Halloween has already begun, as far as Boba Fett is concerned
So, it’s not officially Halloween this weekend, but given all the events going on — and the fact that my kids are practically living in costumes — for all intents and purposes, it’s Halloween. So, I’m going with the theme. If you’re spooked by the idea of celebrating early, there’s still plenty more to do: a family day at the Newseum, theatre performances on local stages, museum exhibits, book readings, and more. And I’m not even going to mention the “s” word that’s supposedly on it’s way tomorrow (ignore it and it’ll go away, right?), but cooler weather is coming. Fingers crossed that it’s of the crisp, sunny fall day variety. Happy Weekend!
Halloween Happenings – You don’t have to wait until Monday to get the Halloween festivities started. Catch a concert in costume at National Geographic Live; design a pop-up haunted house at the Building Museum; trick or treat at Old Town Boutiques; put some air in your scare at the Udvar-Hazy Center or College Park Aviation Museum; enjoy kids festivities at the MLK Library, Discovery Theater, GW University, and the Crime Museum. Find details for all of these events in this KFDC post about the many Halloween happenings around town.
Go “Around the World” at the Newseum – Saturday is a special Family Day at the museum dedicated to all things news and media. Take a trip across the globe with journalist Nelly Bly through a variety of activities geared especially toward kids, a scavenger hunt, front page news games, a historical enactment of Bly, and a 3-D short film among them. This all starts at 11am – see the schedule for activity times. Admission to the museum is still the regular price (21.95/adults, $12.95/ages 7-18, free for ages 6 and under), but you’ll get to experience the special activities along with all the permanent collections. And, as mention in this KFDC post about the Newseum a couple of weeks ago, tickets are good for two consecutive days, so you can go back Sunday for even more.
Fall Frolic– Glen Echo Park’s annual Halloween-themed event is a seasonal fave for all ages. The public is invited to explore the park through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, and performances. Decorate trick-or-treat bags, make a spooky spider or a friendly ghost, and color Halloween pictures for free. Pay a small fee $1-2) for pumpkin decorating and face painting. The Park’s studios and galleries will also be open for visitors to view the works of resident artists. And a costume parade will conclude the fun at the end of the day. This all happens on Saturday from 1-4pm.
Hansel & Gretel at the National – The free Saturday morning theatre fun continues. First up is Barrymore Eagle’s Costume Parade, so bring the kids in their charming or wild Halloween get-ups. Afterwards, kids will revel in the not-too-scary Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel, which is brought magically to life by the enchanting marionettes from Baltimore’s Black Cherry Puppet Theater. These performances at National Theatre take place at 9:30am and 11am, and tickets are required for admission. Free tickets are distributed half an hour prior to the start of shows on a first-come first-served basis. Only one ticket per person, and all attendees must be standing in line to receive a ticket. Children must be accompanied by an adult who remains present for the entire performance. Seating is limited, so get there early!
Go Nat Geo – Families can enjoy more than just the aforementioned Halloween concert going on at the National Geographic Museum this weekend. On Sunday at 1pm, join Dig Deeper, a free archaeology workshop being presented in conjunction with the exhibition Anglo-Saxon Hoard: Gold from England’s Dark Ages. Email NatGeoMuseum@ngs.org to register. And while you’re there, don’t miss Animal Grossology, a new exhibit for kids featuring some of the slimiest, stinkiest, yuckiest creatures on earth. Admission to the exhibit is $8/adults, $6/ages 5-12, free for children 4 and under and includes the fun Weird But True exhibit as well as entrance to Ocean Soul: Photographs by Brian Skerry, a beautiful collection of images from oceans around the world that will captivate any photography buff or wildlife lover.
Take the Fall – This is the last weekend for many area fall festivals, so if you still have yet to pick out pumpkins, zip down lofty slides, bounce on giant pillows, and have fun down on the farm, see this KFDC post to find out where you can go to squeeze it all in. And if you have been.. hey, go back for more!
Book it to the JCC – Enjoy a morning of crafts, folktales, and fun with children’s book author Vicki Weber. Her award-winning book, It’s Too Crowded in Here!, is a collection of Jewsish folktales and midrashic stories enlivened by colorful illustrations. The event starts at 10am and is part of the Jewish Literary Festival that runs through November 2. Admission to this Sunday’s family program is $10 and includes a copy of the book.
Potrait Story Days – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery from 1-4pm on Saturday and Sunday to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about Girl Scouts founder, Juliette Gordon Low.
And as always, these posts are worth checking out once the forecast is firm:
Owen and his friend, Amelia, ham it up at last year's Hilloween
Why wait until the actual day to celebrate one of the best — no, the best in my book — holidays of the year? Besides the bonuses of getting more mileage out of costumes and having extra excuses to indulge in sweets, Halloween festivities are a treat any day. If you agree, there are loads of ways to get into the spooky spirit during the days leading up to the grand event. From skeletons at the museum to creepy train rides through the woods to costume concerts and dance parties to jack-o-lanterns on the farm, these local events will have Halloween-goers screaming for more.
Boo at the Zoo Where: National Zoo When: October 21-23, 5:30-8:30pm Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members (note: Saturday is sold out)
This annual event is the wildest trick-or-treat in town. Kids ages 2 – 12 can get costumed up for after-hours Halloween fun at the Zoo. Get ready for tasty candy, delicious snack foods, and other goodies from more than 40 treat stations. Plus, animal encounters, keeper talks, and festive decorations are yours to enjoy. And this year Boo guests get to take home a complimentary reusable treat bag. Boo at the Zoo takes place rain or shine.
Halloween at the Medical Museum: Serious Fun with Skulls Where: National Museum of Health and Medicine When: October 22, 10:30am – 12:30pm Admission: FREE
The National Museum of Health and Medicine invites little ghouls and their families to get into the Halloween spirit by learning about skulls. The theme of the program is Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a holiday that celebrates the human cycle of life and death. Learn about the traditions associated with Día de los Muertos by decorating your own sugar skull (for 1st graders and up); participate in story time with books about Day of the Dead and skeletons; make your own skull mask; and more. Halloween costumes are welcome! The National Museum of Health and Medicine is now located at 2500 Linden Lane in Silver Spring, just outside of the Fort Detrick-Forest Glen Annex. A designated visitor parking lot is located off Linden Lane in front of the Museum (do not enter the Annex gates). Adult visitors will need to present photo ID upon entry to the Museum.
“Eye Spy” Halloween Train Where: Cabin John Regional Park When: October 20-23, October 27-30 (see schedule for times) Admission: $6/person, $5 with canned food donation, free for kids 2 and under
Hop on board the Halloween! Cabin John’s “Eye Spy” features just enough “boo” power for kids age 8 and under. Along the ride through the woods on the train, kids can try to find Halloween friends hiding along the way and mark them off their “Eye Spy” game cards that they receive with admission. Guests can also enjoy Halloween movies every night, face painting on Saturdays and Sundays, and light refreshments for sale.
Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel Where: Wheaton Regional Park When: October 20-23, October 27-30 (see schedule for times) Admission: $6/person, $5 with canned food donation
Wheaton Regional Park’s Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel are back and scarier than ever! This annual Halloween attraction is designed for people 8 years old and above, because they do their best to make it VERY SCARY (and this is the website description, so take their word for it). Admission includes one ride each on the train and carousel, plus entrance to the Hall of Jack o’ Lanterns movie theater presenting scary films every night.
BooStravaganza and Hardly Haunted Hayrides Where: Frying Pan Farm Park When: October 28, 5:30-8:30pm & October 29, 12-6:30pm Admission: $8/child on 10/28, $5/child on 10/29
Make reservations for BooStravaganza on Friday, where children ages 2-8 can dress in their favorite costumes and enjoy fun, games, and a wagon ride. They’ll finish the evening with treats and a small pumpkin. On Saturday, kids of all ages can take Hardly Haunted Hayrides along with other farm fun. Reservation are recommended.
BB2 BOO – Boogie Babes Halloween Happy Hour Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center When: October 26, 5:15-6:30pm doors open at 5pm Admission: $10/family
The Boogie Babes are growing up with BB2, musical get-togethers that are cool for older kids, too. They’re kicking off the fun with a Halloween dance party. Kid and parents are invited to come in costume for entertainment, light snacks, and photos taken by Maya’s Eye Photography. Adult beverages will also be available for purchase. An RSVP is appreciated, though not required: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Halloween Harvest Family Special Where: Discovery Theater When: October 27-28 10:15am & 11:30am, October 29, 11am & 1pm Admission: $12/adults, $10/ages 2 and up, $3/children under 2, $10/resident members
Dress up in a costume and join Oran (“Chef FONZ” and “Professor Wingnut Wants to Fly”) Sandel at the Discovery Theater pumpkin patch for songs, games, and more. He’ll spin an American Indian harvest story; guests will look inside Mr. Jack O’ Lantern (what really makes him tick?) and create a pumpkin face for Discovery Theater. Bring in YOUR design, and they’ll post it on their Facebook page. On Saturday, 10/29, be sure to stop by the Ripley concourse for Discovery Theater’s First Annual Harvest Halloween Festival from 11am-2pm, where families will find lots of fabulous fall fun together.
Halloween Monster Jump Where: Pump It Up in Lanham, Md When: October 28-31, various times (See below) Admission: $13/child, $5/adult
Halloween is simply spook-tacular when you’re at a bouncing, laughing, sliding, howling, so don a costume and jump on over to Pump It Up for freaky fun and frightening food. There will be a prize for best costume and a chance to win a free birthday party. For guest safety, costumes may not include: masks, jewelry, capes or other hanging items, or heavy make-up , and 100% polyester is strictly prohibited. Must include socks. Halloween Monster Jumps will take place at the following times: 10/28 6-8pm & 8-10pm, 10/29 8:30pm-10:30pm,,10/30 is TBD, 10/31 6-8pm & 7:45pm-9:45pm. The admission fee includes 2 slices of pizza and a drink, plus goodies for everyone.
Glow Night – A Magical Evening on the Farm Where: Great Country Farms When: October 28-29, 6-9pm Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, free for ages 2 and under
See a spectacular display of over 2000 lighted jack-o-lanterns carved by local school children. The magical moment when they cut the lights (7pm) will take your breath away. Bring your carved Jack-o-lantern to enter in a carving competitions — Jack-o-lanterns are judged for Best in Glow, Scariest and Funniest. Along with the light show, warm yourself by the bonfire, roast some marshmallows, and enjoy apple cider.
Haunted Halloween Pop-Ups Where: National Building Museum When: October 29, 10am-12pm Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free
Celebrate the spirit of Halloween as you design your very own pop-up haunted house. Learn the pop-up architecture technique from guest artist Carol Barton. Decorate a spooky haunted house scene to take place on your window sill. Fun for the whole family, the festivities include crafts, treats, and ghosts stories (more silly than spooky!) about the Museum. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Prepaid registration required. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Trick or Treat with the Boutiques Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria When: October 29 during store hours Admission: FREE
Bring your ghosts and goblins for a day of trick or treat in the Old Town Boutique District. The OTBD’s annual Trick or Treat with the Boutiques event is a great way for families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween day in Old Town Alexandria. All of the participating OTBD stores will offer treats. Some may also offer family friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Tricks and treats will be available during the day and during store hours.
Halloween Fun with the Jimmies Where: National Geographic When: October 29, 1pm Admission: $16/adults, $12/kids 12 and under, $40/family four-pack
“Gimme Jimmies” is the rallying cry of this NYC-based kindie rock band, a Parents’ Choice award winner whose clever, creative music gets kids rocking. The heavy guitar groove hooks in parents as well. Dress in your Halloween costume—maybe a lion, leopard, or tiger, to support NG’s Big Cats Initiative—and get ready to rock-and-roll.
Halloween Festivities in Penn Quarter Where: MLK, Jr Memorial Library, 8th Street NW, & Calvary Baptist Church When: October 29, 2-6pm Admission: FREE
Save the date for an afternoon of fun Halloween festivities for families of boooys and ghouls living in Penn Quarter and the surrounding DC area. From 2-4pm, costumed children can enjoy Halloween story time, light refreshments, and trick-or-treating throughout the Library. After that, join a costume Parade for a Playground as kids make their way to Calvary Baptist Church for a Creepy Crawly Fun Filled Halloween Party from 4-6pm, where there will be crafts, treats, a costume contest with prizes, a creepy guessing game, a dance party, and a moon bounce.
Flight Fest Where: College Park Aviation Museum When: October 29, 12-4pm Admission: $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free for under 2
Wear your costume and enjoy the fun, fall-themed activities. There will be a costume contest and pumpkin bowling. Arts, crafts, hayrides, and spooky fun are waiting for kids and families.
Air and Scare Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum When: October 29, 2-8pm Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 7pm
Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 7th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Bring the tiniest visitors by the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. Don’t forget to stop by the face painting station or pose for a photo with your favorite Star Wars character!
Crime Museum Halloween Kids & Candy Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment When: October 30, 1-6pm Admission: $10/costumes child, $10/adults accompanying children
Batman, Wonder Woman, police officers, and all other costumed characters can enjoy a day of Halloween fun at this Penn Quarter museum. Festivities include a regular museum tour, Police Academy Jr. Activity Sheet, McGruff the Crime Dog appearances, finger print identification cards, candy, and more.
Kidsfest Where: George Washington University When: October 30, 11am – 3pm Admission: Free
GWU is hosting this event for families to celebrate Halloween in a safe environment. The festival will include activity booths, where kids can play games and complete arts and crafts projects; a trick-or-treating route through a Residence Hall; and a Witch’s Kitchen. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. Kidsfest will take place in the Hippodrome on the 5th floor of the Marvin Center located at 800 21st NW.
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 31, 5:30-7:30pm
Capitol Hill’s annual event is legendary for little ones. The block of 7th Street SE next to Eastern Market will be closed to traffic for one of the best community Halloween celebrations in the city. Hayrides, moon bounces, goody giveaways, and even a mini carousel will add to the excitement. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the neighborhood extravaganza.
Operation Disguise Where: International Spy Museum When: October 1-31 Admission: Take $5 off these fees with a disguise – $18/ages 12 and up, $15/ages 5-11
Celebrate Halloween at the Spy Museum all month long. When you wear the right disguise, you get $5 off the regular admission price. Go covert October 17-23 with a pair of glasses, and don a moustache from October 23-31. And if you’re looking for help with a Halloween costume, there will also be a disguise/makeup event in the Spy Museum Store on Saturday, October 29th, from 12-7pm.