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The Weekend Round-Up: December 2-4

Scene from a past (snowy) Boat Parade of Lights

Scene from a past (snowy) Boat Parade of Lights



Holiday cheer is abundant this weekend with all kinds of events and activities that celebrate the season. And if you’re still not quite ready to embrace the spirit, there are plenty of activities to sate the bah-humbuggers, too. Happy Weekend!

Smithsonian Holiday Festival
Where: Smithsonian Museums
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holiday season at Smithsonian Museums — the Air & Space Museum, Natural History, American History, Hirshhorn, Sackler Gallery, American Indian, African Art, and Smithsonian Castle! This Holiday Festival has tons going on, something for everyone in your crew — concerts by the U.S. Air Force Band, family holiday photo ops; screenings of The Muppet Christmas Carol; trunk shows featuring apparel, jewelry and art; book signings; festive food; and hours of additional family-friendly entertainment. See the schedule for more details.

Georgetown GLOW
Where: Georgetown neighborhood
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 6-10pm
Admission: Free

See Georgetown in a whole new light – literally. Every evening through January 1, the neighborhood will sparkle with modern light art installations on exhibit throughout the bustling community. Works of local, regional, and international artists will be on display in both public and privately-owned spaces, including M Street, along the C&O Canal, and more nearby places. Take the family dinner, then go for a stroll to check them all out.

Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

There are so many great activities running through the season to celebrate the holidays in DC. Watch model trains buzz around the National Parks and Historic Sites-themed display at the Botanic Garden’s Season’s Greetings exhibit. See the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. Join the Frost Fest at Pentagon Row. If you hope to hit ‘em all, you better get on it! A few are highlighted below, but get the complete rundown on all the area’s holiday happenings, see the 2016 KFDC Holiday Guide.

Fun for a Buck — or Free
Where: Baltimore
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free or $1

In the spirit of the holidays, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore presents Dollar or Less Days this weekend when participating attractions will open their doors offering free or $1 admission! The Maryland Science Center, Babe Ruth Museum, Port Discovery, National Aquarium, Historic Ships of Baltimore, Christmas Village, and more exciting places will be welcoming guests to take advantage. Go here for the full list of participating venues.

It Takes a Christmas Village
Where: Baltimore Inner Harbor
When: Friday & Saturday, 11am – 8pm & Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: $1 or less this weekend!

West Shore Park in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has been transformed into a Christmas Village this holiday season, and it’s full of fun for all ages. There’s kids entertainment all day long, photo ops with Santa, gingerbread house making, a bratwurst eating contest, and more. Plus, everyday there are more than 60 booths to browse for gifts, food, entertainment, and lots of holiday fun to celebrate the season. Oh, and this is par of the Dollar or Less Days, so you get in for a buck!

Let There Be Lights
Where: Around the area
When: Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit one of several parks or gardens (or the Zoo!) that has transformed into a sparkling wonderland. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. If you opt for the latter, dress the kids in PJ’s, turn up the holiday tunes, and bring along a thermos of hot chocolate. Either way, be prepared to be dazzled!

Ross Christmas Tree Sale
Where: Ross Elementary School
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free (but plan to buy a tree!)

Ross Elementary School, located at 1730 R St NW, will kick off their 9th Annual Holiday Tree today starting at 4pm. You can pre-order your tree — delivery is available — here or stop by this weekend to pick out your tree or wreath! All proceeds benefit the Ross PTA.

Santa Fly-In
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: $5

This will be an experience to remember as you watch Santa fly into the historic College Park Airport (it’s the world’s oldest continuously operating airport!). Make some holiday arts and crafts, then have your picture taken with Santa Claus after his big flight.

Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland
Where: Downtown Bethesda
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but concerts and events cost extra

Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland is back, turning Bethesda Row into an outdoor street bazaar. The celebration features holiday performances, a live ice sculpting presentation, and a visit from Santa Claus in Veterans Park.

Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
Where: Old Town Alexandria
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

For the 45th consecutive year, the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade will showcase marching units filled with the magnificent tartans of Scottish Clans, the stirring sound of Scottish bagpipes and drums, Scottish dancers, reenactment groups, Scottie dogs, dignitaries, classic cars, Santa Claus, and more. The parade begins at St. Asaph and Wilkes Streets and concludes at Market Square with a massed band concert. There will also be other festive events throughout the weekend — see the website for details.

Holiday Festival & Boat Parade of Lights
Where: Alexandria
When: Saturday, 4-9pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria’s harbor lights up when more than 50 illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront, led by Alexandria’s fireboat Vigilant and Washington, DC’s fireboat John Glenn. Before and after the parade, stop in to the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Holiday Open House between 4-9pm to enjoy performances by the Alexandria Choral Society plus gift shopping in open artist studios.

College Hoops
Where: Local colleges
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

It’s college b-ball season, and with so many universities in the area, there’s always some good hoops action going on. Both the GWU and Georgetown men’s team play in the BB&T Classic on Sunday, while the GWU women host Illinois (tickets here). At George Mason, the men match up against Mercer on Saturday evening (tickets here). The AU and Howard men keep it local tomorow, and the AU women host William & Mary (tickets here). And it’s Maryland vs. Oklahoma State for the men, and against UMBC for the women (tickets here). Go, Terps!

Star Wars Days
Where: Garfield High School in Woodbridge
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10, 4 and under are free

Star Wars Days is a one of kind place for all things Star Wars, Sci-Fi, Comics, Anime, Cosplay, Scouting, and STEM! Over 20 artists will showcase their crafts and more. And you can browse more than 30 tables of toys, clothing, jewelry, collectibles, lightsabers, comics, glassware, custom products, geek candies, and lots of other great items.

Holiday Book Sale
Where: Silver Spring Library
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Browse a great selection of gently used books for children and adults at the Silver Spring Library’s Holiday Book Sale. Stock up with good reads for the winter and find like-new bargains for gift giving! All proceeds will be used to supplement library programming and services at the Silver Spring Library, via Friends of the Library Silver Spring Chapter, organizer of the event.

hiSTORYtime: Numbers
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Check out the new program for children ages 0 to 6 with various themes, this week numbers. Early learners and their caregivers will have the chance to hear a story and participate in hands-on activities and crafts inspired by objects from the museum’s collection. Children can listen to counting stories, create art with numbers and learn about numbers, colors, and shapes with toy clocks.

Winter Wonderland
Where: Burke Lake Park
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $15/advance, $20/at event

Celebrate the season with a train ride on the Holiday Express at Burke Lake’s Winter Wonderland. Enjoy a tour on the U.S.S. Reindeer, then take a spin on the Carolers Carousel, experience the Snowman’s Wagon Ride, play Gingerbread Man’s Golf, or warm yourself by the fire and toast s’mores. Hot chocolate, spiced cider and candy canes will also be available. And don’t miss a visit with Santa!

A Spin on the Carousel
Where: Arena Stage
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Tickets start at $64

The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, Carousel, is running at Arena Stage — and it’s wonderful! Owen and I saw the musical a couple of weeks ago, and we were both completely captivated and moved by the show. Brilliant performances by the talented cast, a simple yet beautiful theatre-in-the-round-setting, and a story that is emotional and hopeful make for a superb theatre experience. I recommend it for ages 10 and up, or make it a date night.

The Secret Garden
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Tickets start at $44

Shakespeare Theatre Company brings the beloved children’s story to life on stage in a beautiful, enchanting production. When orphaned, 10-year-old Mary Lennox moves to England to stay with her uncle, she seeks refuge in her late aunt’s mysterious walled garden and discovers amazing secrets. The show is getting rave reviews — Sasha and I think they are well-deserved. It’s one that kids and adults can enjoy, though the long running time (2.5 hours with intermission) and somber tone could make some some children antsy.

Holidays on Stage
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment, there’s plenty of that now. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe opens at Adventure Theatre this weekend. Enjoy the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at Warner Theatre or catch a tot-friendly version at The Puppet Co. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre, or see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at Imagination Stage. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up in the 2016 Holiday Guide.

Show Time
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

For shows without the seasonal trimmings, see InterAct Story Treatre’s Cantaré. Reserve free tickets to Music Around the World, this week’s Saturday morning at the National performance. Enjoy Adventures with Mr. Bear at The Lab at Convergence. Or take little ones to Aquarium at Imagination Stage.

Carpe Noctem
Where: St. Jerome Academy in Hyattsville, MD
When: Saturday
Admission: $5/adult, free for kids

Seize the night while you sip and shop, perusing the aisles for beautiful, unique gifts. The event supporting the students of St. Jerome Academy features two levels of shopping fun. In addition to many talented vendors and live music throughout the evening, Carpe Noctem has various dinner options, wine, beer, tasty desserts, and warm drinks for kids available for purchase. Children can enjoy face-painting, a photo op with St. Nicholas, and coloring activities. Customers will receive a complementary drink with their paid admission.

Photos with Santa
Where: Fellowship Hall at Foundry Church
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Friends of Stead Park and Foundry Church are hosting a Community Christmas Festival in the beautiful, new Fellowship Hall at Foundry. Kids can take a photo with Santa, write a him letter, create an ornament, or make a gingerbread house ($15). To order a gingerbread house in advance visit go here.

Christmas is Afoot
Where: Fall Church, 384 N Washington St.
When: Saturday, 4-8pm,
Admission: Free

Take a walk through Bethlehem! All are welcome to go on historically-themed journey to interact with Bethlehem street vendors and artisans, and explore the booths of potters, scribes, woodworkers, and the like, as Mary and Joseph would have seen in their travels. Head into the marketplace, where you will be able to participate in a service project putting together health kits for unhoused people in the community. End the passage through time outside with warm refreshments and carol singing around fire-pits.

Make Room for Latkes
Where: Edlavitch DCJCC
When: Sunday, 10:30am – 12pm
Admission: $10/family in advance, $15 at door

Get the Chanukah celebration started early with the DCJCC! At this family event, activities include crafts, cooking, singing, candle lighting, latkes, a mitzvah (good deed) project, and take-home goodies. It’s a perfect morning for Jewish and interfaith families with children ages 3 and older.

Holiday Shop
Where: Markets around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Mostly free

Get through your gift list and have a good time! There are several special holiday markets around the area, where you can find unique presents and then some. Head to Penn Quarter or Dupont Circle or Alexandria for great seasonal markets or to Capitol Hill for a weekend institution. More info about them all is available in the 2016 Holiday Guide. And if you need gift ideas — for all ages, interests, and prices (even free!) — be sure to check out the KFDC Gift Guide!

Skaters Gonna Skate
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

‘Tis the season for outdoor ice skating, so lace up and get gliding. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour on Saturday morning; meander the paths at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area. And note Washington Harbor is hosting Cartoon Skate on Saturday morning!

Go East
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

For some museum-ing on the Mall without festival crowds, head to the National Gallery. The recently reopened East Building is remarkable and will impress all ages. I just posted about it with lots of pics to give you a glimpse, but plan a visit for yourself.

Chill Out(side)
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

I’m a big proponent of getting outdoors, no matter what the weather. So, just because the temps are dropping, that doesn’t mean you can’t spend time outside. Roam free at Dumbarton Oaks (no admission fee this time of year). Hit the trail at Riverbend, Cunningham Falls, Rock Creek, and more. Explore the National Arboretum or Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Hang out at Hains Point. Hit the playground at Watkins, Cabin John, or ClemyjontriParks. Find even more ideas in this post about great outdoor pursuits with kids.

The Great Indoors
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’d prefer to spend the day indoors, or just want to see what else there is to do around town, this post has 80+ ideas for activities.


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The Weekend Round-Up: November 5-6

A beautiful dose of nature for these city kids at Prince William Forest Park

A beautiful dose of nature for these city kids at Prince William Forest Park



Autumn is is hitting a sweet spot this weekend with a combo of vibrant fall hues and gorgeous weather — a perfect backdrop for all of the fun, enriching events and activities happening around the DMV. Here are details on all of them, and I highly recommend some time outdoors, too. Happy Weekend!

Leaf Peep on the Trail
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Take in the brilliant color spectrum of autumn and get a little exercise to boot on a family hike. From right here in the city to country locales, you’ve got your pick of places where you can enjoy the fall foliage and some time outdoors. This post about good area hikes with kids started in the early KFDC days, and with many new recommendations added since — Prince William Forest Park, the most recent — there are lots of great recommendations for happy trampers.

Back, East
Where: National Gallery of Art – East Building
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

After a long renovation, the galleries in the East Building of the National Gallery of Art recently reopened! Enjoy it all at this Community Celebration, a special fun and art-filled weekend featuring sketching, performances, face painting, and a photo booth. Activities are for all ages, unless noted otherwise. Auditorium programs are on a first-come, first-seated basis. And it’s all free!

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

This weekend is the last to enjoy free artistic adventures of the European variety, thanks to the annual Kids Euro Festival. Musicians, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the many, many exciting acts that are performing at a variety of venues through November 6. See what’s on the schedule over the next few days.

Ikea Cook and Eat Your Way
Where: Ikea Stores
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Cook and eat your way Ikea! This event taking place at stores across the country welcomes all for a day of fun, food, and family. There will be all kinds of giveaways, special offers, workshops — enjoy a Swedish American breakfast for just $1.50, sample Swedish treats, get kitchen design tips, and more!

Dia Day los Muertos Family Day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Day of the Dead with the American Art Museum! Enjoy traditional Mexican folk dance performances throughout the day, add your own artwork to their mural, and leave your handmade ofrendas (offerings), including paper marigolds, calaveras (skull masks), and paper monarch butterflies on the Day of the Dead altar.

DC Author Festival
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Meet your favorite local author, snag a signed book, and hear authors speak on variety of topics at this festival that showcases the talents of area writers! And a KFDC tip: Go at 3pm to hear Rebecca Green of Not-So-SAHM speak and sign her fabulous book Banish Boredom!

hiSTORYtime
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Drop by the American History to listen to delicious stories about food! Then, children can participate in food games and crafts, and touch cookware from the collection. This new program aims to boost early literacy, while introducing young visitors ages 0-6 to objects in the museum’s collection. It will also take place on November 12 and 19.

Rocking Romeo and Juliet
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Shake up your Saturday with a workshop at the Folger! These programs occurring on the first Saturday of every month, encourage families to experience Shakespeare’s language together. This session, dive into the Bard’s most famous love story of bitter feuds, banishment, betrayal, and doomed lovers. Ages 5-7 go 10-11am, and 8-14 from 11am – 12pm. Register here.

Children’s Flea Market
Where: McLean Community Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Scope out the bargain prices at this annual flea market! Children’s toys, clothes, games, and other items will be sold by those who know them best…the kids! Whether you plan to get your holiday shopping done early or want to fill the toy chest with goods, get some good deals and help support this entrepreneurial venture by local youths.

Wizard School Scavenger Hunt for Harry Potter Fans
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $17.50/ages 10-17, $19.50/18 and up

Join Watson Adventures on a unique Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt for kids 10 & up! Follow in the footsteps of young wizards on a field trip to the National Gallery in search of art that echoes characters, places and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies. Wizards and muggles alike can play and enjoy this hunt. The hunt is not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful works of art. It’s a great way to discover—or rediscover—the museum. This hunt is designed for kids and adults to do together, but all-adult teams will be allowed to compete separately. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase is required. Questions? Call 877-9GO-HUNT.

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

* Reserve free tickets for Jon Sands’ Slam Poetry for Kids, this week’s Saturday at the National show
* Join InterAct Story Theatre for African drumming and dancing at Highland Elementary School on Saturday!
* Peter and the Wolf is at Arts Barn for one show only
* Catch Looking for Roberto Clemente at the Atlas Performing Arts Center
* Where Words Once Were opens at the Kennedy Center (get discount tickets)
* The Olney Theatre presents Mary Poppins
* Hansel & Gretel are the current stars on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Animal Crackers is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theater
* This weekend if your last chance to catch the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet (recommended for older children or make it a date night)
* See Miss Nina’s Rap, Rock, and Read Show at Jammin Java on Saturday morning
* The Okee Dokee Brothers are playing a Sunday show at Alden Theatre
* ANNIE Jr. opens at Summit Church today for a two weekend run
* It’s opening weekend for Oliver Twist at Creative Cauldron
* See the superbly acted The Little Foxes at Arena Stage (recommended for teens and up)

Dog Pool Dip
Where: Washington Hilton
When: Saturday, 12-3pm
Admission: $5 suggested donation

Four-legged friends and their people are welcome for the Washington Hilton’s annual dog pool dip, when the community is invited to bring their dogs for a swim after the pol closes for the season and before it’s drained and winterized. This event benefitting the Humane Rescue Alliance has seen upwards of 150 dogs splash in the large outdoor 75-80 degree heated, saline-treated pool. There is also a children’s wading pool for smaller dogs who want to join the fun as well! The current forecast for this Saturday is 63 and SUNNY! Are you interested in joining the pawrty?

Side Yards
Where: Yards Park
When: Saturday, 6-10pm
Admission: Free

The third annual sideshow extravaganza, Side Yards, is back at The Yards Park! An evening of all-ages quirky amusement and wonder beckons DC to let loose while taking in the sights and sounds of the East Coast’s top sideshow performers. Stages of entertainment will showcase the unusual talents of contortionists, magicians, jugglers, escape artists, snake handlers, fire breathers, sword swallowers and more attention-grabbing acts.

Shanghai Nights
Where: George Mason Center for the Arts
When: Friday, 8pm & Saturday, 2pm & 8pm
Admission: $30-50

The Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China will delight the whole family with this thrilling exhibition! Trampoline artists and aerial acrobats fly through the air with the greatest of ease, while jugglers, contortionists, and martial artists demonstrate the exacting precision of their skills. Through jaw-dropping feats of acrobatics, impeccably timed stunts, and beautiful costumes, performers merge the hustle and bustle of contemporary Shanghai with China’s rich cultural heritage to produce this celebration of their native land.

Maryland Emancipation Day
Where: Montgomery County Parks
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Celebrate Maryland Emancipation Day, which commemorates the adoption of the 1864 Maryland Constitution that abolished slavery in the state of Maryland. join Montgomery Parks for free activities take place all weekend long, such as hikes on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail, living history demonstrations, live musical performances, and tours of historic sites.

Fall Back to Bethesda
Where: Rock Creek Mansion
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: $10

Celebrate fall with fun for the whole family while raising critical funds for NIH Charities, Bethesda Fire Department and MetroBethesda Rotary Foundation. Kids pre-K – 8th grade can enjoy unlimited inflatables, face painting, and interactive FUN from Activity Rocket, an dall can enjoy food, music, games, and the beautiful Rock Creek Mansion setting.

Dancing with My Baby
Where: NOVA Natural Birth Center
When: Sunday, 10:30-11am
Admission: Pay what you can

This program allows families the opportunity to connect through movement, dance, yoga, and the expressive arts through simple dance steps and routines set to music. Families can enjoy a fun way to support the parent-child bond while making memories together. Classes are offered on a “Pay What You Can” basis. Register online here.

Disc Golf
Where: Calvert Road Park
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Hit the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a nice fall day outdoors with the family. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses, many of them set up in scenic places, are lovely this time of year. This post has info about one in College Park, and there are also great courses at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg and Burke Lake Park in Burke.

Farm Fun
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Just because you don’t need to pick out a potential Jack o’ lantern, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun on the farm. Many locales have way more to enjoy than just pumpkin patches. Whiz down slides, bounce on giant jumping pillows, visit farm animals, and loads more. This list of fall fests has details to get started — Ticonderoga, Cox, Clark’s Elioak, and Great Country Farms are all good bets.

Hiking & History
Where: Harper’s Ferry
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free ($10 if you park in lot)

Get some fresh air and exercise as you take in autumn hues and historic sites. Harpers Ferry is an easy day trip or weekend destination from DC, and fall is a great time to go. For more about a visit there, see this KFDC post.

O Say Can You See
Where: Fort McHenry
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10/adult

Venture up to Baltimore to explore the birthplace of our National Anthem! Fort McHenry makes for a very interesting, informative, and enjoyable outing for all ages. Engaging exhibits range from historical objects and structures to multimedia displays and interactives. And the grounds located right on the Chesapeake are lovely to stroll on a nice day. Read about our recent experience there.


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

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 8-10

Even superheroes love Ren Fest

Even superheroes love Ren Fest



Most of us have an extra day to fill with fun this weekend, and that won’t be a problem with so many awesome events and activities happening around the DC-Metro. Autumn festivals, post season baseball, loads of live entertainment, cool museum programs, even a chance to hang out in the Obama’s backyard are among your options. This round-up has the scoop you need to get your family’s good time started. And with both rain and sunny weather in the forecast, keep both the list of The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids and The Great Indoors post handy, too. Happy Weekend!

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Playoffs Pep Rally
Where: Yards Park
When: Saturday, 3-5:30pm
Admission: Free

Get your weekend started early and Ignite Your Natitude! The Capitol Riverfront Pep Rally is celebrating the Nats in the playoffs with live music, local food vendors and food trucks, face painting, lawn games, giveaways, and Bluejacket brews starting two hours before the first pitch.

#OnePursuit
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, 5:30pm & Saturday, 4pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The postseason begins for the Nats this weekend as they host the Dodgers. Catch games Friday and Saturday — tickets are still available for both, though they won’t be the cheap seats at this point. If you can’t make it to the game, check out this Washington Post article with suggestions for watching the playoffs elsewhere with other Nats fans.

Taste of DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave., 3rd-7th Streets NW
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-7pm
Admission: $20, $10/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

Celebrate the food, wine, and culture of our city during Columbus Day weekend. Along with the obvious — tastings from more than 50 area restaurants — there will be cooking demos, live entertainment, a beer garden, and an area with activities — dancing, games, storytelling, arts & crafts, and more — especially for kids.

White House Fall Garden Tours
Where: White House
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm & Sunday, 10am – 2:30pm
Admission: Free

It’s a rare opportunity to enjoy autumn at the White House! The annual Fall Garden and Grounds Tours are being held this weekend. The Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Kitchen Garden, and South Lawn will be on view to guests. The public is invited, but every visitor, small children included, needs a ticket to tour. Starting at 9am on both days, tickets will be distributed at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion at 15th & E Streets NW on a first-come, first-served basis. Tour times are indicated on each ticket, so keep your day open if you hope to go.

VelocityDC Dance Festival
Where: Sidney Harmon Hall
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Tickets start at $18

If you like dance, you’ll love this festival featuring performances by some of the city’s best-known ensembles, undiscovered gems, and everyone in between. Returning for its 8th season, the VelocityDC Dance Festival will showcase styles ranging from ballet to hip hop, tap to flamenco, demonstrating why it’s a highlight of Washington’s dance season.

Merriment for All!
Where: Revel’s Grove in Crownesville, Md
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $24/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15, free for 6 and under

Enjoy a day of merriment at the Maryland Renaissance Festival! The annual faire recalls medieval times with a village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. This is one of my very favorite annual events in the DC area, and it could very well become one of yours, too. Huzzah!

Fallin’
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Enjoy autumn fun and then some at a number of farms and other locales around the area. Pick pumpkins, whiz down slides, visit animals, jump on giant inflatables, take pony rides, indulge in caramel apples, and much more. The KFDC guide to fall festivals has details on all of them.

Peirce Mill Heritage Day
Where: Peirce Mill, Rock Creek Park
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Step back in time to 1820 with the National Park Service and Friends of Peirce Mill for Peirce Mill Heritage Day! At center stage is the last remaining water mill in DC — visitors can witness the intricate workings of this four-story machine as it grinds corn into meal, powered by a giant water wheel (milling demos take place about every 15 minutes from 11am – 2pm). There will be arts and crafts activities, including water mill toys, corn husk doll making, cornmeal play dough, flour sacks, and Peirce Mill stamps. Watch the hand-assembly of a dry stone wall, see logs hewn with an ax, and crank an old-fashioned cider press. And for your musical entertainment, a local musician Orrin Star will play bluegrass throughout the day. A new addition this year will be a presentation on Latino bread-making culture, with on-site preparation of tortillas using cornmeal. Read more about Peirce Mill in this KFDC post.

Art Safari
Where: The Torpedo Factory
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria’s wonderful tradition for families, Art Safari returns for its 21st year with a full day of hands-on activities for kids and families. Artists will lead young visitors in creative projects across a variety of media, including clay, papier-mâché, fiber, and printmaking. All activities are free, with most appropriate for children ages 5 – 11 and some requiring parental assistance. Children should wear clothing that can get a little dirty.

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

* Find Knuffle Bunny at Adventure Theatre
* Synetic Theatre presents The Music Box, a collection of comedic vignettes set to music, for families
* Catch the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet (recommended for older children or make it a date night)
* The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane opens on the Imagination Stage
* See (and smell?) Flowers Stink, a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Kennedy Center
* It’s the final weekend to watch Rapunzel let down her hair at The Puppet Co.
* And Tiny Tots can enjoy a Tots Sing-a-Long 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)
* Make it a date night to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Kennedy Center
* Ruthless, The Musical just opened at Creative Cauldron

hiSTORYtime
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

This new program is aimed at boosting early literacy while introducing young visitors (ages 0 to 6) to objects in the museum’s collection. Drop by to listen to stories about music, then kiddos can participate in music making and craft their own instruments.

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

Get the Halloween party started with activities and events that celebrate the spooky spirit. Creep through the woods in a mini-train ride. This post has details on where the tricks and treats are happening.

Maryland Pumpkin Festival
Where: Summers Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $13.95, 2 and under are free

Along with Summers Farm’s regular offerings, such as the corn maze, hay slides, farm animals, hay rides, pumpkin patch, pig races and jumping pillow, their annual Maryland Pumpkin Festival celebrates all things pumpkin with bonus activities: Enjoy pumpkin hunts, pumpkin sculpting demonstration, face painting, an appearance by Mr. Brown the Clown, live music, and more!

An Apple a Day…
Where: Area orchards
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Take advantage of apple season! Several area orchards and farms welcome guests to gather their own. Many on this list with pick-your-own opportunities have apples among their PYO offerings. We also just visited Waters Orchard in Germantown last weekend, and it was fantastic — a great variety of apples in a beautiful setting! And I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good the day you plan to go.

Story Time with Bear Song
Where: Walls of Books
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free
Bring little ones to the
bookstore in Shaw for story time with Bear Song. Go early, grab your seat, and settle in to sing great songs, hear great stories, and see great smiles on all the little faces. During Story Time – and, of course, a little bit after, all kid’s books are 10% off!

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
Where: Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the contributions of Latinos to aviation and space exploration. Hear about Latin American aviators, meet Hispanic scientists and engineers, and enjoy hands-on activities. Many of the activities and presentations are available in English and Spanish.

SerbFest
Where: Saint Luke Serbian Orthodox Church of Potomac
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Celebrate Serbian culture an enjoy family activities at this three-day festival. There‘s something for everyone, including traditional Serbian cuisine (authentic split roasted pig, lamb , and grilled meats), beverages, dance and music performances, gifts and boutique items, and lots of family-friendly activities.  Saint Luke’s is located at 10660 River Road in Potomac, MD.

National Chess Day
Where: Bowie Town Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: $15

Ready, set, checkmate! A chess tournament hosted by Prince George’s County Home School Chess Club will be held in celebration of “National Chess Day” at Bowie Town Center. Chess enthusiasts are invited to participate in this spectacle with dozens of chess boards arranged in a giant square in the food court at Bowie Town Center. Activities will include a chess 101 basics workshop, monster chess, chess team trivia quiz, blitz chess rounds and live simultaneous play.

Hands-On History Hats Off Program
Where: National Museum of the U.S. Navy
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Head to this hidden gem of a museum for a hands-on opportunity to learn about the history of the U.S. Navy through its ever-changing headgear. Located behind the fighting top, families will be able to pick up and wear hats of the Navy from different eras. There will also be a hat designing station! Read more about the US Navy Museum in this KFDC post.

Movie Time: Abulele
Where: Edlavitch DCJCC
When: Saturday, 3pm & Sunday, 12:30pm
Admission: $13.50/adult, $6.75/14 and under

In this heartfelt family film, Adam, a young boy grieving from the loss of his brother, discovers a mythical furry beast (an Abulele) living in his building. When Adam realizes that it’s not the Abulele but the humans who are the real monsters, he risks everything to save his friendly giant. Catch this film at the DC JCC located at 1529 16th Street NW.

Light the Way – Walk for Independence
Where: National Mall
When: Sunday
Admission: $25/adult, $10/child

The 6th Annual Light the Way – Walk for Independence encourages people of all ages, particularly people who are blind or visually impaired, to maintain active and productive lifestyles. This year’s event will provide participants with a morning of fun-filled exercise, camaraderie, and entertainment. Join CLB and walk the scenic, historic, and accessible route between the US Capitol and the Washington Monument. Warm up and wind down with a hip hop dance instructor from Yala Fitness. There will also be a “Kids Zone” tent with a Bubbleologist, face painter, and glitter tattoo artist.

Walks in the Woods
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Fall is a perfect time to hit the trail, when you can enjoy the foliage just as much as the activity itself. This go-to KFDC post has a bunch of recommendations for good places to hike with kids.

Hiking & History
Where: Harpers Ferry
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free ($10 if you park in lot)

Get some fresh air and exercise as you take in the start of autumn hues and historic sites. Harpers Ferry is an easy day trip or weekend destination from DC, and fall is a great time to go. For more about a visit there, see this recent post.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, 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, Sports, 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 wdc@gymboreeclasses.com. 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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