Tag Archives: Halloween 2016

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 31 – November 4

A walk in the woods at Woodend Nature Sancutary

A walk in the woods at Woodend Nature Sancutary



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Monday – Make it a musical morning with the Boogie Babes as Mr. Gabe performs for the kiddie crowd. Showtime is 10:30am at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Admission is $6/child, free for siblings 6 months and under. (And I’d guess at least some of the show will be inspired by the day’s main event.)

Later on, get your Halloween on! Head to the International Spy Museum store for Spy Fright, where you can learn tricks of the trade from make-up and disguise artist, Roger Riggle. Then you’ll be all set for a Gymboree party or trick-or-treating at Mount Vernon, Old Town Alexandria boutiques, Leesburg Outlets, Gateway DC, or the Pentagon City Mall! Details about all of these events are in the guide about Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween in DC.

Tuesday – Visit the largest library in the world to see the #1 children’s author in the world! Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, is coming to the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium from 10am – 12pm, for a one-hour program and book signing. Seating is limited for the public, so get there early! Admission is free.

Wednesday – Go for a walk in the woods and explore the grounds of Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase. The home of the Audubon Naturalist Society is perfect for hiking with little ones. The trails are mellow, there are several small exhibits like bees nests and bird feeding areas, and wildlife sightings are practically guaranteed. Open dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Then from 4:30-5:30pm, take children ages 5-12 to the Shaw Neighborhood Library for a fun afternoon of music with the DC Youth Orchestra! Kids will have the opportunity to check out and play a variety of orchestral instruments with the help of the DCYO’s specialized instructors. Admission is free.

Thursday – Jump with joy at Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield, VA. This bouncy nirvana hosts Kid Flight sessions, when the whole park is open only to ages 6 and under, from 10am – 2pm Monday through Friday. Special pricing starts at $8/30 minutes ($10/hour) — and an accompanying adult jumps free! I recommend buying tickets and submitting waivers online in advance to save time when you get there.

Friday – Take the money tour at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It’s a great outing with kids on the DCPS day off, since tours are only offered on weekdays. Tours run every 15 minutes 9am – 2pm this time of year. Admission is free, but tickets are required, and you can pick them up at the booth on Raoul Wallenburg Place starting at 8am. This post from one of our outings there has more details about the experience.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Halloween, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: October 28-30

A traditional Día de los Muertos performance at the American Indian Museum

A traditional Día de los Muertos performance at the American Indian Museum



Halloween events, autumn celebrations, Euro-style entertainment, a day of horsing around, art adventures, plus great fall weather that offers loads of possibilities for family outings…. all options for fun over the next few days. Happy Weekend!

Wicked Fun
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Break in the costumes and prep for Halloween on Monday all weekend long. There are so many events and activities that celebrate the spooky spirit. Some are detailed below, and this post has details on even more events where the tricks and treats are happening.

Día de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

I always say this museum hosts great festivals, and Día de los Muertos doesn’t disappoint. The celebration of the dead is one of the most lively you’ll experience this Halloween. The performances alone are fantastic with traditional dances, stirring music, and dramatic costumes — you might even get some ideas for your own get-up. The event also includes hands-on activities, artist demos, and more Day of the Dead fun.

All Aboard for Halloween
Where: Cabin John & Wheaton Regional Parks
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $6

Take a Halloween-themed train ride through the woods. Opt for the not-so-scary mini-train at Cabin John (recommended for kids under 8) or go for a spookier journey at Wheaton (recommended for 8 and up). Enjoy more activities while you’re there – see details on the event pages.

Halloween-Themed Storytime
Where: Tivoli’s Astounding Magic Supply
When: October 29, 11am
Admission: Free

Join 826DC at Tivoli’s Astounding Magic Supply Company for a scary (but not too scary) storytime. Join for age-appropriate readings of Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart” or one of their favorites, “The Hairy Toe,” while you shop for last minute Halloween costumes at the store full of magically fun items. Recommended for ages 6-12.

Fall-O-Ween Country Fair
Where: Port Discovery
When: Saturday, 10am – 3:30pm
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up

Dress up the little ones in their favorite costumes and join Port Discovery’s annual festival. Enjoy not-so-scary, family friendly programs and performances including science-themed activities, crafts, live entertainment, arts & crafts, face painting by Landres SFX and more!

Kids Euro Festival
Where: Around the DC-Metro
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Consider this your passport to two weeks of artistic adventures, as the 9th Annual Kids Euro Festival brings continental entertainment right to DC. This is the first weekend of the event that will present more than 125 free performances all around the metro area. Musicians, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts that will perform at a variety of venues through November 8. See what’s on the schedule over the next few days.

Annmarie After Hours
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Friday, 6-9pm
Admission: $5/adult, $3/child,free for members

The Arts Center in Calvert County is hosting a special family-friendly after-hours event on Friday in celebration of the opening of the Games: From marbles to Minecraft exhibit. Start your weekend with an evening of game-inspired art, a great variety of board games, and appetizers by Mission BBQ. It’s a gathering where great art and great food come together for a relaxing and fun evening out! Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Gardens in this KFDC post.

Kids’ Day at the Washington International Horse Show
Where: Verizon Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy a meet and greet both ponies and horses at a Washington International Horse Show event especially for children and families to share the joy of horses with the DC community and teach kids and their families about horses and equestrian sport. Participate in more than a dozen hands-on educational and fun activities, including pony rides, the Animal Planet Horseless Horse Show, the Horse Stars Hall of Fame interactive exhibit, horseshoe painting, face painting, pony brushing lessons, plus giveaways from Paisley Pony magazine and Georgetown Cupcake. Klinger, the famous horse from the U.S. Army Caisson Platoon, often attends as a special guest to greet the children. There’s even a pony kissing booth with Leo The Magnificient, the mini pony!

Food History Festival
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Head to the museum on the Mall for free day of hands-on learning, live demonstrations, talks, and stories exploring the past, present and future of food and community in America. Talented chefs, local organizations, experts, museum curators, students, and more will be on hand to spark conversation, lead activities, and dig into food history with museum visitors of all ages. TNote: events in the Warner Bros. Theater require free registration.

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Saturday, 1-4pm

Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities
It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Daytime activities for families will include pumpkin decorating, arts & crafts, face painting, trick-or-treating, and a costume parade around the Park.

Pottery on Wheels
Where: Hill Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The Hill Center is hosting their annual Pottery on the Hill show featuring some of the country’s top potters. And this year, they’re also welcoming the Pottery on Wheels! truck, where kids — and their parents — can participate in the Make a Cup, Take a Cup program. Work with a potter to make a cup on the wheel, then trade it in for one that’s already been glazed and fired — all for free!

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* Saturday is your last chance to see Flowers Stink, a adorable show about appreciating nature at the U.S. Botanic Garden
* Reserve free tickets for Traveling Lantern’s Ben Franklin, this week’s Saturday at the National performance
* Catch a Halloween SPOOKtacular concert at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
* The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is on the Imagination Stage
* Join Mr. Jon and Friends for a Halloween party at Jammin Java
* Catch the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet (recommended for older children or make it a date night)
* Little ones will love Aquarium at the Atlas
* Hansel & Gretel are the current stars on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Imaginary Friends is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theater
* The Olney Theatre presents The Diary of Anne Frank
* See the superbly acted The Little Foxes at Arena Stage (recommended for teens and up)
* Ruthless, The Musical is running at Creative Cauldron

Fall Fun
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the season at one of many area festivals. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help folks relish in the fun autumn brings. This post has details on autumn fun happening around the region.

Movie at the Museum: The Little Prince
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

In this animated update inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s beloved novella, an overscheduled girl befriends an eccentric aviator. He regales her with tales about the adventures of an unusual boy who lives on an asteroid. English–language version. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Science & Engineering Showcase
Where: National Geographic
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Science enthusiasts of all ages will love the 2016 Broadcom MASTERS Science and Engineering Project Showcase, the premier science fair competition for middle school students! Join the Top 30 sixth, seventh and eighth grade scientists and engineers at the National Geographic Society as they share their original projects with students, teachers, parents, and members of the public.

Harry Potter Marathon
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $13.50/youth, $50/8-movie pass

Have you missed a Harry Potter movie or just want to go on a wizard watching binge? Head to the Chantilly arm of the Air & Space Museum, where for the first time ever, you can experience all eight Harry Potter movies in IMAX! Plus, you can also catch an IMAX exclusive peek of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which hits IMAX theaters this November. Everyone is invited…even muggles.

Parents Paint, Kids Create
Where: Arris at Yards Park
When: Sunday,
Admission: $30/adult, $15/child

Parents, bring your kids for an afternoon of watercolor painting, cocktails for adults, and mocktails for kids! The class will include fun fall-themed line art and watercolor instruction by artist and illustrator Marcella Kriebel and beverages by mixologist Gina Chersevani. Adults must be 21+ and must accompany their child.

Out and About
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Looks like it’s going to be one of those weekends that beckons you outdoors. Take a hike, hit a playground, do some fossil hunting, explore a garden…The Best Places to Spend a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids has lots of suggestions to make the most of a nice day outside.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Halloween, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: October 21-23

Toddler Owen stakes his claim on a past fall visit to Homestead Farms

Toddler Owen stakes his claim on a past fall visit to Homestead Farms



With the leaves beginning to turn colors, seasonal celebrations in full swing, Halloween creeping up, and crisp, cool weather in the forecast, this weekend practically screams autumn. Immerse in it all at one of many events that embrace fall or just enjoy the season as a backdrop to another fun activity — you’ve got your pick of ’em. Happy Weekend!

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members

The National Zoo’s annual not-so-spooky haunt is one of DC’s most popular Halloween events for the kiddie crowd. With more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, live entertainment, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family. Costumes encouraged!

Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 6pm

See the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 11th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Bring the tiniest visitors by the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. Fun for the whole family!

More Wicked Fun
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This time of year is always a scream with loads of ways to get the Halloween party started early. From mini train rides through the woods to haunted tours to festivals inspired by the holiday, details on where the tricks and treats are happening can be found in this annual post.

Fall Fun on the Farm
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the season at one of many area festivals on the farm. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help folks relish in the fun autumn brings. This post has details on many fall festivals happening around the region.

Welcome, REI!
Where: DC REI, 201 M Street NE
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Join REI for 3-day Block Party to celebrate the Grand Opening of the DC Flagship store! Doors open Friday at 10am with some big band fanfare (hint, hint) and the party will continue all day. Saturday and Sunday they’ll expand the bash to a main stage with tons of live entertainment, Outdoor School classes, s’mores, screen printing, a climbing wall, beer gardens, and more. All three days the first 500 people in line receive a custom DC Camelbak bottle with a gift card, plus there will be free breakfast and coffee each morning. Everybody who attends all weekend can help REI decide how to split up $100,000 among 5 regionally focused outdoor non-profits.

National Trademark Expo
Where: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
When: Friday, 10am – 5pm & Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

This free, family-friendly event is designed to educate children, small business owners, and the general public about trademarks and their importance in the global marketplace. The Expo features children’s workshops, an kids’ area with arts & crafts and other hands-on activities, costumed characters, a scavenger hunt. Outside, a Ford Model T, UPS Truck, the The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, and Mr. Peanut Nutmobile will be on display. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is located at 600 Dulany Street in Alexandria.

East of the River Book Festival
Where: Rocketship – DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Readers of al ages can enjoy a literary event that highlights the work of self-published authors and small presses — the perfect place for diverse books. The day will be full of dramatic presentations from readers, storytellers, poets and word-artists. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite book character or author, so get your costume ready (it is the week before Halloween)! Rocketship – DC is located at 2335 Raynolds Place, SE.

Under the Big Top Family Day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The circus is in town, right in the Kogod Courtyard! Smithsonian American Art Museum takes you under the Big Top for an afternoon of dazzling feats with performers from Acrobatic Conundrum (hope you’re not afraid of heights!), plus carnival games, bag of popcorns, circus animal-inspired mask making for guests.

Hirshhorn Fall Fest
Where: Hirshhorn Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admisson: Free

Gather with friends and family for a museum-wide festival celebrating the return of fall, DC’s rocking music scene, and Hirshhorn’s immersive new exhibition, Ragnar Kjartansson. Bands will play throughout the day, unique tours of the exhibit will be offered, and a bier garden will welcome the 21+ crowd.

Fall Harvest Family Days

Where: Mount Vernon
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $17/adults, $8/kids 6-11, children 5 and under are free

Celebrate the autumn season at George Washington’s old digs! Watch as a replica of one of Washington’s boats launches into the Potomac River with a costumed crew. Enjoy autumn activities, including wagon rides, wheat treading in the 16-sided barn, 18th-century dancing demonstrations, a straw bale maze, farrier (blacksmithing), corn husk dolls demonstrations and early-American games and music. And Potomac River sightseeing cruises are half-price this weekend only!

Outdoor Movie Night
Where: Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Admission: Free

Join Adventure Links for their October Halloween Movie Night series under the stars. Every Friday night in October they’ll be showing a Halloween movie on an outdoor movie screen — this week it’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Bring a blanket and enjoy a free movie! You can see their site, meet the staff, and even sign your kids up for summer camp.

Sweden Festival
Where: House of Sweden
When: Saturday, 12-4:30pm
Admission: Free

House of Sweden welcomes the public to help them celebrate 10 years as the flagship of Sweden’s public diplomacy in the United States – it was in 2006 that they opened their doors as the flagship of Sweden’s public diplomacy in the United States . The festival will feature concerts, interactive family fun, Swedish food, artist talks, games and more. And it all takes place at the beautiful Georgetown Waterfront, where house of Sweden is located.

Pint-Sized Pumpkins
Where: Brookland Pint
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: $5

It’s breakfast designed with little ones in mind! This event features a free Pint Sized Breakfast for the kids, storytime with Barnes & Noble, an interactive performance by Only Make Believe, and Pint Sized Pumpkin Painting. Seating is first come, first serve. Your $5 ticket purchases your child’s Pint Sized Pumpkin; the rest of the morning’s activities are included with it. Limited quantity is available, so get yours pumpkin today!

Game on, Greater Washington
Where: FedEx Field
When: Saturday
Admission: Free (but some activities are extra)

The American Diabetes Association is teaming up with the Washington Redskins for this one-of-a-kind festival featuring activities for the entire community, from rappelling and zip lining, to biking and fun runs, and everything in between. Including a ton of family and kid friendly events (kids’ zone with glitter tattoos, inflatable bounce and slide and so much more), the adventure-filled day is designed to raise funds for diabetes education, programs, research and advocacy. Registration fees vary depending on activity but the Kids’ Zone and entrance is free, and it’s an awesome opportunity to check out the Redskins stadium like never before, all while having fun for a good cause.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* This weekend is your last chance find Knuffle Bunny at Adventure Theatre
* Catch the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet (recommended for older children or make it a date night)
* Reserve free tickets for Discovery Theater’s Fabluous Fairytales, this week’s Saturday at the National performance
* The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is on the Imagination Stage
* See (and smell?) Flowers Stink, a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Kennedy Center
* Hansel & Gretel are the new stars on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Imaginary Friends is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theater
* The Olney Theatre presents The Diary of Anne Frank
* See the superbly acted The Little Foxes at Arena Stage (recommended for teens and up)
* Enjoy The Best Haunted House Ever, Encore Stage & Studio’s theatre by kids for kids
* Make it a date night to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Kennedy Center
* Ruthless, The Musical is running at Creative Cauldron

Last Call for Merriment
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $22/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15, free for 6 and under

It’s the final weekend of the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the annual faire that recalls medieval times with an English Tudor village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. I highly, highly recommend going if you haven’t been yet. And I recommend getting tickets online in advance — they sold out last weekend and had to turn folks away. Huzzah!

Disney on Ice Presents Follow Your Heart
Where: EagleBank Arena
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $15-80 (look for a discount)

Follow your heart straight to adventure at Disney On Ice! Characters from many of the beloved films make appearances — and perform lots of thrilling feats — on ice. Inside Out‘s emotions, Dory and friends, Elsa and Anna, are just some of the fan faves who will delight and wow.

Fibre Arts Festival
Where: Glover Park-Burleith Farmers Market
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Local fiber farms and yarn spinners will be attending the Glover Park-Burleith farmers’ market with hand spun yarn from Maryland! Plus the opportunity to use an antique loom and purchase hand knitted hats, scarves, pet toys and more! There will also be 2 sheep for a mini petting zoo! Perfect for people of all ages – there will be live music, tons of fresh local produce, sustainably raised meat and eggs, fresh cut flowers, baked goods, plus breakfast and lunch options. Additionally, there will be bike repairs and sales and free yoga from 10am to 11am!

Earth Celebration and Re-Use It Sale
Where: Woodend Nature Sanctuary
When: Saturday, 8-11am
Admission: Free

The Audubon Nature Preschool brings the gift of wonder to children and you can help support it at their annual Earth Celebration and ReUse It Sale. Go on family nature walks, shop for gently used children’s items, enjoy naturally delicious homemade treats and a morning cup of coffee, and make connections with Nature Preschool staff and families. Read more about Woodend in this KFDC post.

River Park Yard Sale
Where: Eastern Market in front of Rumsey Pool
When: Saturday, 8am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Score some deals (and treats!) at the annual River Park Nursery School’s Yard Sale and Bake. Find great bargains on kids items, including baby gear, clothes, sports gear, puzzles, games, toys and delicious baked goods while supporting a Capitol Hill nursery school! Proceeds support River Park Nursery School, which has a 50-year tradition of providing quality instruction that encourages individual growth and development. Rumsey Pool is located at at 635 North Carolina Ave. SE.

Dance for the Floor
Where: Joe’s Movement Emporium
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: $25

Dance the night away with Joe’s Movement Emporium! Dance for the Floor: A Joe’s Movement Emporium Fundraiser, with a goal of raising money to install a new hardwood dance floor in the theater.The evening will feature three studios worth of Hand Dance, salsa and swing dancing with a “floor-raising” program in the theater featuring Joe’s dancers of all ages. Admission includes dance lessons, open dancing, and light fare Purchase tickets online or at the door.

Ride with Recess Outings
Where: Capitol Hill
When: Sunday, 10am & 4pm –
Admission: $40/On a Recess bike, $30/BYOBike

Join Recess outings on a bike ride! Opt for To Market, To Market at 10am, designed for anyone up for a leisurely exploration of DC, with world-class markets serving as the bookends along the route as you meander from Eastern Market to Union Market and back again. You can also try Underrated Anacostia, an 8-mile ride from Capitol Hill then along the river highlighting the beautiful Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Get more details about both rides here.

Celebrating French Animation
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

Let little imaginations soar with a selection of animated shorts by French filmmakers. Kids can discover the surrealist poetry of Robert Desnos creatively visualized in a series of nine films, including The Sun of Bagnolet Street, Once Upon a Leaf, and Paris. Recommended for ages 7 and up, all films are in French with English subtitles. The program lasts approximately 55 minutes.

Friends Community School Fall Fair
Where: Sunday, 12-4pm
When: Friends Community School
Admission: Free

Friends Community School welcomes the public to enjoy a day of fun activities at their annual Fall Fair. The event will include student-run old-fashioned games, a moon bounce, a toy and book sale, entertainment, and plenty of good food prepared by local restaurants and school families. The fair will take place rain or shine. The school is located at 5901 Westchester Park Drive in College Park, MD.

Yummy Yummie Pop-Up
Where: The Escape Lounge
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Score some adorable kids clothes this Sunday! The Escape Lounge on H Street is hosting a Yummy Yummy Goodness Pop-Up Shop, featuring lots of fall and winter specials. Stop in to browse & buy and, perhaps, stay for an Escape the Classroom challenge — Sunday only, get a FREE escape game for children with a $50 purchase from the pop-up! Read more about the Escape Lounge in this KFDC post.

Get Out
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Looks like we have a beautiful fall weekend ahead! Take advantage of the crisp, sunny weather with some time outdoors — go on a hike, explore a garden, play in the trees, find a new playground, go fossil hunting, tour a historic site. This post has an extensive list of places and ideas for al fresco fun.

Seedling - Design your own Halloween costume


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Discount, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Fundraiser, Halloween, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, School Event, Seasonal, Shop, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween Around DC

Elsa, Frida, & Oliver ready to hit the Halloween scene last year

Elsa, Frida, & Oliver ready to hit the Halloween scene last year



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 loads 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 Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 8-9, 14-16, 21-23, & 28-30
Admission: $6 and a can of food

Hop on board the Halloween Train! Cabin John’s “Eye Spy” features just enough “boo” power for kids age 8 and under. Along the ride through the woods on the train, kids can try to find Halloween friends hiding along the way and mark them off their “Eye Spy” game cards that they receive with admission. Guests can also enjoy Halloween movies every night, face painting on Saturdays and Sundays, and light refreshments for sale. The “Eye Spy” train runs 1-6pm on Fridays and 11-6pm on weekends. Purchase tickets online starting October 1 here.

Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 8-9, 14-16, 21-23, & 28-30
Admission: $6

Wheaton Regional Park’s Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel are back and scarier than ever! This annual Halloween attraction is best for guests ages 8 and up, because they “aim to scare” (and this is part of the website description, so take their word for it). Admission includes one ride each on the train and carousel, plus entrance to the Hall of Jack o’ Lanterns movie theater presenting scary films every night. The train and carousel run 6:30-9:30pm each night. Purchase tickets online starting October 1 here. Plan to bring canned food, too, to help neighbors in need.

Costume Drive to Help Families in Need
Where: Hilton McLean Tyson Corner
When: Through October 14
Admission: n/a

Steph Snaps Photos, Hilton McLean, and Harth have yet again joined forces for their 2nd annual costume drive, aiming to secure gently used or new costume donations for local families. The collected costumes and funds will benefit a diverse number of non-profit organizations in our community that will provide costumes for children and families. New or gently used costumes of any size can be dropped off at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner any day. Cash donations are also accepted at www.gofundme.com/costumedrive2016 — the money collected will help purchase additional costumes with size requirements that have not been fulfilled through the donation process.

Howl-o-Scream Package
Where: Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA
When: Weekends in October
Admission: Rates start at $339/night

Fiery foliage, Halloween-themed spooky events, and mild temperatures will greet you at Kingsmill Resort when you check in this fall. While there are those that believe the waterfront condo-style resort has its share of paranormal activity, there is plenty of room for lively, younger spirits of all ages. (The old spirits are behind the bar.) For those looking to elevate the fear factor, the resort offers the Howl-O-Scream Package, which includes accommodations for two nights, daily breakfast, complimentary parking, Wi-Fi, and shuttle service to Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg. Guests also get access to Busch Gardens with two Fun Cards.

Boostravaganza
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 13, 6-7pm & 7-8pm
Admission: $10/child

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

Cirque de la Symphonie: Halloween Extravaganza
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 13-16
Tickets: $24-99

Cirque de la Symphonie brings its trademark brand of awe-inspiring feats and thrills, including jugglers, aerialists, contortionists, strongmen, and more, to a program set to classic spooky music, such as Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Saint-Saëns’s Danse macabre, and Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, among other familiar tunes. The Sunday matinee performance is part of the NSO Family Concert Series, designed for young audiences. Beginning one hour before the performance, children and families can enjoy the “Haunted Hall” activities, which include games and activities, an instrument petting zoo, and spook-tacular decorations. Audiences are encouraged to come in costume for all for performances.

The Best Haunted House Ever
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: October 14-23
Tickets: $15/adults, $10/children

Encore Stage & Studio presents a Halloween-inspired show this season: When students from two different high schools sneak into a local haunted house to scare their classmates, utter chaos ensues. At first it seems like the students are just pulling Halloween pranks, but when a spooky zombie and mysterious ghost don’t fit into the students’ haunting plans it can only mean one thing–they are not alone in the house! Happy haunting! Recommended for ages 6 and up.

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

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

http://www.atlasarts.org/event/2016-10-17/“>Goulishly Good Music
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: October 16
Admission:

Capital City Symphony’s Family Concerts are always fun, interactive, and educational. This year’s program is inspired by the spookiness and fantasy of Halloween, so don costumes to join in the fun! Face the ghosts and ghouls of Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre and Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, or enter the fairy tale world of Stravinsky’s The Firebird. Along the way you’ll learn how the instruments of the orchestra combine to bring these amazing stories to life. Go 30 minutes before show time to meet the musicians at the Instrument Petting Zoo — kids just might discover their new favorite instrument.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 21-23, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members

Join the National Zoo for their annual not-so-spooky Halloween haunt, one of DC’s most popular events for the kiddie crowd. With more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, live entertainment, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family. Costumes encouraged!

Soul Strolls
Where: Congressional Cemetery
When: October 21-22 & 28-29
Admission: $20/adult, $10/child

Congressman, carpenters, suffragists, and bootleggers are among the graveyard residents on Capitol Hill, and they all have a unique tale to tell. Congressional Cemetery’s annual Soul Strolls explore these stories through guided tours and costumed interpreters. Typically only open from dawn to dusk, this special event allows nighttime access to the public. Hour-long walks depart every 15 minutes between 6 -9pm, with beer, wine, and cider will be for sale (to put you at ease among the spirits).

Monster Mash
Where: Center at Leesburg
When: October 22
Admission: Free

Join the the Village at Leesburg for a frighteningly good time the 7th Annual Monster Mash! There will be center-wide trick-or-treating starting while supplies last, live music, street performers, a costume contest for children and pets, a Halloween parade, and as seen on Food Network’s Halloween Wars, Extreme Pumpkin Carving by James Hall, pastry design by Al Dibartolo, and chocolate sculpture with our very own Santosh Tiptur.

Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 22, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 6pm

See the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 11th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Bring the tiniest visitors by the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. Fun for the whole family!

Haunted Museum Historic Ghost Tour
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 23, 29, & 31, 8pm & 9pm
Admission: $22/members, $25/non-members

Ghost tours at the National Building Museum combine history, humor, and several hair-raising tales into a fun evening. The Museum houses many artifacts related to the building — plans, drawings, and tools — as well as some objects that defy easy explanation, including a collection of shoes found underneath the foundation, believed to have been buried to ward off evil spirits, and a plaster mask, thought to be a death mask dated from the late 1800s. The building is spectacular — and eerie — with the lights out! This tour is recommended for ages 10 and up. Tickets are limited.

Harbor Halloween
Where: National Harbor
When: October 23, 12-2:30
Admission: Free

It’s a spooktacular family event that will include activities for everyone. Join the fun at The Black Dog’s Howl-loween. Trick or treat around the shops at the Harbor. Enjoy a showing of Hocus Pocus on the Plaza Big Screen (movie will begin at 12:30am). Watch a chef pumpking carving contest. Plus, enjoy special activities, including pumpkin decorating, a Halloween coloring station, and a fabulous family fall themed photo station.

Falloween
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 22, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Market Common Clarendon’s fourth annual Falloween Festival celebrates the season and the October holiday with a day of delights for the whole fam. Highlights include live children’s entertainment by Rainbow Rock and Mr. Knick Knack, a petting zoo, face painting, pumpkin decorating + crafts for kids, and a trick-or-treat session throughout the property. This follows the annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk, in partnership with Homeward Trails and Doorways For Women and Families, which starts and ends on The Loop at Market Common Clarendon beginning at 10am, stopping through local businesses to support both partners with a costume contest taking place at the end of the event.

A Spooktacular Halloween Party
Where: Carluccio’s in Old Town
When: October 27, 6-8pm
Admission: $20

Join Carluccio’s in Old Town Alexandria for a spooktacular evening! The restaurant will be hosting a children’s Halloween party with cookie decorating and a costume contest. Kids ages and up will receive a free pasta meal, with ticket purchase, and accompanying adults can enjoy happy hour specials. Children and accompanying adults encouraged to dress up!

Paranormal Mansion Tours
Where: Oatlands Estate & Gardens
When: October 27-29, 7pm & 8pm
Admission: $30/adult, $12/child

Get a “different” look at Oatlands on this after dark tour of the old mansion. Hear ghost stories and accounts of unexplained occurrences on the property. Advance reservations are required and non-refundable.

Hilloween
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 28, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

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

Haunted Hangar
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 28, 7-9pm
Admission: $5

Wear your costume and enjoy fun fall themed activities. Explore the museum’s gallery and all of its hidden haunts. Arts, crafts, hayrides, and spooky fun await kids and families at the museum where old aircraft and other aviation displays wow visitors.

Spirits of the Past
Where: Bradley Farm in Herndon
When: October 28-29
Admission: $5

The Bradley Farm Haunted House promises everyone a ghoulishly fun time, and for a good cause — proceeds from the community fundraising event help Herndon-Reston FISH bring emergency help to folks in our community. This year’s “Spirits of the Past” theme promises fright and fun! On Friday and Saturday evening from 6-10pm, it offers a dark and scary adventure that’s perfect for tweens, teenagers, and adults. For the younger crowd, there’s a kids haunt with a milder scare on Saturday from 1-5pm that includes trick-or-treating inside the haunted house for children 10 and under, as well as face painting, balloon art, carnival-style games, live entertainment, and costumed characters.

Spooktacular Halloween Bash
Where: St. Paul’s Center
When: October 28, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

You’re invited to attend St. Paul’s Rock Creek Parish annual Spooktacular Halloween Bash! Join the fun in the Great Hall at St. Paul’s Center (201 Allison St NW) for an evening filled with treats, spooky crafts, pumpkin decoration, cemetery hayrides, and more! The main entrance is on the corner of Rock Creek Church and Webster St NW. In the spirit of treats, please bring a canned food item for the Capital Area Food Bank.

Mr. Jon & Friends Halloween Party
Where: Jammin Java
When: October 29, 10:30am
Admission: $8

Kids musical performer Mr. Jon and playing a Halloween Party concert at Jammin Java. His silly interactive show includes classics like “Wheels On The Bus” along with originals, and his my puppet friend George the Monkey will join the fun, too. All ages can enjoy it, but the 1-6 crowd will dig it most.

Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: October 29, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $1

Dress the whole family and enjoy a day of trick-or-treating, art activities, lunch and more! The 17th Annual Halloween in the Garden will feature more than 70 community organizations and businesses donning costumes and handing out candy and treats to all the children. Free ooky, spooky crafts will be provided and devilishly delicious food vendors will be present. Admission fees will benefit local charities. Don’t forget to bring your camera — there are always unique photo opportunities with the boo-tiful decorations. New this year, purchase a line-hopper pass for $3/person, on sale at the admission gate from 10:30-11am, and jump to the front of the trick-or-treating line!

Trick or Treat at Tudor Place
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 29
Admission: $10/non-member, $5/member, $3/accompanying adult

Halloween is “spooktacular” at Tudor Place! Wear your costumes (optional) and follow meandering paths to find treats (not tricks!) in every corner of the enchanting North Garden. Enjoy pumpkin-decorating and other crafts, face painting, and outdoor games amid lovely autumn color.

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: October 29, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities

It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Daytime activities for families will include pumpkin decorating, arts & crafts, face painting, trick-or-treating, and a costume parade around the Park.

Halloween Carnival
Where: Falls Church
When: October 29, 6-8:30pm
Admission: $2/children ages 2 and up (adults free)

The City of Falls Church has been hosting the annual Halloween Carnival for over 30 years! Infants through fifth graders are invited to enjoy carnival games, a moon bounce, face painting, crafts, a haunted house, movies, candy, and a live creepy creature show featuring the spookiest reptiles in nature. The first hour is best for children up to 2nd grade, and 3rd – 6th graders will enjoy the second hour.

Fall-O-Ween Country Fair
Where: Port Discovery
When: October 29, 10am – 3:30pm
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up

Dress up the little ones in their favorite costumes and join Port Discovery’s annual festival. Enjoy not-so-scary, family friendly programs and performances including science-themed activities, crafts, live entertainment, arts & crafts, and more!

Spooky Science
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: October 29, 12-4pm
Admission: $20.95/adult, $16.95/ages 3-12

Celebrate the chills and thrills of Halloween at the MSC’s 8th annual event, where creepy chemistry and mysterious science combine to provide a hauntingly good time. Spend the afternoon with making gooey, glowing slime, decorating pumpkins, exploring spooky sensory bins, and even watch pumpkins being launched off of the roof!

Pumpin Rock ‘n Roll
Where: Warner Circle Park in Kensington, MD
When: October 29, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Join Headfirst Camps this Halloween for a spooky afternoon of music, games, food, and fun at the first ever Pumpkin Rock N’ Roll! Warner Circle Park will be transformed into a full-blown Halloween extravaganza. Kids can participate in a fun costume contest and parade, and enjoy family-friendly attractions including festival-style musical performances, food trucks, inflatable rides and slides, and a rock wall. Don’t miss the main event: The Pumpkin Roll, a derby race of Halloween pumpkins-turned-boxcars.

Halloween-Themed Storytime
Where: Tivoli’s Astounding Magic Supplu
When: October 29, 11am
Admission: Free

Join 826DC at Tivoli’s Astounding Magic Supply Company for a scary (but not too scary) storytime. Join for age-appropriate readings of Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart” or one of their favorites, “The Hairy Toe,” while you shop for last minute Halloween costumes at the store full of magically fun items. Recommended for ages 6-12.

Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
When: October 29, 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Halloween at the library! Join staff at MLK Library in the Children’s Room for a spooky scavenger hunt and see what treats await! Costumes are encouraged. Recommended for ages 5-12.

Halloween Fun in Occoquan
Where: Occoquan, VA
When: October 29
Admission: Free

Join the town of Occoquan for a day of Halloween fun! Enjoy life-size Halloween characters found on shop benches, porches, and doorways. Hunt for six Halloween characters pictured on the entry form (available at any participating shop) and be entered into a drawing to win a life-sized Venetian Victorian Halloween figure!

Halloween Festival at the Market
Where: Glover Park-Burleith Farmers’ Market
When: Saturday, 9m – 1pm
Admission: Free

Join your local farmers for a Halloween celebration! The Glover Park-Burleith farmers’ market, with Ace Hardware of Glover Park, is hosting free pumpking painting (pumpkins provided!) and trick-or-treating around the market! Free popcorn, stickers, arts & crafts and more! All in addition to live music and tons of fresh, local food – eight varieties of heirloom apples, veggies, meats, dairy, baked goods, organic coffee, olive oils + prepared food!

Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: October 29-30
Admission: Free

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

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
When: October 29 & 31, 3:30-6:30pm
Admission: $12/adult, $6/child

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

Pumpkin Parade Parties
Where: Gymboree of DC
When: October 29 & 31
Admission: $20/non-members, $15/members ($5/sibling)

Dress up and join the Halloween fun at one of two Gymboree parties! Pumpkin activities, seasonal craft projects, music, snacks, dancing, and parades will be part of the festivities. Newborns – 5-year-olds are invited October 29 3:30-5:30pm, and newborns – 2-year-olds can party October 31, 2-3:30pm. Reservations required: Call 202.627.2450 or email [email protected] Gymboree DC is located at 2639 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 113.

Trick or Treat in the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 31, 2-6pm
Admission: Free

Bring your little ghosts and goblins to the Old Town Boutique District’s annual event to start their trick-or-treating early. Stop by the dozens of shops, where they’ll be dishing out treats and some maybe some family-friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged.

Spy Fright
Where: International Spy Museum Store
When: October 31, 2-6pm
Admission: Free

Go deep undercover this Halloween at the Spy Museum where spooks of every kind will be on the prowl. Spend the scariest night of the year at the place where disguises aren’t just for Halloween! Everyone is invited to arrive in disguise in the Spy Museum Store, where acclaimed professional make-up and disguise artist, Roger Riggle, will be on hand to teach the tools-of-the-trade necessary to transform guests in preparation for a night of tricks and treats. Demonstrations are free-of-charge and include quick disguise applications meant to help guests create their own undercover masterpieces.

Halloween Trick or Treating
Where: Fashion Centre at Pentgaon City
When: October 31, 5-7pm
Admission: Free

Pumpkins, superheroes and wizards are invited to showcase this year’s frightfully-festive Halloween ensembles in Pentagon City during mall-wide trick-or-treating on Halloween evening. Spooky characters can find candy treats from participating retailers displaying a sign in the window.

Costume Carnival
Where: Gateway DC
When: October 31, 5-9pm
Admission: Free

Events DC is hosting its first annual Costume Carnival at Gateway DC on Halloween! Local community partners such as Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative and Safer Stronger DC will decorate booths under the Gateway DC pavilion and hand out candy for kids to trick-or-treat. Children and adults who dress up for this event will be automatically entered in a costume contest, and designated judges will select one youth boy, one youth girl, and one adult to each win a Visa gift card! RSVP to the free event here.

Trick-or-Treating & Photo Ops
Where: Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets
When: October 31, 5-7pm
Admission: Free

It’s not a trick, but there will be treats! Little shoppers are encouraged to participate in the Leesburg Outlets’ mall-wide trick-or-treating event this spooky season for a chance to show off costumes and collect tasty snacks from the center’s participating retailers. And Halloween’s favorite black cat, Jinx, will be strolling through the center, available for photo opportunities!

Day of the Dead Art Workshop
Where: Arlington Arts Center
When: November 4
Admission: $25

Get ready for AAC’s annual Day of the Dead Celebration at these sessions where students can create works of art inspired by the Latin American holiday. There are two classes, one for ages 7-10 and one for ages 11-14.

Fall Festivals
Where: Around the 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 more. See a list of seasonal celebrations here.

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


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