All aboard for the weekend ride! If you’re lucky it’s going to be a long one (Columbus Day is on Monday, Oct. 12). Don’t worry; filling your family’s downtime with fun won’t be hard to do—there’s something for everyone, including a kid-friendly Oktoberfest, steam engine train rides, a haunted house building workshop and hay rides galore.

B&O Railroad Museum


Full Steam Ahead Train Rides
Full steam ahead! October is Steam Power Month (who knew?), and to celebrate the B&O Railroad Museum will be offering steam locomotive train rides behind the historic steam engine #4 St. Elizabeth every Saturday. There will also be some fun-ducational programming going on that highlights the power of steam. Sat., 11:30 am and 2 pm. $18/adults; $12/kids ages 2-12. All ages. Event details.


Family-Friendly Oktoberfest
Kentlands Village Green, Gaithersburg, Maryland. The City of Gaithersburg and the Kentlands Citizens Assembly team up to put on this awesome Oktoberfest. Kids will be drawn to the  Bavarian music, dance, food, crafts, pony rides, moonbounces, pumpkin decorating, and the face painting and more. Sun., 12 pm-5 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Falls Church

Parents’ Night Out
Craving a date night (or just a few hours of alone time)? Let the kids hangout at MoBu Kids, where they’ll nosh on pizza, have free play in a custom play studio, watch a movie, and meet new friends. Fri., 6 pm-9 pm. $30. Ages 3-10. Event details.

Judiciary Square

Build It: Haunted House and Home
What makes some spaces spooky? Why do some houses seem horrifying? In this drop-in program kids learn about the elements that make a space scary and design a table-top haunted house of your own. Sat., 1 pm-3 pm. Free. Ages 6-11. Event details.


Hay Rides, Three-Legged Races, and More!
A trip to Guthrie Farm means not hearing the phrase, “I’m bored” for at least an hour.  At this fall festival you’ll be greeted by an old fashioned Spelling Bee, entertainment, hay rides, crafts, three-legged races, live music, demonstrations, a petting farm and more! Your little one will enjoy the carnival games where everyone wins. Sat., 10 am-5 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.


Whatever Floats Your Sailboat!
Get your sea legs together and ship your wannabe sailor to the Annapolis Sailboat Show, an annual event that features a showcase of the latest and greatest sailboats from around the world. There will also be races, tours, and lessons for newbie sailors. Fri.-Sun., 10 am. $18/adults; $4/kids over 6; free/kids under 6. All ages. Event details.

How do you plan on spending this (long) weekend? Share in the comments section below. 

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Photo: B&O Railroad Museum via Facebook