Tag Archives: DC Fall Events

Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween Around the DC Area

 

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

“Eye Spy” Halloween Trains
Where: Cabin John & Wheaton Regional Parks | Bethesda & Wheaton, MD
When: Saturdays & Sundays, October 2-31
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.)

Drive-In “Spooky” Movie Nights
Where: DC Party Box | Rockville, MD
When: Many dates through October
Admission: $15/adult, $10/13 & under

Enjoy Spooktacular theater at this drive-in, featuring an LED screen, FM broadcasting, and spooky surprises. There are two showings each night, a family-friendly film at 6pm and a classic or scary movie 8pm. Different movies are shown every night, so check the website to see what’s playing. A Family Movie Bundle is available that includes 2 adult tickets, 2 child tickets, popcorn, drinks, and priority parking. Reserve in advance online, one reservation per car.

Witchwartsmith’s Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Thurs-Fri, 10:30am |Sat-Sun, 11:30am & 1pm
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!

Howl-O-Ween
Where: Great Wolf Lodge | Williamnsburg, VA
When:  October 1-31
Admission: Rates vary

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

Halloween Movies on the Potomac
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Sundays through October
Admission: Free
Throughout October, National Harbor will be screening Halloween-inspired films for their Movies on the Potomac series. They are shown every Sunday from 4-6pm, and all are welcome to grab food (or not) from one of the many eateries and head to the Plaza to enjoy the free showing. Here’s the line-up: October 3: Nightmare Before Christmas, October 10: Casper, October 17: Addams Family, October 24: Hocus Pocus, October 31: Goosebumps.

Pumpkins & Pours
Where: West Grove Urban Park | Chevy Chase, MD
When: October 16, 4-8pm
Admission: Free

There’s something for the kids and adults at this event! Local craft beer, pumpkins, pizza, and more will be part of the festivities at this event to in the fall and Halloween spirit. Join for drinks from 7 Locks Brewing, delicious food from Flame and Cones Food Truck, and while you’re at it, grab a FREE pumpkin from Maynes Tree Farm and get decorating. Lawn games and picnic seating will also be available to make an afternoon and evening of it. All ages are welcome, so bring the whole fam!

Soul Strolls
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 16-17 & 23-24
Admission: $35/adult, $15/child

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

Meet some of the souls of Congressional Cemetery

PumpkinPalooza
Where: Alethia Tanner Park | NoMa, DC
When: October 28, 4-8pm
Admission: Free

NoMa’s free annual community-wide celebration of Halloween returns to in-person this year with live entertainment, free food, music, a seasonal scavenger hunt, and, of course, free “pick-your-own” pumpkin patch! This year’s event also includes a kids’ costume contest with amazing prizes and a special performance by the award-winning children’s entertainer, The Great Zucchini. Capping off the celebration is a special showing of everyone’s favorite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus from 6:30–8pm. Registration is encouraged to confirm your free pumpkin.

Mystery Mansion and Bonfire Bash
Where: Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase | Chevy Chase, MD
When: October 22-23 & 29-30, 5-9pm
Admission: $5-15

This Halloween experience for the entire family has it all — a Haunted House, Bonfire Bash, Pumpkin Patch, and Costume Shop. The Bonfire Bash will feature live entertainment, food sales, outdoor Halloween movies, photo backdrops, and fire pits with s’mores. A hay bale maze and spooky surprises will add to the festival atmosphere. The Women’s Club of Chevy Chase is locate at 7931 Connecticut Ave.

Glow in the Park
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: October 29-30
Admission: $42

Celebrate in the trees at a special Halloween themed night of climbing under the stars, complete with neon colored lights and lively music!  Wear your costume (just make sure it’s comfortable & safe to climb in, no capes or masks). Start times will be available every 10 minutes between 6pm & 8:20pm, and tickets are good for two hours of climbing & ziplining + 40 minutes for the safety briefing and getting geared up. Online reservations are highly recommend, as this event tends to sell out. Ages 5 & up are welcome!

Halloween Toddler Time
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 21, 10:30am
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 2-12

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

Scarea 51: Haunted Car Wash Experience
Where: Splash In ECO Car Wash | Clinton, MD
When: OCtober 21-24 & 28-31, 6-10pm
Admission: $29

“Scarea 51” is a Prince George’s County first! Haunted car washes are a trend coming out of the pandemic and are created to provide car owners and their families with a socially distanced haunted house experience — all while getting their car scary clean. Splash In’s custom-designed experience of surprising and startling moments is sure to deliver an evening of family-fun and spooky (splashy) scares. Splash In is located at 7509 Old Branch Avenue in Clinton, MD.

Howl-O-Ween
Where: Gateway Interim Dog Park | Rosslyn, VA
When: October 22, 3-7pm
Admission: Free

The Rosslyn BID and the Rosslyn Dog Owners Group are teaming up for a Halloween themed celebration of Rosslyn’s new Interim Dog Park at Gateway Park West! Rosslyn’s pet community is invited to enjoy local pet-themed vendors, speakers, a social media dog costume contest and giveaways. After the event, all guests (humans & dogs) are encouraged to walk over to Gateway Park East to enjoy onsite food and drinks beginning at 5pm for Rosslyn Cinema.

Halloween at DPR
Where: Multiple DPR locations around DC
When: October 22-31
Admission: Free

It’s Halloween in DC, and the Separtment of Pars and Rec is hosting events in all eight wards to celebrate. Enjoy a family Halloween movie, pick up a costume accessory kit, join a boos and ghouls parade, tour a House of Horrors, play some Halloween tennis, and much more. Visit the website to see where all the spooky fun is happening and sign up to attend!

Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: October 23, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $2

Dress the whole family and enjoy a day of trick-or-treating, art activities, and more!  Timed-entry tickets and activities spread out across the park’s 30 acres will make this a fun and safe event.  More than 50 local businesses and organizations will be here handing out treats for the kids, plus there will be fun and games, a DJ dance party, food trucks, and lots of other festivities.  Masks are required for all guests over the age of 2 (more safety info here).  Read more about Annmarie here and here.

Spooky Pooch Howl-o-ween Celebration
Where: Hillwood Museum & Gardens | Northwest DC
When: October 23, 3-5pm
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.

Haunted Tales: The Online Halloween Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Where: Online | Watson Adventures
When: October 23 & 30, 6-7pm
Admission: $19

Are you prepared to Zoom with ghosts? Kids and adults team up to explore real places that are said to be haunted, and you’ll learn the tales of the ghosts who linger there. You’ll follow a trail of clues across eerie websites, in search of answers to tricky questions. Ghost-plagued places include the Hollywood Hotel where Marilyn Monroe and other celeb ghosts haven’t checked out; the White House in search of presidential ghosts, and the Salem Witch Trial Memorial where you’ll learn the chilling fate of Giles Corey, just to name a few. For ages 10 and up. No previous knowledge is required. Teams of up to six can play together or remotely, and each team must have one adult.

Día de los Muertos
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: October 24, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at The Wharf! Head to the District Pier for a free afternoon of activities, including live music, street food, a beer garden, and more. If the season has your creative juices flowing, decorate a sugar skull or get your face painted!  Read more about The Wharf.

17th Street High Heel Race
Where: 17th Street NW, btwn P & S | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 26, 9pm
Admission: Free

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

Bethesda Row Trick or Treat
Where: Bethesda Row | Downtown Bethesda, MD
When: October 27, 5-7pm
Admission: $5

Bring all the little ghosts and goblins and other cute costumed kids to Bethesda Row for an early trick or treating experience and some retail scare-apy! Tickets are required, and all proceeds will go to the Capital Area Food Bank.

Día de los Muertos | Day of the Dead Festival
Where: Online | National Museum of the American Indian
When: October 28
Admission: Free

The museum’s annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration will be online again this year. In recorded presentations by two renowned Mexican families, the program will showcase two traditions central to Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos): The art of making figures from sugar and papier-mâché. These two presentations will take place in Spanish.

Hill-O-Ween
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 29, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free
Capitol Hill’s annual neighborhood event that is legendary for little ones will be back this year! 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 (some of it very likely to change this year). The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the extravaganza.

BOO-Thru
Where: 3 Locations in PG County, MD (see below)
When: October 29, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

From the safety of your vehicle, enjoy touring through a unique holiday themed drive-thru (or a spooky themed trail with lots of scenes to view)! This will take place at three locations in PG County: Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Cosca Regional Park in Clinton, and Glenn Dale Community Center. Children will receive a goody bag, a pumpkin (while supplies last), and more! T Please register your vehicle for the event, not each participant. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to the first 500 registered vehicles (sign up through links).

Trick or Treat at Piscatoway Park
Where: Piscatoway Park | Accokeek, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

It’s Halloween weekend in Piscataway Park and the Accokeek Foundation wants to see your costumes. Dress up and drop by the Visitor Center for a special treat: Make your own magical potion bottle using herbs grown on the farm!  This activity is free to costumed visitors this weekend only. And they don’t want humans to have all the fun — costumed canines will receive a special Halloween treat as well. Woof!

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

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

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

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

Haunted Halloween Hunt
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: October 30, 10-11am
Admission: $15/non-member, $10/member, $5/adult

Experience Halloween at Tudor Place with a spooky one-of-a-kind scavenger hunt. Wear your costume and join with your friends and family. Create a creepy craft to take home, then explore our garden to discover bats, spiders and other outdoor Halloween secrets. Scavenger hunt finishers will receive a special prize. Recommended for ages 7–12. Capacity is limited, so reserve tickets in advance.

Spooky Seconds Sale
Where: Brookland Arts Walk | Brookland, DC
When: October 30, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Head to Brookland on the eve of Halloween for a Spooky Seconds Sale! Grab seconds, samples, mystery grab bags, one-offs, and more made by the artists and makers of the Brookland Arts Walk. Plus, enjoy some Halloween festivities like a fall crafts and coloring station with Only Make Believe from 10am-1pm, trick-or-treating at the studios, and more. Go early for the best selection of the sales!

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

The annual Air & Scare event at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center will be back this year and taking place outdoors with lots of fun festivities: Trick or treat stations with free candy and snacks; creepy crafts, spooky experiments, and other Hallloween-themed activities; special story times and puppet shows for the youngest Halloween revelers; photo ops with your favorite Star Wars characters; and a chance to enter a costume contest to win sweet prizes (get all the details and rules).   For those who aren’t comfortable going to the event in person,  there are be digital treats to enjoy, too.

Día de los Muertos Virtual Family Celebration
Where: Online | American Art Museum
When: October 30, 10-11am
Admission: Free

Celebrate Día de los Muertos online with Ballet Folklórico Mi Herencia Mexicana and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. There will be fun for the whole family during the virtual performance. Watch as ballet group demonstrates several Mexican folk dances including El Toro Viejo from Sinaloa and the popular, El Son de La Negra from Jalisco. Learn more about Día de los Muertos as the dancers perform and explain the history behind their dance traditions.

Family Day Piano Show
Where: Bobby McKey’s | National Harbor, MD
When: October 30, 4-6pm
Admission:

It’s a Family Show at Bobby McKey’s on Halloween weekend, so it’s likely to celebarte the spooky season, too (ie, go ahead and dress up!)Head down to the National Harbor for 2 hours of all request live piano music, plus food and drinks, and of course encouragement of singing along and wiggling in your seats! Bar is open for non-driving parents.​

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens | Mount Vernon, VA
When: October 30, 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!

Nightmare on Elm Street Urban Park
Where: Elm Street Urban Park | Bethesda, MD
When: October 30, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

You won’t find Freddy Kreuger there, but Montgomery Parks’ FREE Nightmare on Elm Street Halloween event at Elm Street Urban Park will have spooky, silly fun for everyone! Go on a “Trick or Treat Trails” scavenger hunt, play lawn games, enjoy clices and scoops from O’Boy Pizza & Ice Cream, get into the spooky groove with a Halloween DJ. There will be also be lots of Halloween props and decorations for snapping pic and plenty of picnic seating.

Lil’ Pumpkins Festival
Where: Black Rock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: October 30, 11am-5pm
Admission: Free

BlackRock Center for the Arts, providing opportunities to explore, celebrate and engage in the arts, is hosting a day of spooktacular celebration! Family programming includes free pumpkins, improv workshops, exhibits, trick-or-treating, visual arts, haunted hip-hop, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and more. All guests must be masked when entering BlackRock’s facility, and all persons above the age of 12 entering the facility must show proof of vaccination status.

Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The St. James | Springfield, DC
When: October 30
Admission: $15, $10/members, free/2 & under

The St. James is hosting a fun-filled, safe Halloween evening. BYO blanket for socially-distanced family movie night in Field House. Guests cal also join for trick-or-treating, a costume contest, pizza, popcorn, and more. Additional food, plus beer and wine for adults, will also be available for purchase. Read more about The St. James here.

Best in Show at The Boro
Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: October 30, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Join The Boro for the ultimate dog costume contest at Boro Park! Pets will be able to strut the doggy catwalk and pose for judges with one winner crowned “Best in Show”. The top three looks will take home a prize-packed doggy gift basket. Don’t have a dog? Join anyway for some fall family fun! The spooktacular day will be filled with trick-or-treating, games, and Halloween crafts. It is guaranteed to be a paws-itively wonderful day! Free, but registration required.

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

The City of Falls Church has been hosting the annual Halloween Carnival for over 30 years, welcoming babies through elementary-aged kids to enjoy all kinds of fun activities.  More details for this year’s event to come soon, but it will all take place outdoors.

Halloween Mystery at the Cabin
Where: Riverbend Park | McLean, VA
When: October 30
Admission: $10

Can you solve the history mystery at Riverbend Park? Meet people of the past and discover their secrets to uncover the mysteries along the Potomac on a walk through the woods. A sweet treat will reward your success. The program runs from 3:15-4:30pm, 4:45-6pm, and 6:15-7:30pm.

Frames of Fear
Where: Around Adams Morgan, DC
When: October 30
Admission Free

Where do your favorite monsters shop? When the stores go dark, what creatures come to life? Join the 5th Annual Frames of Fear from DC in Motion, a community that strives to cater to all things motion graphics/animation in the DC area. Animators, illustrators, and motion designers were invited to create wicked windows showcasing all-things-spooky, from possessed novels flying around bookstores to zombies thrifting for fashion. Now, these visions from both local and national artists will be brought to life via looped animations projected onto the storefronts and buildings throughout Adams Morgan. At sunset, projections will begin to reveal themselves on numerous storefronts, windows, and walls at the following Adams Morgan locations. Visit the website for where you can see them!

Family Dance Party
Where: Hi-Lawn @ Union Market | Northeast DC
When: October 31, 11-1pm
Admission: $10

The Rumpus Room, DC’s only daytime dance party for families, returns for Halloween! They’ll be getting (slightly) spooky outdoors under the sun, so put on your costumes and go boogie! Get ready for dance floor filled with little ghosts, goblins, witches, dragons, and pumpkins of all ages. Adults can relive their night-life glory days and show off those rusty moves with little ones in tow. The soundtrack for the day will be a family-friendly mix of dance floor and Halloween classics, all at a kid-friendly volume. Use promo code SPOOKYSEASON for an early bird discount (limited time only).

Pumpkin Chunkin’
Where: Great Country Farm | Bluemont, VA
When: November 1-2 & 6-7
Admission: $16/adult, $14/child

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

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

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

 

Step right up for some haunted fun

HAUNTED (SCARIER) EXPERIENCES

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

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

Shocktober
Where: Paxton House | Leesburg, VA
When: October 1-30
Admission: $40-60 

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

Fright Fest
Where: Six Flags America | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Select days through October 31
Admission: $43+

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

Laurel’s House of Horror
Where: Laurel, MD
When: October 1 – November 6
Admission: $25 and up

We all enjoyed 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.

A neighborhood yard transformed for the holiday

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

 

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

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Halloween, Maryland, Virginia

Passport to Fun: Kids Euro Fest Returns to DC!

 

Calling all curious kids and tiny travelers! Next month is your chance to experience European culture without a plane ticket.  Kids Euro Fest, the wonderful annual event that presents art and cultural programs for children, is returning to the DC area!

Kids Euro Fest has become a tradition in the nation’s capital.  For the last 14 years, it has been one of the largest performing arts festivals for children in America. Artists and performers from across the 27 European Union countries have participated, including puppeteers, dancers, musicians, and children’s book authors. 

For the first time this year, Kids Euro Fest will feature two in-person Family Days located at two different embassies in Washington!  The first will take place October 9 at the Embassy of France, and the second on October 16 at the Embassy of Sweden. From 12-4pm on both days, families are invited to enjoy an afternoon full of European performances, activities, crafts, games, and food.

The best part? Everything is FREE!

All kinds of fantastic cultural activities await:  Kids can learn from a Latvian children’s book illustrator, catch an Irish dance performance, and make Portuguese art. A German theatre will transport young minds into a fairy tale, and France will get kids thinking about climate change. Throughout the day, kids can get creative at the craft table, take part in traditional European outdoor games, and indulge in food from the embassy’s own chef.

Health and safety precautions will be in place at both Family Days, including masks for kids ages 2-12. Activities will take place both indoors and outdoors with social distancing and limited attendance; therefore, families should be sure to register ahead of time on the KEF website.

For those outside of the DC area, Kids Euro Fest will also launch virtual activities on October 9. These include online performances, storytelling, films, and workshops.

To learn more about Kids Euro Fest events and register to attend the Family Days, visit Kidseurofest.org.

 

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This post is sponsored by the European Union Delegation to the United States, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers. To learn about other Delegation events in the area, visit www.events.euintheus.org.

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Fall, Festival, Weekend

Wicked Fun (& Safe) Ways to Celebrate Halloween in 2020

It’s still safe to decorate the front yard for Halloween!

 

 

For obvious reasons, Halloween is going to look a little bit LOT different this year, but that doesn’t mean events to celebrate it are going away entirely. Some of the listings from this annual post (that historically includes a looong list of Halloween happenings) have survived the nightmare that is 2020 and will be scaring up fun in safe, socially distanced ways.  This round-up has details on those that are left.  Happy (kind of ) Halloween!

 

Spies in Disguise: Halloween Edition
Where: The Spy Museum’s Virtual Zoom Room
When: October 15, 5:30-6:3-pm
Admission: $20/family

Ditch the Halloween costume and go undercover in disguise! This Halloween take your transformation to the next level by learning the top secret tradecraft used by spies on undercover missions. Meet Jonna Mendez, former CIA Chief of Disguise, and learn tips from professional make-up artist, Roger Riggle. Using materials gathered from home or purchased prior to the workshop you will practice creating effects such as old age, glamour, scars, and bruising. The whole family will transform their appearance and identity and then be challenged on a quick change disguise mission. Who knows, they may have the next chief of disguise in our rank! Note: Spies in Disguise is suggested for recruits ages 8-13 and their handlers.

 

Soul Strolls
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 16-17 & 23-24
Admission: $25/adult, $12/child

Trespass into the past and discover the secrets of some of Congressional Cemetery’s “residents.” Soul Strolls, the Cemetery’s annual twilight tours, explore the stories of individuals buried there through guided tours and costumed interpreters. Experience the history of this hallowed ground exactly the way it should be experienced in October — in twilight and darkness, happening upon vignettes and individuals under the guidance of one of the “Dozen Decent Docents.” Hour-long tours depart every 15 minutes. Beer, wine, and cider tickets will be for sale on-site to enjoy a drink before your tour, plus there will be  a bar located along the tour route to redeem your drink tickets for a refresher.

 

Air & Scare at Home
Where: Online
When: Through October 31
Admission: Free

The annual Air & Scare event at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center isn’t happening in-house this year, so the museum is bringing it to your home. The digital treats include online downloadable activities and challenges, live digital programming, and some sc-air-y business, including a costume and pumpkin decorating contest for sweet prizes. More details, including dates for special virtual events, are on the website!

 

Spooktacular Drive-In Flicks
Where: Akridge Lot at Buzzard Point | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: October 16, 23, & 30
Admission: $20/vehicle

Grab your popcorn and join the Capitol Riverfront BID for a drive-in movie at the Akridge Lot (First and V St. SW) in Buzzard Point next to Audi Field. Each movie is a fun, contact-free experience for all ages with space for 75 vehicles set at an appropriate social distance. Films on these three dates are in celebration of the Halloween season are a festive lineup of spooktacular flicks — Frankenstein & Dracula on October 16, Us on October 23, and Beetlejuice on October 30. All funds will be donated to local charities.

 

Drive-In “Spooky” Movie Nights
Where: DC Party Box | Rockville, MD
When: Many dates through October
Admission: $15/adult, $10/13 & under

Enjoy Sppoktacular theater at this drive-in, featuring an LED screen, FM broadcasting, and spooky surprises. There are two showings each night, a family-friendly film at 7pm and a classic or scary movie 10pm. Different movies are shown every night, so check the website to see what’s playing. Reserve in advance online, one reservation per car.

 

Toddler Time Halloween Parade
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 22, 10:30am
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 2-12

Take little ones to a spooktacular Toddler Time to celebrate the end of this year’s program Halloween style. Featuring festive fun, they’ll read Alice Schertle’s Little Blue Truck’s Halloween, before making monster grab bags to fill with all sorts of fun tricks and treats during our costume parade around the Museum’s campus. The program starts promptly at 10:30 am in the Museum’s Roundhouse.

 

Park Potomac Pumpkin Patch
Where: Park Potomac | Potomac, MD
When: October 22, 5-6:30pm
Admission: Free

Join on the plaza to get into the Halloween spirit with the Park Potomac Pumpkin Patch. Decorate pumpkins and enter your pup in their first annual doggie costume contest. Four winners will be chosen and awarded gift cards to neighborhood restaurants. Be sure to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines!

 

Halloween Hayride & Bonfire
Where: Butler’s Orchard | Gaithersburg, MD
When: October 24
Admission: $35-50

Enjoy a tractor driven hayride in the darkness with demons and devils, then gather around a haunted bonfire for to roasting hotdogs and marshmallows, and make s’mores (all provided and included in the ticket). Sing songs, play games, tell frightening stories, or just socialize and enjoy the stars and the open night air. The ghosts of the fallen soldiers from the Civil War might join, too.

 

Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: October 24
Admission: $5/ages 2+

Join Annmarie for a socially-distanced day of Halloween fun and games. Working with the local health department, they have reconfigured their beloved Halloween event into a family-group based celebration of the fall season. A timed-entry system will be uses to spread out the crowd over the day, and activities also will be spread out across the 30-acre property, giving families plenty of space. Dress up, put on your masks, and enjoy an awesome day of socially-distanced trick-or-treating, low-touch/no-touch games, great photo ops, music, and yummy food and drinks!

 

Drive-Thru Trot or Treat
Where: North Star Stables | Delaplane, VA
When: October 25
Admission: By donation

It’s all horsing around at the trick-or-treat for a cause! Support North Star’s equine team and therapeutic riding scholarship fund with a drive-thru trick-or-treat! While Covid restrictions preclude them from hosting their normal Halloween celebration, North Star is excited to offer a drive-thru Halloween! Join to see their awesome horses in costume and collect treats (non-candy treats available) along the facility’s fence line! They ask each car to contribute a small, monetary donation.

 

Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: October 27 – November 1, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $5 suggested donation

Annmarie is welcoming visitors all week for a self-guided experience. Wear your costume and stop by the front desk to say trick or treat — they’ll have treats for sure.  You can also find fun photo opps throughout the park, complete a corn maze, make a bat fly, try the spider toss, make a scarecrow, and grab an ArtLAB to-go kit.   And on your walk through the beautiful garden, enjoy the Ode to Autumn activities too.

 

Hilloween
Where: Online
When: Through October 31
Admission: Free

Hilloween, Capitol Hill’s annual Halloween celebration is virtual in 2020 with an experience that will engage families and community members. Enjoy an online costume contest (winners announced at virtual Hilloween Experience), live pumpkin carving, interactive family games and fun prizes, and a spooky zumba dance party.  The costume contest is live on their Facebook page — hashtag #Hilloween2020 or HilloweenDC on any of your Facebook posts wearing your costume to enter the contest. You can also enter by uploading your photo. Stay up to date on news, announcements, and events related to Hilloween here.

 

Halloween Drive Up Movie Night
Where: Lerner Town Square | Tysons, VA
When: October 30
Admission:
Join this family-friendly, socially distanced Fall & Halloween evening for a night of great fun, all in support of an amazing cause: Helping the Greater DC/Virginia Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation work towards cures for the 3.1 Million Americans fighting IBD. The drive-up movie night onwill feature Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright & Beetlejuice. Car trick-or-treaing, a car costume contest, and an individual costume contest are part of the fun, too!

 

Halloween To Go
Where: Fairmont Hotel | Georgetown, DC
When: October 30, 4-6pm
Admission: None – just buy the goodie box!

Fairmont is offering Halloween Boxes to-go for children and canine companions. Take home the Halloween fun from the Fairmont and be entered to win prizes for best costume. On Friday, October 30th, families who order Halloween Boxes To-Go, will drive through the hotel’s driveway to the pick them up from 4-6pm. Canines and humans who are donning costumes will be entered to win overnight stays, dinners and other prizes. Georgie, Fairmont’s Canine Ambassador will greet you in her own costume. House-made treats by the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef A.J. Thalakkat and Chef Jason Rowley are spooktacular, tasty, and pawsome for people and pooches.

 

Glow in the Park
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: October 30-31
Admission: $52

Kick off your Halloween festivities at the park’s spooky Halloween-themed Glow in the Park. Wear your costume for a chance to spin the prize wheel — you could win free tickets, a t-shirt, or something else special.The event starts at 6pm, with start times available every 10 minutes from 6-8:20pm, and tickets are good for two hours of climbing & ziplining + 40 minutes for a safety briefing and getting geared up. Ages 5 & up are welcome. Reservations are highly encouraged, as the event tends to sell out.

 

Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The St. James | Springfield, VA
When: October 31, 5-9pm
Admission: $10/member, $15/non-member, free/under 3

The St. James is offering a fun-filled, safe Halloween evening at this event. Enjoy trick-or-treating, socially-distanced fun and activities, a family-friendly movie, pizza, popcorn and more. Bring your own blanket for socially-distanced family movie night in the Field House.

 

Montgomery Parks Haunted Hustle Fun Run/Walk
Where: Black Hill Regional Park | Boyds, MD
When: October 31, 8am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Monsters, superheroes, and celebrities! Show off your costumes and strut your Halloween spirit at this Haunted Hustle Fun Run and Walk on Halloween day. There will be staggered starting times, and all ages are welcome. Register in advance.

 

Halloween at the Station
Where: The Station | Riverdale, MD
When: October 31, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Spooky season has finally arrived and The Station, formerly Riverdale Park Station, is ready to celebrate with costumes, candy, contests and more! Visitors will be able to enjoy socially-distanced outdoor activities including mini golf, a self-guided photo scavenger hunt, a prize raffle, and more. The scavenger hunt is designed for the whole family to enjoy with four festive photo stops throughout the development, ending with a special treat delivered by a custom Halloween candy chute. Guests will also be able to purchase additional food items from The Station’s retailers including District Taco, Habit Burger Grill, Denizens, Jersey Mike’s, MOD Pizza, and Burtons as well as a food truck on-site. RSVP to let them know you’re going!

 

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

Many of the fall festivals around the area incorporate Halloween fun into their offerings. Pick out potential jack-o-lanterns, enjoy Halloween-themed activities, and more. See a list of seasonal celebrations happening this year here.

 

Halloween Decor
Just because Halloween activities are limited this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t still decorate for it. Maybe this is the year to go all out on front yard displays, both to get into the spooky spirit and keep it going for kids (and adults, for that matter), too. Here are quick links to find Halloween supplies to help with that:
Amazon
Michael’s
Target
Home Depot
World Market

 

Do you know of a Halloween event not listed here? Let us know in the comments!

 

Note: KFDC may earn a commission when you click on one of our links and make a purchase. Thanks for the support!

 

 

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Farm, Halloween, Maryland, Movies, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween in 2019

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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