As any parent knows, Halloween has gone from the one-night-a-year holiday once reserved for children to an entire season of spooky events and parties for kids, teens and adults alike. The Halloween season seems to begin the moment school is back in session, when parents either begin furiously sewing their child’s dream costume or ponying up $40 – $50 each for a store-bought costume of questionable quality and craftsmanship.
The good news is that since Halloween is now officially a season, you and your children are likely to have a fair number of occasions to don that costume or other seasonally-inspired wardrobe pieces. Here is a list of some of the season’s top events and attractions, all happening within a short witch’s broom-ride away.
A haunted complex that includes the Nightmare Forest, Field of Terror, and Lost Asylum. Other activities include paintball range, bonfire, moonbounce, live magic and a “bungee run.” In Boyds, Md.
When: Oct. 18 – 21, 25 – 28 and Nov. 2 – 3. Times: Thursdays and Sundays, 7 – 10 p.m.; Fridays & Saturdays, 7 – 11 p.m. Family Night, Nov. 2 from 5 – 9 p.m.
Details: $15 – $20. Ages 10 and up (except Family Night).
A haunted corn maze. Also featuring live music and seasonal snacks. In Boyds, Md.
When: Oct. 19 – 20, 25 – 27 and Nov. 1 – 2 from 7 – 11 p.m.
Details: $18. Ages 10 and up.
The Warehouse Project 4.0: Urban Haunted House
A gory haunted warehouse featuring bio-hazards, zombies, decaying bodies and more. Rockville, Md.
When: Oct. 17 – 21, 24 – 31 and Nov. 1 – 3. From 7 – 10 p.m. on Oct. 17 – 18, 24 – 25. All other nights 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Details: $32. Ages 12 and up.
Goblins Haunted Garden Tour
A haunted backyard garden tour sponsored by the office of Kentlands Psychotherapy. At 110 Treehaven St. in Kentlands.
When: Oct. 31 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Details: Free. All ages invited; trick-or-treaters will receive a candy reward for their bravery.
Children and Family Events:
Halloween Spooktacular Party
Kid-oriented Halloween party featuring a zombie racing game, fortune teller, costume parade & contest, creepy (but kid-friendly) movies, as well as other games. At Lake Marion Community Center, Montgomery Village, Md.
When: Oct. 26. Times: from 6:30 p.m.
Details: $3 per child, or $2 with a nonperishable food donation for a local food bank. Parents are free. For all ages.
Special Halloween edition of the Little Tots preschooler series, featuring music, face painting, and a live interactive science show starring Eric Energy. At Rio Washingonian Center.
When: Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Details: Free. All ages.
The Spooky Magic of Joe Romano
Halloween-inspired magic show featuring magician Joe Romano and a friendly ghost. Free pre-show party includes arts, crafts and snacks. At BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, Md.
When: Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.
Details: $14. Ages 4 and up.
Grey Rock Ranch Fall Festivities
Autumn festival featuring a pumpkin patch, pony rides, petting zoo, hay rides, apple cidar, and fall décor for sale. In Boyds, Md.
When: Oct. 1 – 31. Call 301.916.6500 for hours of operation.
Details: $5 each for pumpkin patch, pony ride, and hayride. All ages.
Butler’s Orchard 32nd Annual Pumpkin Festival
Annual Fall festival featuring hayrides, straw maze, pumpkin patch, giant slides, pumpkin coach, hayloft jumping, Pumpkinland, pedal tractors, farm animals, corn maze, pumpkin cannons, pony rides, face painting, hot food, baked goods, and live music from 12 – 4 p.m. Germantown, Md.
When: Oct. 20 – 21, 27 – 28 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Details: $11/person, under age 2 free. All ages.
Quirky & Unique Events:
Halloween Zombie Fun Run
A three-mile fun run/walk while being chased by zombies through the Kentlands/Lakelands neighborhoods. There will be food, drinks, Halloween treats, and costume prizes for race “survivors” and zombies alike at Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape following the fun run. Begins at Fleet Feet Sports – Gaithersburg in Kentlands Square Shopping Center.
When: Nov. 1. at 6:30 p.m.
Details: Free. All ages.
Dog and child-friendly three-mile fun run/walk starting at Fleet Feet Sports as well as doggie Halloween costume party. Learn about animal rescue volunteering and foster care. A total of 15 percent of each purchase from Jersey Mikes all day (Kentlands location only) will be donated to Animal Legal Defense Fund when you mention Howl-O-Ween. In Kentlands Square Shopping Center.
When: Oct. 27. Time: 9:30 a.m. – noon
Details: Free. All ages.
Tricks and Treats:
Main Street Trick or Treat
Family trick-or-treating event hosted by the Kentlands Downtown Partnership. Costumed-kids can pick up a map of participating merchants at Pritchard Music Academy and get a stamp for every business they visit. On top of the candy being given out by these businesses, those who collect stamps from all businesses can hand in their maps to the raffle for a chance to win a prize. In Kentlands Downtown.
When: Oct. 27. Times: from 1 – 4 p.m.
Details: Free. Ages 12 and under.
Costumed trick-or-treating in the mall for candy and other goodies. Stop by the “pumpkin patch” where the first 150 children may choose and paint a free keepsake pumpkin. Magic show at 2 p.m. At Lakeforest Mall.
When: Oct. 27 from 1 – 3 p.m.
Details: Free. Ages 12 and under with a parent or guardian.