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Get the Halloween Party Started

Owen and his friend, Amelia, ham it up at last year's Hilloween

Why wait until the actual day to celebrate one of the best — no, the best in my book — 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. If you agree, there are loads of ways to get into the spooky spirit during the days leading up to the grand event. From skeletons at the museum to creepy train rides through the woods to costume concerts and dance parties to jack-o-lanterns on the farm, these local events will have Halloween-goers screaming for more.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 21-23, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members (note: Saturday is sold out)
This annual event is the wildest trick-or-treat in town. Kids ages 2 – 12 can get costumed up for after-hours Halloween fun at the Zoo. Get ready for tasty candy, delicious snack foods, and other goodies from more than 40 treat stations. Plus, animal encounters, keeper talks, and festive decorations are yours to enjoy. And this year Boo guests get to take home a complimentary reusable treat bag. Boo at the Zoo takes place rain or shine.

Halloween at the Medical Museum: Serious Fun with Skulls
Where: National Museum of Health and Medicine
When: October 22, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: FREE
The National Museum of Health and Medicine invites little ghouls and their families to get into the Halloween spirit by learning about skulls. The theme of the program is Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a holiday that celebrates the human cycle of life and death. Learn about the traditions associated with Día de los Muertos by decorating your own sugar skull (for 1st graders and up); participate in story time with books about Day of the Dead and skeletons; make your own skull mask; and more. Halloween costumes are welcome! The National Museum of Health and Medicine is now located at 2500 Linden Lane in Silver Spring, just outside of the Fort Detrick-Forest Glen Annex. A designated visitor parking lot is located off Linden Lane in front of the Museum (do not enter the Annex gates). Adult visitors will need to present photo ID upon entry to the Museum.

“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 20-23, October 27-30 (see schedule for times)
Admission: $6/person, $5 with canned food donation, free for kids 2 and under
Hop on board the Halloween! 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.

Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 20-23, October 27-30 (see schedule for times)
Admission: $6/person, $5 with canned food donation
Wheaton Regional Park’s Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel are back and scarier than ever! This annual Halloween attraction is designed for people 8 years old and above, because they do their best to make it VERY SCARY (and this is 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.

BooStravaganza and Hardly Haunted Hayrides
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 28, 5:30-8:30pm & October 29, 12-6:30pm
Admission: $8/child on 10/28, $5/child on 10/29
Make reservations for BooStravaganza on Friday, where children ages 2-8 can dress in their favorite costumes and enjoy fun, games, and a wagon ride. They’ll finish the evening with treats and a small pumpkin. On Saturday, kids of all ages can take Hardly Haunted Hayrides along with other farm fun. Reservation are recommended.

BB2 BOO – Boogie Babes Halloween Happy Hour
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: October 26, 5:15-6:30pm doors open at 5pm
Admission: $10/family
The Boogie Babes are growing up with BB2, musical get-togethers that are cool for older kids, too.  They’re kicking off the fun with a Halloween dance party.  Kid and parents are invited to come in costume for entertainment, light snacks, and photos taken by Maya’s Eye Photography. Adult beverages will also be available for purchase. An RSVP is appreciated, though not required: email [email protected].

Halloween Harvest Family Special
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 27-28 10:15am & 11:30am, October 29, 11am & 1pm
Admission: $12/adults, $10/ages 2 and up, $3/children under 2, $10/resident members
Dress up in a costume and join Oran (“Chef FONZ” and “Professor Wingnut Wants to Fly”) Sandel at the Discovery Theater pumpkin patch for songs, games, and more. He’ll spin an American Indian harvest story; guests will look inside Mr. Jack O’ Lantern (what really makes him tick?) and create a pumpkin face for Discovery Theater. Bring in YOUR design, and they’ll post it on their Facebook page. On Saturday, 10/29, be sure to stop by the Ripley concourse for Discovery Theater’s First Annual Harvest Halloween Festival from 11am-2pm, where families will find lots of fabulous fall fun together.

Halloween Monster Jump
Where: Pump It Up in Lanham, Md
When: October 28-31, various times (See below)
Admission: $13/child, $5/adult
Halloween is simply spook-tacular when you’re at a bouncing, laughing, sliding, howling, so don a costume and jump on over to Pump It Up for freaky fun and frightening food. There will be a prize for best costume and a chance to win a free birthday party. For guest safety, costumes may not include: masks, jewelry, capes or other hanging items, or heavy make-up , and 100% polyester is strictly prohibited. Must include socks. Halloween Monster Jumps will take place at the following times: 10/28 6-8pm & 8-10pm, 10/29 8:30pm-10:30pm,,10/30 is TBD, 10/31 6-8pm & 7:45pm-9:45pm. The admission fee includes 2 slices of pizza and a drink, plus goodies for everyone.

Glow Night – A Magical Evening on the Farm
Where: Great Country Farms
When: October 28-29, 6-9pm
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, free for ages 2 and under
See a spectacular display of over 2000 lighted jack-o-lanterns carved by local school children. The magical moment when they cut the lights (7pm) will take your breath away. Bring your carved Jack-o-lantern to enter in a carving competitions — Jack-o-lanterns are judged for Best in Glow, Scariest and Funniest. Along with the light show, warm yourself by the bonfire, roast some marshmallows, and enjoy apple cider.

Haunted Halloween Pop-Ups
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 29, 10am-12pm
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.

Trick or Treat with the Boutiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 29 during store hours
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. Some may also offer family friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Tricks and treats will be available during the day and during store hours.

Halloween Fun with the Jimmies
Where: National Geographic
When: October 29, 1pm
Admission: $16/adults, $12/kids 12 and under, $40/family four-pack
“Gimme Jimmies” is the rallying cry of this NYC-based kindie rock band, a Parents’ Choice award winner whose clever, creative music gets kids rocking. The heavy guitar groove hooks in parents as well. Dress in your Halloween costume—maybe a lion, leopard, or tiger, to support NG’s Big Cats Initiative—and get ready to rock-and-roll.

Halloween Festivities in Penn Quarter
Where: MLK, Jr Memorial Library, 8th Street NW, & Calvary Baptist Church
When: October 29, 2-6pm
Admission: FREE
Save the date for an afternoon of fun Halloween festivities for families of boooys and ghouls living in Penn Quarter and the surrounding DC area. From 2-4pm, costumed children can enjoy Halloween story time, light refreshments, and trick-or-treating throughout the Library. After that, join a costume Parade for a Playground as kids make their way to Calvary Baptist Church for a Creepy Crawly Fun Filled Halloween Party from 4-6pm, where there will be crafts, treats, a costume contest with prizes, a creepy guessing game, a dance party, and a moon bounce.

Flight Fest
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 29, 12-4pm
Admission: $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free for under 2
Wear your costume and enjoy the fun, fall-themed activities. There will be a costume contest and pumpkin bowling. Arts, crafts, hayrides, and spooky fun are waiting for kids and families.

Air and Scare
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 29, 2-8pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 7pm
Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 7th 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. Don’t forget to stop by the face painting station or pose for a photo with your favorite Star Wars character!

Crime Museum Halloween Kids & Candy
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 30, 1-6pm
Admission: $10/costumes 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.

Kidsfest
Where: George Washington University
When: October 30, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free
GWU is hosting this event for families to celebrate Halloween in a safe environment. The festival will include activity booths, where kids can play games and complete arts and crafts projects; a trick-or-treating route through a Residence Hall; and a Witch’s Kitchen. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. Kidsfest will take place in the Hippodrome on the 5th floor of the Marvin Center located at 800 21st NW.

Historic Halloween Spooktacular: Trick or Treat at Tudor Place
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 31, 3-6pm
Admission: Members are free, $7/children, $3/non-member adults
Children don their Halloween costumes to trick or treat through Tudor Places enchanting gardens. The fun continues as children of all ages create tasty Halloween treats to take home. Register online.

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 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. Hayrides, moon bounces, goody giveaways, and even a mini carousel will add to the excitement. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the neighborhood extravaganza.

Operation Disguise
Where: International Spy Museum
When: October 1-31
Admission: Take $5 off these fees with a disguise – $18/ages 12 and up, $15/ages 5-11
Celebrate Halloween at the Spy Museum all month long. When you wear the right disguise, you get $5 off the regular admission price.  Go covert October 17-23 with a pair of glasses, and don a moustache from October 23-31. And if you’re looking for help with a Halloween costume, there will also be a disguise/makeup event in the Spy Museum Store on Saturday, October 29th, from 12-7pm.

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Kids Euro Festival: Four Weeks of Free European Art & Culture in DC!

You don’t have to cross an ocean to introduce your kids to European art and culture.  Thanks to the French-American Cultural Foundation, 27 EU embassies, and more than a dozen major cultural institutions, Europe is coming to us via the Kids Euro Festival, a virtual passport to four weeks of continental artistic adventures.

From October 14 through November 10, the festival will present more than 200 FREE children’s performances all around the metro area. Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts on the schedule.  Public libraries, DC embassies, National Geographic Live, the Kennedy Center, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, the National Childrens Museum, Shakespeare Theatre, Strathmore, and AFI are among the many performance venues.

The festival, designed for children ages 2-12, is the largest of its kind in the country. More than 27 countries in the European Union are represented in the shows that highlight national cultural traditions and art.

Visit the Kids Euro Festival website for the complete schedule of performances and age recommendations. You can also “like” the Facebook page for updates on events.

 

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A Fall Full of Family Entertainment

A new season doesn’t just mean a change in weather; it also brings a whole new line-up of family entertainment. And this fall is no exception. From puppet shows and plays to opera at Nationals Park to kids rock concerts to shows about science, there is something to indulge all ages and interests. Here’s the scoop on performances coming to our local stages and, in at least one case, the ball park.

Tales of Beatrix Potter
Where: The Puppet Co. Playhouse
When: September 16 – October 9
Tickets: $10 (Get a $5 discount on tickets to shows on 9/16-18 by using the code BK2S online)
Applause Unlimited’s puppeteer/storyteller Christopher Hudert explores the fantasy world of one of Victorian England’s best-known authors and illustrators. Set in an old-fashioned nursery, this performance includes three favorite Beatrix Potter stories as seen through the eyes of a young English girl growing up at the beginning of the twentieth century. As she pursues the everyday activities of playing and learning, the tales of “Two Bad Mice”, “Jeremy Fisher”, and “Jemima Puddleduck” seem to grow from her imagination. This 45-minute show incorporates hand, rod, and shadow puppets in a style that is sure to please young and old alike.

Opera in the Outfield
Where: Nationals Park
When: September 22, 7:30pm
Tickets: FREE! Reservations are encouraged, but not required.
Join Washington National Opera for the 4th annual Opera in the Outfield, a free, live opera broadcast of Puccini’s Tosca at Nationals Park. Arrive early to the ballpark — gates open at 5:30pm — to enjoy entertainment and activities including: Performances by community youth groups including the Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. Stars double-dutch team of Greenbelt, MD, the award-winning Yorktown High School Marching Band from Arlington, VA, and the DC-based Taratibu Pan-African Step Team; a screening of the Warner Bros.cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc?,” starring Bugs Bunny and his nemesis Elmer Fudd; chances to win prizes, including a VIP suite for a Nationals Game and tickets to Kennedy Center performances.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Ongoing – Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5
The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.

Boogie Babes
Where: North Hall of Eastern Market & The Atlas
When: Thursdays & Fridays at 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for siblings 6 months and under
The Boogie Babes have doubled the fun! Little ones can now boogie along with their favorite local musicians in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday morning AND at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Fridays. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Market and stay to play, or hit one of the many eateries on the H Street Corridor. Check out the schedule to find out who’s playing when.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends
Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local groups perform every Monday through Friday and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other calendar updates.

Various Performances for Children
Where: Discovery Theater
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $3 – $6
Songs and stories in English and Spanish, a puppet show about Amelia Earhart, talking drums, and kitchen science are all on the entertainment line-up at Discovery Theatre this fall. Most performances take place at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center. See the complete schedule of shows on the theater’s website for more info and to purchase tickets online.

Big Apple Circus
Where: Dulles Town Center
When: September 22 – October 10
Tickets: $15-49
See the world’s greatest circus artists presented under an intimate big top, where no seat is more than 50 feet from the ring. Let your imagination soar and summon the most amazing acts – a juggler with a suit to fit his sweet feats of fancy handiwork; a mechanical doll who comes alive in a sinuous balancing act; spirited horses, frolicsome dogs, and a capybara and porcupine to perk up the sawdust party; audacious acrobats who astound with athletic grace; comical conjurors with magical moments of grand illusion; the aerial daring of the trapeze flyers; a singing ringmistress and the Big Apple Circus Band, creating the ringing melodies of memories to last. And Grandma, apogee of comical aspiration and mirthful joy! Your dreams will inspire a Big Apple Circus of living thrills and marvelous delight — a celebration of the imagination — an astonishing circus world of wonder.

Lilly’s Plastic Purse
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: September 23 – October 31
Tickets: $17
Lilly loves all sorts of things. She loves school, she loves dressing up, and she even grows to love her “stinky baby brother,” Julius. In fact, Lilly loves everything! At least, she loves everything most of the time. Even Lilly has some bad days, but when you have movie star sunglasses and a purple plastic purse, how bad can it be? Recommended for all ages.

Alladin’s Luck
Where: Imagination Stage
When: September 23 – October 30
Tickets: $10-22
A clever street urchin called Aladdin falls madly for the Princess Leilah when they meet by chance at the bazaar. Determined to impress the Princess, he embarks on a search for fortune and instead finds a dingy oil lamp. But this is no ordinary lamp; it houses a magical genie who helps Aladdin masquerade as a grand emir to win Leilah’s hand. Leilah, however, fell for the street urchin, not the grand emir. Frustrated that Aladdin won’t admit who he really is, Leilah gives the lamp to an unscrupulous magician and ends up his prisoner. Now Aladdin must travel across the desert to rescue Leilah by doing the thing that scares him the most…being himself. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Yo Gabba Gabba Live!
Where: Patriot Center
When: September 30
Tickets: $25-52
Yo Gabba Gabba Live! is going on the road again! The “It’s Time To Dance!” Tour is traveling to more than 50 cities with an all-new show. See all your favorites, like DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex, and Toodee, with special guests Hip Hop Legend Biz Markie and Razzle Dazzle Superstar Leslie Hall. You won’t want to miss it!

Snow White
Where: Alden Theatre
When: October 1
Tickets: $10/McLean residents, $15/non-residents
This musical adaptation of the classic fairy tale features both live actors and wonderful puppets. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Taste of DC Family Stage
Where: Pennsylvania Avenue NW
When: October 8-9
Tickets: FREE!
Rocknoceros, The Great Zucchini, and Hope Harris and the Cousins Jamboree will be part of the entertainment at this year’s Taste of DC, the annual festival celebrating food, wine, and culture in the city. See the schedule to find out when your favorite acts are playing during the multi-day event.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Where: The Puppet Co. Playhouse
When: October 13 – November 18
Tickets: $10
“The 3 Billy Goats Gruff” is a marionette romp in which three brothers get the goat af a hen-pecked troll, in their attempts to trip-trop-tromp to where the grass is greener. Performed on a unique round stage, the goats literally travel in three-dimensional space in a way that is unprecedented on the Playhouse or any other stage. Three variety numbers precede the performance, demonstrating the making of a simple hand puppet, and manipulation of rod puppets and marionettes, as an introduction to the Art of Puppetry.

The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 15-29
Tickets: $18
There are no puzzles in space, right? Wrong! Space is one giant puzzle waiting to be put together by physicists, astronomers, and a brainy girl who goes by the name Dr. Wonderful. Fly through the solar system with Dr. Wonderful and her amazing adventure team of Newton (the dog) and Ben (the human) in this all-new musical! Saving a super star from disappearing is no small task, especially when the star is 1.3 million times the size of Earth and 93 million miles away. But when Dr. Wonderful receives the call, her team leaps into action from their laboratory/bedroom into outer space. With a couple of butterscotch candies and a rock song from Mom in the mix, the mystery solvers are amazed by their final discovery. Girl-detective-noir meets science-geek-chic in this super cool astronomical event! Recommended for ages 6 and up.

NSO Family Concert: Peter and the Wolf Live
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 16
Tickets: $15-18
Here’s a puzzle: which instrument sounds most like a wolf and which can play the part of a little boy? Find out when the NSO fuses a fantastic film with magical music in the fun multimedia event Peter and the Wolf Live! Audiences will be introduced to the story’s characters and the instruments that play them in Prokofiev’s beloved score. Then they will delight in hearing the work performed live while watching the action play out on the big screen in Suzie Templeton’s Oscar(r)-winning stop-motion animated film that The Times of London praises for being “beautifully made and very funny.” Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Robin Hood
Where: Artisphere’s Spectrum Theatre
When: November 4-13
Tickets: $12/adults, $10/children
Encore Stage & Studio’s fall production presents the dashing outlaw Robin Hood and his Merry Men dwelling happily in Sherwood Forest, defending the people of England from the wicked Prince John. Until one day, when Robin uncovers an evil plot — it’s up to him to save the kingdom from the devious Lady Merle and rescue the fair Maid Marian! Don’t miss this rousing tale! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Tunes ‘n’ (Pig) Tales
Where: Kennedy Center
When: November 5
Tickets: $18
Music and stories go together like pieces of a puzzle – together they help create a better picture. Enjoy stories and music all about animals in this Teddy Bear Concert featuring The Three Pigs, Teddy Bear Rag, The Swan, and Baby Elephant Walk. Performed with a very unusual combination of instruments, NSO principal musicians Marissa Regni on violin and Dotian Levalier on harp join with Marissa’s father Albert Regni on four different saxophones to give each animal its own unique voice. And as a “little” surprise, along with full-sized instruments, the musicians perform on their miniature counterparts–a toy piano, a sopranino saxophone, and a tiny violin! Recommended for ages 3 to 5.

The Rough-Faced Girl
Where: Synetic Family Theatre
When: November 11 – December 28
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door
This tale, well known among the multicultural versions of the Cinderella story, skillfully invites the audience to look past the surface and into the soul. Cast aside by her family and tribe, the Rough Face Girl survives scorns and scars to follow her heart past vision and belief. Through a blend of music, dance, acrobatics, and Native American storytelling traditions, Synetic Family Theater actors help young theater goers celebrate Native American History Month and understand that beauty lies within.

Dangerous Encounters
Where: National Geographic Live
When: November 12
Tickets: $16/adults, $12/children 12 and under, $40/family 4-pack
Take a thrilling ride through the world of wildlife with Brady Barr, reptile expert and host of the National Geographic Channel series “Dangerous Encounters”. The first person to capture all 23 species of wild crocodiles, Brady has risked his life to preserve some of the world’s most amazing animals. Go behind the scenes with Brady, meet some live animals, and hear about his most exciting adventures.

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Recreation to Restore Sanity (and a Haunted Walking Tour to Keep Fear Alive)

In case you haven’t heard, there’s this rally thing happening on the Mall tomorrow.  It’s supposed to be a pretty big deal and, word has it, thousands of people will be attending.  If you don’t plan to be among them and want to avoid the crowds and clogged metro in that part of town while you hang with the kids, here are some suggestions for family fun off the rally route.

Justin Roberts at National Geographic Live
When I first heard about this event, I thought I wasn’t familiar with Justin Roberts’ music.  But as I listened to a few of his tunes, I realized the kids and I had been rocking out to some of his songs for years via the kids’ Sirius Radio station we listen to often.  So, I feel okay about recommending the National Geographic Live! show he’s playing tomorrow, October 30.  Seats are still available for both the 12pm and 3pm shows. Tickets are $16, $12/kids 12 and under and can be purchased through the National Geographic website or at the door.  (And PS – While you’re there, check out the Geckos and Wild Music exhibits!)

Kids Euro Festival
There’s just a little over a week left to catch some performances of Kids Euro Fest, the month-long showcase of European art and culture for children.  This weekend you and the kids can take in shadow puppetry from Poland and stage performances from Germany and Slovakia.  Check the schedule for times and note that some of the shows require reservations, though admission is free for all.

KIDS: Room to Play – Build Your Own Infrastructure
I’m going to avoid a bad Ikea joke and just give you the description straight from the website about the KIDS: Room to Play exhibit taking place at House of Sweden through December 5:  ‘Build a skyscraper, construct a highway, launch a ship and play in Pippi Longstocking’s house. We provide the building blocks, vehicles, toys, etc – you provide the imagination. Kids of all ages are invited to House of Sweden to build their own world of tomorrow!’ The exhibit will be open Saturdays 11am – 4pm and Sundays: 12pm to 5pm.

Smithsonian Sans Crowds
Needless to say, it might be best to leave the museum-going on the Mall to another weekend.  But you can still enjoy a Smithsonian kids’ fave – the National Zoo is far enough up town, and with splendid fall weather in the weekend forecast, it’ll be a great time to pay the animals a visit.  Don’t miss the recently opened Elephant Trail and be sure to check the daily schedule to see what’s going on when you visit.

Fall on the Farm
Whether you’re still looking for the perfect pumpkin or just want to visit a farm that sounds like something out of a storybook, head to Clark’s Elioak Farm in Ellicott City, Maryland. While the kids and I have yet to visit ourselves (we’re heading there today on the day off from school), you can read a nice description of the farm here. Admission if $5/person, and hayrides, pony rides, and the cow train are $2/each. Open 10am – 5:30pm (last admission is 4pm) seven days a week through November 7.

Haunted Hill
The newly formed Walking Shtick Tours is offering a kids version of their Haunted Hill tour on Sunday, October 31, at 1pm.  The hour-long walk around Capitol Hill  is geared for kids ages 8 and up, but younger children tagging along with siblings will fare fine. The tour meets at Eastern Market Metro near the Barracks Row historical sign.  Cost for the special kids tour is $20/family (regular tours are $15/person) and reservations are requested but not required.  Visit the Walking Shtick Tours website to make a reservation and learn more about the tours.

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