Halloween is a holiday celebrated by all ages, but being a kid this time of year is something special. And from costume contests to magical worlds that only appear during the spooky season, the city is packed with places where hardcore candy seekers can get their sugar fix, little ones will find fun and games and older kids might discover more haunting experiences. Check the Westword calendar for a full listing of events throughout October, and keep reading for the best kid-friendly parties and events that everyone from toddlers to teens can enjoy.
Fright Fest - Family By Day Elitch Gardens Saturdays and Sundays through November 2 Park admission This theme park becomes a scream park throughout the Halloween season, with a trick-or-treat trail, spooky activities and ,of course, a screaming contest. Costume contests go down each afternoon and the gross-out competition dares you to make your most disgusting milkshake using ingredients like ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.
Little Lights Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls & Toys Thursday, October 23 Free to $6 This magical wonderland of Teddy bears, trains, miniature toys and vintage dolls comes to life at night as the museum itself goes dark and only the light of the dollhouses remains. While slightly spooky, this glowing little world is not too spooky for smaller kids.
Victorian Horrors XXI Molly Brown House Friday and Saturday, October 24-25 $15 to $18 For kids ages twelve and up, this Halloween history lesson is fun and freaky at the same time. Mrs. Brown's Victorian mansion becomes the stage as writers and storytellers Edgar Allan Poe, HG Wells and Mary Shelley come back to life to share their spooky tales.
Trick-or-Treat Street Children's Museum of Denver Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 24-26 Free to various prices One of the best kid-friendly Halloween parties around, the Children's Museum's annual Trick-or-Treat Street throws together a stellar weekend of crafts, games and singalongs. Costumed kids can collect candy and design their own delicious desserts, or take a ride on Vern's train. No scary costumes, please -- this party is a safe and fun environment for all little ones. Mills Monster Mash Colorado Mills Mall Saturday, October 25 Free Head to the Colorado Mills food court for an afternoon of spooky fun! The mall hosts its annual Monster Mash, inviting kiddos to participate in a costume contest, scavenger hunt, pumpkin-decorating and many more crafts and activities. Street of Treats Primrose School of Saddle Rock, 5950 South Gun Club Road, Aurora Saturday, October 25 Free This Halloween party prides itself on being a fun and safe indoor option for trick-or-treaters. Kids of all ages are invited to come dressed in costume and enjoy sweet treats, games and more at this spooky but not scary celebration.
Boo and Brew on Colfax Various retailers around the Bluebird Theater on Colfax Saturday, October 25 Free (some activities and treats cost extra) During the day, this neighborhood gathering is all about the kids -- costumes are encouraged and there will be plenty of sweets and spooky good cheer to go around. Get your face painted or your picture taken in costume or enjoy some physical fun in the bouncy castle.
Trick or Treat Creepy Street Antique Row Saturday, October 25 Free South Broadway's Antique Row comes alive with the spirit of Halloween for a fun afternoon of trick-or-treating. Kids get to visit dozens of merchants along the 1100 through 1800 blocks of South Broadway, collecting treats and showing off their costumes. Meanwhile, parents can peruse antique shops, shop at unique clothing stores, imbibe at local restaurants and bars and generally enjoy a more adult good time.
Boo at the Zoo Denver Zoo Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26 Free to $17 Enjoy all the zoo has to offer at this fantastic Halloween bash that runs all weekend. Dress up and hit the park's 25 trick-or-treat stations, and check out some creepy-crawly demonstrations featuring the zoo's own critters.
Trick or Treat Train Colorado Railroad Museum Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26 Various prices Enjoy a locomotive steam train ride in your Halloween costume and hit up Golden's shops for some trick-or-treating. Those looking for a not-too-scary haunting can visit the museum's "not so spooky" haunted railcar or the Olde Railroaders silly graveyard.
Halloween Kids Fest Downtown Aquarium Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26 Free to $17.99 (kids in costume get half-price admission) Party with Sharkey all weekend while dressed in your best Halloween gear. Guess the weight of the giant pumpkin and enjoy monster mural coloring, mad science experiments, a costume contest and exhibit-to-exhibit trick-or-treating. The Aquarium's Sumatran tigers will also be putting on a show, pouncing on pumpkins full of treats just for the big cats.
Broken Shovels Farm Two-Year Anniversary and Halloween Party Broken Shovels Farm Sunday, October 26 Free Kids are welcome to come in costume or bring a costume for one of the goats at this local farm. (See the Broken Shovels website for more details on goat costumes.) This end-of-season party will also be the last weekly produce and cheese market for the year, and the farm will be serving up its famous goat cheese grilled-cheese sandwiches made on an open fire. Enjoy a puppet show, face painting and more.
Hauntings at the Hangar Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum Sunday, October 26 Included in admission: Free to $11 Lowry Air Force Base Hangar Number One will be transformed into the perfect spooky location for a massive Halloween party. Star Wars characters will wander the magical museum's floors as sweet treats are handed out, mad scientists conduct experiments and magic shows commence. Come in full costume or get your face painted while enjoying carnival games and so much more.
Pumpkin Carving Contest Little Man Ice Cream Sunday, October 26 Free - pumpkins available for purchase BYO-pumpkin or purchase one at the party as Little Man Ice Cream hosts another year of its outdoor carving contest and Halloween costume competition. (There will be some carving tools on hand, but bringing your own utensils for carving is recommended.) If you prefer to watch the pumpkin-carving artisans, snacks, drinks and live bluegrass will all be on the house, and the free activities include an ice cream sundae party for kids.
Sleightly Impossible Magic Experience Lumber Baron Inn Monday, October 27 $10 to $15 Recommended for ages ten and up, the Halloween edition of "Sleightly Impossible" mixes magic and comedy. Magicians Matt C. Brandt and Gene R. Gordon have tweaked their popular show to include some spooky twists for a haunting event.
CCD's Annual Haunted Harvest Auraria Campus - 9th Street Park Tuesday, October 28 Free Kids of all ages are invited to a trick-or-treat extravaganza at Auraria's historic 9th Street Park. Enjoy hot chocolate, cider and carnival games while walking through the neighborhood and checking out the spooky decorations on these vintage homes, put together by student organizations.
Halloween Family Fun Night Fright Paxti's Pizza Tuesday, October 28 Price of a meal Bring your appetite and wear your costume to this Halloween pizza party, movie night and costume contest. Kids and adults alike have a chance to win Paxti's gift cards for donning their haunted best, while enjoying a spooky film and a meal.
Woof in Boots 3rd Annual Howlin' Halloween Pet Costume Party Woof in Boots Doggie Daycare, 719 West Eighth Avenue Thursday, October 30 $5 Dress both yourself and your canine friend for this dog-friendly costume party featuring bobbing for hot dogs, face painting, snacks, a photo "crypt" and multiple costume contests. The party supports a good cause, as a portion of door proceeds will go to the Maxfund Animal Shelter.
Kids Halloween Party & Parade Union Station Thursday, October 30 Free Pick up some spooky vibes at the newly renovated Union Station and join the parade at this Halloween march and costume contest. Trick-or-treat at various merchants throughout the historic building and enjoy spooky music -- while parents can enjoy hauntingly good drink specials.
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Halloween at the Forney Forney Museum of Transportation Friday, October 31 Free to $5 Kids big and small will find just the right amount of spooky fun at the Forney's Halloween bash, which includes treats, games, movies, pumpkin decorating and a costume contest. Those looking for a scare will feel right at home in the haunted house.