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Posted at 12:27 PM ET, 10/18/2011

Halloween events with the kids


Megan Cannon, 5, picks out a pumpkin at Cox Farms during this year’s Fall Festival. (Matt McClain/For The Washington Post)

Halloween events are like pumpkins. Some are big, some are small, some feature spooky faces or silly grins. But two things are sure: Each one is different, and kids love them.

The spooky holiday isn’t all about tricks and treats. There’s plenty to learn, too:

At the Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, kids can take part in Air and Scare (Oct. 29), which includes the chance to learn the truth about UFOs and other space mysteries.

The National Museum of Health and Medicine hosts an educational (and fun) event centered on skulls. Serious Fun with Skulls (Oct. 22) gives kids the chance to learn about the Day of the Dead and speak with an anthropologist about skulls.

For kids who want more fun than fear:

In Jessup, Monster Mini Golf’s 18-hold course is open year-round with macabe touches like a windmill with rotating axes and hazards made from miniature coffins.

Closer to home is the National Zoo’s annual Boo at the Zoo (Oct. 21-23), which lets kids trick or treat through the festively decorated zoo after dark.

If your children are in the “Thomas the Tank Engine” phase, try the Pumpkin Trolley Festival (Thursdays-Fridays through Oct. 26) at the National Capital Trolley Museum. It offers the perfect opportunity to let them go for a ride in a trolley and even pick out a pumpkin.

Outdoor events:

Check out Weekend and the Going Out Guide’s list of top pumpkin patches through out the region (including Cox Farms, pictured above) to find the perfect orange gourd.

In Rockville, kids can explore the great outdoors (and everything that squirms, crawls and prowls) at Croydon Creep (Oct. 21). There will be a guided hike, campfire and animal demonstrations.

For smaller ghouls, the Fearless Fest (Oct. 22) at Hidden Oaks Nature Center gives kids a chance to take a night hike and learn how creatures, including black widows, skunks, foxes and owls are really not so scary.

Halloween events on stage:

Kids can don their costume and parade across the stage at the 4 p.m. show Oct. 30 show of “Aladdin’s Luck” at Imagination Stage. Afterward, they get a special Halloween treat.

Oh Susannah (Oct. 27) a singer who performs family-friendly songs, presents a Halloween-themed show at Jammin’ Java.

Creative fun:

Kids can go beyond giving their pumpkin a traditional toothless grin at the Kids Pumpkin Carving Class (Oct. 22) at Wildfire.

Forget things that go bump in the night. Things that pop up unexpectedly are definitely more scary. At Haunted Halloween Pop Ups (Oct. 29) at the National Building Museum, kids can decorate a haunted house complete with pop-up spooks.

By  |  12:27 PM ET, 10/18/2011

 
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