13 Family-Friendly Halloween Activities in the DMV

While frightful sights and macabre monsters might haunt Halloween, these 13 family-friendly events will be light on scare and full of fall spirit. 

The Glow: A Jack O’Lantern Experience
Lake Fairfax Park, 1400 Lake Fairfax Dr., Reston, Virginia
Oct. 6-Oct. 29

Follow a trail brimming with hand-carved pumpkins that feature detailed designs. While you walk through, sip and crunch on some of the fall treat offerings. Tickets for children and adults range from $10-$22, depending on the date and time.

Classic Halloween Movies Hosted by Shakespeare Theatre Company
450 7th St. NW
Various times and dates

Catch witches, ghosts and goonies this month at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sydney Harmon Hall. Tickets only cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids for films including Hocus Pocus, Ghostbusters, The Goonies and Raiders of the Lost Ark will put you in the Halloween spirit (Singin' in the Rain might not, but it's showing, too).

Boo at the Zoo at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave. NW
Oct. 20-22, 5:30 p.m.

The event features a commemorative trick-or-treat bag, more than 40 treat stations and after-hours access to some of the zoo’s exhibits, including the Small Mammal House, Great Cats Circle and Elephant Community Center. Children can listen to the live music and participate in a “scary-oke.” But adults can enjoy craft beer and tastings. General admission tickets are $30 and parking passes are $22.

Air & Scare at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Steven F. Uduvar-Hazy Center, 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, Virginia
Oct. 21, 12-5:30 p.m.

The museum’s annual Halloween bash has spooktivity stations, including a robotic zone and broom launch, trick-or-truth information stations about the museum’s collection and treat stations to stock up on candy. The event is free to the public but parking is $15.

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, Virginia
Oct. 27-Oct. 28. 3:30-6:30 p.m.

George Washington’s mansion, which usually features colonial costumes, will transform into a Halloween spectacle with wagon rides, a scavenger hunt and parade. Prizes for the best George and Martha Washington will be awarded. Trick-or-treating takes place rain or shine. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 11 and under.

Pumpkin Panache Family Festival at Brookside Gardens
1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, Maryland
Oct. 27, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Children can dress in their Halloween finery for the garden costume parade and paint a pumpkin at the festival. Gary Lloyd, an award-winning storyteller, will read “Pumpkin Tales for the Young.” Children aged three to 12 should be registered to receive a pumpkin. Tickets are $18. 

Trick or Treat in the Garden at Tudor Place
1644 31st St. NW
Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Treats will be hidden throughout Tudor Place’s North Garden for the event. Children can enjoy both face and pumpkin painting, among other activities. The trick-or-treating will be held rain or shine. Tickets for children who are Tudor Place members are $7. Non-member children tickets are $10 and adult chaperone tickets are $5.

Fall-o-ween at Market Common Clarendon
2800 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, Virginia
Oct. 28, 1-4 p.m.

Fall-o-ween brings together the best of both fall and Halloween with scarecrow-making, pumpkin decorating and trick-or-treating in stores. A petting zoo and puppet show will ensure that everyone in the family will enjoy themselves. The event is free.

Mall-O-Ween at Lakeforest Mall
701 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg, Maryland
Oct. 29, 12-2 p.m.

Mall-O-Ween will have its own craft corner, where children can make their own masks. Children can roam through the mall, searching for tricks and treats. The first 200 children to grab a bag for trick-or-treating at the mall’s Center Court will get a free ticket to pick from an indoor pumpkin patch. The event is free.

Harbor Halloween at the National Harbor
165 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Maryland
Oct. 29, 12-2:30 p.m.

For the annual Harbor Halloween, families can go trick-or-treating, watch a screening of “Hocus Pocus” and see chefs compete in a pumpkin carving contest. Even the furry members of the family are encouraged to come for a “Howl-Lo-Ween” party at the Black Dog.

Halloween Pumpkin Hunt at the Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden
614 Oronoco St., Alexandria, Virginia
Oct. 28, 10:30 a.m., 12:30-2:30 p.m.

In its fourth year, the hunt features hundreds of hidden pumpkins in the museum’s garden, which are filled with toys for children. Other activities include a sticker station and a costume parade with prizes. Some pumpkins will have a secret, special certificate inside. Tickets for children aged 1 to 10 are $15. Adult tickets are $5.

Doggie Trick-or-Treat at The Dog Park
705 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia
Oct. 29, 1-3 p.m.

Parade your pooches at Alexandria’s Dog Park! All of the family can come to trick-or-treat in Old Town and try to win the event’s costume contest. Some participating stores will have special sales for the trick-or-treat. The event is free.

Library of Congress Halloween: Chambers of Mystery
Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE
Oct. 27-31, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Nov. 1, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Library of Congress will host a special exhibition for Halloween and Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, with a collection of more than 200 items, including video recordings, prints and photographs, that explain the history of Halloween and traditions of the Day of the Dead. Footage from films like “The Bride of Frankenstein” and “Nosferatu” will play throughout the exhibit. Tickets are free and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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