Category Archives: Annual

Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween in 2019

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glow in the Park
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: October 19, 6pm
Admission: $42

Do the monster mash through the trees! Enjoy Halloween festivities at the Adventure Park’s spooky Halloween-themed Glow in the Park. Wear your costume for a chance to spin a prize wheel (just make sure it’s comfortable & safe to climb in) — you could win free tickets, a t-shirt, or something else special! Start times will be available every 10 minutes between 6pm & 8:20pm, and tickets are good for two hours of climbing & ziplining + 40 minutes for the safety briefing and getting geared up. Online reservations are highly recommend, as this event tends to sell out. Ages 5 & up are welcome!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Capitol Hill’s annual neighborhood event is legendary for little ones. The block of 7th Street SE next to Eastern Market will be closed to traffic for one of the best community Halloween celebrations in the city. And more will be in Eastern Market’s North Hall. Moon bounces, goody giveaways, face painting add to the excitement. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the extravaganza.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trick-or-treat at Mount Vernon as George Washington’s estate open its gates for Halloween fun and spook-tacular activities. Join a special scavenger hunt, take a wagon ride on the 12-acre field, and create a boo-tiful Halloween craft. Guests can also check out wool carding, spinning, and fish net making in the historic area before greeting “Martha Washington” on the piazza of the Mansion. Historic chocolate-making demos and tastings will take place. Burn off all the extra excitement (and calories!) with 18th-century dancing. A children’s costume parade around the Mansion will begins at 5pm, and prizes will be awarded for most fang-tastic “George” and “Martha” costumes!

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

Dress the whole family and enjoy a day of trick-or-treating, art activities, lunch and more! The 20th Annual Halloween in the Garden will feature more than 70 community organizations and businesses donning costumes and handing out candy and treats to all the children. Booths will be spread out around the Parking Circle and down the Wooded Path allowing guests to roam at their own pace – free range trick-or-treating! Also enjoy g Halloween-inspired music and dancing with a guest DJ. Admission fees will benefit local charities. Don’t forget to bring your camera — there are always unique photo opportunities with the boo-tiful decorations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Halloween Carnival
Where: Falls Church, VA
When: October 26, 6-8:30pm
Admission: $2/children ages 2 and up (adults free)

The City of Falls Church has been hosting the annual Halloween Carnival for over 30 years! Infants through fifth graders are invited to enjoy carnival games, a moon bounce, face painting, crafts, a haunted house, movies, candy, and a live creepy creature show featuring the spookiest reptiles in nature. The first hour is best for children up to 2nd grade, and 3rd – 5th graders will enjoy the second hour.

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

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

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

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

Calabash Carnage: Family Pumpkin Carving
Where: Brentwood Arts Exchange | Hyattsville, MD
When: Saturday, October 26, 2-4 pm
Admission: Free, but pumpkins are $5

Celebrate Halloween and have lots of fun at Brentwood Arts Exchange! Families are invited to join a Pumpkin Carving Workshop. Use your imagination, create your own designs, and leave the mess with them. Let them know you’re attending by going to the Facebook event page.

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

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

Cathay Howl-O-Ween
Where: Cathay Future Center | Rickville, MD
When: October 26, 4:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Join a creepy, creative family experience filled with seasonal art activities, delicious food & treats, great gifts & prizes, an international art competition exhibit, and a grand art academy opening! Activities are suitable for children age 1.5+. RSVP by October 23 to be entered in a SPOOKtacular raffle! (Note: RSVPs can be after 10/23, but you will not be entered in the raffles.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Halloween Skate
Where: Ashburn Iceplex | Ashburn, VA
When: October 31, 12:30-2pm
Admission: $5

Wear a costume and pay only $5 for public skate with skate rental. Please no costumes with masks that cover your face. Skaters can participate in the costume contest and trick or treat around the rink.

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

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

Spooky Awesome & Amazing Celebration
Where: The St. James | Springfield, VA
When: October 31, 6-10pm
Admission: $15-50

Trick or Treat, play fun games, enjoy food and drinks from a satellite bar, costume contest for prizes, a haunted Nerf battle zone walk through and more! Costumes are welcome, but not mandatory. Trick or Treat throughout The St. James with fun games like Mummy Races, Capture the Ghost, Spider Climb on the Rock Wall, and more! Vim & Victor, the restaurant there, will offer a late night Halloween Happy Hour for parents until 10pm. This ticket also includes free access to the Super, Awesome & Amazing activity center.

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

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

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

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

Bone Yards
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: November 2, 2-4pm (Rescheduled from 10/27)
Admission: Free

The Yards is celebrating the spooky season with a puppy costume party at The Yards Park! Families and their furry friends are invited to enjoy Halloween festivities including Halloween crafts, costume face painting, puppy trick-or-treating, festive music and, of course, a puppy fashion show. Puppy parents can enter their pets into the competition for a chance to win gift cards to your favorite shops and restaurants at The Yards and other prizes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Halloween, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Save the Date: The Annual DCschoolHUB Preschool and Private School Fair is October 20!


If you are looking for a preschool or private school for your child, it’s crucial to find one that will set your kiddo up for success. There are a lot of great options in the DMV, but researching and visiting them all takes a lot of time and money, and you don’t want to miss out on that “perfect” school.

That’s why you’re invited you to attend the 3rd Annual DCschoolHUB Preschool & Private School Fair on Sunday, October 20 from 1-3pm at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School in northwest Washington, DC. More than 50 of the top schools from the DMV area will be in attendance just for you. Visit solo or bring the kids!

See a full list of schools attending and register at DCschoolHUB.com/HUBFair.


This post is sponsored by DCschoolHUB, however, I only promote programs, events, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Free, Schools, Special Event, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 20-22

Enjoy the Play Work Build exhibit at the Building Museum for FREE on Saturday


Happy Weekend!

A Monumental Reopening!
Where: Washington Monument | National Mall, DC
When: Starting Thursday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: Free

After being closed for repairs for several years, the Washington Monument is reopening! From September 19 – October 18, same-day, free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30am at the Washington Monument Lodge, located on 15th Street NW, between Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive SW. (Starting on October 10 at 10am, advance reservation tickets may be ordered online for tour dates beginning on October 19 with a nominal processing fee. Same-day, free tickets will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis daily.) The monument will be open daily.

“Fall” Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

It’s almost officially fall (September 23!), and there are tons of ways to get into the spirit of the season, from city streets to country farms. Cox, Great Country, Ticonderoga, Montpelier, Clark’s Elioak, and many more farms around the area are welcoming visitors for all kinds of autumn-inspired fun. The annual H Street Festival celebrates the thriving corridor in northeast DC. Taste of Georgetown brings yummy bites and more festivities to its neighborhood. Ren Fest gets medieval every weekend through October. Details on all of these events and more are in the KFDC guide to Fall Festivals.

Annual Fall Open House
Where: My Gym | Bethesda & Potomac, MD
When: Friday, 4-7:30pm
Admission: Free

Join My Gym Potomac and My Gym Bethesda for their Annual Free Fall Open House on Friday, September 20th, 4-7:30pm. Meet the teachers, play in the super fun gym, learn tumbling and gymnastic skills, enjoy fitness games, and get their best fall discounts for classes, parties, and camps. Find more info and RSVP here!

Juggle Jam
Where: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 6-7:30pm
Admission: $5 suggestion donation

Get ready to throw mad tricks and boogie down at Juggle Jam! All ages and skill levels are welcome, and equipment is provided. The workshop begins with a short demo, moves into hands-on instruction, then finishes with a collaborative show that puts students in the center ring! Wear comfortable clothes that allow relaxed movements.

Back to the Yards
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 7-9pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the last days of summer with Back to The Yards, a throwback neon dance party! Jam out to a playlist of 80’s and 90’s chart-toppers, one-hit wonders, and favorites — don’t forget to wear your best throwback attire!  Family-friendly activities like slap bracelet making, neon glow face paint, all the best vintage arcade games, and more will make this a party for the ages! Admission is free and kids of all ages are welcome to attend. 

Museum Day Live

Where: Museums
 around the DMV
When: Saturday

Admission: FREE


There are actually some museums in the DC area that actually charge admission. But on Saturday, Smithsonian Magazine is hosting its annual Museum Day Live!, when those that require us to open our wallets to visit are free. Take advantage at the National Building Museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, National Law Enforcement Museum, College Park Aviation Museum, Dumbarton House, Baltimore Museum of Industry, and many more fantastic museums in the area. You do have to get a ticket (that is good for admission for two people), but it’s all complimentary!

ZooFiesta
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the Smithsonian-wide Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at “ZooFiesta: Un día de diversión animal para toda la familia.” Come together with your family and friends for a fun-filled day of live music, activities, and animal demonstrations. Learn about animals native to Latin America and conservation efforts in the region, and discover how Smithsonian scientists work to protect species and habitats worldwide! And note that National Zoo hours are 8am – 7pm, so plan to go early or stay after the fiesta to enjoy even more.

The REACH Opening Festival
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

It the final weekend to celebrate the opening of The REACH, the wonderful expansion of the Kennedy Center, is starting its second week. All are invited and encouraged to enjoy all kinds of performances, events, hands-on learning, and more opportunities for creativity in action. See what’s on the schedule and reserve free tickets for events here.

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

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

Hispanic Innovators in Space Family Day
Where: Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the National Air and Space Museum and learn about Hispanic innovators of the past and present. Meet Hispanic scientists and engineers. Build a clothespin airplane to celebrate the first Hispanic fighter pilot Felix Rigau Carrera. Attend a free bilingual planetarium show at 10:30 am (free). Enjoy Flights of Fancy story time in Spanish (time TBD). Create your own airship like Alberto Santos Dumont. And more!

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

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

Show Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are In A Play!” opens at Adventure Theatre this weekend
* InterAct Story Theatre’s Bobtail Bong Bong: A Monkey’s Tale is a world premiere interactive play for children
* Take tweens and older to see What the Constitution Means to Me at the Kennedy Center
* It’s opening weekend for Broadway smash Cats, also at the Kennedy Center (find discounts)
* The 3 Billy Goats Gruff is back at The Puppet Co.
* And Magic Toyshop is the featured Tiny Tots show there this weekend
* Cirque de Soleil: Volta is still wowing audiences under the Big Top at Tyson’s (find discounts)
* Olney Theatre presents The Diary of Anne Frank
* Make it a date night for Jitney at Arena Stage or The Tempest at Synetic Theatre

Kids Consignment Sale
Where: Trinity United Methodist Church | Alexandria,VA
When: Saturday, 8am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Moms Club of Alexandria Northeast is Save is hosting this consignment sale where you can score some amazing deals on top brand kids clothes, toys, and gear! Doors open at 8:00am, then close 11:00-11:15am, then reopen for the half-price sale until 12:30! Cash and credit cards accepted. Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 2911 Cameron Mills in Alexandria.

Refurbished Bike Sale
Where: Big Bear Cafe | Shaw, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Considering commuting on 2 wheels? Looking for a jump on fall riding? Just in time, Phoenix Bikes will be selling a large inventory of quality, refurbished bikes and new bike gear at Big Bear Cafe, along with Gearin’ Up Bicycles and Bikes for the World. Check out the sale for a great deal on a bike that benefits local non-profits…truly a win-win!

ArtsFest
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $7, free/11 & under

Artsfest is a spectacular celebration of the visual and performing arts – and is the only festival of its kind in the region! You’ll find more than 175 artist booths, 35 performers on four stages, activities for kids, great food, wine & beer, and much more! The center of the fun is always the Discovery Tent, where creative, hands-on activities for all ages can be found. The nearby Zany Zone and Patio Play Area will keep the kids occupied while adults enjoy the Main Stage music and a drink. Other artful activities and surprises can be found hidden along the shady paths and grassy lawns of the festival. Read more about Annmarie here and here.

Book Sale
Where: Beatley Central Library | Alexandria, VA
When: Through Sunday
Admission: Free

Pick out some new reads at the Beatley Central Library’s Fall Book Sale! Loads of books, CDs, DVDs, and audio books will be available to purchase for anywhere from $1 to $5. Plan to join a story time session, too — there are several for children throughout the day. Hours vary by day, so be sure to check the schedule when you plan to go. The Library is located at 5005 Duke Street in Alexandria, VA.

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

Celebrate Wiener 500 Oktoberfest at The Wharf! Stop by District Pier on Saturday1pm-5pm to watch some of the speediest dogs compete for prizes. All race proceeds benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance.  All ages are welcome to enjoy the music, munch on great food, and watch the races on a 17 foot jumbotron. (Adults can also drink cold Oktoberfest beer and participate in the stein hoisting competition!) Don’t have a Dachshund? All dogs can enter the contest for best-dressed! Plus, there will be local vendors and giveaways from DC’s best pet-friendly businesses.

Coat of Many Colors: The Music of Dolly Parton
Where: Mead Center, Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 8pm
Tickets: $25-75 (find discounts)

Join The American Pops Orchestra for a season opener featuring the music of the iconic, country legend, Dolly Parton. Let this timeless American music enchant you with fresh arrangements performed by the best in the biz. From greatest hits to hidden gems, this Dolly tribute is sure to delight. One night only!

Women’s Health & Wellness Day
Where: District Architecture Center | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 8:30am – 4:30pm
Admission: $75-99

All women are invited to this celebration of women’s bodies and an opportunity for education and empowerment. The event will include presentation-style learning opportunities as well as experiential classes. This third annual WHWD will consist of three tracks: General Wellness Track, Movement Track and a Post-Partum Track. The event will cover a wide range of wellness topics, finding your voice, including nutrition, meditation, yoga, post-partum management, and pelvic health.

Wheaton Arts Parade and Festival
Where: Wheaton Veterans Urban Park | Wheaton, MD
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

It’s a day for citizens, artists, businesses, and civic organizations to come together and celebrate art and the Wheaton community. Join the arts parade or watch others strut their stuff. Enjoy the festival, too, as more than 70 local artists will have their artwork on display and for sale. Live performances of music and dance, art-making demonstrations, family art and sensory inclusion activities, and a Food Court featuring some of Wheaton’s favorite restaurants will also be part of the fun. Rain or shine. (Note: The parade marches up the northbound lanes of Georgia Avenue in Wheaton, MD from the intersection at Veirs Mill Road to Price Ave then turns right on Fern and ends at Wheaton Veterans Urban Park.)

Taste of Georgetown
Where: Waterfront area on K Street NW | Georgetown, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free (taste tickets are extra)

One of DC’s most anticipated epicurean festivals, the annual Taste of Georgetown returns Sunday along the scenic waterfront area. The family-friendly event will offer creative tastes from 24 of the neighborhood’s best restaurants. In addition to an array of tasty food, the event will feature lawn games, music, and a kids’ corner with glitter face painting and coloring. Attendees will also have the opportunity to shop from the local retailers and learn more about local businesses.

Challah Bake
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 2-3:15pm
Admission: $10/person, $25/family

Rosh Hashanah is right around the corner, and kids can prep for it at an exciting Kid’s Bake off! Get ready to get your hands dirty with all the ingredients for delicious Rosh Hashana Challah! Kids get to make their very own challah from scratch, and then top it with raisins, chocolate chips, sprinkles, you name it! Have a creative topping idea? Let them know on the sign up page! Go here to save your spot.

DC United vs. Seattle Sounders
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Tickets start at $39

Finish off the weekend at a DC United match on Sunday evening as they host the Seattle Sounders. Get there early and enjoy some fun on the plaza beforehand. I recommend taking public transportation since parking can be difficult. Or park in the Navy Yard neighborhood, grab dinner at one of the many eateries (El Bebe, The Salt Line, and All Purpose are my top recs), then walk from there.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* This video is tough to watch… but it’s a powerful, important message.
* I’ve always loved sweetgreen…and even more so now: Through October 13, they are donating $1 to local schools for every seasonal bowl sold. Go get a delicious salad!
* Lulabelle’s, a sweets & gift shop, and Loyalty Bookstore on Upshur Street NW just launched of a new year-round Reading Rewards Program for local youth!
* Still time to enter for a chance to win a 4-Pack of tickets for Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are In A Play!” at Adventure Theatre
* Groupon is launching one of their best deals of 2019: One-year Gold Star Costco Membership plus $20 gift card for $60!
* Did you know all concerts at the 9:30 Club are all ages (unless otherwise posted)?
* This Vox article written by a local dad about raising kids in the city nails it. Most of his arguments are exactly the reasons we chose to raise a family here, some of them even the impetus for KFDC.
* My favorite IG post of the week!


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Fall, Maryland, Museums, Seasonal, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 13-15

Zipping into the weekend like… (new at Trinidad Rec playground 🙂 )



Happy Weekend!

NSO in Your Neigborhood
Where: Around Northeast DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The annual program that brings free chamber music, orchestral concerts, and educational events throughout a different neighborhood each year is back, this year celebrating Northeast DC across Wards 5, 6, and 7. This weekend, see community performances at Kenilworth Rec Center, the U.S. National Arboretum, Chuck Brown Memorial Park, Benning Neighborhood Library, and City Winery. View the website for details.

Free Family Movie Night
Where: Chinatown, DC
When: Friday, 6:30pm
Admission: Free

Monkey Kin: Hero is Back is the final film in the Chinatown Park Movie Nights series, which presented free screenings of Asian-themed movies to Chinatown Park! Reserve your free tickets and go early for pre-screening fun including arts & crafts and free snacks.

Nats vs. Braves
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are back home and hosting the Braves all weekend, and there are some fun things going on along with the baseball action. On Friday, there’s an Anthony Rendon Bobblehead giveaway. And on Sunday, kids can score a lumberjack hat, plus there will be extra kid-friendly activities near the PenFed Kids Fun Zone, including face painters, caricature artists, and balloon twisters. It’s also Kids Run the Bases after the game. Before you plan your ballpark outing, check out these KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.

Celebration of Textiles
Where: Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate design, textiles, and the cozy comforts of home at a free festival for all ages. Build a fabric fort, watch demos by local artists, enjoy live dance, and explore spectacular fabrics from the ancient Mediterranean in the exhibition Woven Interiors: Furnishing Early Medieval Egypt. This is a great opportunity for little ones to experience a museum that usually is a bit sophisticated for them!

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

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

The REACH Opening Festival & Family Day
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through September 22
Admission: Free

The celebration of the opening of The REACH, the wonderful expansion of the Kennedy Center, is starting its second week. All are invited and excouraged to enjoy all kinds of performances, events, hands-on learning, and more opportunities for creativity in action. Sunday is Family Day, so there will be lots of programs especially for kids and families. See what’s on the schedule and reserve free tickets for events here.

Teddy Bear Clinic
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bring your favorite stuffed friend and explore the Teddy Bear Clinic with activities and crafts designed to highlight the body, physical fitness, and healthy habits. This program is recommended for children in PreK-2nd grade.

Tot Swap
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 10m – 2pm
Admission: $10

Are you a new parent in need of necessities? Have your kids grown out of all the clothes, toys, and high-chairs they were using just a year ago? Donate your gently used childcare items and pick up a few new ones at Imagination Stage’s first Tot Swap! It’s the perfect way to save a bit of money while helping out your fellow caregivers. (And you don’t have to donate to participate!)

DCPS Back to School Block Party
Where: Roosevelt High School |
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

All DCPS staff, students, families, friends, and community members are invited to celebrate the beginning of School Year 2019-2020 at the the DCPS Back to School Block Party. There will be food, student performances, opportunities to learn more about the resources from District partners, and lots of activities for students.

Book Launch & Signing at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Meet Eva J. Pell, author of middle grade (9-12 years old) adventure book “ResQ and the Baby Orangutan.” She will read a few excerpts from her book, sign copies, and have on hand some coloring projects for the younger kids. This will take place in the pavilion opposite Lion and Tiger Hill. Eva Pell is the Former Undersecretary for Science, Smithsonian Institution, Sr. VP for Research & Dean of the Graduate School, Emeritus, Penn State University and internationally known environmental plant scientist. See more about Eva and her books here.

Fall Festival
Where: Cox Farms | Centreville, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $6-20 depending on dates

One of the biggest fall festivals in the area begins this weekend! Cox Farms’ seasonal extravaganza is so big I recommend giving the website a good look to help prepare and navigate your way around the sprawling site that contains multiple slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and lots more. Expect some lines, especially for the giant slides that take you swooping down several humps over a hillside. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under.

More “Fall” Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Various by festival

It may not officially be fall, but seasonal festivals have begun at several area farms, in city neighborhoods, even a 16th century village in Maryland (huzzah, Ren Fest!). And they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Get details on all of them in this post about autumn celebrations.

Back to School with Rocknocerous

Where: Dangerously Delicious Pies | H Street NE, DC

When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $5


Catch a concert with local kids fave Rocknocerous! The band of three guys — Coach, Williebob, and Boogie Bennie — are playing a special Back to School show, and you can groove along to them on Saturday morning! Doors open at 10:30am, and the show starts at 11am.

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

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

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

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

Celebrate Petworth
Where: 800 block of Upshur Street NW | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 11-5pm
Admission: Free

Organized by and for the residents of Petworth and surrounding neighborhoods, Celebrate Petworth is a free community festival celebrating the creativity, diversity, culture, people, and quality of life in the wonderful neighborhood.

Model Trains and Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)

Chug on down to the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. It’s a great family fun and activity for the young and young at heart. The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE, Vienna, VA along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose.

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do…
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $37

The Washington Spirit, our local women’s pro soccer team, is playing at Audi field this weekend, as they take on Seattle Reign (that’s Megan Rapinoe’s team!). Enjoy some amazing soccer play while supporting women in sports and see a few players from the World Cup championship team in action! We are extra excited for this match as Sasha and her soccer team will be walking the Spirit out onto the field! 🙌⚽❤️

Drop-in Art Making
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Visit the Education Studio on the Concourse level of the NGA to experiment with different art materials and techniques. Drop-in art making is a great way to try your hand at making art in an informal, relaxed environment. Art making activities are designed for all ages and abilities.

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

Be part of this free overnight arts festival that takes place in eight DC Main Streets neighborhoods. The festival will bring visual and performing arts — including painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, fashion, music, dance, theater, film, and poetry — to indoor and outdoor public and private spaces, including businesses.

WalkingTown DC
Where: Various neighborhoods in DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Put on your walking shoes (or get out the bikes) for a stroll (or roll) in the city! WalkingTown DC features outdoor walking and bike tours of DC’s most interesting locations and neighborhoods September 14-22. The annual event offers more than 50 free guided walking and biking tours that feature distinctive aspects of DC, introducing residents and visitors to the culture, history, and stories of Washington’s neighborhoods through a series of “bite-size” lunchtime tours, after-work “happy hour” tours, as well as tours throughout the day on weekends. Tours take place outside, rain or shine, and just about all are family-friendly and wheelchair accessible. See the schedule for details and to sign up.

Cirque de Soleil: Volta
Where: Under the Big Top| Tysons II, VA
When: Through September 29
Tickets: $49+

Energetic, urban and contemporary, VOLTA is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is about finding yourself and unveiling your personal powers. VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others.

KID Museum FutureFest
Where: Silver Spring Civic Center | Silver Spring, MD
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

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

Used Children’s Book Sale
Where: Providence (X) Park | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 11 am – 2 pm
Admission: Free to shop | $20/family for fall picnic

Shop Brent Elementary’s annual used book sale of children’s books on Sunday. They have a great selection, including board books, picture books, early readers, beginning chapter books, young adult books, as well as a wide variety of juvenile nonfiction books — everything from Sandra Boynton to Magic Treehouse to Percy Jackson to the pictorial history of Rome! It’s a great place to start your child’s library or get books for those moving on to the next stage. Prices are always super low, and all sales go to support the school’s PTA. Stay and enjoy a fall picnic, too! Providence (X) Park is located between D and E and 2nd and 3rd Streets SE.

Authorpalooza
Where: Bard’s Alley | Vienna, VA
When: Sunday, 12:30-5pm
Admission: Free

Join Authorpalooza on Sunday and enjoy storytime, “book tastings,” the chance to meet authors, and more. Picture book author Laura Gehl will be reading Except When They Don’t and Juniper Kai Super Sky at 1pm, and there will be fun and fake mustaches for all. The full schedule of events can be found here.

Arts Alive! 2019
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the local arts community in Prince William County! The Hylton Performing Arts Center’s 8th annual family-friendly arts festival features arts council members along with other community performers and fine artists. Enjoy activities for all ages, multiple stages of performances indoors and out, plus food and craft vendors with items for sale.

Falls Church Feeds the World – Volunteers Needed!
Where: Christ Crossman | Falls Church, VA
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Christ Crossman UMC will once again partner with Rise Against Hunger to assemble more than 20,000 meals to be packed and shipped around the world to those struggling with hunger. Volunteers of all ages (4 and up) are needed!  Join in a meaningful and engaging service opportunity that honors the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Christ Crossman is located at 384 N Washington Street in Falls Church. Sign up to volunteer or to donate here. Go here for more information. Participation is free.  

**PLAN AHEAD**
Annual Fall Open House!
Where: My Gym | Bethesda & Potomac, MD
When: Friday, September 20, 4-7:30pm
Admission: Free

Join My Gym Potomac and My Gym Bethesda for their Annual Free Fall Open House on Friday, September 20th, 4-7:30pm. Meet the teachers, play in the super fun gym, learn tumbling and gymnastic skills, enjoy fitness games, and get their best fall discounts for classes, parties, and camps. Find more info and RSVP here!

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Check out all the live entertainment for families coming to the area this fall.
* Family Trip Guides, created by a local mom, provide great info and tips for exploring Smithsonian museums (and you can get the guide to the American History Museum free)!
* On October 6, the whole fam can race down Pennsylvania Ave together in The Navy Mile to support the Naval Sea Cadet Corps, the Safe Harbor Foundation, and the United States Navy Memorial.
* Not-So-SAHM just posted 6 months of dinners, with a bunch of yummy-sounding recipe links included.
* I am “looking at bathroom renovation porn“ years old.
* The movie looks just as good as (maybe even better than) the book!

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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Fall, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekend