Category Archives: Maryland

Swing Through Fall Foliage at These Five Outdoor Ropes Courses

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of three young children.  She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ activities around the DC area. See some of them hereherehere, here, here.]

Veer off the beaten fall festival path this year with a visit to one of our area’s outdoor ropes courses. As mentioned in this KFDC post, autumn is a great time to enjoy the activity, when you can  take in views of the foliage, and at some places even immerse right in it. Once known primarily for “team building,” ropes courses have become a family-friendly activity, where daredevils young and old can challenge their strength, balance, bravery and problem solving.  If you have a child old enough for the adventure — and if you want to get in on the fun, too — here are some options to explore. Catch them while the foliage is hot!


The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
The largest forest-based adventure park in town, featuring 15 separate trails of varying levels of difficulty. [This is a KFDC favorite!  See this post for a detailed experience.]

Location: 16701 Norwood Rd | Sandy Spring, MD
Fall Hours: Friday 3-10pm | Saturday 9am – 10pm | Sunday 9am – 7pm
Ages: 5 & up; each child 5-6 must be accompanied by an adult age 18+
Pricing: $23-73
Deals: Last Call Tickets
Gloves: Available for purchase
Events: Glow In The Park
Additional Features: Food Truck, Axe Throwing
Learn more and reserve tickets

* * * 

Tree Trekkers
Open since 2019, this newer course is located on 30 acres of protected forest and features over 250 obstacles and ziplines.

Location: 9560 Old National Pike | Frederick, MD
Fall Hours: Thursday-Sunday; check calendar for up-to-date hours
Ages: 4 & up; each child 4-7 must be accompanied by an adult age 18+
Pricing: $35-64
Deals: Thrifty Thursdays, After Work Adventure Ticket, Twilight Ticket, Movie Star Ticket
Gloves: Provided
Events: Trek or Treat October 20-21 & 27-28
Learn more and reserve tickets

* * * 

Go Ape Zipline & Adventure Park
A treetop adventure chain, featuring 50-foot high tree-to-tree crossings, ziplines, and Tarzan swings.

Location: Derwood, MD & Springfield, VA
Fall Hours: Friday-Sunday; check website for up-to-date hours
Ages: All ages – minimum height 3’3”; children 5 & under must be accompanied by an adult age 18+ (one adult per 2 kids); children 6-15 must be supervised by an adult
Pricing: $40-65
Deals: Frequent Flyer Pass
Gloves: Available for purchase
Events: Nights at Height, Frights at Height, Haunted Trails
Additional Features:  Forest EscAPE, STEM Program, Axe Throwing
Learn more and reserve tickets

* * * 

Terrapin Adventures
This course offers a variety of aerial thrills and challenges, inspired by vacation-type adventures from around the world.

Location: 8600 Foundry Street, Savage MD
Fall Hours: 10am – 5pm; check booking page for up-to-date hours
Ages: Kids Pass: 5 & up; all participants required to climb over a three-foot-tall railing unaided; Adventure Park Experience: 8+ and 4 feet tall
Pricing: $19-79
Gloves: Not provided (purchase some like this in advance)
Events: Parent’s Night Out
Additional Features: Climbing Tower, Giant Swing, Archery
Learn more and reserve tickets

* * * 

Climb UPton
A 90-element adventure located in Upton Hill Regional Park where climbers can choose their challenge with easy, medium and hard features.

Location:  6060 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA
Fall Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 4-8pm, Friday 4-9pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am – 9pm
Ages: 5 and up; children 5-7 must be 48” and accompanied by an adult age 18+; children 8-15 must be 51” to go without an adult
Pricing: $20-50
Deals: Student Night, Date Night, Groups of 6+
Gloves: Not provided (purchase some like this in advance)
Events: Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt, Turkey Scavenger Hunt
Additional Features: Upton Hill Regional Park also offers Mini Golf, Batting Cages, Playground, Water Park (seasonal)
Learn more and reserve tickets


Do you know of other outdoor ropes courses in the area? Tell us in the comments!

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Filed under Fall, Maryland, Outdoor, Virginia

The Weekend Round-Up:
September 29 – October 1

This weekend is the last chance to hang with the pandas at the National Zoo


Happy Weekend!

Link up to local fun with these go-to posts:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* The Great Indoors
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places

Pickleball on the Mall
Where:  JFK Hockey Fields| National Mall, DC
When: Through Saturday
Admission: Free

For the first time ever, nine temporary pickleball courts will be constructed on the JFK Hockey Fields, adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. This three-day event is free to register and open to players of all ages and skill levels — old, young, experts, or novices. This special event will include celebrity guests, including Rob Riggle and Katie Couric. There will be clinics, walk-on play, exhibition matches, a local DMV showcase, opportunities to play with the pros from DC PickleballTeam players, and a special healthy cooking demonstration called “Cooking in the Kitchen” with a local DC chef. You can also just go and spectate! The JFK Hockey Fields are located at 1964 Independence Ave. SW.

World Culture Festival
Where: 4th – 14th Streets | National Mall, DC
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: Free

Tap into joy, peace, and community on the National Mall this weekend, where there will be for entertainment and culture from across the globe. Hear live music, from hip hop to the classics to world music. Visit pavilions to learn about world cultures.  Experience whirling dervishes spinning to eternity along with the stomps of flamenco dancers awakening the soul and a yoga flow with all who want to join. International food trucks will offer dishes to savor. Register in advance!

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

Be part of DC’s annual free, overnight, family-friendly arts festival.  The event takes place in all eight wards, bringing 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 story times and more activities for littles, sample food, view innovative art, and so much more.  This DCist article has details on what’s happening in many neighborhoods around DC.

Harvest Festival
Where: USDA Farmers Market | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

The USDA’s weekly Farmers Market will include special activities in celebration of all, including a petting zoo, face painting, and many more fun activities for kids and families!. There will also be a Sukkot Festival for the holiday with a sukkah dedication at 12pm. The Farmer’s Market takes place on the corner of Independence and 14th Street SW from 10am – 2pm.

Back to the Yards
Where: Yards Park | CapitolRiverfront, DC
When: Friday, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Join The Yards for the party of the decade to celebrate the end of summer and new school year.  Jam out with a totally tubular DJ playing 80s and 90s chart toppers that will get the whole family on their feet. Get a blast from the past with classic 90’s icons, like Barbie, Etch-a-Sketch, and more. Instagrammable moments and activities including vintage arcade games, break dancers, glitter tattoos, crafts, a photo booth, and a glow giveaway bar will make this a party for all the ages. Dust off your leg warmers, and tease up your hair, celebrate The Yards, be there or be square! Kids of all ages welcome!

Panda Palooza
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: Free with passes

The celebration continues for the giant pandas at the National Zoo before they go home to China.  And you can get in on the fun! Enjoy photo ops, hands-on arts and crafts, a ‘Kids Area’ in the Great Meadow, family stretching and yoga, panda talks, temporary tattoos, a conservation-themed scavenger hunt, live music concerts, and free film screenings of “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Miracle Panda” through the weekend. See the schedule on the website.

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, plus a variety of exhibitors on the tarmac, food vendors, kids activities, flight schools, and aviation clubs among them.

Opera in the Outfield
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 5pm
Admission: Free

How about opera where there’s usually baseball? The Washington National Opera presents Opera in the Outfield for the 18th year with a simulcast performance of Puccini’s La bohème on Saturday evening. The show starts at 7pm, but gates open at 5pm for “pregame” activities for the entire family, including a costume shop, a performance by Step Afrika, a magic show by Musico the Magnificent, arts & crafts, an instrument petting zoo, chances to win prizes, and more. Get there early for a seat on the field, otherwise there will be plenty of seating in the stands.

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.

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through October 30
Admission: $25

With charm, wit, and heart, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown explores life’s big questions through the eyes of the Peanuts gang as they play baseball, fly kites, struggle with homework, swoon over crushes, and celebrate the joys of friendship. Growing up is serious business! Recommended for all ages.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through October 22
Admission: $25-39
Using more than 70 beautiful, larger-than-life puppets and original music, this special event follows all your favorite characters from “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” “The Very Busy Spider,” “10 Little Rubber Ducks,” and, of course, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Recommended for ages 3-8.

Cirque du Soleil: ECHO
Where: Under the Big Top | Tysons II, VA
When: Through October 22
Admission: Start at $33/child, 42/adult (look for a deal

This new Circque du Soleil show just made its US debut in DC and runs through October. Fueled by the power of change, the hope of the youth, and the value of empathy, ECHO follows an inquisitive young woman named FUTURE as she wanders into a fantasy world that explores humans’ sacred bond with animals and nature. When FUTURE and her best friend the DOG encounter a mysterious CUBE, they quickly learn how their actions have the power to shape this world, and if we come together, we can rebuild our planet to create the world we all want to live in.

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.

Mosaic’s Fall Festival
Where: Mosaic District | Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Rescheduled from last weekend!  The big shopping enter in Fairfax is hosting a fall event. Festivities include live entertainment and musical performances; the FRESHFARM Farmers Market with 50+ vendors; the URBNmarket with 90 handmade and vintage vendors; beer and wine gardens; kids activities like bouncy fun, balloons, and face painting; plus more special activities for all.

Because Science Festival
Where: 1759 Columbia Road NW | Adams Morgan, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 8pm
Admission: Free

Join an exciting event that celebrates the wonders of science! Immerse in a weekend filled with interactive projects, thrilling experiments, and challenges that meld science and art. Whether you’re a science enthusiast, a curious mind, or just looking for a fun-filled day, this festival is perfect for you! Headlining the festival is Charming Disaster, performing selections from their album Our Lady of Radium (a tribute to Marie Curie) on Sunday at 6pm.

Family Fun
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 12:30-2pm
Admission: Free

Join docents in the exhibition Anyang: China’s Ancient City of Kings for engaging and collaborative hands-on activities for families with children ages 5+. Exciting stories, scavenger hunts, sketching, and other activities will bring the whole fam together to imagine, create, and learn.

District Hunt
Where: Throughout DC (starts at MLK Library)
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $125/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 5th annual District Hunt. The live, city-wide event highlights local changemakers through an outdoor puzzle adventure all around DC. Designed around the theme of Food & Housing this year, 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.]

Kick it with Spirit
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC

When:  Saturday, 7pm 
Admission: Tickets start at $15
The Washington Spirit are playing at home this weekend, as they take on Kansas City Current.  Watch some amazing soccer play while supporting women in sports and see a few players from the US women’s national team in action, too! Purchase tickets here.

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!

Family Day 2023
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 2-6pm
Admission: Free

Hill Center’s annual Family Day returns, bringing a completely FREE day of crafts, shows, carriage rides, balloon animals, and more!  Performances by Turley the Magician and King Bullfrog, to boot!  Be sure to register (for free).

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.

Rolling on the River
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Sunday, 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate World Rivers Day and Theatre Week with the Theatre Washington and Potomac River Partners at Rolling on the River, a free hour-long outdoor concert on the Transit Pier Floating Stage at The Wharf. Celebrate life on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers with your favorite local musical artists, “river music” and storytelling. All are welcome. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Before the concert, enjoy free activities from partners at DC Water, NASA, and Blue Origin.

Dory Fantasmagory Book Release Party
Where: Takoma Park Library | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

At long last, there is a new Dory Fantasmagory book (#6), and the Takom Park Library is celebrating it this weekend. Hear the first chapter of the new book, make a “Dory” craft, and enjoy a banana snack (because Dory calls her fairy godmother on a banana phone!). There will also be a giveaway of one free copy of the new book!

Wicked Fun
Where: Around the DC area
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.

* The list of volunteer ops for kids around the area is always great to check out, especially if you have high schoolers who need to complete hours.
* Washington Post’s 16 best theaters in DC to catch a play. (And for fall family-friendly entertainment, check out this KFDC round-up.)
Restaurants for a (very likely) government shutdown.
* Just started this book after many recss for it and really enjoying so far.
A new series of Roald Dahl adaptations by Wes Anderson just started on Netflix… the first one is great, can’t wait to watch the rest!
* How cute would this be for a kid’s room?
* The one week… 😆

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween Around DC in 2023


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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 — starting this weekend. From no-fright fun to cool and creepy thrills, the 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!

Witchwartsmith’s Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: September 28 – October 29
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

Kids BOO Fest
Where: Six Flags Amrica | Landover, MD
When: September 28 – October 29
Admission: Starts at $45

Explore all ages spooky fun at the local amusement park. Enjoy family-friendly rides, a trick-or-treat. trail, fall activities, Halloween-themed shows, ghoulish food for every taste, and much more. This is an all-day affair with SO much to do!

Fall Festivals
Where: Around the DC area
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 much more!  See a list of seasonal celebrations here.

Where: Great Wolf Lodge | Williamsburg, VA & Perryville, MD
When:  September 28 –  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 Williamburg in this KFDC post and this one about the new park in Perryville, MD.

The Tell-Tale Heart
Synetic Theater| Crystal City, VA
When: September 29 – November 5
Admission: $35-65 

This stage version of the Edgar Allen Poe classic a a perfect production to caputure the Halloween spirit… Sanity and madness blur on stage as two unlikely companions find themselves intertwined in complete isolation, with chilling results. Synetic’s reimagined tale explores the pitch-black depths of the human psyche, spiraling into madness and torment —and we ask ourselves “Who is the crazy one?” Recommended for teens and older.

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.)

“Eye Spy” Halloween Trains
Where: Cabin John & Wheaton Regional Parks | Bethesda & Wheaton, MD
When: Saturdays & Sundays, October 7-29
Admission: $6

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 10am – 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.

Goblin Golf
Where: Burke Lake Park | Burke, VA
When: October 7-29
Admission: Free

Halloween arrives early at the Burke Lake Park mini-golf course. Enjoy a festive themed experience with Halloween treats included. Ghosts and goblins will be appearing all day from 11am – 5pm. Bring a date, a friend, or the whole family; this mini golf experience is fun for everyone!

Lil’ Pumpkins Festival
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: October 14, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

BlackRock’s  4th Annual Lil’ Pumpkin Fest offers the Upcounty community a fun, free, and safe way to enjoy all the Fall and spooky festivities. Activities include a bouncy house, trick-or-treating, lil’ pumpkin painting, costume parades, spooky dance parties, an Artisan’s Market, and a biergarten for parents!  Later that evening, adults can enjoy a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show w/live cast on the MainStage @ 6 & 9pm The day will conclude with a free outdoor screening of the fun family film, Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie at sundown (approximately 6:30pm).

Spooky History Tour
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: October 17, 18, 22, 25, 28, 29, 31
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+.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: October 20-22, 6-8:30pm
Admission: $25/members, $35/non-members

The National Zoo’s annual not-so-spooky Halloween haunt, one of DC’s most beloved events for the kiddie crowd,  is back. With 30 treat stations, after hours animal viewing with habitats decorated for Halloween, and fiendishly decked out 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!

Soul Strolls
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 20-21 & 27-28
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


Can You Solve It? Family Mystery Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 21, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

This Family Day at the Library of Congress celebrates mystery stories in all their spine-tingling, curious forms. Enjoy two author events (for middle-grade readers in the morning and young adult book readers in the afternoon) , a mystery writing workshop, a day full of activities, and a scavenger hunt. Read more about the day’s activities in the website.

Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: October 21, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $5

Dress the whole family and enjoy a day of trick-or-treating, art activities, and more!  Over 60 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 21, 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 21, 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 21, 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.

Family Costume Party
Where: Children’s Science Center Lab | Fairfax, VA
When: October 21, 5-7pm
Admission: $15

Enjoy the Haunted Lab after hours and wear your favorite costume! The whole family can enjoy not-so-spooky activities including creating ooey-gooey slime play, bugging out in our Bio Zone, watching a dissection by a mad scientists (STEM Educators), getting up close to a scaly creature, and engineering a Spider Launcher, and playing scary tunes on the piano. Prizes will be awarded for creative and original ideas, so dress up and show up for a frightfully good time! Read more about the Lab (during non-Halloween) in this KFDC post.

Harbor Halloween
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: October 22, 12-3pm
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.

Howl-O-Ween Dog Parade & Costume Contest
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: October 22, 11am – 12:30pm
Admission: $25/member, $35/non-member, $25/contest entry

Here’s a Halloween event for well-behaved dogs and their humans! Prep your pup for Howl-o-Ween, a parade and costume contest on the Hirshhorn Plaza. Join a morning of dress-up, art activities, and furry fun. Tickets include a puppy parade and contest, donuts and mimosas, and art activities for kids and dogs. Proceeds support the Museum’s art-for-all education programs. Register in advance!

17th Street High Heel Race
Where: 17th Street NW, btwn P & S | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 24
Admission: Free

The High Heel Race is a 36-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 Toddler Time
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 26, 10:30am
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 2-12

Bring your child to the B&O in their costumes for some Halloween-themed activities at this spooktacular session of Toddler Time. There will be crafts and destinations spread throughout the museum campus for trick-or-treating. They’ll also be reading Henry and the Ghost Train by Thomas & Friends followed by a costume parade to the Mile One Express Train Ride!

Where: Alethia Tanner Park | NoMa, DC
When: October 26, 4-9pm
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.

Halloween Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 27-31
Admission: $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.

Art Cart: Tricky Tree Hats
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC

When: October 27, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free
In celebration of the fall season and Halloween, join the museum for a tree-inspired Art Cart. Take a close look at artist Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Two Circles, check out nature-inspired books and materials, and create fall-inspired wearable works of art. Find the Art Cart on the Plaza and pick up your wearable materials.

Halloween Glow in the Park
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: October 27-28
Admission: $56

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.

Where: Gateway Interim Dog Park | Rosslyn, VA
When: October 27, 3:30-5:30pm
Admission: Free

The Rosslyn BID and the Rosslyn Dog Owners Group  are teaming up for a Halloween-themed evening of dog-friendly activities, treats, and fun at the Gateway Park interim Dog Park.  There will be pet-themed vendors, raffles, giveaways, a beer and wine bar, and pet portrait sketches on-site! Dog costumes strongly encouraged for the annual Halloween dog costume contest!

Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 27, 5-8pm
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.

Halloween on the Farm
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Clifton, VA
When: October 27-28, 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!

Halloween Night Hunt with Sweets
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 27-31
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.

Air & Scare 
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: October 28, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but tickets required

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. Tickets are required for the outdoor portion of the event — they will be available to reserve here on October 2.

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.

Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt Climb
Where: Climb UPton | Arlington, VA
When: October 28-29, 10am -9pm
Admission: $19.95-54.95

Climb UPton has tricks and treats for both young and old! Celebrate Halloween at Climb UPton — complete the 90-element course full of tricks of varying degrees of difficulty. If you find the hidden pumpkins during your climb you’ll be rewarded with a special treat.

Spooky Serpents
Where: Potomac Overlook Park | Arlington, VA
When: October 28, 3-4pm
Admission: $7

Looking to get spooked? Do you get the heebie jeebies upon seeing our slithery serpents? Come scare yourself silly and get an up-close look at our amazing snakes, and watch our Naturalist feed them some tasty mice! You’re bound to go hiss-terical at this program.

Monster Mash
Where: Village at Leesburg | Leesburg, VA
When: October 28, 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, their annual costume contest parade for you and your pets, and more.

The Haunted Washington Scavenger Hunt
Where: White House area | Downtown DC
When: October 28
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.]

Trick or Treat at Tudor Place
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: October 28, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $15/non-member, $10/member, $5/adult

Celebrate the fall season with games and crafts at Tudor Place. Wear your Halloween best to explore the garden’s meandering paths and find festive activities, fun and sugary treats. All ages are welcome; this program is best enjoyed by children ages 3-8. This outdoor event will take place rain or shine.

Día de los Muertos Virtual Family Day
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: October 28, 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, Día de los Muertos–themed crafts for all ages, and a scavenger hunt that will take you through the museum’s new Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea exhibit.  Registration encouraged!

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens | Mount Vernon, VA
When: October 28, 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!

Where: Ridge Road Rec Park | Germantown, MD
When: October 28, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free to skate

This Halloween let the ghoul times roll with friends and family at the Ridge Road Recreational Park Inline Rink for Montgomery Parks’ Frankenskate. Come as you aren’t in your best Halloween costumes to enjoy an eerie-sistible afternoon full of music, lawn games, and treats. Bring your own skates (rentals will not be available) and boogie on down to the sounds of the DJ spinning spooky throwbacks. Refuel at the concession area with local food vendors.

Halloween Carnival
Where: Community Center | Falls Church, VA
When: October 28, 1-3pm or 3:30-5:30pm
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.

Día de los Muertos | Day of the Dead Celebration
Where: National Museum of the American Indian | National Mall, DC
When: October 29, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a time for honoring ancestors and those we have lost. At the museum, this day of remembering features traditional dances around the community ofrenda (altar) to honor ancestors. Along with the dances, enjoy family-friendly Day of the Dead hands-on activities.

Del Ray Halloween Parade
Where: Del Ray Neighborhood | Alexandria, VA
When: October 29
Admission: Free

One of Del Ray’s favorite traditions, the 27th 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 Park
Where: The Parc | Tysons, VA
When: October 31, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Tysons is hosting a Halloween party at the Parc at Tysons. Kids and dress up and enjoy face painting, balloon art, mad science, and of course, trick or treating.

Día de los Muertos Festival & Outdoor Projection
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: November 2, 5-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Join the Portrait Gallery’s annual celebration of el Día de los Muertos, one of their biggest events of the year. Enjoy live music, dance performances by a local folk dance company, workshops, and a variety of activities for all ages. Artists MasPaz and Guache will project their live video artwork, “La Común Unidad: Caminando con los Ancestros,” highlighting the artists’ ancestral cultural heritage. Create calaveras and papel picado to decorate the community altar, get your face painted to look like la Catrina — and more!

Pumpkin Chunkin’
Where: Great Country Farm | Bluemont, VA
When: November 4-5
Admission: $14/child, $16/adult

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!


Step right up for some haunted fun


Fields of Fear
Where: Cox Farms | Centreville, VA
When: Weekends through November 4
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: Fridays & Saturdays through November 4
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.

AVFD Station 7 Terror Trail
Where: | Gambrills, MD
When: September 30 – October 28
Admission: $25

Choose a scary trail or a family-friendly haunt here. The scary Terror trail is recommended for ages 8 and older or opt for activities for younger children at the ticket booth and the Boo Haunt loop geared for those under 8 years old. This supports the Arundel Volunteer Fire Department.


🎃 🎃 🎃


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:
Home Depot
Target Costumes | Decorations

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia

The Weekend Round-Up:
September 22-24

Electronic Superhighway is on view again


Happy Weekend!

Quick links to posts full of ideas for local fun:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* The Great Indoors
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places

Fall, Y’all!
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Fall officially begins this weekend, and there are a lot of events around the area 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.

Modern Art Explorations
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Starting Friday
Admisson: Free

After being closed since 2021 for renovations, the third floor of the American Art Museum is reopening! The galleries feature modern and contemporary art, and many well known works will be retuning, like Nam June Paik’s Electronic Superhighway. There will also be new collections that highlight a variety of artists and art that have unique perspectives and impacts. See more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Panda Palooza
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Starting Saturday through October 1
Admission: Free with passes

The giant pandas at the National Zoo are going home to China, and the Zoo is giving them a nine-day celebration send-off that starts this weekend. Even better, you can get in on the fun! Enjoy photo ops, hands-on arts and crafts, a ‘Kids Area’ in the Great Meadow, family stretching and yoga, panda talks, temporary tattoos, a conservation-themed scavenger hunt, live music concerts, and free film screenings of “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Miracle Panda.”

Theatre Week Kickoff Fest
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Theatre Week kicks off the launch of the theatre season in the DC area, and this party kicks off Theatre Week! See samples of programming from area theatres, join a Step Afrika workshop, watch a fight choreography demo, hear monologues from young playwrights, and so much more from over 40 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.

Fiesta DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. 3rd to 7th Streets | Downtown, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Celebrate Latino culture at the 51st Annual Fiesta DC.  On both days of the weekend, A few-blocks stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue will be filled will lively festivities, including stages featuring a variety of performances, children’s activities, international cuisine, arts & crafts, and more!

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.

Now & Forever Windows Celebration
Where: National Cathedral | Glover Park, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Washington National Cathedral is celebrating the unveiling of its new racial justice-themed stained glass windows. The event will kick off with a public dedication of the windows, followed by an afternoon of festivities, including a Cathedral open house, live music on the west front, DC food truck favorites, and kids’ activities. A screening of a new documentary about the “Now and Forever” windows and a special docent presentation of African American highlights of Cathedral art will also be offered to visitors.

Teddy Bear Clinic
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 11:30am
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. Read more about the National Museum of Health & Medicine here — especially before you explore it with young kids beyond the sweet teddy bear program.

Celebrate Petworth – CANCELLED!
Where: 800 block of Upshur St. NW | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This free neighborhood festival is organized by and for the residents of Petworth, but all are welcome to enjoy. Celebrating the creativity, diversity, culture, and people of Petworth and its surrounding neighborhoods, festivities include Petworth history storytelling, live music and performers, kids activities, tasty food, and a dog show. View the schedule here.

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through October 30
Admission: $25

With charm, wit, and heart, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown explores life’s big questions through the eyes of the Peanuts gang as they play baseball, fly kites, struggle with homework, swoon over crushes, and celebrate the joys of friendship. Growing up is serious business! Recommended for all ages.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through October 22
Admission: $25-39
Using more than 70 beautiful, larger-than-life puppets and original music, this special event follows all your favorite characters from “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” “The Very Busy Spider,” “10 Little Rubber Ducks,” and, of course, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Recommended for ages 3-8. [Note that tickets are only available for the Friday show, but snag them for future weekends!!]

Not My Monkey
Where: Mont. College Cultural Arts Center | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1:30pm & 3:30pm
Admission: $14/adult, $11.50/child, free/3 & under

InterACT Story Theatre presents this show for kids… In Not My Monkey, the new circus leader wants to do a good job leading her zany crew of circus folk, but there’s a new problem every time she turns around, and no one wants to pitch in or even try to get along. “Not my circus, not my monkeys!” they say. To make matters worse, the monkeys have broken loose and are wreaking havoc everywhere! How can a community work together to solve its problems, when everyone thinks it’s not their problem to solve? And how can the community work together to stop the monkey madness? Everyone in the audience gets into the act right from where they’re sitting, becoming part of the community of performers and townspeople who need to tackle this hair-raising problem.

Wild Kratts Live! 2.0
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 1pm & 4:30pm
Admission: Start at $45

Wild Kratts Live 2.0 is a theatrical stage show based on the #1 animated television series Wild Kratts. Martin and Chris Kratt, stars of the Emmy-nominated Wild Kratts step out LIVE ON STAGE to engage the audience in a classic Wild Kratts story. [Note: This is just about sold out, but look for tickets from a third-party seller here.]

Fotos & Recuerdos Festival
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30 am – 3pm
Admission: Free

All ages are invited to join the Portrait Gallery for Fotos & Recuerdos Festival with friends from the bilingual children’s book publisher Lil’ Libros. The event will feature gallery tours, story times, book signings with Lil’ Libros authors, live performances, and crafts workshops inspired by the Lil’ Libros book series “The Life of / La vida de,” which features Latinx sitters from the Portrait Gallery’s collection. Wear your dancing shoes — The Washington Ballet will also be there to lead a story time and salsa and bomba workshop!

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. There will be special tours for kids, too. Read more about the historic site in Rock Creek Park here.

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

The Nats are at home and hosting the Braves all weekend, and there are some fun things going on along with the baseball action. On Friday, there’s a Keibert Ruiz Bobblehead giveaway and a pet calendar giveaway on Saturday.  On Sunday, kids can 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.

Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: Saturday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole fam to get festive at The Boro’s annual Oktoberfest celebration! Fuel up with specialty German food from local food trucks and sip back and relax at The Boro’s biergarten (or show off your strength during abeer stein-holding competition). A live polka band promises classic tunes with a modern twist, and little ones will enjoy glitter tattoos, face painting, crafts, giveaways, and more at a kids’ celebration area.

RiverFest – CANCELLED!
Where: Historic St. Mary’s, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The 17th annual RiverFest is a celebration of the St. Mary’s River and surrounding lands and their beauty and serenity. Join for family-friendly activities including live music all day, birds of prey, oyster tonging, fish seining, a River Wade-In at 2pm, and free admission to the Historic St. Mary’s City Museum.  The festival also informs residents from in and around the watershed on ways to protect, improve, and promote our waterways through various entertaining and educational activities and exhibits.

Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show – CANCELLED!
Where: Mill Street in Occoquan, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Plan for a day of family fun as the streets of Occoquan come to life with beautiful art, live music and great food! The historic town will close its street and host over 250 contemporary and country crafters and artisans from across the US. Find one-of-a-kind, hand crafted items galore! Located just 20 minutes south of DC, but far from the hustle and bustle of a big city, exhibitors and shoppers alike will enjoy the small town oasis nestled along the Occoquan River.

Mosaic’s Fall Festival – RESCHEDULED 9/30-10/1
Where: Mosaic District | Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

The big shopping enter in Fairfax is hosting a fall event. Festivities include live entertainment and musical performances; the FRESHFARM Farmers Market with 50+ vendors; the URBNmarket with 90 handmade and vintage vendors; beer and wine gardens; kids activities like bouncy fun, balloons, and face painting; plus more special activities for all.

United vs Red Bulls
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Starts at $25 (check for a deal)

Kick it at a soccer game on Saturday The DC United are hosting the New York Red Bulls for an evening match. Audi Field is a great stadium with excellent views of the action on the field as well as the city skyline. 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 BebeThe Salt Line, and All Purpose are my top recs), then walk from there.

Cirque du Soleil: ECHO
Where: Under the Big Top | Tysons II, VA
When: Through October 22
Admission: Start at $33/child, 42/adult (look for a deal

This new Circque du Soleil show just made its US debut in DC and runs through October. Fueled by the power of change, the hope of the youth, and the value of empathy, ECHO follows an inquisitive young woman named FUTURE as she wanders into a fantasy world that explores humans’ sacred bond with animals and nature. When FUTURE and her best friend the DOG encounter a mysterious CUBE, they quickly learn how their actions have the power to shape this world, and if we come together, we can rebuild our planet to create the world we all want to live in.

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

Rain forecasted for this weekend will make it a great time to do some indoor exploring, maybe at a not-so-well-known place.  If you don’t veer from the well trodden path of the National Mall now and then, you could miss out on some amazing museum exhibits and experiences. Check out this round-up of some these places in DC that may not be on your museum radar — but should be.

* Since it’s officially fall, plan for ways to enjoy autumn in the DC area (that are not farm festivals), with these 10 ideas.
* Want a cool place to hang out with kids? Check out these stunning spaces.
* DCist has 14 ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
* A fantastic NYT feature about being 13 in a social media-driven world.
* This piece from The Cut on a very similar topic is a great read, too.
* Are Travelers Ruining Travel?  (I actually think about this a lot!)
* Just binged the series Painkiller (Netflix) and highly recommend.
* Found the perfect little desk organizer for Sasha.
* And these cooking/storage containers are a kitchen game changer.
* This cute number has become one of my favorite late summer to fall outfits. And, no, I didn’t make that splurge…I got it for a steal secondhand!
* New York Times’ Connections, Toddler Edition 😆

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 15-17

Join the celebration for the Hirshhorn’s Jessica Diamond: Wheel Of Life exhibit!


Happy Weekend!

Link up to local activities galore in these go-to posts:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* The Great Indoors
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places

PARK(ing) Day
Where: Around the DC area
When: Friday
Admission: Free

Friday, September 15, is PARK(ing) Day, when people across the globe create temporary pop-up parks and social spaces where there usually is curbside parking.  Several park(ing) spots will be popping up around the DC area, and you can see where on a map here to check check them out!

Family-Friendly Exhibit Celebration
Where: Hishhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 5-8pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the opening of the Hirshhorn’s latest exhibition, Jessica Diamond: Wheel Of Life, at this special evening event with extended hours and activities for all ages. View Diamond’s artworks that reflect her life as an artist or take a mobile video tour with Hirshhorn Eye. You can also do some magnetic poetry, create circular installations, bring little ones to a kid-friendly construction zone, check out a large-scale concrete poetry station, and a make-your-own Möbius loop project with educators from the National Air and Space Museum. Dinka and gelato will be available for purchase on the Plaza.

Washington Ukrainian Festival
Where: St. Andrew Ukrainian Cathedral | Silver Spring, MD
When: Friday, 5-8pm; Saturday, 11am – 9pm; Sunday, 11am – dusk
Admission: $20/adult, $20/senior, free/kids

Bring family and friends to the 20th annual Ukrainian Festival of the Washington, DC, Metro Area. All are welcome to enjoy Ukrainian artists and dancers, crafts, children’s activities, delicious Ukrainian food, a Kozak beer garden, and live entertainment. A portion of the proceeds is for humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

“Fall” Festivals
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

The season may not be official on the calendar yet, but seasonal festivals have begun at several area farms, right on city streets, and in locales that recall historic times (huzzah!). And they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Some are listed below, and you can get details on the rest of them in this round-up of autumn celebrations around the area.

Homecoming at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Admission: Free for Family Day, $50 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. There will be arts and crafts, pony rides and a petting zoo, hands-on activities for young learners, cottage tours, and picnic ops followed by a family-friendly afternoon performance by the Petworth Jazz Project.. Go for just the race, just Family Day activities, or stick around to enjoy both!

Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $26/adult, $13/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 experts demonstrate period crafting techniques. And you can see General Washington in the General’s Tent. There’s plenty of fun for the whole family! Read more about Mount Vernon here.

Play Date: Colors in Nature
Where: Natural History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join this very special Saturday Play Date, as the Natural History Museum is joined by other Smithsonian museums and units — the National Postal Museum, National Zoo, and more — all to celebrate different colors found in nature. Families will be able to make close observations of different specimens and learn about the different connections different museums make with each other through nature. Enjoy r a morning full of color, play, art, and exploration!

Literary Hill Book Fest
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join us on Sunday, September 17 from 11 am to 3 pm in the North Hall of Eastern Market for the 12th annual Literary Hill BookFest, a beloved annual celebration of books and authors on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. This year, we’ll feature more than 40 authors, poets, booksellers, publishers, literacy groups, and more, including acclaimed national bestselling novelist Louis Bayard, author of The Pale Blue Eye, a mystery thriller adapted into a recent hit Netflix film starring Christian Bale. Other featured authors include debut novelist and former spy, I.S. Berry; National Book Award finalist Carole Boston Weatherford; Washington Post columnist and Thurber prize finalist Alexandra Petri; award-winning educator and author Liz Kleinrock; two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist Cheryl Head; and many more. Visitors will meet some of their favorite authors of fiction, history, children’s literature, mystery, poetry, memoir and more and enjoy timely panel discussions and a full slate of family-friendly activities in our bustling Children’s Corner. The BookFest is completely free and open to the public, with a popular poetry open mic immediately following the main event, where established and aspiring poets will entertain an enthusiastic crowd.

National Dance Day Celebration
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 11:15pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate National Dance Day and kick at this full-day dance party that kicks off the Kennedy Center’s season-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop. Free interactive dance classes, performances, live music, and more inspired by some of hip hop culture’s foundational pillars. There’s so much to enjoy — view the full schedule on the KC website!

Gimme an H!
Where: H Street NE, DC
When: Saturday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving hip corridor is returning! This one is always huge — so beware that there could be a crowd — and there is tons to see and do.  In past years, the event has featured loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; 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 highly recommended, as parking is always difficult.

Artsfest ’23
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10/online, $12/at gate, free/11 & under

Celebrate the visual and performing arts at this event that brings together the country’s most accomplished artists for a fabulous weekend extravaganza of the arts! Set amidst the spectacular backdrop of the beautiful woods of Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Artsfest is a unique art experience with a multitude of artist booths, 35 performers on four stages, creative fun for kids, artist demos, and great food and drink. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden here and here.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15 

This largest area fall festival begins this weekend ! This one is so big I recommend giving the website a good look to help prepare and navigate your way around the sprawling grounds that contain multiple slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and much more. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under. Be prepared for a crowd!

Cirque du Soleil: ECHO
Where: Under the Big Top | Tysons II, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Start at $33/child, 42/adult (look for a deal

This new Circque du Soleil show just made its US debut in DC and runs through October. Fueled by the power of change, the hope of the youth, and the value of empathy, ECHO follows an inquisitive young woman named FUTURE as she wanders into a fantasy world that explores humans’ sacred bond with animals and nature. When FUTURE and her best friend the DOG encounter a mysterious CUBE, they quickly learn how their actions have the power to shape this world, and if we come together, we can rebuild our planet to create the world we all want to live in.

Moulin Rouge: The Musical
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through September 24
Admission: $45-199 (look for a deal)
Enter a world of splendor and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur, and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Recommended for ages 12+.

Halfway to St Patrick’s Festival
Where: Waterfront Park | Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free
Head to Old Town Alexandria to celebrate the half-way mark to St. Patrick’s Day. Music, crafts,Irish dance performances, pipe bands, vendors, and more entertainment will be part of the festivities. A beer truck will be there for adults, too.

Old Firehouse Block Party
Where: Old Firehouse | McLean, VA
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Help celebrate the Old Firehouse’s 33 years of serving the Greater McLean community. Listen to a DJ from 99.5 playing hits as their broadcast live or groove in the silent disco. Enjoy food from Listrani’s Italian Gourmet Pizza and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Try rock climbing, and play game in a mobile arcade truck. Explore a vintage fire truck, and learn about the Firehouse history. There will also be a sensory room, art activities, and outdoor games for all ages, along with a local health and wellness booth. The Old Firehouse is located at 1440 Chain Bridge Road in McLean.

Amal Walks Across America
Where: Various locales
When: Sunday
Admission: Free

A global symbol of compassion and human rights, Little Amal is a 12-foot puppet portraying a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child who has traveled through 13 countries and been welcomed by more than a million people on the streets since 2021. Her immersive walking journeys highlight the cross-cultural experiences of the millions of refugee children fleeing war, violence and persecution throughout the globe, each with their own story. Accompanied in Washington, DC, by outdoor music performances, Amal’s walking journeys are festivals of hope, showcasing the power of compassionate welcome as strangers build stable homes in new lands, and the contributions and potential they carry within them that enhances communities as they do so. See (and walk with) her around DC on Sunday on a few different routes — in Southeast DC, at Black LiveMatter Plaza and Franklin Park, and at the Washington Monument. View complete details.

DC Family Bike Fest 2023
Where: Alethia Tanner Park | NoMa, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free
This annual gathering for kid bikers, family bikers, and the bike-curious will have fun for the whole fam! Check out family bike options, snatch up goodies community partners, join a Trike Storytime and Kids Bike Parade, get free tuneups, and enjoy free sno cones, and more!

Lotus Festival of Food & Culture
Where: Chinatown Park | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 11am
Admission: Free

The culmination of a week of events at Chinatown Park. Join this culinary journey at an Asian street food festival. Enjoy an eclectic mix of mouthwatering dishes and an amazing lineup of music and performances from lion dancers, DJ Katazui, and Les The DJ.

Meet the Author: Tricia Elam Walker
Where: Takoma Park Library | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Meet local children’s author Tricia Elam Walker! She will be presenting her award-winning picture book, Dream Street, named one of the five best chidrens’ books of the year by the New York times. After the presentation, stay to make a crown inspired by the book.

Shofar Experience in the Park
Where: Lincoln Park | Capitol Hill
When: Sunday, 4-4:30pm
Admission: Free

If you’re celebrating Rosh Hashanah or want to learn about it, join this event at 11th & Mass NE, the NW corner of Lincoln Park. What makes a horn fit for Rosh Hashanah? Check out the beautiful Shofar display in the park to find out! Songs, stories, snacks, and shofar will be part of the fun, and get a special holiday gift bag, while supplies last. All ages welcome, and it’s a great way to include the whole family in the Rosh Hashanah traditions. Shana Tova!

Beyond Granite
Where: Around the National Mall
When: Through Monday
Admission: Free

This series of installations around the National Mall is “designed to create a more inclusive, equitable, and representative commemorative landscape.”  Beyond Granite features six evocative works in different areas of the Mall.  Some of them are interactive, and one is even a playground that welcomes visitors to play!  See more details and get a glimpse here.  A great way to see them all is by bike, but most aren’t too spread out for a walk. View the map of installation locations here.

To Dip in the Honey
Where: Orchards & farms around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

We’re in the thick of apple season, and there are several spots around the region where you can pick your own.  It’s also a great activity of Rosh Hashanah weekend — pick some to dip in honey for a sweet new year!  This round-up of area farms and orchards offering PYO opportunities has details. And I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good the day you plan to go.

* Make plans to see some great shows around the area with this round-up of live entertainment on local stages this fall!
* In case you missed it, there’s a giveaway going on to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Adventure Theatre.
* Pickleball is coming to the National Mall Septmeber 28-30!
Can’t believe what a game changer this is! (Have to give cred where I learned about the concept, but the one I bought is half the price and has a higher rating.)
* Have you heard about this outfit on Amazon that is a dupe for this Free People set at less than half the price? I got it and can vouch that it’s awesome and perfect for early (maybe even later) fall.
* Shana Tova (Happy New Year) to all — whether you’re celebrating or not 🍎

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekend