Tag Archives: October 2018

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 29 – November 2

A Megalodon replica at the Calvert Marine Museum

Monday – Take a day trip out to Solomons, MD, to visit the Calvert Marine Museum, which highlights the environment and maritime history of the Chesapeake Bay. Fascinating exhibits, including display cases full of fossils and artifacts, live fish and other creatures, and a real lighthouse to tour are engaging for all ages. There are things to see both indoors and out, including beautiful scenic views. And you can bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy by the water. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $9/adult, $4/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under.

Tuesday – Spend the day at Roosevelt Island, where you can enjoy a hike and a dose of history in one fell swoop. The trails are easy for little legs to tramp, and you can explore the Memorial Plaza to learn about the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt. The entrance to the park is located right off the GW Parkway, just past the Roosevelt Bridge, and accessible only from the northbound lanes. Hours are 6am – 10pm, and admission is free. Get a little more of the KFDC take on it in this post about local walks in the woods with kids.

Wednesday – Join The Art League Gallery Staff for an exciting “Mini Makers” art activity for children 5 years and under (with an adult caretaker). The session takes place 10:30-11:30am in Alexandria. Admission is free, but spaces are limited, so RSVP is required. Coffee and light refreshments will be served. Costumes are encouraged for this first meeting!

You can also celebrate Halloween and autumn at the Downtown DC Fall Festival! All ages are welcome to Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Regan Building for some FREE fun, including a petting zoo, pumpkin decorating, face painting, the DC Public Library Book Bike, musical entertainment, food vendors, hot cider, a hay bale maze, costumed stilt walkers, and giveaways. Wear Halloween costumes for photo ops!

Thursday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s day off and head to their super fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. It’s open all day (Friday, too!), and admission is free.

Friday – Explore a true local hidden gem: The National Museum of the U.S. Navy. Located on base in the Navy Yard, it’s a trove of fascinating exhibits. See an amazing collection of model ships, peer into a real periscope, sit in the gun seats of old fighter planes, view naval artifacts hundreds of years old, and much more. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free. *Be sure to note requirements for access to the base and museum.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Halloween, Maryland, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up:
October 26-28

Día de los Muertos at the American Indian Museum is a fun, festive, and free celebration!

Happy Weekend!

Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Break in the costumes and prep for Halloween coming on Wednesday all weekend long! There’s a scary amount of events and activities that celebrate the spooky spirit. Some are detailed below, and this post has details on even more happenings where the tricks and treats are going on.

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

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

The Big Draw
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Join the NGA for the world’s largest drawing festival. This museum-wide celebration of drawing includes a Sketching Lab, in-gallery sessions with teaching artists, live models, music, and film. Be sure to check the website for the schedule of workshops, which are all first-come, first-served, here.

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

The end of October and beginning of November marks the end of the long southward migration of large numbers of monarch butterflies. The butterflies’ arrival in Mexico coincides with the observance of Día de los Muertos. The museum is celebrating monarch butterflies through the creation of an interactive mural with Joaquin Newman, butterfly luminaria, and butterfly masks. Butterflies will also appear in a contemporary ofrenda celebrating the marigold paddler, an ancient Maya story interpreted by Evelyn Orantes and traditional ofrendas by Oaxacan-born Lucina Flores and Puebla-born Luz Maria Reyes. Grupo los Tecuanes shares cultural performances of Danza de los Tecuanes (Dance of the Jaguar) and Danza de los Viejitos (Dance of the Old Men).

Truck or Treat!
Where: Suburban Nursery School
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $5

Suburban Nursey School is hosting its annual Truck Touch, this time with a Halloween twis — the first 200 kids to arrive in costume will get a treat! But everyone who attends will enjoy the hands-on event for kids of all ages.The parking lot will be full of emergency vehicles, construction trucks, school buses, and other cool things that go, and kids are allowed and encouraged to explore. There will also be a used toy and book sale, bounce houses, pumpkin decorating, face painting, nail art, little tykes ride-ons, matchbox car races, and much more!

Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
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.

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

Celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with the Smithsonian American Art Museum! Enjoy Mexican folk dance performances throughout the day and leave your handmade “ofrendas” (offerings) including paper marigolds, calaveras (skull masks), and paper monarch butterflies on our Day of the Dead altar. See more about the museum here.

Kids’ Day at the Washington International Horse Show
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free for kids, $15/adult

This fun, family-friendly event created to share the joy of horses with the local D.C. community and teach kids and their families about horses and equestrian sport. Children can participate in more than a dozen hands-on educational and fun activities, including pony rides, the Discovery Communications Horseless Horse Show, the Horse Stars Hall of Fame interactive exhibit, coloring station, face painting, pony brushing lessons from Rokeby Farm Stables, plus giveaways from 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 Mini Cooper, the mini pony! And note that the Horse Show will be happening all weekend!

OAKtober Fest
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 8am for 5k, 10am for festival
Admission: Free, but $20/child, $35/adult to join the 5k

Friends of the National Arboretum and the Washington Youth Garden present the 2nd annual fall festival for the 2018 OAKtoberfest and 5k Fun Run at the Arboretum. The 5k course will showcase DC’s amazing fall foliage while winding through forests and fields- all on paved, uninterrupted paths. Stay the rest of the afternoon for a children’s tree climb, a kids’ bike rodeo, walking and bicycle tours, food trucks, and live music!

Show Time
Where: Venues around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* It’s the last chance to see the classic children’s book Blueberries for Sal come to life at Adventure Theatre (Save $2 per ticket on the Saturday 11am or 2pm show with code LASTCHANCE)
* Jason Reynolds’s best-selling book Long Way Down has been adapted for the stage at the Kennedy Center
* Sleepy Hollow brings a haunting tale to Synetic Theater
* Enjoy Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical at Black Rock Center for the Arts in Gaithersburg
* The Tiniest Tempest at The Atlas is Shakespeare for young theatre-goers
* Hansel & Gretel is the Main Stage production at The Puppet Co.
* Little ones will love Imaginary Friends, this week’s featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre.
* Beetlejuiceis running at National Theatre
* Take tots and preschoolers to see Blue at Imagination Stage

Pumpin Rock ‘n Roll
Where: Warner Circle Park | Kensington, MD
When: Saturday, 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 hay maze. Don’t miss the main event: The Pumpkin Roll, a derby race of Halloween pumpkins-turned-boxcars.

Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
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.

Family Day
Where: Dumbarton Oaks | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

This event for families is a great opportunity for children of all ages to learn about the Juggling the Middle Ages exhibition through hands-on activities, including juggling lessons for kids! Guests can also enjoy two live juggling performances (2:30pm & 3:30pm), arts and crafts tables, and book readings, followed by the chance to view the exhibition. Featuring more than 100 objects, Juggling the Middle Ages explores the influence of the medieval world by focusing on a single story with a long-lasting impact — Le Jongleur de Notre Dame or Our Lady’s Tumbler —  following the tale from its rediscovery by scholars in the 1870s to its modern interpretations in children’s books. Light snacks and refreshments will be available. Register for free here.

Kids Euro Festival
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

It’s another weekend of the series that’s essentially a passport to artistic adventures, as the 11th Annual Kids Euro Festival brings continental entertainment right to DC. More than 70 free performances all around the metro area — musicians, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers, and more — are performing at a variety of venues around the city through November 4. See what’s on the schedule over the next few days.

The Smurfs at 60
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

La la lala la la la lala la la…Celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Smurfs, characters created in 1958 by Belgian artist Peyo. Enjoy six different cartoon episodes and watch as our blue friends get into a lot of fun misadventures! Featured episodes include: “A Gift for Papa’s Day,” “Secret of Shadow Swamp,” “Lazy’s Slumber Party,” “Queen Smurfette,” “Brainy’s Smarty Part,” and “Smurfette’s Gift.” Recommended for ages 6 and up, this screening is held in partnership with Kids Euro Festival and the Belgian embassy. Approximately 72 minutes.

123 Andrés Show
Where: John Marshall Library | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

As part of the big reopening celebration for the John Marshall Library, local favorites 123 Andrés will perform a fun concert for kids and families! Join them and be a part of this big celebration.

Pumpkin Carving for Kids
Where: Maketto | H Street NE, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Join the H Street restaurant on Sunday to make some jack-o-lanterns just in time for Halloween.  Enjoy complimentary snacks and cider, too. I also recommend planning to have a meal while you’re there — the food is delicious!

Little Spooky Sprouts
Where: Beefsteak | Tenleytown, DC
When: Sunday, 11 am
Admission: Free, but pay for meals

Have some Halloween fun at the eatery! Activities include a costume contest, craft station to decorate mini pumpkins, a “HOLLOW-een” taste station of pumpkin dishes and seed snacks using all parts of the pumpkin, FREE JV bowl with purchase of a regular bowl, 1/2 off fall bowl coupon for future use, and Halloween goodie bags with purchase of a JV bowl Sunday through Halloween.

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Sunday, 2pm & 4pm
Tickets: $15-18

An annual tradition! The Concert Hall transforms into a ghostly sight when the NSO performs new and old classics to celebrate Halloween, which this year also marks the Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) with ghoulishly attired musicians. Arrive early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Recommended for ages 5+.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Local ice rinks | Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

The outdoor ice skating season around DC has begun! A few local rinks are welcoming skaters to glide away under the sky, and indoor rinks host public skate sessions, too. See this post with details on where you can enjoy some cool recreation.

Inside Out(ings)
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

With rain in the forecast for at least part of the weekend, you’ll want to have some go-to places to hang inside. The Great Indoors post has over 100 ideas for just those kinds of adventures.

* The Smithsonian has a school for little learners! Check out the many programs at Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center.
* Kids in 4th and 5th grades can ski free in PA, thanks to the Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association Snowpass program!
* Bon Appétit magazine just launched a column by Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen on yummy dishes for picky little eaters.
* Uniqlo has great, warm, cute, and very inexpensive basics for both kids and adults. (And that referral link gets you a discount!)
* A Star is Born is AH-mazing — stellar performances by both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. See it (KidFree) if you haven’t already!


Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Maryland, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

Ice It at These Skating Rinks Around the DC Area

Skate under the stars (and over the Potomac) at The Wharf


As the weather cools down, ice skating rinks throughout the DC area open up! A few start welcoming skaters in October, and the rest will follow suit by mid-November. Going for a glide on ice is a quintessential way to enjoy some active fun outdoors during the cold months. Of course, it can be a great activity indoors, too! So, lace up your skates and get out there — this list has the scoop on where and when to ice skate in and around DC. Happy gliding!



Canal Park Ice Rink 
Where: 220 M Street SE | Capitol Riverfront, DC
Open: November 11 – March 10
Hours: Sun-Thurs 12-10pm, Fri 2-11pm, Sat 12-11pm
Cost: $13/adult, $10/child, $6/rental
Bonus: They offer skating aids for beginners to push around the rink. And after you work up an appetite from all the skating, enjoy pizza from Wise Guys right there, or you’ve got your pick of eateries in the Navy Yard neighborhood where you can grab a bite and warm up.

Washington Harbour Ice Rink 
Where: 3050 K Street NW | Georgetown, DC
Open: November 17 – February 25
Hours: Sun–Thurs 11am – 8:30pm, Fri-Sat 11am – 10:30pm
Cost: $11/adult, $9/child, seniors, military, $7/skate rental
Bonus: Location, location, location. Not only do you get a lovely view of the Potomac, you’re right in Georgetown, where there’s great shopping and places to eat, so you can really make a day and/or night of it. Also, with push penguins available ($10), it’s a good rink for newbie skaters. Also, be sure to check the website for specials on certain days/times! [Note that admission is by timed session that are 1.5 hours.]  

District Wharf Ice Rink 
Where: Transit Pier at The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: November 22 – late February
Hours: Wed-Fri 4-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-8pm
Cost: $13/adult, $10/12 & under, $7/skate rental
Bonus: The rink at The Wharf is located on the Transit Pier, so you’re practically skating over the river. When you’re done zipping around on blades, warm up by the cozy fire pit, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, browse the shops, or hang out and enjoy the waterfront views.

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink 
Where: 7th St. & Constitution Ave. NW | National Mall, DC
Open: November 20– March 3
Hours: Sun–Thurs 11am–9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
Cost: $12/adult, $10/child, $6/skate rental (ID required)
Bonus: You can check out some art on your outing — the rink is literally in the middle of the Sculpture Garden that showcases many big, bold works of art. You can also plan to visit a museum before or after your skating session; it’s easy enough to pop in to one of the free Smithsonian galleries. For some fuel, the Pavilion Cafe is also located within the Sculpture Garden and offers light fare, including warm beverages.



Silver Spring Veteran’s Plaza Ice Rink
Where: 8523 Fenton Street | Silver Spring, MD
When:  October 15 – Mid-March
Hours: Mon–Thurs 12am–10pm, Fri 12-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am–10pm
Cost: $11/adult, $10/child, $6/skate rental for one hour
Bonus: The rink is right in downtown Silver Spring, surrounded by restaurants, shops, and plenty of parking. It’s also an easy walk from the Metro.

Rockville Town Square Ice Rink
Where: 131 Gibbs Street | Rockville, MD
When: November – Mid-March
Hours: Mon-Thur 12-10pm, Fri 12-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm
Cost: $11-13/age 13+, $10-12/12 & under, $5/skate rentals
Bonus: Skate in the largest outdoor ice skating rink — 7,200 square feet! — between Baltimore and Washington, DC. While you’re at the Town Square, take advantage of the selection of restaurants and shops, or spend some downtime at the Rockville Library or VisArts Center.

Color Burst Ice Rink
Merriweather District | Columbia, MD
November 17 – Mid-March
Mon-Thurs 4-9pm, Fri 4-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-8pm
$14/skate & rental
You can pair an ice skating outing with a visit to Symphony of Lights during the holiday season. Plus, there are eateries and arts offerings to take advantage of in safe ways.



Pentagon Row Outdoor Ice Skating Rink
Where: 1201 South Joyce Street | Arlington,VA
When: November – Mid-March
Cost: $11/age 13+, $10/$12 & under, $6/skate rental
Hours: Tues-Thurs, 12-10pm, Fri 12-11pm Sat 10am-11pm, Sun-Mon 10am–10pm
Bonus: Recently renovated and expanded, it’s a good choice for kiddos learning to skate — Penguin Skating aids are available at the rink kiosk. Also located amid many shopping and dining options.

Reston Town Center Ice Skating
Where: 11900 Market Street | Reston, VA
Open:  November 3 – March 10
Cost: $10/age 12+, $9/11 & under, $7/skate rentals
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11:30am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am – 11pm
Bonus: The Town Center is like a mini downtown, so you can do some shopping, have a bite to eat, check off some errands, even see a movie along with your skating excursion.

Ice & Lights
Cameron Run Park | Alexandria, VA
December 1 – January 1 
$20 (includes winter village)
Bonus: Ice & Lights is part of the The Winter Village at Cameron Run, so you can experience a winter wonderland along with skating, including beautifully lit photo ops, music, and more. Grab a slice of pizza, roast a marshmallow over the fire pits, and enjoy the whole winter village.


Making the rounds at Fort Dupont Ice Arena



Fort Dupont Ice Arena (UNDER CONSTRUCTION 2023-24!!!)
Where: 3779 Ely Place SE | Anacostia, DC
Cost: $5/adults, $4/children, $3/skate rental
Hours: Fri 12-2pm, Sat 1-3pm, Sun 2:30-4:30pm



Herbert Wells Ice Rink
Where: 5211 Paint Branch Parkway | College Park, MD
Cost: $5-7/adult, $4-6/child, $2/skate rental
Hours: Sun 2:30-4:30pm, Wed 12-2pm, Fri 3:15-5:15pm, Sat 2-4pm & 9:30-11:30pm
Open:  October to April

Cabin John Ice Rink 
Where: 10610 Westlake Drive | Rockville, MD
Cost: $8/age 11+, $5/age 3-4, $7/age 5-10 $4/skate rental
Hours: Vary by day, view the current schedule on website
Open: Daily, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas

The Gardens Ice House 
Where: 13800 Old Gunpowder Road | Laurel, MD
Cost: $7.70/adult, $4.75/skate rental
Hours: Vary by day, see the schedule here

Wheaton Ice Arena
Where: 11717 Orebaugh Avenue | Wheaton, MD
Cost: $8/age 11+, $5/age 3-4, $7/age 5-10 $4/skate rental
Hours: Vary, see the schedule on the website



MedStar Capitals Iceplex 
Where: 627 N. Glebe Road | Arlington, VA (8th Level of Ballston Parking Garage)
Cost: $15
Hours: Vary by day, find public skate times here.

Mount Vernon RECenter Ice Arena (CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS)
Where: 2017 Belle View Blvd.| Alexandria, VA
When: Year-round
Cost: $5.50/youth, $7/adult, $22/family,
Hours: Vary by day, so view online here.

Fairfax Ice Arena
Where: 3779 Pickett Road | Fairfax, VA
When: Daily, Year-Round
Cost: $9/weekday, $10/weekends, $4/rentals
Hours: Vary by day, so view online and see special holiday hours here.

The St. James Ice House 
Where: 6805 Industrial Road | Springfield, VA
When: Saturdays & Sundays
Cost: $10/members, $12/non-members, $5-6/rentals
Hours: Public skating offered on Friday evenings

Prince William Ice Center
Where: 5180 Dale Blvd. | Woodbridge, VA
When: Daily, year-round
Cost: $10/session, $3/rentals
Hours: Vary by day, so view online here.

Where: 1800 Michael Faraday Court | Reston, VA
When: Year-round
Cost: $9/session, $4/rentals
Hours: Times vary, check here to se when public skate sessions are held

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Filed under 2018, 2019, All ages, DC, Fall, Indoor Play, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 22-26

See the inner workings of Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park

Monday – Enjoy the great fall weather at River Farm. The American Horticulture Society’s headquarters overlooking the Potomac River in Alexandria are as lovely as they are fun. The kids will love playing in the delightful Children’s Garden, and you’ll all love exploring the grounds. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Tuesday – Celebrate Spain through storytelling at Capitol View Interim Library. The free session begins at 10:30am and is best for ages 2-5. It’s part of the Kids Euro Festival, a wonderful program from the EU Delegation to the US that brings two weeks of free art & cultural adventures to DC. See what else is on the schedule this week here.

Wednesday – Catch a performance of Blue at Imagination Stage. Recommended for ages 1-5, showtime is 10:30am, and tickets are $12.

Thursday – Take kiddos to Cox Farms for their Fall Festival! It’ll be a great place to spend the DCPS day off from school and enjoy TONS of autumn fun! Hours are 10am – 6pm, and admission is $10.

Friday – Head to Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park for As the Wheel Turns, a program where guests of all ages can learn about the power of water and its connection to food on a mill tour. Drop in from 10am – 4pm. Admission is free. Read about a KFDC adventure at Peirce Mill.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Free, Maryland, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: October 19-21

This weekend is your last chance for merriment at Ren Fest!

Happy Weekend!

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

Consider this your passport to two weeks of art and cultural events, as the 11th Annual Kids Euro Festival kicks off Saturday, bringing continental entertainment right to DC. This is the first weekend of the event that will present all kinds of free adventures 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 4. This weekend alone see films from Romania and Finland, listen to German storytelling, enjoy Bulgarian puppetry, join a Swedish art workshop, and more. Explore the full schedule here.

Boo at the Zoo

Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC

When: Friday – Sunday, 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. By the end of the evening, your Boo at the Zoo treat bags will be brimming with your favorite chocolates, snacks and souvenirs. Treat stations will include goodies for all ages, including adult treats like craft beer and food tastings. Costumes encouraged.

Air and Scare

Where: Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA

When: Saturday, 12-5:30pm

Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 6pm

See the spooky side of air and space at the Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center’s 12th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Arrive in costume to get into the Halloween spirit and enjoy safe indoor trick-or-treating.

Colonial Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm | McLean, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: $8/adult, $4/age 3-12, free/under 3

Enjoy the splendor of fall on a living history farm. Warm yourself by the fire while you savor crisp local apples, spit roasted chicken, and hearty breads. Watch and participate with period tradesmen, like the spinners and blacksmith. Live music, singing and dancing, and games are also among the festivities. And kids will delight in seeing turkeys, pigs, and chickens. Period food, beverages, and wares will be available for purchase. Read more about Claude Moore Colonial Farm here.

Fall Harvest Family Days

Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $18-20/adults, $11-12/kids 6-11, free/under 6

Enjoy fall activities with the whole family at George Washington’s digs. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride and play colonial games on the bowling green before heading to the Pioneer Farm to observe 18th-century demonstrations and greet General Washington. Find your way through a straw bale maze and listen to the Itinerant Band play colonial tunes. And Potomac River sightseeing cruises are free this weekend only (while supplied last)!

Fall, Y’all!
Where: Around the DMV
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 that let you relish in the fun autumn brings. This post has details on where all the fall is happening.

Last Call for Merriment
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $25/age 16+, $10/age 7-15, free/under 7

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, as they could sell out. Huzzah!

Where: La Maison Française | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

This full day of activities for children with special needs and their families is part of the Kids Euro Festival. There will be performances, movies, storytelling, and more, and countries represented include Bulgaria, Ireland, and the United States. Throughout the day there will also be crafts, a caricaturist, short films and face painting — and guests invited to wear Halloween costumes.

Show Time
Where: Venues around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* The classic children’s book Blueberries for Sal comes to life on the Adventure Theatre stage
* Sleepy Hollow brings a haunting tale to Synetic Theater
* Hansel & Gretel is the Main Stage production at The Puppet Co.
* Little ones will love Panda-Monium, this week’s featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre.
* Wheaton Family Theatre Series presents Voytto Tech: a scifi fable on Saturday
* Beetlejuice is running at National Theatre
* Take the tots and preschoolers to see Blue at Imagination Stage
* See Jack and the Beanstalk: A Children’s Opera at the Arts Barn in Gaithersburg
* Make it a date night for Turn Me Loose at Arena Stage

DC||CX: DC Cyclocross Races
Where: Armed Forces Retirement Home | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Kids’ races and to spectate are FREE

Bicycles, cowbells, food trucks, and beer are all part of one of the largest, internationally-sanctioned cycling events in the Mid-Atlantic region, where top-level elite and amateur cyclocross athletes will compete in 36 categorized races over the two days. Kids can get in on the fun, too, both as spectators and in Lil’ Belgian races just for them (even better, registration is free for children ages nine and under). And the public is welcome to watch the action. Registration for junior and adult racers ranges from $20 to $50. BYO bicycles and helmets.

Archaeology Family Day
Where: Natural History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrating International Archaeology Day with special activities at the National Museum of Natural History. Talk to archaeologists — learn about fascinating finds, career paths, challenges in the field, and the joy of discovery. Do some archaeology — practice the skills archaeologists use to piece together the past and participate in mock excavations, illustration, decoding ancient writing systems, experimentation, and artifact analysis. Explore collections — examine museum artifacts in the Q?rius Collections Zone,
get resources, and find out about opportunities to get involved in archaeology in your community.

The Power of Place
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Inspired by the National Museum of African American History & Culture’s exhibition, The Power of Place, this Community Day explores the personal geography of place. The schoolyard, the sports field, and the outdoors are just some of the places that mold culture and identity. Join the museum for activities that celebrate the places and spaces of personal geography. Admission is free, but passes are required — get them here.

Zombie Fun Run
Where: Bon Air Park | Arlington, VA
When: October 20, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $3/advance, $5/day of

They’re back! The family-friendly Zombie Fun Run returns to Bon Air Park. After the run, enjoy spooky games, moon bounces and inflatables, food trucks, and more at the Survival Zone. Register in advance online or by phone at 703.228.4747.

Pizza Class & Halloween Costume Party
Where: Matchbox locations around the DMV
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: $30

Dress in costume and join Matchbox for a Halloween-themed kids pizza party. Festivities include a hands-on pizza making class for kids (complete with chef toque), a tour of the kitchen and pizza ovens, jack-o-lantern cookie decorating and other Halloween treats, and a round of mimosas for parents. This will take place at the following Matchbox locations: 14th Street, Capitol Hill, Merrifield, One Loudon, Potomac Mills, and Rockville.

More Wicked Fun
Where: Around the DMV
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.

American Indian Festival
Where: Patuxent River Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of Native Americans at the 10th Annual American Indian Festival. This free event features live music, drumming, singing, dancing, storytelling, interactive exhibits, demonstrations, American Indian games, archery and more. Great entertainment, games, and fun activities make it a great family day! The event is FREE!, but there may be a nominal fee for food and some activities.

Movie at the Museum
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Presented as part of Kids Euro Festival: In the Romanian film, Strajerii (The Sentries), join a group of children on their mountain camp adventure. When little Radu gets lost in the woods, everyone in the group, including his younger sister, worries and imagines all sorts of fantastic scenarios. But Radu finds help where he least expects it. The Sentries is the first adventure film with and for children produced independently in Romania after the 1989 Revolution. Recommended for ages 9+.

Cider Days

Where: Locust Grove Nature Center | Bethesda, MD
When Saturday & Sunday, 2-3pm & 3:30-4:30pm
Admission: $7

Fall is the perfect time to sip on fresh apple cider! At Locust Grove Cider Days learn about pollination and the history of apples. You will get to press your own apples in our hand cranked press and then sample the cider and discover some lesser-known apple varieties. Space is limited, so registration is required.

DC Roller Girls
Where: DC Armory | Southeast DC
When: Saturday, 4:30pm (doors open at 3:30pm)
Admission: $15/age 12+, $6/age 3-11, free/2 & under

DC Rollergirls, the National Capital Region’s only women’s flat-track roller derby league, are putting a Halloween twist on Saturday’s match as the DC DEMONcats take on SCARE Force One in a spooky exhibition game featuring all your favorite skaters and fun for fans – including a halftime Halloween costume contest! Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and wheels roll at 4:30. 

Touch-a Truck (& Shop)
Where: Leesburg Premium Outlets | Leesburg, VA
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Families are invited to make a pit stop at this Touch-A-Truck event on Saturday.  Throughout the day, little ones can explore local first responder vehicles, including the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Department firetruck, Leesburg Police Department cruiser and more! Fashionistas can also stock up on the latest trends at sought after brands, including lululemon athletica, Old Navy Outlet, Tory Burch and Vineyard Vines.

Broadcom MASTERS Project Showcase
Where: National Geographic | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Join 30 of the top middle school scientists in the country as they compete in the Broadcom M.A.S.T.E.R.S., the nation’s most prestigious Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition for middle school students! These talented students will be on hand to discuss their science and engineering projects with other students, teachers, parents, scientists, engineers and members of the general public who share their enthusiasm for science and engineering during this free project showcase.

DC Diaper Bank Birthday
Where: DC Brau | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 3-6pm
Admission: Free (but donation suggested)

Greater DC Diaper Bank is celebrating 8 years and you’re invited to join them at DC Brau Brewing Company for the first ever Diaper Olympics, a performance byKidsinger Jim, crafts, birthday cake, and amazing beer. Bring the kids and your desire to help families!  They’ll also be announcing new partners and sharing updates on The Nursery Project. Don’t know what to get them for their birthday? No worries, they’re asking folks to donate $24 when they get there — that amount allows them to diaper a baby in need for a month!

Story Times
Where: Solid State Books | H Street NE, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

On Saturday, head to the H Street bookstore for a Story Time and Singalong with local kids entertainer Bearsong. Then on Sunday, author and illustrator Vanessa Roeder will read from her picture book Lucy and the String. A sweet and silly tale of unexpected friendship between a girl and the bear she finds at the end of a string, this story is filled with curiosity and heart, and is perfect for young children.

Preschool & Private School Fair
Where: Browne Academy | Alexandria, VA
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

The DCschoolHUB Preschool & Private School Fair will be experiential, fun, and a creative way to learn about area programs all in one day. The area’s top preschools and private schools will be in attendance along with several of the finest education outlets. Additionally, they’ll have door prizes, giveaways, and more — bring the whole family!

The Rumpus Room
Where: U Street Music Hall | U Street Corridor, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: $10

DC’s only daytime dance party for families returns with a Halloween spin! They’ll be getting (slightly) spooky in the club, so put on your costumes along with your dancing shoes! Hit the dance floor filled with little ghosts, goblins, witches, dragons, and pumpkins of all ages. The soundtrack for the day will be a family-friendly mix of dance hits and Halloween classics, all at a kid-friendly volume. Rumpus Room is designed for kids 8 and under and their caregivers, but older siblings are welcome.

World of Montgomery Festival
Where: Montgomery College | Rockville, MD
When: Sunday, 12- 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the rich diversity of the DC area at the 9th annual World of Montgomery Festival with multicultural music, food, dance, exhibits, and hands-on activities. In the spotlight this year are the cultures of Korea, China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and India, which are the the largest immigrant populations in MoCo. Experience all of these cultures by participating in a variety of hands-on activities, including traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, Chinese dragon dancing, henna art painting, and craft-making. Two performance stages will spotlight dancers and musicians from across the world, and the centerpiece of the day will be the Parade of Cultures, led by the feet pounding rhythms of traditional African drummers, Latin American dancers, and Asian performers in native dress who encircled the festival grounds.

Kidz Graffiti Party
Where: Art Jamz | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 12:30-2:30pm
Admission: $10

Get messy like a street artist at our Art Jamz! Children of all ages are invited to paint their very own master pieces on the ArtJamz walls.The lounge will be open for accompanying parents, and they’ll be playing jamming tunes to inspire all the little artists. Afterwards, families can purchase additional studio time and canvas and let your visions come to life off the wall!

DC United vs. NYC FC
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Sunday, 3pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

It’s the regular season finale at Audi Field as the United host New York City FC. Word has it the new stadium is awesome. And if you go a little early, there should be some pre-match pop-ups and activities on the plaza.

Out & About
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This time of year is perfect for outdoor adventures, so the keep the round-up of the Best Places in the DC Are to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids handy!

* There are some fantastic ways to enjoy autumn around the DC area that aren’t the typical fall farm fun.
* Jim Thorpe, PA, is an awesome place for an easy getaway — with or without kids. (I’ll be posting more soon about a recent trip there.)
* This is my book club’s latest pick. Have you read it yet?
* A new Whole Foods just opened in the Navy Yard! (Yes, this kind of thing is very exciting to me these days. 😀 )


Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Maryland, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend