Tag Archives: Cabin John Regional Park

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 29 – May 3

A winter hike at Roosevelt Island...it's even prettier in the spring.

A winter hike at Roosevelt Island…it’s even prettier in the spring.



Monday – Enjoy some interactive musical fun as “¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés!” comes to the Northwest One Library. The local children’s entertainer will be playing at public libraries several times this week (see his website for details). Showtime on Monday is 10:30am, admission is free. Northwest One Library is located at 155 L Street NW.

Tuesday – Get a dose of nature and history in one fell swoop at Roosevelt Island. Hike the easy trails, look out for wildlife, and explore the Memorial Plaza to learn about the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt. The entrance to the park is located right off the GW Parkway, just past the Roosevelt Bridge. It’s accessible only from the northbound lanes. If weather doesn’t permit, find an alternative activity here.

Wednesday – See a performance of From Here to There at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The show tops off the 2012/2013 season of the Atlas’ Theatre for the Very Young series. Showtime is 10:30am, tickets are $8. If you can’t make it Wednesday, catch it another time during its run from April 30 – May 5.

Thursday – Take the kids to play amid the lovely wooded setting of Cabin John Regional Park. They can climb, swing, jump, slide, and run on the sprawling Adventure Playland. Unfortunately, the Miniature Train is only open on weekends right now, but the playground alone has plenty to keep little ones thoroughly entertained for a good while. Bring along food for a picnic — there are several tables to eat on, or you can spread out a blanket in a nearby grassy area.

Friday – Bounce on over to Joyful Jumps in Bowie, Md. The indoor play center offers Open Play everyday, just drop in anytime for a two-hour session of amusement on their bouncing inflatables, slides, and obstacle courses. Admission is $8.50/ages 17 mos. – 16 years. Hours are 10am – 9pm on Fridays (10am-7pm Monday – Thursday).

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Filed under All ages, DC, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Play, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Let the Halloween Festivities Begin!

Boba Fett walking to school... just one of many reasons why Halloween rules

 

Halloween may still be weeks away, but its spirit has been pervading for awhile. Mostly in the form of costume catalogs sliding through the mail slot, but also with cobweb covered front yards and, of course, hauntingly endless conversations with the kids about what/who to dress as this year. And we can take that even further with activities and events that celebrate the spirit, some starting as soon as this weekend. Here’s where the treats, tricks, scares, and kicks will be happening, listed in order of start date. Be sure to note that even though some may be weeks away, you can get your tickets now, and some require advance registration. And if there’s anything good that I’ve missed, feel free to mention it in the comments.

“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 6-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-31
Admission: $6/person, $5 with canned food donation, free for kids 2 and under

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-pm on weekdays and 1-8pm on weekends.

Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 6-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-31
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 best for guests ages 8 and up, 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. The train runs 6-9pm each night.

Howl-O-Fest
Where: Kings Dominion
When: Weekends October 6-28, 12-5pm
Admission: Free with park admission
It’s frightful fun for little ones at the Virginia amusement park with all sorts of treats at daytime during Howl-O-Fest’s Boo Blast. Families can enjoy a Halloween treasure hunt, foam pit, pumpkin painting and more! Kings Dominion is located in Doswell, about 90 minutes from DC. Admission to the park starts at $37.99 and you can usually find discounts online.

Nightmare Screamplex Family Night
Where: Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md
When: October 7 & November 2, 5-9pm
Admission: $20
Family Night at the haunted venue is a fun and interactive Halloween experience suitable for all ages. Kids going through the haunt will be given magical rings that ward off all forms of ghosts and monsters in case they get too scared. The show will be a “lights on” tour, but guests are welcome to bring flashlights. And on Family Nights only, regular admission gives you free access to tons of games and activities. Certifikid currently has a $12 admission deal.

Boostravaganza
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 18, 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 (use code #2824862701).

Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: October 20-21
Admission: Free
Some consider Day of the Dead the native version of Halloween. At the museum, follow the monarch butterflies home and celebrate the return of the ancestors at the museum’s annual Dia de los Muertos program. This colorful celebration of life includes food demonstrations by the museum’s Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe and a cultural presentation by La Danza de los Tecuanes. Learn how papel picado, sugar skulls and paper mache figures are created.

Operation Undercover: Secrets of Disguise Workshop
Where: International Spy Museum
When: October 20, 10am – 12:30pm
Admission: $30

Ditch your Halloween costume and change your whole identity! Go deep undercover for a mission too secret to divulge in print. The intricacies of creating a cover identity complete with “pocket litter,” documentation, and disguise will be shared in this workshop where recruits will be transformed—you’ll learn to look like a different person, and think like one too. A cadre of professional make-up artists, hair stylists, and spy experts will be on hand as recruits prepare to take on the ultimate challenge: a mission to retrieve top secret intelligence while undercover. Will your cover be blown? Will your disguise withstand the test? For kids ages 8-11.

lil omm Halloween Party
Where: lil omm Yoga Studio
When: October 25, 3:15-4pm
Admission: Free
Put the BOO into Buddha! Tenley/Friendship children’s librarian Katie Fitzgerald and lil omm’s Pleasance Silicki invite you to a ghoulish good story time and Halloween inspired yoga. Come wearing costumes and get special treat. This free event is for families with children up to 5 years old.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 26-28, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members
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. Boo at the Zoo takes place rain or shine. Buy tickets through Ticketmaster or in the Zoo’s gift shop between 9am and 4:30pm.

Glow Night – A Magical Evening on the Farm
Where: Great Country Farms
When: October 26-27
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, free for ages 2 and under

See a spectacular display of over 3,000 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. The farm is open daily 9am – 9pm.

Air and Scare
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 27, 2-8pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 7pm

Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 8th 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!

Haunted Hangar
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 27, 12-4pm
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.

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: October 27, 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. Don’t miss the Pumpkin Promenade, a simple maze that children may walk through to pick up special prizes.

Falloween
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 27, 10am – 2pm
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. Visit the website for the schedule of festivities.

The Spooky Magic of Joe Romero
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: October 27, 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.

Halloween Monster Jump
Where: Pump It Up in Lanham, Md
When: October 27, 29, & 31, various times (See below)
Admission: $13/child, $5/adult
Calling all witches, goblins, princesses and superheroes ages 2 and up! You are invited to join Pump It Up in Lanham, Md, for their 4th Annual Pump It Up Monster Jump! Dress in costume for Halloween Jumping. (No makeup, swords or sharp objects allowed). The admission fee includes jumping, goodie bags, fun games, prizes, and more. Jump times are 7:30-9:30pm on 10/27, 5-7pm on 10/29, and 7-9pm on 10/31.

Hallowmarine
Where: DC National Aquarium
When: October 27, 12-4pm
Admission: $9.95/ages 11 and up, $4.95/ages 3-11, free for 2 and under
Ahoy! There be pirates at the National Aquarium! Enjoy live music from a real band of swashbucklers as Pirates for Sail sets the mood for the Hallowmarine celebration. Plus, participate in fun activities like face painting and a costume contest for kids; explore the mysteries lurking in our waters with a spooky scavenger hunt; and put your knowledge of animals to the test to win prizes.

Trick or Treat with the Boutiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 27 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, 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.

Haunted… Chocolate House Workshop & Tea
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 27, 1-2:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $25/no-members, $7/accompanying adults

How do you build a chocolate house? Start with some tea – early America’s favorite pick-me-up – accompanied by lovely sandwiches, snacks and sweets and a costumed interpreter full of stories about tea-drinking history and lore. Next, out come delicious ingredients for your individual “haunted home-building” project (one per child), and you will learn how to construct your own three-dimensional chocolate house, decorated with edible wonders.

Westfield Family Spooktacular
Where: Westfield Wheaton Mall
When: October 27
Admission: Free
Have a wicked good time at Westfield Wheaton this Halloween season! Join the Westfield Family for some safe exciting fun as they host the annual Family Spooktacular event. Stores throughout the mall will provide treats for all of the ghouls and goblins that attend, so be sure to wear your costume. In addition to a safe trick-or-treating experience around the mall, there will be tons of free activities for families and children of all ages to enjoy, including arts & crafts and more.

NSO Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 28
Admission: $15-18
Is it ever cool to “boo” the orchestra? It is on Halloween! And during their Halloween Spooktacular, NSO musicians dressed up as ghosts, ghouls, and goblins just might peek out from behind their instruments to go “BOO” back at you! Go early outfitted in your spookiest ‘ween wear for pre-concert trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Haunted Halloween Pop-Ups
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 28, 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.

Crime Museum Halloween – Just for Kids!
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 28, 1-5pm
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.

Halloween Party Smiles for Shira
Where: Potomac Community Center
When: October 28, 3-4:30pm
Admission: $25

Dress up in costumes and have some fun…it’s Halloween time, everyone! Join Mamas Link and Mizmarni and the JJs for a crazy party and concert featuring a special musical performance, sweet treats, costume photos, interactive games and activities, a parade and more. Proceeds from this fun for the whole family benefit the Smiles for Shira Foundation.

The Great Zucchini’s Halloween Party
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 30-31, 10:15am & 11:30am
Admission: $5-8

You’ve heard of the Great Pumpkin. Now meet the Great Zucchini, a vegetable of a very different color—and one of the area’s most entertaining and in-demand kids’ magicians and comedians. There’s a yummy mix of amazing feats, interactive fun, and plenty of laughs waiting in his bag of Halloween tricks. Come in costume!

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.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Fall, Festival, Free, Halloween, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Summer in the City… and Surrounds

Fountain fun at the Yards Park, one of our favorite summer pursuits

 

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend, and if you were reading last year (or even two years ago) at this time, you know what that means to me.

Summer.

Forget the calendar or that school isn’t out yet. In my mind, we’re entering a new season. It’s time for water-inspired recreation, special eats, barefoot play, bonus attractions at everyday places, evening entertainment that might keep the kids up late on weekdays.  And we can experience all of it through some of the area’s quintessential summer activities, a few of which have already begun, many that are starting this weekend, and some that commence later on.

So, much of this list is reiterated from last year, but updated to reflect 2012 info. And this guide from the Washington Post  inspired some additions — all activities I’ve written about before, but just haven’t included in my “summer” post.

From swimming and spray grounds to al fresco music and films, pick-your-own berries to picking blue crabs, children’s theatre series to museum programs for kids, here are some of the best ways to experience summer in the city and its surrounds.

Outdoor Pool Season
Nothing says summer like swimming under the sun, and there are plenty of public pools in the area where you can jump in for free or a small admission fee.

  • DC outdoor public pools will open on Saturday, May 26, from 12 – 6pm and will be open weekends only until June 18.  After that, they will open daily, though all pools are closed one day a week for maintenance, so be sure to check the schedule before you go.
  • For outdoor swimming outside of the city, Montgomery County outdoor public pools will be open on weekends May 26 – June 10, then weekdays, too, through Labor Day — the Dept. of Recreation website has locations and hours.
  • In Northern Virginia, Arlington’s Upton Hill has a whole water park for guests to enjoy, and Alexandria has several places where the public is welcome to swim. Be sure to check the website for hours, as they vary from pool to pool.

Play in the Spray
Kids can run through fountains and splash around at many area spraygrounds. Several are within the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, and there are a few in other areas, too.

  • Starting May 26, DPR Spray Parks will be open Saturdays from 11am – 4pm. On June 18, they will open all other days of the week (check their website for hours).
  • For spray fun with a riverfront view, the Yards Park has fountains and a great location on the Anacostia.
  • The fountains at Georgetown Waterfront Park are now open and welcoming guests to splash around.
  • Some of the area’s most popular spray parks—Lyon Village Park, Hayes Park, and Drew Park–can be found in Arlington.

Water Parks
Giant water slides, wave pools, waterfalls, sprays and splash pads…this is the stuff kids’ summer dreams are made of. There are actually several water parks around the area offering many of these attractions, just about all of them opening Memorial Day weekend for limited hours, until they open daily in a few weeks. Here’s a quick list — visit the websites for more details.

Summer Concert Series
Free music in the fresh air has become a staple of the season, and there are opportunities to enjoy just about every genre regularly at outdoor venues all around the area.

  • Experience live music amid art at Jazz in the Garden, the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s free concert series, every Friday from 5:30–8:30pm. The first performance is this Friday, May 25, rain or shine. Spread out a blanket, pack a picnic dinner, and enjoy the sounds of a variety of jazz artists.
  • Already underway, the Yards Park Friday Concert Series presents a new band each week on the boardwalk stage overlooking the Anacostia River.  Along with the free music, food and beverages are available for purchase. I always recommend getting there a little early, so the kids can play in the fountains before the concert starts. And on a hot summer day, it’s nice to continue the water fun even while the tunes are playing — you can still hear them from across the park!
  • The U.S. Air Force Band 2012 Summer Concert Series kicks off Friday, June 1 at 8pm, at the Air Force Memorial.  After that, you can catch free performances all summer long at locales around the DC-Metro area, including soem iconic spots, like the west steps of the U.S. Capitol, the World War II Memorial, the Air Force Memorial,and the Air & Space Museum. Show times vary so be sure to check the U.S. Air Force Band website for the complete summer schedule.
  • The park known by most families for its puppet shows, children’s plays, and carousel will present the Glen Echo Summer Concert Series in its Bumper Car Pavilion on most Thursday evenings June 14 – August 23.  All performances are free and begin at 7:30pm, rain or shine. And that carousel will be open for rides from 7 – 9pm.
  • Carter Barron Amphitheater’s annual concert series takes place amid the woods of Rock Creek Park. While most shows are free, a few require admission. See the schedule (to be released on May 24) for details.
  • All summer long, families can enjoy a variety of free fun at Rockville Town Square. Kids Night is every Tuesday with concerts for the younger set at 6:30pm and 7:30pm. And concerts for all ages on Friday evenings begin May 4 and runs through September 28 — enjoy live music, good food and beverages from 6:30-9:30pm.
  • Starting June 5, Washing Harbour will present free performances by children’s musicians every Tuesday from 10:30am – 12pm in their Habour Kids series.

Big Screen Under the Stars
Outdoor movies have become a DC summer tradition in the last few years with films al fresco in several neighborhoods. Even better, all of them are FREE! (*Before you make plans to enjoy any of the series, be sure to check schedules, as some movies may not be appropriate for children.)

  • The longest running, Screen on the Green, takes place on the National Mall on Mondays in July and August, though exact dates for 2012 have yet to be announced.
  • The NoMa Summer Screen, which includes a few family-friendly movies, begins May 23 and will run weekly on Wednesdays until August 8 on L Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue NE. Food and music start at 7pm, and the movie at dark.
  • The Capitol Riverfront will start Front Flicks on May 24 and run every Thursday evening at 8:45pm through July 26.
  • The National Harbor hosts  Movies on the Potomac, with a mix of films every Friday night starting May 25, and family movies every Sunday night beginning May 27.
  • Movies on the Square will take place at Rockville Town Square Thursdays at 8:45pm June 13 – August 22, and a bunch of kids flicks are included in the weekly line-up.

Movies at Theaters Near You
Special summer movie series for families at local theaters are a great way to keep kids entertained and stay cool when the weather heats up. Even better, these programs invite guests to view films on the cheap.

  • The Regal Summer Movie Express presents flicks for kids every Tuesday & Wednesday at 10am starting June 19. Admission is just $1. See the website to for the film schedule.
  • The Atlas Performing Arts Center presents a Summer Film Series every year, including A Family Series that usually takes place on Fridays at 5pm.  The schedule has yet to be released, so stay tuned for an update

Mini Trains, Carousels, & Mini Golf 
These extra delights bring even more fun to several parks around the area that are already great outdoor places to hang with the kids.

  • Watkins Regional Park opened its attractions on a limited schedule in early May, but come Memorial Day weekend, they can be enjoyed for extended hours almost every day of the week. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10am – 7pm; Sundays 12 – 7 pm, closed Mondays except May 28 (Memorial Day), July 4 (July Fourth Holiday; closes at 4pm) & September 5 (Labor Day).
  • Cabin John Regional Park opened its Miniature Train on weekends only back in April, but as of June 1 it’ll be operating daily 10am – 7pm through August 26.  After that, hours will be limited, so check the schedule.
  • The Miniature Train and Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel at Wheaton Regional Park started taking guests for spins on May 1 and will continue daily through August 26 (limited times after that). Hours are 10am – 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am – 7pm Saturday & Sunday.
  • The Clemyjontri carousel has been running on weekends since March, but will be offering rides daily starting May 28 on weekdays 9:30am – 1:00pm,  and weekends 9:30am – 6:30pm.

Special Children’s Theatre Series
All the world’s an outdoor stage at these venues that present entertainment especially for children throughout the summer.

  • From late June through early August, Wolf Trap presents Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, over 70 family-friendly performances at 10am Tuesdays through Saturdays. Amidst 117 rolling wooded acres and nestled in a shady grove, the stage is set for lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. All of the productions are recommended for children between Kindergarten and 6th grade. The full schedule of shows in available of the Wolf Trap website. And you can read a KFDC review of the series from last summer.
  • Backyard Theater for Children, Strathmore’s summer theater series brings music and mystery of exotic locales from around the world to kids – all outdoors under a big tent. Weekly performances take place every Thursday at 9:30am and 11:30 from July 12 – August 2. Admission is $8, free for ages 2 and under. Check the calendar for the line-up of performances.

Crab Feasts
Easily one of the best activities during summer in Maryland and neighboring areas (this is where I get non-DC-centric because I have to give credit where it’s due). Here are some suggestions for places to get ’em, though the “best” is always a subject for debate.

Pick-Your-Own Berries
While the picking season starts in the spring with strawberries, it carries on through summer with even more delicious fruits — blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, plus more produce you can gather yourself. The strawberry season usually lasts until about mid-June, and this post has a list of farms with pick-your-own patches. For other berry picking opportunities later on, this post from last summer will tell you where to go (I’ll be posting an updated version as the season gets closer).

Museum Programs

  • The National Gallery of Art’s summer drop-in series starts begins July 15 with art sessions for kids that are both educational and fun. Stories in Art, geared toward ages 4-7, is a fantastic program that introduces kids to art and encourages them to use their imaginations as they discover different works. Artful Conversations, designed for ages 8-11, uses observation and discussion to explore works of art in the museum’s collection.
  • The Newseum, along with sponsor WTOP, is offering the Summer Fun Deal! From July 1 – September 3, there will be no admission fee for kids ages 18 and under.  The promotion waives the $12.95 regular entrance charge for youth with one paid adult admission, senior admission, or Newseum membership. Up to six kids can enter free with the offer.
  • Tee up at the National Building Museum with a unique, interactive exhibit that explores the design of our built world: a miniature golf course! With holes designed and built by some of the leading architects, landscape architects, and contractors in the Washington area, the course will be located inside one of the Museum’s galleries. Visitors to the Museum will be able to play this one-of-a-kind course, designed for ages 4 and up, in air-conditioned comfort from July 4 – September 3. Cost is $5 per round per person. With purchase of full-price Museum exhibition admission ticket, the price per round is reduced to $3. Museum members play for $3. Open during Museum hours 10 am – 5 pm Monday – Saturday, and 11 am – 5 pm on Sunday.

 

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Farm, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Play, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

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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