Halloween celebrations may rule this round-up, but there are plenty of non-spooky ways to scare up a good time with the kids. Between these recs and ideas on the Everyday Play page, there’s more than plenty of options to keep the whole family entertained. Happy Weekend!
Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 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!
Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Saturday, 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.
Where: Suburban Nursery School
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $5, children under 2 are free
Join Suburban Nursery School on Saturday for a favorite family event, Truck Touch! A ton of trucks will be there for for kids (and adults) to explore and touch. Home-baked goods, refreshments, snacks, and lunch will be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit Suburban Nursery School, a 50-year-old non-profit, cooperative preschool and its creative programming The event will be held at the school: 7210 Hidden Creek Road; Bethesda, MD 20817. Cash only, rain or shine.
Where: Around the DC-Metro
When: Throughout the weekend
Art and culture with European roots continue to entertain kids throughout the area, thanks to the French-American Cultural Foundation, 27 EU embassies, and more than a dozen major cultural institutions. Mimes, storytellers, children’s films, and puppeteers are just a few of the shows and art sessions on the lineup this weekend. See the schedule for specifics.
Fall Fun on the Farm
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
Celebrate the season at one of many area festivals on the farm. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help folks relish in the fun autumn brings. This post has details on many fall festivals happening around the region.
Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
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.
Where: Local Theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
Here’s where you can find live family entertainment over the next few days: This weekend is your last chance to catch Goodnight Moon at Adventure Theatre. Peter and the Wolf and special Halloween Tiny Tots shows are on at The Puppet Co. Lulu and the Brontosaurus is in its final days at Imagination Stage. The Story Pirates are performing at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning. And the NSO Halloween Spooktcular concert is at the Kennedy Center on Sunday.
Pumpkin Patch Parties
Where: Gymboree DC
When: Friday, 4:45-6:15pm & Sunday, 11am – 12:30pm
Admission: $5 or free for Gymboree members
Children ages 0-2 on Friday and ages 0-5 on Sunday are invited to Pumpkin Patch Parties at the new Gymboree DC. The parties are a time to dress up the little one (adults can dress up, too!), for a Halloween parade, special treats, seasonal crafts and holiday themed activities. Reservations are required. The Gymboree is located at 2639 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 113.
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: Saturday, 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.
Halloween at the Medical Museum
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
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. For more about what to expect at the museum, see this KFDC post.
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 26, 10am – 1pm
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.
Where: Maryland Science Center
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
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.
Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am – 4:30pm
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.
Healthy Kids Fun Run
Where: Pentagon North Parking Lot
When: Saturday, waves begin at 9:30am
Admission: $10 + fees
Kid can get in stride at the Marine Corps Marathon Healthy Kids Fun Run on Saturday. Nearly 3,600 children ages 5-12 will participate in the one-mile just-for-fun event. All participants receive a T-shirt, medal and snacks at the finish line. The Kids Run hosts six separate starting times. An individual young runner’s designated wave is indicated on the official participant bib as noted by color, start time and bib number. There will also be a menagerie of mascots kids can meet. Miles and Molly welcome: Sammy the Sea Otter from Navy Federal; Lift Off from Sodexo; the GECIO Gecko; Sip, Dip and Milk from My Cookie Dipper Co.; Jack the Bulldog from Georgetown University; J. Slice and the National Watermelon Queens from the National Watermelon Promotion board; Talon from DC United; Jukebox from Silver Diner, and Archie the Eagle from Quantico Eagle Eyes.
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.
Giant Yard Sale
Where: Children’s House of Washington
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Comb through an array of fantastic toys, children’s clothes and household what-nots You’ll be sure to find something to make your kids smile. Speaking of kids, children can enjoy sliding and climbing in the school’s lovely tree covered playground, balloons, a crafts table, delicious home baked goods and flexing their imaginations at the foot of the Dumbarton United Methodist Church’s beloved oversized, magical, purple double doors. The Children’s House of Washington is located at 3133 Dumbarton Street NW.
Fall Fun Festival
Where: Mount Vernon Triangle, 5th & K Streets NW
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 2:30pm
The Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District (CID) presents a Fall Fun Day on Saturday. The event will include a variety of festive fall activities ranging from volunteer bulb plantings to a free zombie zumba class, plus a Mini Monsters Kid Parade and Pet Costume Parade.
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 lively 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.
More Wicked Fun
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity
Special train and carousel rides, tricks and treats at the zoo, and more ways to celebrate the Halloween a few days early are going on around the area the weekend. Find the list of ’em here.