I can’t count the number of times our son wore his “Max” costume from Where the Wild Things Are. Between parades, school, special celebrations and on Halloween he got lots of practicing saying, “Let the wild rumpus start”! Here’s a guide that will help your child get mileage out of their costume(s) this year. Of course, check out our guide to Festivals and Orchards, as many of them have a special Halloween celebration as well as their day-to-day happenings. DC Library also will have a variety of Halloween celebrations, including Creepy Crafts & Pumpkin Decorating!
*Events are listed in order of which they occur to help you plan
Oct. 7-29– 8:00pm & 9:00pm-Saturday & Sunday only- Ghost Tours at The National Building Museum
Ghost tours at the National Building Museum combine history, humor, and several hair-raising tales into a fun evening. Constructed between 1882 and 1887, the Museum’s historic home was formerly the Pension Building and was frequently visited by war veterans. The National Building Museum collection houses many artifacts related to the building—plans, drawings, and tools—as well as some objects that defy easy explanation, including a collection of shoes found underneath the foundation, believed to have been buried to ward off evil spirits, and a plaster mask, thought to be a death mask dated from the late 1800s. Our building is spectacular, and eerie, with the lights out. Ghost tours are recommended for ages 10 and up.
Oct. 7-29–10:00am-6:00pm- Saturdays and Sundays only- Wheaton Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel
If you enjoy heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping, throat-constricting Halloween activities, we have a train (and carousel) for you. Who–or WHAT?–lurks in the dark Wheaton woods as you ride the Haunted Train? And what’s that perched on the ghostly horse silently screaming next to you on the Creepy Carousel? They promise to do their very best to scare the pants (metaphorically speaking) off you. While showing you free frightening movies, and have snacks for sale, too. Purchase tickets online.
Oct. 7-29–10:00am-6:00pm- Saturdays and Sundays only- Eye Spy Train at Cabin John Regional Park
Looking for something fun to do this Halloween that won’t give your younger kids nightmares? Ride the “Eye Spy” Halloween Train at Cabin John Regional Park! Your kids will have fun looking for familiar friends and animals hiding in the woods and marking them off their “Eye Spy” card, while you sit back and enjoy the ride! A not-so-scary train for kids under 8. Purchase tickets online.
Oct. 13– 6:00pm-9:00pm- Spooky SPY Family Night at International Spy Museum
Ditch your Halloween costume and change your whole identity! 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 afterhours 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, explore all forms of spy tradecraft, and enjoy SPY snacks. A special feature of this event is that New York Times bestselling author, Anthony Horowitz will be speaking and signing his newest book in the Alex Rider Series: Never Say Die. The world’s greatest teen spy is back in action in a thrilling new mission: destroy once and for all the terrorist organization SCORPIA. Americans may have purchased more than 6 million copies of Alex’s adventures, but now, more than ever, we all need his heroics. Come in disguise as your favorite spy (maybe even Alex Rider?!)
Oct. 20-22– 5:30pm-8:30pm- Boo at the Zoo
Boo at the Zoo is Washington DC’s favorite Halloween treat. With more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family. An entertainment stage will feature magicians, jugglers, and a DJ spinning Halloween favorites. Don’t miss a themed scarecrow field. Purchase tickets.
Oct. 20-21 & 27-28 (Various Times)- Soul Strolls in Congressional Cemetery
If they could still speak, what do you think they would say? Over 65,000 individuals are laid to rest in Congressional Cemetery. From Congressman to carpenters, suffragists to bootleggers, each resident has a unique story to tell. Soul Strolls, the Cemetery’s annual twilight tours, 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. Don’t miss out on this exclusive experience unlike any other Halloween tour! Hour-long tours depart every 15 minutes between 6 and 9 pm, and beer, wine, and cider will be for sale. Purchase tickets.
Oct. 21 & 22–9:00am-5:00pm- Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon celebrates the autumn season with Fall Harvest Family Days! The entire family enjoys autumn activities including wagon rides, wheat treading in the 16-sided barn, 18th-century dancing demonstrations, a straw bale maze, farrier (blacksmithing) demonstrations, corn husk dolls demonstrations and early-American games and music.
Oct. 21–12:00pm-5:30pm- Air and Scare at National Air and Space Museum (Virginia Location)
Explore the spooky side of air and space at Air & Scare, our annual Halloween event at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. 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.
Oct. 22– 10:30am-1:00pm- Friends of Forest Hills Playground Halloween
The neighborhood looks forward to this party every year, and this year’s event features Abracadabra Alex, our famous costume parade, a bake sale and pizza from Armand’s. The proceeds from the bake sale and pizza sales go toward events like this party and the summer concerts, plus playground improvements.
Oct. 27-28– 3:30pm-6:30pm- Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Participate in a special scavenger hunt, take a wagon ride on the 12-acre field, and create a boo-tiful Halloween craft in this unforgettable evening. Come and see wool carding, spinning, and fish net making in the historic area before greeting “Martha Washington” on the piazza of the Mansion. In order to burn off all the extra excitement, try 18th-century dancing in the upper garden. Historic chocolate-making demonstrations and chocolate tastings will take place. A children’s costume parade around the Mansion will begin at 5 p.m. and prizes will be awarded for most fang-tastic “George” and “Martha” costumes! Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon takes place rain or shine. Purchase Tickets.
Oct. 27– 5:30pm-7:30pm- Hilloween at Eastern Market
Capitol Hill celebrates Halloween as a community each year in front of Eastern Market on 7th St. Count on moon bounces, hay rides, treats, face painting and many, many costumes.
Oct. 27– 6:00pm-7:00pm & 7:00pm-8:00pm- BOO-stravaganza at Frying Pan Park
Come celebrate the Halloween season with this variety event at the farm. Ghouls, princesses, and superheroes come to the indoor arena to start the extravaganza. Attendees enjoy a variety of themed games, dare to enter the slightly-spooky BOO barn, and take a wagon ride through the woods at night. Finish the evening with a small treat bag for the road. Reservations required.
Oct. 28– 10:00am- John Henry at Avalon Theatre
For the 13th year, John Henry brings his playful musical style to the Avalon for our annual Halloween concert party. Children are encouraged to come in costume (adults too!) and sing and dance along during the show! Treats will be distributed afterwards.
Oct. 28– 10:00am-12:00pm- Trick or Treat at Tudor Place
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. Register online ahead of time.
Oct. 28–11:00am- Spooktacular Party for Kids at DBGB
Pastry Chef Kelsey Burack is on the hunt for some hauntingly talented Junior Pastry Chefs! Join DBGB DC for our first-ever kids pastry party, featuring hands-on instruction in the creation of Halloween treats. Students will learn to make: – Oreo Mummies – Chocolate Ghost Tarts – Halloween Cupcakes. $75 participation fee per child. Fee includes participation for one child accompanied by one parent. Recommended age for participation is 7-12 years old. Continental breakfast, coffee and mimosas will be provided for adults to enjoy as the Junior Pastry Chefs make their treats.
Oct 28– 12:00pm-4:00pm- Pumpkin Rock n Roll at Warner Circle Park
The park will be transformed into a full-blown Halloween extravaganza. 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. The main event is a derby race of Halloween pumpkins-turned-boxcars! Admission is free.
Oct. 28– 1:00pm-4:00pm- Fall-O-Ween at Market Commons
Bring the entire family and join us for this fun, FREE event! At Fall-o-Ween, festivities will include: mini pumpkin decorating (sponsored by Whole Foods Market), scarecrow decorating station, trick-or-treating & kids’ crafts at stores, petting zoo, Big Barn Puppet Shows at 1, 2 & 3 p.m., music with Kidsinger Jim, face painting, balloon art & sand art and food. And be sure to snap a photo with all of your fall favorites — a scarecrow, wizard, mummy & Frankenstein!
Oct. 28– 1:00pm-4:00pm- Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Fall Frolic is the Glen Echo Park Partnership’s annual Halloween-themed family event. It’s open to the public, and visitors of all ages are invited to the Park to explore the arts through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, trick-or-treating and visiting open studios. It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! For the kids, there will be pumpkin decorating and face painting ($1 fee for pumpkin; $1-$2 for face painting). All other craft activities and trick-or-treating are free! Adults will enjoy strolling through the Park’s open studios and galleries, including Glen Echo Pottery, the Art Glass Center, Photoworks, Yellow Barn Studio & Gallery, and more. The celebration will conclude at 3:30 with a costume parade through the park.
Oct. 28– 1:00pm-4:00pm- 7th Annual Little Goblins Parade
Oct. 28– 3:00pm-5:00pm– Rosedale Pumpkin Carving Party
Bring your blankets and pumpkins. Rosedale will provide all the child-safe carving tools, plastic gloves, and tons of designs to make your Halloween pumpkin super special!
Oct. 28– 7:00pm-8:30pm- Legends by Lantern at College Park Aviation Museum
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! The 8:30 pm tour will be spookier and for adults only.
Oct. 28 (various times)- 4th Annual Pumpkin Hunt at Lee-Fendall House
Alexandria’s ghosts and goblins will fill the Lee-Fendall House garden with hundreds of colorful toy-filled Halloween pumpkins for local children to discover. Other activities include crafts, refreshments, spooky stories, and a costume parade. All children of elementary school age or younger are eligible to participate in the Halloween Pumpkin Hunt. Older children and adults are welcome to enjoy all other activities. Tickets are available for sale online.
Oct. 28– Trick or Treat with the BOOtiques
Start trick-or-treating early and stop by the dozens of shops of the Old Town Boutique District dishing out treats to goblins and ghouls of all ages!
Oct. 28 10:00am-3:30pm AND Oct. 29 11:00am-3:30pm– Witches & Wizards at B&O Railroad
Train Ride on the Wizards Express! Hop on board Platform 2 3/4 to the Wizard & Witches Express for a magical adventure. See above link for all of the details!
Oct. 29– 10:30am-12:30pm- Halloween Spooktacular at Forest Hills Playground
Oct. 29– 12:00pm-2:30pm- Harbor Halloween
Trick-or-Treating: Noon – 2:00pm, Howl-Lo-Ween at The Black Dog: Noon – 2:30pm, Movie: Hocus Pocus: 12:30pm, Chef Pumpkin Carving Contest: 2pm. One free Capital Wheel child ticket with each paid adult ticket for children in costume.
Oct. 29– 2:00pm & 4:00pm- NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular at Kennedy Center
Creep into the Concert Hall for costumed classics at this frightfully fun concert featuring ghoulishly attired musicians. Arrive early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Age 5. 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 goose bump-inducing favorites!
(Photo: Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon)
Oct. 29– 2:00pm- 21st Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade
Don your best Halloween costume and march in the 20th Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade, which historically has attracted thousands of participants. Awards will be given for Best Pet Costume, Best Decorated Business, Best Decorated Home, and Best Decorated Stroller. Awards will be presented in a brief ceremony after the parade, along with refreshments and goodie bags for the children. Adults, children and dogs are all welcome to join and for free.
Oct. 29– 3:00pm-5:00pm- Busy Bees Not So Spooky Halloween Party Falls Church & Chevy Chase
Dress up in your awesome costume & join us for a “Not So Spooky Halloween Bash!” Unparalleled fun in the playscape, followed by a lil’ parade leading to our party room, where each child will choose a pumpkin and a kit to turn it into their own masterpiece! Top the fun off with cupcakes and milk! Oh wait, there’s more: There will be 3 BuzzyPasses waiting to be found. One FREE birthday party to the BEST FAMILY COSTUME! Purchase tickets.
Oct. 31– 4:00pm-6:00pm- Spooktacular Trick or Treat along Connecticut Ave
Sponsored by the businesses along the Avenue. Kids can safely walk up the street “trick-or-treating” as the businesses are set-up outside. Starting at Livingston St and going up towards Chevy Chase Circle.
Oct. 31– 4:00pm-6:00pm- All Hallows Eve Party at Chevy Chase Community Center
Wear your best costume and join us and The Metropolitan Police Department’s 2nd District for a frightfully fun evening of games, temporary tattoos, goody bags, snacks and treats. A Photo booth will also be on site. The party is free and open to all ages, young and old.
Pre-sale tickets sold out— Purchase tickets in person AuduBoo! at Woodend Nature Sanctuary
Join us for a family-friendly, nature-themed Halloween! Walk the woods at Woodend Nature Sanctuary and enjoy animal encounters and treat stations along well-lit trails. Afterwards, come inside the historic mansion for refreshments and visit craft & activity stations. Costumes not required, but encouraged!
Want to donate the candy from trick-or-treating or the extra candy in your bowl? Kool Smiles presents Operation Troop Treats. Bring your Halloween candy to any Kool Smiles dental office beginning Oct. 28 through Nov. 4. You don’t have to be a current patient to participate! For every 25 pieces of candy you donate, Kool Smiles will give you a toy! Through Kool Smiles’ partnership with Operation Gratitude, the donated candy will be sent in care packages to our brave men and women serving in the Armed Forces overseas to remind them of home sweet home.