Air & Space Museum presents spooky ‘Air & Scare’ activities for Halloween

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Air & Scare (Part 1)

The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum may be closed on the National Mall, but museum staff are finding creative ways to wish you a Happy Halloween.

The museum presents the virtual “Air & Scare at Home” series all month long.

“This actually is a tradition at the Air & Space Museum,” Associate Director of Education Beth Crownover told WTOP. “It is a wonderful, community-based event. Tens of thousands of people usually come to this event at the Udvar-Hazy location [in Chantilly, Virginia], so we felt that it was our duty to create an ‘Air & Scare at Home.'”

It kicks off with a virtual costume contest with separate categories for ages 0-4, 5-12, 13-17 and 18+, as well as a pets category. Photo submissions are due Oct. 25.

“We ask that folks think about Air & Space-themed costumes,” Crownover said. “It can be early aviation, space exploration, science fiction, but we’re really excited to see everybody’s creativity and what they come up with.”

There’s also a pumpkin decorating contest. Photo submissions are due Oct. 25.

“We do have some stencils that are available on our website and can be easily downloaded, but those are not required,” Crownover said. “We’re just asking people to think about aviation and space-themed pumpkins and how you might use your creativity to lend that kind of flair to your pumpkin or jack-o’-lantern this season.”

Winners for both contests will be announced on social media Oct. 31.

“Mars Wrigley is our annual sponsor,” Crownover said. “Human winners will receive candy prize packs that we’ll mail. The pet winner will receive a special prize pack.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Air & Scare (Part 2)

In the meantime, you can also watch various virtual story time events.

Kids and parents will enjoy “Flights of Fancy Story Time” on Oct. 20.

“We have two exceedingly gifted early childhood educators on our team, Ann Caspari and Diane Kidd,” Crownover said. “Ann writes original stories for our Flights of Fancy virtual story time, and Diane creates original artworks that go along with them.”

It continues Oct. 29 with the “Air & Scare Live Chat.”

“This is actually going to focus on folks who work in the props and costume industry,” Crownover said. “What is it like to be in that realm? What are the tricks of the trade? What might people be inspired by for their own costume? It should be pretty fun.”

Finally, Oct. 30 brings “ScareSpace: Stories with an Air of Mystery.”

“We’re going to have a takeover of the National Air & Space Museum Instagram account,” Crownover said. “We’re going to be sharing some spooky and mysterious stories from aviation. Think along the Amelia Earhart kind of era and some of those stories that we don’t really know what happened. … Area 51, you never know!”

While the National Mall location is closed, the Udvar-Hazy location is open.

“We do have limited capacity, but of course, everybody is welcome to come out,” Crownover said. “We have a ticket reservation system online to make sure that folks are maintaining safe social distance, so all that we ask is if you’re coming out to the Udvar-Hazy Center that you’ll log on to our website and select a time ticket.”

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