Visitors dressed in Star Wars costumes

Air & Scare at Home

This year, the Museum’s popular Air & Scare program is coming to your home with online downloadable activities and challenges, live digital programming, and some sc-air-y business, including a costume and pumpkin decorating contest for sweet prizes:

Note: There will be no on-site Halloween programming at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center this year.

Downloadable Halloween Activities

Enjoy this hands-on Halloween activities with an Air and Space twist:

Star Wars Corner

In honor of Halloween, our friends at the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion show off the best way to make the famous Blue Milk from Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.

Enjoy these other activities for the Star Wars fans in your life:

Check out the amazing pumpkins and costumes from the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion in this Pass the Pumpkin video.

Pumpkin Stencils

Use these downloadable pumpkin stencils to carve an aviation or space pumpkin.

Flights of Fancy Story Time

Enjoy a special Halloween-themed Flights of Fancy story time, featuring an original story and craft activity for your little ones. Watch below or on YouTube.

Upcoming Virtual Programming

Air & Scare Live Chat: Sci-Fi Props and Costumes — Thursday, October 29 at 1 pm ET

Join us for a special Halloween-themed live chat about sci-fi costumes and props from series like Star Wars, Star Trek, and more. Tune in on Facebook Live and on our website.

ScareSpace: Stories with an Air of Mystery — Friday, October 30

Join us on Instagram for spooky and mysterious stories from the aviation and space history. Taking place on @airandspacemuseum on Instagram throughout the day including:

  • Instagram Live about the mystery behind black holes at 12 pm ET
  • Instagram Live about Jackie Cochran, Clairvoyance, and Amelia Earhart at 3 pm ET (submit your questions on our Instagram story the day before!)
  • Instagram Story about Area 51

Costume and Pumpkin Contest Winners Announcement — Saturday, October 31 at 1 pm ET

Learn the winners of the costume and pumpkin decorating contest in a special video presentation.

Virtual Costume Contest

We want to see your best Air and Space-themed costumes! Entries are due October 25, so you have time to put the finishing touches on a costume inspired by the Museum's collection with creative touches and interesting approaches. 

Winners in each of the age categories (Baby & Toddlers (0-4), Kids (5-12), Youth (13-17), Adult (18+), Pets) will recieve prizes from Mars Wrigley Confectionery US LLC — awesome candy prize packs for our human winners and pet food prizes for the pet winners.

Submit your photos of a recent costume here by October 25.

Submit Your Costume

Virtual Pumpkin Decorating Contest

We may be biased, but we think aviation and space-themed pumpkins are the best kind. Show off your pumpkin decorating skills by entering our virtual pumpkin content. Carve or decorate a pumpkin with your favorite Air and Space artifact and submit here by October 25. The winning pumpkin will recieve a candy prize pack. Need inspiration? Check out these stencils.

Submit Your Pumpkin

Winners will be announced October 31 at 1 pm ET. Want to show off your costume or pumpkin more? Share on social media using #AirandScare20 for a chance to be featured on our website or social media.

Full rules, terms, and conditions for both contests can be found below.

Costume and Pumpkin Contest Rules and Terms & Conditions


What to enter. For the costume contest, submit an Air and Space-related costume that fits one of the five categories: 

  • Baby & Toddlers (0 – 4)
  • Kids (5 – 12)
  • Youth (13-17)
  • Adult (18+)
  • Pets (any age)

For the pumpkin contest, submit a carved or decorated pumpkin related to the museum's collection. You can use a stencil or your own design. 

Throughout October we will share entries on social media and here at our website.  The photos we share will not affect our judges’ selection. We just want to share your creative efforts.

Our judges are the deputy director of the Museum and other Museum staff, so they will be looking for your photo submission to be your own original creation that relates to the Museum’s collection with creative touches and interesting approaches. Don’t forget the Museum has quite a collection of science fiction related artifacts.

Only enter that which is yours to enter in this contest. This means photos that are yours to submit (e.g. you took the photo, or got permission from the photographer), and include in the photo only your original creations (pumpkin carvings, costumes).

Who can enter. Everyone present in the United States is able to enter one or both contests with the following restrictions: 

  • Those under the age of 18 may only participate with their parent or guardian.
  • Those affiliated with the Smithsonian (i.e. employees, contractors, interns, volunteers, and members of their household) may submit entries, but are not eligible to compete for prizes.
  • Prizes can only be sent to US addresses.

How to enter. You may enter one or both contests. 

For the costume contest, you can enter up to one submission for each age category. You must submit a different photo and entry form for each category.

For the pumpkin contest you may only submit one entry.

Submit your digital photos of your costume or pumpkin via the entry forms:

Permitted Uses of Entries. All entrants give the Smithsonian Institution, and those authorized by the Smithsonian, permission to publicly use the entry materials, along with entrants’ first name and last initial, and state of residence, in connection with the Smithsonian’s exhibitions, promotions, publicity, websites, social media, fundraising, archives, research, publications, and other educational materials and presentations; entrants will not be given an opportunity to review and approve any of the foregoing permitted uses of the entry but further use (e.g. merchandise) would require additional permission.  Entrants understand that the Smithsonian has no control over third party social media platforms (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) and that entries could be further disseminated by the public and associated with comments entrants may disagree with or find objectionable. By submitting a photo (or photos) to enter this contest, you voluntarily and on a royalty-free basis grant this permission on behalf of yourself (as entrant), and any others whose image or creation (pumpkin carving, costume) appear in the image:

  • If a minor’s image or creation appears in the Photo. Individuals under the age of 18 must participate through their parent or legal guardian.  If you are the parent or legal guardian participating with your child, you are responsible for explaining these rules to your child and helping your child cooperate with them.
  • If a photo is being submitted on behalf of a group (e.g. multiple people’s creations or images appear in the photo). If you are submitting a group photo that represents mixed categories, you can choose the category that you think best fits.  Do not enter a photo unless you have permission to do so from all individuals whose images or creations appear in the photo (including but not limited to the Permitted Uses of Entries).  If someone under the age of 18 (a minor), or that minor’s creations, appear in the photo, you must get permission from the parent or legal guardian to enter the photo in this contest (including but not limited to the Permitted Uses of Entries).  

Play by the Rules. Play nice. Entry materials must: be lawful, true, and accurate; contain only the entrants’ own original material or material for which entrant has full authority and permission to grant the rights set forth in these rules; and not infringe on the rights of any third party.  Do not submit photos that would not be befitting of an educational environment or are off topic.  By entering, you warrant that the entry materials you submit comply with these rules and agree to be solely responsible for the consequences of your entry.  

Submit by Sunday October 25 deadline. Submissions for either contest after October 25 will not be considered.  

No purchase necessary. Any type of Smithsonian purchase will not impact your chances of winning.

Decisions of the Smithsonian are final and binding. The Smithsonian may modify these rules, or cancel any contest, in its sole discretion, at any time, and for any reason.  In the event of a dispute, the Smithsonian reserves the right not to award any prize. 

Smithsonian not held responsible. The Smithsonian is not responsible for incomplete or misdirected entries, technical or network malfunctions or failures, or causes beyond its control. Entrants are solely responsible for their entries and any consequences of making the entry. Do not submit materials that introduce any viruses, worms or other malicious programs, or that are off-topic or partisan-political or infringing.  The Smithsonian reserves the right to disqualify any entrant whose entry or conduct appears in any way to: inhibit the enjoyment of others; tamper with the competition; violate these Rules; infringe on the rights of third parties; or act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. 

Entrants hold the Smithsonian, its regents, officers, employees, fellows, interns, research associates, and volunteers harmless from and against all claims of any nature arising in connection with entrant’s participation in the contest, or acceptance and/or use of prize. The Smithsonian and its regents, officers, employees, fellows, interns, research associates, and volunteers are not liable for any costs, damages, injuries, or other claims incurred as a result of entrants’ participation in the contest or winner’s acceptance and usage of the prize.  


The Smithsonian will award one prize for each category.  The prizes for the human categories are candy from Mars Wrigley, valued at $50-$100. The pet prize will be pet food valued at $50-$100.  If a prize is unavailable for any reason, the Smithsonian reserves the right to substitute a prize of like value; winners may not request prize substitution.  Winners are responsible for any costs or taxes associated with their acceptance or use of the prize.

Announcement of winners. The Smithsonian will publicly announce the winning entries on October 31 on the National Air and Space website and social media. You can e-mail after October 31, 2020, for a list of winners.

Air & Scare at Home is made possible by the generous support of

Mars Wrigley

Did You Know?

The Apollo 16 command module was nicknamed Casper, after the friendly ghost. On that same mission, astronauts John Young and Charlie Duke explored a crater called Spook Crater.