By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
We are fortunate to live in an area where there is so much to do for everyone, especially for families with children. Fairfax County offers incredible opportunities for fun year-round, but holidays especially inspire some nifty events. Halloween season – yes, it’s now practically a season and not just a one-day event – is one holiday that brings out many creative, quirky, and absolutely fun activities.
From tame to terrifying, funny to frightening, there are dozens of area Halloween events designed to appeal to all age groups – and there are even some for pets! While compiling a list of Halloween fun in the area (mostly in Fairfax County, with a handful in surrounding communities), we found close to 80 events this year. Here are some of the ones coming up in the Centreville/Chantilly area:
- Tue., Oct. 23, Westfield High School’s Carn’Evil and Haunted House: Westfield High’s theater department puts on a two-part event tonight from 6 to 8 pm. Kids can come in costume to trick-or-treat at the "Carn’Evil" with face-painting, a joke-telling pirate, and silly witches. For older kids and adults there's the Haunted House. Tickets are $3 for the Carn’Evil and $5 for both attractions.
- Fri., 10/26,Haunted Wagon Rides, Haunted Meadows, and Scary Movie: Kids age 8 and up (and grown-ups!) are invited to E.C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly to enjoy a wagon ride through the “Haunted Meadow” followed by scary movies on a giant outdoor screen, and other activities. The event runs 7-10 pm and costs $6 for kids under 12, $8 others.
- Sat., 10/27, Howloween Trick & Treat Contest at Petco: Why should humans have all the fun? Bring your spooky or kooky costumed pet to Petco from 2 to 3 pm to enjoy treats and a chance to win prizes.
- Sat., 10/27, Air & Scare: This hugely popular event at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly (2-8 pm) provides truly “out of this world” indoor trick-or-treating. Kids participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities while air and space characters roam around (anyone from Amelia Earheart to an alien!). The event is free; parking is $15.
- Sat., 10/27, Lifetime Fitness Spooktacular: Lifetime Fitness in Centreville again hosts its indoor Spooktacular community event. From 2 to 3 pm, stop by for games, activities, and treats for monsters of all ages. Admission is $10 per person.
- Sat.-Sun., 10/27-28, Fields of Fear at Cox Farms: At night, Cox Farms turns into the “Fields of Fear” with “dark side hayrides,” a giant slide by torchlight, entertainment, bonfires, games, and food. This is a scary event for ages 12 and up. Admission is $13 (or $19 if including the “Cornightmare”); last entry at 10 pm.
- Tue., 10/30, Pumpkin Party at Chick-Fil-A Chantilly Place: A mellow, non-scary, all-ages option, this edition of CFA’s “Family Night” (6-8 pm) features tricks, treats and cheer! Wear your Halloween costume and receive a Free Chick-fil-A Nuggets Kid’s Meal (4-count) or Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich!
- Tue., 10/30, Halloween Party at Centreville IHOP: On this special Kids’ Night, IHOP will have plenty of ghoulish games, face painting, scary sounds, balloons, music, and tricks and treats! There will be prizes for scariest, sweetest, and most creative costumes. Get a free meal with every adult purchase. Plus, anyone wearing a costume gets a free junior sundae!
- Wed., 10/31, Storytime and Halloween Parade: Start your Halloween with a “high-octane” storytime followed by a costume parade throughout the Centreville Regional Library! This event is 11-11:30 am, for preschoolers ages 3 to 5.5, accompanied by an adult.
A few of the other more unique nearby events include:
- Wed., 10/24, Vienna: 66th Annual Vienna Halloween Parade: Huge parade nearing its 70th year, with Santa Claus as the Grand Marshal!
- Fri., 10/26, Alexandria: Rock ‘N Blades at Mount Vernon Ice Arena: Haunted ice skating at the Mt. Vernon RECenter!
- Fri.-Sat., 10/26-10/27, and 10/29, Oakton: Oak Marr Haunted Mini-Golf: Play mini golf, trick-or-treat, and win various goodies at every hole.
- Sat., 10/27, Herndon: Wizard of Oz Halloween Movie Night at ArtSpace: Trick-or-treating and a movie night sing-along with the Wizard of Oz!
- Sat., 10/27, Falls Church: City of Falls Church Halloween Carnival: A tradition for more than 30 years featuring classic carnival fun with a Halloween twist.
- Sat., 10/27, Springfield: Howloween Dog Costume and Boneyard Hunt: Doggie costume contest followed by a walk through the “boneyard” to sniff out treats.
- Sat., 10/27, Springfield, Halloween Goblin Golf and Bonfire: Golf with glow-in-the-dark balls, plus a spooky carousel, storytelling, and hot chocolate around a bonfire.
- Sat., 10/27, Lorton: Ponies and Pumpkins Festival: Ponies and pumpkins, of course, plus haunted hayrides, music, storytelling, a bonfire, food, and arts and crafts vendors. Pets welcome!
- Sat., 10/27, Clifton, Clifton Haunted Trail: Scary, popular, outdoor event in historic Clifton for older kids and adults.
- Sat.-Sun., 10/27-10/28, Burke, Burke Lake Park Ghost Train: Fun, non-scary, Halloween-themed “ghost train” through the forest decorated for Halloween, with costumed characters, too.
- Sun., 10/28, Fairfax, Valvoline Goblin Gallop at Fairfax Corner: Very fun 5K race, 5K Walk and 1K Fun Run with awards including best team costume.
- Wed., 10/31, Fairfax, Spooky Tots at Fairfax Corner: Mad Science Halloween show, deejay, giveaways, free face painting, free pumpkin decorating, and more.