This Halloween Family-Friendly Events Guide is sponsored by BrightHorizons®. BrightHorizons® knows childhood is a treasured time and they believe it is their responsibility to provide environments and experiences that capture the joys of childhood, nurture each child’s individual growth and development, and pave the way for success in school and life. Bright Horizons’ exceptional educators have been providing high quality early education and care to children in the DC area for over 20 years. Find a Bright Horizonscenter near you at brighthorizons.com/washington-
There are tons of family-friendly Halloween events to enjoy in the DMV! We have compiled a list of spooktacular events that your whole family will enjoy, including outdoor movies, carnivals, costume contests (for human kids and fur babies), and more.
For more ideas on how to have some Halloween fun, check out these Halloween movies for kids, Halloween craft ideas, pumpkin patches, and this Halloween Game and Spooky Window Hunt. And check out our Guide to the Month of October too! While you enjoy celebrating Halloween with your family, we urge you to follow safety protocols required by venues and that your family works to stay safe and healthy in your communities. If you know of other virtual or in-person events to celebrate Halloween, please let us know in comments.
Now through October 30th (Saturdays and Sundays)
11am – 6pm
Bethesda and Silver Spring, MD
The popular Halloween Eye Spy Trains are back on weekends throughout October. The Montgomery Parks’ Cabin John Miniature Train and the Wheaton Miniature Train will take your little ghosts and goblins on a ride through “Trainslyvania.” Trains will run from 11am to 6pm. Purchase tickets in advance online to reserve your preferred date and time.
Now through 31
This unique Halloween treasure hunt allows visitors to search for seasonal and Halloween themed items throughout the Mansion’s 100+ rooms and 70 secret doors. Online reservations required. The Mansion is also offering a Halloween Hunt Night with Treats from October 27th through 31st. Attendees are invited to go in costume to explore the Mansion and will receive an individual bag of trick-or-treat candy.
October 19 – 31
Various Times and Locations
DPR is hosting Halloween-themed events in all 8 wards. Families can find a variety of Halloween fun across the District including haunted houses, costumed tennis instruction, a fashion show, Halloween parties, and, of course, trunk-or-treating! Check out the DPR website to explore all Halloween-themed events and to register online.
10am – 4pm
A number of family-friendly activities await in the garden of the Lee-Fendall House during its Fall Frolic! Seasonal activities catered toward children from ages 3 through 12 include a “ghost” hunt, crafts, a costume parade and more. Sessions start every hour from 10am to 3pm. Timed tickets must be purchased in advance.
4pm – 7pm
Head to Alethia Tanner Park in NoMa for live entertainment, food, music, a scavenger hunt, and a “pick-your-own” pumpkin patch. This year’s event will also include a special performance by award-winning children’s entertainer, The Great Zucchini. Don’t miss out on this free, family-friendly event! The event will be followed by a screening of Hocus Pocus at 6:45pm. Pre-registered pumpkins are officially sold out, but there will be a limited amount of pumpkins available on the day of the event on a first-come first-served basis.
5:30pm – 7:30pm
Hilloween is a much loved tradition in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. For over 20 years, families have gathered for fall fun, creativity, and community. This year, the event will once again be in-person and organizers are taking extra health and safety precautions. Check out the Hill-O-Ween event website for more information on how to participate in the spooky fun.
October 28 – 30
5:30pm – 8:30pm
Boo at the Zoo is back!! This family-favorite Halloween activity offers around 30 trick-or-treat stations throughout the zoo. Attendees also have access to animal viewing at the Elephant Community Center, Small Mammal House, Reptile Discovery Center, Great Ape House, and Think Tank. Tickets are required and do sell out.
10am – 3pm
National Air and Space Museum at Udvar-Hazy Center
This year, the Museum’s popular Air & Scare event will feature both indoor and outdoor activities. Attendance is free, however a timed entry ticket is required for the outdoor activities. The outdoor fun will include: learning how to use a telescope by searching for spooky creatures; identifying core samples of candy; and creating your own James Webb Space Telescope space art while learning about surface tension. Some of the indoor activities include trick-or-treat stations with free candy and snacks, a scavenger hunt, story times, and photos with Star Wars characters.
11am – 2pm
Canal Park will be filled with fall fun…and pumpkins! Your family will enjoy a moon bounce, live music, and a magic show. Pumpkins will be available (first-come, first-served) to decorate. This event is free and all ages are welcome.
1pm – 4pm
Glen Echo, MD
This free, family-friendly event offers Halloween fun in the lovely setting of Glen Echo Park. Kids can trick-or-treat at the Park’s studios and galleries with a bag that they decorate. There will be additional craft activities for kids to enjoy. Additionally, they can show off their costume in a costume contest and parade.
1pm – 4pm
Takoma Park, MD
The Takoma Park Recreation Department will once again host this family-friendly Halloween event. The Monster Bash event will kick off at 1pm with a DJ and dancing, Trunk-or-Treat, and a magic show. The Costume Parade and Contest will begin at 2pm and end at the Takoma Park Library/Community Center. Festivities will end with the Costume Award Ceremony and Celebration, including a selfie station, games, and more.
2pm – 6pm
Mount Vernon, Virginia
Trick-or-Treat at Mount Vernon! Dress in costume and collect candy against this historic 18th-century backdrop. There will be a Costume Parade, an opportunity to greet General Washington, and a variety of 18th-century entertainment. You must reserve tickets online.
11am – 12:30pm
Join the Hirshhorn with (or without) your pup for a morning of costumes and coffee in the Hirshhorn’s outdoor Sculpture Garden. Dress your dog in its favorite costume and enter them in a furry fashion contest for the chance to win a few special prizes. Dogs and their people can take part in a variety of activities. This event is open to all ages. Kids are encouraged to join in on the fun with creative projects geared toward little artists. This event is free but advance registration is required.
12pm – 3pm
National Harbor, MD
Start your Halloween celebration a day early at this family-friendly event at National Harbor. A variety of fun activities are scheduled including an outdoor screening of Hocus Pocus (1pm), a pumpkin carving contest, and trick-or-treating at 30 participating businesses. Your costumed furry family members can get in on the fun, too, as they compete for prizes in the Pet Pawrade. Children dressed in costumes will receive a free ride on The Capital Wheel and the Carousel (with the purchase of adult admission).
1pm-3pm OR 3:30-5:30pm
Falls Church, VA
Costumes are encouraged at this annual, family-friendly Halloween Carnival in Cherry Hill Park. This year’s event will include games, inflatables, snacks, and more. The Carnival will be open with two time-slots: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The cost to attend and participate in carnival activities is $1 per person (children under 2 years are free).
Del Ray’s annual Halloween Parade begins at Mount Vernon Ave., south of E. Bellefonte, and continues down to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center play fields. Children, parents, pets, and strollers in costumes are invited to march and show off their Halloween costumes. Awards will be given out for the very best ones! Attendees will also enjoy live music at the end of the parade.