This month, Montgomery County's parks and recreational centers offer a variety of scary and not-so-scary Halloween happenings, including:
Try one or both of the Halloween-themed train rides: a fun and festive ride at Cabin John Regional Park and a very scary option at Wheaton Regional Park. Visitors are encouraged to bring canned food items for drives at each location (benefiting Manna Food and Metropolitan United Ministries). Purchase tickets for both trains online at www.ParkPass.org (look for “Special Events”). Same-day tickets also are available for purchase at both train stations.
- ‘Eye Spy’ Halloween Train at Cabin John Regional Park: This not-so-scary train, best suited for children ages 8 and under, journeys through the haunted forest where little ones will spy familiar friends hiding in the woods. Costumes are encouraged. (Cabin John Train at Cabin John Regional Park, 7410 Tuckerman Ln., Rockville.) Oct. 11–14, 18–21, 25–31, from 3 to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 1 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. $5 per person (children under age 2 ride free). Visit www.CabinJohnTrain.com for more information.
- CP Hauntington Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel at Wheaton Regional Park: The train and carousel, best suited to children ages 8 and up, will fill riders with sheer terror as they journey through the woods passing ghouls and blood-covered zombies. Scary Halloween movies are included with admission. Light refreshments for sale. Costumes are encouraged. (Wheaton Regional Train and Carousel at Wheaton Regional Park, 2002 Shorefield Rd., Wheaton.) Oct. 11–14, 18–21, 25-31, from 6 to 9 p.m. $5 per person (includes one train and one carousel ride; children under age 2 ride free). Visit www.WheatonTrainandCarousel.com for more information.
"Spooky" and "Not-So-Spooky" Skate Nights at Cabin John and Wheaton Ice Arenas: Skaters are invited to wear their costumes and participate in a "Spooky Skate" (with creepy music and a darkened rink lit by a magical spinning ball) or a "Not-So-Spooky Skate" (with a costume contest and prizes on a fully lit rink). $6.50 per person includes admission and skate rental.
- Cabin John Ice Arena, 10610 Westlake Dr., Rockville. Oct. 26, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., for the "Not-So-Spooky Skate" and Oct. 26, from 8 to 10 p.m., for the "Spooky Skate." For more information, visit www.CabinJohnIce.com.
- Wheaton Ice Arena, 11717 Orebaugh Ave., Wheaton. Oct. 26, from 8:15 to 10:15 p.m., for the "Spooky Skate" and Oct. 27, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., for the "Not-So-Spooky Skate," with face painting. For more information, visit www.WheatonIceArena.com.
PUMPKIN PANACHE FAMILY FESTIVAL
Bring the whole family for a stroll of Brookside Gardens’ Fall Chrysanthemum and Harvest Display, a chance to taste some pumpkin treats and an opportunity to paint a pumpkin. Oct. 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. (Brookside Gardens Visitors Center Children’s Classroom, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton.) $8 per child (adults are free, register at www.ParkPass.org. For more information, visit www.BrooksideGardens.org.
FALL APPLE FESTIVAL
Participants will enjoy homemade apple cider and gooey crisp caramel apples, along with apple games, folklore, crafts and hand-pressed cider. Oct. 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Brookside Nature Center, 1400 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton.) $5 per person; register at www.ParkPass.org. For more information, visit www.BrooksideNature.org.
MEADOWSIDE'S ANNUAL HALLOWEEN EXTRAVAGANZA
Children ages 3 and up will learn about things that go bump in the night, interact with live animals and participate in craft projects. Costumes encouraged. Oct. 26, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and from 6:30 to 8 p.m. (Meadowside Nature Center, 5100 Meadowside Ln., Rockville.) $10 per child (adults are free); register at www.ParkPass.org. For more information, visit www.MeadowsideNature.org.
GREAT PUMPKIN TREASURE HUNT
Children ages 3 to 6 years old will enjoy a nature treasure hunt searching for the "Great Pumpkin" along trails. Trail-friendly costumes are welcome. Oct. 27, from 11 a.m. to noon, and Oct. 30, from 10 to 11 a.m. (Meadowside Nature Center, 5100 Meadowside Ln., Rockville.) $5 per child (adults are free); register at www.ParkPass.org. For more information, visit www.MeadowsideNature.org.
Children ages 3 to 6 years old will look for signs of creatures associated with Halloween, and find out where they live and what they do. Oct. 31, from 2 to 3 p.m. (Brookside Nature Center, 1400 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton.) $5 per child (adults are free); register at www.ParkPass.org. For more information, visit www.BrooksideNature.org.
What are your family Halloween plans? Tell us in the comments!