The cooling climes aren't the only thing inspiring chills. Colorado is replete with events that revel in seasonal spookiness — and fare for Halloween agnostics, too. The days ahead offer everything from concerts, comedy shows and film screenings to pumpkin-carving seminars at prices that won't cut into readers' costume and candy budgets. Scare up some fun and save some money at the ten best things to do in Denver for $10 and under this weekend.
October 11 to 31, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$7 to $11
A perennial fixture of Halloween decor, spiders are among the creepiest of crawlies that the natural world has to offer. Sprinkle a dash of seasonal frights on the otherwise perfectly charming Butterfly Pavilion with daily eight-legged encounters at Spider Pavilion, a source of nightmare fodder that will haunt guests until the exhibit closes on Wednesday, October 31. The spine-tingling presentation is included with general admission, $7 to $11; visit the Butterfly Pavilion events calendar to see if you can survive the Crawl-a-See-Em.
Hush! Open Cypher
Thursday, October 11, 7 to 11 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe
An unlikely yet consistently vibrant cultural bridge between otakus and hip-hop heads, Hush! Open Cypher invites local MCs to battle it out on the mic before kicking back and digging into the Funimation's vast archive —which includes fan favorites such as Dragonball and My Hero Academia. Join BROTH3R and JusChill Metz of Time Is Money Production Company for a fusion of freestyle virtuosics and cartoon screening that readers won't find anywhere else in the city. Guests are automatically registered to win a limited-edition prize pack stocked with Funimation-affiliated merchandise. Admission is free, but guests should contribute a minimum $5 donation if they don't want to seem like freeloading interlopers. Find out more on Mutiny Information Cafe's Facebook events page.
The Lamont School of Music Presents "Still"
Thursday, October 11, 7:30 p.m.
Hamilton Recital Hall, Newman Center for the Performing Arts
Creative cross-pollination between music and fine arts is responsible for a number of masterpieces in both disciplines, a tradition composer James Romig continues with "Still," a solo piano piece inspired by the abstract-expressionist paintings of Clyfford Still. Spare, atmospheric and methodical, "Still" evokes the artwork of its mercurial namesake, which should be familiar to local museum-goers. Join pianist Ashlee Mack for a performance of the lovely yet haunting composition tonight at the Hamilton Recital Hall, located in the University of Denver's Newman Center for the Performing Arts. Visit the Newman Center box-office page for tickets, $10, and more information.
Zodiac Killers: Libra Edition
Friday, October 12, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
The Comedy RoomRoom
The stars have aligned for Zodiac Killers, a new monthly standup show that presents a cavalcade of comedians born under the same astrological sign. Hosted and curated by enterprising Virgo — and horoscope devotee — Kacy Dahl, the inaugural Zodiac Killers boasts an all-Libra lineup that consists of Timmi Lasley, Nolawee Mengist, Miriam Moreno, Aaron Maslow, feature Matt Cobos and headliner David Rodriguez. Even astrology skeptics are destined to have a grand time when Dahl and her merry coterie of Libras lay waste to the Comedy RoomRoom stage. Visit Zodiac Killers' Eventbrite page to buy tickets, $5, and find more details.
Lift a Glass and Sing!
Friday, October 12, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Drink in some good cheer along with your beer at Lift a Glass and Sing!, a communal singalong led by the Colorado Chorale. Add your voice to the chorus at the debut of Denver's first Beer Choir Concert, a boozy recital of barroom classics like "What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor?" and "Beer Barrel Polka." Admission is free, but don't forget to bring plenty of folding money; the Mercury Cafe is a staunchly cash-only establishment. Visit the Colorado Chorale's EZ Register page to learn more, register, and download a Beer Choir hymnal.
Midnight Madness: Halloween
October 12 to 13, midnight
Frequently remade and rebooted — yet never equaled — the original Halloween left indelibly bloody fingerprints on its many imitators, kicking off the golden age of the teen slasher movie. One of the highest-grossing independent films of all time when it premiered in 1978, John Carpenter's streamlined thriller favors blood-pumping suspense over blood-shedding gore. It's grounded by a star-making turn from Jamie Lee Curtis, whose "Scream Queen" moniker doesn't do justice to the nuances of her performance here. Furthermore, Halloween's spine-tingling earworm of a score, also composed by the multi-talented Carpenter, rivals Bernard Herrmann's work on Psycho in its ability to inspire enduring terror. Skip the unnecessary sequel hitting theaters later this month and slake your bloodlust at a pair of Midnight Madness screenings of the OG Halloween instead. Buy tickets, $9.50, and find out more on Landmark Esquire's box-office page.
Study Workshop: Pumpkin Carving With Grampa Bardeen
Saturday, October 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$5 to $15
Learn how to sculpt a Jack-O-Lantern guaranteed to inspire terror (or envy) in your neighbors under the guidance of expert gourd-gouger Grampa Bardeen at Hotel Teatro's Pumpkin Carving Workshop. Nibble on noshes from the boutique hotel's on-site eatery, The Nickel, while brushing up on seasonal skills at a pair of seminars on Saturday, October 13. Bring the kiddos along to Bardeen's family-friendly workshop, which starts at 10 a.m. and concludes at noon, or hire a sitter and indulge in cocktail-infused carving at the adult-oriented class, which runs from 1 to 3 p.m. Buy tickets, $5 to $15, and learn more on the Hotel Teatro events calendar.
New Era Wrestling Presents: Fight Fest
Saturday, October 13, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Mile High Comics
$8.75 to $10
Further proof that Colorado's pro-wrestling scene is every bit as brawny as the gladiators it invites into the ring, New Era's Fight Fest is off the ropes and ready to rumble. Returning to Mile High Comics, still the world's largest comic-book store, New Era Wrestling's ringside champions serve up another round of tightly choreographed combat tailor-made for the company's bloodthirsty fans. Can't make it this month? Catch reprise bouts at Mile High Comics on November 3 and December 1. Click over to New Era Wrestling's Eventbrite page to buy tickets, $8.75 to $10, and learn more.
HitchCocktails: Improvised Thriller and Drinking Game
Saturday, October 13, 6 to 7 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
Replete with icy blondes, mistaken identities and acrophobic set pieces, the cinematic oeuvre of Alfred Hitchcock is rife with parodic potential. HitchCocktails, an Improvised Thriller and Drinking Game, mines the favored tropes of the master of suspense for comedic riches in an intriguing blend of live performance and drinking game. Admission is $10 — cash only — at the door; find out more on Syntax Physic Opera's Facebook events page.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Music in the Galleries: Amelie Quartet
Sunday, October 14, 1 to 3 p.m.
Clyfford Still Museum
$4 to $10
Argentinean and Parisian rhythms fill the otherwise tranquil home of Clyfford Still's abstract-expressionist masterpieces when the Amelie Quartet headlines Music in the Galleries, one of the museum's most fruitful efforts at cross-cultural pollination. Comprising accordionist Dave Willey, violinist Maggie Sallee, bassist Gonzalo Tepee and guitarist Kevin Garry, the Amelie Quartet presents an afternoon of contemplative music perfectly suited to its auspicious environs. Admission to the Clyfford Still Museum is $4 to $10, but there's no additional charge for the performance itself. Visit the museum's events calendar to buy tickets and find out more.
Have an event you want included on a Westword list? Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.