1. One of my favorite things about Halloween in our neighborhood, Capitol Hill, is the many houses decked out in decor for the holiday. And strolling (or biking or scooting) around to see them makes for a wicked fun family activity. The Hill is Home makes that easier with their 2022 Spooky Hill Map. Even if you don’t live here, it’s worth coming to the area to experience, especially since you can make a longer day of it and plan for a visit to the Library of Congress or the U.S. Capitol, some browsing at Eastern Market, or play time at one of the many parks or playgrounds.
2. A great time to plan for a day on the Hill would be this Saturday, October 22, when the Library of Congress is hosting a Halloween Family Day. From 10am – 4pm, guests can enjoy family-friendly festivities, including a very special program with beloved authors R.L. Stine, author of the “Goosebumps” series, and Mary Pope Osborne, author of the “Magic Tree House” series! 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 Family Day runs from 10am – 4:30pm, but note that the program with the authors is at 2pm. Free timed-entry passes are required, so be sure to reserve them in advance — a lot are already hone, and I can guarantee they’ll go fast once word gets out more. (PS: Check out this sweet video of Owen interviewing Mary Pope Osborne at the National Book Festival when he was 6! I shared it back then here.)
3. Also, speaking of wicked fun… the smash Broadway hit, Wicked, is coming to the Kennedy Center from December 8 to January 22! And right now you can find discounts on select seats through Goldstar.
4. Have you heard about Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience coming to the area in a couple of weeks? The outdoor light trail will immerse guests of all ages into the magical wizarding world from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series. Throughout the journey, guests will experience their favorite moments from the Forbidden Forest, encounter mystical creatures such as Hippogriffs, centaurs, unicorns, and Nifﬂers, and even have the opportunity to cast their own spells. The adventure will take place at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia from October 29 – January 29. Ticket prices start from $25 for children and $36 for adults. It’s selling out quickly — there are some remaining dates/times for November and December, but still plenty for January. This has holiday gift written all over it!
1. Do you know about Dumbarton Oaks Park in Georgetown? Not to be confused with Dumbarton Oaks Garden that I’ve written about and recommended a lot, the Park is a lovely little stretch of nature that is actually located right behind the gardens. I first wrote about the Park here a bunch of years ago… it’s part of Rock Creek Park and contains well maintained trails and features like footbridges, seating areas, and stone walls built into the landscape, kind of giving it all a fairytale feel. It’s a perfect place to go for a hike with young children — it’s not too big, the paths are flat and easy for little ones to navigate, and it’s right next to Montrose Park, where there’s a playground and lots of grassy space to run around — but all ages would enjoy a walk there. You can make a whole day of it in that tucked away area of the neighborhood and visit Dumbarton Oaks Park, Montrose Park, and Dumbarton Oaks Garden all in one great outing! The Park is open daily dawn to dusk, and admission is free. Access it near the intersection of R & 31st Streets NW. [Note that Dumbarton Oaks Garden is only open to the public Tuesday – Sunday, 2-6pm, and admission is $7 through October 31, then free through mid-March).
2. There have been some additions to the round-up of Halloween events around the area, including the haunted lab at the Children’s Science Center Lab, a special scavenger hunt at Meadowlark Botanic Garden, and a Halloween Party at the Parc at Tysons. Get all the details for these wicked fun ways to celebrate Halloween, plus many more, here.
3. Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater will be back in person soon after nearly two years! Their first show will be Seasons of Light, the annual holiday production that was a tradition for many pre-Covid. In case you’re not familiar with the venue, it’s located in the Smithsonian Ripley Center connected to the National Museum of Asian Art.
1. We recently enjoyed a fantastic visit to Glenstone when my mom was visiting — it’s a great place to take out of town guests! — so I was inspired to share some info and reminders about the indoor-outdoor art museum in Potomac, MD:
1) Tickets are free, but timed-entry, and need to be reserved in advance. I just checked, and there are still some available for October and November. And fall is a great time to go! 2) Their Guaranteed Entry program ensures admission for students ages 12+, along with one guest each, even without passes. This applies to active-duty military personnel and staff from other museums, too. We took advantage of it when my mom was here. 3) You can also visit without reserved tickets by taking the Ride On Bus that runs from Route 301 to the museum. 4) The museum does not allow anyone under age 12 to visit at all. I know some people with younger children don’t like this, but I think it’s a good call by Glenstone. The museum has a certain tranquil vibe that could be disrupted with a lot of little ones running around. I also think much of the art there would be more appreciated by older kids. Plus, it’s fun to have activities to look forward to enjoying with kids as they grow, kind of a rite of passage for them.
Read more about Glenstone in this KFDC post, and view more scenes from our recent visit here.
2.Saturday Morning Live! at the National, the wonderful, FREE program from the National Theatre, will be back in person this weekend for the first time since Covid! The series brings all kinds of wow-inspiring children’s entertainment to the stage — interactive performances, puppet shows, dance performances, music, and more – all designed to light up imaginations and celebrate a world of wonder. This Saturday, October 8, they’re presenting The Lighthouse, an interactive shadow show. There will be two performances, at 9:30am and 11:30am. See what other shows are coming this season here.
3. Can’t wait to check out this restaurant that just opened on Capitol Hill!
4. All of the wet weather lately has me looking for new rain boots. I think these Hunter knock-offs are a winner. And there are so many cute styles if you’re looking for kids’ boots.