When did Halloween become a month-long event? It used to be just one evening, and kids' masks were paper plates with cut-out eye holes. But these days, children can benefit from America's tendency to drag out any holiday. Here are ten trick-or-treating events your little ones will love, from Wednesday, October 25, through Tuesday, October 31.
Wicked Wednesday Halloween Party
Outlets at Castle Rock
5050 Factory Shops Boulevard, Castle Rock
4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 25
Head south for a trick-or-treat-or-shopping experience. The children will marvel at a show by Denver magician Keir Royale, and can trick-or-treat at stores and complete their Halloween transformations with face painting. Once the finishing touches have been added to their costumes by the application of too much hard-to-remove makeup (sorry, parents), they can participate in the costume contest, where prizes will be awarded for scariest, funniest and most creative duds. Meanwhile, stock up on some irregular long underwear for the cold nights ahead.
Kids Halloween Party and Parade
1701 Wynkoop Street
5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, October 26
Halloween is no time for your kids to have fun; it's time to exercise your parental authority by dictating what costumes they'll don and how much candy they'll eat. This will work out in your favor, though, when you force your offspring to dress as Hobbit to your Gandalf or Madeline to your Miss Clavel, and you win the group costume contest at Union Station's Halloween celebration. You say you want your children to have fun? Oh, fine — there will be trick-or-treating at the shops, a parade and train rides on the plaza. Elsa, Gru and his fellow minions, and Star Wars characters will also make appearances for your little one.
Trick or Treat Street at Harvey Park
Harvey Park Recreation Center
2120 South Tennyson Way
4 to 5 p.m. Friday, October 27
Your kids will get a double dose of Halloween hijinks at this event. From 4 to 5 p.m., the young ones will roam the rec center getting their candy fix, and after the trick-or-treating is over, they can hop on a shuttle to St. Charles Recreation Center, 3777 Lafayette Street, which is putting on a haunted house that night. While everything from the treats to the spooks are free, you are required to register for the event at the Denver Parks and Recreation website — and space is limited, so act fast.
Trick or Treat Street
Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
2121 Children's Museum Drive
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, October 27 through Sunday, October 29
$13 to $15
Trick or Treat Street is a Denver classic, and for good reason. The Children's Museum goes all out, with three days devoted to creating a carnival atmosphere for children in costume and the adults who wrangle them. There will be trick-or-treating, of course, but there will also be a monster carnival, "fang-tastic" treats, Halloween arts and crafts, creepy science experiments, train rides, circus performances, a bouldering bus and more. Just be sure to check out mychildsmuseum.org before heading over, as a few events are one-day only.
Family Overnight: Halloween at the Museum
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Boulevard
6 p.m. to 10 a.m. Friday, October 27, through Saturday, October 28
$55 to $80
If you love Halloween — really, really love Halloween — go all out by signing up to overnight at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. This event promises the ultimate in atmospheric fun, because what's scarier than spending the night in a building full of corpses? Kids (and parents!) will trick-or-treat throughout the museum, explore the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit, watch an IMAX film, and sleep in the diorama halls. If you get lucky, you might even see one of the mummies rise from its sarcophogus at the witching hour.
Trick or Treat Trail
Southlands Shopping Center Town Square
6155 South Main Street, Aurora
10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, October 28
If you're an early bird, not a night owl, check out the hiking on the Trick or Treat Trail Saturday morning. Ghouls, witches, zombies and even kids in costumes will hit up vendors along Southlands' Main Street for candy (you're safe from vampires, though). And the best part of this event? Your sweet-toothed monsters can stuff themselves silly in the morning and still sleep that night.
Lowry Halloween Festival
Lowry Town Center
200 Quebec Street
3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, October 28
The Lowry Halloween Festival is partnering up with the Schools Expo (because we can't have fun without a teachable moment) for trick-or-treating, train rides, pumpkin painting, a magician and a balloon artist. This may be the most appealing option for parents, since after the goodie grab has concluded, you'll just be a few short blocks from the Lowry Beer Garden. Head over and relax with a beer after the sugar frenzy. Who says kids get all the treats on Halloween?
Trick or Treat Train
Colorado Railroad Museum
17155 West 44th Avenue, Golden
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, October 28, and Sunday, October 29
$5 to $15
A haunted train is actually pretty terrifying: You can't escape, there's nowhere to hide, and the locomotive implacably and inexorably proceeds to its destination, regardless of your terror. Luckily for your little ones, the Trick or Treat Train take a different tack, with treats being handed out at the "not so spooky" Haunted Railcar and Old Railroaders Silly Graveyard. Kettle corn and the ubiquitous face painters will be on hand, and admission to the museum includes unlimited rides on the antique steam engine. All aboard!
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Safe Trick or Treat
Maize in the City
10451 McKay Road, Thornton
4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, October 29
Maize in the City's main attraction is its corn maze, and you can still take advantage of that through Halloween. But if your kid wants to bring home candy instead of corn cobs, consider the free event on Sunday. Don your Halloween finest for a combination scavenger hunt and candy crawl; children who are persistent enough to make it to all the candy stations will get a free pumpkin to take home. This event has something for the grownups, too: You can enjoy the adult beverages available for purchase while supervising your overstimulated offspring. Cheers to that!
Trick or Treat on Mainstreet
O'Brien Park and Mainstreet, Parker
3:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 31
Say what you will about the far-flung southern suburb, Parker knows how to celebrate All Hallows' Eve. Mainstreet will be shut down for the afternoon to allow the town's tiny Spidermen, minions, Elevens and ever-popular princesses (and even good dogs dressed up as hot dogs) to make their way down the street, collecting goodies from booths lining the thoroughfare. With over 25 local businesses participating, it promises to be a hell of a Halloween party.
Looking for more to do? Visit the Westword calendar online.