Halloween Party
Where: Courtyard Marriott Navy Yard
When: October 26
Admission: Free

The Waterfront Church invites families to join them for an evening of good, clean fun. There will be games, pumpkin painting, candy and more. Enjoy a safe, fun, local, and free fun event for kids.

Halloween at the Harbor
Where: National Harbor
When: October 26, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the Spooktacular family event that will include activities for everyone. Go trick-or-treating at select stores and restaurants. Visit the Pumpkin Patch at the Miller Farms Farmer’s Market to buy a jack-o-lanter-to-be. Enjoy a showing of Hocus Pocus on the Plaza Big Screen (movie will begin at 11:15am). And take advantage of free rides on the Capital Wheel for kids 12 and under dressed in costume (with adult purchase)!

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
When: October 31, gates open at 3:30
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child

Join Mount Vernon’s costumed cast for a special opportunity to trick-or-treat in the historic area. Guests can participate in a Halloween craft activity in the greenhouse; go on a scavenger hunt; view special trade demos, like 18th-century wool carding, spinning, and fish net making. There will also be Halloween-themed stories in the straw bale amphitheater, colonial games, dancing demonstrations, and wagon rides. All young guests are invited to join in the children’s costume parade around the Mansion at 6pm. Prizes will be awarded for the best “George” and “Martha” costumes!

Hilloween
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 31, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

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.

Halloween Yoga
Where: lil omm
When: November 1, 2:30-3:30pm
Admission: $20/family

Do some post-Halloween poses to work all the frights out. It’s an Oh-So-Omm Halloween party for families with kiddos ages 2 and up. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes for the afternoon of spirited yoga, dance, and movement with lil omm friends, Pleasance and Rhiannon. Be sure to register in advance!

Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: November 1-2
Admission: Free

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.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Fall, Farm, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween

Dracula and Fairy Butterfly Princess on Halloween 2012

Dracula and Fairy Butterfly Princess, Halloween 2012



Why wait until the actual day to celebrate one of the best holidays of the year? Besides the bonuses of getting more mileage out of costumes and having extra excuses to indulge in sweets, Halloween festivities are a treat any day. And there are loads of ways to get into the spooky spirit during the days leading up to the grand event. From no-fright fun to wicked cool thrills, here are the many ways you can scare up a good time this Halloween season. (Be sure to note that a few events will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Spooky SPY Family Night
Where: International Spy Museum
When: October 11, 6-9pm
Admission: $14

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, including the new exhibition Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains. 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, play VINGO (Villain Bingo), and enjoy SPY snacks and a chance to explore all forms of spy tradecraft. Come in disguise as your favorite spy! Includes exclusive after-hours admission, SPY snacks, scavenger hunt, prize competitions, and more! Space is limited — advance registration required.

“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 12, 13, 19, 20, & 24-30
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.

Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 12, 13, 19, 20, & 24-30
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 runs 6-9pm each night. Purchase tickets online.

Planet Spooky & Trick-or-Treat with Dinos
Where: Kings Dominion
When: Weekends October 6-28, 12-5pm
Admission: Free with park admission
A brand new event at Kings Dominion, Planet Spooky will feature all of the treats (but no tricks) for little ones to enjoy! Some of adventures include a pumpkin painting patch, petting zoo, foam pit, pedal tractors, a hay maze, live shows and more, that all take place in the new Planet Snoopy at Kings Dominion – which features 18 rides, with many of the rides designed for families to experience together. During Planet Spooky, all of the rides in Planet Snoopy will be open. The park also unveiled its all-new Trick or Treat with Dinosaurs! Kings Dominion has a 6-acre animatronic dinosaur park called Dinosaurs Alive, with 39 life-sized dinosaurs that make sounds and move as if it was 65 million years ago. New in 2013, Kings Dominion will dress up several of these dinosaurs in costume and offer children a chance to trick-or-treat through Dinosaurs Alive with their families before Halloween!

Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: October 6-27
Admission: Free
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. (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Boostravaganza
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 17, 6-8pm
Admission: $8/child

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 go here to sign up.

The Spooky Magic of Joe Romero
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: October 19, 1pm
Admission: $14
BlackRock celebrates the Halloween season with Joe Romano providing tricks that are a real treat. This skilled and exciting magician will perform jaw-dropping illusions for the whole family. Joe will float on a broom, turn a child into Harry Potter, make a friendly ghost appear, and more! Go early to join the free pre-show party, with arts & craft and a snack. The one-hour performance is recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 25-27, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members
Princesses, mythical creatures, kid-wizards, and other costumed guests are invited to join us at our annual Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo. There’s no safer or more exciting way for families with children ages 2-12 to trick or treat. A ticket is required for all attendees 2 years and older. Enjoy animal encounters and festive decorations along with tasty candy and delicious snack foods from more than 30 treat stations throughout the Zoo. Take a ride on our Conservation Carousel, too! Tricks optional. (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Fall Harvest Festival Halloween Weekend
Where: Great Country Farms
When: October 26-27
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, free for ages 2 and under

The farm’s annual seasonal festival includes Halloween fun for the weekend, when guests are encouraged to come in costume. Celebrate and create an unforgettable experience picking pumpkins, cheering on the fastest piglet, smashing pumpkins with P-Rex, getting lost in our corn maze and having your little princess meet their little princess. And don’t forget those freshly made Cider Donuts!

Wax Frightful
Where: Madame Tussauds
When: October 26, 10AM – 4PM
Admission: $20/adult, free for ages 4-12 (online)

Join Madame Tussauds for fun Halloween crafts, costume competitions, spooky tales and more! Three sessions are available at 11am – 12pm, 1-2pm, and 3-4pm.

Haunted Hangar
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 26, 7-9pm
Admission: $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free for under 2

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 are waiting for kids and families.

Falloween
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 26, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

It’s a day of fall fun at the shopping center, including trick or treating, a costume parade (for people and pets), a Rocknoceros performance, a petting zoo, face painting, a kids circus, strolling entertainment, balloon creations and much more. People and pets in costume are invited to join in the FALLoween Parade at 11am, led by The Jokesters. Visit the website for the schedule of festivities.

Halloween at the Medical Museum
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: October 26, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join NMHM for some spooky Halloween fun on Saturday. Children of all ages are invited to learn about skulls through fun arts and crafts activities at NMHM’s free Halloween event. Visitors can also tour the Museum’s exhibits, which feature several full human skeletons and skeletal preparations. Halloween costumes are welcome.

Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 26, 2-7pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 7pm

Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 9th 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. Be sure to pose for a photo with your favorite Star Wars character! (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: October 26, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities
It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Explore the arts through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, and performances at Glen Echo’s annual celebration. There will be pumpkin decorating and face painting ($1 fee for pumpkin; $1-2 for face painting) and other craft activities, including decorating trick-or-treat bags to use in the Park. And new this year are pumpkin-themed kiddie games with prizes. The Halloween celebration will conclude with a costume parade through the Park at 3:30pm. (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 26, 11am – 6pm
Admission: FREE

Bring your ghosts and goblins for a day of trick or treat in the Old Town Boutique District. The OTBD’s annual Trick or Treat with the Boutiques event is a great way for families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween day in Old Town Alexandria. All of the participating OTBD stores will offer treats, and some may also offer family-friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Tricks and treats will be available during the day and during store hours.

Spooky Science
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: October 26
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/ages 3-12

Celebrate the chills and thrills of Halloween at our fifth annual Spooky Science, where creepy chemistry and mysterious science combine to provide a hauntingly good time. There will be hair-raising activities, creepy crafts, and fangtastic demonstrations. Visitors can look forward to making gooey, glowing slime, decorating pumpkins and trick or treat bags, playing mummy bowling, and exploring mystery boxes filled with eerie items. Save room for more spooky fun with Reptiles Alive! Their live animal show will feature slithering snakes, terrifying toads, beaded dragons and more. Shows will be at 1pm and 3pm.

Fall-o-ween Family Festival
Where: Port Discovery
When: October 26
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up

Dress the kids up in their favorite costumes and join Port Discovery’s annual festival! Enjoy not-so-scary, family friendly programs and performances include nature-themed activities, crafts, tutu making, wildlife adventures, spooky science, live entertainment, and more.

Haunted… Chocolate House Workshop & Tea
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 26, 10am & 1pm
Admission: $12/members, $15/non-members

Enjoy a Spooktacular family friendly tour through the historic gardens. After the tour, children participate in a chilling chocolate workshop to create their own 3D haunted chocolate houses to take home! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Monster Mash
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: October 26, 10am
Admission: $10, under 12 months are free

Bring your little “monsters” for a day of Halloween surprises, mask making, Sesame Street character fun and much more! Make sure to wear your best Halloween costume!

Haunted Halloween Pop-Ups
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 27, 1-3pm
Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free

Celebrate the spirit of Halloween as you design your very own pop-up haunted house. Learn the pop-up architecture technique from guest artist Carol Barton. Decorate a spooky haunted house scene to take place on your window sill. Fun for the whole family, the festivities include crafts, treats, and ghosts stories (more silly than spooky!) about the Museum. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Prepaid registration required. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Baby Loves Disco Halloween Ball
Where: U Street Music Hall
When: October 27, 11am
Admission: $15/ticket or 4 for $55

Come dressed up in your costume (you, too, Mom and Dad!) for a special Halloween family dance party. Prizes, contests, tricks, and lots of treats will be part of the fun along with the always-groovy DJ-spun music set and energetic MC.

Crime Museum Halloween – Just for Kids!
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 27, 1-5pm
Admission: $10/costumed child, $10/adults accompanying children

Batman, Wonder Woman, police officers, and all other costumed characters can enjoy a day of Halloween fun at this Penn Quarter museum. Festivities include a regular museum tour, Police Academy Jr. Activity Sheet, McGruff the Crime Dog appearances, finger print identification cards, candy, and more.

NSO Halloween Spooktacular: The Sequel!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 28
Admission: $15-18
Is it ever cool to “boo” the orchestra? It is on Halloween! But watch out, because at this frightfully fun follow-up to the NSO’s popular Halloween Spooktacular program, ghoulishly attired musicians might “BOO” you from behind their instruments in return! Don your spookiest ‘ween wear and come early for pre-concert trick-or-treating plus a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Then take your seats for a “spirited” performance as an incognito Ankush Kumar Bahl conducts a new round of goosebump-inducing favorites. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Joanie’s Halloween Party
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 31 – November 1, 10am & 11:15am
Admission: $5-8

At this session of Tot Rock: Jammin’ at the Smithsonian, there’s no reason to scare up an excuse to dance like crazy when the energetic Brooklyn-based, kindie-rock band Joanie Leeds and The Nightlights make their Halloween debut at Discovery Theater. Leeds brings songs from her latest album, Bandwagon, along with other hits and kid-friendly Halloween tunes. The band will be in costume—and families can be, too! (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Hilloween
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 31, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

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.

Nightmare Manor Family Night
Where: Ijamsville, Md
When: November 1, 5-9pm
Admission: $20
Family Night is a fun and interactive Halloween experience suitable for all ages. Scares are toned down for younger children, and kids going through the haunt will be given magical rings that are capable of warding off all forms of ghosts and monsters in case they get too frightened. Go hungry and roast smores over the bonfire, or enjoy our other delicious foods.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Halloween, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Mission: Good Time at the International Spy Museum

View of the entrance, as photos are not permitted in the Spy Museum - it's all top secret, of course!

 

Whenever one of my kids has a day off from school and the other doesn’t, I try to make a  point of planning an “age-appropriate” activity, or at least one that I know whomever is home with me will especially enjoy, that the other probably wouldn’t so much.

This is what brought Owen and me to the International Spy Museum earlier this week. It wasn’t our first time there — both kids have actually been, which is how I determined it to be an “Owen” activity — but it was definitely our best visit yet.  His age (6.5), ability to read, and newfound penchant for intrigue and mystery (takes after his mama!) greatly attributed to a terrific outing.

It’s all presented as a mission, one that starts on a black and neon light-filled elevator that whisks you up a level to a room where you choose an identity from several posted on pillars in the middle of the room. After a few minutes to memorize the details, a door open that leads to the Briefing Room, where “secret agents” take a seat to watch a quick film about the exciting world of espionage.

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Filed under DC, Educational, Exhibit, Gradeschoolers, Museums, Preteens, Teens, Weekdays, Weekend