Having Fun at Reston Halloween House

Having Fun at Reston Halloween House

Characters delight the younger tykes.

Star Wars characters gear up to greet children on the Trick-or-Treat Trail.

Star Wars characters gear up to greet children on the Trick-or-Treat Trail. Photo by Mercia Hobson.


Dressed as Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz,” Avery Komaily, 5, of Fairfax, takes advantage of a photo op with a little help from a couple of friendly fictional characters from the Harry Potter series: the half-giant and half-human Rubeus Hagrid, portrayed by Paul Priestly and Harry Potter, portrayed by Susan Sims of Reston.


At the part-fun, part-educational Reston Halloween House and Trick-or-Treat Trail event, a not-so-mad scientist demonstrates how to make dry ice bubbles, full of carbon dioxide gas with water vapor, go poof when touched.

Children three through ten years of age delighted in Reston Association's non-ghoulish Halloween House and Trick-or-Treat Trail at Walker Nature Center, held Oct. 25-26. Even though the association added more tickets for this year's event, according to Katie Shaw, Nature Center Manager, advance times sold out once again before the weekend.

Now in its 22nd year, the first of three activity areas, the free carnival with face painting, crafts, games and refreshments greeted lucky ticket holders. Witch Rose Moss, 5, fancied her face painted green but sister, Lucy, 1 1/2, clung close to mom and dad, unsure of the larger than life-size costumed characters.

At the second activity site, families roamed the LED candlelit forest trail, met more friendly costumed characters, and collected candy and prizes. Jocelyn Wood, 6, of Great Falls, took a liking to her borrowed flashlight. She and others, such as Emma Hamilton, 2, of Reston, made their way with family members to the pavilion turned big dance party with sound and light effects where Star Wars Galactic Heroes invited the children to dance.

Before heading into the third activity site, Walker Nature Center, live owls greeted the trick-or-treaters. The transformed Nature House proved to be one of the “coolest parts” of the event, according to Shaw. Volunteers and staff depicted each room with a different scene. Highlights included the educational not-so-mad science experiments and photo opportunities with the cast of Harry Potter.

"When I see people out in the community, they often tell me how much they loved the Nature Center's Halloween event, and how creative it is — sometimes years later… We have teen and young adult volunteers who remember coming as children… This year, we are thankful for George Mason University for providing a volunteer force of 40 students in their Social Action and Integrative Learning Program," said Shaw.