Category Archives: 2022

The Weekend Round-Up:
September 30 – October 2

One with Eternity at the Hirshhorn

 

With a lot of rain in this weekend’s forecast, it’ll be a good idea to check ahead on the status of outdoor events before you go.  I’ll update this round-up best I can, too.  Happy Weekend!

Quick links to round-ups of local fun:
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* The Great Indoors
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Pick Your Own
* Peaceful Places
* On the Water
* Baltimore with Kids

Wicked Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity
Get the Halloween party started early with activities and events that celebrate the spooky spirit throughout October. This post has details on where all the tricks and treats are happening.

Off the Beaten Museum Path
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by museum

With rain in the forecast all weekend, it’s a perfect time to explore some museums  that are off the well trodden path of the National Mall. If you don’t veer from it now and then, you could miss out on some other amazing exhibits and experiences that aren’t as well known. Check out this round-up of some museums in DC that may not be on your museum radar — but should be.

The Great Indoors
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This list of over 100 ideas for adventures around the area that take place indoors is always a good one to keep handy, but especially this weekend as wet weather heads our way. Many are well known attractions, but sometimes we need reminders about even the most obvious spots. You’ll likely find lots of nice surprises listed, too!

One with Eternity
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free (with timed-entry passes)

Catch the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Hirshhorn before it closes after November.  Including two Infinity Rooms, the yellow and black polkadot Pumpkin, plus a couple more pieces and elements that illustrate Kusama’s fascinating life and artistry, all ages will dig it.  Free same-day Timed Passes are distributed daily at the Museum starting at 9:30am. All visitors age 12+ must have a pass!  Kids under 12 do not need passes, and adults with a pass can bring up to two children. Be sure to read this KFDC write-up about the exhibit that includes more info, tips, and a glimpse of what you’ll experience.

Kids DIY Project
Where: Home Depot locations in the C area
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Head to Home Depot for their free monthly workshop that welcomes kids to complete a hands-on project, this weekend a wooden fire rescue boat toy. All attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All supplies are provided, including a little apron, and kids get to keep their craft along with a certificate of achievement and collectible pin (while supplies last).

District Hunt
Where: Throughout DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $100/team
Get your team together for a city-wide scavenger hunt that’s fun and charitable! Game Genius, a nonprofit organization that leverages the power of play for social good, is hosting its 4th annual District Hunt. The live, city-wide event highlights local changemakers through an outdoor puzzle adventure all around DC. Designed around the theme of Literacy, the unique treasure hunt brings the community together while raising awareness and creating opportunities to support local organizations. [Note: There is also a self-directed option to do this from October 2-10.]

Fall Fest
Where: East Market Lane | Georgetown Park, DC
When: Through October 30, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free
NeighborsDC, the buzzed about community market in Georgetown Park’s East Market Lane, will be hosting Fall Fest, a curated shopping destination with small business vendors selling everyone’s favorite fall items. This will include a phenomenal lineup of DC-based brands creating handcrafted goods from all creative niches, cultural backgrounds, and diverse communities. Expect fall themed florals, home goods, fashion, jewelry, hot apple cider, and even fall themed snacks.

Legendary Yard Sale
Where: Maury Elementary Village | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free (but be ready to spend on amazing deals!)

This is always one of the best school yard sales around. Find bargains on used toys, books, games, clothes, baby gear, household items and small appliances in good working order. And fuel your browsing with delicious goodies from Maury’s best bakers. (PS: It’ll take place indoors due to rain!)

Open Streets DC
Where: Georgia Avenue, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Three miles of Georgia Avenue will close to cars, and the street will open the street for people to walk, bike, scoot, and play. Five activation zones along the route will host hourly programmed classes and demonstrations, including yoga, drum circles, double dutch, traffic gardens, pop-up bike lanes, dancing, and more. Businesses along the route will also provide space for outdoor dining and retail. The event is free and suitable for all ages and abilities! No cars, just people.

Nats vs. Phillies
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary
The Nats are back home and hosting the Phillies this weekend. Catch afternoon games all three days or an evening game on Friday (doubleheader that day).  Giveaways include Nats hoodies and winter beanies.  Don’t forget that kids can run the bases after the Sunday game.  And before you go, get some KFDC tips on doing Nats game without breaking the bank.

Celebrate Fall
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event
Fall has officially begun! And while it may not feel like it weather-wise, events around the area are celebrating the season’s arrival. Fall festivals are in full swing at area farms, in local communities, even a 16th century village in Maryland, and they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Get details on them in this round-up of autumn celebrations around the area.

Oktoberfest
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: Free

It’s that time of year… put on your dirndl or lederhosen, grab your Dachshund, and head to The Wharf for a weekend of free Oktoberfest festivities. Kick it off with Polka dance lessons on the pier and cheer on the dogs competing in the 10th Annual Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash to benefit Rural Dog Rescue. Throughout the weekend, enjoy German fare, Bavarian decor and costumes, and Sam Adam Octoberfest beer for adults. Hours are Friday 7-9pm, Saturday and Sunday: 2-5pm. UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the Wiener 500 has been moved from Saturday 10/1 to Sunday 10/16 from 2-5pm.

Taste of Bethesda
Where: Woodmont Triangle | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 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. This 31st annual food and music festival will bring a variety of restaurants and five stages of entertainment to the downtown’s Woodmont Triangle. Taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. Food servings cost one to four tickets. UPDATE: The event has been canceled.

Adams Morgan PorchFest
Where: Adams Morgan, DC
When: October 1, 2-6pm
Admission: Free

Get the best seats in the house (or on the sidewalk) as the front porches of homes and store fronts of 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 60 bands playing on porches, patios, and stoops in the neighborhood. Music maps are usually available at the corner of Adams Mill and Columbia Road NW on Porchfest Day. UPDATE: PorchFest has been postponed to a later date in October TBD.

The Hero of EVERYTHING
Where: Montgomery College | Silver Spring
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $13.50
InterAct Story Theatre’s The Hero of EVERYTHING explores the importance of teamwork and the perils of trying to do everything yourself.  This action-packed interactive play is performed by three actors on stage and a whole team of superheroes in the audience, who join in to become part of the action to save the day in Citytown City. See more about it here (but note that the giveaway has ended).

Witchwartsmith’s Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: October 1-31
Admission: $15/age 2+

The wonderful Puppet Co. has reopened and just in time for Halloween! Witch Wartsmith (the sister of Witch Wartsmith from our Legacy show Rapunzel,) hosts the annual Halloween Spooktacular and you get to vote on the winner! Part contemporary competition show, part vintage telethon, and part punpalooza, this spooky variety show will tickle your funny bone. Don’t miss this year’s performances, because some contestants will change year to year.  Shows are performed Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30am, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am & 1pm.

Kick it with Spirit
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC

When:  Saturday, 7pm 
Admission: Tickets start at $25
The Washington Spirit, our local women’s pro soccer team, is playing at Audi field this weekend, as they take on Houston Dash.  Watch some amazing soccer play while supporting women in sports and see a few players from the US women’s national team in action! Purchase tickets here.

More Live Entertainment
Where: Theatres around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Tiny Tots at The Puppet Co. (littlest ones)
* Host & Guest at Synetic Theatre (teens & older)
* Hamilton at the Kennedy Center (age 10+)
* The Trip to Bountiful at Ford’s Theatre (age 13+)
* Dance Nation at Olney Theatre (Rated R)
* Once on this Island at Source Theatre

Baba Bomani & The ABCs of Hip-Hop
Where: Publick Playhouse | Cheverly, MD
When: Sunday, 2 pm
Admission: $5

Join the Playhouse for a fun-filled workshop that explores the reading, writing, and arithmetic of Hip-Hop performance. From learning to recognize vowels and syllables to understanding the rhythm patterns that turn those syllables into raps over a beat, students will be engulfed in dance and song through this highly interactive presentation. All ages welcome, Purchase Tickets on here. Publick Playhouse is located at 5445 Landover Road in Cheverly, MD.

Takoma Park Street Festival
Where: Carroll Ave. to Carroll St. | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The streets of Takoma Park will be filled with music, artisans, community groups, kids activities, food vendors and a variety of green companies at the city’s 41st annual festival. Get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping — over 150 vendors will be selling all kinds of artistic wares. Music lovers will enjoy three stages hosting 18 bands playing all day.

Autumn off the Farm
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Farm festivals may be the go-to autumn outing, but there are lots of other fantastic ways to enjoy the season around the area. This KFDC post lists 10 great places to for fall adventures — view it here.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* How to help those affected by Hurricane Ian.
* SAY: DC is offering free art workshops and more resources for young people who stutter.
* Reminder: Plan ahead and snag tickets for live entertainment this fall.
* Got a hockey player or fan in the fam? On Monday 10/3 at 6:30pm, catch a showing of the documentary film Hockeyland at The Miracle Theatre.
* A first-time visitor’s guide to the New River Gorge National Park from Afar.
* Get a peek inside 12 of the coolest homes in the DC area.
* Prep for the coming cold…Backcountry.com has a great winter clearance sale.
* Love this… best friends are the best.

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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween Around DC

Go big on fun this Halloween!

 

Shop Now

 

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.  Happy Halloween!

“Eye Spy” Halloween Trains
Where: Cabin John & Wheaton Regional Parks | Bethesda & Wheaton, MD
When: Saturdays & Sundays, October 1-30
Admission: $6/Cabin John, $8/Wheaton

Hop on board the Halloween Trains! All ages can take a ride through “Trainslyvania” on Montgomery Parks’ Cabin John Miniature Train and the Wheaton Miniature Train.  They’ll run every Saturday and Sunday in October 11am – 6pm, and it’s best to purchase tickets in advance online to guarantee a ride (only a limited amount are available onsite.) Purchase for Wheaton here and Cabin John here.

Witchwartsmith’s Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: October 1-31
Admission: $15/age 2+

The wonderful Puppet Co. has reopened and just in time for Halloween! Witch Wartsmith (the sister of Witch Wartsmith from our Legacy show Rapunzel,) hosts the annual Halloween Spooktacular and you get to vote on the winner! Part contemporary competition show, part vintage telethon, and part punpalooza, this spooky variety show will tickle your funny bone. Don’t miss this year’s performances, because some contestants will change year to year.  Shows are performed Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30am, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am & 1pm

Howl-O-Ween
Where: Great Wolf Lodge | Williamsburg, VA
When:  Through October 31
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.

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. (Follow the link then search keyword Halloween.)

Spooky History Tour
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Several October dates
Admission: $15/member, $18/student, $20/non-member

Explore the haunting legends of the National Building Museum through stories collected over the decades. Hear tales of the historic site which defy easy explanation, while exploring the hidden features of the breathtaking structure. These after-hours tours are recommended for ages 13+.

Ichabod: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: October 6-30
Admission: $20-45

Journey back in time to a quiet glen called Sleepy Hollow, where the denizens of the town are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new school master, Ichabod Crane. An adaptation of Washington Irving’s Classic tale of lore, love and the legendary Headless Horseman, this World Premier Musical by the critically acclaimed creative team Conner and Smith arrives just in time for autumn leaves, pumpkins, and ghost tales around the campfire.

Halloween Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 6-31
Admission: $35-50
Celebrate the BOO season on this zany treasure hunt as the Mansion is decorated for Halloween. Have fun searching for Autumn & Halloween themed items found only at this legendary spot that contains over 100 rooms and 70 secret doors! They guarantee you can see at least 60 of the rooms, but be warned secret doors are tricky to find — if you find 2 or 3 you are an above average sleuth! Read more about this wonderfully unique DC attraction in this KFDC post. [Note that admission is $50 on Halloween weekend.]

Dracula
Where: Synetic Theater| Crystal City, VA
When: October 13 – November 6
Admission: $20-60 

The sensuous and terrifying thriller arrives on the Synetic stage just in time for Halloween. With blood-sucking temptresses and creeping mists sure to send a chill up your spine, Stoker’s classic 1897 tale rises again. Dracula, the legend that inspired an entire genre of literature and film, explores the universal theme of good versus evil. As a bloodthirsty vampire terrorizes the countryside, an unlikely group fights to defend their home. Recommended for teens and older.

Soul Strolls
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 14-15 & 21-22
Admission: $35/adult, $15/child

Immerse yourself in the world of criminal sin and discover the secrets of Congressional Cemetery’s interred residents in this year’s Soul Strolls.  The annual twilight tours, explore the stories of individuals buried there through guided tours and costumed interpreters. Experience the history of the hallowed ground exactly the way it should be experienced in October – in twilight and darkness, encountering vignettes and individuals led by an expert guide.  Hour-long tours depart every 15 minutes from 6-9:30pm.

Meet some of the souls of Congressional Cemetery

Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: October 22, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $5

Dress the whole family and enjoy a day of trick-or-treating, art activities, and more!  Over 50 local businesses and organizations will be handing out treats for the kids, plus there will be fun and games, a DJ dance party, food trucks, and lots of other festivities.  Read more about Annmarie here and here.

Spooky Science
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: October 22, 12-4pm
Admission: $26.95/adult, $20.95/ages 3-12

Take your Halloween costume out for a trial run and visit the Maryland Science Center, if you dare, for an afternoon filled with spooktacular science fun! Experiment with ghoulishly glowing lights. Creatively cast a spine-tingling shadow. Use leverage and elasticity to launch creepy catapults, and more!

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Bash
Where: Potomac Overlook Park | Arlington, VA
When: October 22, 2-4pm
Admission: $20

Get in the Halloween spirit by carving or painting a pumpkin with your friends at Potomac Overlook! We’ll provide tools, paint and of course a pumpkin for some holiday fun. You’ll also enjoy some candy, a Halloween craft, and visits from several of our spooky nocturnal critters from the nature center!

Spooky Pooch Howl-o-ween Celebration
Where: Hillwood Museum & Gardens | Northwest DC
When: October 22, 4-6pm
Admission: $13/adult, $8/member $5/age 6-18, free/under 6

Hillwood’s Halloween event for pooches (and their people) is back!  Bring your “best friend” for Halloween fun — explore Hillwood’s 25 acres of landscaped gardens and lush natural woodlands with your four-legged friend, while enjoying a costume competition and yappy hour.  Interesting tidbit:  This event is inspired by Marjorie Post’s affection for dogs and the memorial dog cemetery she created.

Calabash Carnage: Family Pumpkin Carving
Where: Brentwood Arts Exchange | Hyattsville, MD
When: October 22, 2-4 pm
Admission: Free, but pumpkins are $5

Carve up pumpkins at Brentwood Arts Exchange’s annual pumpkin carving extravaganza that has become a favorite tradition in the community.  Get creative with family, friends, and neighbors and join in the family-friendly fun.

Monster Mash
Where: Village at Leesburg | Leesburg, VA
When: October 22, 3-6pm
Admission: Free

The Village at Leesburg is back with its Annual Monster Mash! Join the fun including live-action professional pumpkin carvers, Trick or Treating around the Village, pumpkin decorating, and their annual costume contest parade for you and your pets.

Día de los Muertos
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: October 23, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at The Wharf. They’re bringing live music, street food, a beer garden, face painting, sugar skull decorating, and more to District Pier in partnership. Dress for the day — they’re giving out prizes for most authentic outfit!

17th Street High Heel Race
Where: 17th Street NW, btwn P & S | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 25
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. There’s also live entertainment, a parade, and more festive fun!  The race begins at 9pm, but people start gathering at 6pm.

Halloween at DPR
Where: DPR locations around DC
When: October 26-30
Admission: Free

It’s Halloween in DC, and the Department of Parks and Rec is hosting events in all eight wards to celebrate. Enjoy a family Halloween movie, tour a haunted house, join a little monster parade, bring you pup to Howl-o-Ween, and much more. Visit the website to see where all the spooky fun is happening and sign up to attend!

Halloween Art Cart
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: October 27, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free
Bring little ones to get inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s creativity for Halloween and create their own wearable work of art. Guests will learn about Kusama’s life and process (including her love of pumpkins), explore monochromatic materials, and get into the holiday spirit. Bonus points if you arrive with your own obliterated accessory from the Obliterate Yourself art project.

Halloween Toddler Time
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 27, 10:30am
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 2-12

Bring little ones in costume for this spooktacular session of Toddler Time, as the B&O celebrates Halloween. Featuring festive fun, hear a reading of The Spooky Express Maryland by Eric James, before joining a trick-or-treating parade around the Museum’s campus.

PumpkinPalooza
Where: Alethia Tanner Park | NoMa, DC
When: October 27, 4-8pm
Admission: Free

NoMa’s free annual community-wide celebration of Halloween returns with live entertainment, yummy food, music, a seasonal scavenger hunt, and, of course, the free “pick-your-own” pumpkin patch!  A screening of Hocus Pocus (6:45 pm) and a show by children’s entertainer, The Great Zucchini will also be part of the fun.  This year’s event also includes a pop-up beer garden (21+ only).  Be sure to register in advance for pumpkins and to attend the beer garden.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: October 28-30, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $25/members, $35/non-members

The National Zoo’s annual not-so-spooky Halloween haunt, one of DC’s most popular events for the kiddie crowd, is back in person. With 30 treat stations, after hours animal viewing, a dance party, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family. And the souvenir tote bags they give out will be brimming with goodies for all ages. Costumes encouraged!

Halloween Glow in the Park
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: October 28-29
Admission: $42

Enjoy a spooky halloween-themed night of climbing and ziplining under the neon colored lights while listening to music throughout the Park. Glow start times are available every 10 minutes 6-8:20pm, and tickets are good for a 2 hour + 40 minute adventure. Costume encouraged but refrain from capes, masks that cover your eyes, and any super loose garments. Reserve in advance online — this event tends to sell out. Ages 5 & up are welcome! Read more about the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring here.

Howl-O-Ween
Where: Gateway Interim Dog Park | Rosslyn, VA
When: October 28, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The Rosslyn BID and the Rosslyn Dog Owners Group are teaming up for a Halloween themed celebration of Rosslyn’s new Interim Dog Park at Gateway Park West! Rosslyn’s pet community is invited to enjoy local pet-themed vendors, raffles, and giveaways to share with your pups. Dog costumes are strongly encouraged for the annual Halloween dog costume contest. The winner will be announced at Gateway Park East at 7pm, ahead of the final movie of the Rosslyn Cinema series, Scooby-DooE. njoy food trucks and a beer and wine bar while gearing up for a Halloween weekend with your pets!

Día de los Muertos | Day of the Dead Celebration
Where: National Museum of the American Indian | National Mall, DC
When: October 28
Admission: Free

Celebrate the return of the ancestors with a special Día de los Muertos concert featuring Grammy award-winning band Quetzal, a bilingual rock group with roots in the cultural and social justice landscape of East Los Angeles. Their goal is to create great music that tells the stories of marginalized people’s struggles and resistance. From October 26 to November 2, an ofrenda (altar) will be featured in the museum’s atrium, where visitors can also create paper butterflies for a display in honor of their loved ones.

Hill-O-Ween
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 28, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free
Capitol Hill’s annual neighborhood event is legendary for little ones!  Count on live pumpkin carving and a DJ spinning tunes for a spooky dance party.  More details are still to come, but for past events the block of 7th Street SE next to Eastern Market is closed to traffic for one of the best community Halloween celebrations in the city. There have been moon bounces, goody giveaways, face painting, wagon rides, and more exciting festivities. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the extravaganza.

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: October 28, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities

It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Details still to come, but past event activities for families have included pumpkin decorating, arts & crafts, face painting, trick-or-treating, and a costume parade around the Park.

Halloween on the Farm
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Clifton, VA
When: October 29, 5-8pm
Admission: $10

Trick or treat on the farm! Visit with farm animals, create crafts, play games, tour the decorated farmhouse, and enjoy the fall on the farm. The program runs in three one-hour time slots. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Register in advance!

The Haunted Washington Scavenger Hunt
Where: White House area | Downtown DC
When: October 29
Admission: $22

Do you believe in ghosts? 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. For teens and older. [Note: For private groups, there is a Kids Edition of this ghoulish game, suitable for ages 7 and up.]

Halloween Night Hunt with Sweets
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 29-31
Admission: $50

Celebrate the BOO season on a zany treasure hunt at one of the neatest places in the city.  Dress in costume, pick up your complimentary bag of Trick or Treat candy, and have a spooktacular time exploring the 100 room Mansion — decorated special for Halloween. Look for some of the 70 secret doors — be warned they are tricky to find! — and check out the eclectic collection of secondhand items, all of them for sale.  Learn more about the Mansion on O Street here.

Howl-O-Ween
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: October 30, 9:30-11am
Admission: Free

The Hirshhorn is hosting its first-ever dog-friendly event, just in time for Halloween! Join with (or without) your dog for a morning of costumes and coffee in the Hirshhorn’s outdoor Sculpture Garden. Dress up your pup, and if they’re feeling fierce, sign them up to strut their stuff in a furry fashion contest ($25 to register, free for Hirshhorn Insiders) for the chance to win a few special prizes. Local experts District Dogs will be there to keep the dog party going with free activities like peanut butter portraits. This event is open to all ages, and kids are encouraged to join in on the fun with Hirshhorn-inspired creative projects geared toward little artists.

Trick or Treat at Tudor Place
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: October 29, 10-11am
Admission: $15/non-member, $10/member, $5/adult

Kids can wear their Halloween costumes and search for treats (not tricks) in every corner of the garden. Enjoy crafts, activities and period games amid lovely autumn plant life. This outdoor event will take place rain or shine.

Nature Spooktacular
Where: Long Branch Nature Center | Arlington, VA
When: October 29, 5:30-7pm
Admission: $7

Families are invited to join us a ‘Spooktacular’ evening of fun learning about nighttime animals and cultural festivities surrounding nature this time of the year. This earlier time slot will be more fun and less spooky for families with young children. Registration Required.

Spooky Seconds Sale
Where: Brookland Arts Walk | Brookland, DC
When: October 29, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Head to Brookland a couple of days ahead of Halloween for a Spooky Seconds Sale! Grab seconds, samples, mystery grab bags, one-offs, and more made by the artists and makers of the Brookland Arts Walk. Plus, enjoy some Halloween festivities. Go early for the best selection of the sales!

Air & Scare 
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: October 30
Admission: Free

The annual Air & Scare event at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is back with activities inside and out!  Details TBA, but past events have included trick or treat stations, creepy crafts, spooky experiments, and other Hallloween-themed activities; special story times and puppet shows; photo ops; and costume contests.

Día de los Muertos Virtual Family Day
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: October 29, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the Smithsonian American Art Museum in celebrating Día de los Muertos! Bring the whole family to see exciting live performances from Ballet Folklorico Mi Herencia Mexicana, Mariachi Aguila DC, and Sol y Rumba. Enjoy face painting and Día de los Muertos–themed crafts for all ages. If you are unable to make it in person, or want to continue the celebration online, visit their Family Zone for more crafts, coloring pages, and performance videos.

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens | Mount Vernon, VA
When: October 29, 2-6pm
Admission: $17-25/adult, $9-15/child

Trick-or-treat at Mount Vernon as George Washington’s estate open its gates for Halloween fun and spook-tacular activities. Along with collecting candy around the historic grounds,  enjoy live entertainment, check out a chocolate-making demo (and get a taste!), watch sparks fly in the Blacksmith Shop, learn about wool carding and spies, stop at selfie station, and more!

Parks Spooktacular
Where: South Germantown Recreational Park | Germantown, MD
When: October 23, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free
Little goblins and ghouls can celebrate the spooky season with Montgomery Parks Spooktacular at the park’s Adventure Playground. Check out some magic tricks at the magician’s corner, add to your costume at the face painting area, and create a Halloween art project at the craft station. Live entertainment, bouncy fun, slides and a maze will be part of festivities, too. Halloween costumes are encouraged!

Lil’ Pumpkins Festival
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: October 29, 2-6pm
Admission: Free

BlackRock’s  3rd Annual Lil’ Pumpkin Fest offers the Upcounty community a fun, free, and safe way to enjoy all the Fall and spooky festivities. Activities include trick-or-treating, photo booth, lil’ pumpkin painting, free pumpkins for children under the age of 11, beer garden, and costume parade! Later that evening, adults can enjoy a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show w/live cast on the MainStage @ 6 & 9pm

Best in Show at The Boro
Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: October 29, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Join The Boro for the ultimate dog costume contest at Boro Park! Pets will be able to strut the doggy catwalk and pose for judges with one winner crowned “Best in Show”. The top three looks will take home a prize-packed doggy gift basket. Don’t have a dog? Join us anyways for some fall family fun! This spooktacular day will be filled with trick-or-treating, games, and Halloween crafts. It is guaranteed to be a paws-itively wonderful day! The show doesn’t end there! Join us at 6:30pm in The Sandlot for a spooky screening of Scooby Doo (2002) on the big screen complete with a popcorn bar!

Halloween Carnival
Where: Community Center | Falls Church, VA
When: October 29, 1-5pm
Admission: $1

The City of Falls Church has been hosting the annual Halloween Carnival for over 30 years, welcoming babies through elementary-aged kids to enjoy all kinds of fun activities. Enjoy a spooktacular family fun Halloween Carnival in Cherry Hill Park for kids 2 to 11 years old!  This year’s event will include games, inflatables, live music, and snacks.

Ghost Town
Where: Burke Lake Park | Burke, VA
When: October 29-30
Admission: Free

On the weekend leading up to Halloween, celebrate with a festival of fun at Burke Lake Park. Play goblin golf, ride the carousel and train, paint a pumpkin, bounce around, and visit a trick-or-treat house.  All ages welcome, and advance tickets purchase is recommended, as the event is expected to sell out.

Del Ray Halloween Parade
Where: Del Ray Neighborhood | Alexandria, VA
When: October 30
Admission: Free

One of Del Ray’s favorite traditions, the 26th 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. It’s a family friendly affair that invites costume-clad kids, pets, moms, and dads to march down Mt. Vernon Ave from E. Bellefonte Ave to the Mount Vernon Rec Center field. The event ends with live music and an award presentation.

Halloween at the Harbor
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: October 30, 12:30-3pm
Admission: Free

National Harbor is hosting an afternoon full of spooktacular fun for the whole family, including Trick-or-Treating at select restaurants and retailers, a Halloween Movie, a Chef Pumpkin Carving Contest, and a Pet Pawrade. Visit the website for the full schedule of the day’s events.

Pumpkin Chunkin’
Where: Great Country Farm | Bluemont, VA
When: November 5-6
Admission: $TBD

Continue the Halloween fun after the holiday!  Bring your leftover jack-o-lantern to Great Country’s smashin’ station and let it fly! The Silo Drop and the Zip Wire Sploosh let you do the smashin’ yourself or opt for the Pumpkin Drop Zone and add it to the upside down “fireworks display” as  pumpkins are dropped from a 40-foot lift — so fun to watch! (What happens to all those smashed pumpkins? The pigs and cows love to eat them and GCF composts the rest.) There will also be live music, marshmallow roasting, and cider press demos, plus The Roosteraunt concession stand will be open. Of course, plan to enjoy the farm’s playground, full of fun, too!

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.

 

Step right up for some haunted fun

HAUNTED (SCARIER) EXPERIENCES

Fields of Fear
Where: Cox Farms | Centreville, VA
When: Weekends through November 6
Admission: $20-35 (purchase in advance online)

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!

Fright Fest
Where: Six Flags America | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: September 24 – October 30
Admission: $43+

Fright Fest 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.

Laurel’s House of Horror
Where: Laurel, MD
When: October 1 – November 5
Admission: $25 and up

Our family digs this creepy and fun haunted experience.  Built inside an abandoned movie theater, it’s sensory overload with a lot to look at and listen to and several good jump scares.  There’s always chilling sense of anticipation as you get ready to round the next corner. There are also escape rooms open all year during the weekends, and for private parties and special dates. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Shocktober Haunt Party with TMBG
Where: Paxton House | Leesburg, VA
When: October 8
Admission: $40-125 

Join Shocktober’s ghoulish ghosts for this PG-13 extravaganza where Haunt-themed costumes are encouraged! They Might Be Giants and their barnstorming live band will deliver fan  favorite songs plus some unexpected surprises. Food and beverages will be available for purchase on site. Tickets are $40 general admission, $50 arena seat, $65 premium arena seat, or $125 per person for the Really Important People “R.I.P.” package, including exclusive access to RIP Party, front of stage seating, food, and two drinks.

Halloween Decor & Costumes
Getting into the spooky spirit at home can be just as fun as going out for it! Elevate the experience for your fam and neighbors by decorating the front yard and adding some festive accessories inside. Here are quick links to find Halloween supplies to help with that:
Amazon
Michael’s
Target
Home Depot
World Market
HalloweenCostumes.com

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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Halloween, Maryland, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Five Things: September 28, 2022

Early fall at the Arboretum

 

1. The new season is official on the calendar, the air is beginning to crisp, and we’re starting to see the first tinges of fall foliage.  Thus, it’s a perfect time to highlight 10 Great Places to Enjoy Autumn in the DC Area (that are not Farm Festivals).

 

2.  Something that sounds super fun — and is also charitable — to consider for this weekend:  The 4th Annual District Hunt.   This city-wide scavenger hunt showcases local changemakers through an outdoor puzzle adventure all around DC. Designed around the theme of Literacy (every year is a new theme), this unique event brings the community together while raising awareness and creating opportunities to support local organizations.  This Saturday, October 1, is the Team Contest, when you can enter as a small group ($100/team) and race to complete the hunt for prizes.  They say it’s recommended for ages 10 and up, but younger kids are welcome, and families are encouraged to join.  And if you don’t want to get competitive or can’t make it Saturday, there is also a self-directed option to do the hunt from October 2-10 — anyone who has signed up can complete the puzzle on their own time.

 

3. Did you know Home Depot hosts free, in-person workshops just for kids?  (I used to highlight these regularly pre-Covid, and they recently started offering them again). On the first Saturday of the month from 9am – 12pm, kids accompanied by an adult can stop in to complete a themed, hands-on project.  All supplies are provided, including a little apron, and kids get to keep their craft along with a certificate of achievement and collectible pin (while supplies last). This weekend, they can build a fire rescue boat.  And if you can’t make it to the workshop, you can still order the kit to do the project at home ($4.98).

 

4. The hottest new brunches to try around DC, according to Eater.

 

5. It’s getting to be that time of year!

 

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Free Art Workshops, Community, & Fun for Young People Who Stutter

(Click image to learn more!)

 

This post is paid for by SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young, however, I only promote programs, events, and places that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2022, 2023, All ages, DC

The Weekend Round-Up: September 23-25

Celebrate public lands with free admission to Great Falls!

 

Happy Weekend!

Link up to all kinds of ideas for local fun:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Bike Rides
* The Great Indoors
* On the Water
* Swim Spots
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Happy Fall, Y’all!
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event
Fall has officially begun! And there are lots of events around the area are celebrating it. Fall festivals are in full swing at area farms, in local communities, even a 16th century village in Maryland, and they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. A few are listed here, and you can get details on the rest of them in this round-up of autumn celebrations around the area.

Back to the Yards
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free
Join this totally tubular party for all ages at Yards Park! Parents and kids are invited to learn groovy dance moves with breakdancers, create slap bracelets and headbands, color your own Rubik’s cube, and jam out to a playlist of 80’s chart-toppers, one-hit wonders, and favorites. Glowing giveaways and loads of LED games will make this a party for the ages!

Art All Night
Where: Throughout DC
When: Friday – Saturday, 7pm – 3am
Admission: Free

Be part of this free overnight arts festival that takes place in all eight DC wards. Art All Night brings visual and performing arts — painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, fashion, music, dance, theater, and more — to indoor and outdoor spaces around the city. Enjoy live music, dance at silent discos, take kids to a hilarious magic show, see ice sculpture demos, view innovative art, and so much more.  Go here to see what’s happening in many neighborhoods around DC!

The Hero of EVERYTHING
Where: Montgomery College | Silver Spring
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $13.50
InterAct Story Theatre’s The Hero of EVERYTHING explores the importance of teamwork and the perils of trying to do everything yourself.  This action-packed interactive play is performed by three actors on stage and a whole team of superheroes in the audience, who join in to become part of the action to save the day in Citytown City. See more about it here (but note that the giveaway has ended).

More Live Entertainment
Where: Theatres around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Tiny Tots at The Puppet Co. (littlest ones)
* Milo the Magnificent at The Puppet Co. (ages 4+)
* Host & Guest at Synetic Theatre (teens & older)
* Dear Evan Hansen at the Kennedy Center (age 12+)
* Hamilton at the Kennedy Center (age 10+)
* The Trip to Bountiful at Ford’s Theatre (age 13+)

Volunteer on National Public Lands Day
Where: Around the DC area
When: Saturday
Admission: Just your time and effort

Saturday is National Public Lands Day, when all are welcome and encouraged to help restore and preserve public lands. Volunteer opportunities like clean-ups, tree plantings, weed removal, trail maintenance, and more are available everywhere from big national parks to small urban green spaces, including many in the DC area.  Search here for places nearby where you and the kids can help out.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks everywhere
When: Saturday
Admission: Free
Not only can you volunteer on National Public Lands Day,  you can also get free admission to national parks to celebrate!   It’s one of several fee-free days, so  there’s no cost to visit those that usually charge for entry. Take advantage and hit the trail at ShenandoahPrince William ForestGreat FallsHarpers Ferry, or head up to Baltimore to explore Fort McHenry. Find even more parks to visit here.

Fiesta DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. 9th to 14th Streets | Downtown, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Celebrate Latino culture at the 50th Annual Fiesta DC.  On both days of the weekend, Pennsylvania Avenue from the Navy Memorial Plaza to Freedom Plaza will be filled will lively festivities, including stages featuring a variety of performances, children’s activities, international cuisine, arts & crafts, and more!

Mountaineering Day
Where: Embassy of the Czech Republic |
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free
All ages are welcome to the European Union National Institutes of Culture’s Mountaineering Day! Conquer the climbing wall then relax with a cold brew (for parents) while listening to the folk band Orchester Praževica. Take part in a mapping and sustainability challenge. Watch a German Shepherd demonstration by Rodina Straze. Delve into how the EU is combating climate change and preserving nature. Learn about top athletes and companies related to mountaineering from EU countries. Try making a tasty trail mix and sample delicious “mountain cuisine” with a demo by Italian Chef Roberto Donna. Check out alpine destinations to visit and more. Enjoy a day of “mountaineering through Europe,” while in the heart of Washington, DC.  RSVP required.

DC Theatre Week Kick Off Party
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free
Theatre Week kicks off the launch of the theatre season in the DC area, and this party kicks off Theatre Week! Enjoy performances, workshops, conversations, free food & drinks, giveaways, and more fun from over 35 DC-area theaters. And FYI: Theatre Week is a great opportunity to check out all kinds of shows — musicals, dramas, comedies, theatre for young audiences, and more — when there is special ticket pricing.

Leesburg Airshow
Where: Leesburg Executive Airport | Leesburg, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free
The annual Leesburg Airshow will take to the skies with thrilling aerobatic demonstrations, sky divers, and more! Witness a showcase of impressive aircraft, classic cars, and a variety of exhibitors on the tarmac, food vendors, flight schools, and aviation clubs among them.

Savor the Bay
Where: Sandy Point State Park | Annapolis, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15, free/12 & under
How about a day filled with delicious seafood, live entertainment, kids activities, food demos and competitions, loads of shopping options, vendors, exhibits, contests? You can enjoy all that and more at the 55th annual Maryland Seafood Festival. Even better, it all takes place on the beautiful shores of the Chesapeake Bay. (Note that crabs cost extra — $35/half dozen)

Children’s Day
Where: Peirce Mill | Rock Creek Park, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free
Enjoy free family fun at Peirce Mill! Try grinding grain and sifting by hand, then learn how water powers the mill. Make your own corn husk dolls and other toys. Play old-fashioned board and lawn games like checkers and corn hole. Note that Peirce Mill is closed to address a safety issue, so Children’s Day will be held in the mill yard and barn. Read more about the historic sit in Rock Creek Park here.

Kick It with FootGolf
Where: GolfDC | East Potomac Park, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $8/child
Throwing in something random and fun…   Have you ever played or even heard of FootGolf? The activity that’s a hybrid of soccer and golf makes for a fun family outing — and you can play right here in the city down by Hains Point. Find out what the sport is all about in this KFDC post.

Lil’ Libros
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Head to the Kogod Courtyard in the portrait Gallery for the Fotos y Recuerdos Festival with children’s book publisher Lil’ Libros. All ages are welcome to the bilingual celebration that will include story times, book signings, live entertainment, and gallery tours. There will also be arts and crafts inspired by the Lil’ Libros book series “The Life of / La vida de,” which features Latinx sitters from the Portrait Gallery’s collection.

Clarendon Day
Where: Clarendon Metro | Clarendon, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Head to the area around the Clarendon Metro station for an event that brings the local community together. Dozens of vendors, food from neighborhood restaurants, live music, and a KidZone (including an 18-foot slide!) will be part of the action.

Family Day 2022
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, September 25, 2-6pm
Admission: Free

Hill Center’s annual Family Day returns again and better than ever for 2022! This year we are excited to bring back the programs you love and introduce you to some new ones as well! Come enjoy a completely FREE day of crafts, shows, carriage rides, balloon animals, and a family exercise class. Reserve your tickets!

Echo Arts Fest
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Attend Glen Echo Park’s new fall visual & performing arts festival! The celebration will showcase all of the park’s offerings across many disciplines of art — pottery, painting, dance, plays, and more. It’s also the final day of the 2022 carousel season, so take the kids for one last spin on the beautiful Wendztel Carousel!

Opera on the Field
Where: Audi Field | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: Free

How about opera where there’s usually soccer? The Washington National Opera is back with its 17th season of free opera broadcasts, though this year it’s on Audi Field instead on Nationals Park. All are welcome to enjoy a free outdoor broadcast of Carmen. Gates open at 2pm for pre-opera, family-friendly activities. The show on the scoreboard begins at 4pm. Be sure to register in advance!

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Since it’s officially fall, plan for ways to enjoy autumn in the DC area (that are not farm festivals), with these 10 ideas.
* In case you missed it, there’s a new post about the National Zoo!
* On Monday, September 26 at 5pm, join a Rosh Hashana Experience in the Park! All are welcome to check out a shofar display, and enjoy songs, stories and snacks in Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill.
* And if you’re still working on the holiday meal, Washingtonian has a round-up of local restaurants and caterers to help with that.
* 11 Covid questions
* The best east coast road trips.
* Thank you to my 13-year-old daughter for introducing me to this very reasonably priced skin care brand. I especially love this serum.
* This Netflix show was a surprise binge….unexpectedly addicting, and I was so impressed and moved by everyone in it.
* TJ’s is the best.

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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend