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By Christy Beha, Keneisha Lee & Mariana Perez, CertifiKID Subscribers
Posted Sep 25, 2019
Posted Sep 25, 2019
American Scream Halloween Selfie Museum is a brand new, interactive pop-up attraction located in the Tysons Corner Center mall in Virginia dedicated to all things Halloween! Visitors of all ages can interact, pose, and snap selfies with the most Insta-worthy creepy creatures, frightening monsters and fantastic scenes only before seen on the screen. They even have a replica Iron Throne from Game of Thrones!
We sent three of our MOM Squad ambassadors and their families to experience American Scream Halloween Selfie Museum. They received free admission in exchange for providing an honest review of their experience.
Save 39% off admission to the American Scream Halloween Selfie Museum through November 3rd with this CertifiKID Deal.
Mariana: American Scream is a newly-opened interactive museum dedicated to all things Halloween! The unique and engaging exhibits are immersive, providing many selfie-worthy opportunities. From the moment our group walked through the doors, we found ourselves laughing at one another and taking photos non-stop.
Keneisha: Upon arrival, we were greeted by the owner, he shook my hand, introduced himself and even offered to take a group photo for us.
Christy: The moment we arrived, we were greeted by a staff member who explained how to set up and use a Snap code that opens up a zombie filter you can use on any of the exhibits (it stays available for 48 hours after your visit).
There was also a member of the undead available on a Red Carpet at the entrance to begin our selfie adventure.
Keneisha: The museum consisted of about 15 small spaces fully decorated and themed based on horror films that have been out over the years, like “The Shining", "IT", and "Frankenstein” just to name a few. There were props at every station to get really cool pics as if you were in each scene in real life!
Christy: There are interactive exhibits that include props available for use such as a sword while sitting on the iron throne to defend yourself from the Night King, a lab coat to be a mad scientist near Frankenstein, Ouija boards to play with the witch, a coffin for the “recently deceased” to lay in along with a guest book to sign, and many others stashed within reach of each exhibit to get the perfect selfie!
There are also staff available in clearly marked attire to assist you with taking photos.
Mariana: No detail is spared to lend reality to the sets, from an ancient Egyptian tomb . . .
. . . to a morgue and Iron Throne.
Christy: I encourage everyone to look closely at the little details! There is a poster of Lorton girls missing, potion bottles, bottles of peeled off faces that are being preserved, maps and crime photos! We walked back through each exhibit to re-examine and saw new details each time.
Keneisha: My 9-year old and I navigated through each section fairly quickly, well, because she was scared but tried her best to make it through with mommy.
Christy: My 7-year old daughter had a great time interacting with the exhibits. She is big into Goosebumps and located the head of the doll in the doll room. It was awesome for her to explore each exhibit and enjoy them.
Keneisha: The owner mentioned the back room being "Rated R" because it’s more gruesome, but I felt the entire museum was full of horror.
Mariana: Our group ranged in age from 12 to 39 and everyone enjoyed it. This would be a great experience for fans of horror and Halloween!
What Did You Enjoy Most?
Christy: We all loved that this was enjoyable for our 7-year old. Because the exhibits are still and don’t run or chase you, it gave my daughter the chance to get comfortable as we walked around. She was able to get into the scenes and explore without being frightened by movement. My husband and I were amazed by the DETAIL in each exhibit! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Halloween and I had a great experience!
Mariana: We enjoyed the variety of the installations. I appreciated that we could take our time walking through, going back to those that we wanted to see again. There were surprises at every turn, but it wasn't overwhelmingly scary, which made it fun. I liked that many of the sets were engaging since you could touch and pick up props. Lots of opportunities for fun photos!
Keneisha: The best part about the museum was that there were no screams, movement, or unexpected fright to scare those that like horror and Halloween, but not the thrill.
Is There Anything You Didn't Like?
Mariana: My kids couldn't think of anything they didn't like. I would have liked to have a little more guidance about where to start and in which direction to go instead of just walking in different directions. It’s also not completely clear which items you can touch or pick up, though they are supposed to be marked with a green sticker. Basically anything that "isn’t breakable” is what a staff member told us, but this could be confusing for little ones.
Keneisha: My children were too young for this exhibit. I would highly suggest skipping the entire exhibit if you have children under 10 years old. If younger, please confirm that they are interested in bloody/gory Halloween propaganda.
Christy: Nothing, we loved it all.
Getting There and Getting In
Christy: It was simple to find. The museum is on the first level at Tysons Corner Center right next to Lord and Taylor. Parking was free and readily available in any one of the mall parking lots. It was quick and easy to get in once we arrived.
Mariana: The closest parking garage that would make for the least amount of walking would most likely be Lot D. From the D lot, walking through Lord and Taylor would be the quickest way to get to the museum. After mall hours, you should use the entrance near the AMC movie theater.
Tysons Corner Center is easily accessible to public transportation, including Metro's Silver line. Get off at the Tysons Corner Station and walk to the shopping center via the covered walkway. Multiple Metro bus routes also stop here. Then, it is just a short walk across Tysons Corner Plaza. Taking a short cut through Lord and Taylor would be the quickest way to get to the museum from the Plaza.
It was quick and easy to get in. There weren’t many people since we visited on a Saturday afternoon in mid-September, but crowds are expected to increase as it gets closer to Halloween. You should arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled visit so you have time to check in.
Time Recommended to Enjoy Experience
Mariana: You are allowed to spend up to 45 minutes in the museum, and I would say to expect to spend just about that much, especially if you go with a group like we did. It took us about 40 minutes to get through the entire thing, and that was with almost no other people there.
Christy: 45 minutes to an hour seemed perfect for us.
Keneisha: It took us about 25 minutes to navigate through the entire museum because my 9-year old was terrified, but I’d give it a good 45 minutes if you take your time.
Recommended Age Range
Christy: My girls are 7 and 19. My oldest and I love horror films and have been slowly introducing my 7-year old. We did her first Zombie walk when she was 5, and at 7, this was perfect for her. The exhibits are still so nothing is jumping out. She tends to look at the exhibits with caution at first then noticed her dad and I interacting and soon she was too.
Keneisha: My children are 2, 5 and 9, and were too young for this exhibit. I would recommend over the age of 10.
Mariana: My daughters are 12 and 15. I'd recommend this for children 4 years old and up ONLY if they enjoy spooky things, and are able to be respectful of the props and only touch what they are allowed to touch. There is a room in the back that is recommended for ages 13 and up because it has exhibits that are more adult in nature.
Tips for Families
Christy: The only thing I can think of is to say that in order to get into the casket for photos you will need to take off your shoes. With the museum being in a BIG mall there is plenty of food available as well as a play area and a train for kids. We always enjoy the sushi conveyor belt restaurant and it’s right next to the museum!
Keneisha: The space is best with a smaller group, the more the merrier for the experience but for picture taking I’d suggest no more than six to a group. The museum is located in Tyson’s Corner Mall, perfect for eating, and shopping before or after visiting the museum!
Mariana: There’s no need to print out your tickets that you buy online; just show your ticket on your phone when you arrive. If you need to buy additional tickets, there is a kiosk inside the mall, just around the corner, where you can buy tickets and American Scream merchandise. No food, drinks or large bags are permitted inside the museum. No strollers either!
There are many kid-friendly restaurants in Tysons Corner Center as well as an AMC movie theater. Dinner and a scary movie, followed by a visit to American Scream, would make this a fun day trip for the whole family!
Would Your Family Visit Again?
Christy: I love Halloween so there is a great chance I may return with friends for a fun activity for a girls night!
Mariana: My daughters would like to visit again with their friends closer to Halloween because it would fun to experience this and take photos with others, maybe in their costumes.
Keneisha: No, my children are too young for horror-themed activities. My friends prefer an interactive Halloween-themed event, so I probably would pass on another visit.
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