14 Not-So-Spooky Halloween Events for Kids

Halloween is almost upon us! Suit up as your favorite superhero, princess, ghost or goblin and head out to a great Halloween event. Halloween is more than just trick–or-treating. We’ve found some of the best not-so-spooky events around DC. Read on to find the one that’s best for your family from Halloween on ice to a not-so-scary safari and more.

Halloween Safari
The Bull Runs Mountain Conservancy has been running their Halloween Safari for over 20 year. Join the Conservancy for a not-so-spooky guided nighttime hike. Be prepared to meet native "wildlife." Stay after the hike to relax by the bonfire and listen to live music.

Where: 17405 Beverley Mill Drive Broad Run, VA
Cost: $10
When: Oct. 16, 22 & 23
Online: brmconservancy.org

Goblin Golf
Even ghosts and goblins like to play mini golf! Just before Halloween Burke Lake Park will host a not-so-spooky mini-golf goblin themed weekend. This will be a festive, socially-distanced Halloween event. Because it's just not Halloween without candy each mini-golfer will get a premade goodie bag to take home.

Where: 7315 Ox Road Fairfax Station, VA, 
Cost: $9-$10
When: Oct. 24-25
Online: fairfaxcounty.gov

Halloween on Ice
On Halloween weekend the Fairfax Ice Arena will host some very special guests. This is your chance to skate along side witches and ghosts! Don't miss the costume parade! As a bonus, the ice rink will award raffle prizes for future skate lessons and sessions.

Where: 3779 Pickett Rd., Fairfax, VA
Cost: $9.50
When: Oct. 30
Online: fairfaxicearena.com

Fall Frolic
Put on your costume and frolic in the garden of  the Lee-Fendall House! Activities include a not-so-spooky “ghost” hunt, crafts, and a costume parade. There are several timed sessions throughout the day so be sure to get your ticket early and arrive on time!

Where: 614 Oronoco St, Alexandria, VA
Cost: $5 - $15
When: Oct. 30
Online: leefendallhouse.org

photo: Montgomery County Parks

Eye Spy Halloween Trains
Not-so-spooky Halloween Eye Spy Trains run through Cabin John Park and Wheaton Park. Ride a mini-train while you look for pumpkins, gnomes and more along the rails. In past years Cabin John has been a little less spooky than Wheaton so keep that in mind if you are going with the littlest ghouls and goblins. Both Cabin John and Wheaton parts have big playgrounds so stay and make an afternoon of your outing. Be sure to get your tickets early as these popular weekend rides through "Trainslyvania" sometimes sell out.

Where: 7410 Tuckerman Lane Rockville (Cabin John) and 2002 Shorefield Road Wheaton, MD  (Wheaton)
Cost: $6.00
Open: Oct. Weekends
Online: montgomeryparks.org

Haunted Happenings
Haunted Happenings is a great way to explore historic Manassas while playing games and engaging in Halloween-themed activities. Enjoy a costume contest and games and activities throughout downtown Manassas. Visit local merchants will hand out candy. This is a great way to explore one of the DC's areas cutest historic downtown areas. As a bonus, this event is dog-friendly!  And, yes, dogs are encouraged to wear costumes too. While in the area visit Mayfield Civil War Fort.

Where: Downtown Historic Manassas
Cost: Fee
Open: October 30
Online: visitmanassas.org

ZooBoooo! at the Baltimore Zoo is back Halloween weekend. This is a great opportunity to combine three favorite childhood pastimes - seeing animals, dressing up and eating candy! Check out carnival games, a costume contest, candy chutes, performances and more! There is even a not-so-spooky Halloween maze. Most activities are free with admission but reservations are required.

Where: 1 Safari Pl, Baltimore, MD
Cost: Tickets range from $18-$22
Open: October 29 - 31
Online: marylandzoo.org

Haunted Trail
The Haunted Trail at Salamander Resort is worth the drive! Salamander Resort's family-friendly .6 mile trail includes no fewer than ten different not-so-spooky Halloween scenes. After the trail linger to enjoy dinners and treats like s'mores and caramel apples Little ones who prefer to walk the trail without seeking any characters can do so at 6:30 every night to reduce the spooky-factor even further. '

Where: 500 North Pendleton St Middleburg, VA
Cost: $14
Open: October 27-30
Online: salamanderresort.com

Virtual Air & Scare
The annual Air & Scare and the Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center is a Halloween highlight for many DC families. They have everything from Star Wars to Boo Blasters. This year everyone can attend the Air & Space Museum's annual Air & Scare from home. Check out the Star Wars corner, downloadable Halloween activities and a Halloween-themed story time.  There are even virtual costume and pumpkin decorating contests. Be sure to enter by October 25th using the hashtag #AirandScare20.

Where: Virtual
Cost: Free!
Open: Ongoing
Online: airandspace.si.edu

photo: Courtesy Sesame Place

Port Discovery
Head to Port Discovery during the entire month of October for Monsters, Mystery & Magic month. Enjoy special guests, Halloween-themed crafts, a mysterious treasure hunt, pop-up science demonstrations and more. On Halloween Weekend enjoy a costume parade, a Mythical Monsters tour and more. Port Discovery's regular exhibits, including a three-story slide and a room where it's encouraged to get wet (raincoats provided) will be open during the Halloween festivities. Port Discovery is in Baltimore's Inner Harbor make a day of it!

Where: 35 Market Pl., Baltimore, MD 
Cost: $19.95, purchasing timed tickets in advance is required
Open: Wed., Fri., Sat. & Sun. from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Online:  portdiscovery.org

Witch Wartsmith's Halloween Spooktacular
The Puppet Co. Theatre brings the not-so-spooky tale of Witch Wartsmith's Halloween Spooktacular to their mainstage. The audience will vote on who wins the Spooktacular, which is sure to tickle your funny bone. The Halloween Spooktacular is a vintage telethon. Some contestants will change every year so you never know who will show up!  Regular visitors to The Puppet Co. Theatre will recognize Witch Wartsmith from the theatre's popular show Rapunzel. The show runs the entire month of October with a special Halloween eve performance. Since the Puppet Co. Theatre is in Glen Echo park stay after the show to ride the park's historic carousel and play in the playground.

Where: 7300 Macarthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD 
Cost: $15
Open: Sep. 30-Oct. 31
Online: thepuppetco.org

PumpkinPalooza & The Great Zucchini
It wouldn't be October without pumpkins. Check out The Great Zucchini at PumpkinPalooza hosted by the NoMa Business Improvement District. There will be a kids' costume contest, a "pick your own" pumpkin patch and more! The Great Zucchini is a favorite with the under 8 crowd and he is sure to add some not-so-spooky tricks and jokes to the event. Since PumpkinPalozza is in Alethia Tanner Park stick around and play in the playground or enjoy a picnic lunch. Be sure to make reservations in advance to ensure there are enough pumpkins for everyone!

Where: 227 Harry Thomas Way NE, Washington, DC
Cost: Free but reservations suggested.
Open: Oct. 28
Online: nomabid.org

The Count's Spooktacular 
Most amusement parks have not-so-spooky Halloween events. Busch Gardens features The Count's Spooktacular on weekends through October. Kids can enjoy dance parties with their favorite Sesame Street characters, a hay maze, a pumpkin scavenger hunt and more. Kids 9 and under can participated in a costume contest. Each weekend has a different theme including Elmo's Pumpkin Party and Rosita's Halloween Fiesta. All kids' activities end at 5:00 when the park transforms into a haunted landscape. If you are willing to drive a little farther Sesame Place just outside of Philadelphia is hosting their own Count's Spooktacular - without the nighttime scares.

Where: 1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg, VA
Cost: $44.99, Half-price daytime kids tickets available for the Count's Spooktacular
Open: Weekends Sep. 25 - Oct. 31
Online: buschgardens.com/williamsburg

BOO by Day
Six Flags America has family-friendly BOO by Day including pumpkin painting, a corn maze and a trick-or-treat trail. Costumes are encouraged all day long. The park is covered with not-so-spooky decorations like spider webs and glowing pumpkins. Some rides have been reimagined to be Halloween themed. Antique Cars are now the Freaky Freeway. Bumper Cars are now Ghost Town Riders. Just be sure to take little ones home by nightfall when the park becomes haunted by ghoulish creatures!

Where:  13710 Central Ave, Bowie, MD 
Cost: $34.99
Open: Weekends Sep. 25 - Oct. 31
Online: sixflags.com/america

—Jamie Davis Smith


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