Ten Family-Friendly Activities for Fall in Colorado

This season of gourds and ghouls is full of family-friendly activities, from pumpkin festivals to animal encounters. Keep reading for our ten favorite autumn events. 
1. Kids' Halloween Parade and Party
Union Station
October 27

Head to Denver's Union Station for a family-friendly parade and party from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 27. This year’s annual Halloween celebration features trick-or-treating in merchant shops and a costume parade kicking off at 5:30 p.m., taking wee goblins, superheroes and princesses on a march around Wynkoop Plaza. Prizes will be awarded for best overall and best group or family costume. As kids strut their stuff, they’ll mingle with a variety of special guests, including princesses, a stilt walker, a balloon artist and a magician — all to the tune of a DJ spinning Halloween hits. Parents: Come back at 9 p.m. on Friday, October 28, for an adults-only Spooky Speakeasy at Terminal Bar. The event includes scary movies, creepy music, a costume contest and killer Halloween cocktails and beer specials. For more information on both events, visit the Denver Union Station website.

2. Halloween Fest
Downtown Aquarium
Starting October 28

Something's fishy at the Downtown Aquarium. From Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sharkey and his friends will host happy hauntings. The aquarium will also offer a fun lineup of activities, crafts and games, including a not-so-haunted train ride, monster mural painting, mad-science experiments (Saturday and Sunday only) animal shows, trick-or-treating and a costume contest. Outside activities are free, and costumed kiddos get inside the aquarium for half-price admission on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 303-561-4450 or visit the Downtown Aquarium’s website.
3. Night of the Living Dead: Live!
The Bug Theatre
Through October 29
Don’t miss out on one of Denver’s best Halloween traditions! The Bug Theatre and Paper Cat Films have brought George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead back to life, for an eighth rip-roaring reimagining of the classic story of seven people trapped in a farmhouse — surrounded by flesh-eating ghouls, of course. This year’s production includes impressive multimedia elements from Paper Cat, along with an urban-legend twist drawing on some of the most spine-tingling campfire tales ever told: the hook hand, Bloody Mary and more. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings through October 29, with a special industry performance on Thursday, October 27. Night of the Living Dead: Live! is more comedy than horror, true, but we still recommend it for families with tweens and teens. Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased on the Bug Theatre’s website; discounts are available for students, seniors, military and anyone dressed like a zombie.
4. Boo N Brew
Colfax Avenue, between York Street and Colorado Boulevard
October 29

A disturbingly wonderful Colfax Block Party awaits at this tenth installment of the Bluebird District’s family-friendly Boo N Brew scarefest. From 1 p.m. on, enjoy tricks and treats from 35 local restaurants and retailers decked out for the season. The event's free for kids from 1 to 4 pm; highlights include made-to-order candy bars, a bouncy castle, live music, face-painting and pumpkin decorating. Come in costume: Wee vampires, zombies and superheroes can trick or treat up and down the street. A big kid party kicks off at 9 p.m. with drink specials and live music.
5. Silent Screams
Little Man Ice Cream
October 29

At 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, grab a silent-movie headset and settle in for special screenings of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Ghostbusters. Fuel up while you watch with Little Man’s Pumpkin “I-Scream” and Fat Jack’s Super Subs’ tingling chile and special spooky subs. Silent film screenings will be followed by a silent-disco costume ball beginning at 8:30 p.m. The whole thing’s free; for details, visit Little Man's website.

Keep reading for five more family-friendly events.
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Jamie Siebrase is a Denver-based freelance writer, and author of the forthcoming Falcon Guide Hiking Wth Kids, Colorado: 52 Great Hikes for Families.
Contact: Jamie Siebrase