Costume choices are nearly finalized, front yards are being decked out with fake cob webs and creepy decor, grocery store shelves are chock full of candy… Halloween is here! We may have a few weeks to go before the actual day, but prepping for the festivities is half the fun, right? Even more, events and activities that capture the spooky spirit are happening all month long. And this annual KFDC list has all the details on where and when you can scare up a good time and celebrate one of the best holidays of the year (and if it looks familiar, that’s because it’s last year’s list updated). Happy Halloween!
“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 11, 12, 17-19, & 24-26, 29-30 & Nov. 1
Admission: $5 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 train runs 3-8pm on weekdays and 1-8pm on weekends. Purchase tickets online here.
Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 11, 12, 17-19, & 24-26, 29-30 & Nov. 1
Admission: $5 and a can of food
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 do their best to make it “very scary” (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 here.
Haunted Museum Historic Ghost Tour
Where: National Building Museum
When: Sundays, October 12-28, 8pm & 9pm
Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free
Take a nighttime tour of the National Building Museum’s historic home. Guests will wander the dark and lonely halls by lantern light, being regaled by ghost stories and other curious tales. Who are the mysterious figures wandering the halls after hours? What causes the giant columns to swirl with ghostly figures? Also learn about a gruesome murder and sinister characters immortalized in sculptural busts. This tour is recommended for ages 10 and up. Tickets are limited and sell out quickly.
Trick or Treat at Tudor Place
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 18, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $7/members, $10/non-members, $3/adults
Costumes too great to wear just once deserve a preview! Celebrate a Spooktacular Halloween at Tudor Place. Children in Halloween costumes are invited to trick-or-treat through the enchanting north gardens on the estate and participate in pumpkin painting, crafts, face painting, and games.
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 23, 6-8pm
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!
Spooky SPY Family Night
Where: International Spy Museum
When: October 24, 6-9pm
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. Come 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.
Where: Bethesda Row
When: October 30, 5-7pm
Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls of all ages can participate in some retail scare-apy and trick-or-treating while enjoying the last evenings of fall. The Halloween festival offers families the chance to walk shop-to-shop trick-or-treating with their littles, while enjoying live entertainment and unprecedented deals on fashion, food, housewares and more. Guests will be treated to an evening of frights and bites, and can enter to win $100 to Paper Source.
Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 24-26, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members
Princesses, mythical creatures, kid-wizards, and other costumed guests are invited to join the National Zoo’s annual Halloween event. With nearly 40 not-so-spooky treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, and decorated trails, this event is frightfully fun for the whole family. Boo treat bags will be brimming with goodies at the end of the evening — traditional chocolates, healthy snacks, souvenirs, and other items will be handed out to guests. Costumes encouraged!
The Haunted Toy Shop
Where: Bradley Farm in Herndon
When: October 24 & 25
Looking for a some spine tingling fun this Halloween? 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 “Haunted Toy Shop” 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 non-scary version on Saturday afternoon from 1-5pm that will include trick-or-treating inside the haunted house for children 10 and under. Local vendors have provided many giveaways for “monsters” to hand out to the children along the haunt. After you brave the Haunted House, visit the concession stand to chase away your “chills” with warm caramel apples and hot cider. Food and entertainment will also round out the fun.
Where: Rhode Island Row
When: October 25, 4-6pm
Head to DC’s Brentwood neighborhood for a center-wide trick-or-treating event. Kids can enjoy free face painting, balloon artists, and live entertainment, while they also trick-or-treat at restaurants and retailers. Rhode Island Row is a new urban community of apartments, restaurants, shops, and a Main Street scene located at 2300 Washington Place NE.
Where: Falls Church
When: October 25, 6-8:30pm
Admission: $2/children ages 2 and up (adults free)
The City of Falls Church is scaring up family fun at the annual Halloween Carnival that’s been running for over 30 years! Take a frightful walk down a Haunted Trail, then shake out the Halloween jitters in the Moon Bounce. If scary dares are not for you, enjoy the many carnival games and craft activities that are sure to provide a great time for children and parents alike. Halloween candy and snacks will be plentiful, with far more treats than tricks. A live Creepy Creature Show featuring some of Mother Nature’s spookiest critters will take place twice during the evening, once at 6:30pm and again 7:30pm, and is suitable for all ages.
Where: Village at Leesburg
When: October 25, 3-7pm
You know Fido is dying to debut his Halloween costume early, so bring him to this pet-friendly Monster Mash celebration and enter him into the pet costume contest! The rest of the family can enjoy free hayrides, costume contests, trick-or-treating, and plenty of other (not so) frightful fun!
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 25, 7-9pm
Admission: $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free for under 2
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 are waiting for kids and families.
Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 25, 2-7pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 6pm
Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 10th 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. Be sure to pose for a photo with your favorite Star Wars or Ghostbuster character!
Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: October 25, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities
It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Explore the arts through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, and performances at Glen Echo’s annual celebration. There will be pumpkin decorating and face painting ($1 fee for pumpkin; $1-2 for face painting) and other craft activities, including decorating trick-or-treat bags to use in the Park. And new this year are pumpkin-themed kiddie games with prizes. The Halloween celebration will end with a costume parade through the Park at 3:30pm.
Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 25, 11am – 6pm
Bring your little ghosts and goblins for a day of trick or treat in the Old Town Boutique District. The OTBD’s annual Trick or Treat with the Boutiques event is a great way for families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween day in Old Town Alexandria. All of the participating OTBD stores will offer treats, and some may also offer family-friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Tricks and treats will be available during the day and during store hours.
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: October 25, 12-4pm
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/ages 3-12
Celebrate the chills and thrills of Halloween at MSC’s 6th annual Spooky Science, where creepy chemistry and mysterious science combine to provide a hauntingly good time. There will be hair-raising activities, creepy crafts, and fangtastic demonstrations. Visitors can look forward to making gooey, glowing slime, decorating pumpkins and trick or treat bags, playing mummy bowling, and exploring mystery boxes filled with eerie items. Save room for more spooky fun with Reptiles Alive! Their live animal show will feature slithering snakes, terrifying toads, beaded dragons and more. Shows will be at 1pm and 3pm. Costumes encouraged!
Falloween Family Festival
Where: Port Discovery
When: October 25, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up
Dress the kids up in their favorite costumes and join Port Discovery’s annual festival! Enjoy not-so-scary, family friendly programs and performances include nature-themed activities, crafts, tutu making, wildlife adventures, spooky science, live entertainment, and more.
Haunted Chocolate House Workshop
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 25, 1:30-3pm
Admission: $12/members, $15/non-members, $3/adults
Enjoy a Spooktacular family friendly tour through the historic gardens. After the tour, children participate in a chilling chocolate workshop to create their own 3D haunted chocolate houses to take home! Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: October 25, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $10, under 12 months are free
Wear your favorite costume for a day of non-spooky fun! The NCM is planning special Halloween programming, including a dance party, and hands-on activities like making masks, bats, spiders, and paper bag pumpkins, and much more! If that’s not enough, the Museum’s theatre staff will debut a brand new show, The Adventures of L.G. and I.F. I.F. will show L.G. what can happen when we use our imaginations to play – no tablets, no phones, no TVs required, just imagination and you!
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 26, 10am – 1pm
Enjoy some Halloween and fall fun at the shopping center, a petting zoo, face painting, the festive photo stop, pumpkin decorating, treats and tastes from restaurants and retailers and much more! Don’t miss featured musical performances are by DC-region favorites, Mr. Knick Knack at 10am and Rocknoceros at 11:45am.
Crime Museum Halloween – Just for Kids!
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 26, 1-5pm
Admission: $10/costumed child, $10/adults accompanying children
Batman, Wonder Woman, police officers, and all other costumed characters can enjoy a day of Halloween fun at this Penn Quarter museum. Festivities include a regular museum tour, Police Academy Jr. Activity Sheet, McGruff the Crime Dog appearances, finger print identification cards, candy, and more.
NSO Family Concert: Halloween Whodunit
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 26
There’s a mystery in the Concert Hall on All Hallows’ Eve! For this frightfully fun third chapter in the NSO’s popular Spooktacular concert series, don your freaky-deakiest costumes and join all the ghoulishly attired musicians for a wickedly wacky, music-filled whodunit. When the NSO’s Stephen Dumaine alerts the orchestra that his tuba has been stolen, NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl asks the audience to help them rewind time, follow the clues, lure out the “thief,” and crack the case! Go early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Then take your seats for spine-tingling classics, including Adam Glaser’s March of the Little Goblins, the “Infernal Dance” from Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird, and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, plus new favorites like “Let It Go” from Frozen, a special appearance by 13-year-old NSO Youth Fellow and tuba player Diego Stine, and plenty of Halloween surprises!
Family Halloween Party
Where: Courtyard Marriott Navy Yard
When: October 26,
The Waterfront Church invites families to join them for an evening of good, clean fun. There will be games, pumpkin painting, candy and more. Enjoy a safe, fun, local, and free fun event for kids.
Halloween at the Harbor
Where: National Harbor
When: October 26, 11am – 2pm
Join the Spooktacular family event that will include activities for everyone. Go trick-or-treating at select stores and restaurants. Visit the Pumpkin Patch at the Miller Farms Farmer’s Market to buy a jack-o-lanter-to-be. Enjoy a showing of Hocus Pocus on the Plaza Big Screen (movie will begin at 11:15am). And take advantage of free rides on the Capital Wheel for kids 12 and under dressed in costume (with adult purchase)!
Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
When: October 31, gates open at 3:30
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child
Join Mount Vernon’s costumed cast for a special opportunity to trick-or-treat in the historic area. Guests can participate in a Halloween craft activity in the greenhouse; go on a scavenger hunt; view special trade demos, like 18th-century wool carding, spinning, and fish net making. There will also be Halloween-themed stories in the straw bale amphitheater, colonial games, dancing demonstrations, and wagon rides. All young guests are invited to join in the children’s costume parade around the Mansion at 6pm. Prizes will be awarded for the best “George” and “Martha” costumes!
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 31, 5:30-7:30pm
Capitol Hill’s annual event is a legendary neighborhood event 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.
Where: lil omm
When: November 1, 2:30-3:30pm
Do some post-Halloween poses to work all the frights out. It’s an Oh-So-Omm Halloween party for families with kiddos ages 2 and up. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes for the afternoon of spirited yoga, dance, and movement with lil omm friends, Pleasance and Rhiannon. Be sure to register in advance!
Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: November 1-2
Join the American Indian museum 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.