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Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween in 2014

jackolantern

Costume choices are nearly finalized, front yards are being decked out with fake cob webs and creepy decor, grocery store shelves are chock full of candy… Halloween is here! We may have a few weeks to go before the actual day, but prepping for the festivities is half the fun, right? Even more, events and activities that capture the spooky spirit are happening all month long. And this annual KFDC list has all the details on where and when you can scare up a good time and celebrate one of the best holidays of the year (and if it looks familiar, that’s because it’s last year’s list updated). Happy Halloween!

“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 11, 12, 17-19, & 24-26, 29-30 & Nov. 1
Admission: $5 and a can of food

Hop on board the Halloween Train! Cabin John’s “Eye Spy” features just enough “boo” power for kids age 8 and under. Along the ride through the woods on the train, kids can try to find Halloween friends hiding along the way and mark them off their “Eye Spy” game cards that they receive with admission. Guests can also enjoy Halloween movies every night, face painting on Saturdays and Sundays, and light refreshments for sale. The train runs 3-8pm on weekdays and 1-8pm on weekends. Purchase tickets online here.

Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 11, 12, 17-19, & 24-26, 29-30 & Nov. 1
Admission: $5 and a can of food

Wheaton Regional Park’s Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel are back and scarier than ever! This annual Halloween attraction is best for guests ages 8 and up, because they do their best to make it “very scary” (and this is part of the website description, so take their word for it). Admission includes one ride each on the train and carousel, plus entrance to the Hall of Jack o’ Lanterns movie theater presenting scary films every night. The train and carousel run 6:30-9:30pm each night. Purchase tickets online here.

Haunted Museum Historic Ghost Tour
Where: National Building Museum
When: Sundays, October 12-28, 8pm & 9pm
Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free

Take a nighttime tour of the National Building Museum’s historic home. Guests will wander the dark and lonely halls by lantern light, being regaled by ghost stories and other curious tales. Who are the mysterious figures wandering the halls after hours? What causes the giant columns to swirl with ghostly figures? Also learn about a gruesome murder and sinister characters immortalized in sculptural busts. This tour is recommended for ages 10 and up. Tickets are limited and sell out quickly.

Trick or Treat at Tudor Place
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 18, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $7/members, $10/non-members, $3/adults

Costumes too great to wear just once deserve a preview! Celebrate a Spooktacular Halloween at Tudor Place. Children in Halloween costumes are invited to trick-or-treat through the enchanting north gardens on the estate and participate in pumpkin painting, crafts, face painting, and games.

Boostravaganza
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 23, 6-8pm
Admission: $8/child

Children ages 3-8 are invited to come to the Indoor Arena Barn dressed in their favorite costumes anytime between from 6-8pm. Enjoy fun, games, and a wagon ride. Finish the evening with treats and a small pumpkin. Reservations are required, and space is limited, so sign up soon!

Spooky SPY Family Night
Where: International Spy Museum
When: October 24, 6-9pm
Admission: $14

Ditch your Halloween costume and change your while identity at the Spy Museum’s annual Halloween event! Has your brother been spying on you? Is grandma really a secret agent? Does dad really have lethal ninja skills? Now’s your chance to find out as your family of spies gains exclusive after-hours access to the Museum. Test your family’s spy skills as you run top secret missions, go deep undercover and transform your appearance with the help of professional make-up artists, challenge yourself in Code Cracker competitions, and enjoy SPY snacks and a chance to explore all forms of spy tradecraft. Come in disguise as your favorite spy! For ages 5 and up, includes exclusive after-hours admission, SPY snacks, scavenger hunt, prize competitions, and more! Space is limited — advance registration required.

Halloween Festival
Where: Bethesda Row
When: October 30, 5-7pm
Admission: Free

Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls of all ages can participate in some retail scare-apy and trick-or-treating while enjoying the last evenings of fall. The Halloween festival offers families the chance to walk shop-to-shop trick-or-treating with their littles, while enjoying live entertainment and unprecedented deals on fashion, food, housewares and more. Guests will be treated to an evening of frights and bites, and can enter to win $100 to Paper Source.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 24-26, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members

Princesses, mythical creatures, kid-wizards, and other costumed guests are invited to join the National Zoo’s annual Halloween event. With nearly 40 not-so-spooky treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, and decorated trails, this event is frightfully fun for the whole family. Boo treat bags will be brimming with goodies at the end of the evening — traditional chocolates, healthy snacks, souvenirs, and other items will be handed out to guests. Costumes encouraged!

The Haunted Toy Shop
Where: Bradley Farm in Herndon
When: October 24 & 25
Admission: $5

Looking for a some spine tingling fun this Halloween? The Bradley Farm Haunted House promises everyone a ghoulishly fun time, and for a good cause — proceeds from the community fundraising event help Herndon – Reston FISH bring emergency help to folks in our community. This year’s “Haunted Toy Shop” theme promises fright and fun! On Friday and Saturday evening from 6-10pm, it offers a dark and scary adventure that’s perfect for tweens, teenagers, and adults. For the younger crowd, there’s a non-scary version on Saturday afternoon from 1-5pm that will include trick-or-treating inside the haunted house for children 10 and under. Local vendors have provided many giveaways for “monsters” to hand out to the children along the haunt. After you brave the Haunted House, visit the concession stand to chase away your “chills” with warm caramel apples and hot cider. Food and entertainment will also round out the fun.

Spooky Trick-or-Treat
Where: Rhode Island Row
When: October 25, 4-6pm
Admission: Free

Head to DC’s Brentwood neighborhood for a center-wide trick-or-treating event. Kids can enjoy free face painting, balloon artists, and live entertainment, while they also trick-or-treat at restaurants and retailers. Rhode Island Row is a new urban community of apartments, restaurants, shops, and a Main Street scene located at 2300 Washington Place NE.

Halloween Carnival
Where: Falls Church
When: October 25, 6-8:30pm
Admission: $2/children ages 2 and up (adults free)

The City of Falls Church is scaring up family fun at the annual Halloween Carnival that’s been running for over 30 years! Take a frightful walk down a Haunted Trail, then shake out the Halloween jitters in the Moon Bounce. If scary dares are not for you, enjoy the many carnival games and craft activities that are sure to provide a great time for children and parents alike. Halloween candy and snacks will be plentiful, with far more treats than tricks. A live Creepy Creature Show featuring some of Mother Nature’s spookiest critters will take place twice during the evening, once at 6:30pm and again 7:30pm, and is suitable for all ages.

Halloweenville
Where: Village at Leesburg
When: October 25, 3-7pm
Admission: Free

You know Fido is dying to debut his Halloween costume early, so bring him to this pet-friendly Monster Mash celebration and enter him into the pet costume contest! The rest of the family can enjoy free hayrides, costume contests, trick-or-treating, and plenty of other (not so) frightful fun!

Haunted Hangar
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 25, 7-9pm
Admission: $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free for under 2

Wear your costume and enjoy fun fall themed activities. Explore the museum’s gallery and all of its hidden haunts. Arts, crafts, hayrides, and spooky fun are waiting for kids and families.

Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 25, 2-7pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 6pm

Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 10th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Bring the tiniest visitors by the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. Be sure to pose for a photo with your favorite Star Wars or Ghostbuster character!

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: October 25, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities

It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Explore the arts through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, and performances at Glen Echo’s annual celebration. There will be pumpkin decorating and face painting ($1 fee for pumpkin; $1-2 for face painting) and other craft activities, including decorating trick-or-treat bags to use in the Park. And new this year are pumpkin-themed kiddie games with prizes. The Halloween celebration will end with a costume parade through the Park at 3:30pm.

Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 25, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Bring your little ghosts and goblins for a day of trick or treat in the Old Town Boutique District. The OTBD’s annual Trick or Treat with the Boutiques event is a great way for families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween day in Old Town Alexandria. All of the participating OTBD stores will offer treats, and some may also offer family-friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Tricks and treats will be available during the day and during store hours.

Spooky Science
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: October 25, 12-4pm
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/ages 3-12

Celebrate the chills and thrills of Halloween at MSC’s 6th annual Spooky Science, where creepy chemistry and mysterious science combine to provide a hauntingly good time. There will be hair-raising activities, creepy crafts, and fangtastic demonstrations. Visitors can look forward to making gooey, glowing slime, decorating pumpkins and trick or treat bags, playing mummy bowling, and exploring mystery boxes filled with eerie items. Save room for more spooky fun with Reptiles Alive! Their live animal show will feature slithering snakes, terrifying toads, beaded dragons and more. Shows will be at 1pm and 3pm. Costumes encouraged!

Falloween Family Festival
Where: Port Discovery
When: October 25, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up

Dress the kids up in their favorite costumes and join Port Discovery’s annual festival! Enjoy not-so-scary, family friendly programs and performances include nature-themed activities, crafts, tutu making, wildlife adventures, spooky science, live entertainment, and more.

Haunted Chocolate House Workshop
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 25, 1:30-3pm
Admission: $12/members, $15/non-members, $3/adults

Enjoy a Spooktacular family friendly tour through the historic gardens. After the tour, children participate in a chilling chocolate workshop to create their own 3D haunted chocolate houses to take home! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Monster Mash
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: October 25, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $10, under 12 months are free

Wear your favorite costume for a day of non-spooky fun! The NCM is planning special Halloween programming, including a dance party, and hands-on activities like making masks, bats, spiders, and paper bag pumpkins, and much more! If that’s not enough, the Museum’s theatre staff will debut a brand new show, The Adventures of L.G. and I.F. I.F. will show L.G. what can happen when we use our imaginations to play – no tablets, no phones, no TVs required, just imagination and you!

Falloween
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 25, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy some Halloween and fall fun at the shopping center, a petting zoo, face painting, the festive photo stop, pumpkin decorating, treats and tastes from restaurants and retailers and much more! Don’t miss featured musical performances are by DC-region favorites, Mr. Knick Knack at 10am and Rocknoceros at 11:45am.

Crime Museum Halloween – Just for Kids!
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 26, 1-5pm
Admission: $10/costumed child, $10/adults accompanying children

Batman, Wonder Woman, police officers, and all other costumed characters can enjoy a day of Halloween fun at this Penn Quarter museum. Festivities include a regular museum tour, Police Academy Jr. Activity Sheet, McGruff the Crime Dog appearances, finger print identification cards, candy, and more.

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Whodunit
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 26
Admission: $15-18

There’s a mystery in the Concert Hall on All Hallows’ Eve! For this frightfully fun third chapter in the NSO’s popular Spooktacular concert series, don your freaky-deakiest costumes and join all the ghoulishly attired musicians for a wickedly wacky, music-filled whodunit. When the NSO’s Stephen Dumaine alerts the orchestra that his tuba has been stolen, NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl asks the audience to help them rewind time, follow the clues, lure out the “thief,” and crack the case! Go early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Then take your seats for spine-tingling classics, including Adam Glaser’s March of the Little Goblins, the “Infernal Dance” from Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird, and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, plus new favorites like “Let It Go” from Frozen, a special appearance by 13-year-old NSO Youth Fellow and tuba player Diego Stine, and plenty of Halloween surprises!

Family Halloween Party
Where: Courtyard Marriott Navy Yard
When: October 26
Admission: Free

The Waterfront Church invites families to join them for an evening of good, clean fun. There will be games, pumpkin painting, candy and more. Enjoy a safe, fun, local, and free fun event for kids.

Halloween at the Harbor
Where: National Harbor
When: October 26, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the Spooktacular family event that will include activities for everyone. Go trick-or-treating at select stores and restaurants. Visit the Pumpkin Patch at the Miller Farms Farmer’s Market to buy a jack-o-lanter-to-be. Enjoy a showing of Hocus Pocus on the Plaza Big Screen (movie will begin at 11:15am). And take advantage of free rides on the Capital Wheel for kids 12 and under dressed in costume (with adult purchase)!

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
When: October 31, gates open at 3:30
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child

Join Mount Vernon’s costumed cast for a special opportunity to trick-or-treat in the historic area. Guests can participate in a Halloween craft activity in the greenhouse; go on a scavenger hunt; view special trade demos, like 18th-century wool carding, spinning, and fish net making. There will also be Halloween-themed stories in the straw bale amphitheater, colonial games, dancing demonstrations, and wagon rides. All young guests are invited to join in the children’s costume parade around the Mansion at 6pm. Prizes will be awarded for the best “George” and “Martha” costumes!

Hilloween
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 31, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

Capitol Hill’s annual event is a legendary neighborhood event for little ones. The block of 7th Street SE next to Eastern Market will be closed to traffic for one of the best community Halloween celebrations in the city. Hayrides, moon bounces, goody giveaways, and even a mini carousel add to the excitement. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the extravaganza.

Halloween Yoga
Where: lil omm
When: November 1, 2:30-3:30pm
Admission: $20/family

Do some post-Halloween poses to work all the frights out. It’s an Oh-So-Omm Halloween party for families with kiddos ages 2 and up. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes for the afternoon of spirited yoga, dance, and movement with lil omm friends, Pleasance and Rhiannon. Be sure to register in advance!

Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: November 1-2
Admission: Free

Join the American Indian museum for its annual Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”), a celebration originating in Latin America, particularly in Mexico and Central America, to commemorate the lives of the dearly departed and welcome the return of their spirits. Learn and take part in this centuries-old tradition, which includes pre-Hispanic and Spanish customs alike.

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Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween

Dracula and Fairy Butterfly Princess on Halloween 2012

Dracula and Fairy Butterfly Princess, Halloween 2012



Why wait until the actual day to celebrate one of the best holidays of the year? Besides the bonuses of getting more mileage out of costumes and having extra excuses to indulge in sweets, Halloween festivities are a treat any day. And there are loads of ways to get into the spooky spirit during the days leading up to the grand event. From no-fright fun to wicked cool thrills, here are the many ways you can scare up a good time this Halloween season. (Be sure to note that a few events will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Spooky SPY Family Night
Where: International Spy Museum
When: October 11, 6-9pm
Admission: $14

Has your brother been spying on you? Is grandma really a secret agent? Does dad really have lethal ninja skills? Now’s your chance to find out as your family of spies gains exclusive after-hours access to the Museum, including the new exhibition Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains. Test your family’s spy skills as you run top secret missions, go deep undercover and transform your appearance with the help of professional make-up artists, challenge yourself in Code Cracker competitions, play VINGO (Villain Bingo), and enjoy SPY snacks and a chance to explore all forms of spy tradecraft. Come in disguise as your favorite spy! Includes exclusive after-hours admission, SPY snacks, scavenger hunt, prize competitions, and more! Space is limited — advance registration required.

“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 12, 13, 19, 20, & 24-30
Admission: $5 and a can of food

Hop on board the Halloween Train! Cabin John’s “Eye Spy” features just enough “boo” power for kids age 8 and under. Along the ride through the woods on the train, kids can try to find Halloween friends hiding along the way and mark them off their “Eye Spy” game cards that they receive with admission. Guests can also enjoy Halloween movies every night, face painting on Saturdays and Sundays, and light refreshments for sale. The train runs 3-8pm on weekdays and 1-8pm on weekends. Purchase tickets online.

Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 12, 13, 19, 20, & 24-30
Admission: $5 and a can of food

Wheaton Regional Park’s Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel are back and scarier than ever! This annual Halloween attraction is best for guests ages 8 and up, because they do their best to make it “very scary” (and this is part of the website description, so take their word for it). Admission includes one ride each on the train and carousel, plus entrance to the Hall of Jack o’ Lanterns movie theater presenting scary films every night. The train runs 6-9pm each night. Purchase tickets online.

Planet Spooky & Trick-or-Treat with Dinos
Where: Kings Dominion
When: Weekends October 6-28, 12-5pm
Admission: Free with park admission
A brand new event at Kings Dominion, Planet Spooky will feature all of the treats (but no tricks) for little ones to enjoy! Some of adventures include a pumpkin painting patch, petting zoo, foam pit, pedal tractors, a hay maze, live shows and more, that all take place in the new Planet Snoopy at Kings Dominion – which features 18 rides, with many of the rides designed for families to experience together. During Planet Spooky, all of the rides in Planet Snoopy will be open. The park also unveiled its all-new Trick or Treat with Dinosaurs! Kings Dominion has a 6-acre animatronic dinosaur park called Dinosaurs Alive, with 39 life-sized dinosaurs that make sounds and move as if it was 65 million years ago. New in 2013, Kings Dominion will dress up several of these dinosaurs in costume and offer children a chance to trick-or-treat through Dinosaurs Alive with their families before Halloween!

Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: October 6-27
Admission: Free
Join the American Indian museum for its annual Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”), a celebration originating in Latin America, particularly in Mexico and Central America, to commemorate the lives of the dearly departed and welcome the return of their spirits. Learn and take part in this centuries-old tradition, which includes pre-Hispanic and Spanish customs alike. (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Boostravaganza
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 17, 6-8pm
Admission: $8/child

Children ages 3-8 are invited to come to the Indoor Arena Barn dressed in their favorite costumes anytime between from 6-8pm. Enjoy fun, games, and a wagon ride. Finish the evening with treats and a small pumpkin. Reservations are required, and space is limited, so go here to sign up.

The Spooky Magic of Joe Romero
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: October 19, 1pm
Admission: $14
BlackRock celebrates the Halloween season with Joe Romano providing tricks that are a real treat. This skilled and exciting magician will perform jaw-dropping illusions for the whole family. Joe will float on a broom, turn a child into Harry Potter, make a friendly ghost appear, and more! Go early to join the free pre-show party, with arts & craft and a snack. The one-hour performance is recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 25-27, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members
Princesses, mythical creatures, kid-wizards, and other costumed guests are invited to join us at our annual Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo. There’s no safer or more exciting way for families with children ages 2-12 to trick or treat. A ticket is required for all attendees 2 years and older. Enjoy animal encounters and festive decorations along with tasty candy and delicious snack foods from more than 30 treat stations throughout the Zoo. Take a ride on our Conservation Carousel, too! Tricks optional. (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Fall Harvest Festival Halloween Weekend
Where: Great Country Farms
When: October 26-27
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, free for ages 2 and under

The farm’s annual seasonal festival includes Halloween fun for the weekend, when guests are encouraged to come in costume. Celebrate and create an unforgettable experience picking pumpkins, cheering on the fastest piglet, smashing pumpkins with P-Rex, getting lost in our corn maze and having your little princess meet their little princess. And don’t forget those freshly made Cider Donuts!

Wax Frightful
Where: Madame Tussauds
When: October 26, 10AM – 4PM
Admission: $20/adult, free for ages 4-12 (online)

Join Madame Tussauds for fun Halloween crafts, costume competitions, spooky tales and more! Three sessions are available at 11am – 12pm, 1-2pm, and 3-4pm.

Haunted Hangar
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 26, 7-9pm
Admission: $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free for under 2

Wear your costume and enjoy fun fall themed activities. Explore the museum’s gallery and all of its hidden haunts. Arts, crafts, hayrides, and spooky fun are waiting for kids and families.

Falloween
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 26, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

It’s a day of fall fun at the shopping center, including trick or treating, a costume parade (for people and pets), a Rocknoceros performance, a petting zoo, face painting, a kids circus, strolling entertainment, balloon creations and much more. People and pets in costume are invited to join in the FALLoween Parade at 11am, led by The Jokesters. Visit the website for the schedule of festivities.

Halloween at the Medical Museum
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: October 26, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join NMHM for some spooky Halloween fun on Saturday. Children of all ages are invited to learn about skulls through fun arts and crafts activities at NMHM’s free Halloween event. Visitors can also tour the Museum’s exhibits, which feature several full human skeletons and skeletal preparations. Halloween costumes are welcome.

Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 26, 2-7pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 7pm

Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 9th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Bring the tiniest visitors by the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. Be sure to pose for a photo with your favorite Star Wars character! (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: October 26, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities
It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Explore the arts through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, and performances at Glen Echo’s annual celebration. There will be pumpkin decorating and face painting ($1 fee for pumpkin; $1-2 for face painting) and other craft activities, including decorating trick-or-treat bags to use in the Park. And new this year are pumpkin-themed kiddie games with prizes. The Halloween celebration will conclude with a costume parade through the Park at 3:30pm. (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 26, 11am – 6pm
Admission: FREE

Bring your ghosts and goblins for a day of trick or treat in the Old Town Boutique District. The OTBD’s annual Trick or Treat with the Boutiques event is a great way for families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween day in Old Town Alexandria. All of the participating OTBD stores will offer treats, and some may also offer family-friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Tricks and treats will be available during the day and during store hours.

Spooky Science
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: October 26
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/ages 3-12

Celebrate the chills and thrills of Halloween at our fifth annual Spooky Science, where creepy chemistry and mysterious science combine to provide a hauntingly good time. There will be hair-raising activities, creepy crafts, and fangtastic demonstrations. Visitors can look forward to making gooey, glowing slime, decorating pumpkins and trick or treat bags, playing mummy bowling, and exploring mystery boxes filled with eerie items. Save room for more spooky fun with Reptiles Alive! Their live animal show will feature slithering snakes, terrifying toads, beaded dragons and more. Shows will be at 1pm and 3pm.

Fall-o-ween Family Festival
Where: Port Discovery
When: October 26
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up

Dress the kids up in their favorite costumes and join Port Discovery’s annual festival! Enjoy not-so-scary, family friendly programs and performances include nature-themed activities, crafts, tutu making, wildlife adventures, spooky science, live entertainment, and more.

Haunted… Chocolate House Workshop & Tea
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 26, 10am & 1pm
Admission: $12/members, $15/non-members

Enjoy a Spooktacular family friendly tour through the historic gardens. After the tour, children participate in a chilling chocolate workshop to create their own 3D haunted chocolate houses to take home! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Monster Mash
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: October 26, 10am
Admission: $10, under 12 months are free

Bring your little “monsters” for a day of Halloween surprises, mask making, Sesame Street character fun and much more! Make sure to wear your best Halloween costume!

Haunted Halloween Pop-Ups
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 27, 1-3pm
Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free

Celebrate the spirit of Halloween as you design your very own pop-up haunted house. Learn the pop-up architecture technique from guest artist Carol Barton. Decorate a spooky haunted house scene to take place on your window sill. Fun for the whole family, the festivities include crafts, treats, and ghosts stories (more silly than spooky!) about the Museum. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Prepaid registration required. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Baby Loves Disco Halloween Ball
Where: U Street Music Hall
When: October 27, 11am
Admission: $15/ticket or 4 for $55

Come dressed up in your costume (you, too, Mom and Dad!) for a special Halloween family dance party. Prizes, contests, tricks, and lots of treats will be part of the fun along with the always-groovy DJ-spun music set and energetic MC.

Crime Museum Halloween – Just for Kids!
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 27, 1-5pm
Admission: $10/costumed child, $10/adults accompanying children

Batman, Wonder Woman, police officers, and all other costumed characters can enjoy a day of Halloween fun at this Penn Quarter museum. Festivities include a regular museum tour, Police Academy Jr. Activity Sheet, McGruff the Crime Dog appearances, finger print identification cards, candy, and more.

NSO Halloween Spooktacular: The Sequel!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 28
Admission: $15-18
Is it ever cool to “boo” the orchestra? It is on Halloween! But watch out, because at this frightfully fun follow-up to the NSO’s popular Halloween Spooktacular program, ghoulishly attired musicians might “BOO” you from behind their instruments in return! Don your spookiest ‘ween wear and come early for pre-concert trick-or-treating plus a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Then take your seats for a “spirited” performance as an incognito Ankush Kumar Bahl conducts a new round of goosebump-inducing favorites. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Joanie’s Halloween Party
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 31 – November 1, 10am & 11:15am
Admission: $5-8

At this session of Tot Rock: Jammin’ at the Smithsonian, there’s no reason to scare up an excuse to dance like crazy when the energetic Brooklyn-based, kindie-rock band Joanie Leeds and The Nightlights make their Halloween debut at Discovery Theater. Leeds brings songs from her latest album, Bandwagon, along with other hits and kid-friendly Halloween tunes. The band will be in costume—and families can be, too! (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Hilloween
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 31, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

Capitol Hill’s annual event is a legendary neighborhood event for little ones. The block of 7th Street SE next to Eastern Market will be closed to traffic for one of the best community Halloween celebrations in the city. Hayrides, moon bounces, goody giveaways, and even a mini carousel add to the excitement. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the extravaganza.

Nightmare Manor Family Night
Where: Ijamsville, Md
When: November 1, 5-9pm
Admission: $20
Family Night is a fun and interactive Halloween experience suitable for all ages. Scares are toned down for younger children, and kids going through the haunt will be given magical rings that are capable of warding off all forms of ghosts and monsters in case they get too frightened. Go hungry and roast smores over the bonfire, or enjoy our other delicious foods.


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Get the Halloween Party Started

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

Why wait until the actual day to celebrate one of the best — no, the best in my book — holidays of the year?  Besides the bonuses of getting more mileage out of costumes and having extra excuses to indulge in sweets, Halloween festivities are a treat any day. If you agree, there are loads of ways to get into the spooky spirit during the days leading up to the grand event. From skeletons at the museum to creepy train rides through the woods to costume concerts and dance parties to jack-o-lanterns on the farm, these local events will have Halloween-goers screaming for more.

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

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

“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 20-23, October 27-30 (see schedule for times)
Admission: $6/person, $5 with canned food donation, free for kids 2 and under
Hop on board the Halloween! Cabin John’s “Eye Spy” features just enough “boo” power for kids age 8 and under. Along the ride through the woods on the train, kids can try to find Halloween friends hiding along the way and mark them off their “Eye Spy” game cards that they receive with admission. Guests can also enjoy Halloween movies every night, face painting on Saturdays and Sundays, and light refreshments for sale.

Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 20-23, October 27-30 (see schedule for times)
Admission: $6/person, $5 with canned food donation
Wheaton Regional Park’s Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel are back and scarier than ever! This annual Halloween attraction is designed for people 8 years old and above, because they do their best to make it VERY SCARY (and this is the website description, so take their word for it). Admission includes one ride each on the train and carousel, plus entrance to the Hall of Jack o’ Lanterns movie theater presenting scary films every night.

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

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

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

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

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

Haunted Halloween Pop-Ups
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 29, 10am-12pm
Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free
Celebrate the spirit of Halloween as you design your very own pop-up haunted house. Learn the pop-up architecture technique from guest artist Carol Barton. Decorate a spooky haunted house scene to take place on your window sill. Fun for the whole family, the festivities include crafts, treats, and ghosts stories (more silly than spooky!) about the Museum. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Prepaid registration required. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Trick or Treat with the Boutiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 29 during store hours
Admission: FREE
Bring your ghosts and goblins for a day of trick or treat in the Old Town Boutique District. The OTBD’s annual Trick or Treat with the Boutiques event is a great way for families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween day in Old Town Alexandria. All of the participating OTBD stores will offer treats. Some may also offer family friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Tricks and treats will be available during the day and during store hours.

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

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

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

Air and Scare
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 29, 2-8pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 7pm
Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 7th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Bring the tiniest visitors by the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. Don’t forget to stop by the face painting station or pose for a photo with your favorite Star Wars character!

Crime Museum Halloween Kids & Candy
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 30, 1-6pm
Admission: $10/costumes child, $10/adults accompanying children
Batman, Wonder Woman, police officers, and all other costumed characters can enjoy a day of Halloween fun at this Penn Quarter museum. Festivities include a regular museum tour, Police Academy Jr. Activity Sheet, McGruff the Crime Dog appearances, finger print identification cards, candy, and more.

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

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

Hilloween
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 31, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: FREE
Capitol Hill’s annual event is legendary for little ones. The block of 7th Street SE next to Eastern Market will be closed to traffic for one of the best community Halloween celebrations in the city. Hayrides, moon bounces, goody giveaways, and even a mini carousel will add to the excitement. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the neighborhood extravaganza.

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

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Halloween, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Trains, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 17-21

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens... lots of lily pads, but where are the frogs?

Monday – Children up to age 5 can become Young Portrait Explorers and discover the National Portrait Gallery through history and art. During this session they will learn about writer Gertrude Stein by viewing her portrait and listening to a story about her, then participating in a related hands-on activity.

Tuesday – Go on a nature walk at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. See ponds filled with giant lily pads and other interesting marsh plants and look for geese, great blue herons, turtles, frogs, and tiny fish on the way. Open 7am – 4:30pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Let Mr. Gabe entertain little ones at Lebanese Taverna in Arlington. The show is part of their weekly Kid’s Day series that presents a different performer from 10-11am. Stay after for a yummy Middle Eastern lunch.

Thursday – Join in a jump session at Pump It Up in Lanham, Md.  From 10-11:30am, kids ages 2-6 can pop in for pre-K play time.  Admission is $8.  Parents play for free and must accompany children. Don’t forget socks!

Friday – Head into the weekend with some fun at the National Zoo. Go during the day to visit the animals or do some early Halloween celebrating as Boo at the Zoo kicks off in the evening (tickets still available for Friday night as this post goes live).

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