Halloween is here. Need to keep your kids moving? Want to act like a kid yourself? While not all favorites are back (no Trick-or-Treat Street at the Children's Museum this year, for example), some big new events are helping to fill the gaps. And there are smaller neighborhood celebrations all over town: Think ghosts, monsters, costumes and candy...lots and lots of candy.
Here are the best spooky yet kid-friendly events today (and don't miss our list of Day of the Dead
Sunday, October 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chatfield Farms, 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton
The magnificent seven-acre corn maze at the Denver Botanic Gardens' Chatfield Farms is again up and running. For little ones under eleven, there's also a mini maze. Amp the experience up a notch during the Pumpkin Festival October 8, 9 and 10, when there will be food vendors, rides and pumpkin-themed photo ops; tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for kids, students, military and seniors, and kids under three get in free. Get tickets (if any are left) here
Sunday, October 31, 9:30 a.m.
Gardens at St. Elizabeth (start) to Little Man Ice Cream
HUNI (Highland United Neighbors) is hosting a community parade that will begin at the Gardens at St. Elizabeth and will include trick-or-treating, games, face and pumpkin painting, a beer tent from Recess Beer Garden and more! Then head to Little Man for the pumpkin carving and costume competition at 11 a.m.
A wild baby lion roaming free at the Denver Zoo.
Sunday, October 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele Street
Rain, shine, snow, heat and even COVID haven't stopped the Denver Zoo from offering fall entertainment, though the former Boo at the Zoo has morphed into Wild Fall this year. The event runs through October and is included with admission — and while there won't be any candy, you and your kids can dress up in costumes, sample festive food and drink, and see the animals. The new penguin exhibit is now open, too, and Stingray Cove has a cool pirate ship where you can take selfies with a skeleton crew. Tickets range from $14 to $20, with kids two and under admitted free. Reserve timed tickets online
Boo on the Bluff
A spooky scavenger hunt!
Sunday, October 31, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Bluff Lake Nature Center, 111255 East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Calling all goblins, ghosts and other creatures: This is an outdoor, self-guided scavenger hunt with a spooky twist. It costs $10 for each group of up to eight people to enjoy the fun, which includes solving clues, exploring Bluff Lake and candy. Reserve a time and book tickets online here
Sunday, October 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Downtown Aquarium, 700 Water Street
Get in the swim at this ocean-themed, spooky festival. There will be games, prizes, activities for kids and a costume contest. Kids in costumes get half-off tickets, dropping the $17.99 price tag down to $9; adults admission is $23.99, and toddlers two and under get in free. And on Halloween, kids' meals are just 99 cents in the aquarium restaurant with the purchase of a regular entree. Order tickets for the event online
Little Man Pumpkin Carving and Costume Competition
Sunday, October 31, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Little Man Ice Cream, 2620 16th Street
Little Man Ice Cream has been celebrating Halloween for a month, with a pumpkin patch and a contest to win a spooky ice cream party for four by posting a selfie among the pumpkins and tagging @littlemanicecream and using the #littlemanspookyselfie in the Instagram post. Now comes the big party: a pumpkin carving and costume contest. Bring a pumpkin or buy one on-site (if any are left) for the pumpkin-carving that starts at 11 a.m.; tools will be provided. But don't get your costume dirty: Winners in the contest will be announced at 1:30 p.m., with prizes for Spookiest, Most Creative, Cutes, and Best Family/Group (costume only). Find out more here
Hilltop Halloween Picnic & Parade
Sunday, October 31, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sundial Plaza to Robinson Park
Meet at Sundial Plaza for the parade that will go down Second Avenue to Robinson Park, where a new playground project will be dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony around noon. Find out more here
Tito's Trick or Treat Street
Sunday, October 31, noon to 3:30 p.m.
Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary, 3470 County Road 7, Erie
Head to Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary for Tito's Trick or Treat Street! Although the residents will not be wearing costumes, you're encouraged to wear yours. Activities include candy, games, and festive surprises. Because of parking restrictions, tickets ($5) are limited and divided in time slots. Reserve your spot here
Sunday, October 31, noon to 10 p.m.
Elitch Gardens, 2000 Elitch Circle
Enjoy hair-raising shenanigans every Saturday this month at Fright Fest, but fair warning: While costumes are encouraged, no fake weapons and no costume masks are allowed for those over ten. From noon to 5 p.m., the family-friendly spot includes a trick-or-treat trail and themed activities. After KiddieLand closes at 6 p.m., get ready to howl in fright as creatures go bump in the night — with three haunted attractions for those twelve and up and adult rides. Tickets start at $44.99, which includes an all-day pass to the amusement park. Get yours here
Zombie Crawl and Trick-or-Treating
Zombies will overtake the Stanley Marketplace.
Sunday, October 31, 2 to 5 p.m.
Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Get out the fake blood, black eyeliner and tattered clothes, and take your zombie family to the Stanley Marketplace at 2 p.m. to grunt, groan and search for brains at a free event hosted by the team at Neighborhood Music & Theatre. Between 4 and 5 p.m., there will be trick-or-treating for the kids around the venue. Find out more here
12th Annual Curtis Park Great Pumpkin
Sunday, October 31, 3 to 5 p.m.
Stout Street Children's Park, 2501 Stout Street
This free neighborhood event will include Halloween games, music, a trick or-treat street along Stout Street, a haunted graveyard and, of course, the Great Pumpkin, a 1000-pound real pumpkin grown each year especially for this event.
District Five Denver Police Department Halloween Party
Sunday, October 31, 3 to 6 p.m.
Lincoln Tech, 11194 East 45th Avenue
The DPD has been hosting free Halloween parties, thanks to the Denver Police Foundation, Wal-Mart and AT&T, and include not just candy, but other safe and sometimes slightly spooky activities.
Magic of the Jack O’ Lanterns
Sunday, October 31, 3 p.m. until close
Hudson Gardens, 6115 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
This new all-ages event boasts 5,000 glowing funkins — those fake but realistic-looking pumpkins often used in Halloween displays, hand-carved with faces, animals, monsters, dinosaurs and more. Magic of the Jack O' Lanterns was put together by Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, famous for its haunted houses (see below), and while it's a Halloween-themed event complete with a mini carnival, it's not meant to be scary. Visit the website for times and to purchase tickets, starting at $19.99 for adults and $14.99 for kids. A few tickets remain for 6:15 p.m.; find out more here
Monster to Midnight
Sunday, October 31, 6 p.m. to midnight
Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street Mall
See creepy creations, interact with characters and have a ghoulish good time at this downtown creep-fest. The show features Distortions Unlimited's "Monster Makers,"
and many of the beasts showcased are from popular movies and television shows. Buy a family four-pack for $99, or individual tickets starting at $35, $27 for kids six to eleven, and free for those under six; get yours here
Cottoncreek Manor's Haunted House
Sunday, October 31, 6 to 7 p.m.
Cottoncreek Manor, 9971 Cottoncreek Drive, Highlands Ranch
Take the kids to a child-friendly outdoor haunted house during the non-scare hour from 6 to 7 p.m. This is a free event, but donations are welcome; all proceeds go to Spirit for the Seasons, a nonprofit organization that works with youth to spark creativity through art and technology.
13th Floor Haunted House
Heads optional at this haunted house.
Sunday, October 31, select days until November 11
3400 East 52nd Avenue
This spooky spot is best for kids twelve and up, since there are a lot of dark spots, flashing lights and werewolves and vampires roaming about. Tickets start at $19.99, but there are so many things to add on that a savvy Halloween celebration will want the platinum VIP pass for $109, which covers not only the three-part haunted house, but ax-throwing, the escape rooms and Blitz Bowl. Plus, you can skip the line, which gets longer and longer the closer we get to Halloween; purchase tickets online