Each week, there are hundreds of free or low-cost events for families and kids in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. We've done the hard work for you, sifting through our extensive kids' event calendar to let you know which events are sure to please. Have fun, make memories and go on an adventure with your family!
Oct. 11. Bats & Beavers Pontoon Cruise. 5 p.m. Use binoculars to find beaver lodges and feeding sites, and (hopefully) beavers! Then, use an ultrasonic bat detector to find bats. Ages 6+. Preregister. $$ Black Hill Visitor Center, Boyds, MD. blackhillnature.org
Oct. 12. Autumn Campfire. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Meet at the campfire ring to cozy up to a crackling campfire. You'll sing songs, tell jokes and roast marshmallows. Preregister by emailing email@example.com. $$ Walker Nature Center, Reston, VA. reston.org
Oct. 13. City of Fairfax Fall Festival. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Petting zoo, kids' crafts, balloon art, face painting. Over 400 arts, crafts, information, food vendors and three stages of music and entertainment. FREE. Rain date: Oct. 14.Old Town Fairfax, VA. fairfaxva.gov
Oct. 13. Community Zoo Day & Fun Fair. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friendship Children's Center and the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home host a festival with pony rides, baby farm animals, moon bounce, juggler, face painting, live entertainment, yoga and more. FREE. 5425 Western Ave. NW, Washington, DC. friendshipchildren.org
Oct. 13. Enchanted Forest at Calleva Farm. Noon to 6 p.m. If you love Halloween magic, but don't like to get scared, Calleva presents this magical journey that will awaken your imagination and make you smile. $$ Calleva Farm, Dickerson, MD. calleva.org/content/enchanted-forest
Oct. 13. Kidspy Overnight: Operation Secret Slumber. 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. Pick an alias, practice your cover story and check in for a night of adventure at the Spy Museum! Ages 9 to 13 with caretaker. Preregister. $$ International Spy Museum, Washington, DC. spymuseum.org
Oct. 14. 21st Annual Oktoberfest at the Kentlands. Noon to 4 p.m. Delight in the sights and sounds of fall at this festival that includes music, food and family fun. FREE. Kentlands Village Green, Gaithersburg. gaithersburgmd.gov
Oct. 15. Stories with Ranger Steph: Apple of my Eye. 9 a.m. Listen to stories, sing songs and enjoy activities. This month's story centers around the all-American apple. Ages 0 to 5. FREE. Oxon Cove Park, Oxon Hill, MD. nps.gov/oxhi
Oct. 16. Mommy & Me (And Daddy, Too!) 10 a.m. to noon. Caretaker and child can enjoy lunch specials, story time, arts and crafts, sing-a-longs, prizes and more. Come in costume for trick-or-treating + a costume contest. FREE. Rockville Town Square, Rockville, MD. rockvilletownsquare.com
Oct. 17. Opening Night: Disney on Ice Presents "Rockin' Ever After." 7 p.m. In this new ice spectacular, Disney characters compete to be the next superstar and Pixar's "Merida" makes her ice debut. Audiences will sing, dance and cheer for their favorite Disney princesses. $$ Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA. ticketmaster.com
Looking for something that's not listed here? Visit our kids' event calendar for lots more ideas for fun family activities in DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Jeanette Der Bedrosian