Tag Archives: DC Fall Events

Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween Around DC in 2023

 

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

Witchwartsmith’s Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: September 28 – October 29
Admission: $15/age 2+

The wonderful Puppet Co. has reopened and just in time for Halloween! Witch Wartsmith (the sister of Witch Wartsmith from our Legacy show Rapunzel,) hosts the annual Halloween Spooktacular and you get to vote on the winner! Part contemporary competition show, part vintage telethon, and part punpalooza, this spooky variety show will tickle your funny bone. Don’t miss this year’s performances, because some contestants will change year to year.  Shows are performed Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30am, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am & 1pm

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

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

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

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

Howl-O-Ween
Where: Great Wolf Lodge | Williamsburg, VA & Perryville, MD
When:  September 28 –  October 31
Admission: Rates vary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hop on board the Halloween Trains! All ages can take a ride through “Trainslyvania” on Montgomery Parks’ Cabin John Miniature Train and the Wheaton Miniature Train.  They’ll run every Saturday and Sunday in October 10am – 6pm, and it’s best to purchase tickets in advance online to guarantee a ride (only a limited amount are available onsite.) Purchase for Wheaton here and Cabin John here.

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

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

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

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

Spooky History Tour
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: October 17, 18, 22, 25, 28, 29, 31
Admission: $15/member, $18/student, $20/non-member

Explore the haunting legends of the National Building Museum through stories collected over the decades. Hear tales of the historic site which defy easy explanation, while exploring the hidden features of the breathtaking structure. These after-hours tours are recommended for ages 13+.

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

The National Zoo’s annual not-so-spooky Halloween haunt, one of DC’s most beloved events for the kiddie crowd,  is back. With 30 treat stations, after hours animal viewing with habitats decorated for Halloween, and fiendishly decked out trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family. And the souvenir tote bags they give out will be brimming with goodies for all ages. Costumes encouraged!

Soul Strolls
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 20-21 & 27-28
Admission: $35/adult, $15/child

Immerse yourself in the world of criminal sin and discover the secrets of Congressional Cemetery’s interred residents in this year’s Soul Strolls.  The annual twilight tours, explore the stories of individuals buried there through guided tours and costumed interpreters. Experience the history of the hallowed ground exactly the way it should be experienced in October – in twilight and darkness, encountering vignettes and individuals led by an expert guide.  Hour-long tours depart every 15 minutes from 6-9:30pm.

Meet some of the souls of Congressional Cemetery

 

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

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

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

Dress the whole family and enjoy a day of trick-or-treating, art activities, and more!  Over 60 local businesses and organizations will be handing out treats for the kids, plus there will be fun and games, a DJ dance party, food trucks, and lots of other festivities.  Read more about Annmarie here and here.

Spooky Science
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: October 21, 12-4pm
Admission: $26.95/adult, $20.95/ages 3-12

Take your Halloween costume out for a trial run and visit the Maryland Science Center, if you dare, for an afternoon filled with spooktacular science fun! Experiment with ghoulishly glowing lights. Creatively cast a spine-tingling shadow. Use leverage and elasticity to launch creepy catapults, and more!

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Bash
Where: Potomac Overlook Park | Arlington, VA
When: October 21, 2-4pm
Admission: $20

Get in the Halloween spirit by carving or painting a pumpkin with your friends at Potomac Overlook! We’ll provide tools, paint and of course a pumpkin for some holiday fun. You’ll also enjoy some candy, a Halloween craft, and visits from several of our spooky nocturnal critters from the nature center!

Spooky Pooch Howl-o-ween Celebration
Where: Hillwood Museum & Gardens | Northwest DC
When: October 21, 4-6pm
Admission: $13/adult, $8/member $5/age 6-18, free/under 6

Hillwood’s Halloween event for pooches (and their people) is back!  Bring your “best friend” for Halloween fun — explore Hillwood’s 25 acres of landscaped gardens and lush natural woodlands with your four-legged friend, while enjoying a costume competition and yappy hour.  Interesting tidbit:  This event is inspired by Marjorie Post’s affection for dogs and the memorial dog cemetery she created.

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

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

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

National Harbor is hosting an afternoon full of spooktacular fun for the whole family, including Trick-or-Treating at select restaurants and retailers, a Halloween Movie, a Chef Pumpkin Carving Contest, and a Pet Pawrade. Visit the website for the full schedule of the day’s events.

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

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

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

The High Heel Race is a 36-year DC tradition, with a rich history of “Crossing The Line Since 1986.” On the Tuesday before Halloween, thousands of spectators pack the Dupont Circle Neighborhood to watch hundreds of costumed drag queens show off their extravagant outfits and race down Historic 17th Street, NW. There’s also live entertainment, a parade, and more festive fun!  The race begins at 9pm, but people start gathering at 6pm.

Halloween Toddler Time
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 26, 10:30am
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 2-12

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

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

NoMa’s free annual community-wide celebration of Halloween returns with live entertainment, yummy food, music, a seasonal scavenger hunt, and, of course, the free “pick-your-own” pumpkin patch!  A screening of Hocus Pocus (6:45 pm) and a show by children’s entertainer, The Great Zucchini will also be part of the fun.  This year’s event also includes a pop-up beer garden (21+ only).  Be sure to register in advance for pumpkins and to attend the beer garden.

Halloween Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 27-31
Admission: $50
Celebrate the BOO season on this zany treasure hunt as the Mansion is decorated for Halloween. Have fun searching for Autumn & Halloween themed items found only at this legendary spot that contains over 100 rooms and 70 secret doors! They guarantee you can see at least 60 of the rooms, but be warned secret doors are tricky to find — if you find 2 or 3 you are an above average sleuth! Read more about this wonderfully unique DC attraction in this KFDC post.

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

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

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

Enjoy a spooky halloween-themed night of climbing and ziplining under the neon colored lights while listening to music throughout the Park. Glow start times are available every 10 minutes 6-8:20pm, and tickets are good for a 2 hour + 40 minute adventure. Costume encouraged but refrain from capes, masks that cover your eyes, and any super loose garments. Reserve in advance online — this event tends to sell out. Ages 5 & up are welcome! Read more about the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring here.

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

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

Hill-O-Ween
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 27, 5-8pm
Admission: Free
Capitol Hill’s annual neighborhood event is legendary for little ones!  Count on live pumpkin carving and a DJ spinning tunes for a spooky dance party.  More details are still to come, but for past events the block of 7th Street SE next to Eastern Market is closed to traffic for one of the best community Halloween celebrations in the city. There have been moon bounces, goody giveaways, face painting, wagon rides, and more exciting festivities. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the extravaganza.

Halloween on the Farm
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Clifton, VA
When: October 27-28, 5-8pm
Admission: $10

Trick or treat on the farm! Visit with farm animals, create crafts, play games, tour the decorated farmhouse, and enjoy the fall on the farm. The program runs in three one-hour time slots. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Register in advance!

Halloween Night Hunt with Sweets
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 27-31
Admission: $50

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

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

The annual Air & Scare event at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is back with activities inside and out!  Details TBA, but past events have included trick or treat stations, creepy crafts, spooky experiments, and other Hallloween-themed activities; special story times and puppet shows; photo ops; and costume contests. Tickets are required for the outdoor portion of the event — they will be available to reserve here on October 2.

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: October 28, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities

It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Details still to come, but past event activities for families have included pumpkin decorating, arts & crafts, face painting, trick-or-treating, and a costume parade around the Park.

Pumpkins in the Park
Where: Canal Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: October 28, 11am
Admission: Free

The 10th annual Pumpkins in the Park will feature an array of fun and seasonal festivities — pumpkin decorating, a giant moon bounce, a mobile photo booth, live music by popular local Zydeco band Little Red & the Renegades, a roaming magician, and seasonal beverages* for purchase. To celebrate the 10th anniversary, the first 150 registered guests to arrive will receive a free seasonal beverage (alcoholic and non-alcoholic options available) and a fresh apple cider donut. All ages are invited to join. Pumpkins available on a first come first serve basis. Advance registration recommended!

Halloween at The Boo-ro
Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: October 28, 3-8:30pm
Admission: Free

The whole family is invited to get festive the Boro;s annual Halloween celebration, Halloween at The Boo-ro! Pull out all the stops and don your coolest costume for The Best In Show Costume Contest! Humans and dogs alike will strut the runway for a chance to win a gift card to a selected Boro retailer. Other activities will include a Monster Bash dance party, Halloween crafts for the kids, a spooky themed reading from Turning the Page, tarot card readers and Witch’s Brew cocktails from El Bebe. As the day turns to night, stick around for a spooky screening of the cult classic “Hocus Pocus.”  The movie night, sponsored by Tysons Community Alliance and Showplace Icon Tysons, will begin at 6:30 p.m. and include a popcorn bar offering movie snacks.

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

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

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

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

Monster Mash
Where: Village at Leesburg | Leesburg, VA
When: October 28, 3-6pm
Admission: Free

The Village at Leesburg is back with its Annual Monster Mash! Join the fun including live-action professional pumpkin carvers, Trick or Treating around the Village, pumpkin decorating, their annual costume contest parade for you and your pets, and more.

Hill Family Biking Halloween Ride
Where: Around Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 28, 4-5:30pm
Admission: Free

Join the first ever Hill Family Biking Halloween ride! It will be start at the Maury Elementary Parking Lot (C& 12th Pl NE), but the route will be a mystery until the day of the ride! They’ll be using the Spooky Hill is Home map to ride the scariest blocks on the Hill. (You can contribute to that map here.) The ride will end at Lincoln Park for some spooky fun including a costume contest with prizes donated by The Daily Rider.

The Haunted Washington Scavenger Hunt
Where: White House area | Downtown DC
When: October 28
Admission: $22

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

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

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

Día de los Muertos Family Day
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: October 28, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family for live entertainment, including traditional Mexican folk dance by Ballet Folklorico Mi Herencia Mexicana, an exhilarating mariachi performance, and a showcase of different Latin American music genres and dances with Sol y Rumba. Kids 12 and younger can enjoy face painting throughout the day as well as Día de los Muertos-themed crafts. All ages can have fun exploring the museum’s stunning exhibition, Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea in a Día de los Muertos scavenger hunt.

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens | Mount Vernon, VA
When: October 28, 2-6pm
Admission: $17-25/adult, $9-15/child

Trick-or-treat at Mount Vernon as George Washington’s estate open its gates for Halloween fun and spook-tacular activities. Along with collecting candy around the historic grounds,  enjoy live entertainment, check out a chocolate-making demo (and get a taste!), watch sparks fly in the Blacksmith Shop, learn about wool carding and spies, stop at selfie station, and more!

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

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

Pumpin Rock ‘n Roll
Where: Warner Circle Park | Kensington, MD
When: October 28, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

The Pumpkin Rock ‘n Roll is back!  Warner Circle Park in Kensington will be transformed into a full-blown Halloween extravaganza.  Enjoy lots of family-friendly attractions, including live musical performances, pumpkin derby race, food trucks, and a hay maze.

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

The City of Falls Church has been hosting the annual Halloween Carnival for over 30 years, welcoming babies through elementary-aged kids to enjoy all kinds of fun activities. Enjoy a spooktacular family fun Halloween Carnival in Cherry Hill Park for kids 2 to 11 years old!  This year’s event will include games, inflatables, live music, and snacks.

Día de los Muertos | Day of the Dead Celebration
Where: National Museum of the American Indian | National Mall, DC
When: October 28-29, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to participate in activities including dance performances, papel picadoartist demonstrations, the unique art of sawdust carpets, and paper marigold and mask making. Visitors are also invited to leave photos and mementos of their loved ones on the ofrenda (altar), or commemorate them by writing their names on a butterfly and attaching it to the memorial arch. Please note that some events will be ongoing, whereas others occur only at certain times.

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

One of Del Ray’s favorite traditions, the 27th Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade begins at Mt. Vernon Avenue, south of E. Bellefonte, and continues down to the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center play fields at Mt. Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues. It’s a family friendly affair that invites costume-clad kids, pets, moms, and dads to march down Mt. Vernon Ave from E. Bellefonte Ave to the Mount Vernon Rec Center field. The event ends with live music and an award presentation.

Halloween at the Park
Where: The Parc | Tysons, VA
When: October 31, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

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

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

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

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

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

 

Step right up for some haunted fun

HAUNTED (SCARIER) EXPERIENCES

Fields of Fear
Where: Cox Farms | Centreville, VA
When: Weekends through November 4
Admission: $20-35 (purchase in advance online)

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

Fright Fest
Where: Six Flags America | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: September 24 – October 30
Admission: $43+

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

Laurel’s House of Horror
Where: Laurel, MD
When: Fridays & Saturdays through November 4
Admission: $25 and up

Our family digs this creepy and fun haunted experience.  Built inside an abandoned movie theater, it’s sensory overload with a lot to look at and listen to and several good jump scares.  There’s always chilling sense of anticipation as you get ready to round the next corner. There are also escape rooms open all year during the weekends, and for private parties and special dates. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

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

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

 

🎃 🎃 🎃

 

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

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia

Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween Around DC

Go big on fun this 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.  Happy Halloween!

“Eye Spy” Halloween Trains
Where: Cabin John & Wheaton Regional Parks | Bethesda & Wheaton, MD
When: Saturdays & Sundays, October 1-30
Admission: $6/Cabin John, $8/Wheaton

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 11am – 6pm, and it’s best to purchase tickets in advance online to guarantee a ride (only a limited amount are available onsite.) Purchase for Wheaton here and Cabin John here.

Witchwartsmith’s Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: October 1-31
Admission: $15/age 2+

The wonderful Puppet Co. has reopened and just in time for Halloween! Witch Wartsmith (the sister of Witch Wartsmith from our Legacy show Rapunzel,) hosts the annual Halloween Spooktacular and you get to vote on the winner! Part contemporary competition show, part vintage telethon, and part punpalooza, this spooky variety show will tickle your funny bone. Don’t miss this year’s performances, because some contestants will change year to year.  Shows are performed Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30am, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am & 1pm

Haunted Lab
Where: Children’s Science Center Lab | Fairfax, VA
When: October 1-31, Saturdays & Sundays
Admission:

Join the Haunted Lab if you DARE for frightfully fun science! Special activities include Frankenslime, Bug Out, Monster Genetics, and more. Costumes are welcome. Read more about the Lab (during non-Halloween) in this KFDC post.

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

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

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

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

Spooky History Tour
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Several October dates
Admission: $15/member, $18/student, $20/non-member

Explore the haunting legends of the National Building Museum through stories collected over the decades. Hear tales of the historic site which defy easy explanation, while exploring the hidden features of the breathtaking structure. These after-hours tours are recommended for ages 13+.

Ichabod: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: October 6-30
Admission: $20-45

Journey back in time to a quiet glen called Sleepy Hollow, where the denizens of the town are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new school master, Ichabod Crane. An adaptation of Washington Irving’s Classic tale of lore, love and the legendary Headless Horseman, this World Premier Musical by the critically acclaimed creative team Conner and Smith arrives just in time for autumn leaves, pumpkins, and ghost tales around the campfire.

Halloween Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 6-31
Admission: $35-50
Celebrate the BOO season on this zany treasure hunt as the Mansion is decorated for Halloween. Have fun searching for Autumn & Halloween themed items found only at this legendary spot that contains over 100 rooms and 70 secret doors! They guarantee you can see at least 60 of the rooms, but be warned secret doors are tricky to find — if you find 2 or 3 you are an above average sleuth! Read more about this wonderfully unique DC attraction in this KFDC post. [Note that admission is $50 on Halloween weekend.]

Dracula
Where: Synetic Theater| Crystal City, VA
When: October 13 – November 6
Admission: $20-60 

The sensuous and terrifying thriller arrives on the Synetic stage just in time for Halloween. With blood-sucking temptresses and creeping mists sure to send a chill up your spine, Stoker’s classic 1897 tale rises again. Dracula, the legend that inspired an entire genre of literature and film, explores the universal theme of good versus evil. As a bloodthirsty vampire terrorizes the countryside, an unlikely group fights to defend their home. Recommended for teens and older.

Soul Strolls
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 14-15 & 21-22
Admission: $35/adult, $15/child

Immerse yourself in the world of criminal sin and discover the secrets of Congressional Cemetery’s interred residents in this year’s Soul Strolls.  The annual twilight tours, explore the stories of individuals buried there through guided tours and costumed interpreters. Experience the history of the hallowed ground exactly the way it should be experienced in October – in twilight and darkness, encountering vignettes and individuals led by an expert guide.  Hour-long tours depart every 15 minutes from 6-9:30pm.

Meet some of the souls of Congressional Cemetery

Halloween Family Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 22, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Head to the Library of Congress for a very exciting, non-spooky Halloween event! Enjoy a day family-friendly activities including a very special program at 2pm with beloved authors R.L. Stine, author of the “Goosebumps” series, and Mary Pope Osborne, author of the “Magic Tree House” series. Free timed-entry passes are required, so be sure to reserve them in advance! There will also be“spooky” art activities, stories available in a reading corner, creepy music, and fantastical images from the Library’s collections. Halloween costumes welcome. And note that the program with Stine and Osborne will feature spooky elements, including eerie lights, frightening characters, and surprises for the audience. The event will be livestreamed on the Library’s YouTube page. (PS: Check out this sweet video of Owen interviewing Mary Pope Osborne at the National Book Festival when he was 6!)

Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: October 22, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $5

Dress the whole family and enjoy a day of trick-or-treating, art activities, and more!  Over 50 local businesses and organizations will be handing out treats for the kids, plus there will be fun and games, a DJ dance party, food trucks, and lots of other festivities.  Read more about Annmarie here and here.

Spooky Science
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: October 22, 12-4pm
Admission: $26.95/adult, $20.95/ages 3-12

Take your Halloween costume out for a trial run and visit the Maryland Science Center, if you dare, for an afternoon filled with spooktacular science fun! Experiment with ghoulishly glowing lights. Creatively cast a spine-tingling shadow. Use leverage and elasticity to launch creepy catapults, and more!

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Bash
Where: Potomac Overlook Park | Arlington, VA
When: October 22, 2-4pm
Admission: $20

Get in the Halloween spirit by carving or painting a pumpkin with your friends at Potomac Overlook! We’ll provide tools, paint and of course a pumpkin for some holiday fun. You’ll also enjoy some candy, a Halloween craft, and visits from several of our spooky nocturnal critters from the nature center!

Spooky Pooch Howl-o-ween Celebration
Where: Hillwood Museum & Gardens | Northwest DC
When: October 22, 4-6pm
Admission: $13/adult, $8/member $5/age 6-18, free/under 6

Hillwood’s Halloween event for pooches (and their people) is back!  Bring your “best friend” for Halloween fun — explore Hillwood’s 25 acres of landscaped gardens and lush natural woodlands with your four-legged friend, while enjoying a costume competition and yappy hour.  Interesting tidbit:  This event is inspired by Marjorie Post’s affection for dogs and the memorial dog cemetery she created.

Calabash Carnage: Family Pumpkin Carving
Where: Brentwood Arts Exchange | Hyattsville, MD
When: October 22, 2-4 pm
Admission: Free, but pumpkins are $5

Carve up pumpkins at Brentwood Arts Exchange’s annual pumpkin carving extravaganza that has become a favorite tradition in the community.  Get creative with family, friends, and neighbors and join in the family-friendly fun.

Monster Mash
Where: Village at Leesburg | Leesburg, VA
When: October 22, 3-6pm
Admission: Free

The Village at Leesburg is back with its Annual Monster Mash! Join the fun including live-action professional pumpkin carvers, Trick or Treating around the Village, pumpkin decorating, and their annual costume contest parade for you and your pets.

Costume Party
Where: Children’s Science Center Lab | Fairfax, VA
When: October 22, 5-7pm
Admission:

Enjoy the Haunted Lab after hours and wear your favorite costume! The whole family can enjoy not-so-spooky activities including creating ooey-gooey Frankenslime, bugging out in our Bio Zone, or watching a mad scientists (STEM Educators) dissect a real sheep brain. Prizes will be awarded for creative and original ideas, so dress up and show up for a frightfully good time! Read more about the Lab (during non-Halloween) in this KFDC post.

Día de los Muertos
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: October 23, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at The Wharf. They’re bringing live music, street food, a beer garden, face painting, sugar skull decorating, and more to District Pier in partnership. Dress for the day — they’re giving out prizes for most authentic outfit!

17th Street High Heel Race
Where: 17th Street NW, btwn P & S | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 25
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.

Halloween at DPR
Where: DPR locations around DC
When: October 26-30
Admission: Free

It’s Halloween in DC, and the Department of Parks and Rec is hosting events in all eight wards to celebrate. Enjoy a family Halloween movie, tour a haunted house, join a little monster parade, bring you pup to Howl-o-Ween, and much more. Visit the website to see where all the spooky fun is happening and sign up to attend!

Halloween Art Cart
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: October 27, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free
Bring little ones to get inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s creativity for Halloween and create their own wearable work of art. Guests will learn about Kusama’s life and process (including her love of pumpkins), explore monochromatic materials, and get into the holiday spirit. Bonus points if you arrive with your own obliterated accessory from the Obliterate Yourself art project.

Halloween Toddler Time
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 27, 10:30am
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 2-12

Bring little ones in costume for this spooktacular session of Toddler Time, as the B&O celebrates Halloween. 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.

PumpkinPalooza
Where: Alethia Tanner Park | NoMa, DC
When: October 27, 4-8pm
Admission: Free

NoMa’s free annual community-wide celebration of Halloween returns with live entertainment, yummy food, music, a seasonal scavenger hunt, and, of course, the free “pick-your-own” pumpkin patch!  A screening of Hocus Pocus (6:45 pm) and a show by children’s entertainer, The Great Zucchini will also be part of the fun.  This year’s event also includes a pop-up beer garden (21+ only).  Be sure to register in advance for pumpkins and to attend the beer garden.

Spooktacular Movie Night
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: October 27, 7pm
Admission: Free

Join neighbors & friends for a Halloween Movie Night! Capitol Riverfront BID presents a showing of Ghostbusters (1984) at Yards Park. Bring your picnic blankets, favorite fall snacks, and sit back and get ready to be spooked by an all-time Halloween classic movie.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: October 28-30, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $25/members, $35/non-members

The National Zoo’s annual not-so-spooky Halloween haunt, one of DC’s most popular events for the kiddie crowd, is back in person. With 30 treat stations, after hours animal viewing, a dance party, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family. And the souvenir tote bags they give out will be brimming with goodies for all ages. Costumes encouraged!

Halloween Glow in the Park
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: October 28-29
Admission: $42

Enjoy a spooky halloween-themed night of climbing and ziplining under the neon colored lights while listening to music throughout the Park. Glow start times are available every 10 minutes 6-8:20pm, and tickets are good for a 2 hour + 40 minute adventure. Costume encouraged but refrain from capes, masks that cover your eyes, and any super loose garments. Reserve in advance online — this event tends to sell out. Ages 5 & up are welcome! Read more about the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring here.

Howl-O-Ween
Where: Gateway Interim Dog Park | Rosslyn, VA
When: October 28, 1-5pm
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, raffles, and giveaways to share with your pups. Dog costumes are strongly encouraged for the annual Halloween dog costume contest. The winner will be announced at Gateway Park East at 7pm, ahead of the final movie of the Rosslyn Cinema series, Scooby-DooE. njoy food trucks and a beer and wine bar while gearing up for a Halloween weekend with your pets!

Día de los Muertos | Day of the Dead Celebration
Where: National Museum of the American Indian | National Mall, DC
When: October 28
Admission: Free

Celebrate the return of the ancestors with a special Día de los Muertos concert featuring Grammy award-winning band Quetzal, a bilingual rock group with roots in the cultural and social justice landscape of East Los Angeles. Their goal is to create great music that tells the stories of marginalized people’s struggles and resistance. From October 26 to November 2, an ofrenda (altar) will be featured in the museum’s atrium, where visitors can also create paper butterflies for a display in honor of their loved ones.

Hill-O-Ween
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 28, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free
Capitol Hill’s annual neighborhood event is legendary for little ones!  Count on live pumpkin carving and a DJ spinning tunes for a spooky dance party.  More details are still to come, but for past events the block of 7th Street SE next to Eastern Market is closed to traffic for one of the best community Halloween celebrations in the city. There have been moon bounces, goody giveaways, face painting, wagon rides, and more exciting festivities. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the extravaganza.

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: October 28, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities

It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Details still to come, but past event activities for families have included pumpkin decorating, arts & crafts, face painting, trick-or-treating, and a costume parade around the Park.

Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Where: Meadowlark Botanic Garden | Vienna, VA
When: October 29-31, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $7

Search for all things Halloween in Meadowlark’s Children’s Garden with our self-guided Scavenger Hunt around our log cabin, children’s veggie garden and pavilion. Show your completed Hunt sheet to our Greeter/Treater Volunteers to receive a treat — no tricks! After, follow the Book Walk Trail that leads to the Children’s Garden to Read about spiders. Halloween apparel is encouraged, and there will be spots for great photo ops. Read more about Meadowlark in this KFDC post!

Pumpkins in the Park
Where: Canal Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: October 29, 11am
Admission: Free

Join a pumpkin party as the Canal Park Middle Block is transformed into the neighborhood’s very own pumpkin patch! Enjoy all kinds of seasonal festivities — pumpkin decorating (while supplies last), a giant moon bounce, festive photo booth, live music, magic show, and seasonal beverages (for 21+). All ages are invited to join. Pumpkins will be available on a first come first serve throughout the event, so go early to get yours!

Halloween on the Farm
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Clifton, VA
When: October 29, 5-8pm
Admission: $10

Trick or treat on the farm! Visit with farm animals, create crafts, play games, tour the decorated farmhouse, and enjoy the fall on the farm. The program runs in three one-hour time slots. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Register in advance!

STEM Halloween Workshop For Kids
Where: Follies Art Studio | Georgetown, DC
When: October 29, 10:30-1:30am
Admission: $14

Join this workshop at the beautiful Follies Art Studio in Georgetown for a morning of Halloween STEM fun. Children will work together to engineer their own large size haunted house using The Canvas Set from Follies then learn about electronic circuits by adding lights and other fun elements to their house. This workshop is for children ages 4 – 7 only.

The Haunted Washington Scavenger Hunt
Where: White House area | Downtown DC
When: October 29
Admission: $22

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

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.

Trick or Treat at Tudor Place
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: October 29, 10-11am
Admission: $15/non-member, $10/member, $5/adult

Kids can wear their Halloween costumes and search for treats (not tricks) in every corner of the garden. Enjoy crafts, activities and period games amid lovely autumn plant life. This outdoor event will take place rain or shine.

Nature Spooktacular
Where: Long Branch Nature Center | Arlington, VA
When: October 29, 5:30-7pm
Admission: $7

Families are invited to join us a ‘Spooktacular’ evening of fun learning about nighttime animals and cultural festivities surrounding nature this time of the year. This earlier time slot will be more fun and less spooky for families with young children. Registration Required.

Spooky Seconds Sale
Where: Brookland Arts Walk | Brookland, DC
When: October 29, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Head to Brookland a couple of days ahead 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. Go early for the best selection of the sales!

Air & Scare 
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: October 29
Admission: Free

The annual Air & Scare event at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is back with activities inside and out!  Details TBA, but past events have included trick or treat stations, creepy crafts, spooky experiments, and other Hallloween-themed activities; special story times and puppet shows; photo ops; and costume contests.

Halloween Party & Storytime
Where: Commonwealth Baptist Church | Alexandria, VA
When: October 29, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: $5/child, free for adults

JoinArts on the Horizon for a fun and festive Halloween party and interactive storytime! Explore the wonders of the fall season and all things Halloween using music and creative movement to experience new and exciting stories. After the storytime, stick around to create some fun Halloween and fall themed crafts. Wear your Halloween costumes (adults, too!) and get ready to move and groove with stories, music, and movement. Commonwealth Baptist Church is located at 700 Commonwealth Ave. in Alexandria. Register in advance!

Día de los Muertos Virtual Family Day
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: October 29, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the Smithsonian American Art Museum in celebrating Día de los Muertos! Bring the whole family to see exciting live performances from Ballet Folklorico Mi Herencia Mexicana, Mariachi Aguila DC, and Sol y Rumba. Enjoy face painting and Día de los Muertos–themed crafts for all ages. If you are unable to make it in person, or want to continue the celebration online, visit their Family Zone for more crafts, coloring pages, and performance videos.

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens | Mount Vernon, VA
When: October 29, 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!

Parks Spooktacular
Where: South Germantown Recreational Park | Germantown, MD
When: October 23, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free
Little goblins and ghouls can celebrate the spooky season with Montgomery Parks Spooktacular at the park’s Adventure Playground. Check out some magic tricks at the magician’s corner, add to your costume at the face painting area, and create a Halloween art project at the craft station. Live entertainment, bouncy fun, slides and a maze will be part of festivities, too. Halloween costumes are encouraged!

Lil’ Pumpkins Festival
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: October 29, 2-6pm
Admission: Free

BlackRock’s  3rd Annual Lil’ Pumpkin Fest offers the Upcounty community a fun, free, and safe way to enjoy all the Fall and spooky festivities. Activities include trick-or-treating, photo booth, lil’ pumpkin painting, free pumpkins for children under the age of 11, beer garden, and costume parade! Later that evening, adults can enjoy a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show w/live cast on the MainStage @ 6 & 9pm

Best in Show at The Boro
Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: October 29, 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 us anyways for some fall family fun! This spooktacular day will be filled with trick-or-treating, games, and Halloween crafts. It is guaranteed to be a paws-itively wonderful day! The show doesn’t end there! Join us at 6:30pm in The Sandlot for a spooky screening of Scooby Doo (2002) on the big screen complete with a popcorn bar!

Halloween Carnival
Where: Community Center | Falls Church, VA
When: October 29, 1-5pm
Admission: $1

The City of Falls Church has been hosting the annual Halloween Carnival for over 30 years, welcoming babies through elementary-aged kids to enjoy all kinds of fun activities. Enjoy a spooktacular family fun Halloween Carnival in Cherry Hill Park for kids 2 to 11 years old!  This year’s event will include games, inflatables, live music, and snacks.

Ghost Town
Where: Burke Lake Park | Burke, VA
When: October 29-30
Admission: Free

On the weekend leading up to Halloween, celebrate with a festival of fun at Burke Lake Park. Play goblin golf, ride the carousel and train, paint a pumpkin, bounce around, and visit a trick-or-treat house.  All ages welcome, and advance tickets purchase is recommended, as the event is expected to sell out.

Howl-O-Ween
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: October 30, 10:30am – 12pm
Admission: $25-35/age 6+ & pups, free/5 & under

Well behaved dogs are invited to lead their families to Hirshhorn Howl-O-Ween, a costume parade in the Sculpture Garden emceed by Mx. Noir. Furry guests may “paws” for peanut butter portraits and more courtesy of District Dogs. Kids will discover hands-on art-making activities in the outdoor galleries. Adults can saddle up to the mimosa and coffee bars. Mid-morning treats will be provided for all.

Del Ray Halloween Parade
Where: Del Ray Neighborhood | Alexandria, VA
When: October 30
Admission: Free

One of Del Ray’s favorite traditions, the 26th Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade begins at Mt. Vernon Avenue, south of E. Bellefonte, and continues down to the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center play fields at Mt. Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues. It’s a family friendly affair that invites costume-clad kids, pets, moms, and dads to march down Mt. Vernon Ave from E. Bellefonte Ave to the Mount Vernon Rec Center field. The event ends with live music and an award presentation.

Halloween at the Harbor
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: October 30, 12:30-3pm
Admission: Free

National Harbor is hosting an afternoon full of spooktacular fun for the whole family, including Trick-or-Treating at select restaurants and retailers, a Halloween Movie, a Chef Pumpkin Carving Contest, and a Pet Pawrade. Visit the website for the full schedule of the day’s events.

Fall-O-Ween
Where: Common Good City Farm |
When: October 30, 1-4 & 5-7
Admission: Free – $35

Join Common Good on the farm to celebrate all things Fall and Halloween at Fall-o-Ween!m. During the FREE Fall Fest from 1-4 they’ll have free Chili and other snacks (veggie options, too), JB humble pies to try, a costume contest, face painting, pumpkin decorating and other kids activities, a pumpkin patch, and more. While the event is free, donations are encouraged. Stick around for a fundraising cocktail hour and karaoke ($35) happening the same day from 5-7pm!

Halloween at the Park
Where: The Parc | Tysons, VA
When: October 31, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

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

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

Join the Portrait Gallery’s annual Día de los Muertos celebration, an indoor festival with music, dancing, and art activities that will take place in the Kogod Courtyard. There will be a community altar, where you can place artworks, photographs, and other offerings on as a tribute to loved ones. Food and drink inspired by Día de los Muertos traditions will be available for purchase. At 6:30pm, artists MasPaz and Guache will present their live video artwork on the museum’s G and 9th St. facade. The performance combines MasPaz’s distinctive murals with Guache’s vibrant digital paintings and will be accompanied by compelling sounds.

Pumpkin Chunkin’
Where: Great Country Farm | Bluemont, VA
When: November 5-6
Admission: $TBD

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: Weekends 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!

Fright Fest
Where: Six Flags America | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: September 24 – October 30
Admission: $43+

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

Laurel’s House of Horror
Where: Laurel, MD
When: October 1 – November 5
Admission: $25 and up

Our family digs this creepy and fun haunted experience.  Built inside an abandoned movie theater, it’s sensory overload with a lot to look at and listen to and several good jump scares.  There’s always chilling sense of anticipation as you get ready to round the next corner. There are also escape rooms open all year during the weekends, and for private parties and special dates. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Shocktober Haunt Party with TMBG
Where: Paxton House | Leesburg, VA
When: October 8
Admission: $40-125 

Join Shocktober’s ghoulish ghosts for this PG-13 extravaganza where Haunt-themed costumes are encouraged! They Might Be Giants and their barnstorming live band will deliver fan  favorite songs plus some unexpected surprises. Food and beverages will be available for purchase on site. Tickets are $40 general admission, $50 arena seat, $65 premium arena seat, or $125 per person for the Really Important People “R.I.P.” package, including exclusive access to RIP Party, front of stage seating, food, and two drinks.

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

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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Halloween, Maryland, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

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.

 

* * * * *

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