Tag Archives: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween in 2014

jackolantern

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.

Boostravaganza
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 23, 6-8pm
Admission: $8/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!

Spooky SPY Family Night
Where: International Spy Museum
When: October 24, 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. 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.

Halloween Festival
Where: Bethesda Row
When: October 30, 5-7pm
Admission: Free

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
Admission: $5

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.

Spooky Trick-or-Treat
Where: Rhode Island Row
When: October 25, 4-6pm
Admission: Free

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.

Halloween Carnival
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.

Halloweenville
Where: Village at Leesburg
When: October 25, 3-7pm
Admission: Free

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!

Haunted Hangar
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
Admission: Free

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.

Spooky Science
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.

Monster Mash
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!

Falloween
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 25, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

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
Admission: $15-18

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
Admission: Free

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
Admission: Free

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!

Hilloween
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 31, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

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.

Halloween Yoga
Where: lil omm
When: November 1, 2:30-3:30pm
Admission: $20/family

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
Admission: Free

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.

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Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween

Dracula and Fairy Butterfly Princess on Halloween 2012

Dracula and Fairy Butterfly Princess, Halloween 2012



Why wait until the actual day to celebrate one of the best holidays of the year? Besides the bonuses of getting more mileage out of costumes and having extra excuses to indulge in sweets, Halloween festivities are a treat any day. And there are loads of ways to get into the spooky spirit during the days leading up to the grand event. From no-fright fun to wicked cool thrills, here are the many ways you can scare up a good time this Halloween season. (Be sure to note that a few events will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Spooky SPY Family Night
Where: International Spy Museum
When: October 11, 6-9pm
Admission: $14

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, including the new exhibition Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains. 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, play VINGO (Villain Bingo), and enjoy SPY snacks and a chance to explore all forms of spy tradecraft. Come in disguise as your favorite spy! Includes exclusive after-hours admission, SPY snacks, scavenger hunt, prize competitions, and more! Space is limited — advance registration required.

“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 12, 13, 19, 20, & 24-30
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.

Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 12, 13, 19, 20, & 24-30
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 runs 6-9pm each night. Purchase tickets online.

Planet Spooky & Trick-or-Treat with Dinos
Where: Kings Dominion
When: Weekends October 6-28, 12-5pm
Admission: Free with park admission
A brand new event at Kings Dominion, Planet Spooky will feature all of the treats (but no tricks) for little ones to enjoy! Some of adventures include a pumpkin painting patch, petting zoo, foam pit, pedal tractors, a hay maze, live shows and more, that all take place in the new Planet Snoopy at Kings Dominion – which features 18 rides, with many of the rides designed for families to experience together. During Planet Spooky, all of the rides in Planet Snoopy will be open. The park also unveiled its all-new Trick or Treat with Dinosaurs! Kings Dominion has a 6-acre animatronic dinosaur park called Dinosaurs Alive, with 39 life-sized dinosaurs that make sounds and move as if it was 65 million years ago. New in 2013, Kings Dominion will dress up several of these dinosaurs in costume and offer children a chance to trick-or-treat through Dinosaurs Alive with their families before Halloween!

Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: October 6-27
Admission: Free
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. (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Boostravaganza
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 17, 6-8pm
Admission: $8/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 go here to sign up.

The Spooky Magic of Joe Romero
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: October 19, 1pm
Admission: $14
BlackRock celebrates the Halloween season with Joe Romano providing tricks that are a real treat. This skilled and exciting magician will perform jaw-dropping illusions for the whole family. Joe will float on a broom, turn a child into Harry Potter, make a friendly ghost appear, and more! Go early to join the free pre-show party, with arts & craft and a snack. The one-hour performance is recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 25-27, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members
Princesses, mythical creatures, kid-wizards, and other costumed guests are invited to join us at our annual Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo. There’s no safer or more exciting way for families with children ages 2-12 to trick or treat. A ticket is required for all attendees 2 years and older. Enjoy animal encounters and festive decorations along with tasty candy and delicious snack foods from more than 30 treat stations throughout the Zoo. Take a ride on our Conservation Carousel, too! Tricks optional. (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Fall Harvest Festival Halloween Weekend
Where: Great Country Farms
When: October 26-27
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, free for ages 2 and under

The farm’s annual seasonal festival includes Halloween fun for the weekend, when guests are encouraged to come in costume. Celebrate and create an unforgettable experience picking pumpkins, cheering on the fastest piglet, smashing pumpkins with P-Rex, getting lost in our corn maze and having your little princess meet their little princess. And don’t forget those freshly made Cider Donuts!

Wax Frightful
Where: Madame Tussauds
When: October 26, 10AM – 4PM
Admission: $20/adult, free for ages 4-12 (online)

Join Madame Tussauds for fun Halloween crafts, costume competitions, spooky tales and more! Three sessions are available at 11am – 12pm, 1-2pm, and 3-4pm.

Haunted Hangar
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 26, 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.

Falloween
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 26, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

It’s a day of fall fun at the shopping center, including trick or treating, a costume parade (for people and pets), a Rocknoceros performance, a petting zoo, face painting, a kids circus, strolling entertainment, balloon creations and much more. People and pets in costume are invited to join in the FALLoween Parade at 11am, led by The Jokesters. Visit the website for the schedule of festivities.

Halloween at the Medical Museum
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: October 26, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join NMHM for some spooky Halloween fun on Saturday. Children of all ages are invited to learn about skulls through fun arts and crafts activities at NMHM’s free Halloween event. Visitors can also tour the Museum’s exhibits, which feature several full human skeletons and skeletal preparations. Halloween costumes are welcome.

Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 26, 2-7pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 7pm

Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 9th 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 character! (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: October 26, 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 conclude with a costume parade through the Park at 3:30pm. (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 26, 11am – 6pm
Admission: FREE

Bring your ghosts and goblins for a day of trick or treat in the Old Town Boutique District. The OTBD’s annual Trick or Treat with the Boutiques event is a great way for families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween day in Old Town Alexandria. All of the participating OTBD stores will offer treats, 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.

Spooky Science
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: October 26
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/ages 3-12

Celebrate the chills and thrills of Halloween at our fifth 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.

Fall-o-ween Family Festival
Where: Port Discovery
When: October 26
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 & Tea
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 26, 10am & 1pm
Admission: $12/members, $15/non-members

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.

Monster Mash
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: October 26, 10am
Admission: $10, under 12 months are free

Bring your little “monsters” for a day of Halloween surprises, mask making, Sesame Street character fun and much more! Make sure to wear your best Halloween costume!

Haunted Halloween Pop-Ups
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 27, 1-3pm
Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free

Celebrate the spirit of Halloween as you design your very own pop-up haunted house. Learn the pop-up architecture technique from guest artist Carol Barton. Decorate a spooky haunted house scene to take place on your window sill. Fun for the whole family, the festivities include crafts, treats, and ghosts stories (more silly than spooky!) about the Museum. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Prepaid registration required. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Baby Loves Disco Halloween Ball
Where: U Street Music Hall
When: October 27, 11am
Admission: $15/ticket or 4 for $55

Come dressed up in your costume (you, too, Mom and Dad!) for a special Halloween family dance party. Prizes, contests, tricks, and lots of treats will be part of the fun along with the always-groovy DJ-spun music set and energetic MC.

Crime Museum Halloween – Just for Kids!
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 27, 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 Halloween Spooktacular: The Sequel!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 28
Admission: $15-18
Is it ever cool to “boo” the orchestra? It is on Halloween! But watch out, because at this frightfully fun follow-up to the NSO’s popular Halloween Spooktacular program, ghoulishly attired musicians might “BOO” you from behind their instruments in return! Don your spookiest ‘ween wear and come early for pre-concert trick-or-treating plus a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Then take your seats for a “spirited” performance as an incognito Ankush Kumar Bahl conducts a new round of goosebump-inducing favorites. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Joanie’s Halloween Party
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 31 – November 1, 10am & 11:15am
Admission: $5-8

At this session of Tot Rock: Jammin’ at the Smithsonian, there’s no reason to scare up an excuse to dance like crazy when the energetic Brooklyn-based, kindie-rock band Joanie Leeds and The Nightlights make their Halloween debut at Discovery Theater. Leeds brings songs from her latest album, Bandwagon, along with other hits and kid-friendly Halloween tunes. The band will be in costume—and families can be, too! (Note: This will not occur if the shutdown is still in effect.)

Hilloween
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 31, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

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.

Nightmare Manor Family Night
Where: Ijamsville, Md
When: November 1, 5-9pm
Admission: $20
Family Night is a fun and interactive Halloween experience suitable for all ages. Scares are toned down for younger children, and kids going through the haunt will be given magical rings that are capable of warding off all forms of ghosts and monsters in case they get too frightened. Go hungry and roast smores over the bonfire, or enjoy our other delicious foods.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Halloween, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Let the Halloween Festivities Begin!

Boba Fett walking to school... just one of many reasons why Halloween rules

 

Halloween may still be weeks away, but its spirit has been pervading for awhile. Mostly in the form of costume catalogs sliding through the mail slot, but also with cobweb covered front yards and, of course, hauntingly endless conversations with the kids about what/who to dress as this year. And we can take that even further with activities and events that celebrate the spirit, some starting as soon as this weekend. Here’s where the treats, tricks, scares, and kicks will be happening, listed in order of start date. Be sure to note that even though some may be weeks away, you can get your tickets now, and some require advance registration. And if there’s anything good that I’ve missed, feel free to mention it in the comments.

“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 6-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-31
Admission: $6/person, $5 with canned food donation, free for kids 2 and under

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-pm on weekdays and 1-8pm on weekends.

Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 6-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-31
Admission: $6/person, $5 with canned food donation

Wheaton Regional Park’s Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel are back and scarier than ever! This annual Halloween attraction is best for guests ages 8 and up, because they do their best to make it VERY SCARY (and this is the website description, so take their word for it). Admission includes one ride each on the train and carousel, plus entrance to the Hall of Jack o’ Lanterns movie theater presenting scary films every night. The train runs 6-9pm each night.

Howl-O-Fest
Where: Kings Dominion
When: Weekends October 6-28, 12-5pm
Admission: Free with park admission
It’s frightful fun for little ones at the Virginia amusement park with all sorts of treats at daytime during Howl-O-Fest’s Boo Blast. Families can enjoy a Halloween treasure hunt, foam pit, pumpkin painting and more! Kings Dominion is located in Doswell, about 90 minutes from DC. Admission to the park starts at $37.99 and you can usually find discounts online.

Nightmare Screamplex Family Night
Where: Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md
When: October 7 & November 2, 5-9pm
Admission: $20
Family Night at the haunted venue is a fun and interactive Halloween experience suitable for all ages. Kids going through the haunt will be given magical rings that ward off all forms of ghosts and monsters in case they get too scared. The show will be a “lights on” tour, but guests are welcome to bring flashlights. And on Family Nights only, regular admission gives you free access to tons of games and activities. Certifikid currently has a $12 admission deal.

Boostravaganza
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 18, 6-8pm
Admission: $8/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 go here to sign up (use code #2824862701).

Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: October 20-21
Admission: Free
Some consider Day of the Dead the native version of Halloween. At the museum, follow the monarch butterflies home and celebrate the return of the ancestors at the museum’s annual Dia de los Muertos program. This colorful celebration of life includes food demonstrations by the museum’s Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe and a cultural presentation by La Danza de los Tecuanes. Learn how papel picado, sugar skulls and paper mache figures are created.

Operation Undercover: Secrets of Disguise Workshop
Where: International Spy Museum
When: October 20, 10am – 12:30pm
Admission: $30

Ditch your Halloween costume and change your whole identity! Go deep undercover for a mission too secret to divulge in print. The intricacies of creating a cover identity complete with “pocket litter,” documentation, and disguise will be shared in this workshop where recruits will be transformed—you’ll learn to look like a different person, and think like one too. A cadre of professional make-up artists, hair stylists, and spy experts will be on hand as recruits prepare to take on the ultimate challenge: a mission to retrieve top secret intelligence while undercover. Will your cover be blown? Will your disguise withstand the test? For kids ages 8-11.

lil omm Halloween Party
Where: lil omm Yoga Studio
When: October 25, 3:15-4pm
Admission: Free
Put the BOO into Buddha! Tenley/Friendship children’s librarian Katie Fitzgerald and lil omm’s Pleasance Silicki invite you to a ghoulish good story time and Halloween inspired yoga. Come wearing costumes and get special treat. This free event is for families with children up to 5 years old.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 26-28, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members
This annual event is the wildest trick-or-treat in town. Kids ages 2 – 12 can get costumed up for after-hours Halloween fun at the Zoo. Get ready for tasty candy, delicious snack foods, and other goodies from more than 40 treat stations. Plus, animal encounters, keeper talks, and festive decorations are yours to enjoy. Boo at the Zoo takes place rain or shine. Buy tickets through Ticketmaster or in the Zoo’s gift shop between 9am and 4:30pm.

Glow Night – A Magical Evening on the Farm
Where: Great Country Farms
When: October 26-27
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, free for ages 2 and under

See a spectacular display of over 3,000 lighted jack-o-lanterns carved by local school children. The magical moment when they cut the lights (7pm) will take your breath away. Bring your carved Jack-o-lantern to enter in a carving competitions — Jack-o-lanterns are judged for Best in Glow, Scariest and Funniest. Along with the light show, warm yourself by the bonfire, roast some marshmallows, and enjoy apple cider. The farm is open daily 9am – 9pm.

Air and Scare
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 27, 2-8pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 7pm

Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 8th 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 character!

Haunted Hangar
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 27, 12-4pm
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.

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: October 27, 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. Don’t miss the Pumpkin Promenade, a simple maze that children may walk through to pick up special prizes.

Falloween
Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 27, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

It’s a day of fall fun at the shopping center, including trick or treating, a costume parade (for people and pets), a Rocknoceros performance, a petting zoo, face painting, a kids circus, strolling entertainment, balloon creations and much more. Visit the website for the schedule of festivities.

The Spooky Magic of Joe Romero
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: October 27, 1pm
Admission: $14
BlackRock celebrates the Halloween season with Joe Romano providing tricks that are a real treat. This skilled and exciting magician will perform jaw-dropping illusions for the whole family. Joe will float on a broom, turn a child into Harry Potter, make a friendly ghost appear, and more! Go early to join the free pre-show party, with arts & craft and a snack. The one-hour performance is recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Halloween Monster Jump
Where: Pump It Up in Lanham, Md
When: October 27, 29, & 31, various times (See below)
Admission: $13/child, $5/adult
Calling all witches, goblins, princesses and superheroes ages 2 and up! You are invited to join Pump It Up in Lanham, Md, for their 4th Annual Pump It Up Monster Jump! Dress in costume for Halloween Jumping. (No makeup, swords or sharp objects allowed). The admission fee includes jumping, goodie bags, fun games, prizes, and more. Jump times are 7:30-9:30pm on 10/27, 5-7pm on 10/29, and 7-9pm on 10/31.

Hallowmarine
Where: DC National Aquarium
When: October 27, 12-4pm
Admission: $9.95/ages 11 and up, $4.95/ages 3-11, free for 2 and under
Ahoy! There be pirates at the National Aquarium! Enjoy live music from a real band of swashbucklers as Pirates for Sail sets the mood for the Hallowmarine celebration. Plus, participate in fun activities like face painting and a costume contest for kids; explore the mysteries lurking in our waters with a spooky scavenger hunt; and put your knowledge of animals to the test to win prizes.

Trick or Treat with the Boutiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 27 during store hours
Admission: FREE

Bring your ghosts and goblins for a day of trick or treat in the Old Town Boutique District. The OTBD’s annual Trick or Treat with the Boutiques event is a great way for families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween day in Old Town Alexandria. All of the participating OTBD stores will offer treats, 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.

Haunted… Chocolate House Workshop & Tea
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 27, 1-2:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $25/no-members, $7/accompanying adults

How do you build a chocolate house? Start with some tea – early America’s favorite pick-me-up – accompanied by lovely sandwiches, snacks and sweets and a costumed interpreter full of stories about tea-drinking history and lore. Next, out come delicious ingredients for your individual “haunted home-building” project (one per child), and you will learn how to construct your own three-dimensional chocolate house, decorated with edible wonders.

Westfield Family Spooktacular
Where: Westfield Wheaton Mall
When: October 27
Admission: Free
Have a wicked good time at Westfield Wheaton this Halloween season! Join the Westfield Family for some safe exciting fun as they host the annual Family Spooktacular event. Stores throughout the mall will provide treats for all of the ghouls and goblins that attend, so be sure to wear your costume. In addition to a safe trick-or-treating experience around the mall, there will be tons of free activities for families and children of all ages to enjoy, including arts & crafts and more.

NSO Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 28
Admission: $15-18
Is it ever cool to “boo” the orchestra? It is on Halloween! And during their Halloween Spooktacular, NSO musicians dressed up as ghosts, ghouls, and goblins just might peek out from behind their instruments to go “BOO” back at you! Go early outfitted in your spookiest ‘ween wear for pre-concert trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Haunted Halloween Pop-Ups
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 28, 1-3pm
Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free

Celebrate the spirit of Halloween as you design your very own pop-up haunted house. Learn the pop-up architecture technique from guest artist Carol Barton. Decorate a spooky haunted house scene to take place on your window sill. Fun for the whole family, the festivities include crafts, treats, and ghosts stories (more silly than spooky!) about the Museum. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Prepaid registration required. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Crime Museum Halloween – Just for Kids!
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 28, 1-5pm
Admission: $10/costumes child, $10/adults accompanying children

Batman, Wonder Woman, police officers, and all other costumed characters can enjoy a day of Halloween fun at this Penn Quarter museum. Festivities include a regular museum tour, Police Academy Jr. Activity Sheet, McGruff the Crime Dog appearances, finger print identification cards, candy, and more.

Halloween Party Smiles for Shira
Where: Potomac Community Center
When: October 28, 3-4:30pm
Admission: $25

Dress up in costumes and have some fun…it’s Halloween time, everyone! Join Mamas Link and Mizmarni and the JJs for a crazy party and concert featuring a special musical performance, sweet treats, costume photos, interactive games and activities, a parade and more. Proceeds from this fun for the whole family benefit the Smiles for Shira Foundation.

The Great Zucchini’s Halloween Party
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 30-31, 10:15am & 11:30am
Admission: $5-8

You’ve heard of the Great Pumpkin. Now meet the Great Zucchini, a vegetable of a very different color—and one of the area’s most entertaining and in-demand kids’ magicians and comedians. There’s a yummy mix of amazing feats, interactive fun, and plenty of laughs waiting in his bag of Halloween tricks. Come in costume!

Hilloween
Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 31, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

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.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Fall, Festival, Free, Halloween, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

The Great Indoors

Captivated by colors at the American Art Museum

Captivated by colors at the American Art Museum





When the rain forced our family to make a Plan B this past weekend, I turned to my own (old) list of Rainy Day Recreation.  Looking it over, I realized it needed revamping — some elaboration on listed suggestions and the addition of many new ones.  It’s now all here in this bigger, hopefully better, list. So, when the weather isn’t conducive to outdoor recreation or you simply just feel like being inside, check out these ideas of where to take shelter, just about all of them tried and tested by yours truly and crew.

1. Visit a Smithsonian museum on the National Mall and elsewhere in the city. They are free, fantastic places to stay dry, cool, or warm, depending on the weather.

More specifically…

2. Hold giant insects, eyeball all kinds of mammals, learn about human origins, and much more at the National Museum of Natural History. Of course, there are tons of fascinating exhibits to tour while you’re there, including Q?rius, the impressive new interactive and experimental learning space.

3. Discover “How Things Fly” at the National Air & Space Museum. The gallery is full of cool hands-on displays that explain the basics of flight and pique kids’ curiosity. Take time to wander through the rest of the exhibits, too.

4. Navigate to the National Museum of American History, where kids can see “America on the Move,” a history of transportation; toys and games from your childhood; the Star Spangled Banner; and much more. And the new Innovation Wing boasts several great exhibits, plus the Wegmans Wonderland play area for little ones and The Spark!Lab, where guests can get hands-on and inventive.

5. Deliver on fun at the National Postal Museum, where lots of interactive exhibits and an easy-to-explore space make it a nice outing for little ones.

7. Drop in for special free programs at the National Portrait Gallery. Open Studio Fridays (1-4pm) welcome visitors for creative fun, and Portrait Story Days invites kids ages 5 and up to hear a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art (runs most Saturdays 1-4pm and Sundays 2-5pm). On any day, tour the collections and be sure to stop by the lovely Kogod Courtyard.

6. Roam around the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The modern art exhibits on the top level are usually most appealing to young art buffs. On weekends at the gallery, enjoy Art ala Cart, where four interactive carts found throughout the galleries let kids (about ages 7-12) explore subjects such as sculpture and folk art through hands-on activities — check the calendar to see when they’re available. All ages can explore the museum on their own everyday, but be aware that museum hours are 11am – 7:30pm.

8. Explore imagiNATIONS, the family activity center at that National Museum of the American Indian. Be sure to check the schedule for open hours and any special activities.

9. Jet out to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Dulles arm of the National Air & Space Museum, to see a giant hangar full of aviation and space artifacts. Admission is free, but parking in the lot is $15/vehicle.

10. Catch an IMAX like National Parks Adventure 3D, To the Arctic 3D, To Fly!, or one of several other films currently playing at one of the Smithsonian’s IMAX Theaters.

11. Experience Asian culture through art at the Freer & Sackler Galleries. Art Cart and Imaginasia activities are available most weekends and sometimes during the week for families to enjoy.

12. Contemplate the exhibits at the Hirshhorn Museum. While some of the collection and installations may initially seem a bit sophisticated for children — many pieces have deeper meaning that is over their heads — they can still appreciate much of it on a visual level. Past exhibits like Suprasensorial and Ai Weiwei: According to What are good examples.

At other local museums…

13. Foster an interest in art at the National Gallery. The Calder exhibit and pop art downstairs are often fun for children to view (though currently closed for renovations). The “sparkly” moving sidewalk between the East and West Buildings is always a hit. And don’t forget to check to see if any family programs are on the schedule.

14. Head to the National Building Museum for playtime in the Building Zone, exhibits, and activities in the Great Hall. PLAY WORK BUILD upstairs is a blast for all ages. Admission is $3/person for the Building Zone, $7-10 for exhibits. (Tip: There is no admission fee for museum members, and a family membership is just $90/year. For many of us who visit often, this is well worth it!)

15. See an exhibition or a few at the National Geographic Museum. And they always have stunning photography, often featuring wildlife and nature, on display.

16. Cruise on over to the U.S. Navy Museum. This true hidden DC gem, located on the Navy base in southeast DC, is full of artifacts that illustrate the history of the navy.

17. Wing it at the College Park Aviation Museum. See historic aircraft and direct the kids play in the children’s area with art activities, a dress up station, and more hands-on fun.

18. View a wonderful collection of art and traveling exhibits at the Corcoran Gallery, where admission is now free! Hours are 10am – 5pm Wednesday to Sunday. (2015 Update: The Corcoran is currently closed for renovations.)

19. Nurture the next 007 at the International Spy Museum. (Best for about ages 6 and up. Check for admission discounts here.)

20. Examine the human body from a scientific point of view at the National Museum of Health and Medicine. But know what you’re getting into first! While the museum is quite fascinating, it’s not for very young children, nor the faint of heart.

21. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art ever at the American Visionary Art Museum. Located at Baltimore Inner Harbor, its three buildings are full of outrageously creative masterpieces that all ages will not just appreciate, but absolutely adore.

22.Time trip through Charm City’s early business days at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. The Inner Harbor attraction highlights the trades and people that helped build the port city through exhibits that showcase relics from the past and recreate various industry environments. Hours are 10am – 4pm (Tuesday – Sunday).

23. Find out how the prehistoric past, natural environment, and maritime heritage come together to tell a unique story of the Chesapeake Bay at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, MD. Full of big installations, hands-on exhibits, and interesting features both indoors and out, it’s worth the hour-long drive to Calvert County.

And for non-museum pursuits…

24. Experience the outdoors inside at a nature center. Rock Creek Nature Center, Watkins Nature Center, and Potomac Overlook Nature Center are a few faves. Or find one near you with the help of The Natural Capital blog.

25. Get in touch with nature at the U.S. Botanic Garden, where many of the plant collections make you feel like you’re not just outdoors, but in a whole other region altogether. Be sure to stop in the “Plants in Culture” exhibit where little ones will have fun sniffing the aromas of various plants and learning about their everyday uses.

26. Bounce, swing, climb, run, balance, and tumble at the PG Sport and Learning Complex Gymnastics Center. See this post for more details and open play hours.

27. And for even more places to let little ones burn some energy, see this list of indoor playgrounds.

28. Take in a show at Glen Echo Park. Jumanji, running at Adventure Theatre through August 28, is a hilarious thrill for all ages. And The Puppet Co. presents Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs and Peter and the Wolf on the Main Stage this summer, along with lots of Tiny Tots shows for the youngest audiences.

29. Or join the audience at Imagination Stage. LThe Little Mermaid is the current big production and Inside Out delights ages 1-5.

30. Make it a musical morning with the Boogie Babes. They bring children’s musicians to the Atlas Performing Arts Center very Monday, the Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market on Wednesdays, and Eastern Market on Thursdays. Showtimes is always 10:30am and admission is $6/child, free for siblings 6 months and under.

31. Check out your local library.

32. Marvel at the beauty and magnificence of the Washington National Cathedral, one of DC’s most iconic attractions. Both guided and self-led tours are available, and the stained glass windows and gargoyles are especially interesting for kids. The observation gallery on the seventh floor also showcases interesting architectural designs, stunning bird’s eye views of DC, and an exhibit about the 2011 earthquake in DC.

33. Stay entertained at Discovery Theater, located in the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center. Check the schedule to see what productions they’re currently presenting.

34. Rock out at a Jammin’ Java kids show. Visit the website to see the line-up of children’s musicians playing at the Vienna venue.

35. Entertain the kids (and yourself) at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. The program presents free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. Check the website to see what’s on the schedule — acts span the genres, with everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes.

36. Get a glimpse of where DC’s bigwigs work on a tour of the Capitol Building.

37. Bounce on over to an open jump session at Pump it Up.  Go here to find out when they’re offered at a location near you.

38. Jump in at an indoor pool. (Note: DC DPR closes aquatic centers if there is thunder).

39. Journey through space at a planetarium. The Albert Einstein Planetarium at the Air & Space is open every day.  The Rock Creek Park Planetarium has free shows on weekends and Wednesdays at 4pm.  And the David M. Brown Planetarium in Arlington has special programs at various times.

40. Play the day away among the awesome variety of fun exhibits designed especially for kids at Port Discovery in Baltimore. And check the calendar to see if there are any special programs going on when you plan to go

41. And speaking of Baltimore, the National Aquarium in Charm City gets its own spot on this list.

42. As does the Maryland Science Center, also on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It’s chock full of fascinating hands-on fun for kids!

43. See a movie.  It seems there are always flicks for little ones showing at a theater near you.  Find out what’s playing now.

44. Enjoy Theatre for the Very Young, the program for little audiences at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Visit the website to see if there’s a show currently running.

45. Glide the day away on an ice skating outing. This post has a list of venues for fun on ice, indoors and out, in the area.

46. Or try another skating style at a roller skating rink.  Wheels Skating Center in Odenton, Md, and Skate Zone in Crofton are a couple of places to get rolling in the area.

47. Paint some pottery at Jimmy Potters Studio & Workshop in Arlington and Fairfax, Color Me Mine (several locations in the area), All Fired Up in DC and Bethesda, or Clay Cafe in Falls Church and Chantilly.

48. Get your game on at Labyrinth, the Capitol Hill shop specializing in games and puzzles for all ages. Demo a few at tables set up in back for just that purpose.

49. Romp in the play area and ride the Express Train at Tysons Corner Center.

50. Frolic in the 1,200-square-foot play area at Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge, Va. (And while you’re there, do a little outlet shopping, too!)

51. Make a trip out to Luray Caverns in the Shenandoah Valley to gawk at the spectacular display of stalagmites and stalactites. It really is breathtaking, and most kids will be thrilled by the idea of an underground adventure.

52. Roll on down to the National Capitol Trolley Museum to see old streetcars and even take a ride on one.  The museum is open on the weekends all year, and Thursdays and Fridays during select dates, so make sure it’s open before you go.

53. Chug on over to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. Along with old trains on display and other exhibits, there is a Kids Zone for ages 2-8, regular children’s programs, and special events.  Check the calendar to see what’s happening when.

54.  Go to a Storytime session at Barnes & Noble.  The bookstore chain regularly hosts free children’s book readings at locations around the area.  Find out when there is one near you. Make time before or after to play at the train table (there’s seems to be one in every store) and look at some more books.

55. Find even more free storytime options in NW DC. Check out this great list from Mommy FTW.

56. Learn about the Chesapeake Bay through hands-on exhibits and static displays at the Glen Echo Park Aquarium. Be sure to check the schedule for open hours this time of year.

57. Cheer on our local teams at a sporting event when their seasons are on. The Wizards, Capitals, and Mystics all play indoors at the Verizon Center.

58. Feast on delicious pizza and get in a few games of table tennis, too, at Comet Ping Pong in Chevy Chase.  The eatery is open Monday – Thursday 5-9:30pm, Friday 4-10:45pm, Saturdays & Sundays 11:30am – 9:30pm.

59. Day trip or plan an overnight to Pennsylvania’s Amish Country for the Turkey Hill Experience to get the scoop on the ice cream-making process through a series of interactive exhibits.

60. Glimpse written history at the National Archives, home of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. Stop in the Boeing Learning Center for hands-on activities and more historical discoveries. Hours are 10am – 7pm during spring and summer, 10am – 5:30 during fall and winter. Admission is free.

61. Show them the money at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Free 40-minute tours run every 15 minutes 9-10:45am and 12:30-2pm from September to February, 9am-2pm March 1-23, and 9am-7pm from March 26 – August 24.  The experience includes an introductory film and gallery tour of the production process.

62. Get a bird’s eye view of DC along with an interesting tour at the Washington Monument. One of the city’s most famous structures has reopened, allowing visitors to go up to the observation deck 500 feet up and check out the museum 10 feet below. Get free first-come, first-served tickets day-of pr pay a small fee to reserve them in advance.

63. Check out the largest library in the world! The Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress welcomes children to read books or participate in story time. It’s open 9:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday, and story time takes place on Fridays at 11am (best for up to age 8). While you’re there, tour more of the beautiful, iconic LOC.

64. Inflate your good time at Sport Bounce of Loudon, where kids will love a roomful of air-filled contraptions that practically scream fun.

65. Put a little extra spring in your…jump at Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield.

66. Let imaginations run wild with pretend play at the Playseum in Bethesda.

67. Scale a rock wall and do some rappelling at SportRock Climbing Center. Facilities are located in Alexandria and Sterling, Va, and they offer programs just for kids.

68. Take advantage of Tots Playtime at Pinstripes in Georgetown. From 10am – 12pm most weekdays, kids can bowl for just $4 each (plus $5 shoe rental), and parents are free (limit 4 kids per adult)! Stay after for lunch — they have a kids menu and a pretty extensive main menu, too.

69. Locate secret doors, see outrageously fabulous themed rooms, and browse a trove of secondhand treasures on a tour of The Mansion on O Street. The Dupont Circle landmark is a mansion, museum, restaurant, vintage store, and hotel all in one — and visitors are welcome to explore it all. Open daily 11am – 4pm. Self-guided tours start at $10.

70. Full steam ahead at the Gaithersburg Community Museum. Located in the B&O Railroad complex in Olde Towne, the indoor/outdoor interpretive spaces provide hands-on learning centers for children that spark the imagination, and permanent and changing exhibits explore Gaithersburg’s rich history. Open Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 3pm. Admission is free.

71. Reach new heights of fun at Climbzone. The indoor rock climbing center is filled literally floor to ceiling with with colorful themed climbing walls that kids and adults will have a blast conquering.

72. Practice your swing and have a ball at a batting cage, a great recent recommendation by a KFDC reader (thanks!). Upton Hill Regional Park and Cameron Run Regional Park in Arlington and the Strikezone Academy in Alexandria are a few local facilities where you can get in some hits.

73. Spark the kids’ interest in STEM in a lab full of fun and exciting hands-on activities at the Children’s Science Center in Fair Oaks Mall.

74. Browse the stalls and have a bite at Union Market in northeast DC. Enjoy a variety of food options for lunch, get a delicious scoop of ice cream from Trickling Spring Creamery, show the kids some “interesting” sights that are sometimes there, like a pig’s head at Harvey’s or octopus at The District Fish Wife.

75. Score a strike or a spare or just have fun knocking down some pins when you go bowling. Lucky Strike downtown sets up ramps and bumpers for little bowlers, as does Bowl America, which has several locations in Virginia. Or try duck pin bowling at White Oaks Lane in Silver Spring.

76. Savor a DC “Secret” at Panda Gourmet, an off-the-beaten-path restaurant on a Thrillist list of places that many people aren’t even aware exist. The food is authentic, with dishes that go well beyond your standard American-Chinese fare. Even better, it’s all delicious and fun for the whole fam to share.

77. Screen a Crybaby Matinee on Wednesdays at 12pm at the Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market. The program is meant for moviegoers with little babies, so they can relax and enjoy a flick with their babe in tow.

78. Serve up some tennis at one of several indoor tennis courts. The East Potomac Tennis Center by Hains Point, Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center in Cabin John, or Wheaton Indoor Tennis all offer lessons for kids or court time if you just want to hit around on your own.

79. Enchant the kids with play time at Magic Ground! The indoor playground above the Columbia Heights Target is “the exact place to bring your energetic-need-to-get-out-of-the-house-kiddos,” according to the KFDC reader who had the earliest scoop.

80. Challenge your gang with ninja courses, ropes courses, trampolines, climbing apparatuses, zip lines, and more active fun at ZavaZone, the brand new Indoor Adventure Park in Rockville.

81. Soar with the wind at iFLY Loundoun. Their wind tunnel flights are about the closest you’ll get to skydiving without stepping foot in (then out of) an airplane.

82. Make a great escape by doing some fun problem solving at The Escape Lounge! The H Street spot offering interactive escape experiences is a great place for about ages 6 and up to have fun indoors. Read more about it in this post about one of our birthday parties there.

83. Sign up for a family-friendly volunteer session at DC Diaper Bank.

84. Weave some time in your schedule to stroll through the Textile Museum at George Washington University, which houses a beautiful collection of textiles from around the world.


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The Weekend Round-Up: December 9-11

Capitol replica made entirely of natural materials at Season's Greening

 

We’re in the throes of the holiday season. Lights are twinkling, mini trains are chugging, sugar plum fairies are dancing, and suckers like me are spending. Here’s a quick list of where your family can enjoy the festivities, plus some non-holiday activities, too.  Happy Weekend!

Celebrate the SeasonExperience a frozen wonderland, visit Santa in his workshop, view nature and DC-inspired holiday exhibits, drive or stroll through holiday lights, see intricately constructed model train displays.  There’s no shortage of activities that celebrate the season; the tough part is deciding which to do.  To help choose, check out this guide to DC’s best holiday events.

Holidays on Stage – All of the classics are at our local theatres. This post has details on where you and the kids can see your favorites.

Merriment in GeorgetownThe neighborhood is always bustling, but it will be even more so on Saturday as the Merriment in Georgetown Kick-Off Party celebrates 12 days (December 9-20) of holiday shopping events and promotions at over 50 stores. Festivities will include special sales, pedicab rides, a gingerbread house making contest, musical performances, culinary treats, and more. This will all take place from 1-4pm in the PNC Bank Lot at Wisconsin & M Streets. Admission is free, and parking is just $2.

Christmas Dreams at the National Snowflakes and Sugar Plum Sweets are in the air as the Virginia Ballet Company and School present selections for their magical, glittering Nutcracker at this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance. Familiar music, lively dances, lovely costumes and charming characters from Tchaikovsky’s classic confection will bring elegant holiday cheer. Performances take place at 9:30am and 11am, and tickets are required for admission. Free tickets are distributed half an hour prior to the start of shows on a first-come first-served basis. Only one ticket per person, and all attendees must be standing in line to receive a ticket. Children must be accompanied by an adult, who remains present for the entire performance. Seating is limited, so get there early.

Jingle All the Way to Georgetown – This fun family event taking place on Sunday from 4-8pm is an opportunity to support a wonderful cause and help make the holiday season brighter for children and families coping with cancer. The 6th Annual Georgetown Jingle is includes a silent auction, tastings by leading DC area chefs, kids activities, and live entertainment, including a visit from Santa and his friends. Themed holiday trees and vignettes created by the Washington area’s top designers will also be showcased for guests to view. And especially for young attendees is the Children’s Workshop, where they can enjoy holiday crafts, decorate cookies, watch movies, and dance. See this post for more information about the event and purchasing tickets.

Scribble, Dot, Pop!Kids have another weekend to explore art through film at The National Gallery of Art’s monthly film program. This weekend they’ll present a series of animated shorts that celebrate the qualities that make artists.  Guests can get a glimpse into the life and art of Andy Warhol in the fun and gentle film Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Andy Warhol, a family-friendly biography of Warhol and an introduction to pop art, along with a few other animated shorts about art, all of the kid-friendly variety. Sessions are at 10:30am on Saturday and 11:30am on Sunday in the East Building Auditorium. The program is free, and seating is offered on a first-come, first-seated basis. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Caroling at the GalleryIf you want to put some holiday spirit into your National Gallery visit, go in the afternoon for caroling in the seasonally decorated West Building Rotunda. Guest choirs will lead afternoon sing-alongs that all ages are welcome to join. Carol along with The Mandoleers on Saturday, and the Alexandria Choral Society on Sunday.  Performances are at 1:30pm and 2:30pm both days.

Colonial WassailGather in the orchard of Claude Moore Colonial Farm on Sunday from 1-4pm to toast the winter apple trees with singing, dancing, and chants to ensure a “howling crop” next year. Enjoy hot spiced cider, sugar cakes, a roaring bonfire, and 18th-century games along with the wassailing festivities. Admission is $3/adults, $2/children.

Nat Geo Exhibits Take shelter from the cold and check out a couple of fun kids’ exhibits at the National Geographic Museum. Animal Grossology and Weird But True are fun and fascinating for kids of all ages. Admission is $8/adults, $6/ages 5-12, free for children under 5.  The National Geographic Museum is located at 1145 17th Street NW.

Puppet Fun at Discovery TheaterThere are a couple of programs for kids to enjoy at the Ripley Center on Saturday. At 12pm, join master artist Bob Brown for Winter Wonderland, a jolly romp with delightful trick marionettes who are out frolicking in the cold. The friendly little critters—bunny, penguin and snowman—perform feats of skill and daring that will leave your young audience holiday-happy. Enjoy the fun and fantasy, mirth and merriment, giggles and amazement—and the sound of favorite holiday music. Recommended for kids ages 2-8. Tickets are $3-8.  Children ages 3 and up can join Michele and Ingrid from the popular puppet theatre, Dinorock, for a Puppet Workshop, where they’ll make their own puppets inspired by the little characters from the show. The workshop runs from 10am – 1pm. Tickets are $5/Smithsonian Resident Associate members, $10/non-members. Get your tickets today, as they will not be available the day of the workshop.

Alternative Gifting –  If you’re planning to do some holiday shopping this weekend and are looking for unique presents, then check out Gifts That Give Hope: Arlington’s Alternative Gift Fair this Saturday, where shoppers make donations in honor of friends and family as holiday presents. You’ll have an opportunity to learn about and support 13 local non-profits. And if you can’t make the fair, you can still shop online through December 20.

Recreation on IceEnjoy a cold-weather outdoor activity and impressive works of art all at once at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.  For details and even more places to do your best Boitano or Kerrigan, check out this post about area ice skating venues, both outdoors and in.

The Wright StuffIt’s Second Saturday at the Air & Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center from 10am -3pm. With a new theme every month, the program engages visitors of all ages in topics related to aviation and space exploration. This weekend will celebrate the world’s first aviators, the Wright Brothers. While admission is free, parking is $15 /car.

Bieber Fever Builds in DC – This is not an activity recommendation; rather it’s a heads-up that the Building Zone at the National Building Museum will be closed from Saturday through Monday, and the entire Museum will be closed on Sunday as the holiday special “Christmas in Washington” takes place there.  Justin Bieber will be part of the show, and word has it they are expecting a mob scene because if it, hence the closing of the Building Zone.

And two links that are always useful:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)


 

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