This year, Halloween falls on a Thursday, which makes finding events on the day itself a frightening endeavor indeed, since many venues schedule their spooky soirées a week early (or even worse, a day or two late). But we've managed to unearth ten of the creepiest, crawliest culinary events taking place on the actual night of Halloween, Thursday, October 31. Keep reading — if you dare.
Broadway Roxy554 South Broadway
Standout scare: Venturing south of Alameda Avenue on Broadway
What's Halloween without a little weirdness? True weirdos know to let their freak flags fly with something more creative than ordering a sexy Pennywise costume online. Join performing arts collective Arts Caravan at Broadway Roxy for its Halloween show, A Wicked Radio Porno. The venue will host ukuleles, magic, fire-eating and a racy radio hour from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. while you sip on classic cocktails like the Rum Runner, Aviation and Bees Knees. Tickets are $15 cash at the door; visit Arts Caravan's website for details.
The Brown Palace Hotel321 17th Street
Standout scare: Figuring out which fork to use
The Brown's afternoon tea is a Denver institution, but on Halloween the famed hotel won't be serving scones to society dames. Instead, the hotel is inviting enchantresses to its Witches' Tea from noon to 4 p.m. Whether you're a practitioner of the dark arts or just want to channel Helena Bonham Carter's red-carpet aesthetic, you can enjoy a special witches' brew, pumpkin cocktails and seasonal petits fours for $41. You don't need to cast a spell to reserve your spot: Just book on OpenTable or call the hotel. And beware of the finger sandwiches, which could include actual fingers this time of year.
D Bar Denver494 East 19th Street
Standout scare: Parking
What's an adult with a serious sweet tooth to do at Halloween? Going door-to-door is frowned upon (unfortunate, since you can lug around a much larger bag of candy as a grownup than you did as a kid), as is eating an entire bag of itty-bitty Reese's peanut butter cups in one go. Are you supposed to furtively rifle through through your co-workers' Halloween rejects on November 1? We think not. Instead, hit up D Bar's Halloween dessert buffet. From 5 to 10 p.m., $25 entitles you to bottomless cookies, cakes, candies, pastries, tarts and macarons. While the exact items haven't been announced, we can guarantee they're going to be gorgeous and much, much more delicious than Becky in HR's leftover candy corn. Details are on the eatery's Facebook page.
Denver Beer Company1695 Platte Street
Standout scare: The kind of people who put costumes on their dogs
If you're a dog lover who likes the idea of dressing up for Halloween but are less enthusiastic about dropping $60 on a cheap, poorly fitting costume you'll only wear once (and you lack the sewing skills to create your own custom couture), opt for the cheaper, simpler and, honestly, cuter path of tricking out your dog this year. Show up at the taproom's Howl-o-ween Dog Costume Contest from 5 to 8 p.m. and you'll get some treats for yourself in the form of pumpkin beer and some epic dog-watching. The powers that be will also award prizes for best-dressed dog, canine couple and dog-human couple.
Liberati2403 Champa Street
Standout scare: Trying to pronounce "oenobeer"
The restaurant and brewery turning out "oenobeers" (or beer-wine hybrids) plays Halloween every day of the year; you'll regularly find yourself questioning whether the beverage sitting in front of you is a glass of wine disguised as a beer, or vice versa. If you've been scared off by the concept, October 31 is the perfect time to try the unique brews at a discount: Show up in a Halloween costume — doors open at noon — and get two beers for the price of one. It's a great way to try out the somewhat spendy (but definitely worth it) drinks and delight your palate with something strange and unusual this holiday.
Linger2030 West 30th Avenue
Standout scare: The reference to a truly vile German film of the same name
The former Olinger Mortuary entered the consciousness of Denver diners when it was transformed into a palace of global small plates almost a decade ago, and as expected, Linger goes all out when Halloween comes around. This year, the celebration is dubbed NecRomantic: A Halloween Soirée, and (notwithstanding the disturbing connotations of the event name) the shindig promises to be ghoulishly good. From 6 to 9 p.m., show up for drinks, passed appetizers, Día de los Muertos face painting, tarot card readings and a costume contest. For macabre authenticity, you can't get much better than partying in a place where corpses stopped on their journey from gurney to grave. Get tickets, $45, on Two Parts.
Jungle2018 10th Street, Boulder
Standout scare: Dealing with the Pearl Street Mall Halloween crowd
So you're trapped on an island infested with zombies: What's next? Your chances of surviving are lower than the horde's collective IQ, so you might as well relax with some delicious tiki drinks while you wait for the inevitable. Jungle's Zombie Island Halloween Party has you covered; from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., the hip cocktail bar will be staffed by shambling and ravenous undead, who will provide pineapples instead of pumpkins for carving. The bar will also debut its new Zombie recipe (think the cocktail, not a ragged bite on the arm you'll try to conceal from your fellow survivors but that will eventually fester and turn you into a sub-literate biped with just one goal in mind: braaaaaaains). The party's free; just pay for your food and drinks.
Rayback Collective2775 Valmont Road, Boulder
Standout scare: Food truck lines
This Boulder gathering place is hosting its Halloween party, Brews & Boos, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. The eclectic celebration includes food trucks slinging Syrian food and pizza (not from the same vehicle, unfortunately, because we would love a muhammara-topped slice), $1 off all pumpkin beers, stouts, Monster Margs and Witch's Brews, and a makeup artist ready to transform you with everything from face paint to scab blood. You can also bring your jack o' lantern from home for entry into Rayback's contest in best movie reference, most realistic and best classic categories. Your costume will also be judged by scariest, best group costume and most original/creative. And because being homeless in a Colorado winter is more frightening than any costume, attendees are encouraged to donate gently used winter clothing (no holes or stains); in return, you'll get a 20 percent-off voucher on your first round of drinks and a half-off coupon for your next visit. There's no cover, but you are requested to RSVP at Eventbrite.
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Sarto's2900 West 25th Avenue
Standout scare: Determining which ticket platform has the lowest price and fees
Halloween dining options are generally limited to family-friendly events so tame they don't raise a single hair on the back of your neck; then there are raucous parties where the amount of booze the guests consume is truly terrifying. For those who want to get into the spirit with an adult celebration but aren't looking to be haunted by a hangover the next day, Sarto's interactive murder mystery dinner is a great alternative. The three-course prix fixe menu includes items like cioppino with toasted focaccia; cavatelli with housemade sausage; salmon with black lentils and parmesan broth; and doughnuts stuffed with pumpkin cream. In between bites, you'll be interrogated, pitted against your fellow diners and tasked with helping uncover a murderer. If you think the 6:30 p.m. meal sounds like just the ticket, we can point you to two websites: Eventbrite, where tickets range from $75 to $85 plus fees; or Toast, where they're listed at $75 plus fees. Why the discrepancy? Some mysteries are unsolvable.
Talnua Distillery5405 West 56th Avenue, Arvada
Standout scare: The horror that overcomes men when they realize fictional male characters will be played by women
You've caught us: Our final event isn't confined to just Halloween. The run of Three Tales of Poe, a compendium of Edgar Allan Poe's terrifying short stories and poems, begins Friday, October 25, and extends through Sunday, November 3. But what better day to see the atmospheric Gothic stories than on All Hallows' Eve? At 7:30 p.m., an all-female cast will perform theatrical adaptations of "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Raven"; $24 gets you tickets to the show plus one of the house whiskeys, gins or cocktails. You can snag your seat on Eventbrite or skip the fees and purchase a ticket at Talnua's tasting room during regular business hours.