Are you as excited for Halloween as these neighbors are?!
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. Mwahahaa. Happy Halloween!
Haunted Pep Rally
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: October 4, 6:30-9
Fans of all ages are invited to Nationals Park to enjoy the fright and delight of the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Haunted Pep Rally, a free, Halloween-themed experience as the team prepares for their fourth Postseason run in six years! Everything you need to know can be found online on the official blog of the Washington Nationals, Curly W Live.
The Glow: A Jack O’Lantern Experience
Where: Lake Fairfax Park | Reston, VA
When: October 6-29
The Glow features an enchanting and unforgettable wonderland of more than 5,000 hand carved, illuminated pumpkins transformed into beautiful landscapes, iconic figures and larger than life structures. Come stroll down Jack’s Lane, a 1/3 of a mile jack o’ lantern landscape where you’ll experience everything from artistically detailed single pumpkin carvings to amazing scenes created by our talented carvers!
“Eye Spy” Halloween Trains
Where: Cabin John & Wheaton Regional Parks | Bethesda & Wheaton, MD
When: October 7-29, 10am – 6pm
Hop on board the Halloween Trains! Cabin John and Wheaton’s “Eye Spy” trains feature just enough “boo” power for kids age 8 and under (but families of all ages can enjoy them). Montgomery Parks’ Cabin John Miniature Train and Wheaton Train & Carousel will be dressed up as “Trainslyvania.” Both will run every Saturday and Sunday October 7-29. Purchase tickets online starting October 1.
Ghost Tours: Escape the Museum
Where: National Building Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: October 7, 8, 22, 28, 29, 31
Angry spirits. Mysteries and lies. Can you find the truth in time? Solve puzzles and find clues to reveal the truth and escape the room. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Fields of Fear
Where: Cox Farms | Centreville, VA
When: Fridays & Saturday through November 5
When night falls on Cox Farms, it’s time for Fields of Fear — for ages 12 and up! The Dark Side Hayride is all new for 2017, now featuring The Lost Circus,a circus abandoned in the early 1900s that now comes to life when the living approach. The friendly Imaginature Trail takes a dark turn for Fields of Fear, transforming into The Forest: Back 40, which consists of half a mile of fear. The Forest joins two other haunted attractions at Fields of Fear, the Dark Side Hayride and the Cornightmare. The Firegrounds feature several bonfires, a six-lane slide, music, karaoke, entertainment, tasty treats, Foamhenge, and more!
Where: Six Flags America | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Select days through October 29
Fright Fest, presented by SNICKERS®, is back at Six Flags America. It’s a spooky time of year as zombies and ghouls take over the park. Enjoy thrills and activities for the whole family throughout the day and go back for a truly frightening evening of fun after the sun goes down. Fright Fest offers a wide variety of places to get your scare on, including several haunted houses and scare zones located throughout the park. The stuff of nightmares lurk around every corner as the dark of night washes over the park. The ghouls are set free for their daily hunting rituals.
Curiosities: a collection of natural wonders
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Through November 5
A little bit creepy, a little bit curious, this exhibit is full of an assorted collection of jars, bottles, and boxes, full of bones, skulls, insect carcasses, eggs, furs, feathers, and various preserved specimens. Curiosities: a collection of natural wonders is a delightful mix of oddities perfect for the Halloween season! Of course, while you’re there, explore the rest of Annmarie’s art offerings.
Spooky SPY Family Night
Where: International Spy Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: October 13, 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. 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.)
Halloween on the Green
Where: Town Green | Vienna, VA
When: October 14, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Enjoy fall, family fun at Halloween on the Green, sponsored by Vienna Parks and Recreation. Activities include a spooky craft, games and prizes, storytelling, moon bounces, petting zoo, treats to eat, a visit from Vienna Singing Princesses, and a chance to carve or paint your own pumpkin. A limited number of pumpkins are available, provided by DePaul’s Urban Farm. Everyone is sure to have a howling good time!
Blood & Guts 5K Run
Where: Bull Run Regional Park | Centreville, VA
When: October 14
The Blood and Guts Run is a Halloween experience that your family and friends (ages 5+) do not want to miss! This is not your ordinary 5k — encounter hordes of zombies and 10+ obstacles. Run in costume! Finishers receive a custom medal, access to food trucks, Knockerball, costume competitions, dancing, and more! Look for a deal on registration here.
Book Some Halloween Fun
Where: DC Public Libraries | Around DC
When: Several October dates
Story times, crafts, and children’s parties all with Halloween themes are taking place at libraries around the city. Drop in for the fun — all of the activities are free! Be sure to check age recommendations to confirm they’re appropriate for your child as they vary by event.
Story & Discovery: Dia de los Muertos & Ghost Wings
Where: National Museum of the American Indian | National Mall, DC
When: October 14, 17, 21, 24, 28, 31
Join the National Museum of the American Indian for a Halloween-inspired story time session on Tuesdays and Saturday in October. People in all cultures have always used stories as a way to teach children history, culture, and traditional values. Visitors will be able to engage hands-on with various activities and objects that deepen their understanding of Native communities represented in the story.
Where: National Museum of American History | National Mall, DC
When: October 20
It’s a special Halloween-themed sleepover for this real life night at the museum that has you solve a Smithsonian mystery of historic proportions. Wear a costume as you become a detective and roam through the museum’s galleries. Use your cunning and skills to collect clues that guide you to the crime scene. Along the way, take part in some great games, experiments, and craft projects—and even become a presidential candidate. After you have solved the crime, roll out your bag and sleep soundly knowing that you’ve protected some of America’s treasures — and had plenty of fun. For ages 8-12.
Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: October 20-22, 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. Kids will love grooving to the music on the entertainment stage, featuring kids scary-oke. And don’t miss the extreme pumpkin-carving demonstrations! 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!
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 20-21 & 27-28
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 7-10pm on Friday and 6-9pm on Saturday, with beer, wine, and cider will be for sale (to put you at ease among the spirits).
Murder is Her Hobby Exhibit
Where: Renwick Gallery | Downtown DC
When: Opens October 20
It’s not exactly an event, but for some art with a creepy theme, this exhibit at the Renwick that explores the unexpected intersection between craft and forensic science fits the bill. Frances Glessner Lee’s exquisitely detailed miniature crime scenes were crafted to train homicide investigators. Her dollhouse-sized dioramas of true crimes were created in the first half of the 20th century and are still used in forensic training today. Maybe not dollhouses for young kiddos, but older kids and adults might find the fascinating.
Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: October 21, 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 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. Arrive in costume to get into the Halloween spirit and enjoy safe indoor trick-or-treating.
Zombie Fun Run
Where: Bon Air Park | Arlington, VA
When: October 21,
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.
Where: Center at Leesburg | Leesburg, VA
When: October 21, 3-7pm
Join the the Village at Leesburg for a frighteningly good time the 9th 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, pumpkin decorating, a Creepy Critters Encounter featuring live animals and artifacts, and a Halloween parade.
Haunted Washington Scavenger Hunt
Where: Lafayette Square | Downtown, DC
When: October 21, 28, & 29
BOO! Sorry to startle you, but you better get used to it if you’re joining this hunt. Armed only with a flashlight, you’ll visit ghost-plagued buildings around and near Lafayette Park while learning the stories of the restless souls you might disturb. Possible cameos by the spirits of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Dolley Madison, Abigail Adams, Andrew Jackson, the (allegedly) suicidal Mrs. Henry Adams, and losing duelist Stephen Decatur. The hunt is played on teams of two to six people. Total running time is approximately 2.5 hours.
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: October 22, 12-2:30
Trick or treat around the shops at the Harbor. There will be trick-or-treating from 12-2pm. Seea showing of Hocus Pocus on the Plaza Big Screen (movie will begin at 12:30pm). Watch a chef pumpking carving contest. Plus, get one free Capital Wheel child ticket with each paid adult ticket for children in costume.
Great Pumpkin Party
Where: The Community Building | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: October 22
Join Waterfront Church Kids for an afternoon of fun! There will be games, balloons, face painting, candy, bounce houses and more! Enjoy a safe, fun, local, and free event for kids to celebrate Halloween a little early. The Community Building is located at 1000 5th Street SE.
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: October 23-31
The Mansion will be decorated for Halloween just for this — celebrate the BOO season on a zany treasure hunt! Have fun searching for autumn & Halloween themed items found only at The Mansion. Over 100 rooms and 70 secret doors (yes 70!) are there to explore, and they guarantee you can see at least 60 of the legendary rooms — but be warned secret doors are tricky to find — if you find 2 or 3 you are an above average sleuth. Learn more about the Mansion on O Street here.
Toddler Time Halloween Parade
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 26, 10:30am
Admission: $18/adult, $12/age 2-12
Join the B&O Railroad Museum for the year’s last Toddler Time — a Halloween celebration and costume parade! Choo Choo Blue, the museum’s mascot, will lead the parade. Children listen to a Halloween story, create a craft, enjoy a train ride through the fictional town of Choo Choo Blueville, and parade in costume around the Museum to collect special treats – all included with paid admission. It’s a spooktacular event and a train load of fun, you don’t want to miss!
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 27, 5:30-7:30pm
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. And more will be in Eastern Market’s North Hall. Moon bounces, goody giveaways, face painting add to the excitement. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the extravaganza.
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Herndon, VA
When: October 27, 6-7pm & 7-8pm
Celebrate the Halloween season with this annual event at Frying Pan Farm. Attendees enjoy a variety of themed games, dare to enter the slightly-spooky BOO barn, and take a wagon ride. Finish the evening with a small treat bag. Reservations are required, and space is limited, so sign up soon!
Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens | Mount Vernon, VA
When: October 27 & 28, 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!
Where: St. Paul’s Center |
When: October 27, 6-8pm
Admission: Canned food donation
You’re invited to bring the whole family to the annual Halloween Spook-tacular at St. Paul’s Center. Go dressed in your favorite costume and enjoy a safe, fun-filled event connecting you with a great community while enjoying pumpkin decorating, spooky crafts, cemetery hayrides, treats, and much more! Main entrance is located on Rock Creek Church Rd. & Webster St NW.
Paranormal Mansion Tours
Where: Oatlands Estate & Gardens | Leesburg, VA
When: October 27-29, 7pm & 8pm
Admission: $30/adult, $12/age 12 & under
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. Not recommended for children under 8.
Where: Market Common | Clarendon, VA
When: October 28, 1-4pm
Market Common Clarendon’s fifth annual Falloween Festival celebrates the season and the October holiday with a day of delights for the whole fam. Highlights include a Big BArn Puppet Show, pumpkin decorating + crafts for kids, and a trick-or-treat session throughout the property, a stilt walker, scarecrow making, and a petting zoo.
Legends by Lantern
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 28, 7-9pm
Find out what happened to Corporal Frank Scott and see the airfield by lamplight while hearing tales of the past. Wear your costume on this tour that starts with a hayride, and concludes with hot cider and a fun fall activity. Director’s choice costume awards will be given each hour!
Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: October 28, 11am – 4pm
Dress the whole family and enjoy a day of trick-or-treating, art activities, lunch and more! The 18th 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.
Trick or Treat in the Garden
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: October 28, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $10/non-member, $7/member, $5/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 | Glen Echo, MD
When: October 28, 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.
John Henry’s Spook-tacular Halloween Concert
Where: Avalon Theater | Alexandria, VA
When: October 28, 10am
Admission: $8, $6.50/members
For the thirteenth year, John Henry brings his playful musical style to the Avalon for our annual Halloween concert party. Children are encouraged to dress in costume (adults, too!) and sing and dance along during the show. Treats will be distributed afterwards.
Tickets: $8 / $6.50 members
Haunted Circus & Candy Climbs
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: October 28 & 29
Admission: $42-55 (ages 5-6 free with paid adult)
Celebrate Halloween in the trees with the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring. On October 28, a special Halloween Circus Glow from 7-11pm will feature a spooky playlist, a lit up park, and the SSAP Circus! On October 29, complete a course and get a treat! (Note that costumes are welcome, but they are not liable for any damages to costumes if you choose to wear them.) Read more from KFDC about the Adventure Park here.
Where: Falls Church, VA
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 sixth 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.
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: October 28, 10am – 3:30pm
Admission: $15.95/ages 2 and up
Have a spooktacular Halloween at Baltimore’s ultimate celebration for kids and families. Boogie to hair-raising tunes from Mr. Don. Have a boo-tiful design painted on your face. Learn about creepy, crawly and COOL bugs with Bug Patrol and meet furry creatures with Wildlife Adventures. Plus, make tasty treats in the form of Cinnamon Bats with McCormick and don’t forget to wear your favorite costume!
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: October 28, 12-4pm
Admission: $24.95/adult, $18.95/ages 3-12
Celebrate the chills and thrills of Halloween at the MSC’s 9th 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 | Kensington, MD
When: October 28, 12-4pm
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.
Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District | Alexandria, VA
When: October 28
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.
Where: National Colonial Farm | Accokeek, MD
When: October 28, 7-9 pm
There’s something spooky happening on the Bolton farm. This evening tour of the National Colonial Farm takes you back to 1770 and introduces you to some of Maryland’s most unsavory characters, and the superstitions the colonists developed to combat their fears of the supernatural.
Witches & Wizards
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 28-29
Admission: $18/adult, $12/age 2-12
Celebrate Halloween at train museum! Dress as your favorite wizard or witch and take a ride on the Wizards Express, see sword demos, and enjoy all kinds of magical activities throughout the day, including a Wizards show. See the website for all the details.
Halloween Fun — & Shopping
Where: Simon Centers around the DMV
When: October 28-30
Families are invited to grab a broomstick and fly to Washington, DC-area Simon centers to get in the spooky spirit! Clarksburg Premium Outlets, Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets, St. Charles Towne Center, and Queenstown Premium Outlets are celebrating the haunted Halloween season with a variety of FREE, enchanting programs. Be sure to check the schedule of events, as activities and dates vary by shopping center.
NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: October 29
When is it ever cool to “boo” the orchestra? On Halloween, of course! But watch out, because at this frightfully fun concert, ghoulishly attired musicians might “BOO” you from behind their instruments in return. Don your best costume, come one hour early to the Atrium for trick-or-treating plus a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo,” and then take your seat in the Concert Hall for a program of goosebump-inducing favorites! Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Del Ray Halloween Parade
Where: Del Ray Neighborhood | Alexandria, VA
When: October 29, 2pm
One of Del Ray’s favorite traditions, the 21st Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade begins at Mt. Vernon Avenue, south of E. Bellefonte, and continues down to the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center play fields at Mt. Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues. Children, pets, and strollers in costumes are invited to march and show off their finest and scariest Halloween garb. Awards and goody bags are given out, too. The Parade and all activities are free.
The Magic Garden
Where: Piscataway Park | Accokeek, MD
When: October 29, 11 am-2 pm
Admission: Free; $5/magical craft
Hogwarts, schmogwarts. Piscataway Park is the place to learn about *magic*. Join this event to explore the magical plants of this special place. Skip herbology for an enchanting plant walk, make your own potion in the Museum Garden, and design your very own elder wand at the Visitor Center. And don’t forget to visit the National Colonial Farm to see what’s bubbling in their cauldron and dip your own candle worthy of the great hall.
Daddy Daughter Halloween Dance
Where: Dominion Valley Country Club | Haymarket, VA
When: October 29, 5:30-7pm
Admission: $40, $15/extra child
A fun night out just for Dads and Daughters! Join Gainesville Ballet at Dominion Valley Country Club in Haymarket, VA, for a delicious buffet meal, dancing, and a prize for the best Daddy-Daugher costume. Dress-up is encouraged, but not required. Learn how to do the Monster Mash, Thriller dance, and more!
Where: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 30
We Happy Few is proud to present Bram Stoker’s Dracula as the next installment of the Classics in Action series. Experience this nightmarish achievement of storytelling as it drags you through the memorandum, newspaper clippings, and diary pages of a frantic vampire hunt. With faithful adherence to Stoker’s text, immersive staging, and chilling, terrifying (and of course silly) performances, they bring the audience into the heart of Dracula’s conflict: the intersection of predator and prey.
Haunted House at Captains Cove
Where: Hotel Indigo | Old Town Alexandria, VA
When October 30-31, 4:30-7:30pm
The hotel will turn its library into the “Haunted House at Captains Cove” this Halloween! Trick-or-treaters are invited to enjoy a pirate-themed haunted experience, playing on the hotel’s nautical theme and the area’s maritime history. There is no admission fee, but patrons are encouraged to donate to Act for Alexandria, a local organization which distributes grants for revitalization of the Alexandria area and community. Haunted house guests will be treated to a spooky atmosphere and pirate-themed goodie bags. Lee Street Trick-or-Treaters are welcome to join in the fun.
Where: Around the DMV
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!